The Chicago Wolves split their games this weekend, with a road win Saturday at the Carver Center in Peoria and a road loss at the Toyota Center in Houston.
In the win over the Peoria Rivermen, Spencer Machacek had a three point night, including a power play goal, with eight shots on goal. Chicago stopped a Riverman 5:3 advantage for a minute in the second frame and led in shots on goal in each period of play to win the game 4-1. The win went to Robert Gherson with 20 saves, Manny Legace received the loss with 31 saves.
On Sunday afternoon, in Houston, Machacek had a two goal night and Mike Hamilton had five shots on goal. But Houston dominated the first tow periods of play, racking a 3-1 goal advantage. Going into the final period of play, the Wolves scored once on 16 shots on goal. But the Aeros, with just five shots on goal, scored again, to stay ahead.
Corey Locke of the Aeros was credited with a goal and an assist in the game. Kurtis Foster was credited with two points. Ondrej Pavelec received the loss with 29 saves. Barry Brust received the win with 30 saves.
It was a split decision weekend for the Rockford IceHogs also. They played both games at home.
In a Saturday night game at the MetroCentre, the Rochester Americans gave the Hogs a 4-3 win. The Amerks and the IceHogs are both near the bottom of the league with regard to their net special teams goals, from the table I'm presenting at the Chitowndailynews site (Blogger doesn't like tables):
Rockford gave the Amerks two 5:3 opportunities in this game, and the Amerks were unable to score on either. The Amerks dominated in shots on goal until the third period of play, but it was the Hogs who found the back of the net. Mike Brodeur started in net for the Americans, he was drilled out of the net at 1:38 in the second period on the third unanswered goal by the IceHogs. His nine saves were marked for the loss. Tyler Plante took over from there for the Rochester team, with 17 saves. The win went to Corey Crawford with 33 saves.
It seems odd to me that a team floundering in the offense would blame their loss on a goalie, as the Amerks implicitly did on Saturday when they replaced Brodeur. Clearly there is more going wrong, from shots on goal (defense) to a terrible offense. That's all clear in the table above. A goalie isn't going to stand a chance if no one is standing out front with him, throwing their body in front of shots.
Danny Groulx was credited with two points on the night. Pascal Pelletier had six shots on goal, but no points and Jack Skille had five shots on goal but no points.
In the Monday matinée game, the San Antonio Rampage took the IceHogs 4-3 in a hard fought battle. Two fights between bruisers Sean McMorrow and Francis Lessard marked the game. San Antonio took a 3-0 lead in the first frame with two goals by Kyle Turris and a goal by Dylan Reese.
The Hogs came back with a goal by Groulx. But it was answered by Kevin Porter in the early third frame. Rockford pressured the Rampage, putting 13 shots on net in the final 20 minutes, and scoring two goals in the process. But the Rampage were able to hold the Hogs scoreless for the final eleven minutes to win. Crawford was credited with 20 saves in the loss. Josh Tordjman, the game winner, was credited with 27 saves.
Skille racked up seven shots on goal, but came away pointless again. Tim Brent had a three point night with two goals and an assist. Petri Kontiola had two points. Turris had three points for the night, adding an assist to his first period blowout. Porter and Reese had two point nights with a goal and an assist each. David Spina also had a two points for the night.
There were a few other notes from around the league this weekend. Houston went 4/4 on the power play in a game against the Iowa Chops Saturday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Matt Beaudoin had a hat trick in the game, with four shots on goal.
But even more spectacular was the weekend of Tim Kennedy. He was named the player of the week for his performance. On Saturday, in a wild game between the Providence Bruins and the Portland Pirates, the Baby Bruins accumulated a 4-2 lead at the end of the second period in a game at the Portland County Civic Center of Portland, Maine. The Pirates tied it up with three goals in the period, the last goal with just 1:10 to go. At that point Kennedy, on the Pirates side, had a point in each of the third period goals, a total of four points in the game based on seven shots on goal. AND, on the Baby Bruin side Mikko Lehtonen also had a four point night that included a hat trick with six shots on goal.
