The Des Moines Oak Leafs scored the first goal on the night in the second period Friday, so Mohawk Hockey Club senior Jaxon Jones felt like he needed to say something.
“Let’s take this period and make it ours,” Jones said.
And senior Zach Jimenez heard his call, scoring the first of his three goals with 6:37 left in the second period, tying it up 1-1. It was one of those where a crowd of Mohawks hovered around the goal, slapping shots until it finally hit the net, but the next two would be on breakaways.
Jimenez kicked off the third period in a sprint down the middle, slapping a shot into the back left corner. The last would eliminate the Oak Leafs’ hopes of a tie, Jimenez once again couldn’t be caught as he snuck the puck in the top corner of the net with just 2:14 left as the Mohawks earned a 3-1 victory.
According to his coach Rich Gores, it was the night Jimenez needed to have.
“I think he’s finally playing hockey,” co-coach Gores said. “He doesn’t seem to be under as much pressure. He’s been under a lot of pressure and starting to overthink or overdo things and these three goals really settled him back down.”
Jimenez gives credit to his teammates; they take the weight of the pressure off his shoulders. But he’s driven to take his team as far as he can.
“They were feeding me the puck,” Jimenez said. “We had some success last year and we started out the year a little rough, so there’s always pressure of meeting expectations. Also being captain, I’m supposed to be a leader.”
The Mohawks are on a five-game winning streak. Jones believes Friday showed why.
“We usually struggle in the first period and we came out and played all three periods strong,” Jones said. “Everybody is working together, seeing the ice, making smarter passes.”