The Fighting Spirit went 2-1 over the weekend at their second of three league wide showcases. Held at the Conway Arena in Nashua, NH the Fighting Spirit took on Western Conference opponents the Syracuse Stampede, Wilkes Barre Miners, and the league leading Jersey Shore Wildcats.
Friday afternoon saw the Spirit play host to the Syracuse Stampede. After a scoreless first period Fighting Spirit Captain Alex Peddle got the scoring started by putting home a loose puck in front of the net on the power play. Mike Heffernan would add two more goals in the game to secure the 3-0 victory over the Stampede. Goalie Adam Higdon was perfect in net stopping all 25 shots he faced.
Saturday's contest pitted the Fighting Spirit against the Wilkes Barre Miners and saw the Spirit come away with a 4-3 victory. The Fighting Spirit found themselves in a hole as they were down 2-0 to the Miners. Once again Alex Peddle started the scoring for the Spirit as he took a feed from teammate Mike Heffernan and masterfully deked his way to the net before beating Miners goalie to bring the score within one. Captain Mike Callaghan knotted the score at 2 merely 6 minutes later as he slid the puck underneath the scrambling Miners goaltender. Wilkes Barre would add one more tally before the second period was over taking the lead 3-2. The Fighting Spirit played an inspired third period and were rewarded when forward Nick Pino fought his way to the Miners net and let a backhand shot go that beat the net minder far side and in. It was only 3 minutes later that forward Brett Bittner scored the game winner as he took a pass from the corner and one timed it home. Goalie Claes Endre was solid in net for the Spirit as he stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced including multiple big saves late as the Miners pushed to tie the score.
Sunday morning put the two top teams in the NA3EHL on the rink against one another as the Fighting Spirit took on the Jersey Shore Wildcats. In what proved to be a back and forth affair it was the Wildcats that would squeak out the victory and remain perfect on the season. Both teams had their opportunities on the power play but were unable to solve one another's defense as the Wildcats went 0 for 6 on the PP while the Spirit were 0 for 8. With 1:21 left in the game the Wildcats took the lead on a great individual effort and long range shot the surprised Spirit goalie Claes Endre. The Spirit were able to add an extra attacker as they pulled their goalie in the final minute but were unable to tie the score. Endre stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced while the Jersey Shore net minder was perfect stopping all 24 shots the Spirit took.
The Fighting Spirit are back in action this weekend as they take on the East Coast Minutemen Sunday November 16th at the Laconia Ice Arena. Pregame begins at 1:45pm with puck drop at 2pm. The Spirit will also host the Minutemen at the Laconia Ice Arena on Wednesday November 19th with pregame kicking off at 6:15. For up to date information on the Spirit and their schedule visit their website at www.fightingspirithockey.com
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