Portland was able to go 3/7 on the power play, that and Kennedy brought them back into the game. During the over time, Brad Marchand was called for boarding. The notes for the game say it was a two minute penalty, but most of these penalties are actually a minute in O/T. Portland was unable to use the resulting 4:3 to gain a goal. For Portland 39 shots on goal, for Providence, 35 shots on goal and a tied game after OT of 5-5.
So, the shootout; Portland shoots first and after the first set of skaters, no goals yet. Kennedy gets up and fails to score. But Lehtonen, after his hat trick, does score. After another score by Mark Mancari for the Pirates and Wacey Rabbit for the Bruins, it is a P-Bruins win.
On Sunday, the Pirates traveled to the Paul E Tsongas Arena to battle the Lowell Devils. It turns into another high scoring battle between the two teams. Portland enters the third frame with a 4-3 lead. Lowell has remained in the game on the strength of two power play goals. Although the Pirates had a series of power plays for the first ten minutes or so of the second period, they only came away with a single power play goal.
Lowell tied the game with a power play goal at 12:47 of the third period. Kennedy comes back with the Pirates to get a hat trick and put Portland back into the lead 1:06 later. But Lowell doesn't give up. They pull the goalie and Portland scores again on the empty net with a minute left. Now the lead is 6-4, Portland. Lowell still doesn't give up, scoring twice in the final minute of play to tie the game.
In total Lowell went 4/6 on the power play. Including the OT period, Jeff Frazee stopped 35 shots on goal for the Devils, John DeCaro stopped 44 for the Pirates. OT is scoreless but is dominated by the Pirates. Once again Kennedy isn't able to add to his stats a shootout goal, but the Pirates did win.
In total, among these two games, Kennedy had seven points and 15 shots on goal. In the second game with Lowell, not including Kennedy, there were five players credited with a three point night. Woah Baby!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The Chicago Wolves split their games this weekend, with a road win Saturday at the Carver Center in Peoria and a road loss at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
In Rockford, the Peoria Rivermen pulled out a 3-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs. With goalie Antti Niemi called up to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Hogs had Joe Fallon backing Corey Crawford in the pipes. Fallon, up from the Gwinnett Gladiators, has a 91 percent save percentage after ten games with the Glads.
Niemi, like Crawford when he was called up this season, isn't expected to see a lot of ice time with the Blackhawks. I'm a bit surprised that Niemi was called up, as watching the games, I see Crawford as having a better shot at the National Hockey League. However, I have no better insight than what I've previously shared about Niemi and Crawford.
Having said that, the loss at the MetroCentre demonstrates how top teams sometimes have trouble with lower ranked teams in their division. The same is generally true of the Hogs when they play the MAds or the Wolves when they play the MAds. The Rivermen cause more trouble for the IceHogs than you'd generally expect. In this game they took a lead in the first frame and held on. Early in the second period the Rivermen's Cam Paddock even gave the Hogs a double minor power play opportunity for attempted spearing (bad!). Even though the Hogs out shot the Rivermen 18-9 in the final period of play, it was the Peoria team that took the win, withstanding the Hogs attack.
Tim Brent put seven shots on net for the Hogs, scoring the only goal of the team. Crawford stopped 28 shots on goal for the loss, Manny Legace was in net for the Rivermen, stopping 33 shots on goal. Trent Whitfield had a three point night, Steve Regier had a two point night. Regier notched five shots on goal.
The Chicago Wolves won a shootout in the Bradley Center Friday. It was only the seventh win this season for a visiting squad at the Bradley Center, out of 25 games so far. The Wolves win was also the third shoot out win for the visitors at the Bradley Center. There have been only five shoot outs at the BC this season.
