Day 3, meant game #2 for EDP at America’s Showcase.
After the game yesterday, the boys went to meet with the Head Coach of St. Louis University and got a tour of the campus.
In the evening, the boys had a film session with the coaching staff while dining on some fine Papa John’s. You can make all the excuses in the world about what you did or didn’t do on the ice, but one thing is certain, the film always tell the truth. At the end of the film session, head coach Nikita Alekseev told the boys that tomorrow’s game starts now. Preparation for the game and getting mentally ready starts now and the team did just that.
From wake up to breakfast to the bus ride to the rink, the team finally acted like this was a business trip. They saw on film what went wrong yesterday and let me make something very clear ladies and gentlemen. Today was a completely different team than the team that lost game one.
Troy Burkhart got the start in net today after his superhero-like performance yesterday. The team came out hot out the gate folks, Zach Hendle won the opening faceoff and immediately found Tyler Stowe streaking down the wing who fired a shot just over the net. The game went back and forth for a while. This was no cupcake team. This was a fast and physical game from start to finish. In the first period, we saw big plays and bigger hits from our defense. Tyler Knight might be 5’ 10” but he played like he was The Incredible Hulk he was laying wood out there like you wouldn’t believe. The first period ended 0-0 but we were right on the doorstep. You could feel a goal was on its way.
The game would continue to go scoreless until seven minutes into the 2nd. After an unsuccessful powerplay, EDP won a face-off in their own zone. It went from Hendle to Stowe to Tassone. Dangle, snipe, and celly. SEE YA AT THE FACE-OFF CIRCLE, MARYLAND!
The boys fended off attack after attack from Team Maryland. Like I referenced above, our defense played out their mind all game. Knight, Sah, Bowles, Dykstra, Norris, and Barios played mistake-free hockey for all 51 minutes. The game came down to the final seconds. There wasn’t a single break in the game.
I’ve talked about the coaching, the forwards, and I have raved about our defense. But as you know, the best is saved for last. Troy Burkhart was today's MVP. We don’t win this game without Troy. Dating back to period three of game one. Troy gave EDP 68 minutes of shutout hockey. Troy was a vacuum. He swallowed up every puck that came his way. He was a brick wall.
After the big win, I caught up with Newsome Wolves defensemen, Ethan Dykstra, “ It was a well-deserved win. We were in a drought and we finally fed the team with hope. in the begging it was tough, but once we scored the first and got that monkey off the back and showed the team, we can do this. Huge props to Troy (Burkhart) he kept us alive.”
The boys look to keep the momentum going today, Saturday against a tough Team California.