The GNASH 2017-18 regular season kicked off October 16th as Mount Juliet faced Ensworth-Oakland in their first and only meeting of the season. The scoring was opened by Ensworth just 39 seconds into the first period as Davis took a feed from Jeansonne and McDougall to beat Mt. Juliet goalie Sebastian Gibson to make it 1-0. Mt. Juliet would respond just two and a half minutes later though as Captain Nicholas Roman would tie it up, getting a shot past Ensworth’s Roy. The back and forth would continue until Ensworth’s Davis set up teammate MacDonald to give Ensworth the 2-1 lead and Davis’s second point of the night. Mount Juliet would get first two power plays of the night with Ensworth’s Jeansoone being called for roughing and Vollhoffer for interference, but was unable to convert on either chance. Roy would continue to play well, stopping a breakaway from Mt. Juliet’s Dylan Kraay and a shorthanded attempt breakaway from Corey Settle while Ensworth was on the power play. Ensworth would get their chance on the power play going into the second period with a Michael Settle of Mt. Juliet being called for roughing. Ensworth maintained the lead of 2-1 going into the second period.
Heading into the second period and Ensworth not being able to capitalize on the power play, Mt. Juliet began to bring the pressure, keeping Ensworth deep in their zone. Feeling the heat and desperate to get out, Ensworth began pushing forward, but the effort was short lived as an interference penalty from Vollhoffer put Mt. Juliet on the power play. They were unable to convert and play resumed at even strength. The offensive push by Mt. Juliet was eventually rewarded with a goal by Tristen Arkon, assisted by Roman at 4:32 of the second period to make it 2-2. Ensworth continued to push and fight their way out of their zone, but were unable to generate any offense, allowing Mt. Juliet to dominate the period. Mt. Juliet continued to pressure Ensworth and at 10:21, Drew Ordiway, assisted by Triston and Patrick Guay, got the go-ahead goal against Ensworth’s Roy. This was Tristen’s second point of the night. The second period came to a close with Mt. Juliet putting up sixteen shots on goal compared to Ensworth’s three.
The offense in the third was tapered as each team received multiple penalties throughout the last period. Lawson Smith of Mt. Juliet would receive a minor for roughing, but Ensworth could not convert. Mt. Juliet 8th grader Michael Dillard started the third period for the Bears, and he would keep the lead alive as he stopped a breakaway from Ensworth’s MacDonald who was looking for his second goal of the night. Mt. Juliet would then get their chance at the power play as Ensworth’s Jeansoone was called for interference, but like Ensworth, Mt. Juliet was unable to convert and play continued, only to be back on the penalty kill as Captain Nicholas Roman would receive a hooking penalty. The Ensworth power play was short lived as just a few seconds later, Ensworth would receive their third interference penalty with Vollhoffer taking a seat for the infraction. Both teams continued at even strength until Mt. Juliet was able to move into the power play for the remaining thirty seconds of the Ensworth penalty. This was all the time Mt. Juliet would need though as they finally cashed in on their power play at 7:13 of the third as Rachel Wolfenbarger took a pass from Corey Settle to make it 4-2 Mt. Juliet.
Ensworth would not sit back and let Mt. Juliet win without a fight though. At 11:20, Ensworth’s Hitt would bank one home from teammate Seibert to make it 3-4. With only minutes left to play, Roy was pulled for the extra attacker. Dillard was tested, but stood strong as teammate Dylan Kraay was able to score the empty net goal with just 12 seconds remaining. The evening was capped off as Tristen Arkon got his second goal of the game with just one second remaining and third point of the night. Mt. Juliet would take the game 6-3 in the end. Ensworth-Oakland goalie Roy would finish the night with 31 saves on 37 shots for a .838 and Mt. Juliet’s Sebastian Gibson played two periods. In his first high school game, 8th grader Michael Dillard was in net for the third where he faced five shots while only allowing one goal. Ensworth would go 0/3 on the power play while Mt. Juliet would go 1/4 for the night.
Ensworth-Oakland Head Coach Tim McAlister, in his first season as head coach for Ensworth-Oakland was pleased with his team’s effort despite the loss stating, “For a first game, the kids showed a full effort. We got plenty of good looks and competed heavily to come back and were close to tying it in the end, we just couldn’t get the pucks to fall the way we wanted.”
Mt. Juliet Head Coach Jason Riherd, in his first season as head coach for the team and slowly adjusting the team to his play style, liked his team’s effort as well stating, “Our elevation got better and stronger each period. We do have things to work on and get better at, but things will come more time and practice. We have to quit looking for perfect shots and just start jamming them in there.”
Both teams will be back in action on Monday, October 23rd, as Mount Juliet plays Franklin-Hume Fogg next week at Centennial Sportsplex A at 7:40pm and Ensworth-Oakland will play Independence-Summit at Centennial Sportsplex B at 8:30PM.
Editor’s note: If we have incorrectly misspelled a player’s name, please let us know in the comments section below.