The rare visitor win, the second win of the three Wolves visits so far this season, was the culmination of two goalies holding the two teams scoreless for fifty minutes. A third period Milwaukee Admiral goal by Andreas Thuresson at 10:05 broke the scoreless game open. It was followed by goals by Spencer Machacek and Jeff Hamilton of the Wolves. With three minutes and ten seconds remaining, the Wolves were looking toward a regulation win, if they could hold on. However, a hooking call on Machacek with two minutes and six seconds remaining gave Milwaukee the advantage.
On the power play and with only 53 seconds on the clock Jed Ortmeyer was able to find the way past Ondrej Pavelec to tie the game. In the overtime, the goalies again held the two teams scoreless. Pavelec's win included stopping 23 shots on goal, while MacIntyre was credited with 29 saves. Mac's performance is even more remarkable given he was able to fend off the only 5:3 power play of the game early in the third period. Cody Franson of the MAds was credited with two points. Thuresson was credited with five shots on goal.
Going past regulation evens the field for any team that visits Milwaukee. It might be that the MAds run out of gas after 60 minutes. But whatever the case, home and away, the team doesn't do as well once you get past the hour mark.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
When the last place team comes to town, you sort of expect nothing much to happen. So, maybe we can excuse the Chicago Wolves fans if they skipped the 4-3 loss to the last place Rochester Americans tonight at the Allstate Arena. The Amerks are beyond dreadful. They just suck. Probably less than 2,000 people showed up to see them play.
But, this was a great game to watch. The Amerks are a hard hitting team that likes to finish their checks. This was a concussive experience of a game, with great checks into the boards and on the open ice too.
Tyler Plante opened the game in the pipes for the Americans. He was joined by a Blackhawk/ Wolves alum, Karl Stewart. The Stewart I remember from the lockout year was a guy who loved to cause trouble. There was this one time I recall the whistle was blown, the guys were headed up ice and Stewart skates behind the opposition goal, grabs the opposing goalies' water bottle and takes a long chug. You, know, long enough to make sure the other guys notice what you just did?
He was that type of guy. And his short handed goal attempts were always memorable. The man had wheels.
So, it was nice to see him on the ice tonight. He started the game by showing his fans in Chicago that he still finishes his checks. It was that spirit that led him to play for a short few games for the Blackhawks. Can we get a picture of the girl in the stands asking him to marry her?
Ding, ding and ding. It was also a night when the puck was dinging the Amerks. I mean they may need to replace those pipes there are so many dings and dents in it. Plante didn't do so well in the first period. With five shots on goal, the Wolves scored twice. So, in the second period, the Amerks used Mike Brodeur.
Regular readers and the few that read from Rockford, will recognize Brodeur's name, he was a member of the 2007-8 IceHogs and a prospect for the Blackhawks. His glow was amazing. Now personally, I would have taken one of the stars of the game from Jeff Hamilton of the Wolves and given it to Jamie Rivers of the Wolves for the defense in the second period of play. But there is no doubt that Brodeur had that glow that you sometimes see in a goalie's eyes when they are in the zone and they know it too.
Number one star of the game and deserving of it.
There were 17 shots on goal, more than half the total for the Wolves in the entire game, during the third frame. This guy was a wall. Glove saves, kick saves, stick saves, pad saves, knocking it from the air. My god, his arms and legs were everywhere and it seemed that his chest stopped so many pucks that it has to be black and blue.
At one point in the second period, there was a defensive turnover by the Amerks. It occurred almost in the crease. It was just a screwup caused by pressure. Riley Holzapfel was right there, he had the puck and he shot and hammered and nothing. Brodeur stopped him. It was a point blank moment of first we have control and then Holzapfel is beating on Brodeur's pads with the puck. That stuff happened all night to Brodeur. His win, stopping 24 shots and letting one in, was remarkable.
Now, I said take the star from Jeff Hamilton. But, he had a great night too. Three points, including two goals. The Amerks' Janis Sprurkts had two goals, while the Amerks' Michal Repik and the Wolves Brett Skinner had two points each.
