In an action-packed game, the Green Bay Gamblers were able to continue their perfect 3 start the season. Team USA were able to strike first through a goal by Conrad Fondrk at the 5:16 mark in the 1st period. The St. Paul native took advantage of a turnover in the neutral zone to lead a breakaway before scoring with a backhand. The Gamblers were able to respond eleven minutes later, at 16:15, when Landon Gunderson put home for his first goal of the season to even up the score 1-1.
Team USA then struck less than a minute later after from LJ Mooney found Landon Hefele unmarked for an easy goal at the 17 minute mark to take the lead. The Gamblers responded quickly. A backhanded pass by Jayson Shaugabay found Lev Katzin who scored a mere 22 seconds later. The Ontario native fired a shot through traffic into the five hole to score his second goal of the season, and to level the scoring once again at 2-2.
The Gamblers were able to take the lead midway through the second period with a goal by Blake Bechen at the 10:03 mark. Bechen deflected a shot from defenseman Garin Ludwig to get past the Team USA goalkeeper to take a 3-2 lead. A lead they would never relinquish.
Green Bay saw themselves to a very strong start to the third period with a goal at 1:33 by Bechen. The Iowa native took advantage of a Team USA turnover with a backhanded goal after receiving a pass from Ben Poitras. After killing off a 5-on-3 power play with five minutes to go, a goal by Libor Nemec would make it a 5-2 lead. The Slovakia native took advantage of a congested crease to score a rebound on the power play. Bechen wrapped up the scoring and completed his hat trick at the 19:00 on an empty net for a Gambler 6-2 victory. The Gamblers outshot Team USA 36, to 29, and were more clinical on their power plays scoring twice in five attempts, while Team USA failed to score in their four attempts.
Key Performances: Blake Bechen: 3 goals – Lev Katzin: 1 goal, 4 assists – Adam Gajan: 27 saves – Libor Nemec: 1 goal, 1 assist
The Gamblers return to play tonight night against the Team USA u18s, before coming home for the first time this season on Saturday, October 7th. Tickets for the home opener are on sale now at GamblersHockey.com.