It was more than a little bit “same song, second verse” on Sunday afternoon at the VBC. After a 12-1 rout on Saturday night, the Chargers came out and shut out the Frozen Tide, 10-0.
It took the boys a little while to get started on the goal column, even though they were working Coach K2‘s system pretty hard. Jack Prince (London, England) kicked the scoring off with an unassisted goal, leading a barrage of five goals in 3:13. Following Prince were Doug Reid (Innisfill, Ont.) from Craig Pierce (Roswell, Ga.) and Stephen Hickey (Ancaster, Ont.), Pierce from Reid and Mat Hagen (Ottawa, Ont.), Prince unassisted, and Tyler Kotlarz (Hudsonville, Mich.) unassisted. Reid and Pierce’s goals came in such quick succession that PA announcer Taylor Flatt was unable to get Reid announced before Pierce scored.
The second period was another slow start for goal scoring before Hickey scored at 12:47 on an assist from Pierce. Prince picked up his hat trick at 14:55 on assists from Kotlarz and Michael Webley (Stittsville, Ont.). The Frozen Tide held the Chargers to just nine shots on goal while making five of their own count. Junior netminder CJ Groh (Cincinnati, Ohio), having not seen a shot in the first frame, stopped all five.
Scoring in the third was a little more spread out. Hickey scored at 7:14 on assists from Chad Brears (Cold Lake, Alta.) and Reid. The final Charger goals came 18 seconds apart: Kotlarz from Prince at 12:45, then Webley from Hagen at 13:03. Freshman goaltender Gregg Gruehl (Dublin, Ohio) saw just one shot in the final frame. On the weekend, the Chargers outshot the Frozen Tide 108-11.
Coach Ken Kleinendorst was happy after the game. “We tried to work on some things that will help us move forward.” When asked how the team is progressing, Kleinendorst, said, “I think so. I think that we definitely have the bodies to put together to put a pretty solid lineup on Friday night [against Mankato]. I’m getting a good feel for the guys, but I still need a better feel.”
When asked about the start to his career, Prince said, “It’s been a long wait. It’s hard to watch junior teams get ready to play and have to wait longer.” He was happy to have the opportunity to get to know his teammates’ tendencies on the ice, saying, “It was nice for us freshman. We got to see what everyone else was going to be doing. It helped us play along. We sorta know where to be based on watching video, but when you get into a game situation, it’s different. It was nice to have two games where to figure out where to be at the right time.” Asked about the speed of the college game, he said, “It’s a big step up from juniors. I’m looking forward to the challenge.
The Chargers have four days of rest and practice before facing Minnesota State University, Mankato on Friday night at Propst Arena at the Von Braun Center. Tickets at all levels of the arena are FREE, so please come out and support your Chargers and bring all of your friends (and some of your enemies).
- Saturday’s assault on Frozen Tide goaltender Sean Vinson got a brutally honest (and hilarious) reaction. Gotta love Johnny Griggs encouraging him—both he and Max Hirbe did yeoman’s work this weekend.
- Speaking of Hirbe, I asked Max how to pronounce his last name. His reply is classic: “off the ice it’s Hir-bee, on the ice it’s Hir-bay”. Arturs would be proud.
- As we heard on Penalty Box Radio on Monday night, Prince has a party trick: the UK native can switch to an accent from home at will. His normal accent, though, is “American who plays hockey”. We have no word as to whether he’s working with Lasse Uusivirta to add “Finnish man speaking English” to his repertoire.
- Also on PBR, Sebastian Geoffrion admitted that The Mighty Ducks is his favorite hockey movie.
Have a great rest of the week, and be sure to come out to the game on Friday night! It’s free, you know.