The Norwich Sea Captains won a nip and tuck contest against the Bay State Bobcats by the score of 2-1 Wednesday afternoon, January 18 in North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) action at Fitzpatrick Ice Skating Rink in Holyoke, MA. The Sea Captains scored twice during a 2:51 and Andrew Yocum was strong in net turning aside 25 Bobcat shots to backstop a solid defensive effort in the win.
After a scoreless first period that saw both teams test the other’s goaltender with some quality chances, Erik Masengill opened the scoring when he capped an end to end rush with a shot that eluded the Bay State goaltender at the 14:55 mark of the middle stanza. Chris Hamilton earned the assist on the goal. A few shifts later Brian Essing fired a puck on net through traffic that bounced around the crease where both Jacob Begich and Jack Kinahan had quality scoring chances before Essing was able to gather the puck, step around the Bobcat goalie and slide the puck home with with 2:14 left in the second.
Norwich maintained their two goal lead until Bay State capitalized on a rush with 5:45 left to play to cut the margin to one goal. Then the Sea Captains defense stiffened and held the fort for the duration of the game, including when the Bobcats pulled their goaler for an extra attacker, as Carson Dutcher made a big block to kill the hosts’ threat and seal the 2-1 victory.
Neither team was able to find the net on their power play advantages. Norwich was held scoreless on four attempts and the Bay State power play was thwarted twice. Jarret Perino made 33 stops for Bay State while Yocum’s 25 saves enabled him to earn his team-leading eighth win of the season in the Norwich net.
“While today’s game was not our best 60 minutes, but we did enough, and stuck together, to earn an important win. With the playoffs right around the corner we are looking forward to continuing to come together and finding our game as a team so that we will be ready to extend our season as long as possible,” explained Masengill.
Norwich continues their road swing on Friday afternoon, January 20 when they visit the Danbury Jr Hat Tricks at 12 PM. The game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.