BULLETS BANK A WIN AND A TIE TO MOVE CLOSER TO TOP OF STANDINGS, News, Atom Lambton Middlesex, 2013/2014 (Southwest Bullets)

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BULLETS BANK A WIN AND A TIE TO MOVE CLOSER TO TOP OF STANDINGS
Submitted By jimfergusson on Monday, December 9, 2013
On Saturday December 7, the Atom Southwest Bullets hockey team of the LMLL, with a 6-2-1 record entering the game, shut out the last place North Middlesex Jr Stars team with a record of 0-10-1, entering the game, by defeating them 6-0 in Parkhill.

The game began rather tentatively by both sides as much of the opening five minutes were played with both teams chasing the puck with few shots on net being recorded. The shots began to be tallied in the latter half of the first period as the SWB team outshot their opponent 13-0 to end the first in a scoreless tie, as a result of some fine goaltending by the opposition net-minder.

Dylan Henry (#40) opened the scoring just 1:08 into the second period when he picked up a loose puck just inside the NMJS blue line and beat the lone defenseman in front of him before roofing a puck over the shoulder of a surprised NMJS goalie for the 1-0 lead. Eathan Keating (#6) and William Lambrecht (#10) picked up assists on the play. Braxton Haggith (#8) scored just 1:02 later when he skated in alone on a breakaway, after a feed from Peter Katsoulakos (#16), and deked the NMJS goalie before sliding a backhand into the open net to make it 2-0. Some hard work later paid off for the SWB team when Owen Dewild (#2) scored on his second rebound attempt, with 5:09 remaining in the second, as the NMJS goalie could not smother the puck in a goal crease scramble. Keating received the lone assist awarded. This goal was the result of relentless pressure by the bullet team as they hemmed the NMJS team in their own end for much of the preceding two minutes. The second period ended with the bullet team enjoying a 3-0 lead, having outshot their opposition 23-0, after two periods.

The third period began with the NMJS team attacking the bullet net early but the defence kept blocking shots not allowing any of them to get through to Jacob Smith (#30), who was hanging on for his third shutout bid of this young season. The bullets found themselves playing a defensive shell game, resulting in Katsoulakos taking a two minute penalty for tripping just 2:10 into the third period. This penalty resulted in Dewild scoring a short-handed goal with 1:01 remaining in the Katsoulakos penalty for a 4-0 lead in the game. Sawyer Watson (#36), earning an assist, made this play happen with his hustle at the blue line, when he back-handed a pass to Dewild to keep the puck in during a clearing attempt by the opposition off the stick of Lambrecht, who also earned an assist on the play. Shortly after Katsoulakos stepped back onto the ice, after serving his minor penalty, the NMJS team received a two minute penalty for interference with 10:25 remaining in the third period. The bullet power play unit did not disappoint as Haggith skated in on a breakaway along with Katsoulakos, used as a decoy, and netted his second goal of the game, unassisted, after faking the net-minder to make it 5-0 with 9:18 on the clock. With 6:20 remaining on the clock, Dewild, picked up a loose puck at his own blue line, and as he skated up ice, shifting to his left, then right, and then left again, beat four defenders on his way to the net before roofing the puck, unassisted, to the far side of the net for third goal of the game, making it 6-0 on a nice individual effort. The NMJS team had yet to record a shot on net after the sixth bullet goal. For the first time in hockey history Smith was in line to become the only goalie to record a shut-out and improve his goals-against average

without improving his save percentage. As the bullet team continued to protect the shut-out, a pressing NMJS team forced Katsoulakos into a slashing penalty with 3:54 remaining in the game. The ensuing NMJS power play finally recorded its first shot on net as the Katsoulakos penalty was about to expire. The game ended in a resounding 6-0 bullet win having out –shot the opposition 30-1 in the process. As usual, Evan Demaiter (#26), Morgan Hutson (#24), Wyatt Johnson (#12), Owen King (#22) , and William Lambrecht (#10) were a tower of strength on the ice as they battled hard along the boards against opposition players and continued to keep the puck away from Smith earning him his third shut-out of the season. Katsoulakos kept his streak alive having recorded at least one point in every game played this season. The team is now 7-2-1 for 15 points as they continue their march towards the top of their divisional standings.

Although the game was a resounding success in the win column, the bullet team were fortunate to be able to outskate their opponents tonight as they covered up for 25 turnovers committed within the neutral and defensive zone areas. They will need to improve in this area if they are to beat some more challenging opponents in the upcoming weeks of their schedule.