Finally, the loss went to Ondrej Pavelec. He stopped 19 shots. I'm beginning to suspect that riding Pavelec like a horse is poor coaching. This guy needs a lot of rest, and is still not back from his injury earlier in the season.
This is the first time I've really noted poor on-ice officiating. Zac Wiebe missed some calls, and yes, at least one was on the Wolves. His misses led to a fight between Joey Crabb and Michael Duco, Duco having to tell Crabb to knock off the BS with the goalie. It should have been Wiebe doing that work instead of the 194 pound Duco. Despite what should have been a call on the Wolves, it was a missed call earlier that probably cost the Wolves an additional power play. Well, first game in about 20? This is much better than previous years in my opinion.
I've been beating on the Amerks as a bad team. Earlier this week I published a stat that they lose about half a goal a game, net, to the power play. And, tonight, there it was, an unanswered power play goal. Around the blog, Jane is an Amerks fan and so is much of her family. You can imagine the back and forth that occurs. But, looking at them play tonight, I wonder what is the real issue with the team? I guess they don't play as a team, have poor defense and don't score. That would do it. But, when they do things right, as they did tonight at the Allstate, that's a good team out there.
It was a nail-biter of a win for the Rockford IceHogs in Peoria tonight. The stats show Antti Niemi shut down the Rivermen with 21 saves. Manny Legace, good, but not enough with 21 saves too, received the loss.
We're at a point in the year when everyone is warmed up. This game looks like it was a great example of defensive play, of hot goalies and everyone having to go down to the last ounce of strength to win. The final, 1-0 for Rockford at the Carver Arena.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
The Houston Aeros doubled up on the Wolves, 6-3, at the Allstate Arena tonight. Backed by former Wolves Jesse Schultz and Kurtis Foster, the Aeros pounded the Wolves and took advantage of their brilliant penalty kill to dominate the game.
Wolves Wing Jeff Hamilton put eight shots on goal and was credited with a goal and an assist in the game. Brett Skinner was credited with two assists. But side to side movement of the puck totally defeated the Wolves defense. Ondrej Pavelec's speed in the side to side saves is not enough, as the Aeros took advantage of whatever is effecting the Atlanta prospect, to put it past him. He had just 20 saves on the night.
The winning goalie, Nolan Schaefer stopped several short handed breakaways and two 5:3 power plays by the Wolves, handily winning the game with 23 saves.
Foster, on a rehabilitation assignment to the Aeros after a well-publicized crash into the boards in March 2008, played a conservative game on the ice Sunday. It was his first appearance of the year. He was key to one of the Houston goals, but was not among those credited with an assist. His presence on the ice was felt, Wolves players gave him a lot of space and he controlled the puck effectively.
The game was officiated by four on-ice officials, an unusual situation in the American Hockey League.
In Milwaukee, Cal O'Reilly of the Milwaukee Admirals scored a hat trick, one of his goals interrupted by a goal by the other team. The MAds won the game 5-4 behind the four point O'Reilly effort and a two goal effort by Hugh Jessiman.
The Chicago Wolves defeated the division leading Milwaukee Admirals 2-1 Saturday night at the Allstate Arena. In a low-scoring game marked by tripping, hooking, holding and slashing penalties, there was plenty of action in the sin bin and power plays on the ice. But the only goal outside of equal strength was a short handed goal, by Matt Anderson, to start the scoring at 12:56 of the first period.
Anderson, who received two points in the night, was also involved in the second and final Wolves goal, in the second period at 12:04. The MAds answered that, staying within one goal, just 19 seconds later.
Eleven power play opportunities were wasted by the two teams as it became a defensive battle won by Ondrej Pavelec, stopping 23 shots on goal, compared to Drew MacIntyre, who lost, stopping 27 shots on goal.
At the Wells Fargo Arena, the Iowa Chops chewed up the Rockford IceHogs 4-1. The power play continues to haunt the Hogs, who now rank 22nd in the American Hockey League. The team is making just 15.6 percent of power plays. It's penalty kill is 28th in the league, at 79.3 percent. Corey Crawford was the one left to defend the net, stopping 24 shots on goal. He also defended unsuccessfully against a 5:3 power play late in the second period.
