NASHVILLE – The Pope John Paull II hockey team made quite the statement in its playoff game against Indy-Summit on Monday Night, dropping the Eagles with a 9-4 win behind an offensive explosion.
Tommy Chunchukov had a hat trick and seven different Knights scored a goal in the dominating win.
“It came together pretty well,” JPII coach Justin Clark said. “We got off to a slow start, but we were dominating the play. The first shot they got went in on us, so we faced some adversity and we were able to battle back and get the win.
“Going in, our focus was defensive intensity. In playoff hockey, we’ve got to increase our work on the defensive end. I was happy with our effort tonight, but we still have some things to work on.”
Indy-Summit drew first blood on a goal from Zach Housholder for the early 1-0 lead, but JPII stormed back for the 2-1 advantage on goals from JT Ernst and Chunchukov.
In the second period, JPII really took off. Indy-Summit tallied two more goals, but the Knights added four thanks to a power play goal from Nathan Hollis, plus even-strength goals from Chunchukov, Connor Bennett and Kent Brooks.
Leading 6-3 in the third period, things started to get a little chippy. The intensity increased, and so did the amount and force of the hits. Clark was able to settle down his Knights team, and keep them from retaliating and out of the penalty box.
“An important part of playoff hockey is discipline,” Clark said. “We’ve got to maintain our discipline in order to win.”
In the third period, JPII added three more goals from captain Max Galpin, Dylan Guy and Chunchukov’s third of the night to finish off the 9-4 win. JPII’s next game will be a tougher challenge when the Knights take on No. 2 seed MBA on Wednesday night.
“It’s going to be a tougher challenge,” Clark said. “It’s only going to get more difficult, so we’ve got to take the things we do well and improve on them. It’s only going to get tougher going forward. We’re ready for the challenge and we’ll leave it all out there on the ice.”