Published on February 11th, 2012 | by Vanderbilt Hockey0
Dominant Weekend Versus Bulldogs Highlighted By Strong Rookie Debuts
Senior captain and ACHA academic all-star english major Matt Kaminsky paints a literary picture of the Frozen ‘Dores weekend set versus the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Nashville, a pair of games that yielded two double-digit wins.
The evening was warm, unconventionally so, even for the Nashville natives familiar with their agreeable climate. And as the Commodores hit the ice, anxious for redemption after a tough loss to Florida just six days before, they realized quickly theyâ€™d have to fight the elements even on the frozen surface of Centennial Sportsplex’s Rink B with its choppy ice.
Thankfully the terrain did not stop the home team from finding the twine early and often in the opening game of a two-game set. Goals from Kaminsky, Weekes and Leeser made it 3-0 in favor of the â€˜Dores after 20 minutes of hockey.
The second period, however, yielded no goals for either team and unmotivated play from the Commodores, who held a noticeable advantage in both talent and discipline. After a fiery speech from assistant coach Jonathan Holston, the â€˜Dores put their skating legs back on and powered up with seven third period goals. Forward Evan â€œPenniesâ€ Sclafani sealed the deal with a top-shelf snipe to make it 10-0 in favor of the good guys when the buzzer sang itâ€™s final song.
On Saturday, even after the offensive juggernaut was on display just 24 hours before, the Commodores came to the rink with no preconceived notions, fully aware that â€œjust showing upâ€ was by no means a prerequisite to winning a hockey game against any opponent. They would have to go to work out there, and that they did.
Fueled by the debuts of rookies Zak Karlinski, Doug Kirkpatrick, Kyle MacDonald, Matt Joplin, and Patrick Brownfield, the boys in black came out flying. After one period, VU found itself in a familiar positionâ€”holding a comfortable 5-0 lead. Encouraged by the solid performance of goaltender Brenden, who pitched his first second shutout in three games, the â€˜Dores continued to light the lamp, powered by a few scrappy plays in front of the net from Karlinski, a few nifty feeds from Joplin, and a laser from the point from Kirkpatrick. Vandy went on to a 13-0 win to complete the weekend sweep.