SHERIDAN — Skaters move up and down the ice trying to take control of the game. Once the momentum is gained, it is important to keep the pressure up and not allow the opponent an opportunity to bring the game back to even.
The Sheridan NA3HL Hawks have been on the attack a lot this year by taking control of the game early. They are now the third-ranked team in goals scored in the North American Tier III Hockey League this season.
Forward Trevor Timm said the team tries to work the puck deep into the offensive zone and work hard to earn a goal.
The different lines rotate continuously during the game. Skaters can not be lackadaisical and need to be ready to make an impact on the game, Timm said.
Good shifts by consecutive lines allows the team to gain momentum and hold it, leading to more opportunities for goals.
“It is crazy the way one spark can start a fire for us,” Forward Kamden Sengheiser said.
The Hawks proved one goal can lead to a period full of scoring if a team does not stop them.
Forward Steven Delikat said momentum is everything in hockey. The shift allows the Hawks to gain the upper hand and win.
When the Hawks score, the energy gained from the goal and crowd is huge for the team, Delikat said.
Hockey teams have lines full of offensive-minded players and others with two-way players, meaning they perform offensively and defensively.
Sengheiser said he classifies himself as a two-way player and thinks the rest of the skaters in his shift — Timm and Delikat — are offensive forces and play solid defensive.
Delikat said their line likes to play more physical and aggressive than the other lines on the team. Personally, he likes to be the aggressor and lay a hit on an opposing player, allowing the next line coming off the bench to be excited and ready to play.
At some point in every game Delikat, Timm and Sengheiser face the opponent’s top scoring line. Delikat said it can be a challenge but the line continues working hard in their shift. When the trio has a good shift against the other team’s best players, it makes them feel good and helps the team control the game.
Sengheiser said a good shift does not always show up in the stat sheet. Every time the line steps on, they try to have a positive impact on the game.
When the line is able to earn a goal, it is always a good feeling and helps ignite the team.
The Hawks face the Great Falls Americans Feb. 8-9 in Sheridan. Great Falls is right behind the Hawks in the standings, making every shift matter.
Sheridan is 3-1 against the Americans this season. The team split its first meeting of the season in Sheridan, with the Hawks winning 6-1 Oct. 4 and losing 4-0 Oct. 5.
Sheridan walked away with back-to-back overtime wins at Great Falls Nov. 22-23.
Friday’s game starts at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday’s game starts at 7 p.m.