The Norwich Sea Captains earned a hard-fought 3-1 win over the Long Beach Sharks on Saturday evening, January 7 in North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) action in front of a boisterous crowd at the RoseGarden Ice Arena. Jack Kinahan, Brian Essing and Jacob Begich each scored, with Begich adding an assist as well, to provide the offense for Norwich. Brendan Pellerito made twenty saves in the Sea Captains cage to earn his seventh win of the season.
For the second day in a row the teams played a scoreless opening period before either team could find the opposing net. Norwich netted two power play goals within 1:43 of each other to take a quick 2-0 lead early in the second period. 4:11 into the middle stanza Tony Morran collected a faceoff win and then fed the puck to Tim Hayden whose point shot was deftly deflected home by Kinahan to open the scoring. Essing doubled the Sea Captains lead 5:54 into the second when he jammed a Begich rebound home after the winger scooped up a Long Beach turnover and rifled the puck to the net.
The 2-0 Norwich lead held up until late in the third period when Long Beach tallied a power play goal with 3:29 left to play to cut their deficit to one goal. Begich added an empty net goal with :27 left to play to seal the 3-1 win for the Sea Captains.
The Norwich power play was pivotal in the win scoring twice in five opportunities while the penalty kill denied the Long Beach power play during three of their four man advantage chances. Pellerito made some excellent saves among his twenty stops, particularly late in the second and during the third period to help protect the Norwich lead.
Begich commented on his team’s effort saying, “It was a great team win. Every guy stepped up and did his job just as planned. Pelle made several really good saves and that helped seal the win in a great bounce back effort after Friday’s loss.”
The Sea Captains return to action on Wednesday, January 11 when they host the Northeast Generals for the final time in the regular season. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 12 PM at the RoseGarden. Tickets to all remaining home games for the Sea Captains are still 50% off until 5 PM Wednesday. Get your HERE!