Alpena Goalie Shuts Down Eskymos In OT Shootout
Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos, and hear post-game comments from Cade Carter, Clayton Smith, and Coach Andy Johnson. Also click to listen to Isaiah Boyce's player spotlight interview.
ALPENA---Alpena goaltender Aidan Schultz stopped 36 shots in regulation time, and then turned away all four shots in the extra time shootout, leading the Wildcats to a 3-2 win over the Escanaba Eskymos Wednesday afternoon at the Northern Lights Arena.
Anden Marceau and Trenton Fraser scored shooout goals for the Wildcats after the 51 minutes of reguation time produced a 2-2 tie. No overtime period was played.
The story was Schultz, who stopped numerous shots from in close, including seven shots on a relentless first period Eskymo power play. Then he stopped all four Eskymo shootout attempts by Karson Krutina, Jayger LaMarch, Sawyer LaMarch, and Brayden Martineau.
"I was pleased with both games this weekend," Eskymo Coach Andy Johnson said. "Just their effort, I'm just so happy for. They played good hockey. We just ran into a tough goalie. I mean, we had chances, we were backchecking, we were cycling really good. But we just couldn't get enough by him. He's solid. He didn't give us much."
"He was just blocking everything," said Eskymo senior Clayton Smith, who was picked the game's #2 star behind Schultz. "He left quite a few rebounds that we couldn't get our hands on, but, he was just mainly stopping everything. We couldn't get anything by him."
Freshman Riley Stannard managed to get one by Schultz with 51 seconds left in the first period when he pounced on a puck in the blue paint that Schultz appeared close to covering up.
But Alpena's leading scorer, Marceau, slapped one past Eskymo goalie Dylan Ziemke in the second period to tie the game. That lasted less than a minute before Krutina jumped on a loose puck between the circles and beat Schultz with a wrister to make it 2-1.
Then the penalty bug bit the Eskymos again. They were altready without forward Trevor Streichert, who received a game misconduct early in the first period for unsportsmanlike conduct. But in the third period, the Eskymos took four minor penalties, and did so at times when they were controlling the play in both the neutral and offensive zones.
Matthew Thompson scored an unassisted power play goal at 3:06 to tie the game, with Jayger LaMarch in the box. Gunner Bourdeau took two separate penalties for slashing and interference, and the penalty killers did their usual job.
Then with just over two minutes left, Jayger LaMarch was called for roughing at a time when the Wildcats were running around in their defensive zone trying to break the Eskymo cycle.
Escanaba again killed it off, in fact, Brayden Martineau nearly scored shorthanded but Schultz somehow made the stop. Escanaba killed off six of the seven Alpena power plays, after the Eskymos killed off eight of nine Ashwaubenon power plays in last Thursday's 3-1 loss.
After the officials conferred, it was decided to go directly to the shootout, where Schultz again shined by stopping all four shots and Alpena scored on two of their three chances.
Escanaba outshot Alpena, 38-27, in regulation time, with Ziemke making 25 stops.
Alpena improved to 7-4 on the season. Schultz has won all seven of those games in net.
Escanaba fell to 6-6 and wil play for a third straight day on Thursday: seven hours away in Houghton. The Eskymos will take on the Painesdale-Jeffers Jets at Michigan Tech University at 7:00. The game will be broadcast on FM-93.5/AM-600 and on-line at www.rrnsports.com.