Assassins vs Silverbacks @ Maximum Skate Arena, NARELLAN
The rivalry between these two teams has had it’s fair share of positives and negatives. This game had a mixture of both.
The Assassins coming into tonight are on a three game losing streak. Bad luck continued with them as their defense broke down to let Nick Poranek skate in and fire home, drawing first blood one minute into the first period. The Silverbacks with momentum on their side pushed hard in search for a second but it would not come as the defense tightened around goal tender Mikayla Sawyers. It would take the Assassins to the 5:50 minute mark to get their goal. Lots of pressure in front of the net and hard shots coming in, Alex MacKenzie snapped one past goaltender Dennis Nikolayev to tie the game at one a piece. Late in the first period leading scorer Nathan Struck took a penalty and the Silverbacks went to work on the powerplay. Little pressure was applied on the powerplay and the Assassins killed it off. Silverbacks would later go 0 for 1 on the powerplay all night.
Second period kicked off with the Assassins applying the pressure through Nathan Struck who beat a scrambling Dennis Nikolayev to give the Assassins their first lead of the game. Huge scoring chances came swiftly after again from Nathan but standing tall was Dennis Nikolayev, stone walling Nathan not once but twice from point blank range. A see-saw match ensued with neither team getting the upperhand untill the Silverbacks answered back with one of their own to make it 2-2 with 8 minutes left in the second. Big defensive plays from both teams on two on one’s and one on one’s picked up the match vocals from the crowd. Dean Montgomery created a great chance for the Silverbacks, taking the puck from the defensive zone across the red line into Assassin territory, only to be dispossessed at the last second by a desperate Assassin defense. However it wouldn’t be the last you’d see of Dean. At the 4 minute mark Dean danced his way in, cracked a shot against Mikayla Sawyers who was equal to the task. Emotions started running high and it over flowed as Francois Martin and Alex MacKenzie tangled with 40 seconds left on the clock, both players were sent off for 2 minutes for roughing. This sparked the Silverbacks into gear as a last second shot from Nick Poranek beat Mikayla up high to make it 3-2 Silverbacks. End of the second.
Off to a flying start in the third period was Daniel Jelley for the Assassins. Two early chances for the Welshman but he couldn’t jam it home. After end to end play it would be the Silverbacks to apply the pressure at 9:30 with a goal mouth scramble. No goal came of it however and this gave the Assassins the upperhand. Tim Russell received the puck skated up across the red line, snapped off a shot which rebounded perfectly to Daniel Brierley who tucked it home. 3-3 we are all tied up again. Soon after this Francois Martin took a nasty fall on the rink which resulted in a gash on his chin. The game was on hold as the blood was cleared up by the officials.
With Francois off receiving treatment, it was the Assassins who would take control of the game. Matthew Egan with the solo effort going five hole on Dennis Nikolayev gave the Assassins a one goal lead again at 4-3. The Silverbacks started to lose their cool with both sides starting to chip away at each other. Nick Poranek would get called for boarding and unsportsmanlike. Assassins took charge on the powerplay through Tim Russell scoring his first of the night. Assassins went 1 for 2 on the powerplay at this point. That’s how the third period would end. 5-3 Assassins.
Fourth period is where the wheels started coming off from the Silverbacks. Heavy offensive pressure early from the Assassins led to Tim Russell glancing two shots off the post before finally finding his mark and taking the game to a 6-3 lead. Another penalty from the Silverbacks and another powerplay for the Assassins. This resulted in Alex MacKenzie’s shot being saved by Goaltender Dennis Nikolayev, the puck bouncing out and being picked up by Matthew Egan, fired his second of the night home and the powerplay unit going 2 from 3 on the night. The score 7-3.
Emotions then took the better of both teams when Nathan Struck tussled with Nick Poranek in front of the Assassin bench and a few players from both teams jumped onto the rink. It was shortly broken up and the game ended. 7-3 Assassins win.
Simon Says Summary:
The game on a whole was well played from both teams, jockeying for possession and momentum. An example of this was the score line through two and a half periods before things got heated. Both teams competed well and fought hard for the puck. Really encouraging signs going into the playoffs.
Simon Says Stats:
The Assassins went 2 for 3 on the powerplay. This was an improvement from previous weeks.
(G) Mikayla Sawyers went 3 from 32 shots on goal and had her best game of the season. Proof of things yet to come for her?
Dennis Nikolayev went 7 from 42 shots on goal. This was his second game after starting in goal for the Wolves in game one of the night.
Simon Says 3 Stars Of the Night:
- Matthew Egan – 2G, 0A, +1 rating, GWG, PPG.
- Mikayla Sawyers – 3 goals from 32 shots. Career best.
- Tim Russell – 2G, 0A, +2 rating, PPG.