The University of Alabama Men’s Club hockey team easily handled the University of Indiana by a score of 7-2 in the first of a two-game home series that saw the Tide improve to 21-9-1 on the season.
Alabama took control of the game early with a sublime effort from Felix Conrads. The sophomore forward from Naperville, Ill. found a gap in the heart of Indiana’s defense and slotted the puck home to give the Alabama the 1-0 lead at the 15:15 mark of the first period.
“It went point to point,” Conrads said, “went right on my stick and I turned around and fired it right in.”
In what turned out to be a free-flowing contest through the remainder of the first period, both teams found themselves creating a plethora of chances that tested the goaltenders on both ends of the ice, with neither team managing to convert their remaining chances.
“We’ve got to fire pucks on net and see what happens from the beginning,” Conrads said.
The second period saw a second breakthrough for Alabama by way of freshman forward Nick Messina. After conceding for the first time of the contest at the 11:13 mark, Alabama found a way to once again double their advantage through a Ryan Johnson effort that took the team into the final period with a 3-2 lead.
Head coach Kyle Richards seemed to have ignited his team coming out of the locker room for the final period of play as Alabama asserted their dominance early and often, leading to goals number four through seven with the last three goals pouring in within the final four and a half minutes of play.
“Our guys kind of thought that [Indiana] would sit back and let us take it to them,” Richards said, “once we realized it was going to be a game, our guys brought their game.”
The Alabama defense, led by assistant captain Pierre Ouellette, put in some very quality shifts on the night. Their play was highlighted in the final period as they dominated possession and kept the Indiana forwards pinned back for a majority of the final minutes. The defense will be looking forward to tomorrow night and will look to build on their complete performance.
“Keep it simple,” Oullette said, “We’re just going to take the same approach to tomorrow’s game and hopefully get another win.”
Alabama will look to ride the momentum of this victory into their rematch tomorrow night, hoping to emulate their rather overwhelming performance as they gear up for what they hope will be a deep run in the 2018 National Championship Tournament.
“Doing the little things,” Richards said, “being fast, getting the puck North, we’ll keep these same principles tomorrow.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports