Comeback Kids Published on 10/1/2012 1:43:00 PM
Flyers sweep Ogden behind three strong third periods
After opening the previous two seasons by getting swept on the road, the Valencia Flyers put together a sweep of their own in Ogden, Utah, opening the 2012-2013 season in fine fashion.
Making their first-ever trip to the city of Ogden, located approximately 30 miles north of Salt Lake City, the Flyers knew the Mustangs team they would see would be vastly different than the one they swept over three games in Valencia back in January.
Both teams have recruited well over the summer and expected to be true contenders in their respective divisions and it showed over a hard-fought series, in three close games.
In the opening game of the season, the Mustangs were fired up thanks to a big home crowd and came out flying in the opening period, putting the road weary Flyers on their heels early. Slovakian forward Christian Kraus, who was Ogden’s best player for most of the weekend, scored the first goal of the season 10:42 into the opening frame and handed the ‘Stangs a 1-0 lead.
The teams traded power play goals in the second, as Philip Zubenko knotted the game at one for the Flyers but just a couple minutes later, the Mustangs’ top returner Kody Rodriguez scored and handed Ogden the 2-1 lead heading into the locker room.
Flyers head coach Jocelyn Langlois must have made some key adjustments in the second intermission, as the Flyers came out determined and thoroughly dominated the period. Lakoda Coleman’s first of the year, 2:22 into the third, was enough to send the contest into overtime, as both goaltenders played well in the period.
After the five minute extra frame proved nothing, the two teams went to a five-man shootout, where veteran goaltender Stephen Palmer stole the show.
The third-year netminder looked like his old self, stopping all three Ogden chances, while three of the four Flyers shooters found twine, sending Valencia to a big 3-2 win.
Game two was a lot more wide-open, which played nicely into the hands of the handful of European import players on each roster.
The Flyers got two goals from a pair of Swedes (Zubenko and Viktor Hook) and two from Russians (Kevin Antipov and Dmitriy Dementev), while the Mustangs received a goal each from Matic Ovsenar (Slovenia) and Bobby Chamberlain (Great Britain.)
In the end, Dementev’s goal, coming off of a turnover with 1:07 left in regulation, lifted the Flyers to a 4-3 victory.
In the finale, Ogden was able to open-up the only two-goal lead of the entire weekend and held onto it going into the third period.
Again however, the Flyers were able to make some changes and carried the play over the final 20 minutes of regulation.
Down 3-1 heading in, the Flyers struck four times in the period, including two by forward Austin Ehrlich, who completed his hat-trick and led the Flyers to the 5-3 victory and sweep of Ogden for the second consecutive season.
In all, Ehrlich and Antipov led the team with six points each over the three-game span. His top players played well but Langlois has to be happy with the depth his team showcased as well, as 12 different skaters recorded at least one point.
Behind a rebuilt defensive group, goaltender Stephen Palmer looked routinely fantastic in net, playing every minute of hockey over the weekend, while going 3-0-0 and stopping 101 of 108 Ogden shots.
This weekend, your undefeated Flyers are back in sunny southern California, where they will play Friday at the Long Beach Bombers (7:40 PM) and Saturday at the first-year Ontario Avalanche (8:15 PM.)
The home opener is scheduled for Friday October 5 at 7:15 pm, where the Flyers will welcome in the rival Bombers on FREE magnet schedule night at Ice Station Valencia, with tickets start at just $5!