Daily Archives: January 19, 2013

MLK 3 – January 19: Flames 0 vs. Ice Cats 2

Saturday afternoon the Flames came to the ice sheet at West Side Arena for a game with the Green Machine Ice Cats in the 2nd Annual MLK Tournament. Tourney officials, referees, and fans alike, were billing this as the game of the tournament. The Concord Capitals team might have something to say about that, but they were less impressive in their first two games than either the Flames or the Ice Cats were. This battle would determine who would be the #1 or #2 seed and enter the playoff round undefeated. The Flames had not allowed a goal, and the Ice Cats had allowed just two goals. This game lived up to its hype as both teams played well at both ends of the ice.

1st Period: Having watched the Ice Cats play their first game on Friday night, I was ready for what they had to offer. So were the Flames. There were no goals scored in the opening period and only 9 total shots on goal. The Flames took the only two penalties that were called, but killed off both disadvantages. The chances were even, the ice was defended from end boards to end boards, and the play was fun to watch.

2nd Period: In the second period came the only goal of the game that got past a goaltender. Half way through the period, with the Flames scrambling a bit in their own end, the Ice Cats scored on a slap shot that hit the inside of the far post, where iron meets netting. Flames goalie, Anders Lindberg, was screened by a mass of bodies in front of him, and the Flames brain trust were questioning the referees about the cross check that had sent a Flames defender hurdling toward the ice as the puck passed through the chaos and struck the net. There was no call coming, other than a signal of a good goal. Despite raising their game in the second period, getting more shots, getting more chances, and pressuring the Ice Cats all over the ice, the Flames trailed 1-0 after two periods. Keenan Alnahas, the Flames second goaltender of the contest, held the deficit at 1-0 with a sparkling glove save on a point-blank chance by the Ice Cats.

3rd Period: In the third period it appeared that both teams were going to clog the areas in front of their net, hold on, and take chances only as deemed prudent. Only six shots on goal were taken, combined. The Flames had chances but could not get the tying goal. Alnahas came to the bench in favor of an extra attacker with 0:50 left in the game. Then with the clock counting down to 0:13.2 left to play, a puck slowly spun and slid through the neutral zone, across the blue line, and into the empty net. At that point the reality of the Flames losing this game really hit home. Until that point it was enthusiastically possible that the Flames would tie the game and by way of tie breaker slide into the #4 seed and play in the Championship semi-final. The Flames managed 16 shots on goal and allowed just 13 shots to reach their goaltenders. The Flames applied pressure to the Ice Cats that they had not seen in their previous two games, and the pressure put a damper on their odd man rushes up ice. To the Ice Cats’ credit, they held on, and beat the Flames in a great hockey game. The Ice Cats finished as the #2 seed, and the Flames dropped to #6, a spot behind Keene who also went 2-1 but allowed just one goal.

On Tap: The Flames play tomorrow (Sunday) in Tournament game #48, as follows:

Jan 20 Sun 5:30 PM WSA #6 Flames 00 #7 Conquistadors 01

The winner on Sunday will advance to play on Monday morning at 9:30am at St. A’s.

MLK 2 – January 18: Flames 6 vs. NE Jr. Hurricanes 0

On Friday afternoon the Flames played their second game of the 2nd Annual MLK Tournament vs. the New England Jr. Hurricanes. The Flames played well and earned their second straight 6-0 victory. This set up their final game of the prelim round with a Saturday afternoon game against the Ice Cats from Long Island, NY. Saturday’s game has come down to a battle for the overall #1 seed. Now, let’s get to the action from Friday afternoon.

 

1st Period: For the second time in as many games, the Flames dominated play in the first period, but were not quick to score goals. Finally, with 4:09 to play Sam Hebert scored on a nice play up the ice from Wil Hebert and Jackson Puzzo. Minutes later, Christian Levesque, who may have played his best period of hockey this season, worked a give and go with Zachary Bayer resulting in a great shot by Levesque. The shot beat the goaltender and slip through the crease towards the net, and Bayer, on his way to the net, poked the puck across the line, giving the Flames a 2-0 lead. The period ended 2-0 in favor of the Flames, but could have been much worse for NE, as the Flames held an 18-2 advantage in shots.

 

2nd Period: In the second period, the goals came fast and furious for the Flames, after the period’s midway point. Wil Hebert scored an unassisted goal on a neat move in close. Then brother Sam scored again, this time set up by Wil, and Ryan Douthart. Zachary Bayer scored an unassisted goal, and Jackson Puzzo scored, set up by Sam Hebert, both goals coming in the final two minutes. Two periods in the books, and the Flames led 6-0, holding a 28-4 margin in shots on goal.

 

3rd Period: Running time was the story of the 3rd period, with a 6 goal lead. The Flames managed 8 more shots, but did not score any goals. In total, the Flames won 6-0, and had 36 shots on goal. Keenan Alnahas and Anders Lindberg combined for the shutout in goal for the Flames. The Flames finished Friday at 2-0, scoring 12 goals, allowing 0 goals, and taking only 10.5 minutes in penalties. This sets up the showdown today, with the Ice Cats, who are also 2-0, have scored 17 goals, allowing just 2 goals, and also have taken 10.5 minutes in penalties. More on that later.