The Cougars got the monkey off their backs after their 0-1-1 start with a 10-0 victory over the first-year Barons of Manheim Central, something that head coach Glen Burkholder was happy about regardless of how it happened.
"It was good for these guys that they are out there like this," Burkholder said. "We had a tie the first game, a pretty nice loss the second one. It's nice to get a win here tonight."
The Cougars opened the game hot right off the bat, scoring just 44 seconds into the contest as Alexander Daley found Zachary Yingst, who finished the shot behind Manheim Central goalie Luke Groff to make it 1-0.
The Cougars made it 2-0 at the 9:06 mark of the first period when Timothy Klaczak put his first goal underneath Groff after he was unable to control the initial shot by Forrest Davis. Five minutes later it was 3-0 Palmyra as Nicholas Stoner deflected a ripping slapshot from the left-hand point by Daniel Steiner past Groff.
Just a minute after that, Kyle Marx scored on a breakaway after Collin Daley chipped it ahead. Then in the final 1:29 the Cougars added three more goals to make it 7-0 heading into the break as Steven Schnoke, Klaczak and Stoner scored with Davis assisting on Klaczak's goal and Daley assisting on Stoner's second.
"I think we started out a little weak with the team we were playing here," Burkholder said of his team's play early on even though his team held a 7-0 lead after a period of play. "But as the game progressed, we warmed down and played better."
After the first and even second goals it seemed as though the Cougars were trying to score highlight-reel goals instead of just simply putting it in the back of the net, something that Burkholder also caught hold of when talking about the team's lackluster start.
"That (the wanting to score a highlight reel goal) may be some it (the slow start) and just not enough hustle," said Burkholder. "I like to see the guys, when the puck is loose, to get there first and beat the other guys to the puck, and they weren't doing that."
Entering the second period with a 7-0 lead on the scoreboard, and a 29-1 advantage in shots, the Cougars continued to come out swinging, putting up two goals in the first half of the period to go ahead 9-0. Marx put in his second goal of the game off assists from Eric Ihli and Tyler Haag for the eighth goal, and Nicholas Filingeri took a Riley Litman feed and smashed it past Groff (40 saves).
After that the Cougars continued to just move the puck around, a sign of sportsmanship and respect in hockey, instead of shooting it to allow the game to move to the third period.
"I guess so," Burkholder said when asked if the power-play goal was a fitting end to the game. "We wanted to let the game go on to a certain point, so it was a good exclamation point to end it."
Getting the first win is so crucial, especially after going winless the season before. The biggest thing it does is restore the feeling of winning, even if it is against a brand-new program.
"First of all, you get that winning feeling in the locker room," said Burkholder. "We got a little bit of a tougher game coming up next time against Warwick. Hopefully they take this feeling with them and use it next time."