(Courtesy of the RGV Killer Bees)
Bill Newson and Troy Linna combined for a pair of hat tricks as the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees shutout their friends from the south, the Mexico National Team, 14-0 in historic Central Hockey League preseason action in front of 3,620 fans inside the Dodge Arena. The Mexico National Team is taking part in a three-game exhibition tour through South Texas, which continues Saturday night in Corpus Christi and concludes Sunday in Laredo. The contest between the Bees and Mexico was the first game between a CHL team and a national team and the first
time Mexico has faced a North American professional hockey team.
Mexico opened the game with offensive pressure and collected their lone shot on goal for the first period in the game's first minute, but the offensive pressure began to diminish minutes later, as Troy Linna tallied his first of three goals 4:17 into the contest. Matic Kralj and Anthony Donskov also lit the lamp for the Bees in the first period to give the Bees a 3-0 lead at the first intermission break. Three time all-star defenseman Derek Holland ripped a slap shot from the point 11:51 into the second period which broke the hearts of the Mexican players after they had kept the Bees off the scoreboard for 17:34. Bill Newson, Jason Tessier, Matt Donskov and Blaz Emersic completed second period scoring with goals in a span of 4:44 to give the Bees an 8-0 advantage.
Goaltender Diego De La Garma was a shining light for Mexico and earned the game's number three star for stopping 43 of 51 shots in two periods of play. Rodrigo Gutierrez Porter replaced De La Garma in the third period and the change raised the game's intensity. Emersic crashed into Porter while trying to reach a pass and Porter responded with a blocker pad to the forehead resulting in a minor penalty. It resulted in a Bees power-play goal after Bill Newson scored 4:32 into the period. His goal ended the Bees streak, which had seen eight different players score goal. Newson would end up completing the hat trick later in the third period, but it went unnoticed by the fans because of a fight that broke out between Bees defenseman Coel Doty and Mexico's Marco Cummings. The linesmen quickly stepped in and the two later gave a pat on the back once serving their major penalties. Linna grabbed a pair of third period goals, while Kralj and Danny Helmers eached added a goal to complete the game's scoring.
Also going unnoticed in the game was the shutout in net by Bees goaltender Terry Dunbar in his first appearance of action with the Bees. Dunbar, who was on the Bees emergency roster last postseason, stopped all three of the shots taken by Mexico. The troopers in red and green were out of gas in the third period and they were denied a shot on goal in the period, while allowing 23. The Bees out-shot Mexico 74-3 in the contest.
The Killer Bees had some special guests at the game. Carlos Gomez, the father of two-time Stanley Cup winning forward Scott Gomez, was in attendance and dropped the ceremonial puck drop. Scott Gomez is one a few NHL players which background is of national descent. Also, the youth hockey members of the Outback Steakhouse Jr. Bees Hockey Leagues were recognized on the ice, as General Partner Trey Medlock gave thanks to the fans for their efforts in contributing to the youth hockey programs and to the NHL for their contribution of equipment.
The Bees will see a different Mexico team Saturday night at the Dodge Arena, as the CHL's New Mexico Scorpions come to the Valley. It will be the second of three scheduled exhibition games for the Bees and the final home exhibition game before the regular season.
Complete CHL Pre-Season Schedule & Results
CHL Pre-Season Scoreboard
(*Note, not all games scored live on Pointstreak, due to alternate venues.)