National Collegiate Development Conference
The Detroit Fighting Irish rebounded from a Friday night 5-1 loss with a tremendous defensive effort by the team's defensive corps and Rookie Goaltender Jacob Anglin who earned his first career Junior victory in a 3-2 win over the Decatur Blaze. Leading the Irish on the offensive side of the puck was Richie Algood whom turned in a two goal performance including the game winner. The game was a see saw battle right from the drop of the puck in which both team's exchanged scoring opportunities only to be turned back by excellent goaltending by both Anglin and Decatur Goaltender Remy Champoux, at :1:54 of the 1st period Zach Perry banged home a Dalton Cummings rebound to put the Irish up 1-0 which held up through the remaining of the period
In the 2nd period the Detroiters found themselves on the power play however a miscommunication on the power play between the offense and defense found the always dangerous TJ Dougan on a breakaway and Dougan true to form pushed the puck passed Anglin to tie the score at 2:28 of the 2nd period. Just 30 seconds later the Irish would right the miscue when a perfectly scripted play resulted in a set up pass from Zack Perry to Conner Handy on the point whom placed a perfect pass to Richie Algood in position on the weak side whom buried the puck to put Detroit up 2-1 on the power play. For the rest of the period the two teams again exchanged scoring chances however once again goaltending and defence were the big factors as both sides game up big in the defensive category the 2nd period ended at 2-1.
In the 3rd period special team's were the theme as Detroit killed off 2 penalties first early in the period as Detroit went down on a 4 on 3 and shortly after a 2nd successful penalty kill Richie Allgood would strike again on a play set up by the tenacious forechecking of Dalton Cummings and heads up play by Zach Perry in which Allgood once again turned on the red- light for the Irish, however Decatur was not going just roll-over and quit and begin to put on an offensive push of their own however rookie Jacob Anglin made several big saves combined with the Irish defense whom were able to control the rebound. With just a little bit over 4 minutes left in the game Detroit found themselves in the penalty box down 5 on 3 when TJ Dougan struck again on the power play to put the Blaze within striking distance of the Irish with two minutes left in the game and Irish were still shorthanded. However the Irish penalty kill stood up to the test and turned away the balance of the Decatur power play and defensively controlled the zone to put the victory in the books.
Head Coach Pete Flynn in his post game comments praised his teams commitment to playing the defensive side of the puck and his defensive unit aggressive play in all zones in tonight's game. "We are a team that can compete every night we just need to have believe in ourselves and trust each-other"
Decatur and Detroit face off again tomorrow in the rubber match of the series at 4:00 pm at the Brownstown Sports Center a day which also is the final day for the teams annual Toys for Tots , Marine Corp Reserve toy drive. All fans whom bring a toy to the game for donation will receive free admission to the afternoon game. All toys collected will go to Children in need in the Downriver area
For more info on the Detroit Fighting Irish go to the teams website