Head Coach Josh Dannecker remarked before the start of the season that his power play unit was going to be one of the strengths of his Orchard Park boys hockey team. The Quakers scored two on Thursday in their 5-3 win over the Clarence Red Devils.
It was the season opener for both clubs with the Red Devils drawing first blood on Brady Carlson’s first period goal.
Exactly two minutes later though the Quakers tied the game when Carson Senfield’S shot eluded Clarence goaltender Matt Binkowski.
The Red Devils responded just before the end of the first when Anthony Sweeney lit the lamp, allowing Clarence to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Orchard Park had a difficult time slowing down the Clarence forwards who were quick to the loose pucks more often than not and had a leg up in puck possession. The Red Devils were just not putting enough shots on Quakers goaltender Toby Bell who was making his fed debut.
In the second period OP began playing the body more and that proved to be the difference as this game wore on.
“We were sloppy in our own end in the first period,” Dannecker said after the game. “Clarence had a really solid forecheck going and we had to find a way to counter that. I felt we did a much better job in the second period. They have good speed and some creative players. Have to give credit to our goalie, he made some big saves.”
Bell was huge for OP, making 26 saves and had a little help from the goal post in picking up his first win for the Quakers. “I needed to gain some confidence and felt I did that once the game got going,” Bell said. “I felt stronger as the game went on and just glad we got the win.”
Five different Quakers tallied goals in the win; Jack Kingsman, Zachary Mecca, Bryson Miller, Joseph Redlinski and Senfield scored for OP.
Isaiah Corry, Anthony Sweeney and Carlson were the goal scorers for Clarence.
“I don’t necessarily believe in lucky bounces but if there is such a thing, we certainly didn’t get any tonight,” Red Devils head coach Rich Brooks said. “Credit to OP and their goalie, he played well. I think overall our guys played well. I liked our puck possession and our offensive zone pressure. We had good starts in all three periods I thought, just didn’t finish as well as we would have liked. Gave away some rushes and took a few penalties that took away some momentum.”
Binkowski made 25 saves for Clarence.
The Red Devils (0-1) are back in action tonight against Canisius (1-0) and then will play St. Joe’s (1-0) on Monday.
Orchard Park (1-0) take on Niagara Wheatfield (1-0) tonight at Leisure Rink.
@wolf3328 Three Stars
1- Jack Kingsman – Orchard Park
2- Isaiah Corry – Clarence
3- Toby Bell – Orchard Park
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