On Sunday December 8, the Atom Southwest Bullets hockey team of the LMLL, with a 7-2-1 record entering the game, skated to a 4-4 tie with a resilient Strathroy Rockets Jr Red team with a record of 3-6-3, entering the game in Strathroy. The game began on a fast pace note with both teams skating hard exchanging single tallies in the opening frame, forcing turnovers on both sides as the SWB team outshot their opponent 8-4 in the first period. Braxton Haggith (#8) opened the scoring with 4:28 remaining in the first when he knocked a rising shot down 20 feet in front of his goal and skated up ice around three defending players on his way to the net where he fired a rising wrist shot over the arm of the goalie to the far side of the net for a 1-0 unassisted lead on a nice individual effort. The SRJR team got that one back just 2:04 later when they beat Jacob Smith (#30) on a rebound flipping the puck over an outstretched right pad after Smith had kicked out his pad to make the initial save. The SWB team attacked the SRJR goalie after the ensuing face-off firing a barrage of shots at the net-minder but could not beat the tall goalie. The SWB team were rewarded with a power play for their efforts with just 55.8 seconds remaining in the first when an opposition player was sent off for tripping. The period ended dead locked at one apiece as the power play spilled over into the second period. Once again the bullet team was lucky to still be in the game as they gave up the puck a total of 17 times in the neutral and defensive zone areas in the opening period. Fortunately they were able to recover from mistakes with their speed.

The second period began much like the first, fast paced. The SWB team pinched along the offensive blue line five minutes into the second period but were not able to keep the puck in as the puck was chipped past the bullet defence leading to a two player break away for the opposition. Fortunately, the post was the bullet’s goalie, Jacob Smith’s (#30), friend tonight, when the SRJR forward rang his shot off the far post behind Smith. With 3:52 remaining in the second period, the bullet team committed another give-away inside their blue line leading to a SRJR goal as the bullet team fell behind 2-1. While the opposition was still celebrating their second goal, the bullet team tied the game just 54 seconds later when Dylan Henry (#40) fired a shot towards the net which trickled past the sprawling net-minder on a nifty three way passing play originating from the right corner boards. Sawyer Watson (#36) picked up an assist on the play. The SWB team continued to take chances when Wyatt Johnson (#12) pinched at the opposition blue line but was unable to keep the puck inside the blue line leading to a two on one break out by the rocket team. As they skated up ice, the lone bullet defender, Owen King (#12), fell at centre ice as he skated backwards, leading to a full break away by the rocket forward. Smith was beat on a rising wrist shot over the blocker with 1:15 remaining in the second for a SRJR 3-2 lead heading into the third period.

The third period was an all out assault on the goalies as both teams opened it up with little regard to defence firing a total of 26 shots at goalies in the third period alone with the bullet team holding a marginal 4 shot advantage. The SRJR team was given a two minute minor for tripping 3:29 early into the third period. Henry tied the game at three during the resulting power play when Wyatt Johnson (#12) fed him the puck behind the pinching SRJR team, and skated up ice with two bullet forwards as decoys in a three on zero rush and slid the puck between the pads of the defending goalie having played just 4:10 in the final period. The teams battled hard for the next eight minutes as the game quickly evolved into a goal tenders duel as the shots kept coming from both sides. The SRJR team did manage to score the go-ahead goal with 5:11 remaining in the game when Smith was beat high to the blocker side for a 4-3 Strathroy lead. The bullet team caught a break with only 2:04 remaining in the third when Owen Dewild (#2) was awarded a penalty shot after he was tripped up in front of the SRJR goal before he could get a shot off. As the drama unfolded, the referee blew his whistle after some last minute instructions to Dewild and the goalie. Dewild picked up the puck at centre ice and as he skated in on the rocket net, he noticed the goalie had come out about twenty feet in front of the net keeping pace with every step of Dewild’s movements as he skated backwards. As Dewild approached the goalie, he raised his stick in what appeared to be a wind up for a slapshot. As the goalie dropped to his knees to defend the expected shot, Dewild quickly lowered his stick redirecting the puck to his forehand off his backhand and slid the puck past the helpless goalie for the goal and lift his team into a 4-4 tie in the game. The bullet team finished the game with a some excellent opportunities for the go-ahead goal, only to be thwarted by the rocket goal tender. The game ended in a hard fought 4-4 tie to remain undefeated in four contests. This was a much stronger team than the one the bullet team defeated last month 7-0. Once again, Evan Demaiter (#26), Morgan Hutson (#24), Wyatt Johnson (#12), Owen King (#22) , and William Lambrecht (#10) were instrumental in keeping the game close as the rocket team kept pressing. Peter Katsoulakos (#16) saw his point a game streak end tonight but is poised to start another one. Katsoulakos fought hard along the boards, back-checked, and set up several team mates for quality scoring chances but could not catch any breaks against a resilient Strathroy team. The bullet team finished the game marginally outshooting the opposition 25-21 and committing a total of 38 give-aways in the defensive and neutral zone areas. The team is now 7-2-2 for 16 points and 0.727 win percentage and sit fourth of thirteen teams in their divisional standings. The bullets play the undefeated Mt Brydges Cougar Blue team (tied for 1st) on Thursday December 12 in Bothwell at 7:30 pm and play them again in Mt. Brydges on December 22. Come out and support your bullet team as they try and serve them their first pair of losses.

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