Sharks started the new year by traveling up to Norwich, CT for 2 games vs the 2nd place Sea Captains.
Friday’s tilt saw the Sharks needing to shake off the rust from the break. After being out shot 17-8 in the first period the Sharks needed to rebound the next 40 minutes. Murakami made sure to make it easier for the players by stopping all shots in the 1st period. The new combo of Keller, Fitzpatrick, and Kretzschmer saw immediate success in the game. Fitzpatrick opened the scoring in the 2nd period with assists from Keller and Kretzschmer. Kretzschmer added his own goal minutes later with a great pass by Hopkins. Murakami stopped all shots in the 2nd period as well. Sharks had a 2-0 lead going into the final period when once again Kretzschmer found the back of the net for his 3rd point of the game. The final nail in the coffin for the Sea Captains was a goal by Keller, assisted by Kretzschmer, half was through the final period to extend the lead to 4-0. Murakami had a 56 save shutout in the win.
Saturday saw the Sharks return to Norwich for a late afternoon match. Just like the day before the 1st period went by with no team finding the back of the net. The 2nd period saw the Sharks end up in the penalty box 3 times and allowing Norwich to capitalize twice on the power play. Sea Captains took a 2-0 lead going into the final period. Dylan Harbour added a late power play goal in the 3rd period to cut the lead in half, with assists by Fisher and Slager. But with the Sharks pulling the goalie in the final minutes of play, the Sea Captains added the final goal to secure their win. Sharks lost 3-1 to split the weekend. Murakami made 28 saves in the loss.
Sharks return to play the weekend with 3 games. Friday they will be traveling to Danbury to face off against the Jr Hat Tricks. Saturday and Sunday the Sharks will be hosting the Sea Captains at Long Beach Municipal Arena. Saturday’s game starts at 5:00pm and Sunday’s start time is 2:30pm. All games will be streamed on HockeyTV.