Playing in front of their home crowd at Marineris, the Moles provided a balanced attack that blanked Khimik 2 – 0 and moved the Moles to the top of the standings alongside the Cosmonauts.
Despite Khimik having more scoring chances, goalie Sam Bailey was lights out again making 17 saves to record the shutout. It was his first of the second exhibition round and so far in three matches, Bailey has a sparking goals against average (GAA) of 1.00.
“Bailey is our rock”, said Moles Captain Janice Campbell. “He led the first round with 3 shutouts, so we’re no stranger to his brilliance.”
Asked if he had extra motivation to shine in front of his home colony, Bailey replied, “Actually, I was a bit nervous in the home opener when we lost to the Cosmonauts. So this time, I was able to relax and just play my game. Also props to my teammates for their solid defense once again.”
That defense was anchored by Kara Okeke, Vicky Li and Laura Hall as they fore-checked, trapped, and steered away a number of Khimik chances to support Bailey’s shutout.
The first goal of the game occurred at 7:28 of the first period as Hall drew two defenders her way and then spun around with a backhanded pass down towards a streaking Campbell for the breakaway. Campbell deked left and then shot right as goalie Veronica Danilenko was caught off guard.
1 – 0 Moles.
The follow-up was delivered in the second period at 9:40 as Hall skated behind the Khimik net drawing attention from the defenders and then throwing it in front to a ready Campbell who fired the puck past Danilenko.
Moles 2 – Khimik 0.
And with a comfortable lead heading into the third period, the Moles, again, pulled together a brilliant defense to frustrate a pressing Khimik into three straight penalties. Khimik was forced to exhaust all their energy killing the penalties, leaving little else for offensive plays.
“Laura just makes it so easy for me. It’s like she has eyes in the back of her head,” said Campbell. “From her to Bailey’s brilliance to our defenders’ strong play, I’m really proud of everyone’s overall effort. Now we need to bring that against the Cosmonauts next week.”
And it was the Cosmonauts who handed the Moles their only loss in this second exhibition round – in Marineris no less! Will the Fedin sisters shine again in their home rink at Noviymir? Or will the Dynamic Duo of Hall and Campbell prevail? We’ll find out next week.