4/16/07 vs. Black Jacks (1-2-0)
Coming off a big win 2 weeks ago, we were facing last season’s champions and a team that usually plays us very tight. This game was no different…at least the first 2 periods anyway.
The first period was played very tight by both teams. Each side spent the majority of time fighting for room to work in the others’ zone. With five minutes remaining in the period, off a faceoff, the puck squirted out to the slot where the Black Jacks captain fired home a wrist shot to the far side of the net for a 1-0 lead. However, just 29 seconds later, Chuck made a pretty pass from behind the net, through the slot and out to Keith, who fired a wrist shot through some traffic in front for his first goal of the season to tie the game at one. A minute and a half later, Alexey fired a shot from the wing into the far corner of the net to give us our first lead of the night and close out the period at 2-1.
The second period found us in very familiar territory taking 3 penalties, leaving us running around in our zone and not being to generate any offense. With nine minutes remaining, Doc took a tripping penalty and then one minute later, Bob was called for delay of game after he had blocked a shot in front but didn’t release the puck, leaving us in a 5-on-3 situation. The Black Jacks took control of their powerplay, firing numerous shots on net and creating a bunch of scoring chances after working the pucking along the boards and back to their defensemen. However, the PK was up to the task and Josh made numerous big saves to kill the penalties off. Our luck would run out just one minute after the kill though, as a shot slipped between Josh’s arm and hip and into the net to knot the game once again heading into the final period.
During the break we stressed staying out of the box because at 5-on-5 we were outplaying them. The third started out just as the previous periods had, very close checking with each team fighting for space. However, Chuck found his space in the slot and Alexey made a beautiful pass from almost the same spot Chuck fed Keith earlier and fired one in at 1:26 to give us our last lead of the night. We continued to tilt the ice in our favor for the next few minutes and Alexey scored his second goal of the night with 11 minutes to go. Just 16 seconds later, Alexey, poked home a loose puck that was lying between the goalies feet for his hat-trick and a three-goal lead. Slightly less than three minutes later, Chuck continued our onslaught, pumping another goal home for a 6-2 lead and essentially icing the game with eight minutes to go. The Black Jacks however, did not go quietly. They continued to put pressure on us, working the puck around our zone and firing shots from all areas, but the defense continued to block shots and Josh made a couple of big saves to quell any comeback attempts. To finish off the scoring, Doug made a strong pinch at the point and fired a shot that popped up in the air, over the goalie’s head and landed in the crease. Doug had followed his shot and poked into the open net for a stunning 7th goal with just less than two minutes remaining.
This game was a significant statement by our defense in the early going, as we stymied their potent offense; and then by our offense in final period, as we poured it on and ran away with the victory. The line of Chuck, Alexey and Lenny combined for 13 points as Alexey finished with 3 goals and 2 assists; Chuck had 2 goals and 2 assists; and Lenny chipped in with 4 assists of his own.
Final score: 7-2 (2-2-0)
Next up, we face an old nemesis from last seasons’ playoffs, and the currently unbeaten Puckhawgs.
Videos coming soon!