The Cape Cod Islanders and the AHI Fighting Spirit, of Waterville Valley, N.H., both had sweeps in this weekend’s Northern States Junior Hockey League contests.
The Islanders beat the Jersey Shore Wildcats on Saturday, 1-0, and edged the Wildcats 2-1 on Sunday.
Islanders goaltender Landon Trutt stopped 25 shots to notch the shutout for the Islanders Saturday. Colton Hart scored the lone goal of the game.
“We played hard on Saturday night and ran into a very hot goalie, Shane Lippincott. It took us 40 shots to score,” said Islanders Head Coach Dan Hodge. “Fortunately we were able to get a late power play goal past him for the 1-0 win.”
Hodge said the Islanders were less motivated on Sunday but still managed to find the back of the net.
“We were flat on Sunday and we were very lucky that our goalie showed up to play,” said Hodge. “Alex Shalamov scored both goals for us and Trutt did the rest. We definitely stole one on Sunday.”
Austin Crane scored the only goal for the Wildcats in the series.
The Wilkes-Barre Miners traveled to Syracuse for a tilt on Friday, where they fell 4-1 to the Stampede. The Miners headed back home where they blanked the New England Stars 6-0 on Saturday.
“The team’s first road trip (Friday) found the boys out-worked and beat to every loose puck. Syracuse was ready to play and we weren’t,” said Miners Assistant Coach Marty Moucha. “The boys were flat after a good last weekend.”
On Saturday, the Miners dominated the New England Stars with contributions from four different goal-scorers. Frank Lanni found the back of the net twice, netting the first goal of the game and another in the third period. Yaroslav Kobyzyev netted two goals as well, one of which came on the power play in the second period. Geno DeAngelo and Shane Welsh both scored short-handed goals for the Miners. Roman Malkov recorded his first shutout of the season.
Though the Stars worked hard and battled back on Sunday, but they again fell to the Miners 6-5 in a shootout. The Stars were up 3-1 after ten minutes of play, but the Miners tied it up at three-all heading into the second period. Stars forward Steve Upton netted two goals, and Phil Sweeney, Brian Glover and Steve Crocker each added a goal a piece in the match-up.
“Saturday night, I would guess, we never put together three consecutive, and productive shifts in a row,” said Stars Head Coach Darryl Green. “Combine that with teams such as Wilkes-Barre and one can understand why we lost 6-0. Sunday we were much more determined and played with the amount of enthusiasm that is needed in our league to win games. We made many more smart plays than poor ones, but it wasn’t quite enough.”
Moucha said the game could have gone either way.
“Both teams created many turnovers,” said Moucha. “…We squeezed a lucky win with our captain Danny Randall, leading the team with 4 goals including a shoot-out goal.”
Miners Head Coach Jason MacDonald agreed with Moucha.
“We were lucky to grab the two points,” said MacDonald.
The Fighting Spirit ran past the Maine Wild this weekend, 4-1 on Saturday and 5-0 on Sunday.
On Saturday, the Fighting Spirit had contributions from Jeremy Hannah, Frederic Pugin, and Alex Peddle, who netted two goals. The Wild’s Captain Keith Barnaby scored the lone goal of the series for the Wild when he put a puck past Anthony D’Urso.
“We fell short because we are not scoring goals,” said Maine Wild Coach Mike Tenney. “We get shots and chances, however, when it comes right down to it, we do not finish. If you cannot score it is pretty tough to win a hockey game, especially against a hard-working team like the Spirit.”
On Sunday, the Wild came out flat, said Tenney.
“We got away from the things that we were successful with on Saturday,” said Tenney. “We did not move our feet to engage the forecheck. We were trying to go up through the middle of the ice on the breakout, and we tried to do too much when we had the puck.”
Mike Callaghan, Mitch Purdie, Alex Shimoloeons, Matt Roberts and Peddle of the Fighting Spirit all found the back of the net in the second game. Spirit goaltender Nate DelGiudice stopped 16 shots for the shutout.
Tenney, though, sees the positives despite the disappointing weekend.
“Our efforts need to become more consistent, but we showed we are able to stay out of the penalty box, which was a huge plus for us,” he said. “We also stayed competitive with a very good team this weekend for all but one period.”