4/1/07 vs Gang Green (0-2-0)
This week’s game vs. Gang Green would give us an idea of what our team was really made of. Adding Alexey to our lineup after missing him for the first two games would boost the offense, in addition to having Paul back for another game as well. Couple this with a gameplan of staying out of the box and we hoped this was a recipe for success against a team we have had trouble with in the past.
Gang Green started the first period out very fast as they dumped the puck into our zone and worked it around fluently for the first minute and a half. After a shot from just inside the blue line bounced off the wall behind the net, a pass came out front and was one-timed home to put us behind less than two minutes in. Although this wasn’t how we planned to start, we still had a lot of hockey left to play. The remainder of the period saw solid action at both ends of the ice. By the end of the first period, both teams had good scoring chances, however each goalie continued to make saves to keep the score close.
Starting out the second period, we knew the next goal would be critical and we were determined to have it go in our favor. Without further ado, just 18 seconds in, Paul grabbed a loose puck in the zone and blasted a shot that was initially blocked, but it squirted out to Chuck who had a yawning net to fire the puck into, which knotted the game at one. Our celebration was short lived however, because on the ensuing faceoff, Chuck was called for interference and less than a minute later, Gang Green reclaimed their lead as a pass from the corner was quickly fired from the right circle, behind Josh and into the back of the net. For the next 10 minutes of the period, the action was at both ends of the rink, but we couldn’t seem to sustain an offensive attack or solve their goalie. All of that changed in a 3 minute span, late in the period. As a penalty was called on Gang Green, Josh almost got wiped out coming to the bench for the extra attacker, but more importantly, on the ensuing power play, Ike took a loose puck out of a scramble in the corner and passed it behind the net to Alexey, who poked it out front, eventually finding it’s way to Marc who backhanded it home to tie it back up at two apiece. Less than 2 minutes later, Chuck took a pass in the neutral zone and skated down the left side where he rifled a shot by the goalie to give us our first lead of the night. Just 45 seconds later, after Lyle made a great play to break up a 3-on-1, Chuck again took a tip-pass from Marc in the neutral zone, in almost the same place and came in 2-on-1 with Tom N. Using him as a decoy, he fired another shot behind the goalie to stretch our lead to 4-2 and close out the period.
During the break, we stressed staying out of penalty trouble and keeping things simple. We also knew they would turn it up a notch and start to really put the pressure on. We did, however, remain composed and played solid defense. We limited the majority of shots to the outside and the few chances they had inside were swallowed up by Josh. With 10 minutes remaining, we delivered the knockout blow as Alexey skated down the right side, made a beautiful move to cut inside of the defender, got the goalie moving to his right and fired a shot across to the left, into the semi-open side, for his first Houston Strength goal. That was all we needed to put them away. Despite Gang Green’s hard work in the final minutes of the period, the defense slammed the door and we cruised to victory.
Final Score: 5-3 (1-2-0)
Next week we are off for Easter, but we return in 2 weeks in a Monday night matchup against the defending champions, the Black Jacks.
Videos coming soon!