The Cape Cod Islanders entered the weekend series with the Fighting Spirit looking to climb in the NA3EHL standings and gain ground on their opponents, but a slow start on Saturday night and a poor backcheck on Sunday doomed the Isles. The Islanders competed hard both games and carried the play for a good part of both games unfortunately they weren't able to put more than one goal past the Spirit netminders. "Both games were very winnable for us. We came out slow on Saturday, stood around watched for the first ten minutes and it cost us. We carried the play for 50 minutes on Saturday, but hockey is a sixty minute game. We had some great chances on Sunday as well, we hit posts and were a bit unlucky. You have to give them credit, when they got their chances they buried them, we didn't."
The Islanders, once again, got strong goaltending from Kevin Belanger who relieved Patrick Spaulding on Saturday and took a tough 2-1 loss on Sunday. "Kevin is one of those guys that really works at his game and it shows when he's in net. He has the desire to be a go to guy and that's what you need to compete at this level."
The Islnders next head out to Nashua, New Hampshire for the second league showcase of the season where they will face the Jersey Shore Wildcats, Lockport Express and Roc City Royals.
The Cape Cod Islanders traveled to Salem, New Hampshire looking to complete with sweep of the weekend series against the East Coast Minutemen. They did so with a resounding 10-2 win and with that they climbed into a second place tie with the New England Stars. The Islanders never trailed in the game and had produciton from different lines and players throughout the game.
Anthony Giannelli opened the scoring in the first period when he walked over the Minuteman blueline and ripped a wrister over the goalie's shoulder. Isaac Bosse scored on the power play with less than a minute left in the first period to give the visitors a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
Alexander Klimovich scored the eventual game winner off a goal mouth scramble for his first goal of the game and season. Andrey Stankevich and JC Moritz each netted a goal to push the Islander lead to 5-0 after the second period. The second period was not without controversy as Cape Cod forward was whistled for a cross checking penalty and a misconduct while heading to the box. With 45 seconds left Oakley's night was over as he was shown the door for abuse of officials.
"I was not happy how my team played in the second period, I felt we disrespected the game and did not play with integrity. Guys played selfishly and were thinking about themselves and not the team. I addressed the team in between periods and we made the adjustments and played a third period that I was happier with."
The Islanders came out and put up five more goals in the third to blow the game open, Moritz, Stankevich and Klimovich each tallied their second goals of the game. While Eric Szeker, who scored a goal in just his second game back form injury, and Vasiliy Mironov each had a goal in the period.
"We had our second successful weekend in a row, but right now we have to focus on this weekend against the Fighting Spirit. They are playing great hockey and we have to be prepared to play our best two games of the season."
The Cape Cod Islanders set a new team record last night by taking 78 shots on net last night Minuteman goalteder Aidan Critchlow stopped a staggering 75 shots in the loss. Charles Antoine Malenfant scored two goals and Isaac Bosse scored the game winner on the power play with four seconds remaining in regulation.
Coach Dan Hodge was happy with his team got the win and are continuuing to improve. "We have been playing more of a team game since the showcase. We are doing a better job in our own end and we are starting to get more production from all lines."
After a scoreless first period, one that saw the Islanders outshoot the visitors 25-2, Minuteman forward Matt Bauchman lasered a snap shot over goaltender Kevin Belanger's shoulder for a 1-0 lead. Islander froward Charles Antoine Malenfant tied the game off a feed from Colton Hart. The night wasn't over for Malenfant as he added another goal to open the third period to give the home team the lead. Bauchman would not let his team be behind for long as he beat Islanders center, Brandon Robert, off a draw on the powerplay and snapped a shot five hole on Belanger to tie the score at 2. The game looked to be headed to overtime until the Islanders were given their first full power play with less than two minutes remaining. Isaac Bosse finished the scoring with only four seconds left, when he snapped home a loose puck off great individual effort from teammate Frank Oakley.
