BY JONATHAN SKUZA
GREECE, N.Y.– As a coach, you always look for a complete team effort to help break a winless streak.
Canandaigua did exactly that as Charlie Fuller and Matthew Ulrich combined for a shutout against Irondequoit, 14-0 to snap an eight-game winless streak and sweep the series Tuesday evening.
“It’s good,” Canandaigua’s head coach David Taft said of snapping the winless streak. “I thought we played well tonight. They’ll enjoy it because we needed one in the worst way but at this point in the year as you’re getting late coming into February time here, it’s always important to kind of continue looking at the next game.”
Fuller and Ulrich each played roughly half the game for the Braves on Tuesday.
“They’re both awesome kids and great goaltenders as well,” Taft said of his goaltenders’ performances. “I was happy to get Matty in there when I could and I talked to Charlie a little bit about that because I considered keeping him in there because he really hung tough. So I thought maybe he deserved it but, he said he couldn’t be happier to let Matty finish the game.”
The last Canandaigua win came against the Eagles on December 6 when the Braves bested them 5-2.
The Braves wasted no time getting on the board as Jacob Benne scored a minute into the contest. Josh Barnes added a second goal nearly two and a half minutes later to give Canandaigua an early 2-0 lead.
Maddox Smith scored a powerplay goal late in the first period to give the Braves a 3-0 lead with under three minutes to go. DJ Spychalski set up Smith on the man advantage marker. Dylan Green found the back of the net quickly for Canandaigua again as he scored 42 seconds after the Smith goal.
The Braves’ momentum continued into the second as Benne scored his second goal of the game 1:41 into the period. Alex Chen scored two straight goals within three minutes of each other as Canandaigua led 7-0 with more than half the period remaining.
Ulrich came into the game after the first Chen goal to finish out the game.
Ulrich’s time between the pipes was only the second time he saw game action this season. The freshman last saw game action on December 3rd when the Braves suffered an 11-3 loss. Ulrich played nearly eight minutes in the net.
Smith kept the scoring going in the second with his second of the game with a shot from the slot that was set up by Chen.
Thirty-three seconds after Smith’s second goal, Garrett Richards scored his first varsity goal with an assist from Benne. The Braves led 9-0 after two periods of play.
The third period saw the same fortunate for Canandaigua as they scored another five goals in the final period. Spychalski found himself in the goal column with a goal just over a minute into the third.
Benne picked up a hat trick and his fourth point of the night with a goal a minute later. Smith also tallied a hat trick two minutes after Benne to make it 12-0.
Arthur Fuller scored his first varsity goal as well for the Braves when he ripped a shot from the slot with under six minutes to go in the game.
“It’s awesome,” Taft said of Richard’s and Fuller’s first varsity goals. “You never want to concern yourself too much with the stats. The first career varsity goal is always pretty special. The best part about it is sometimes seeing your teammates get more excited than the kid who scores their first one. That’s kind of my favorite part. Brings the team together which is always nice.”
Barnes found twine for the second time 75 seconds after Fuller’s first varsity marker to make it 14-0.
Tuesday’s contest only saw three penalties called. Canandaigua connected on its only chance in the game while Irondequoit went 0-2 with the man advantage.
Canandaigua (3-9-2) has a quick turnaround as the Braves will take on Webster Thomas at home on January 25.
Irondequoit (0-14-0) will continue its home stand when they welcome the WFL Panthers on January 28.