The Squamish Wolf Pack snapped their five game losing streak at home last Saturday, downing the Ridge Meadows Flames 4-2.
It was the most goals the Wolf Pack has scored in a game, and Whistler players made a big contribution to the effort, with Brandon Combs notching his first goal of the season, and both Joshua Schaubroeck and Jesse Clemiss adding assists.
Goalie Graham Hallenbeck also put in another stellar performance between the pipes, allowing just two goals on 41 shots and only one of those goals at even strength. Predictably he was named the first star of the game.
The Wolf Pack still took far fewer shots than their opponents, firing 26 shots on net in three periods of hockey, but coach Matt Samson called it an improvement.
“Our first two goals were not pretty goals, just players putting the puck on the net,” he said. “When you do that good things happen, so our players need to shoot the more. We had 26 shots, which for us is an improvement definitely. We also allowed over 40 shots, and unfortunately that was an improvement too, but our goal is to get the number of shots under 35. We’ll definitely have more of a focus on the defensive end this weekend, and start scoring more.
“We have guys that can score, they know it and that they don’t have the numbers they’d like, but the coaching staff think it will come.”
Squamish was first on the board midway through the first period, with an unassisted goal by local player Hunter Nelson. Ridge Meadows answered back four minutes later. It stayed tied 1-1 until the end of the second period when the Wolf Pack’s Cory Sammartino scored, assisted by Michael Bosa.
The Wolf Pack turned up the intensity in the third period, with Brandon Combs scoring with eight minutes left to put the team up 3-1. Cole Nelson and Jesse Clemiss assisted.
Ridge Meadows scored a power play goal with six minutes left.
With less than one second on the clock, Tadz Brown scored the games final goal to put the Wolf Pack up 4-2, assisted by Whistler’s Joshua Schaubroeck.
“I think we came into it as a must-win game for us, against a team we could beat… at home,” said Samson. “I thought we were sluggish in the first period, but the players really stepped up in the second and third periods, and our goaltender played unbelievable. Right now he’s our best player. We also had contributions from guys we don’t expect to score goals for us, and it was great to have that momentum heading into the Thanksgiving break.”
The Wolf Pack’s next game is on the road, again facing the Ridge Meadow Flames.
“They’re going to be waiting for us with a chip on their shoulder, wanting to get a little revenge for beating them this week. I’m expecting a better game from them, and our guys are expecting it too.”
For team updates visit www.squamishwolfpack.com.