Posted on January 13, 2014 at 8:31 AM by Johnz
The Long Island Royals jumped up to fifth place in the Mullen Division after plowing through highs and lows to begin 2014. After a 5-1 home win against the New York Saints on Jan. 4, the Royals suffered a hard fought 7-6 shootout loss to the Brewster Bulldogs the next day. Long Island quickly bounced back from a 9-3 home loss to the Richmond Generals on Saturday when they traveled to Norwalk, Ct. and trounced the Oilers 8-3 on Sunday.
With an 18-12-3 record, Ken Hoey's squad has secured 39 points heading into its longest home stand of the season.
Matt O'Shaughnessy helped lead the Royals to a season sweep of the Saints with his third hat trick of the 2013-14 season. His goal at the 4:37 mark was the first of three Long Island scores in a six-minute span in the first period. Brandon McLennan capped the first period with his eight goal of the season and also assisted on O'Shaughnessy's final goal.
Sal Lauretta relieved Corey Cairo in goal midway through the second period, made 13 saves and allowed the only Saints goal to Saints forward Griffin Privitera early in the third period. Tyler Stark made 31 saves in the losing effort for New York.
The Royals traveled to Brewster early the following morning to face the Bulldogs for the second time this season. Chad Fasig was the hero for the Bulldogs, scoring for the second time in four games and handing the Royals their first shootout loss in more than a year.
Two scores by Bulldogs forward Christopher Hagan put the Royals in an early hole, but Long Island's top line capitalized on a power play when captain Anthony Koslow and O'Shaughnessy fed McLennan for a goal at the 10:50 mark of the second period that cut the deficit to 4-3.
Down by a single goal heading into the third period, Long Island tied the game at five on with a Joe Bonsignore wrist shot and took its first lead nearly 10 1/2 minutes later when Koslow sped down the ice and hit the back of the net. The Royals defense could not contain Cal Hynson however, as the Bulldogs' forward picked up a hat trick with just four seconds remaining to send the contest into overtime.
Fasig's goal ended a four-game overtime winning streak for the Royals that dated back to Oct. 19. Koslow had a season-high four points, while Cairo made 27 saves in regulation and overtime combined.
The Generals cooled down the Royals' offense Saturday, shutting them out until the third period when Chris DeAngelis fed McLennan down low for a power play goal. Seven different Generals scored on Cairo before Ian Wallace made his sixth appearance in net. Cairo faced a barrage of Generals shots over two periods and stopped a total of 34. Wallace played between the pipes the entire third period and made 10 saves of his own. Richmond had outshot Long Island 53-22 by the end of the contest.
Connecticut put up a fight early against the Royals and even took a 2-1 lead early in the second period. Long Island roared back with a four-goal scoring spree that began with Matt Araujo finding the back of the net on the Royals' fourth power play of the game. Araujo also assisted on O'Shaughnessy's first of two goals, which sailed up and over the right shoulder of Oilers goaltender Luiz Dibble.
Lauretta stopped 35 of the 38 shots he faced in his fifth start in net this season for the Royals.
Long Island will host the defending Keegan Cup Champion New Jersey Rockets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to kick off a five-game home stand. The Royals face off against the Hartford Wolfpack at 8:50 p.m. Saturday and Applecore at 2 p.m. Sunday at Dix Hills Ice Rink.