Michal Holub scored a pair and Matthew Trulsen made some big saves in a 3-2 win over the Aldergrove Kodiaks at the MLC Saturday.
The Outlaws faced the Aldergrove Kodiaks on Saturday, with both teams winning their respective openers with a lot of firepower. Goaltenders Matthew Trulsen of the Outlaws and Dawson Rodin of the Kodiaks wanted to make sure neither team could repeat the feat on this night.
The physical tone was set early, slowing the flow and increasing the frequency of the referee’s whistle, with the ‘Laws taking a penalty while drawing one with in the first 5 minutes and change.
They would open the scoring with Michal Holub popping one past a sprawled Rodin after the Kodiaks failed to clear the zone. Newly acquired Kieran Brunetti (Delta Ice Hawks) and Michael Sande the helpers at 9:32.
The Outlaws found themselves in a precarious situation at 13:37, with Baylee Wright and Jeremy Zomar in the box, along with the Kodiaks Kurt Klimek. The Bear’s power-play generated plenty of chances, but Trulsen made a pair of massive pad saves to keep it a one goal lead.
The TSN turning point may have happened with 4 minutes left in the First. Ty Pickering was already in the box when Wyatt Versluis tried to draw Holden Wilkerson into a tilt. The end result saw Versluis assessed a 2, 5 and game misconduct, while Wilkerson was given a minor.
On the ensuing 2-man advantage, Kyle Lennea slammed home his second in two games after a wonderful feed from the point. Michael Hamm and Sammy Zeinab the assists at 16:40.
2-0 ‘Laws after 20. Shots 9-6 hosts.
The Kodiaks drew to within one midway through the Second. Jacob Ruck capitalized on a miscue between Trulsen and his defenders while playing the puck out of his crease. His first Junior hockey goal a 5 hole job past a sliding Trulsen.
Two and a half minutes later the Outlaws responded. Playing four-aside, Holub deflected a Ryan Sharma slap-pass past an unsuspecting Rodin. Baylee Wright the other assist.
3-1 after 40. Shots 16-9 Kodiaks.
Each team had significant chances in the final frame. Holub had a partial breakaway at the end of his shift, blasting a hard shot high around Rodin’s shoulder and staying out of the net.
Matt Oliver countered for the Kodiaks, taking a pass after getting out of the penalty box to cut in on Trulsen all alone. The young Outlaws netminder stood his ground, however, to maintain the two goal cushion.
They would need it.
The Kodiaks Oliver got his revenge on the power-play with 1:31 left.
That would be as close as they would come in a game that featured a combined 23 power-play opportunities. The Kodiaks with 37 minutes in penalties, the Outlaws 32 minutes.
Trulsen finished with 31 saves, Rodin 20.
After the game Trulsen said it was special to get his first win in Outlaws colours against a team he played for last year.
“It was fun. I felt I knew them well after being there last year as an AP. The boys made it easy for me most of the night. After a made a few tough saves thanks to us killing what felt like a lot of penalties, I got into a rhythm and was able to raise my compete level. I felt really confident tonight.”
Michael Hamm is just getting back into hockey after a few years off for personal reasons.
The 2014 winner of Aldergrove Minor Hockey’s Coleton Nelson Award shook off some early rust and got stronger as the game wore on at both ends of the ice.
Coach Brad Veitch mentioned him, Brendan Saether and Nicholas Sourtzis as defensemen he was really impressed with.
Hamm was impressed with one aspect of his team’s game in the win.
“I thought our pk was really good, especially since we hadn’t really practiced it. It gave us confidence that we were able to shut their guys down on it for the most part.”
As for making a return to hockey?
“I have no regrets coming back. It was also nice to beat those guys, as I used to play with them as an AP a few years ago. ”
Coach Veitch talked about his team’s ability to respond down a man.
“It was unfortunate we had to kill so many. In the Second we were a bit undisciplined, but overall I didn’t think we had a bad game. Trulsen was outstanding, he along with the team battled hard. Killing that many penalties is exhausting.”
Next up for the Outlaws is a trip to MSA Friday to face former team mate Kolby Steen and the Abbotsford Pilots.