For the second straight week the Jesuit Tigers played in the LHSHL Game Of The Week, but the Tigers’ three-game winning-streak came to end on Friday night in Wesley Chapel. The Wiregrass Ice Hawks earned their second victory on the season, after defeating Jesuit 8-4.
With an energy-filled rink, Joseph Davis opened up the scoring for the Wiregrass Ice Hawks with the game’s first shot on goal. And, while Wiregrass continued to put on the pressure early, it was Jesuit netminder Paul Coats that led the way for the Tigers to get back into the contest. Number 35 for the Blue and White stopped a couple of two-on-ones late in the first period, and Jesuit then went on to score the game’s next three goals.
Sophomore forward Matthew Smith scored midway through the second period for the Tigers, and Joshua Burke found the back of the net shortly after that. Still, the resilient Ice Hawks answered back with three late goals during the second frame.
To no surprise, Davis scored Wiregrass’ second goal, which opened up the flood gates for the Ice Hawks. Late in the period, forwards Casey Bohl and Bernard Imhoff scored back-to-back goals for Wiregrass to close out the period and the Ice Hawks led 4-3 heading into the third period.
There were five goals scored during the game’s final frame, but four of which came from Wiregrass. The Ice Hawks’ Davis scored a hat trick alone, three goals, during the period. And, it was clear that the Ice Hawks fed off of the rink’s electric atmosphere.
“It was a great atmosphere out here, and it was fun to play in front of a lot fans,” said Davis. “You always have to play good when there’s a ton of people here.”
While Davis was the star for the Game Of The Week on paper, he made it known that the team’s goaltender, Carson Saunders, was a key reason why the Ice Hawks walked out of Wesley Chapel victorious.
“It was a great team win, and the goalie, he played a major part in this and he kept us in the game,” added Davis.
Wiregrass’ masked man between the pipes made over 40 saves in the contest, and displayed a number of highlight reel saves during the third period. If it weren’t for the sophomore goaltender, the game could have turned out differently for the Ice Hawks. Still, Saunders credited his team’s play for the victory.
“It was a great game and team win, overall,” said Saunders. “We did a good job at getting the puck to the net, and we got the win.”
Wiregrass is now 2-2-1 on the season, and is one point behind Jesuit for first place in the Andreychuk Division.
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