Dominant 3rd Period Pushes Outlaws Past Muskies
In part one of a back to back against the Milwaukee Muskies, the Chicago Outlaws came out with a 20-13 win that was much closer than the final score suggests. Both teams battled for the full 60 minutes to claim the top spot in the GPBLL standings, but it was the Outlaws who were able to push ahead in the final frame and take the win.
After a hot start by the Outlaws, who found a 3-0 lead after netting 2 shorthanded goals, the Muskies bounced back quickly to tie the game at 6 before the first intermission. Throughout period two, the Outlaws and Muskies continued to trade blows, with the Muskies holding onto a 12-11 lead heading into the second intermission. It was the Muskies dominant performance at the faceoff X and time of possession through 40 minutes that gave them the upper hand. Through two periods, the Muskies sat at 17-26 on faceoffs, and spent much of the second period on the power-play.
The Outlaws came out firing on all cylinders from the second intermission and never seemed to take their foot off the gas. Despite struggling mightily through the first two periods, faceoff man Remy Giacotto went 9/10 in the third period, not losing a single faceoff until less than nine minutes remained in the game. This gave the Outlaws offense the spark they needed to get going and kept the defense fresh as the Muskies were outscored 9-1 in the final period. However, it was the goalie play that really kept this game out of reach, as Ben “Soup” Campbell racked up 16 saves and allowed a single goal in the third period.
Offensively, the Outlaws were led by stellar performances by Jack Moran and Jack Spallone, who each finished the game with 6 goals and 4 assists. Spallone showed his toughness in the final frame as he netted 5 of his 6 goals and added 1 assist. Geoff Harty (2g, 5a) and Bailey Smith (3g, 4a) also were key contributors on an offense that refused to quit against the physical defense of the Muskies, an attribute that the Outlaws roster seems to boast from top to bottom.
Despite the Outlaws scoring 20 goals, it was the defense that was the real key to victory. Their sturdy defense shut down the Muskies’ powerplay unit time and time again, as Alec Piironen scored shorthanded on two separate occasions. Even when down two men, the Outlaws forced the Muskies into turnovers consistently and showed their strength on defense. With stellar play from goalies Chris Smith (6ga, 13sv) and Campbell (7ga, 28sv), this team may be the toughest to score on in the GPBLL.