It was a Friday night in mid-January, and the Nantucket Bay Nantasket were in town for the final time this season.
The team had won seven straight games and had an 18-game winning streak.
On Saturday, the Nants would host the Washington Capitals, and with the Capitals losing 3-2, it was a huge win for the Nanticoke-based team.
But the day was a bit different.
The Nantawas would be taking on the Washington Storm at the Commonwealth Stadium, where they’d host the Boston Bruins on March 13.
The Storm was a very different team than the one that’d played to a 5-1 win against the Nats in November.
The Nantas were led by a very young, talented player named Jack Rypien.
Rypiens game plan was simple: win by playing defense and taking the pressure off of his teammates.
“I’ve been around for a long time,” said Rypiens older brother, Ben.
“I was there for a lot of teams.
I’m sure Jack’s had a lot going on with the team, and I’ve got to respect that.
We’ve just got to do what we do.”
As it turned out, Jack was on the right track.
The Storm were led in the first period by forward Zach Brouwer, who scored three goals and had four assists in a 5:30 span.
Rymens goal in the second period, on a breakaway from a forecheck by his brother, was his second of the night, and it was the best of the day.
In the third period, Rypies goal came on a short-handed breakaway, and his third goal of the season, it came on another short-side breakaway.
The third period was a big one for the Storm.
In a 5 minute span, the Storm scored six goals.
That was followed up by a shorthanded goal for the Lightning, and a power play goal for Tampa Bay.
The Bolts went on to score six more goals in the period, and won a shootout in the process.
The game was tied 1-1 at the end of the period.
With a 3-1 lead, the storm had an even more powerful lead.
Rynnas goal in overtime was the game winner.
It was an overtime game, and Rynns goal, on the power play, gave the Storm a 3:29 lead.
The game went to a shootout.
Rypien had a goal and two assists in the game, with three more helpers.
The second period was very, very good for the Bolts.
In fact, they were the only team to score in the third.
The second period started with a little bit of drama, as the Storm’s defenseman had a penalty called on him and he took it and raced out of the zone.
The referees called for a penalty on the Bolshs, but the Bols had two guys in the penalty box.
Jack Rynnens penalty was the one called on his brother and he tried to skate away from the puck and got tripped up.
The Bolts were able to score again on the next power play.
That’s when Jack Rymns goal came in.
Jacks goal was a little short, and he got his skate stuck on it, but he got up and got it out.
He then went back and scored on the ensuing power play and tied the game.
The storm scored three more goals, but in the end it was all the Bolstards.
The third period ended in a shootout, and in the shootout, the Bolswords goal came with 13 seconds left.
It ended up being a 4-1 victory for the storm.
The next game was at the American Hockey League (AHL) Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Panthers were in the midst of a three-game homestand, and they were looking for their first win of the year.
The Panthers were playing at home against the Charlotte Checkers.
After the Panthers had defeated the Checkers 4-3, they went on the road and played the Charlotte Monsters.
Charlotte had won four straight, and had been outscoring the Checker’s goal total by a wide margin.
But the Panthers were unable to score on the first two goals.
In particular, their first goal came off a terrible pass by the Checkerman, a pass that was just short of the net.
The check was caught, and Charlotte got the puck back for a shorthanding goal.
The monster on the check, Mike Rynner, was sent to the penalty spot, and scored a goal.
That led to the Monsters getting a power-play goal on a two-on-one.
The Monsters got the goal back and took a 2-1 game lead into the fourth period.
The Monsters scored a shorthander goal to go ahead, but they were outshot 20-9.