The Norwich Sea Captains topped the Bay State Bobcats 6-3 Saturday evening, October 2 in North American 3 Hockey League action in front of a large and boisterous crowd at the RoseGarden Ice Arena. Drew Schemmel led the offense with two goals and an assist while goaltender Alex Tsymbalyuk earned the win in net making 26 saves.
Any eventful first period saw Bay State jump out to an early lead less than a minute into the action when Jace Desmarias scored his first of two on the evening. The Sea Captains answered 4:24 into play when Ethan Ranger’s power play blast eluded the Bobcats’ netminder through some net front traffic to knot the game. Desmarias staked the visitors to another lead with his second tally of the evening, a power play goal 10:25 into the first. Jack Kinahan’s first of the season tied the game again as the winger’s shot found the top corner of the net. The goal was assisted by Tony Morran and Jameson Bain.
Norwich took control of the game in the second period, scoring twice to establish and extend their lead. Schemmel tucked a loose puck home on the power play 3:52 into the middle stanza, assisted by Ethan Ranger and Kinahan. Then 7:53 into the period Trevor Souza netted a highlight reel goal that saw him weave through nearly every Bay State player on the ice and tuck the puck between the netminder’s legs to make the score 4-2.
Halfway through the third period Teagen Beier snuck one in on the near side to give the Sea Captains a three goal lead. Harrison Ranger and Tim Hayden assisted on Beier’s tally. Bay State, to their credit, keep battling as Ian Skinner made the score 5-3 with 9:41 to play. Tsymbalyuk made a few key saves to keep the lead safe before a Hayden clear found Schemmel streaking through the neutral zone where the forward collected the puck, drove into the offensive zone and buried the puck in the empty net with 1:54 left to play.
Defenseman Sean Loftus was pleased with his team’s effort and impressed by the crowd and their support. He said, “Saturday’s game was a great showing and highlighted the hard work that we have put in the last few weeks. We were welcomed with open arms by our fans who piled into the RoseGarden to watch their team play for the first time at home. The energy in the building was awesome and definitely inspired our team! Alex Tsymbalyuk was on his game from the start, Ethan Ranger was a force at both ends of the rink and Timmy Hayden pushed our pace of play from the back end, making the hard plays that are our hallmark.”
“I cannot say enough about the crowd we had tonight; they came out in droves and they made their presence felt! It was a fantastic environment for our players! It was great to see so many of our players step up, particularly Alex with his strong play in goal and Drew with his two goals,” commented head coach Kevin Cunningham.
The Sea Captains will not have much time to enjoy their victory as they head to Long Beach for a 10:30 AM tilt Sunday morning. Norwich returns home Friday afternoon, October 8 when they host the Northeast Generals at noon. Tickets for all remaining Sea Captains’ home games can be purchased HERE.