FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Another week, another weekend sweep for the Fayetteville Marksmen, winners of SEVEN-STRAIGHT contests, dating back to December 26’s battle against Roanoke.
The team is undoubtedly playing the best hockey it ever has, and some of the best that the entire league has seen all season long. With another weekend against Roanoke, you can only expect tight battles, and that’s exactly what it turned out to be once more.
Fayetteville would come away with another pair of one-goal wins, and continues their hot streak now with a home-game under their belt in 2019.
This is some of the most fun hockey that has ever been played in the All-American City, and streaks don’t just happen because of a lucky bounce, one specific player, or playing one team. Streaks like these happen because of investment in the culture of the organization, and a group of talented, tight-knit players on every line.
With another weekend sweep and more wins to their collection, here’s the most notable performances of the weekend. Our Three Stars of Week 13.
3. Tim Kielich, Forward
Winning games is, simply put, in the blood of rookie Tim Kielich.
Is it who he’s out there with? His positioning? Luck of the puck?
Or is it that Kielich just has a killer-instinct, and loves to strike at the biggest moment?
It’s tough to say exactly, but whatever the reasoning for it, Kielich leads the team in Game-Winning Goals (4), and is tied for second in the league in the category. In fact, HALF of Kielich’s goals have been the deciding-mark.
That, to say the least, is impressive. A quiet guy, who wouldn’t typically strike you as one of the hottest rookie goal-scorers, Kielich is your prototypical sniper. This exact situation presented itself once again for #11 on Saturday night.
In the final frame of a scoreless game, Kielich would receive a perfect-feed to the front of the net from Nolan Sheeran, and do what he’s done best all season long; put the game on ice. The goal sent the Crown Coliseum to an uproar, and gave the absolute final-push needed to take the Marksmen to the finish line.
It’s been said almost every week he’s been on this list since his first goal – not so surprisingly, a game-winner – against the Knoxville Ice Bears in November: all it took was one, and he’s carried the torch since then.
Especially against Roanoke, Kielich always finds a flair for the dramatic; don’t anticipate any less for him and the team this weekend.
2. Nolan Sheeran, Forward
Nolan Sheeran hasn’t had the flashiest Forward-stats, but his grit and effort every game cannot be overlooked. His statistical performances, however, have had serious impact.
Sheeran was fighting-through-the-thick in both games in a noticeably-impactful way, and in this weekend, his results showed. With a secondary-assist on Friday for the second goal, on the power play, he helped secure a successful night for the PP2 unit.
Saturday night was Sheeran’s moment of glory for the weekend, though. 50 minutes into the scoreless-affair, Nolan Sheeran would streak into the offensive end, fire a shot from the right-side, collect the rebound, and execute a perfect backhander to Tim Kielich, who did his part and put it away.
For his efforts, Sheeran earned the game’s third star, and with a two-point weekend, gets his name on the list as the second-star of the week.
High-pressure situations can cause those around them to respond in major ways. This is the exact occurrence that found its way, as Nolan Sheeran came up with the biggest play of the night to find its way for the win.
1. Nathan Perry, Goaltender
Nathan Perry has stepped up in a truly unexpected and essential way. The rookie goaltender had the ability to get up to game-form behind Dillon Kelley’s hot streak, and when it was his time to shine, he has absolutely absorbed the spotlight.
After an initially shaky-start in Pensacola the week prior, he was a game-changer this weekend, giving the Marksmen not just a chance to win, but giving them the win on both nights.
On Friday night against a motivated, hungry Roanoke team, Perry stood out for most of the night, with his goals-against coming from slight defensive-failures. With a 26-save performance, Perry was named first-star on the road in a 3-2 win.
Saturday night was nearly an exact replica of the team’s first-ever shutout just weeks prior, in what would be Perry’s first-career shutout. With a mostly defensive-struggle through most of the game, goaltenders shined in this one, as it would be a battle of two impressive netminders who were on. Kielich’s goal in the final minutes gave the Marksmen their necessary notch, and Ultimately, Perry would stop everything that came his way enroute to a 22-save shutout.
Perry’s first-career shutout would cap off a near-perfect debut weekend as the #1 goaltender for Fayetteville. It’s hard to not feel confident right now in the Marksmen situation; we saw a defensive-lapse on Friday, but Perry stood-out. The defense and goaltender were both on on Saturday, and it resulted in the THIRD shutout of the season for the team.
This is a young, hot team playing with a serious gelling. The ceiling is high for the team, and the full potentiometer isn’t even being reached yet from the team.
Going against Roanoke again this week, it’ll be a tough, tight contest as anticipated (five 1-goal games between the rivals this season), but with Perry confident and hot right now, and the team clicking, there’s reason to be excited.
The Marksmen are back home Saturday, January 19 for our Hometown Heroes/First Responders Night. Tickets are available now by calling the Marksmen office at (910) 321-0123 or clicking on the date above!
For more information on the night, head to our Facebook page and click on the event page.
If you’re interested in partnering up with the Marksmen organization, or hearing about our season ticket packages, group packages, mini-plans, or advertising benefits in-arena or with the broadcast, email Director of Digital Marketing and Media Shawn Bednard, SBednard@MarksmenHockey.com or call the Marksmen Office at (910) 321-0123.
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The Fayetteville Marksmen are owned and operated by Union Pro Hockey Group and play their home games at Crown Coliseum. The Marksmen are a committed community asset, designed to provide premium entertainment to families and individuals in Cumberland County and surrounding areas.