The Chops, ninth in the league on the power play, took two power plays goals out of six opportunities during a decisive second period. The Hogs are giving up more than 4.8 power play opportunities per game currently. Or, on average, they are giving up .79 goals due to lack of discipline each game. That's a broad statement of the problem. It would be impossible to totally rid a team of penalties. Still, here is a look at the league stats for this issue. After we net out the gains from power play goals, the Hogs are near the bottom of the league. They are losing .25 goals on average per game due to the combination of failed power plays, failed penalty kills and time in the box.
They need to turn this around to be competitive in the post-season.
(The table is reprinted here: http://www.chitowndailynews.org/chicago_hockey_blog/Wolves_go_down_63_Hogs_downed_41,22288)
Saturday, February 07, 2009
A disciplined Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Chicago Wolves 6-3 Friday at the Van Andel Arena. With just two power play opportunities and those held scoreless, the Wolves were unable to stop the Griffins from rolling over them.
Darren Haydar, a former captain of the Wolves now with the Griffins, had three assists in the game. He was matched by Griffin Justin Abdelkader. Evan McGrath got an unusual short handed/ empty net goal to end the game. Jordan LaVallee had two goals and six shots on goal for the evening. Chad Denny had the first goal of the game, less than two minutes into play. But it was the last lead for the Wolves that night as the Griffins powered past the Wolves, outscoring them and out shooting them too.
Referee Shaun Davis only called hooking and holding calls Friday, but five were called on the Wolves, just two on the Griffins. The Griffins used their five to take two goals. Daniel Larsson received the win with 25 saves. Ondrej Pavelec received the loss with 34 saves.
The lack of a creditable power play hurt the Rockford IceHogs again on Friday as they lost to the Milwaukee Admirals 4-1. The IceHogs went 0 for 8 on the power play before a MAds team that seemed to delight in abusing their foes, knowing there wouldn't be a response on the scoreboard.
Despite a 5:3 advantage near the end of the first period and a substantial lead for the Hogs in shots on goal for the first two periods, enough to last the entire game, Rockford only snuck one past MAds goalie Drew MacIntyre. The Admirals on the other hand were able to use two of their four power plays to score. Mike Santorelli, Cody Franson and Ryan Maki were all credited with a goal and an assist for the MAds. Cal O'Reilly was credited with two assists. Danny Groulx, for the Hogs, was held pointless on six shots on goal.
MacIntyre's win was due to 26 shots on goal. Antti Niemi received the loss, he stopped 18 shots on goal.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
The Levin organization has generally been well loved by Wolves fans. First, they win championships. They enter the season with the idea that they will compete and win the championship of their league.
Second, season ticket holders for the Wolves will brag to season ticket holders of other sports about the goodies they receive; private parties, ticket exchange rights, sweaters, gifts and the ability to interact with owners and the team.
Along comes two guys from the Chicago Rush this month. Mike Gordon is the new VP of Partnerships and Mike Polisky is the President of the team. Both are former Rush executives. Talking with my editor I noted that although I haven't been introduced to Polisky, there is a new person in the stands, talking to the fans and engaging them. Then tonight, another new guy was there. No introduction yet, but he looks like Gordon.
“Has Polisky talked to you yet?” my editor asked. “No, but he's interacting with people. It never happened with the old COO,” I replied.
At the close of the game tonight, the guy who appears to be Polisky is walking around telling us to drive home safely. And on the concourse, the guy who appears to be Gordon is thanking us for attending the game.
WOW. This team, known for its fan friendly attitude never did this before. In fact, I can't put a face with the PR person, haven't said more than 20 words to any of the PR people in three years of writing for the Chitowndailynews. And, that's not for trying. This newspaper is ignored by the Wolves PR department.
I'm shocked. These two guys, if they are who I think they are, are talking to fans! What's next?
