Despite not getting the results it wanted in the win/loss column in the season's early goings, Williamsport has shined in certain areas.
In the Outlaws' first eight games, opponents have been down right lousy against the penalty kill. After surrendering a goal apiece in their first two games, the Outlaws haven't given up a power-play goal since. In total, the Outlaws have killed off 16 consecutive penalties after giving up one in the third period of their second game.
Williamsport continued to kill off the penalties against 1000 Islands on Wednesday, blanking the Privateers on four chances en route to a 3-1 win at Airmen Pond at Bowman Field.
It was the Outlaws' second win of the season. It was also against a team that entered with two consecutive wins over Williamsport.
"On the defensive side we've been really good all year," Outlaws coach Chris Firriolo said. "We got into some trouble early, but the guys did a great job."
The Outlaws have faired well against the Privateers' power play this season, and since 1000 Islands is a team Williamsport will face 20 times, or 1/3 of the season, those numbers are crucial.
The addition of the defensive-minded Kevin Hamel was apparent Wednesday. In his second game with the team, Hamel helped kill off all four of the Privateers power plays. He also earned an assist on Jamie Zaleski's game-tying goal in the second period.
"He's an unbelievable hockey player," Firriolo said. "He's so strong and so sound defensively. I never panic when he's out there."
The penalty kill magic continued in the first period of Wednesday's game. Once down a man on the ice, the combination of Hamel and Trevor Karasiewicz kept the Privateers offense at bay.
"That's my role and I like it," Hamel said. "I'm a defensive player and I'm glad to be a part of this team."
In the second period the Outlaws overcame an early goal to kill off their third power play of the night. And, in the process of knocking out their 24th power play of the season, Zaleski scored the game-tying goal with assists from Tyler Matheson and Hamel moments after 1000 Islands scored
"He's my first guy out there working against penalties," Firriolo said of Hamel. "At the end, we're up with a two-goal lead with one minute left and he's the guy we want out there."
Besides his efforts to level the score at a goal apiece, Hamel, playing in just his second game with the team, was in on each of the Outlaws' four penalty kills.
"We've been getting a few new faces in and we're just going to keep getting better," Karasiewicz said. "We've been practicing and working everyday and guys just keep getting better and better."
In the final two minutes of the game, 1000 Islands pulled their goalie for a man advantage with little effect. And besides stopping 1000 Islands throughout the final two minutes, Williamsport also killed off its fourth power play in the period to keep a two-goal advantage.