The Norwich Sea Captains picked up their first road victory of the 2022-23 season on Saturday, October 1 when they topped the New Jersey Titans 6-0 in North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) action. Andrew Yocum earned his first NA3HL shutout by turning aside 36 New Jersey shots. Jack Kinahan scored twice and Angelo Donzella tallied once (his first in the NA3HL) and assisted on two other goals to lead the offensive effort.
Norwich got on the scoreboard 3:39 into the action when Kinahan snatched a rebound in the slot after Jacob Begich kept a Erik Masengill point shot alive by digging for the loose puck. Kinahan’s quick shot gave his team the early lead and stood up at the game-winner. Donzella doubled the lead 11:18 into the first when his shot from the point sailed through traffic and found the back of the net. Jimmy McManus earned the assist on the tally to record his first NA3HL point in his first game. Kinahan’s second goal of the game extended the Sea Captains’ lead to 3-0 after two periods of play. Brian Essing started the play when he flipped a puck out of the Norwich zone right onto the stick of a streaking Begich who held the puck until the very last second before his dart pass to Kinahan in the crease was driven home at the 12:42 mark of the middle stanza.
The Sea Captains scored twice in 27 seconds while on a major power play to add to their lead early in the third period. Brian Essing scored his first of the season with assists credited to Tony Morran and Donzella at the at the 6:30 mark. Sava Makarenko’s first NA3HL goal followed 6:57 onto the third. Donzella and Shane Mazur assisted on Makarenko’s marker. Nicolas Piluso finished the scoring on a beautiful rush though the neutral zone that he capped by slipping the puck through the Titans’ goalie’s five hole with 10:02 left in the contest. Jameson Bain and Mitchell Goodman both earned helpers on the goal. Bain’s was his first of the season and Goodman’s was his first in his NA3HL career.
Norwich’s special teams played a key role in the victory. The power play lit the lamp twice to extend the lead in the third period after the penalty kill held New Jersey scoreless in three attempts, all of which were in the first half of the game while the final result was still in question.
“It was a great team win. We executed our gameplan very well and stayed consistent throughout the game. Andrew Yocum was rock solid in net to hold down the back end for us,” said Kinahan about his team’s effort.