Both the Knights and the Ice Eagles came into their Jan. 21 grudge match with a ton of confidence as they set their skates on the ice. The Ice Eagles entered the game with a three game winning streak and with extra fire and determination to snag the second seed in the playoffs. On the other hand, the Knights were missing star player Levi Wallace, but relied on the combination of Mitch Eastman and former Prescott High School player Eric Brown.
A goal by Zach Bissonette gave the Ice Eagles an early lead, but the Knights responded with two first period goals against Luc Coulier. The Knights cruised to a first intermission lead. The Knights played more of a wide open game than they have in the past, but it led to many penalties. This was an opportunity for the Ice Eagles to capitalize on the carelessness of the Knights. The Eagles’ did their best, but the goalie for the Knights made some pretty spectacular saves to keep them in the game. At the end of the first period, the Eagles knew that something had to change if this pace continued.
A motivational talk from Captain Brett Young was just what the Ice Eagles needed to hear before they started the second period. Whatever Young said must have had an impact as the Eagles rebounded to score three goals that period to bring the score to 4-4. Mitch Eastman scored twice in the second period to thwart the Ice Eagles’ plans to run away with the game. The great back and forth action continued the following period.
To the shock of the fans in the stands, the Eagles and the Knights both had a solid defense in the third period which didn’t allow for many garbage goal opportunities. Both teams had their chance to capitalize on power plays, but the defense stepped up their game to a whole new level. Timothy Kramer wasn’t too popular with the Knights’ defense after the game primarily due to his six penalties committed in the game totaling 12 minutes in the box.
The Ice Eagles didn’t have many penalties, but it was just a hard fought game from both sides of the ice. Luc Coulier made some pretty gutsy saves in key moments in the game where it looked like the Knights could have had an opportunity at finding the net. This led to a very crucial shootout as skaters had a one-on-one chance to catch the goalie napping. The Eagles unfortunately came out on the losing end of the shootout as Todd Lyonais pulled a quick move and scored on Coulier to give the Knights the victory. Both teams came into this game with a lot of confidence, but unfortunately one team had to ride on the losing end of the horse and it was the Eagles. However, their determination and will to win after a slow first period proved this team has the potential to win the championship come playoff time. Player Marina Koepke said after the game, “we didn’t have many penalties this time like other games, but it was a good game.”