With infrequently used goalie Mark Zapson in net, Long Beach beat visiting Lynbrook, 5-2, last night, showing again how its league-best goals-against average is more than just the product of the play of their goalie.
"We have three goaltenders that I'm comfortable with right now, just look at our goals- against [average]," said Long Beach coach Joe Brand, whose team is 14-4-0. "We've been rotating them pretty steadily and I don't have a problem putting any one of them in any game."
Zapson made stops in critical moments throughout the game, including a flashy glove save in the second that preserved the Long Beach lead. However, a solid defensive effort in front of him that limited the Owls to only three shots in the first period and 21 in the game was crucial to Long Beach's win.
"Our defense played really well tonight," Long Beach defenseman Liam Pues said. "Our forechecking was good, we did a good job stopping them at the blue line and played well."
Pues did more than lead the effort that shut down the Lynbrook attack. He opened the scoring with 2:39 left in the first, taking the puck end-to-end, breezing past the Lynbrook defense and going to his backhand to beat Owls goalie Nick Korzevinski.
"Our guys just gave me the space to pick up speed and I finished it," Pues said.
Lynbrook (10-7-1) answered quickly on a rebound goal by Jonathan Kaszuba just 32 seconds later, but the Owls gave up the lead as Long Beach scored on a Jake Brown deflection near the end of the period.
Pues helped put Long Beach up 3-1 in the second when his hard slap shot from the blue line was deflected by JT Forkin into the back of the net.
Lynbrook came as close as 4-2 in the third, and was kept in the game by Korzevinski. The Owls' goalie made 31 saves and came up huge on a penalty shot late in the third, robbing Rob Delury with his left pad.
Delury later sealed the game for the Marines, scoring an empty-net goal with 18 seconds remaining.