MOLINE, Ill. — The Quad City Storm took to heart the old adage of Wayne Gretzky about missing shots you don’t take, as they took plenty of shots against the Vermilion County Bobcats on Saturday night. In a 3-2 win for Quad City, the newest SPHL team in Illinois faced off against the team that most recently held that title, with a test of the goalies in order.
The Storm looked very much like a team that had been on the road overnight after a game for the first ten minutes or so of the first period, Vermilion County having possession for most of the first half of the first period. The energy shifted, however, when Carter Shinkaruk scored his first goal of the season just under 11 minutes into the opening frame. All but one of the goals of the game would be scored in the next three minutes, as the teams traded possessions and both looked better than the two latest NHL expansion teams have this season.
The Storm finished the game with 52 shots on goal, peppering Vermilion Country goaltender Chase Perry throughout. With that many shots on goal, one might expect there to be more goals scored by Quad City, but their one-timers lacked the direction to find the back of the net.
“That’s the way we play,” said Quad City head coach Dave Pszenyczny, “We want to possess the puck, obviously get shots. That team’s a good team over there. I think everybody has misconceptions about expansion teams and they’re very well-coached, the coach is very good, and it’s only a matter of time.”
Just three years ago, Quad City was the expansion team in the league, so Coach Pszenyczny and the rest of the original team know what it’s like to start from ground zero. One could ask if Vermilion County had the advantage since they had yet to play a game while Quad City already had three under their belt, or if the Bobcats were the fresher team for not having to travel the night before after a game. Vermilion County played much better in their first game than one would expect, after having their training camp delayed and the first two games of the season canceled due to ice conditions. The Bobcats had more efficiency with their shots on goal Saturday, but quantity is better than quality.
The Storm also got goals from Taylor Pryce and Michael Moran with the Bobcats netting scores from Zach White and Dakota Ulmer.
The Storm improved in one area since last weekend, and that was in avoiding trips to the penalty box. While the Storm took seven penalties last Saturday before losing in overtime to Evansville, they only took two penalties through the night against Vermilion County last night. Fewer penalties mean fewer penalty kills and less opportunity for the other team to score, and it gave the Storm the lead and the ability to hold on to that lead. “It was a weird game in the sense with all the shots, still a few things that the coaching staff weren’t very happy with, but at the end of the day a win’s a win.”
Follow @FPHStorm on Twitter for the latest news and in-game coverage of the Quad City Storm.
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