The Rockford IceHogs took the Rochester Americans 2-1 tonight at the Blue Cross Arena War Memorial. The game started with Sean McMorrow and Riley Emmerson dropping the gloves as the puck dropped. But in a game with ten power play opportunities, the only goals were even strength goals. All in all, the first few seconds were probably the best of the game. I hope you weren't late.
The Amerks have struggled all year. Even in the generous world of hockey, they are listed as having a win percentage of only 37.5 percent. Their 36 points is the rock bottom of the league.
It's a sad situation for a team with more championship banners than most professional sports. The power play AND the penalty kill of the Amerks are awful. Just looking at the stats, they actually look a lot like those of the Chicago Wolves. However, the Wolves are finding ways to win and even seem to be reversing problems in defense and power plays.
But, it looks beyond hope for the Amerks this season. So, it was a little surprise that there was enough fight in them to stay within one of the Rockford IceHogs tonight. The stats show Rockford gave Rochester a 5:3 in the first frame that didn't score. In the second, Rochester gave Rockford two excellent scoring: a major and in the final minute of the second period, a 5:3. Rockford couldn't score on either.
That's wrong and disappointing. The Hogs need to swallow the opposition whole when these chances come.
Jake Dowell had a goal and an assist in the game. Pascal Pelletier had the other of the two Rockford goals and five shots on goal. Corey Crawford received the win with 31 saves. Tyler Plante received the loss with 31 saves for the Amerks.
Joey Crabb had a four point night with a hat trick and an assist in a 5-1 Chicago Wolves win over the Peoria Rivermen at the Allstate Arena tonight. Crabb took advantage of two 5:3 power play opportunities and an even strength goal in racking up the hat trick. He assisted Spencer Machacek in his goal and was on ice, distracting the Peoria Rivermen for the final goal, an empty net run up the ice by Jordan LaVallee with a 1:07 remaining in the game.
Crabb, with seven shots on goal for the game, opened a can of whoop on the Peoria team with a series of three checks in the first period, all within a period of about fifteen seconds. They started behind the Wolves goal where the puck squirted loose, he followed the puck up the ice and flattened a Riverman into the boards at the blue line, continued up the ice and his last check was on a Peoria blue liner right in the Peoria crease.
He followed that up with a 5:3 power play goal with four seconds remaining in the first period. At 47 seconds into the second period, he assisted Machacek with his goal. At 9:49, after the Rivermen gave the Chicagoans yet another 5:3 he took another goal.
During one second period power play on Peoria, Trent Whitfield came up with the puck. His breakaway could have been stopped by Riley Holzapfel, at the near boards, but Whitfield eluded Holzapfel and found Ondrej Pavelec's five hole. It was the only score of the game for Peoria.
In the final period of play, Chicago gave the Peoria team four power play chances. Peoria also was beating on the Wolves, notching eleven shots on goal. Nevertheless, at 14:56 Crabb found the back of the net again for the hat trick. Less than four minutes later, after Peoria pulled their goalie, LaVallee, with Crabb on his flank, put the finish on the game with an empty net goal.
Pavelec received the win, stopping 30 shots on goal. He really looked good tonight as the defense was more effective in front of him except in the case of the short handed break away. Ben Bishop received the loss with 22 saves. In part due to Crabb, the power play came alive with three for eight, while the defense held the Rivermen scoreless in six penalty kills.
It was Crabb's eighth, ninth and tenth goals of the year in the American Hockey League. It was his sixth point of the season in the AHL. It is his 19th game this season in a Wolves sweater. He was sent to Chicago by the Thrashers January 30th. According to the Internet hockey database, he also played in 26 games as an Atlanta Thrasher, scoring just three goals and four points.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
It was fighting and fighting and fighting some more in Toronto as the Rockford IceHogs met the Toronto Marlies in a game that featured half as many fights as goals. The Hogs acquitted themselves well, however, bringing home a 6-3 win in the contest at the Ricoh Coliseum.
