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NPHL Weekend Recap: Friday, February 5th Junior Hockey News

Published: Saturday, 6 Feb 2016  
By: Garrett J Fabris

Bellingham, WA – The Tri-City Outlaws and Bellingham Blazers kicked off a two-game series tonight. During the first period, the Blazers were able to come out and score three straight unanswered goals. To start things off for the Blazers, Sean Meetsma capitalized on a power play opportunity, which was then followed by two goals from Brett Hanson and Justin Sullivan.  As the period came to an end, the Blazers were up 3 – 0 against the Outlaws.

As the Outlaws and Blazers continued play in the second period, the Blazers were able to build on the team’s three-goal lead. Hanson started the two-goal period for the Blazers when he netted his second goal of the night. Rj Oki would round out the scoring for the period as his goal put the Blazers up 5 – 0 against the Outlaws. But, the Outlaws did heat up in the second period as the team outshot the Blazers, 19 – 18.

During the final period of play, the Outlaws were able to score their first goal of the night when Adam Shimamotto found the back of the net. The Blazers would have an answer for the Outlaws as the team went on to score three straight goals. Before the period came to an end, the Outlaws concluded tonight’s scoring with their second goal of the night. After the final horn, the Blazers were able to skate away with the 8 – 2 victory.

Geno McCue, the Outlaws’ head coach, commented on tonight’s game. McCue said, “our number one goal was to stay out of the box, and we had only two penalties tonight. We weren’t as physical as I would have liked, but that’s because we were working on other aspects during practice this week. But during the third period, we stepped up and played Outlaw hockey. Taylor played his butt off tonight. He saw 70 shots and stopped 62.”

The Blazers (24-8-1-0, 49 points) and Outlaws (8-22-1-0, 17 points) will conclude play tomorrow at the Bellingham Sportsplex in Bellingham, Washington. That game is scheduled to start at 7:35 pm (PST).

Notable Performances:
(BEL) Brett Hanson (F) – two goals and two assists
(BEL) Karson DeRego (F) – one goal and three assists

Eugene, OR – The Seattle Ravens entered into this series against the Eugene Generals with a new head coach at the helm in Adam Kurtenbach. The first period wasn’t the best start for Kurtenbach and the Ravens as the Generals unloaded five goals, while also holding the Ravens scoreless. Dustin Gomez and Christian “Buddy” Dale both scored two goals apiece for the Generals while Jacob Ray also recorded a goal for the team.

During the second period, neither team would be able to score as the Generals maintained their five-goal lead over the Ravens. Despite neither team being able to locate the back of the net, the Ravens had some great power play opportunities throughout the period, but the team could not capitalize.

After a quiet second period for both teams, the Generals were able to explode out of the gate to start the third period. In the final 20 minutes of the game, the Generals were able to bury three goals against the Ravens, while also holding the team at bay. The Generals were able to beat the Ravens 8 – 0.

Justin Kern, the Generals’ head coach, discussed his thoughts on tonight’s game. Kern said, “well, you know, I wish we could have cleaned it up a little bit on the penalties. But it was a good game for us to get back to our winning ways, and score some of those goals. I was happy to see the team do that.”

Kurtenbach also shared his thoughts about tonight’s game. He said, “we installed some new systems this week, but we are playing short benched and they jumped on us early. After that, we lost some of our guys due to injury, so we were forced to play with what we had left. The guys played hard in the final two periods with a short bench.”

This series will stay in Eugene, Oregon, as the Generals (20-10-0-1, 41 points) and Ravens (6-23-1-1, 14 points) will hit the ice again tomorrow, February 6th, at 7:35 pm. This will be the final game in this two-game series.

Notable Performances:
(EUG) Zealand Walterscheid (G) – shutout
(EUG) Dustin Gomez (F) – three goals and one assist

Bremerton, WA – The Wenatchee Wolves and West Sound Warriors started a two-game, home-and-home, series tonight. The Wolves were able to start tonight’s action by capitalizing on a power play opportunity when Richie Stickle found the back of the net. Stickle’s goal was then followed up by a goal from Griffin Wiencek. This goal pushed the Wolves’ lead over the Warriors to 2 – 0 by the end of the first period.

The Warriors were able to come out during the second period and quickly reduce the Wolves’ lead to one goal. But that didn’t last long. After the Warriors reduced the Wolves’ lead, the Wolves were able to score two unanswered goals. On those goals, Stickle scored his second of the night, which was quickly followed up by a goal from Jack Newhouse. By the end of the period, the Wolves extended their lead over the Warriors to 4 – 1.

After the second period, the Wolves were able to take control of the game and cruise to the finish line. While holding the Warriors scoreless in the third period, the Wolves were able to score four goals, including two goals from Will Connors, who is one of the Wolves’ hottest players. This four-goal period pushed the Wolves to an 8 – 1 victory over Warriors.

Matt Ferris, the Warriors’ head coach, discussed his thoughts about tonight’s game. He said, “Wenatchee is a pretty solid team, they’re the best team in the league. We started off playing well, and we had some good chances early. The first period was relatively even, but after that, we fell apart. That’s what happens when you play a really good team.”

Ryan McKelvie, the Wolves’ head coach, also commented on tonight’s game. He said, “For the most part, I thought our guys played fast and hard all game.”

This series will take a one-day break before the Warriors (6-24-1-1, 14 points) and Wolves (31-1-0-0, 62 points) meet back up in Wenatchee, Washington, on February 7th to finish play. The puck is scheduled to drop at 12:00 pm (PST).

Notable Performances:
(WEN) Will Connors (F) – two goals and two assists
(WEN) Hunter Alden (F) – two assists

Tomorrow, tune in to the NPHL’s website for real-time statistics and game updates!

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