This Monday night edition of GNASH hockey featured a matchup between Hendersonville-Station Camp and Independence-Summit. Both teams came into the night on a two game winning streak, with momentum on their side. However, Hendersonville’s offense proved to be too much to handle, as they put an end to Indy-Summit’s streak, with a final score of 7-2.
The puck was dropped on the ice to begin the first period, and both teams went to work. Hendersonville won the opening faceoff and looked to create some offense after battling through the neutral zone. In Indy-Summit’s efforts to clear the puck out of their zone, they took an icing call, bringing the faceoff back into their end. Hendersonville’s Harvey Rench won the faceoff and quickly passed the puck to teammate Tyler Kimbro. Kimbro then scored with a shot on his backhand side, beating Noah Macnicoll at 11:57.
Play continued from there, and Hendersonville started to swarm offensively. Indy-Summit’s Wilson McKinnon layed out on the ice to block a pass in front of his goalie, and then used his body along the boards in an effort to break up the attack. His teammate Grant Hall tried to mount an attack of his own, but couldn’t connect. Hendersonville won the puck back and Blake Fuqua sprinted the other way on a breakaway. The defense was unable to catch up to him, and he scored with a shot on his forehand at 1:43. Shortly after that, Hendersonville’s Brodie Ruffing made the score 3-0, with assistance from Rathert and Rench.
Hendersonville’s Assistant Coach Troy Damewood commented on their plan coming into the game. He said, “We wanted to get out in front early and use our speed to get to the net.”
Both teams showed good hustle to start the second period. Indy-Summit gathered themselves together on defense, which led the play forward for them, and allowed them a few more shots on net. Their best opportunity came while on the power play. Grant Hall was able to breakout on an odd-man rush and take a shot on net. His shot was blocked by Brandon Shaw’s pad, but a rebound chance was given, and Zachary Giblin was able to connect for the goal.
As tensions started to rise, play quickly became more physical, with both teams taking penalties. Hendersonville’s Owen Garner was penalized with a game misconduct, and Indy-Summit looked to capitalize again on the power play. But their momentum swing came up empty handed this time, and soon found themselves on the penalty kill instead. Hendersonville was looming on their power play as the period was winding down, and Indy-Summit’s Macnicoll did well to scramble in front of his net and keep the puck out.
Indy-Summit again regathered themselves to start the third period. They came out swinging as Kylar Gersky looked to set up a one timer shot with a pass, but his pass didn’t connect. They quickly drew up the same play again, with Wilson McKinnon on the puck. This time he opted to take the shot himself, and was rewarded with a goal, beating Brandon Shaw at 13:03. That goal made it 3-2, bringing them to within one goal. Hendersonville started to feel the heat, and Blake Fuqua took a roughing penalty, to again send Indy-Summit on the power play. It was just the opportunity they needed to level the scoreboard, but they weren’t able to find the twine.
After killing off the penalty, Hendersonville went again on the attack, as they took a faceoff in the zone. Harvey Rench won the faceoff, and Brodie Ruffing got a quick shot off his forehand side, beating Macnicoll with a goal at 9:09. Hendersonville wasn’t done scoring though, as just a few seconds later, Gavin Damewood scored another goal, giving them a 5-2 lead at 8:57. Despite taking a few penalties, and giving Indy-Summit an opportunity on a two-man advantage, Hendersonville refused to take their foot off the gas pedal. They scored two more goals, which came from Rench and Fuqua, as the game was winding down. Their offense helped Hendersonville to cruise past indy-Summit, with a final score of 7-2.
When asked about his team’s resolve in the third period, after the momentum swing in the second, Coach Damewood said, “We wanted to make sure that we defended from our house outward. We wanted to take care of the defensive zone first, and then capitalize on our chances. Then, once the guys started smelling blood, they just went after it.”
Both teams will be back in action next week at Centennial Sportsplex. Independence-Summit is scheduled to take on Brentwood on Monday, at 5:30pm. Hendersonville-Station Camp will instead play their game against the Tennessee Outlaws on Wednesday, when the puck drops at 8:30pm.