The Suffolk Juniors emerged victorious in their Empire debut spoiling the home opener of the Adirondack Jr. Wings saturday night.
The Suffolk Juniors will take this win as a big learning experience moving froward. They finally got a taste of what Empire hockey life was all about Saturday night and boy did they learn the hard way. With two player's receiving five minute game misconducts for blows to the head and spending a majority of the night inside the penalty box. It wasn't pretty for Adirondack Jr. Wings either as the were guilty of committing a hit to the head misconduct as well. There was very little 5 on 5 hockey being played as both clubs combined for over 50 penalty minuets on a night where goaltending stole the show. Peter Fosso and Crae Messer did everything in each others power to keep this game from getting out of hand. Both net minders dealt with everything, whether it be crazy bounces or dealing with tons of traffic in front all night. The two goalies battled to the very end as the offense for the two clubs exchanged multiple scoring chances throughout the final period. When it seemed as if the Jr. Wings were going to tie the game late, an innocent controversial dump in into the Wings zone which could have been whistled down for icing, took a weird bounce off of the end wall then caromed in front as it was then redirected in off the skate of Thomas Dunn for the much needed clinching goal to give the Juniors their first victory of the season.
The Juniors wasted no time getting on the board as Evan Schwartz delivered a nifty pass to spring Tyler Murphy for the breakaway as he snapped a shot over the right shoulder of Wings goaltender Crae Messer just over two minutes into the game. The fourth line continued to be the best line on the ice for the first twenty minutes, when on their second shift Evan Schwartz created a turnover behind the Wings net; sent a pass to the point for Joe Duszak who found a wide open Tyler Murphy on the backdoor as he tapped in his second of the game and thus giving the Juniors a 2-0 lead.
The Juniors had a five minute major penalty to work with late in the first that was negated at the 20 minute mark when Mike Leone was called for slashing. The second period started four aside when Cam Smith was called for roughing just under a minute in to the second putting the Suffolk Juniors down four men to three. The Jr. Wings seized their opportunity on the power play when Cameron Kuhl whistled a laser into the top corner to cut the lead to 2-1. That was the only goal they were going to see all night as team defense, goaltending, and lucky bounces were enough to spoil the homecomming for the Jr Wings.
Chris Stemke, Nick Falino, and Joey Eben were each ejected from the game for striking opposing players to the head. All three will not be suspended and have an opportunity to play in the Sunday morning tilt.