After losing both games to the Bishop Foley Unified Warriors last season, the Shrine Knights took sweet revenge on the Warriors Friday night at Royal Oak’s John Lindell Arena.
The Knights shut out the Warriors, 6-0.
In the battle of the benches, Shrine had a distinct advantage. Shrine had 19 players and two goalies suited-up for the game, while the Warriors had 9 skaters and two goalies.
Despite the loss, Warriors head coach Dave Williamson saw a lot of positives.
“We compete. We look like we have 19 players on our bench,” said Williamson. “There was absolutely no quit. We grind it out. Everybody has a responsibility and a role to fulfill. Every time when you hit the ice you have a chance to get better and that’s what we’re doing.”
Shrine went to work early in the game, scoring just 20 seconds into the game on its first shot on goal. Shrine captain Joe Nagle got credit for the goal, with assists going to Zack Zednick and captain Dan Tresnak.
Shrine held an edge in the play in the opening period. The Knights amassed 14 shots on goal to the Warriors three. The first Warriors shot came at the 11:34 mark of the first period.
Despite the heavy workload, Warriors goalie Alex Day turned all but two shots aside in the opening period. The Knight’s second goal came at 4:49 in the period. Chris Bradley netted it with an assist to Michael Mann.
The opening of the second period was a mirror image of the first. Shrine struck quickly, just 17 seconds into the period, with the same line scoring on its first shot on net. This time Tresnak got the goal and Nagle the assist.
The Warriors found chinks in Shrine’s defense in the second period, forcing Shrine goalie Stevie Erwin to make eight saves in the period. Erwin went on to earn a shutout on the night.
Shrine padded its lead late in the second period to make the score 4-0. Ryan Bradley scored and Michael Mann got his second assist on the night.
The Warriors came within inches of scoring late in the second period. Williamson’s team had control of the puck deep in the Shrine zone. The puck came back to Warriors sniper Austin Lukaschewski on the left point. Lukaschewski took a wicked shot just off the ice that hit the iron just outside of the net. Had the puck been on target, it would have been the Warriors first goal. That corner of the net was open.
It was exciting to watch, but it did not impact on the score sheet.
It was ‘mirror, mirror’ in the third period.
Shrine scored less than a minute into the period, this time on a power play. Eric Lichtenberg got the goal, with Tommy Callahan and Tripp Callahan teaming up on the assists.
The Knight’s last goal was also on the power play. The Knights' Chris Kelly took a shot on Day on the right side of the Warriors' net. Day made the save. The puck squirted all the way across the net. Before Day could cover the far side of the net, Zednick put the puck in.
Day saw more rubber than I-94 Friday night. Shrine outshot the Warriors 40-18. Several of Shrine’s goals were scored on second and third shots after Day made the initial save.
After the game, Williamson said, “I’m really proud of how (we) played, a lot of hitting, a lot of forechecking. It was a good game.”