Senior Jeffrey Gilbert stopped 19 of 21 shots and junior Brendan Murphy scored twice as Saline defeated Troy United, 5-2, on senior night Tuesday at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor.
Before the game, the team honored seniors Alex Birkle, Ben Stimac, Zach Harrison, Tom Raupp and Gilbert.
Troy tied the score at two in the third period on the powerplay before Saline erupted for three straight goals.
Brendan Murphy’s second goal for the game, with 11:03 to play, proved to be the winner. Murphy fired a wrist shot from the left wing boards to be Troy goalie AJ Moceri. Mason Ausmus and Logan Dejanovich drew the assists.
Saline improved to 19-4.
Coach Paul Fassbender said his team mostly played well.
“I thought we looked good in the first period. But we came out in the second period and we were a little lazy and we tried to be cute. Suddenly it’s a 1-1 hockey game and then a 2-2 hockey game,” Fassbender said. “But we were better in the third period.
Fassbender said his team has tendency to get away from simple, effective hockey when they sense they’re the better team on the ice.
“We start trying to make passes that are too pretty. We try to make fancy moves and we pass up shots looking for the perfect opportunity,” Fassbender said. “But once we got back to putting the puck on net, good things started to happen.”
Mikhail Lozovyy opened the scoring with 1:03 to play in the first period, chipping a rebound past Moceri on the powerplay. Nick Miller and Raupp drew the assists.
Troy answered with a goal by Mitch Cochran just 46 seconds into the second period.
The game was tied 1-1 despite what seemed like an endless parade to the penalty box by Troy. Saline’s fifth powerplay was a five minute major. And the Hornets looked sloppy for the first 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
Finally, Murphy connected for Saline. He used his glove to knock down a clearing attempt and hold the line. Then he skated in and fired a wrist shot that beat Moceri.
But after five straight powerplays, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the Hornet parade to box began. Saline was assessed four straight minor penalties.
On the third minor, three minutes into the third period, Connor Wright rang a wrist shot off the crossbar and nearly gave Saline the lead. Saline killed off that penalty. But just seven seconds after it expired the Hornets were assessed a bench minor for too many men on the ice. It took Troy just three seconds to score. Christopher Kandoleon scored for Troy.
1:37 seconds later, Murphy scored what proved to be the winner.
With 5:47 to play, Will Wynn scored his second of the year. Collin Clark won the faceoff back to Wynn and he scored with a wrist shot from the blueline.
Captain Alex Birkle capped the scoring with a shorthanded empty net goal with 21 seconds left.
The Saline Post 3 Stars
- Brendan Murphy – Murphy scored two goals, including the eventual game-winner. Murphy now has 21 goals this year – an incredible amount of goals for a defenseman.
- Jeffrey Gilbert – The senior goalie was solid, especially on the PK, and he stopped 19 of 21 shots.
- Tom Raupp – The senior had two assists and he did a great job forechecking and killing penalties.