In this week’s edition of Monday night GNASH hockey, Independence-Summit faced-off against Blackman-Stewarts Creek at Centennial Sportsplex. After gaining momentum with a win in their last game, Indy-Summit looked to keep their team moving forward. Their momentum continued throughout this contest as well, as they cruised past Blackman-Stewarts Creek, to an 8-0 win.
The first period began with Independence-Summit winning the opening faceoff. After regrouping, they showed good possession in the offensive zone to start the game. Their scoring chances continued to build until they finally broke through with the first goal of the night. That goal came from Gary Hix as he took a shot from the point. His initial shot was blocked, but he collected the loose puck and fired again toward the net. This time his shot was true, beating Blackman’s Jacob Gomez high on his stick-side, at 8:28 remaining in the period. After play was reset at center ice, Blackman mounted a few scoring chances of their own. They got a steal by Nicholas Litvjak, and a subsequent odd-man rush the other way. His teammate Jackson Taylor took a shot on net, but missed his mark. Despite having a few quick scoring chances, Blackman spent most of the remainder of the period in their own end of the ice playing defense.
Indy-Summit coach Spencer Sabourin said that their plan coming into the game was to get into the offensive zone as soon as possible. Sabourin noted that a lot of their scoring chances stem from their defense, so he was pleased with their ability to keep the puck in the zone and get shots on net. He knew that their possession and cycling of the puck would eventually lead to quality scoring chances for them.
As the second period began, it didn’t take long before Indy-Summit’s offensive pressure came to a full boil. Gary Hix scored again on a shot from the blue line. Shortly after that, Joshua Miclette skated in behind Gomez and dished a pass to Grant Hall, who buried it in the back of the net as well. Blackman showed resolve to gain more possession of the puck by winning more face-offs, but they weren’t quite able to gather enough steam to score. Their frustration started to show as Jeffrey Stanton doled out a big hit in the offensive zone, which was met by a retaliation check from Independence’s Grant Hill.
Blackman’s Jackson Taylor kept strong in his efforts to spark the Blaze’s offense though. He continued shift after shift to drive into the zone and get shots on net. Despite his best efforts, none were able to make it passed Noah Macnicoll. But at the other end of the ice, Cameron Farr was not so fortunate, getting beat by a bouncing shot from James Lucas. That goal gave Independence a 4-0 lead, but they refused to take their foot of the gas petal. Wilson Mckinnon continued the scoring, as his one timer shot beat Farr over the shoulder. Play went on, and Indy-Summit continued to put more shots on net. As the period was winding down, Kylar Gersky scored two quick goals of his own, eventually putting an end to an overwhelming period by Independence-Summit.
The third period began, and despite Blackman-Stewarts Creek being down on the scoreboard, they kept their heads in the game. They came together to block shots and patch themselves up defensively, only allowing one goal in the third. But the damage had already been done, as Indy-Summit came away from this one with a decisive 8-0 victory.
After the game, Blackman-Stewarts Creek head coach Jeff Stanton said that they held their own for two out of the three periods, but just fell apart in the second. He said that a lot of his squad consists of younger players who don’t have as much experience on the ice yet, so they were focusing on staying consistent with their defensive positioning and being stronger on the fore-check. Stanton mentioned that they did have a few speedy breakthrough chances, and that they would continue to focus on their game-plan in practice. He also noted that if they continued to work hard and stay consistent, that would give them a good shot at success in the next game.
Both teams will be back in action again on Monday, November 20th. Independence-Summit is scheduled to take on Hendersonville-Station Camp at Centennial Sportsplex at 8:30pm. Blackman-Stewarts Creek will instead be at Ford Ice Center, as they face-off against the Tennessee Outlaws at 8:00pm.