Hitmen 16U Premier Continue Hot Start
This time around it wasn’t the offense that was needed. Goalies Nick Johansson and Tristan Neubart shined to secure a weekend sweep of the PAL Jr. Islanders.
On Saturday the 16U Premier squad defeated the PAL Jr. Islanders 2-1. Dmitriy Ignatov tallied the game’s first goal midway through the first by utilizing his speed after a defensive faceoff win by Arthur Tsimerman. Ignatov was able to carry the puck out of the zone and beat the PAL defender wide. He exchanged a quick give and go with Robby Greenleaf who made a nifty return pass that allowed Ignatov to one time the puck past the goaltender.
The Hitmen did not yield many quality chances but when tested Johansson made the saves (22 of 23). 16U Premier would grab an insurance goal midway through the third period on a breakaway goal by Tony Wang. Using his speed, Wang broke free from a PAL defender and buried a backhander five hole.
Sunday’s game was more of the same even though both teams traded chances. Connor Sedlak scored the game’s only goal on an end to end rush, beating the goalie bar down during a five on three power play advantage.
Neubart had to be good in net as he turned aside 24 shots which included two breakaways. For his efforts in goal, he received the game puck.
Weekend Notables – the penalty kill was 10 for 10 on the weekend and is now 35 for 36 (97.2%) for the season. The team is receiving outstanding penalty kill efforts from forwards Sedlak, Greenleaf, Troy Clement, Devon Kelly, Aidan Garabed and Ty Ebeling. Defensemen Will Fortescue, Jake Geraci, Cole Brennan, Jake Antonucci, Ben Birkhahn and Luke Johnson have all pitched in on the penalty kills. Goalies Johansson and Neubart were arguably the best penalty killers this weekend. The forecheck continues to be high tempo. PAL struggled breaking out of their zone at times due to the high speed and physical play.