Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography
For AIC, their start tonight had to be better than what they showed against Holy Cross. It was. They had to limit mistakes and be the team first group that plays to what they do well. They did. As a result of their efforts which resulted in a 5-0 score with 59 shots on net coming for the Yellow Jackets to a mere 16 shots on net for the Lions. AIC had more shots in one period than Lindenwood did all game. They got goals on five minute majors to Lindenwood, and did not let up. Alex Aslanidis got his first shutout as a Yellow Jacket and second in his career playing a superb game in limited action. Let’s look at how that consistency for the Yellow Jackets in the opener helped them get the win.
When the Yellow Jackets are at their best, they are consistent. If you did not have a line chart, you could not have told the casual fan which line was the first or fourth. All of them played hard and conistent throughout the game and did enough to earn the win. Nick Cardelli provided the first goal through traffic that got things going. His strong skating and integration to the everyman role for AIC has been a big thing for Head Coach Eric Lang, who pointed out the challenges Cardelli faced in returning to play. In net, while he did not see a lot of chances, Alex Aslanidis made every single stop and showed off his puck moving skills for AIC. Andrew Amousse got his first goal and leaped in to the boards to celebrate. All of this matters because these are the moments that will determine how far this team goes. On the night, Head Coach Eric Lang talked about these things.
He sad that Amousse earned time with strong practice and practice goals. In his second game he wants Andrew to work a bit more on his skating and consistency in practice but credits the big skater for working to earn more time. He played with Eric Otto and Reggie Millette because Lang wanted to pair him with “players who keep the game simple”. Lang knows his freshman has more work to do and is encouraged by his progress. Andrew also gets advice by AIC alum Chris Theodore on developing and improving his game. Tonight it paid off as he deposited the pass from Blake Bennett and immediately without much thought went to jump in the boards. Getting rookies to think less and play more to their skills is a critical part of Lang’s offense. N
Now we head to Sunday afternoon where a hungry group of the Lindenwood Lions will look to get points against AIC, if they do then the chances for AIC to get an at large bid drop more as they cannot afford non conference loses to a team that is expected to finish outside of tournament contention.
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