8/5/07 vs. Black Jacks (0-0-1)
Coming off a nice win to start the season, we needed to keep up the solid defensive play and timely scoring. The Black Jacks were coming off a tie with the defending champs, the Puckhawgs and were looking to get into the win column against us.
This game began with us controlling play for the first few minutes, but we were unable to capitalize and find the net to take an early lead. However, at the 8:53 mark, a clear-cut breakaway, finished off with a great fake to pull Josh out of position gave the Black Jacks the lead. Then, just :32 seconds later, a rebound came out to the right of goal and was fired into the far corner to drop us two goals down before we could regain our momentum. Fortunately, we pulled it together and less than two minutes later; Tom N. took off down the left wing, into the offensive zone and behind the net. He continued on, circling around and throwing a pass out to the slot where Lenny was waiting to wrist home our first goal to get us right back in the game. Each team had their chances to score during the remainder of the period but could not convert, ultimately ending with us down by the score of 2-1.
As the second period began, we knew an early goal would certainly be helpful in regaining some momentum; however, just 4 minutes in, on a bad call, Keith was penalized for high-sticking. On the ensuing power play, just :40 seconds in, after a scramble in front, a rebound was converted to put the Black Jacks up by two goals again. A minute and a half later, they continued to pound us with their offensive assault and after a long point shot was deflected and bounced off Josh, the rebound was promptly stuffed into the open net to increase their lead to 4-1. The next goal could potentially be huge as another Black Jack goal would certainly put the nail in the coffin, but if we could put one in, with over half a game remaining, we may find some much needed life. With about 6 minutes remaining, Doug made a fantastic clearing pass to a wide-open Alexey, who was behind the defense. He rifled a slap shot from the top of the right circle over the goalie’s shoulder, but just under the crossbar, to give us a spark and bring us to within two goals once again. Our jubilation was very short-lived however, as this game began to take a dramatic turn for the worse. Less than :30 seconds after we scored, the Black Jacks scored again on a shot from just inside the blue line. The problem however, was that a Black Jack player was clearly offside when the puck carrier came into the zone and let his shot go. Everyone argued the call, from the players on the ice, to those on the bench, but to no avail as the refs would not change their thinking, giving the 3-goal lead back. The remainder of the second period was fraught with arguments with the referees over calls being made, or not made. Finally, with just over 2 minutes remaining in the period, Paul was streaking down the right side when the defenseman intentionally checked and knocked him down. Unfortunately, Paul’s frustration with the refs showed when he retaliated with a slash and a penalty of his own. We did gain the man advantage :25 seconds later though as one of their players was called for interference along the boards, but, we weren’t able to benefit from on the power play, ending the period down by three goals.
As we did in the second period, we would need an early goal in the third to get back into the game; yet the referees had it out for us this day as Keith was called for another bogus high-sticking infraction and Paul was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct. On this occasion however, down two men, Ed had other plans as he stole the puck at our blue line, raced down the right wing and pumped a shot into the far corner to bring us back to within 2 goals with more than 11 minutes remaining. We killed off the remainder of the penalties only to have a double minor called against Paul for almost immediately after his other penalty expired. The rest of the period was spent killing off that situation, which wasn’t affording us an opportunity to get ourselves within a goal and by the end of the game, we had spent all of our energy arguing the poor quality of refereeing.
Final Score: 3-5 (1-1-0)
Next week, the Puckhawgs in a primetime battle on Sunday afternoon.