"Give a ton of credit to their goalie, he battled hard all night. We threw everything we could at him and he was outstanding."
The same two teams square off today at 3:30 pm in Salem, New Hampshire at the Ice Center.
Cape Cod Islanders head caoch, Dan Hodge, is getting a big peice to his defensive puzzle this weekend. Eric Szeker is set to make his season debut after off season sugery had him side lined for the first ten games of the season. The Islanders have been strong defensively this season and the addition of Szeker will only add more strength on the backend.
"I really think that we have been solid on defense this season so far. But adding a guy like Eric back there makes us even stronger. He is true leader and is the type of guy you can count on in any situation." Coach Hodge said
Szeker played for the Islanders during the 2013-14 season and was one of the team's top defensemen. He adds size, strength and experience to the Islander d corps. "Eric is a guy who knows the system and he has been skating with the team for the past month. He's been medically cleared to play and I am looking forward to having him on the ice this wekend."
The Islanders play a home and home series with the East Coast Minuitemen this weekend. Game 1 is Saturday night at 5:30 pm at Tony Kent Arena. The game will be broadcast on FASThockey. On Sunday, the team travels to Salem, New Hampshire to take on the Minutemen at 6:20 pm.
The Cape Cod Islanders have had no time to bask in the glow of their 12 goal explosion against the Maine Wild last weekend. The Islanders are now setting their sites on the East Coast Minutemen. The Minutemen, formerly known as the Junior Mariners, will visit the the Tony Kent Arena on Saturday night and the Islanders will travel to Salem, New Hampshire on Sunday night.
"We had a great weekend against the Wild, but we have to move on be ready for the Minutemen this weekend. They are coming in here with something to prove. We need to be prepared for two very tough games." Head coach Dan Hodge said
Forwards Jordy Knoren and Colton Hart lead the way offensively, Knoren had four goals in the two games and Hart added four assists and two goals over the weekend. Patrick Spaulding took the win in net on Friday with the 7-2 decision and Kevin Belanger shutout the Wild 5-0 on Saturday. "We did a much better job in our defensive zone last weekend than we had the week before. We have to continue to improve in our own end, we have worked hard on it this week."
Sautrday's game will have a special start time of 5:30 pm at Tony Kent Arena.
The Cape Cod Islanders were part of history this past weekend. This past Friday was the very first game in the new NA3EHL was played between the Islanders and the Maine Wild. The Islanders skated past the Wild by the count of 7-2 in Biddeford, Maine. Assistant captain Jordy Knoren paced the Isles with two goals while Tyler Stoll, James Brosnan, Frank Oakley, Chris Harris and Andrey Stankevich each scored a goal for the visitors. The game was well paced and the Wild had plenty of chances to score but each time were answered by Patrick Spaulding in the Cape Cod net.
On Saturday night the Islanders returned to home ice to take on the Wild in the second half of the home and home weekend series. The home team came out firing on all cylanders in front of a great crowd at Tony Kent Arena. Jordy Knoren continued his hot streak by opening the scoring off a rebound of a Colton Hart shot. That goal proved to be the game winner as Islander goaltender, Kevin Belanger turned aside all 32 Wild shots he faced en route to a shutout and a 5-0 victory. The Islanders would add a three goals on the man advantage, Knoren, Colton Hart and James Brosnan. Charles Antoine Malenfant would also add to the goal scoring total when he picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and raced in the Wild zone and snapped a shot over the goaltender's shoulder.
"We had a great team effort this weekend, every guy contributed in one way or another. We got some great bounces and were fortunate to capitalize on our opportunities. The scoreboard does not reflect the game, the Wild is a very good team and we were lucky to get the four points from them." Coach Hodge said
Before the game the NSHL was accepted into the North American Hockey League (NAHL) family. The new league will be named the NA3EHL.
Here is the official press release: http://www.na3ehl.com/news/story.cfm?id=12428