The Norwich Sea Captains concluded their 2022 North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) Showcase on Tuesday morning, December 20 with a 6-2 loss to the Helena Bighorns in Blaine, MN. Jack Kinahan scored twice and Presley Partin made 41 saves in the Sea Captains’ cage.
Helena was able to jump out to a 4-0 lead during the opening period with the help of two power play goals. The early lead proved to be too much for Norwich to overcome despite a strong effort in the final two periods. Kinahan’s first tally, 12:03 into the middle stanza, was the result of a well executed forecheck from Quinten Olshan. The forward’s pressure caused a turnover that Andry Guy collected below the Helena goal line before firing a pass to Kinahan that the goal scorer hammered home from the top of the crease to cut the Bighorns lead to 4-1 after two periods.
The Bighorns scored twice in the third period with Kinahan’s second marker sandwiched in between. Just like the first goal, the Norwich forecheck started the play that led to Kinahan’s second goal as well. Jacob Begich won a wall battle in the Norwich zone and then he and Kinahan combined to pressure the Helena defense to turn the puck over to Kinahan who ripped the puck into the upper corner of the net with 5:12 left in the game.
Patrin played well in the Norwich net making 26 saves in the final two periods to give his team a chance to claw back into the game. Specialty teams played an important role in the game as Helena scored twice on their power play while Norwich was scoreless in four man advantage opportunities.
Norwich Head Coach Kevin Cunningham gave Helena credit and praised his team’s effort saying, “Helena did a great job of jumping on us early. The pressure that they put on us in the first period and their ability to cash in on our major penalty were the difference in the game. I was pleased to see our team continue to battle to the final horn and see Jack Kinahan find the net twice. Persistence has been a hallmark of our team, and Jack, from day one, so it was gratifying to see us show that fight and to see Jack rewarded. We will learn a lot from these games here at the Showcase that will help us continue to progress toward our goals when we return to East Division play in 2023.”
The Sea Captains will be off for the holidays until January 2 when they return to practice. Their next games are scheduled for Friday, January 6 and Saturday, January 7 when they host the Long Beach Sharks at the RoseGarden Ice Arena. The first game will be at noon and the second will start at 5:45 PM. Saturday’s game will be followed by Skate with the Sea Captains which allows all fans to join their favorite players on the ice for a few laps around the rink! Tickets to all remaining home games are on sale for 50% off until Christmas Day HERE.