The Williamsport Outlaws didn't shy away from their subpar performance against the Danbury Whalers on Thursday night. In fact, they owned it.
The Outlaws received a second chance against the Whalers on Friday night at Airmen Pond at Bowman Field and despite losing their starting goalie in the second period to injury and playing through a nuisance rain, Williamsport delivered a much better showing and defeated the Whalers, 7-1.
"We played a bad game (Friday night) and I told the guys in the morning it's time to wake up and a sign of a good hockey club is one that rebounds," said Williamsport coach Chris Firriolo, whose team beat Danbury in regulation for the first time this season. "We answered the bell tonight and played a great game for 60 minutes."
Rob Sich scored four goals, Chris Leveille added two goals and three assists and Jeff Winchester had five assists
"We got some guys who can put the puck in the net, so it's not a very hard job to get those guys like Rob Sich and Matthew (Smyth)...," said Winchester, who has 21 assists this season in 14 games. "It makes my job a lot easier when I can find those guys and they're scoring at will right now."
It was Sich's second four-goal game of the season. The Outlaws' top scorer, who also leads the FHL with 25 goals, had four goals in an 8-1 win over 1000 Islands on Nov. 24.
Sich showcased his hand eye coordination and soft hands, two traits that make him a classic goal scorer, in the first period when he took a puck out of mid-air and shot it past Nick Niedert for the game's first goal.
A second Sich goal gave the Outlaws a 2-0 lead in the second period, but Danbury had a golden opportunity to cut the lead in half when they received a 5-on-3. The Outlaws killed the 26 seconds of the 5-on-3 and received an added lift when Martin Moucha scored a short-handed goal when the Outlaws were down just a man.
Danbury did score on the power play 27 seconds later, but Williamsport closed the game with four consecutive goals and secured its 11th win of the season.
The power-play goal by Mike Atkinson was the lone goal allowed by Williamsport starting goalie Chris Whitley before he left the game after aggravating his groin. Whitley stopped 20 of 21 shots before hurting himself after making a save midway through the second period. He went to the bench and the game was delayed, but when it resumed Michael DiLorenzo entered.
DiLorenzo has struggled in his five appearances this year with an 0-2 record and 5.47 goals against average. He was perfect last night, however, stopping all 25 shots he faced and allowing his team to grow their lead.
DiLorenzo is expected to start again tonight against 1000 Islands.
"He just wants another chance and he's hungry," said Firriolo. "I have confidence in him and we just need to get him some confidence. He's a good goaltender and I think he can help us win on any given night."
The game was played despite the rainy weather. Firriolo told his players to expect to play throughout the day unless torrential rains came. The precipitation was light through the first period but did pick up through the second and the remainder of the game. Firriolo credited equipment manager Kevin Puentes for drying the players' gloves and jerseys in between periods trying to keep them as comfortable as possible in the miserable conditions.