Adrian, Mich. — Strong goaltending and an effective power play helped the Adrian Bulldogs blank the Lake Forest Foresters, 4-0, for their second consecutive shutout.
“Our special teams were all good this weekend,” said Adrian coach Ron Fogarty. “Not only was our power play good, but our penalty kill was 100 percent on the weekend too.”
Offensively for Adrian, freshman Shelby Gray factored in on three of the Bulldogs’ four goals on the night, with two goals and an assist. A better showing from the previous night allowed the Foresters to keep the game closer, but a struggling penalty kill ended up being what hurt them the most.
“Our penalty kill struggled tonight” said Lake Forest coach Ryan McKelvie. “We gave up two five-on-three opportunities, and we cannot let that happen.”
Both teams came out strong at the start of the game, but it was the Bulldogs who struck first. Gray picked up his first of the night at the 15:53 mark of the first period when he beat Foresters goaltender Marc Stuart to the short side. The Foresters had the opportunities to tie the game up, but were unable to finish any scoring chances, a problem that has plagued them all season.
“Every game we have played well in so far this season, we’ve had opportunities to score but we are just unable to finish,” stated McKelvie. “It is early in the season however, so I think we will continue to improve and start to finish the opportunities we get.”
As the second period got underway, a pair of early Foresters penalties gave a dangerous Bulldogs power play a five-on-three opportunity. This opportunity would not be wasted, as Gray got his second goal of the night to put Adrian up 2-0. Gray took a pass from Chris Stansik and sent a laser on net that Stuart could not get a hold of.
In the third period, a pair of power-play goals pushed the Bulldogs lead up to 4-0. Freshman Justin Basso got the first goal of the period at the 10:43 mark when he redirected a Chris Stansik slap shot past Stuart. Another pair of Foresters penalties led to the final Bulldogs goal, as Jordan Watts scored just as time expired on the first Lake Forest penalty.
“Our power play had been struggling lately, so it was good to get it going today,” said Gray.
“Hamby played very well today,” said Ron Fogarty. “Our goalies are trusting our defense to cover the back door, and that allows them to worry about the shooter and cut down the angle.”
Offensively, the Bulldogs continued to enjoy balanced scoring from all aspects of the lineup.
“We are lucky to have all our players contributing,” said Fogarty. “A guy like Josh Cousineau had a great game, but did not make it onto the score sheet. Getting contributions from all our players allows us to get our top lines rest and not worry about using our third and fourth line.”
Adrian is back in action on November 26, as they face off with Wisconsin-Eau-Claire in the first game of the Bulldogs Thanksgiving tournament.
Lake Forest takes on St. Olaf next weekend at home, as they play host for a pair of games.