The Bombers host the Arizona Redhawks (6-3) this weekend, at Glacial Garden Skating Arena. Long Beach is coming off a three-game series in Park City, UT against the Park City Moose. The Bombers took two of three from the Moose, on their first long road trip of the young season. Friday night was a 4-3 loss. Head Coach Chris White explained, “We came out a little flat on Friday, and spent far too much time in the penalty box. We made our push too late, and didn’t deserve a win.” Pat Acosta netted his first career goal for the Bombers, and defenseman Roman Li added two assists on the evening.
Saturday night, the Bombers earned their second win of the season, with a 5-1 final. Coach White noted, “Saturday was a very strong effort. The game got a little chippy, but rookie goaltender Andrew Freeman gave a very strong effort for his first career victory.” Linemates Stephen White & Robby Johnson combined for three goals & 2 assists in the win. Darren Chavez recorded is his first career goal, while rookies David Shaby & Alex Muse dished out their first career assists.
Sunday, the Bombers looked to finish the series with another victory, before hopping on the bus back to Long Beach. They did just that, with a 7-4 win. Coach White said, “The final game of the series started slow for us, but a great second period paved the way for another win. Our special teams really took the game over. Our power play went 3-for-8 and our penalty kill did not allow a goal on 5 chances for the Moose. We changed up our power play units, heading into the weekend, and it really paid off (7 PPG in 3 Gms). We killed off a five-minute major, and a couple 5-on-3′s, as part of our 23-for-23 penalty killing effort. A few of the Bombers earned their first career points (Acosta, Muse, & Shaby), along with Acosta, Chavez, & G. Laporte scoring their first career goals. More importantly, our top line of Robby Johnson, Eric Laporte, & Stephen White really stepped up. They created opportunities all weekend, and were rewarded in the boxscores.”
Since giving up a power play goal with 1:14 remaining, in a one-goal road loss to the Valencia Flyers on October 14, the Bombers have killed-off 30 straight penalties. On the other side, the Bombers opened the season 0-for-22 on the power play, in their first four games. However, the Bombers caught fire in Park City, as they went 7-for-20 (35%) in the series.
The Bombers (3-4) will, again, look to their top line of Robby Johnson (3G, 6A), Eric Laporte (4G, 6A), & team point leader Stephen White (8G, 3A) to get them above the .500 mark for the season.
Thus far, the Arizona Redhawks have swept the Dallas Snipers, in Dallas, taken 2-of-3 from the New Mexico Renegades, and picked up one victory in a three-game series with the San Diego Gulls. Forward Theodore Campe has 9 goals in 9 games, along with 7 helpers. Goaltender Max Schanza has recorded 5 wins in 6 starts. Defenseman Devin Smith is on a point-per-game clip through 9 games, with 3 goals & 6 assists.