Jack Skille and Kyle Rogers started the roughhousing with roughing penalties just 1:23 into the game. Evan Brophey found Justin Pogge's five hole for the first goal at 8:44. At 10:57 Mike Radja completed a series of fast back and forth passes to put it past Pogge for a 2-0 score. Then Jake Dowell and Darryl Boyce danced for a five minute penalty at the 11 minute mark. And at 13:23, not a fight, but a disagreement? A high sticking penalty to Niklas Hjalmarsson and a slashing penalty to Ben Ondrus.
That wasn't going to satisfy the blood lust, so Mike Brennan and Kris Newbury went at it mano to mano for another five minutes in the sin bin, with a minor tacked on to Newbury. That gave Rockford a power play and Judd Blackwater used the opportunity to pound in the 3-0 goal.
The second frame, Dowell starts out with a double minor for high sticking. And now Toronto Center Tim Stapleton, using one of his ten shots on goal, chips it in to make it 3-1. This is interesting to try to figure out, Dowell's double means the advantage was 5:4. But then there was an interference called on Mark Bell making it 4:4. However Tim Hambly is caught holding the stick, making it 4:3, then there is a goal, which would cut Dowell's double by two minutes, but it is still 4:3 for... Oh god, this is higher math at this point. In any case there is yet another power play goal scored at 7:12. So, the Marlie advantage lasted at least that long.
Let's celebrate that with a fight. At the 7:12 mark of the second period there's Jordan Hendry, he gets two minutes for cross-checking and two minutes for roughing. And there's Pete MacArthur, we haven't heard from him yet, five for fighting. And Newbury, two for roughing and Darryl Kronwall, five for fighting. Is anyone watching the score? It's 3-2 Rockford.
An interference called on Bates Battaglia gives Rockford another power play and Niklas Hjalmarsson will use that to push the IceHog lead back to 4-2. That's a good reason to fight of course and this time it was Dan Bertram and Joe Ryan at the 17:09 mark. But wait! There's more! One more goal in the period, Blackwater. Blackwater? He just joined the team on the 29th and he already has three goals. What gives? Where has he been?
Final period of play. The Hogs lead 5-2. Toronto lights it up, firing 11 shots on goal in the period. At the 12:21 mark the discipline that had marked this period breaks down as Rob Klinkhammer and Jaime Sifers have a go and get five each. Now, consider that this is the final fight of the game. This isn't a series of enforcer fights, its each team on each team:
Skille Rogers Two minutes each roughing
Dowell Boyce Five minutes each for fighting
Hjalmarsson Ondrus High Sticking/ Slashing two minutes
Brennan Newbury Five minutes each for fighting
Dowell --- Double minor for high sticking
Hendry Two minutes for cross checking/ two minutes for roughing
Newbury Two minutes for roughing
MacArthur Kronwall Five minutes each for fighting
Bertram Ryan Five minutes each for fighting
Klinkhammer Sifers Five minutes each for fighting
I mean look at the list. The only two players to repeat on it are Dowell and Newbury. This was quite a fight card! In total 47 minutes of penalties to the Hogs and 41 to the Marlies. The Hogs were able to get two for four on the power play. Stapleton shot an unbelievable ten shots on goal, nearly a third of the 31 total for the Marlies. He had a goal and an assist for the night.
Radja and Brent had a goal and two assists, Blackwater had two goals. Adam Pineault had three assists. Petri Kontiola had two assists. The Marlies Newbury had two assists. Corey Crawford received the win. He stopped 28 shots on goal. Pogge received the loss, he stopped 15 shots on goal.
In all of this mess, a few things stand out to me, first, ten shots on goal in a game by one player is very unusual, gotta give the man credit. The second I see is the two goals by Blackwater. Can he maintain this pace? Where is he from? After that, I'd want to consider a blue liner for the final star of the game. This was a very physical game. I'm thinking Hambly as he has an assist and was on the ice for a +/- of +2. But I'm open to other suggestions. But clearly, a defensive fight, in every sense of the word.