WEST SALEM — Senior forward Taylor Trapp caught a pass in the slot late in the second period and in the blink of an eye was celebrating his second goal of the day.
West Salem/Bangor’s leading scorer used a couple of quick moves before slipping the puck past Aquinas co-op goalie Gunnar Markgren on the backhand to put the Panthers in complete control entering the final period of play.
The Panthers used that momentum to spark a four-goal third period in a 9-1 nonconference victory Saturday afternoon over the Avalanche.
“We have a really deep team,” said Trapp, who scored three goals Saturday for his second hat trick of the season. “We have 12 seniors, so we’ve grown up together all our lives. We have a lot of good chemistry.”
The chemistry was evident Saturday as the Panthers (5-1) scored eight goals in the second and third periods combined to run away with the victory after leading 1-0 after the first.
“We tried to slow things down a little and focus up,” said Trapp, who leads the Panthers with 12 goals this season. “We know we have the skill, so we know the (offense) will come eventually if we relax.”
Dylan Campbell scored 40 seconds into the second period to stretch the Panthers’ lead to 2-0, and Hunter Priebe scored less than three minutes later to spark the four-goal second period.
“We like to apply pressure,” Panthers coach Bob Monroe said. “If we create opportunities for shots then we’re happy with that, but pressure in the offensive zone is what we’re after.”
The Panthers were able to generate plenty of pressure and plenty of shots. West Salem/Bangor finished with 55 shots while the Aquinas co-op (1-4) threw 20 shots on net. Panthers goalie Julian Grosskopf had 19 saves and Markgren had 38. Noah Snyder finished out the third period for the Avalanche and made eight saves on nine shots.
“We just like to put the puck on net and create opportunities,” said Panthers sophomore Bailey Martin, who scored his ninth goal of the season on a breakaway in the third period.
The Avalanche couldn’t get much going offensively until Dom Antony scored a power-play goal in the second period to make it 3-1.
“We’re just not playing consistently right now,” first-year Avalanche coach Tim Hoehn said. “We have 10 minutes of good stretches and then we have five or 10 minutes where we forget what to do. We can’t have mental lapses against good teams like this and in that first five minutes of the third period, it was a mental lapse.”
The Avalanche surrendered four goals in the first four minutes of the third period to allow the Panthers to open their lead up to 9-1. It’s the fourth victory this season for the Panthers by six goals or more.
“Obviously speed is a tool in the chest, but hopefully it’s not the only thing we’re going to be able to rely on,” Monroe said. “Our concern right now is to pressure teams and cause those turnovers that hopefully we can capitalize on.”
Get in the game with our Prep Sports Newsletter
Sent weekly directly to your inbox!