March 8, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI- Tuesday’s opening round matchup for the Vulcans was a tale of different periods. After being controlled for most of the first period the Vulcans turned around and did most of the controlling in the second before ultimately not having enough in the tank late in the third.
Ryan Lloyd almost played the perfect first period in net for the Vulcans having stopped shot after shot that included a five-minute major penalty kill. In a period that saw the Vulcans outplayed they came just 2.6 seconds away from taking a 0-0 tie into the first intermission. It was a broken play that had Metro State pick up a rebound and send it top shelf on Lloyd to break the scoreless tie.
Trailing after that period the Vulcans managed to take the momentum away early in the second with back-to-back power plays. At the 15:25 mark of the second period, just seconds after the power play ended, Brad Mitchell riffled a shot towards the net that was deflected of the stick of Alex Smith finding the back of the net to tie it up at 1-1.
Following that goal the Vulcans continued with the momentum taking charge of the second period play that began to get a little testy halfway through the period. Just after the halfway point the Vulcans were back on the penalty kill. Again this time they managed to kill of the man advantage behind some excellent penalty killing form Brady Dolan.
In this contest the Vulcans ended up on the good side of two plays blown dead, the second of which would have saw the Roadrunners on a short handed breakaway but an offside’s call saved the Vulcans.
Heading towards the end of the second period the Vulcans managed to pick back some of the momentum with two great opportunities by Bob Robison but was unable to cash in. Just like the first period it was Metro State that took advantage of an opportunity as they scored another crushing late period goal with 1:15 remaining to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
As the third period began the Vulcans were showing great promise and fire as Metro State looked to sit back and control the lead. That fire paid off at the 9:22 mark while on the power play when Mike Warner capitalized off a pass from Mitchell to tie it up at 2-2.
Even with the game back in their reach it was a Metro State team that kept finding a way to over power the Vulcans every time life was found. Only moments later the Roadrunners scored two goals just seconds apart to open up the games largest lead at 4-2. They would add an empty net goal to finish off the Vulcans 5-3 on the opening day.
Lloyd managed to stop 34 shots on the afternoon as Mitchell was named the Howies Hockey Tape Player of The Game for the Vulcans. Tomorrow the Vulcans will return to the ice in a must win game against top seed Oakland, who defeated Liberty 10-0 in their opening game. Puck drop is set for 7:45 pm and can be seen live at http://livestream.com/2016achad3nationalschannel2.
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