Photo Credit:Charlotte Rush
This weekend, the Columbia Infantry battled the Florida Junior Blades on the road. The Elite team picked up the first win , first sweep, and four crucial points in the standings. The Premier team played a better game on Sunday and got their first point in an overtime loss after having a lead for most of the game. The teams both had a better weekend than they did against the Rush in their opener. Head Coach Jacob Smulevitch saw some marked improvement in both teams, and took the time to praise goaltender Ben Norton for the premier group.
Despite losing in overtime, he made at least 40 saves. The Doncaster, Great Britain native adjusted well and battled in his first junior hockey start.
Smulevitch said “ I thought that elite was unbelievable this weekend. They really bought into what we’ve been teaching and had a ton of energy throughout the weekend. They deserved to win both games and I think set themselves up well heading into the showcase, but now they need to prove that they can do it consistently.
I thought the premier team was night and day different from our effort on Saturday. I thought our best players such as Fisher and Ignatov really showed up and performed. I’m very proud of the way Ben played in his first junior start.. I know that he probably wants a few of those goals back but he also made a number of great saves.
Moral victories are hard to swallow but earning a point was encouraging for our premier team as we do fully believe that we have a great and very talented group. We fully expect to be in the thick of the playoff race and for us we just want to keep getting better each day.”
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