In a penatly-free 60 minutes for both squads, the Seawolves (the 4th time ever being unpenalized for a full game) needed just 5 minutes and 41 seconds during the 2nd period to build a 3 goal lead and chase Uno's goaltender to the bench. After writing about my concerns that the fun-filled family card game would get chippy, the zero penalties result is a big surprise to me. That the Seawolves won wasn't a surprise.
This Seawolves team came out in the same fashion as last weekend ... relatively flying. The 1st period saw the boys generate several good scoring chances. They looked energetic and faster overall than the red mavs. They definitely got the lion's share of possession and chances outshooting Uno 8-5 for the period.
For most of the 1st half of the 2nd period the story was the same. Good chances without any getting through. The forecheck continued to be active creating turnovers. The possession game deep in the offensive zone continued as well. Defensively everyone did their jobs and at 9:43 Mark Pustin broke the scoreless tie with a nice wrist shot from inside the circle on the left wing. 5 minutes and 1 second later Quinn Sproule launched a stiff wrist shot from the blueline that had eyes and found it's way in. 40 seconds later Matt Baily took a Sam Mellor feed in neutral ice skated in on the right wing and beat Faulkner with a great forehand shot high after giving him the "i am going to shoot this puck with my backhand" look. That was it for Faulkner.
The Seawolves played super smart hockey from that point on. There was no dropping back and just playing defense ... but instead they controlled the flow of the game and by using every opportunity they could to pin the puck in deep in the Uno end but without risking any odd man rushes in the other direction.
Rob Gunderson was the 1st Star or Player of the Game or whatever they are calling it. He not only earned the shutout, he picked up an assist on the 3rd goal scored by Bailey. Gunderson was sharp all night and came up with at least one mind blowing save. A couple of times I noticed him come almost aggressively out of the crease to challenge shooters. A confident goalie does that.
Good stuff from a lot of guys tonight just like last weekend. Lotsa hustle and moving feet. I could mention just about everyone as having done something that contributed to the win. The Crowell, Naslund, Portwood line had a monster night working down low. Bruijsten, Bailey and Mellor continued to be threatening and put up 13 shots on the night. The Cameron, Kwas and Spencer line also made good chances. I thought the defensemen were pretty active offensively but they did only manage to contribute 3 shots on the night. The Seawolves lost the face-off battle pretty badly with the red mavs doubling them up 29-14. Tyler Currier continues to be the designated buzzsaw. His energy, physical play and desire have all been very visible this season.
Tomorrow it's Mercyhurst's turn to face what looks to me like one of the best Seawolf offensive squads I've seen in quite some time. The fun-filled family card game beat them last weekend 5-1 so one might expect the Seawolves to have a big night but I've got three words for such thoughts: don't get cocky.