It was a night of firsts for the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, who breezed past Kansas City 7-0 Tuesday at the Salt Palace.
Corey Lyons scored his first professional hat trick. Steve Guenette registered his first shutout in goal this year. And Jamie Hislop, subbing for suspended Bob Francis, coached his first professional hockey victory.Lyons, a 20-year-old who came out of junior hockey in Lethbridge, doubled his goal-scoring total for the entire season with his hat trick. He scored late in the second period with a long slapshot and picked up two power play goals in the final period.
`I've been getting the chances and the bad bounces, but tonight I got some good bounces and managed to get it in the net," said Lyons who hasn't suited up for nine games this year.
For Guenette, it marked his seventh win in regulation without a loss this year (he lost two overtime games). He only faced 15 shots, but didn't want to call it easy.
"I don't know if they're ever easy," he said. "I made two good saves in the first period, a lucky save in the second period and from there it was great defense by the entire team."
The play of Lyons and Guenette made it easy on Hislop, who filled in for Francis, suspended by the IHL for allowing Kerry Clark to come off the bench in a fight with Phoenix Saturday night.
"I was excited about it," said Hislop of his coaching opportunity. "It's entirely different from being an assistant. But it helps when the guys come out and give you a solid effort."
The Eagles came out a bit sluggish and didn't get on the board until the 14:28 mark of the first period when Marc Bureau, the IHL's player of the month for November, scored with an assist from Kevin Grant.
The Eagles picked up three goals in each of the next two periods as they totally dominated play. They had 15 shots on goal in the second period to four for Kansas City. It seemed like the Eagles were on the power play the entire period, they were in Blade territory so much. However they never had a man advantage until the midway through the third period.
Richard Zemlack scored his first goal for the Eagles, followed by Lyons' long slapshot and a tip-in by C.J. Young off a long shot by Mark Osiecki.
The final period was like the second. Salt Lake outshot the Blades 16 to 4 as Paul Kruse scored along with Lyons.
Kansas City Coach Doug Soetaert, who has endured a frustrating season so far (six wins in 27 games) sounded more sarcastic than upset afterwards.
"We had more body contact getting into the vans going to hotel this morning than we had on the ice," he said.
And "I probably could have played goal for Salt Lake the last two periods," concerning their lack of shots (eight) in those two stanzas.
Actually, Soetaert thought his team, which was coming off an impressive road victory over Indianapolis Saturday, came out strong in the first period.
"The game was up for grabs after the first period, no doubt," he said. "We just didn't show up (after that). You don't mind if everybody plays hard for 60 minutes. But the players have to be disappointed tonight."
The Blades will get another chance Thursday when they play the Eagles in another 7 p.m. faceoff at the Salt Palace.