Unfortunately for the Core, they were only able to put one puck past Freeze net minder Daniyal Hannan. Shane Higgins scored his first goal of the season on an assist from Vladi Korotin at the 3:38 mark to give the Guns a 1-0 lead. The Guns held the Freeze without a shot for the
majority of the period and kept the Freeze pinned in their own zone for most of the period, but after twenty minutes the teams went into their dressing rooms with Apple Core leading 1-0.
Between periods Coach Ron Scall warned the boys "of the dangers of dominating a game, but not finishing chances and burying their opponent". The second period continued much the same as the first with the Guns controlling play and peppering Hannan with shot after shot, but Hannan was like a brick wall until Kieran Hurley's relentless PK efforts led to a breakaway which Hurley deftly deposited into the back of the net with 5:59 gone in the middle frame. However, the two goal lead was cut in half five minutes later as the Freeze scored what would be their only tally of the evening.
The teams skated off the ice with the Guns leading 2-1 after forty minutes of play. Head Coach Tom Carroll was none too happy with his young team getting caught up in a "run and gun game which is not the type of hockey we practice" and let the squad know in no uncertain terms that style of play wouldn't be tolerated. The boys got the message loud and clear and on an early power play Hurley netted his second goal of the game just 1:51 into the third period on assists from Mike Buffoloeno and Dillon Radin. Hurley literally used his head on the goal as Buffoleno's shot from the point deflected off his helmet behind Hannan. Two and a half minutes later Higgins scored an unassisted goal, his second of the game and the Core were rolling with a 4-1 lead. Just three minutes later Phil Laurelli darted in from the point and Andrew Cunningham fed him the puck which Laurelli ripped past Hannan for the Core's fifth goal of the game. Dillon Radin finished the scoring with just under two minutes left in the game on assists from linemates a Will Guido and Hurley. The final score was 6-1, with the Guns out shooting the Freeze by a whopping margin of 58 to 10. Goaltender Madison Martin picked up the first win of his junior and Apple Core career.
Sunday the Core looked to sweep the two game series and the coaches were sure to warn the team how much tougher it is to win the second game after taking the first game of these junior weekend series. Carroll and Scall knew that the Freeze had too much pride not to want to avenge Saturday's loss. The pregame message was clear, "play 60 minutes of unselfish Core hockey".
The game began just as everyone had hoped as Kieran Hurley began as he left off the night before scoring the game's first goal on assists from Buffoleno and Radin. Twelve minutes later Joe Finneran picked up his team leading fourth goal of the young season off a feed from Shane Higgins. Although the first period ended with the Guns up 2-0 the coaches were unhappy that the lead was not greater given the fact that there were numerous chances left unfinished and the score much closer than they would have liked. These concerns unfortunately were not just idle worry as the Freeze showed no quit and scored two second period goals to tie the game with twenty minutes of regulation play remaining. Going into the third period the boys knew these were two points they did not want to let slip away, and Colton Schnall ripped a short side wrist shot into the top corner of the net off a feed from Travis Quigley for the first goal of his junior career 8:04 into the period. Just thirty nine seconds later on a power play team captain Brian O'Sullivan netted his first goal of the season off assists from the defense combination of Buffoleno and Korotin, and the Guns once again had a two goal lead. Unfortunately that lead was short lived as the Freeze cut the lead to 4-3 just forty seconds later. With the task at hand of protecting a one goal lead with ten minutes remaining in the third period the Guns played solid team defense while still generating solid scoring chances, but were thwarted by a second hot Freeze goaltender, John Ketzenberger who kept his team within one goal until late in the game when he was pulled from the net for an extra skater. With fifty nine seconds remaining Thomas McGovern passed the puck to Dillon Radin who scored his third goal of the season into the empty net as the Guns skated off with a 5-3 victory. Dominic Lomanno picked up his second win of the season in net as the Guns won their third straight game to improve to 3-1 on the season.
Spent Shells...game pucks went to Shane Higgins on Saturday and Kieran Hurley on Sunday. The Guns put 94 shots on goal in the two games. Next up is a trip up north to the New Hampshire Monarchs Showcase where the team will play three western conference opponents, the Islanders, Springfield Pics & Mass Maple Leafs. Defenseman Mike Buffoleno leads the team in scoring with six points, all assists.