CIRIUS Fitness Ice Hockey had a loaded bench on Sunday night which led to a brilliant game-changing decision.
With 13 players on the ice, CIRIUS opted to roll three forward lines (Brunt-Noble-Johnson, Hanley-Pavlou-Meyers, Cirincione-Nill-Massel) by moving Chris Johnson up to forward. Eric Fischer's brother filled in for CIRIUS on the blue line, pairing up with Rob Susca. Eric and Ryan Nolan stayed as a pair as usual. Moving Chris up to George Noble's line added a lot of depth to the forwards which would ultimately be a critical part in the outcome of the game.
Will Hanley scored the first goal of the game on a nicely set up play by Keith Meyers and Mike Pavlou. The team led 1-0 for a short while but the opponent soon managed to score to tie the game. The next goal came minutes later and CIRIUS found themselves down 2-1 at the end of the second period. The offense was working hard but not getting the results on the scoreboard. Goaltender Jay Moye was keeping the boys in the game with some very solid play in net; coming up big when they needed him most.
In the third period, the decision to roll three lines paid off for CIRIUS. While the opposing team was slowing down, they took advantage of opportunities to score and the offense started to find its groove again.
Ryan Nolan took a shot from the point that was tipped by Joe Cirincione to tie the game. On that same shift, Eric Fischer put a blast from the point into the back of the net to take the lead 3-2. Minutes later, Chris Johnson had the puck down low, made a couple of quick moves and buried a shot for CIRIUS's fourth goal and his first as a forward this season.
Breaking in on a two-on-one, Mike Nill's pass to Joe Cirincione was blocked and the opponent quickly turned the play around which resulted in a goal making the score 4-3. The team was in need of another insurance goal and they needed it quickly to kill the other team's momentum.
Instead of one goal, they cashed in three. Chris Johnson scored twice which marked his first hat trick of the year, his first ever as a forward (in a CIRIUS sweater). In addition, Rob Susca scored on a high shot from the point which was his first goal of the season.
Six goals scored in the third period combined with more great goaltending from Jay Moye and CIRIUS had just captured its third straight win, and fifth of the season.
Chris Johnson was asked his move up to forward and the chemistry with his linemates George Noble and Justin Brunt...
"Playing forward for the first time this season started off as a challenge, because it's away from my natural comfort zone on defense. Having George and Justin- with whom I have tremendous chemistry off the ice- as my linemates really helped ease the transition. They're a pleasure to play with and we clicked more as the game went on. I was happy to be in the right place at the right time to cash in on some goals from their hard work. We just gotta stick to our game, give 110%, keep working hard, and even more success will come. "
Standing now at 5-2 (29 goals in their last three games), they will be back on the ice Wednesday night at 8:15 PM for Game 8 of this 2014 season.
2015 PLAYER STATS
2 – Chris Johnson
4 - George Fischer
5 – Joe Cirincione “A”
13 – Rob Susca "A"
19 – Brendan Keelen “C”
20 – Keith Meyers
21 – Dave Keelen
27 – Mike Pavlou
31 – Jay Moye - G
35 - Andrew Rammairone - G
42 – Eric Fischer
50 – Will Hanley “A”
52 – Scott Dinella
82 – Ryan Nolan
88 - Mike Nill
98 – George Noble