Wayne NJ – The Jersey Hitmen sweep the Rochester Monarch’s 5-1 Saturday night and 4-2 in game two on Sunday. With the sweep the Hitmen extend their winning streak to 7.
Trevor Stenberg earned his 9thwin of the season steering aside 26 shots. Assistant captain Thomas Lamacchia (10), captain Matthew Paiotti (9), defenseman Mykyta Volobuyev (2) and defenseman Michael-Anthony Deslauriers (2,3) all tallied for the Hitmen. Deslauriers ’99 from Montreal, Canada scored the game winning goal on the power play and added his second of the night to secure the 5-1 victory.
In game two the Monarch’s and Hitmen were tied at one a piece after two periods of play. Robbie Sheehan (14,15) opened the scoring on the power play to give the Hitmen an early 1-0 lead. Sheehan scored his second of the game in the third, Nick Davidow (4) scored the eventual game winning goal and Tedeas Pejchal (6) added the insurance tally late in the third period. Starter Cole Mulholland made 30 saves for his 10thvictory of the season.
Head coach Dan Henningson on the weekend “I didn’t think we played our best. We played well when we needed to, our work ethic was very inconsistent throughout the course of the weekend.”
The Jersey Hitmen will play the New Jersey Rockets in a home and home this weekend. The Hitmen will host the Rockets Saturday January 26 at the Ice Vault for 8pm puck drop and Sunday January 27 at the Bridgeport Sports Arena for 3pm puck drop. The Hitmen are 3-0-1 against the Rockets this season.
Richmond Generals fans have most likely noticed that Ignotas Ragas has been missing from the line up lately. The defensive-minded center isn’t injured he’s actually been busy representing his home country of Lithuania in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Division II World Junior Championships.
Ragas, a 5 -11, 185-pound center, won a silver medal with Team Lithuania and finished the tournament with 4 points in 5 games (1 goal 3 assists).
He also earned individual honors when he was named player of the match when Lithuania faced Korea.
The 16U All-Stars had plenty in the tank, youthful enthusiasm taking over as five of the seven goals scored in the game came in the third period.
Two goals, one from each of the American (wearing white jerseys) and National (wearing red), were scored in the final four minutes of this Instant Classic on the home ice of the NCAA Division 1 Merrimack College Warriors.
The National All-Stars, coached by Noel Rubin (New Jersey Rockets) and Frank Golden (N.H. Jr. Monarchs), went into that third period up 2-0.
In the second period, three New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs players connected for an absolute beauty of tic-tac-toe passing between David Bazile and teammates Ben Muthersbaugh - a day of game lineup addition - and Tyler Anastasi.
That 2-0 National lead score led into the apex of the game - the third period. Josh Girard for the Maine Moose faced down several shots making highlight-worthy saves.
However, his luck couldn’t hold forever. He was surrounded at the net by the Palmyra Black Knights’ Jesse Horacek and Zachary Aben, as well as by the New Jersey Hitmen’s Connor Sedlak. Horacek and Aben both tried, but those were saved by a sprawling Girard, but Sedlak struck paydirt to put Team American on the board.
The highlight goal of the day however, was created when the ‘04 Chris Delaney (Junior Bruins) sent up a pass just over his own blue line to a streaking Yuri Ushakov (CP Dynamo). Ushakov had two full zones of Lawler Arena ice to himself - except for Girard, who he beat with a massive forward-to-backhand deke that was SportsCenter-worthy.
Only 52 seconds later, Bazile went in alone and there was not even need for the penalty shot that would have been called as he was held up. He made a couple dekes and a light tap between the five hole for a 3-2 National lead.
No way was this one over yet, though. The Skipjacks Hockey Club trio of Oliver Frontini, Ryan Gordon and Silas Hughes - all better than point-per-game performers in USPHL league play - combined for a great goal. Hughes made the backhand pass from his knees - facing the boards - to Frontini out Front and it was a 3-3 tie with just over four minutes left.
Less than a minute, Alexander Farmer (N.J. Rockets) scored a gorgeous wrister to seal the deal for Team National, despite a 6-on-4 advantage for Team America at the end.