Game Recap Week 12

10/28/07 vs. Gang Green (5-3-2)

Winless in our last four games and falling in the standings, we looked to bounce back again against a completely revamped Gang Green team, replete with new uniforms and all.

This game started with both teams becoming reacquainted with one another. While each team struggled to find offense, both goalies were also playing into the equation, as they foiled all attempts to score the games’ first goal. However, at the 6:12 mark, a breakaway from the left side beat Josh, giving Gang Green a 1-0 lead. As play continued, each team found offensive chances, but the score remained the same by the end of the period, despite the two power plays we gave to them.

Just less than three minutes into the second period, Ed found the net to knot the game at one. He shoveled home a loose rebound in front off a great play in the corner by Marc and a sweet pass to the front from Tom S. Each team continued to pour on the offense, but could not find pay dirt. Finally, with just over one minute left in the period, Tom S. had his favor returned from Ed and Marc as he rifled home a wrister from the slot to give us a 2-1 lead heading into the final period.

Playing a solid game at both ends of the ice and having Josh on top of his game gave us a lot of confidence at the start of the third period. We continued to play well, but again, were having trouble scoring. Eventually we broke down in the middle of the period and Gang Green took it to us. At the 7:35 mark, a 2-on-1 produced their second goal, as the puck actually hit Josh, but rolled over him and into the net. Two minutes later, another breakaway tied Josh up in knots and gave Gang Green their second lead of the game at 3-2. For just those few moments, we struggled, but quickly found our form again. Less than two minutes after they took the lead, we added our own dramatic comeback as Doug and Lenny scrambled in front of the net, leading to Ike popping home a loose puck, again tying the game. While the games’ final three minutes produced some drama, as we handed them an opportunity on the power play, neither team could pull out another score, ending the game in a tie.

Final Score: 3-3 (5-4-3)

Next week, the hapless, but improving Hornets.

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Game Recap Week 11

10/21/07 vs. Oil Kings (5-3-2)

After last week’s tough loss to the Rangers, our division race was getting tighter while we began playing interdivision games. Our first challenge would be the Oil Kings who are unbeaten in their last seven games (5-0-2) after starting out winless in their first three games.

The Oil Kings had all the momentum heading into this game while we’ve been struggling to score goals and halfway through the first period, the Oil Kings found the net to take a 1-0 lead, just after we finished killing off a penalty. They continued to control the play in our defensive zone, cycling the puck around in the corners and behind the net, but were unable to find the net again in the first period.

The second period saw much of the same as the Oil Kings pinned us in our own zone and continued to pepper Josh. They finally broke through 2:47 into the second period to build their lead up to two. Less than three minutes later though, Lyle cleared the zone up to Dom, who found Tom N. at center ice and he fired a slapshot from just inside the blueline to bring us back to a one-goal deficit. That’s as close as we would get however, as two minutes later, the Oil Kings notched their third goal. With three minutes remaining in the second, the Oil Kings upped their lead to 4-1 with another goal, which only showed how much they dominated us for most of the period, firing shots on net at will.

The third period was played rather pedestrian as the Oil Kings weren’t interested in running up the score and we were exhausted from running around in the first two periods. The did manage to score again with five minutes remaining, but this game had been decided early on.

Final Score: 1-5 (5-4-2)

Next week, an old foe with a new look, Gang Green.

Game Recap Week 10

10/14/07 vs. Rangers (0-9-0)

Now nine games deep into the season, after a great start of 4-1-0, we were spinning in a rut of 1-1-2 in our last four games. However, this week, we were facing a winless Rangers team who had been outscored 40-16 in their last four games, giving our sputtering offense a chance to wake up and find their touch again. The Rangers had other plans though.

We started out on fire as just :50 seconds into the game, Ed found the back of the net to get us into a nice early lead, but the Rangers answered right back :35 seconds later to knot the game at one. Moments later, Tom S. was in the box for hooking, giving the Rangers time to set up their power play and find some early momentum. Although we killed off that penalty, just :07 seconds after Tom left the box, Alexey was called for a slash, and we were back to killing a penalty, which we managed to do successfully. Once we got ourselves out of the box, we decided to show some offense, but just could not find the back of the net until Kevin, playing in his Houston Strength debut, rifled a slapshot from the top of the left circle into the open side of the net. With :45 seconds left in the first period, we found ourselves ahead by 2-1 heading into the 2nd period.

The second period was full offense, defense and goaltending on both ends, but neither team could score and the third period began the same as the second.

