By Matt Robinson/Valencia Flyers Junior A Hockey 1/27/2014 1300 EST
The Valencia Flyers once again established that they are capable of challenging for a spot in the Throne Cup tournament once again over the weekend with a three game sweep of the Missoula Maulers.
The Flyers started out the weekend with a tough fought 3-2 victory over the Maulers.
Valencia started the scoring in the game when Zach Paxman ripped a wrist shot from the top of the circles over the glove hand of the Maulers goaltender 2:37 into the second period.
Missoula would even the game a little less than 5 minutes later on a see-and-eye point shot that found its way past Luke Thompson.
Flyers Captain Austin Ehrlich would give his team a 2-1 lead with 5 minutes remaining in the second after a nice setup by Jakob Kranabetter and Zach Paxman.
The Maulers got a lucky bounce to open the third period as Austin Azzinaro’s point shot, which was going wide, hit Flyers defenseman Dillon Thomas’s stick and deflected by Thompson, evening the game at 2-2.
The Flyers would regain the lead with just over three minutes remaining in the game when Adam Papayoanou passed a puck out from behind the Maulers net to Luc Whyte, whose turnaround shot bounced off the Maulers goaltender right to Jared Waldman, who made no mistake and put the puck in the back, giving the Flyers the 3-2 victory.
Luke Thompson played strong in net for the Flyers, picking up his third victory of the season, stopping 28 of 30 shots in the win.
Saturday would start out with the Flyers scoring first once again, something they did in all three games over the weekend. Jakob Kranabetter would find the net for his 6th goal of the season.
The Maulers would even the game late in the first period, but the Flyers would once again take the lead 2-1 on a Luc Whyte goal that would stand up as the game winner. The Flyers Jared Waldman would net his second of the weekend just for good measure, sealing up the victory 3-1.
Mark Becica stopped 22 of 23 shots in the game and picked up his 15th victory of the season.
Sunday was the most lopsided game of the weekend as the Flyers controlled the game early, using their speed to give the Maulers problems. Wil Barnett would deflect a shot from Wade Wylie home in the first to give the Flyers a 1-0 with just over 6 minutes remaining in the period.
The Flyers would eventually extend the lead out to 3-0 after Nik Giers and Jakob Kranabetter added early goals in the second period. Missoula would close the gap to 3-1 and 4-2, but that is as close as they would get as the Flyers would eventually take home the victory 6-3. Paxman, Giers and Blake Aguilar would all net goals in the victory as well. Luke Thompson picked up his second victory of the weekend and improved to 4-2-0 on the seasond.
This weekend the Flyers host Texas in a three game series at ice station. Fridays game is a 7:05PM start time, with Saturday starting at 7:15PM and Sunday at 1:00PM.
Notes: Jakob Kranabetter had at least one point in all three games over the weekend, extending his point streak to 9 games (6G, 6A, 12PTS). Austin Ehrlich is now 3rd on the Flyers all-time goals, assist, and points lists with 72G, 91A, 163PTS. Jared Waldman and Luc Whyte currently have 5 and 4 games point streaks.
Matt Robinson is the Play-by-Play Voice of the Valencia Flyers. In addition, Matt also handles the Valencia Flyers Social Media accounts, produces stories and content for valenciaflyers.net and does Play-by-Play for College of the Canyons Ice Hockey.