Ice Breakers Fall to Wolves in Inaugural Game
By Jared Tennant
Mentor, OH - The Mentor Ice Breakers fell to the Watertown Wolves by a final score of 4-1 in the first game of franchise history on Saturday night in front of almost 1,200 fans at the Mentor Ice Arena.
As can be expected in the first game of the year, both clubs came out with a ton of energy. There were some big hits on both sides in what was an entertaining back-and-forth opening period. Ice Breakers netminder Matt Camilleri stopped all nine Wolves attempts in the first period in the first pro action of the 23 year old's career. Camilleri, a 6'1", 180 lb netminder out of Richmond Hill, Ontario, earned the right to start the Ice Breakers inaugural contest following a strong performance in tryouts and training camp. Midway through the first, Ice Breakers defenseman Brody Duncan got into it with Wolves blueliner Justin Coachman, energizing the building. Both players earned five minute majors for fighting. As the final seconds ticked away in the opening period, Michigan native James Kakos hit a bouncing puck past Karpinski for the first goal in Ice Breakers history. Alex Morrow and Adamo Asselin notched assists on the tally as Mentor would carry the 1-0 advantage into the first intermission.
Seven minutes into the second period, Watertown forward Tyler Gjurich put the Wolves on the board on the power play to tie the game at one goal apiece. The FHL's leading goal scorer from last season beat Camilleri from the left circle on assists from Gavin Yates and Anton Lennartsson. Under a minute later, the Wolves struck again with a goal from Josh Newberg for a 2-1 lead. Newburg beat Camilleri on the blocker side for his first goal of the young season. Later in the second, a hard hit from Duncan resulted in a scrum behind the Breakers net. Offsetting minors were handed out and Duncan received a five minute boarding penalty. Mentor's penalty kill unit recovered from a tough start to dig deep and kill off the entire five minute advantage. The two teams would head into the second break with Watertown on top, 2-1.
Just over a minute into the third, the Wolves extended their lead to 3-1 when Gjurich netted his second goal of the game. Overall, the Pennsylvania product posted a 2-1-3 scoring line after putting up 96 points (56-40-96) during Watertown's championship campaign last season. Yates finished out the scoring in the game when he scored at 8:03 of the third. Yates had a goal and an assist in the contest. Duncan, who has a 5'11", 180 lb frame showed his toughness again late in the third when he scrapped with Lennartsson, who stands at 6'5" and weighs in at 230 lbs. It was part of a huge brawl that featured three different fights. Lennartsson dished out a pair of helpers while Aleh Shypitsyn and Christian Whitcomb earned an assist each for the Wolves.
Camilleri stopped 18 of 22 shots, while Wolves goaltender Cody Karpinski halted 28 of 29 Mentor attempts, getting his first win of the season.
The Ice Breakers are back in action next weekend with a pair of Friday and Saturday night games against the Danville Dashers. They will get another crack at the Wolves on November 9 at Mentor Ice Arena. Tickets start at just $13 and are available online at www.mentoricebreakers.com/tickets.
Photo credit: Barry Booher of The News-Herald