This edition of GNASH hockey featured a matchup between Centennial-Page and Lipscomb-Brentwood Academy, where both teams sought to stay in the win column. Although it was a close game, the scoresheet was riddled with more than sixty penalty minutes. But in the end of this contentious game, it was Lipscomb-Brentwood Academy who came out on top, 7-6.
The first period began with Centennial-Page winning the opening faceoff and getting a few shots on net, but neither team was able to mount much of an attack to start. It was mostly checking along the boards to begin the game, which set the tone for the rest of the night. But as both teams started to settle in, Centennial-Page started to mount a bit of offensive pressure halfway through the first. Lipscomb took an elbowing penalty, allowing Centennial a power play opportunity. Lipscomb looked composed fending off the attack while shorthanded, but just as they got their man out of the box, Centennial was able to break through past Zachariah Zehnder. It was Tanner Bond who scored, as he fell to the ice, giving Centennial the first goal of the game.
After the first goal, both teams looked to break up play through the neutral zone. But Centennial soon took a penalty of their own, and gave Lipscomb their first chance on the power play. Although they too weren’t able to capitalize until just after their power play expired. It was Elliot Greene who tallied Lipscomb’s first goal, as his forehand shot went top-shelf over Theodore Strunce’s glove. That goal came at 1:46 remaining in the first; and both teams finished the period with one goal apiece.
The second period commenced, and Lipscomb went right to work. They won the opening faceoff, which led them to an early goal by Zachary Martin, who connected with a five-hole shot as Strunce was shifting from post to post. Play continued afterwards, and both teams used the boards behind the goalie to drive offense from side to side. But the physical play continued, and Lipscomb soon found themselves back in the penalty box. This time around, Centennial made them pay, with two power play goals in a row. Those goals from Theodore Whitaker and Tanner Bond helped their team regain the lead at 3-2.
Despite giving up those goals while shorthanded, Lipscomb fought back to get two goals back. Both goals came from Elliot Greene, who managed to score above Strunce’s blocker on both occasions, one of which was on the power play. Greene’s offensive effort gave Lipscomb a 4-3 lead at 2:40 remaining in the period. But in the waning seconds, Centennial’s Nathan Cyphers managed to find the tying goal at just 0:16 remaining. His rebound shot came from in close to the goal line while on his knees, to end the second period in a 4-4 tie.
The third period was tightly contested, just like the first two. Again, Zachary Martin helped Lipscomb get on the scoreboard early, as his backhand shot managed to find its way past Strunce at 13:38. Both teams showed good speed in transition down the ice to start the period. It was Lipscomb again who used that speed to score on a wrap-around shot. But that goal was quickly waved off as the net’s moorings were knocked out of place. Frustration could be heard from the Mustangs’ bench, as this wasn’t the first time it had happened at a very convenient time. But it made no difference. On the ensuing faceoff, Lipscomb would not be denied the goal; as Ian Reitmaier made it 6-4.
Halfway through the period, both teams started to see a lot of open ice, as penalties were getting handed out like candy. On one such occasion, it was Centennial who found themselves in the box. But despite being shorthanded, Nathan Nowlin managed to score a big breakaway goal on his backhand to bring the game to within one. However, Centennial’s momentum was forced to be put on hold while Lucas Kilbourne had to be helped off the ice, when the physical play came to an unfortunate boiling point. But Centennial’s Nathan Cyphers used that as motivation to help him score the equalizing goal at 2:40. With little time left in the third, play became chippy as both teams looked to scrape out a game winning goal. But with just 0:16 left to play; it was again Zachary Martin, who scored on a rebound shot. That clutch goal was his third of the night, and gave Lipscomb-Brentwood Academy the 7-6 win over Centennial-Page.
Both teams will be back in action on Monday January 8th at Centennial Sportsplex. Lipscomb-Brentwood Academy is scheduled to face-off against Blackman-Stewarts Creek at 7:00pm; and Centennial-Page is slated to follow that game, with their puck drop starting at 8:30pm.