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Hitmen USP3 Sweeps Jersey Shore Whalers in Opening Weekend Series

By Brack Healy, 09/15/15, 6:45PM EDT


There’s a new sheriff in town.  After going 0-3-1 against the Whalers last season, the Hitmen have already landed two wins against their in-state rivals. The boys in blue demonstrated great resolve this weekend and had to come-from-behind in each of the first two games to claim victories.
In Friday night’s opener the Hitmen fell behind 3-0 in the first eight minutes of the game. Ready to put last year’s Whalers curse behind them, Hunter Kronk got the Hitmen on the board with under two minutes to play in the first frame on a beautiful one-time shot off a pass from Keith Bishop.
Riding the momentum into the second, the Hitmen continued their assault on Whalers’ goalie Isaac Syre as they bombarded him with shots. Evan Hoey struck first only 15 seconds into the period as Bishop picked up his second assist. Bishop would score one of his own as he crashed the net and put in a centering pass from Hoey. The Whalers attempted to slow down the barrage with a timeout, but only a minute later Danny Cangelosi would cash in on a short-handed breakaway giving the Hitmen a 4-3 lead.
Brendan Buckley added a late goal and Isaac Davison sealed the deal with an empty netter. The Hitmen scored six unanswered goals and Danny Porth was perfect in the second and third, leading the Hitmen to a 6-3 win.
On Sunday afternoon the two teams were back at it again. Hoey picked up where he left off, scoring a power-play goal five minutes into the game on a snap shot top shelf. The Whalers would get some breaks as they scored back-to-back power-play goals to take a 2-1 lead after one.
In the third, and after displaying excellent penalty killing (7 for 7 after the first two goals), Cangelosi would knot it up at 2 on a beautiful feed from Kronk just over a minute into the third. The game remained tied after regulation as the Hitmen continued to impress on the penalty kill.
The boys in blue took advantage of a tired Jersey Shore squad early in overtime as Anthony Steffe ripped a wrist shot high glove from the top of the circles to give the Hitmen the series sweep. John Pitera was on his game in net as he turned aside 32 Whalers’ shots. The Hitmen showed great character in the first two games, erasing a big lead and killing off 13 penalties in the series.
The Hitmen are home next weekend against the Springfield Pics.