The Norwich Sea Captains completed their Opening Weekend presented by Concentric Care & Wellness with a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Titans in North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) action Saturday evening, September 24 at the RoseGarden Ice Arena. Four different goal scorers found the back of the net and Andrew Yocum continued his strong start to the season with another excellent outing in the Norwich net. The Sea Captains specialty teams also played a vital role in the victory as the power play converted twice and the penalty kill unit was a perfect six for six.
For the second game in a row Norwich struck first as Jack Kinahan continued his torrid start to the season with a power play goal at 9:49 of the first period. The assists were credited to Jacob Begich, who won a faceoff, and Erik Masengill, who made a ni pass to Kinahan. The goal scorer’s point shot eluded the Titans netminder as Nicolas Piluso provided an outstanding screen. Norwich double their lead midway through the second period when Teagen Beier scored a highlight reel goal. At the 10:43 mark the forward won a puck battle on the boards and made a power move toward the Titans net before slipping his backhand shot through the five hole with a defenseman draped all over him.
Protecting a two goal lead heading into the third period, the Sea Captains hardly rested on their laurels. Cam Hultin buried his first of the season 8:37 into the final period. Beier and Carson Dutcher assisted on the goal after a tremendous forechecking sequence. The Titans did not go away easily though, as Ryan Talorico scored after a goalmouth scramble off assists from Sam Levin and Roy Shaver at 10:46 of the period to cut into their deficit. The Norwich penalty kill played an enormous role in protecting their two goal lead by thwarting three man advantage opportunities for the Titans, including a full two minute five on three, during a 4:03 span in the latter half of the third period. A power play goal from Chris Hamilton (his first career junior goal!) provided the final margin at 18:53 of the third. Shane Mazur and Tony Morran assisted on Hamilton’s makrer.
Yocum finished the evening with 17 saves while Titans netminder Jake Agoglia turned aside 25 Norwich shots.
Norwich Head Coach Kevin Cunningham was pleased with his team’s efforts, offering, “I am proud of the way our team competed tonight. The line of Dutcher, Beier and Hultin epitomized what Sea Captains hockey should look like tonight. It was great to see their excellent efforts rewarded with their two goals. I thought our team defense was really solid, particularly our penalty kill, and Andrew Yocum was outstanding in net. It was also great to see Chris Hamilton net his first junior goal.”
The Sea Captains start their second NA3HL season 2-0 as New Jersey falls to 0-4-1-0 on the young season. The Titans complete their weekend with a 7 PM game against the Danbury Jr Hat Tricks in Danbury on Sunday in Danbury. Norwich will host the Northeast Generals on Friday, September 30 at the RoseGarden. The puck will drop at noon and tickets are available HERE. Season tickets get you access to every Sea Captains home game and other benefits. Those are still available for purchase HERE.