Backstopped by goaltender Brendan Pellerito and his 44 saves in net, the Norwich Sea Captains earned their first North American 3 Hockey League franchise win Sunday evening topping the Long Beach Sharks 4-1 at the Long Beach Municipal Arena. Forward Ethan Ranger netted a goal and added two assists and defenseman Trevor Souza dished out three assists to lead a balanced offensive attack and a strong team effort as Norwich earned a split of the two game weekend series.
The visitors opened the scoring on the power play late with just 1:05 left in the first period. Souza retrieved a pass from Ranger and sliced through the neutral zone before putting a shot on net that Shark’s goaltender Greyson Skirpan could not smother. Matthew Ward swooped in and buried the rebound for his first junior hockey tally and the 1-0 lead. 5:45 into the second period Ben Cunningham slipped a backhand shot between Skirpan’s legs to extend the lead. Jack Kinahan and Souza assisted on the goal. Souza started the sequence that led to the third goal as well when he got the puck to Ranger who used a nifty curl play to create space before sliding a pass to Teagen Beier who snapped the puck home 8:09 into the middle stanza. Ranger added a power play goal with 3:13 left in the second period when he hammered a one-timer home off a slick feed from Cunningham. Tim Hayden added the second assist on the marker.
The Sea Captains were able to hold their lead throughout a chippy third period that saw both teams visit the penalty box with regularity. Long Beach were finally able to solve Pellerito with 3:35 left to play to get on the scoreboard. The Norwich netminder was huge for his team, making 31 saves in the first two periods as his teammates built the 4-0 lead that they would not relinquish.
“I thought we bounced back nicely after a tough loss Saturday and all the boys pulled their weight, most especially Pellie in net,” said Souza.
Norwich will get their first opportunity to play on home ice Saturday night at 8:30 PM when they host the Bay State Bobcats at the RoseGarden Ice Arena. Season tickets are available now HERE and single game tickets will be available HERE at 10 AM on Thursday morning.