Miami, Fla. – In their first pre-season game Saturday night, the Miami Manatees scored three unanswered goals in the third period to send the game to an overtime session. With sixteen seconds remaining in overtime, the Manatees won the game when Ryan Kiley let loose a slap shot from just inside the blue-line.
“I have no idea I scored, I didn’t even see it! I shot it between it the goalies legs, saw the net bounce, and when I heard everyone celebrating, it was than I knew it went in.” Kiley said.
The Manatees were down early in the game as the Loggerheads came out of the gates strong, scoring three unanswered goals before the Manatees were able to get on the board with fifteen seconds left in the first period.
“I told them to get back to the basics and get the momentum going back their way. Our defense struggled at times, and there were some instances that I had five forwards out there. I changed a few things up and kept certain guys on the ice to get some rhythm going.” Boyer said.
Trailing four to one in the second, the Manatees saw the momentum swing their way when Nick Smyth converted on a penalty shot by beating Lakeland goalie Carl Poissant high to the glove side. The penalty shot was awarded after the Loggerheads deliberately dislodged the net during a scramble in front of the goalie.
In the third period, Oak Hewer started the Manatees comeback by converting a two-on-one with Todd Nowicki, receiving the pass and beating the goalie stick side. With less than 3 minutes, Hewer got his second of three points on the night when he assisted on forward Matt Kohansky’s goal. With a little over a minute in the third, left wing Darcy Johnson found Oak Hewer in the front of the net, and Hewer’s shot beat the goalie stick side to send the game to overtime.
“I think the whole team played so well in the third, and it makes it easy to play when everyone is on the same page. I didn’t even see the first shot go in, and the second one was just on a great pass from Johnson. I was able to beat the goalie going the other way.” Hewer said.
“There was no panic from the guys tonight. They all played great and I am speechless with the team’s effort tonight, just speechless.” Boyer said.
The Miami Manatees will face off against the Alabama Slammers, Jacksonville Barracudas, Lakeland Loggerheads, Macon Trax, and Orlando Seals in the WHA2’s inaugural season. All games will be broadcast on www.irn.fm.
Season Tickets for the Miami Manatees are now on sale. For further information, please contact the Manatees at (305) 536-PUCK (7825) or visit www.miamimanatees.com.
What leagues did these guys play in as I've never heard of any of them. Is this league below or equal to the CHL (minor pro league)
The league is about a double AA quality level of play. A lot of these guys played Division 1 college or a few years in the minors (ECHL, UHL, WCHL, etc) Not too many players from Canadian juniors though (think there is 2 on our roster who played in the Q)