Cranes Host Chargers in Exhibition Contest
Much excitement and anticipation leading into this game with both teams wanting to see where they stood as the regular season commences in less than a week. The Crane’s roster is comprised of 15 seniors, 7 juniors with only 1 sophomore and 1 freshman. The Chargers are also heavy on the upperclassmen consisting of 7 seniors, 10 juniors and 3 sophomores.
From the drop of the puck to the sound of the 3rd period horn, many opportunities presented themselves for each team. Powers took the first period 1-0 as Cranbrook took the following two periods (3-1 and 1-0).
The initial five minutes of the first period, Cranbrook dominated possession in the Charger D zone. As the Chargers began to settle down, the momentum shifted play balancing into both ends of the ice. At the 14 min mark, Powers first opportunity to open the scoring came when Nolan Burner skated down the left side ringing one off the right side of the cross bar. At 9:55, the first penalty off the game was given to Charger’s Malenich for kneeing. Chargers were able to kill it with the hustle of multiple players, but specifically Czarnecki and Cramer’s great backchecking. Less than one minute later Jack Dawley was called for interference and that too was burned. Sacrificing the body was Michael Tucker clogging the shooting lane, blocking a shot from the point. Just before the first period concluded, Luke Cramer popped the top by burying the rebound from Brenden Tarpening’s snapper. Nick Kurtiak’s solid net-minding performance resulted in a 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take long into the 2nd for the Cranes to strike, as senior Ethan Hellman picked up the loose puck off the draw and sniped it passed Kurtiak. The 13:00 mark Crane’s Max Bergen picked up their first penalty of the game for tripping. Chargers first opportunity testing their power play came up short. As the intensity began to pick up in front of the net, Kurtiak stretched out making a beautiful right leg pad save. Powers equalizer goal (assisted by Kyle Barbour) came at the 6:59 mark as senior Gunnar Birmingham prevailed in the scrum sliding it past junior net-minder Gunnar Dudlar. Crane’s Charlie Finsilver stole the 2nd period lead with 5:53 remaining on a deflection from the point. Moments later senior captain Jacob Budabin let a wrister go from the top of the circle finding its way to the back of the net, increasing their lead 3-1. As the physical play began to take on a life of its own, Cramer (tripping) Lavrack (Kneeing) both earned their penalties to close out the second period.
Beginning of the 3rd, the chargers were successful fighting off the 5v3. Soon after, the Chargers struggled breaking out of their zone resulting in a coughed-up puck landing on senior Graham Turner’s stick as he didn’t disappoint putting the Cranes back on the board. As the physicality escalated and reflecting in multiple penalties for both sides, all three of the Crane’s captains found themselves side by side in the penalty box. Despite having two more powerplay opportunities (5v4 and 5v3) the Chargers were not able to capitalize. A late period neutral zone Charger turnover led to a Crane breakaway where Peyton Lenger stoned the high flying forward.
Season opener vs. Clarkston Wednesday, November 24th, 6pm @ Iceland arena!
This game is our Military Appreciation Night! Free admission for all Military/First Responders. Game Jersey giveaway!