Outlaws beat Danbury
One night after getting burned on a shorthanded goal, Williamsport restored its power play killing confidence one period into the Saturday afternoon game at Airmen Pond at Bowman Field.
In the final five minutes of the opening period, Anthony Battaglia was called for hooking. The shorthanded Outlaws killed the power-play off and moments after re-entering the ice Battaglia scored.
His first effort, on a wide open net, connected with the far post, but his persistence with the play paid off as his second shot, from a much tougher angle, slipped through.
The Outlaws took advantage of the 2-goal lead at the first intermission and skated to a, 4-2, win over bitter rival Danbury.
“When you get a penalty you’re always looking for that breakaway pass out of the box,” Battaglia said. “It didn’t come on a breakaway it was a two on one, but I’ll take it.”
Chris Leveille nearly gave the Outlaws (18-2-3-13) a shorthanded goal when Battaglia was called for hooking. After intercepting a pass at center ice Leveille broke for the Danbury goal, but was stoned by Nick Neidert, who stopped 15 of 17 first period shots.
“We were concerned with what we’d be able to do today and we came out and we didn’t quit,” Outlaws coach Chris Firriolo said. “Danbury is a different team in their barn. Their crowd and environment help them, but here they are a different club.”
Martin Moucha was credited with the Outlaws first goal, which was scored just 61 seconds into the game. Moucha then assisted on a Jeff Winchester goal late in the second period to give the Outlaws a 3-2 advantage at the second intermission.
“The first goal is a nice boost it always gives you a lot of energy,” Leveille said. “We just kind of built off that.”
The Outlaws special team’s were put to the test in the second period with two penalties were called on them. The first was quickly killed off and Leveille nearly added a shorthanded goal twice on the second penalty.
But, as good as Leveille’s efforts were, Danbury (12-2-3-11) cashed in when Kamil Vavra broke through to pull the Whalers within 2-1 of tying.
“Friday we lost a game we should have won,” Firriolo said. “We didn’t shoot very well and just didn’t play very well. We let up a shothanded goal that really broke our backs and we couldn’t come back from it.”
The Outlaws gave up two shorthanded goals in their previous two games. The most recent of the two, a Tyler Noseworthy effort to help Danbury to a 3-2 win, proved costly as it ended the Outlaws four-game winning streak. The other came in the Outlaws 7-4 win over New York a day after hosting the FHL All-star game.
Saturday offered no reprieve as Max Mobley punched a second period shorthanded effort past Mike DiLorenzo. The shorthanded goal knotted the game at two-all midway through the second period.
“You win championships with defense,” Battaglia said. “Coach has been harping on us about it. And if we stay committed to it we’ll win the majority of our games left.”
It was all Williamsport the rest of the way as Winchester and Battaglia tallied the final two goal to secure the win.
Moments after Danbury pulled its goalie in hopes a late third period rush, Battaglia collected the puck at center ice and made good on the attempt.
“He’s a phenomenal player,” Firriolo said of Battaglia. “He’s a world class guy and world class athlete. He’s a leader and leads by example. Everybody respects him and he’s a huge asset to this hockey club.”