A physical start to Wednesday night’s game against St. Thomas got both the players and fans into the game early on. St. Thomas opened the scoring with a goal by Jake Robinson deep in the Nationals zone at 7:34. A great scoring opportunity for the Nationals drew a 5-minute major and game misconduct for checking from behind by Jake Robinson at 11:48. Less than a minute into the power play, the Nationals received a cross-checking penalty to make it 4-on-4. St. Thomas scored with just five seconds remaining gave them a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.
The Nationals came out fast in the second period eager for a comeback. St. Thomas got into some penalty trouble allowing the Nationals to put on some sustained pressure however they were unable to capitalize. A beautiful pass from the goal line by Cal Davis to Christain Polillo put the Nationals on the board at 12:31. Just under a minute and a half later, Austin Jeffers with a shot from the point tied the game. The Nationals continued to put on pressure deep in the St. Thomas zone drawing a penalty at 15:31. On the power play, Zack Sheedy scored the go-ahead goal from the top of the circle.
The Nationals got into some penalty trouble in the third period resulting in some great scoring chances by St. Thomas but the Nationals were able to keep the puck out of their net. Brett Harrison of the Nationals tipped in Wes Dobbin’s shot to make the score 4-2 at 13:32. James Turner scored an empty net goal with just over two minutes left in the game to ensure the win of the first win in the seven-game series.
Game two of the series is this Friday, February 29th in St. Thomas. The Nationals will return home for game three on Saturday at 7:30 pm.