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NSHL Weekend Wrap-up: Kodiaks take seven of eight points - Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 29 Jan 2013
By: NSHL Media

The Eastern Kodiaks had their most successful week of the season, exploding for 18 goals in just four games. With a 3-0-1 record, the Kodiaks picked up a crucial seven out of eight possible points in the standings, propelling themselves into the late season conversation.

Forward David Sullivan (8G, 4A), defenseman Alfred Johansson (6A), and goaltender Jimmy Ziegenfuss  (3 Wins) each had monster weeks for the Kodiaks, and the action kicked off last Wednesday when the team rolled to a 6-5 victory as they hosted the Cape Cod Islanders at the Verizon Center.

Having last won on December 15 3-2 against the Mariners, the Kodiaks took the ice Wednesday with a game-plan that not only implemented the physical style they have shown all season long, but also a high powered electrifying offense.

After both teams hit the back of the net in the first period, the Kodiaks stormed into the second with three consecutive goals, giving themselves a 4-1 lead. Cape Cod refused to go quietly however, and back-to-back late second period goals cut the deficit to one going into the third.

Shayne Betts restored the Kodiaks two-goal cushion as he buried a chance set up perfectly by David Sullivan halfway through the third, but Cape Cod quickly responded with a goal from Justin Demone just eleven seconds later. The Islanders looked determined to draw even, and a minute later were able to tie the game with a goal from Jake Robertson.

As the two teams went down the home stretch tied 5-5, two of the Kodiaks most dependable offensive weapons, forward David Sullivan and defenseman Alfred Johansson, took the game into their own hands as Johansson made room for himself and blasted a long-range missile that mirrored the offensive prowess of fellow Swede Nicklas Lidstrom, before Sullivan deflected the puck into the back of the net. Goaltender Jimmy Ziegenfuss came in on relief duty while the game was still tied at 5, and was able to shut the door on the Islanders the rest of the way with eight saves.

On Friday the New England Stars paid the Kodiaks a visit, and it was clear that the home team was not ready to let their fans catch a breath after their roller coaster win on Wednesday. Tied at three after regulation as Sullivan scored a pair of power-play goals, the Stars and Kodiaks went into overtime with everything still to play for. Ricky Sheehan of New England was called for holding with two minutes to play in the extra frame, and Sullivan was ready to show off his flair for the dramatic when he finished off his hat-trick with another power-play goal with just :30 seconds left after taking a stretch pass from Alfred Johansson.  Ziegenfuss notched his second straight win while stopping 28 shots on goal.

On Saturday the two teams reconvened, but this time it was New England that played host to the Kodiaks. Trailing 3-2 late in the third period, the Kodiak faithful looked on in disbelief as David Sullivan continued his remarkable stretch of clutch performances, tying the game and sending it into overtime. Neither team was able to steal the game in the extra period, and New England went on to take the win in a shootout. Despite losing the shootout, the Kodiaks grabbed another point in the standings as Sullivan's late goal sent the game beyond regulation.

Undoubtedly battling tired legs, the Kodiaks finished up a hectic week when they paid a visit to the Mass Junior Mariners on Sunday. After the week's previous three games all going into overtime or coming down to the dying embers of regulation, Sunday's contest served as a cherry on top for the visiting fans from New Hampshire. Tied 4-4 after regulation with Sullivan racking up another goal (short-handed) and an assist, and Johansson providing another two helpers, an almost perfect week for the Kodiaks came to a fitting end when Sullivan scored his eighth goal of the week on the power-play in overtime. Jimmy Ziegenfuss got the win in net for his third of the week. The Kodiaks leapfrogged the Islanders for the fifth spot in the standings with their unbelievable performances, and now sit well within striking distance of the NSHL's top four.


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