Watertown's Offense Too Much for Saint Clair Shores
By Jay Harris
The Watertown Wolves looked to rebound from their disappointing trip to Michigan where the team came away with one win from their three-game stint when they faced off against the Saint Clair Shores Fighting Saints at the Watertown Municipal Arena Friday night. The fans reveled in the return of Jeremy Akeson who was out for several weeks with a broken hand. Kyle Powell made his return from his 7-day IR and Chris Paulin suited up as a new emergency goal tender as Ed Zdolshek is out with an injury. Brad Townsend, another crowd favorite, was also missing from the bench due to injury.
The Wolves lit up the lights six minutes into the first period. Justin Apcar-Blaszak got the puck to Kyle Powell who then ricocheted the puck off Joe Cangelosi's skate to make the score 1-0. Kyllian Kirkwood got a fast break with the puck and scored on a waist-high shot to the glove side of Jan Pechek to make the score 2-0. The Wolves kept the Fighting Saints shut out of the net for the remainder of the first period.
Matthew Henderson scored for the Fighting Saints eight minutes into the second period. The Wolves retaliated when Jason Dolgy scored a power play goal on a pass from Kyle Powell. Kyllian Kirkwood's second goal of the night was the craziest goal of the night. Shane Halaas passed Kirkwood the puck, whose shot on goal was deflected, ricocheting off the glass into the back of Saint Clair Shores goalie Pechek's jersey and into the net making the score 4-1 Watertown for the remainder of the second period.
It took less than thirty seconds into the third period for the Wolves to get their next goal. Joe Cangelosi went 5-hole on Jan Pechek on a pass from Shane Halaas. Fighting Saint Nikolos Longley-Rogers slashed a Wolf, inciting Halaas to come to his teammate's defense. This put both Halaas and Longley-Rogers in the box for roughing. Longley-Rogers earned an additional two minutes on the incident for his slashing. Joe Cangelosi's assist helped Kyllian Kirkwood get his hat trick goal of the game to make the score 6-1. Kirkwood and Justin Apcar-Blaszak set up Shane Halaas to make the final goal of the night when his ice-level shot flipped the puck over Pechek's glove into the net making the final score 7-1.
Head Coach Phil Esposito had the following comments about tonight's game: "We played a 60-minute game tonight. We had offense and were going pretty hard. The team we played tonight is a young club. The got a lot of changes all the time. They're constantly regenerating their lineup so it makes it hard to play. Our guys stuck together tonight and did what theyhad to do. It's a big game tomorrow night. It's going to be a playoff-like atmosphere against the Prowlers. It'll be a big difference from what we had tonight. So we got to make sure we prepare for that tomorrow."
The Wolves earned all three stars of the game. Kyllian Kirkwood's hat trick and assist donned him with the first star. Shane Halaas was given the second for his two assist and one goal. Joe Cangelosi's two goals and one assist earned him the third star of the game.
The Watertown Wolves are tied in second place points with the Berlin River Drivers in the Federal Hockey League Standings. The Wolves are back in action at the Watertown Municipal Arena on Saturday, March 4th against the Port Huron Prowlers for Pink in the Rink Night. The Wolves will be sporting special pink jerseys to promote breast cancer awareness. These jerseys will be auctioned off immediately after the game. The game will start at 7:30pm.