By Benjamin Armstrong
Coming off a 8-0 loss to Ravenwood, the Tennessee Outlaws were looking for their second win of the season against the undefeated Independence- Summit Eagles at the Ford Ice Center on Wednesday Oct. 10th.The Eagles would come away with a hard fought victory with the final score being 4-2.
When asked about the hard-hitting game, Coach Miclette for Independence- Summit said, “It is just apart of the game plan really. We know that if we are playing a team with less skill, they are going to come out with the same intensity. If we stay with a strong physical presence, it makes it harder for them to move the puck and makes them cough up turnovers, cause they know they have less time.”
The Outlaws seemed to control the game for the first part of the first period, but at the 10:00 mark, Zachary Giblin poked the puke free from the Outlaw offense and skated down ice for a fast break opportunity. Giblin beat Logan Primm, the Outlaws goalie, with a wrist shot for the first goal of the game.
Even though Independence had trouble setting up their offense in the first period, their defense was providing their team with scoring chances. Again, the Eagles defense forced a giveaway and charged down ice with a two on two breakaway. Matthew Chalfant provided Ash Warner with the pass and Warner lasered the puck past Primm for the 2-0 lead.
Giblin continued his offensive dominance with another wrist shot goal at 10:07 in the second period assisted by Liam O’Neal.
Regarding Giblin’s performance, Coach Miclette said, “What really contributes for him is his travel hockey. I mean that’s huge for growing the game around here. Kids get to play travel then they can transition that to their high school.”
At the same time, independence- summit’s goalie Steven Wilhelm was being lights out with 14 saves. After Giblin’s second goal, Coach Miclette decided to make a goalie change and put in Gunnar Petersen.
After the goalie change, the Outlaws started to play with desperation after falling behind 3-0. Zachary Ouellette for the Outlaws was called for slashing at 4:00 left in the second, but they still produced offense and scored a short handed goal by Braydon McCandless assisted by Anthony Fowler at 3:42.
With the score being 3-1, the Outlaws gained new life going into the third period. They continued to get pressure on Petersen after the goalie switch and eventually, broke through the defense. After many attempts in front of the net, Anthony Fowler finally scored making the game 3-2.
The last eight minutes of the game were filled with action and intensity. Independence- Summit committed two penalties, one at the 8:00 mark by Warner for elbowing and the other by Heitzmann for delay of game at 6:00. Despite these opportunities, the Outlaws could not capitalize, but on a controversial call, the referees granted the Outlaws a penalty shot.
With the fans screaming and teammates cheering on, Zachary Ouellette went for the penalty shot, but Petersen caused Ouellette to miss the net. Later on at 3:53 in the third, Ash Warner delivered the final blow making the game 4-2 with the Eagles getting their third win.
The Eagles committed four penalties during the game allowing the Outlaws to stay competitive. Coach Miclette wants to try to cut down on the penalties for next game. “We need to definitely limit our neutral zone turnovers. That really cost us. Guys were back checking and just being out of place during transition and trying to make a play, but getting called for it,” said Coach Miclette.