Brendan Murphy and Collin Clark each scored two goals as Saline beat Bedford, 8-0, and improved to 3-0 in the SEC Red.
The Hornets wasted no time asserting their dominance in the Saturday matinee at the Ice Cube.
In the opening minute, Gordie Niethammer and Murphy whisked up the ice and passed to Murphy, who scored to make it 1-0 just 45 seconds into the game. The goal started an onslaught and by the time the game was 4 ½ minutes old, Saline held a commanding 3-0 advantage.
Slow starts have been an Achilles heel for the Hornets. So Saturday’s start was a welcome change.
“All season coach (Paul Fassbender) has been saying the start is the biggest thing in the game and that it all starts with preparation before (the game). We looked at a couple new forechecks in practice this week to find new ways to pressure the puck and force opponents to throw the puck away,” Murphy said. “It worked out just as we thought. We knocked a couple in at the beginning and got going from there.”
After Murphy’s opening goal it took just 36 seconds for Saline to score again. Mason Ausmus took a pass from Griffin Clark and sped up the right wing. He dropped a perfect pass into the slot for the on common Collin Clark, who one-timed the puck into the goal for a 2-0 lead.
Saline went up 3-0 a short time later. Yanic Sadek worked the puck back to Murphy at the point. He went point-to-point to Will Wynn, who beat the Bedford goalie with a wrist-shot through traffic. Saline led 3-0 only 4:21 into the contest.
In the second period, the Hornets again started quickly. Griffin Clark fed the puck to Murphy at the point. Murphy ripped a shot into the corner to make it 4-0 2:34 into the period.
Midway through the period, Saline struck again. Sadek caught up to a pass from Niethammer and looked to be circling the goal. Instead, as the goalie shifted to prepare for the wrap around, Sadek dropped a no-look pass back into the slot and Connor Wright chipped it in to a half-open cage.
In the third period, it took the Hornets just 15 seconds to score. Mikhail Lozovyy, taking a pass from Collin Clark, skated up the right wing and fired a wrist shot past the goalie. Nick Miller drew the second assist.
Ben Wild made it 6-0 midway through the period when he took a pass from Wright, went in one-on-one with the goalie and then deked to his backhand and scored. Sadek also assisted.
Less than a minute later, Collin Clark took a pass from his brother Griffin and scored to trigger the mercy rule, ending the game.
Junior Blake Stephenson wasn’t busy but he stopped all 10 shots to finish with the shutout.
Saline plays Huron Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at the Artic Coliseum in Chelsea.
The Saline Post 3 Stars
- Collin Clark – The senior center won draws and figured into the scoring on four of Saline’s eight goals, finishing with two goals and two assists.
- Brendan Murphy – Got the Hornets off on to the right foot with goals in the opening minute of the first and second period.
- Blake Stephenson – Stephenson recorded his first shutout as a Hornet.