The first period began, and Nolensville-Ravenwood2 won the opening faceoff. But Mt Juliet’s Corey Settle was able to quickly steal the puck and get a shot on net, scoring the first goal just eight seconds into the game. Play continued after that quick goal, until Nolensville took a hooking penalty, sending Mt Juliet back into the offensive zone on a power play. Drew Ordiway was able to capitalize on the man-advantage thanks to a pass from Cameron Barnes, giving the Bears a 2-0 lead at 11:23. But they weren’t finished scoring. Dylan Kraay kept his foot on the gas pedal and broke through Nolensville’s defense, scoring an additional two goals of his own, thanks to help from teammates Smith and Roman.
“We tried to fire our guys up before the game and help them to start it off right,” said Nolensville head coach Zach Oswanski. “But we didn’t do that, we sat back and let the play come to us, and they made us pay for that with four quick goals.”
Despite Mt Juliet’s physical play, Nolensville kept their head in the game, regrouping behind their net-minder before charging up the ice. Their best chance of the period came on a shot in the slot by Ethan Dunn, but he was turned away empty handed. But when Mt Juliet took a slashing call, Nolensville seized the opportunity to finally break through. Dylan Samson’s power play effort scored them a goal at 1:37, thanks to help from Zachary Thomas and Ethan Dunn. Despite the first period score being 4-1, at least Nolensville had a little momentum on their side, which they hoped to carry through to the second.
Mt Juliet won the faceoff to start the second period, but this time Nolensville returned the favor by stealing the puck on the fore-check, scoring past Sebastian Gibson off that chance. The initial shot by Andrew Dunn was blocked by Gibson’s pad. But Aiden Plourde managed to gather the rebound and score on his backhand shot, giving Nolensville the first goal of the period. Play continued, and Nolensville took a few penalties. Mt Juliet wouldn’t let that go unnoticed though, and made them pay for it after their second infraction, as Robert Settle made the score 5-2 on the power play. Their next attack though, was broken up by a big hit, and Nolensville went on an attack of their own. This time it was Jackson Hill’s pass that led to a one-timer goal by Ethan Dunn.
Both teams continued to battle back and forth, and each time one would score, the other soon followed suit with a goal of their own. Mt Juliet with the puck, this time cycled it around the boards until they found an open shot just beyond the faceoff circle. Corey Settle took the shot, beating Anthony Alvarez at 2:05 remaining in the second, to give the Bears a 6-3 lead. But as the period was winding down, Nolensville found another opportunity. Andrew Dunn’s breakout pass to Ryan Shillington allowed him to gain the zone; where he then curled in behind the net and scored on a wrap-around shot, past Gibson. That proved to be the final tally of the period, when the whistle put an end to Mt Juliet’s final attack.
The third period began, and both teams showed a concerted effort to lock things down defensively. Play went back and forth until Mt Juliet took two penalties, giving Nolensville a two man advantage. That was just the chance they needed to claw back into the game, down two goals. On their power play efforts, they came close to scoring a redirect goal off of a faceoff, but it narrowly missed the net. Mt Juliet was able to kill off both penalties though, as their defense stood strong. Once back to even strength, the Bears’ Kraay had a breakaway chance, and glided on his forehand as he tried to outwait a move from Alvarez. But despite his patience, Kraay’s shot was met by a save from the sprawling Alvarez.
Nolensville then found an odd man rush the other way, as Plourde looked for a pass to Shillington; but the pass was just out of his reach. However, Mt Juliet soon took a penalty, and Nolensville was able to connect on the power play thanks to a goal from Thomas. That goal brought Nolensville to within one, but at just 0:16 remaining, they weren’t able to find an equalizer. However, in the waning seconds of the third period, Mt Juliet’s Corey Settle wouldn’t be denied an opportunity for another answer goal. He was able to find the back of the net yet again, giving him his third goal of the night, and the hat trick. Just like that, Mt Juliet was able to finish this one off, beating Nolensville-Ravenwood2 by a final score of 7-5.
After the game, coach Oswanski said, “Really, I think that if we don’t spot them those three goals early on, it’s a pretty even game from that point. It’s just a matter of coming together as a team for the full game, instead of taking little bits and pieces off.”
Nolensville-Ravenwood2 will be back in action on Monday December 4th when they take on Independence-Summit at Centennial Sportsplex. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:40pm. Mt Juliet will get a week off, but they’ll be back on the ice on Monday December 11th when they get their own shot at facing off against independence-Summit. Their game will also be at Centennial Sportsplex, where their game time is scheduled for 5:30pm.