NASHVILLE – In a battle of two of the top four teams in the Greater Nashville Area Scholastic Hockey league, the Brentwood Bruins and Hendersonville/Station Camp Commandos battled to a 1-1 tie Wednesday night at Centennial Sportsplex.
“Both teams are at the upper-end of the standings and they have a lot of seniors,” Brentwood coach Chris Orem said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game and I had to shorten my bench. I thought we controlled play pretty well, we just had some moments where we made some mistakes.”
“I thought it was a great game and it was fun to coach,” HHS coach Tim Rathert said. “Of course, you always want to win, but I thought it was a great game and our kids played really well. I don’t walk away from that disappointed at all. I’ll take those games every week out.”
The first period was a back-and-fourth battle with each team finding its fair share of scoring chances. Benjamin Wallace had the goal for Brentwood, assisted by Nathaniel Biron and Cole Hendry; while Colson Leonard got Hendersonville on the board, assisted by Blake Fuqua.
Tied 1-1 early in the second period, both goaltenders stepped up and kept their respective teams in the game. Hendersonville’s Brandon Shaw and Brentwood’s Ryan Bobrow each made multiple saves in the crease and turned away several desperation slap shots.
“Bobrow made some good saves when we put him in a bad position,” Orem said. “He did that all of last year too. He’s one of our seniors and part of our problem this season is we rely too much on him. We do take some chances that end up being scoring chances the other way.”
Bobrow stopped 22 of 23 shots – a .957 save percent, while Shaw stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced – a .958 save percent.
“I wanted the kids to just get pucks on net,” Rathert said. “Bob played really, really well for them tonight. He made some point-blank saves that were just outstanding. Brentwood got some good shots on Brandon and he did a good job of stopping those as well. I thought Brandon played great. It was a great goaltending battle.”
In the third period, both teams had to rely on their special teams. Hendersonville shut down a Brentwood power play at 13:09, followed by a successful penalty kill for the Bruins two minutes later. Neither team found the back of the net the rest of the game, settling for the 1-1 tie.
“With as many new faces as we have, this is (game is) a confidence booster,” Orem said. “I have about 12 guys in there that it’s the first time they’ve seen a team like that in this league. For us to hang, it is definitely a confidence booster.”
“We’ve played a lot of easy games for us early on in the season,” Rathert added. “Brentwood is a real competitive game, and we had a real competitive game last Friday against MBA, so we’re playing some really strong challenges and we needed that. I hope we see them again and I look forward to getting to play them again.
“When we have good competition, it’s easier to define the things we need to work on. It really forces you to work on creating offense in a game like this. Brentwood is a great team, they play great team defense and that makes us work for everything we get.”
Brentwood will return to the ice on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 8:15 p.m. against Mt. Juliet at Ford Ice Center, while Hendersonville/Station Camp will play the Tennessee Outlaws at 8:40 p.m. at Centennial Sportsplex.
Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @mpatrickg5