Wolves Go 3-0 with Win Over Berlin
By Jay Harris
The Watertown Wolves looked to make a sweep of the weekend and make it 3 wins in a row as they faced the Berlin River Drivers at the Watertown Municipal Arena on Monday night. Winning this game would put the Wolves just one point away from second place in the Federal Hockey League standings.
The game would be physical from the start. Berlin's Nick Wright and Wolves team captain Brett Liscomb were sent to the box for roughing just fifty-two seconds into the game.Justin Apcar-Blaszak and Kyllian Kirkwood assisted Shane Halaas to make the first goal of the night as he bounced the puck off the goal post into the net. Ryan Connolly would extend the lead to 2-0 on a play from Jason Dolgy and Ryan Whittel. Shane Halaas and Tyler Howe mixed it up on the very next play and got sent to their respective boxes for five minutes. Berlin got an advantage when the officials called an interference penalty on Scott Roy. The Wolves successfully killed the power play and maintained the 2-0 lead for the remainder of the period.
Brett Liscomb provided more excitement in the first minute of the second period when he chipped the puck in on assists from Jesse Facchini and Zach Dymock to make the score 3-0.Berlin killed the power play for too many men served by Nick Wright. Pavel Kubena earned the next penalty for putting his hand over the puck. Kyle Powell seized the power play opportunity and went top shelf from the blue line on a play set up by Ryan Connolly and Jason Dolgy. Artur Drindrozhik got a power play goal on an assist from Matt Fuller during a power play from Kyllian Kirkwood's high sticking penalty. The Wolves' defense stood their ground the remainder of the second period keep the score at 4-1.
Berlin's Nick Wright would see himself ejected from the game halfway through the third period after when he began to beat on a Wolf after the play was blown dead. He accumulated 2 minutes for instigating, five for fighting, and two game misconducts- one for being an aggressor. Berlin's Edgar Ozolins earned a game misconduct with his five for fighting penalty for his scuffle with Dallas Ingram (who also got five for fighting) in the same madness as Wright's penalty. Berlin scored two goals just ten seconds apart late into the third period. Jiri Pestuka scored Berlin's second goal and Yuto Osawa scored their third. Watertown held on to make it a 4-3 victory.
Head Coach Phil Esposito had the following comments about tonight's game: "We played three games in three nights. I think fatigue set in there in the last period. We had a seven-minute power play. We should have been able to put them away but we didn't. You know, the guys were tired, they were exhausted. I was real happy with the effort the guys put in in the last five, six minutes there to preserve the win. We should have never given them those two goals they got, but you know, they're an okay team. They can score goals and they've shown in the past that they can play hard. I think we outplayed them for the first forty minute of the game. I think it was one of those things where we ran out of gas and we preserved it. But anytime you can go into a weekend and win three games in a row and get nine points it's a successful weekend. So I can't be too upset. We just gotta take a day off tomorrow and then get right back into it. We head out west next weekend with three big games."
The three stars of the game went to Ryan Connolly, Brett Liscomb and Jason Dolgy. The Watetown Wolves currently sit in third place just one point behind the Berlin River Drivers in the Federal Hockey League standings.
The Wolves will be in Michigan to take on the Saint Clair Shores Fighting Saints on Friday, February 24th and Saturday February 25th. They will wrap up the trip with a game against the Port Huron Prowlers on Sunday, February 26th. Wolves fans will be able to see the team back on their home ice at the Watertown Municipal Arena on Friday, March 3rd when they face off against the Saint Clair Shores Fighting Saints. The puck will drop at 7:30 pm