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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wolves in 6-0 shutout of P-Bruins

The Chicago Wolves shelled Tuukka Rask from the net, winning a contest with the Atlantic division leader 6-0 in play this evening at the Allstate Arena.

It was nearly all Chicago Wolves, all night long, as scoring started early and ended late. With a power play to their advantage, the Providence Bruins gave up the puck to Colin Stuart who swept in to score on a P-Bruin goalie who looked out of his depth. Although there were nice body shots by the Bruins, they were unable to prevent numerous shots on goal in the period, with Rask deflecting the shots upward and out of his control.

Boris Valabik was on his game all night, starting with a boomer from the blue line that was deflected in by Junior Lessard through the five hole. Within a minute, Chicago was back with yet another scoring opportunity. A big check sent the puck skittering in front of the net and resulted in a 3:2 breakaway by the Bruins. But they could not convert it as they bungled the effort in front of Ondrej Pavelec.

Then, late in the period, with the teams playing 4:4, Joe Motzko fired a slap shot from the left circle, assisted by Valabik, for the third goal of the period.

The Bruins settled down in the second period, with Kevin Regan replacing Rask in net. Allowing the Wolves just ten shots on goal, they took a number of breakaway opportunities to attack Pavelec, yet failed to score.

In the third period, Motzko pops an easy wrister from center ice. It should have been stopped, but somehow finds the five-hole for another goal. Regan just looks pissed, he should have stopped it and he knows it. Seconds later, Valabik dings the goal posts in a boomer from the blue line. The Wolves are just dominating the Bruins now. A shutout looks likely. Bruins Levi Nelson hammers on the puck, trying to pound it through Pavelec’s leather. But Pavelec kneels on the puck, preventing it from moving.

Then, the Bruins get a man advantage, Pavelec is able to stop their shots in the goalmouth. A second power play follows. Again, Pavelec stops the Bruins. The Wolves are looking tired from all the penalty kills. The second PK is not as well orchestrated. And then a third PP by the Bruins. Pavelec is a wall. Nothing is getting past him.

Now, a breakaway by Matt Anderson. He skates through the right circle on the attack and blows a tire. On one knee, he fires backward toward the side of the goal. The puck finds a hole through the leather of Regan. As he looks around for it, the referee spots it, in the clear, just inside the goal line. The Baby Bruins just can’t get a break tonight.

Now, with just a little over two minutes to play, it is Valabik again. He booms another shot from the left side. He must be taking lessons from Denny. It is now 6-0. The P-Bruins appeared relieved that there are just two minutes to play.

What a change for Valabik. Three points. The score sheet credits him with three shots on goal, but you can read this narrative and see it was at least four shots on goal. Stuart is credited with eight shots on goal and Anderson with five shots on goal. Lessard, Anderson and Motzko receive two points each. Pavelec stops 35 shots for the victory. Both Rask and Regan stopped 15 shots each. I suppose the loss goes to Rask.

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