Up 2-1, we knew the next goal was big and we were prepared to grab a hold of this game for the last time, but just 2:47 into the period, the Rangers scored again to knot the game at two. Five minutes later, Chuck took a pass from Marc and found the net to give us the lead right back. Just :13 seconds later though, the Rangers came right back to tie the game again. The pressure began to mount as our offense began to press, but we were creating chances and had numerous opportunities to take the lead back, but with just over a minute remaining, the Rangers scored again to take the lead and grab their first win of the season.

Final Score: 3-4 (5-3-2)

Next week we begin playing the other division and up first are the Oil Kings.

Game Recap Week 9

10/7/07 vs. Enforcers (6-2-0)

After breaking our losing streak last week with a tie vs. the Puckhawgs, we looked to get back into the win column vs. the Enforcers. In our last meeting, we dominated and shocked them in the first period to cruise to an easy victory, but we didn’t expect this one to be as easy.

Off the opening faceoff, the Enforcers broke in over our blueline and after a couple of strange bounces through the defense, the puck found its way to the Enforcers winger who fired a quick wrist shot past Josh and into the net just :12 seconds into the game for an early 1-0 lead. This was not the way we hoped to start, but with the whole game left in front of us, we knew there was still plenty of time. We eventually balanced out the play and began to get scoring opportunities, however at the 5:07 mark, the Enforcers found the net again to build a 2-0 lead. A few minutes later, we found ourselves down two men as Keith was in the box for a hook and Ed for a hold. While the Enforcers peppered us with offense during their two-man advantage, we managed to kill off the penalties and get ourselves to the second period without any more damage being done.

The second period was much more even, as we continued to create offensive chances, but just couldn’t find the net. Eventually, at the 7:31 mark, Ed was able to find the net off a pass from Tom S. to cut the lead to one. However, just less than five minutes later, the Enforcers built their lead back up to two as they scored on a 2-on-1. Bob made a great defensive play blocking the original shot, but it put Josh out of position as the puck deflected right to the open man, who had the whole net to shoot at and didn’t miss.

Down two goals heading into the third, we knew we’d have to press to get the next goal and get us back into the game. Time after time however, we just could not finish off the play. Finally, with 2:16 remaining, Tom N. and Ed found Chuck in the slot and he fired a wrist shot into the corner to cut the lead back down to one. Off the ensuing faceoff, the puck came back to Tom N., who fed Ed to carry it into the zone. He made a nice pass over to Chuck at the left hash mark who tried to make another great shot, but it knuckled off his stick, which actually caught the Enforcers goalie off guard and the puck slipped into the far corner of the net to tie the game up at three with just 2:02 to play. The final two minutes were as intense as any other part of this game as both teams had chances to score the go-ahead goal, but both goalies were in denial mode and we ended the game with a second straight tie.

Final Score: 3-3 (5-2-2)

Next week, we play the Rangers, who are still looking for their first win.

Game Recap Week 8

9/30/07 vs. Puckhawgs (2-4-1)

After losing four in a row, the Puckhawgs finally found the win column last week and looked to start a new streak, but after our big win last week, we were ready to halt any progress they hoped to make.

Following a pattern we seem to be using in recent games, Alexey and Dave gave Chuck a chance to find the net just 2:47 in, and we jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead. Nevertheless, the Puckhawgs responded 2:19 later with a goal of their own to even things back up. However, just as quickly, Tom S. popped home a pass from Chuck 1:22 later to put us back in the lead. The rest of the period was up and down action, with both goalies making countless saves to keep the game close, but by the end of the period, we still head the one-goal advantage.

To start the second period, Paul won the draw and poked the puck to Alexey who walked into the zone and rifled a shot into the net to put us up 3-1, just :07 seconds into the period. Though the Puckhawgs were stunned, they continued to fight and on the power play at 5:19, they finally found the net again to cut the deficit to one. The second period flew by with action at both ends, but no more scoring.

The third period was extremely intense, as both teams were looking for the next big goal. That goal was on Alexey’s stick, his second of the game, at the 6:37 mark, which gave us a huge two-goal advantage. The Puckhawgs though, being the strong team that they are, kept coming at us in waves of offense, eventually popping home a rebound at the 5:53 mark to bring the contest back to one-goal. Just :14 seconds later, they found another rebound in front and fired it over Josh’s shoulder to tie the game up at four and create a dramatic finish to the last few minutes of the game. Both teams had opportunities to score the winner and put this game away, but both goalies were stingy and the game concluded with the score knotted at four apiece.

Alexey had another big game (2g, 1a) along with Chuck (1g, 1a), Tom S. (1g) and Paul, Dave and Ed each contributing an assist to the scoresheet.

Final Score: 4-4 (5-2-1)

Next week, a big matchup against the current first place team, the Enforcers.