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NPHL Playoff Recap: Sunday, March 13th Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 14 Mar 2016  
By: Garrett J Fabris

Kennewick, WA – The Wenatchee Wolves were able to capture the fist game in this best of five series against the Tri-City Outlaws last night. For today’s game, both teams traveled to Kennewick, Washington, to continue this series at the Toyota Arena. During the first period, the Wolves came out and scored three unanswered goals. Griffin Wiencek, Hayden Givens, and Coleton Booth all scored for the Wolves during the period. These three goals put the Wolves up 3 – 0 by the end of the first period.

After hitting the ice for the second period with a three-goal lead, the Wolves were able to double the team’s score while holding the Outlaws scoreless. Booth picked up right where he left off from the first period, which was with a goal to start the second period. Then 18 seconds later, Givens recorded his second goal for the Wolves. About two minutes after Givens’ second goal, Hunter Hegdahl rounded out the Wolves’ scoring for the second period with his first goal of the evening.

The Wolves were able to cruise to the finish line after starting the third period with a six-goal lead. During the final eight minutes of the game, the Wolves were able to score four goals. Also during the third period, Givens recorded his third goal of the evening, thus giving him a hat trick for the day. The Wolves were able to beat the Outlaws this evening, 10 – 0.

Geno McCue, the Outlaws’ head coach, commented on today’s game against the Wolves. McCue said, “I thought the boys played well. We stayed out of the box, for the most part. We had opportunities, but Bronson Moore made some big saves at some critical times. We stayed within our game plan, but we weren’t able to capitalize on our opportunities. Give Wenatchee credit for limiting the rebounds. Their transition game was working on all cylinders today.”

Ryan McKelvie, the Wolves’ head coach, shared his thoughts about today’s game. McKelvie said, “so far in the series, the guys have done a nice job of playing with good habits. We'll continue to focus on that in the next game on Tuesday.”

The Wolves (2-0-0, 4 points) and Outlaws (0-2-0, 0 points) will take a one-day break before continuing this series on Tuesday, March 15th. That game will be held at the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee, Washington. The puck will drop at 7:35 pm (PST).

Notable Performances:
(WEN) Hayden Givens (F) – three goals and one assist
(WEN) Coleton Booth (F) – two goals and two assists

Bellingham, WA – The Bellingham Blazers hosted the Eugene Generals for the second time on back-to-back nights. To start tonight’s action, it was a back and forth first period which featured the Blazers striking first. Justin Sullivan scored on a power play opportunity to start the period for the Blazers. But the Generals quickly found an answer when Christian “Buddy” Dale scored an unassisted goal to knot the game at one goal apiece. With 22 seconds left in the period, the Blazers scored one more goal to regain the lead before the first intermission.

As the puck dropped to start the second period, the Blazers’ power play opportunities continued to plague the Generals’ penalty kill unit.  About nine minutes into the period, the Blazers were able to score the team’s second power play goal of the evening, and their fifth of the series. Von Mullin was able to locate the back of the net for the only goal of the second period. This goal gave the Blazers a 3 – 1 lead at the end of the second period.

During the third period, the Blazers were able to extend the team’s lead with their third power play goal of the night. This time it was from Sullivan, who scored his second goal of the game and fourth of the series. Sullivan’s goal would be the final scoring action in tonight’s game between the Blazers and Generals. The Blazers beat the Generals tonight, 4 – 1.

Phil Carron, the Blazers’ assistant coach, discussed tonight’s game. Carron said, “I thought we gave a great team effort tonight. We stuck to our game plan and executed it right. The biscuit went in the basket when it mattered.”

Justin Kern, the Generals’ head coach, also discussed his thoughts about tonight’s game against the Blazers. Kern said, “we still have lots of room to improve. Unfortunately, our back is against the wall and we are going to run out of time to make those improvements. So, the boys are going to have to dig deep, play with a lot of heart, and get this done. We know we can beat this team because we’ve done it before. Now it’s time to battle.”

This series between the Blazers (2-0-0, 4 points) and Generals (0-2-0, 0 points) will now travel to Eugene, Oregon. If the Blazers win Fridaynight’s game against the Generals at the Rink Exchange, then the team will punch its ticket to the championship series. But if the Generals win, they will force a game four and the series will continue.

Notable Performances:
(BEL) Christopher Alexakis (G) – one goal allowed with a .9677 save percentage and the victory
(BEL) Justin Sullivan (F) – two goals and one assist

Tune in to the NPHL’s website at the end of Tuesday’s game for a full recap!

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