Monthly Archives: January 2013

January 13: @ Flames 6 vs. Shamrocks 4

Sunday afternoon it was back to the rink on Electric Street; West Side Arena, and the Flames playing host to the Shamrocks. You may recall that the Shamrocks are a big team, long, lanky, and skilled. The Flames and Shamrocks met twice in December with each earning a 2-1 victory on their home ice. Both games were tightly contested, nearly even in shots, with the Flames trying to deny the big bodies room to skate and unload their howitzer like slap shots. Let’s see how this one turned out.

1st Period: In the opening period it looked like we were all headed for another 2-1 outcome, or something close to it. The Flames started slowly, but held on tight to get through the first period and keep things tight. The Shamrocks did score the only goal of the period. The home team had troubles getting the puck out of their own end, mostly because they ignored teammates who were open or at least in a better position to move the puck along. Even so, the shots were nearly even. The thing that looked least promising was the amount of space the Flames players were allowing the Shamrocks’ big boys to skate their wing and rifle shots towards the net.

2nd Period: Whatever transpired in the 60 second intermission certainly worked, well, sort of? The Flames did come out much more intense, especially in the offensive end. Although they did allow a pair of goals on just three shots; both were blatant breakdowns. On the other hand, they scored two goals themselves and got twelve shots on goal. Sam Hebert cut a two goal deficit in half when he scored a pretty goal after being set up by little brother, Wil Hebert. Then the Flames went down 3-1 and it looked as though the period would end that way. With 1:01 left in the period, Zachary Bayer scored a big goal, cutting the Shamrock lead to one. Bayer was set up nicely by Jackson Puzzo and Wil Hebert. After two periods, the Flames trailed 3-2.

3rd Period: In the final period, the Flames took the offensive to another level and the Shamrocks found themselves playing from behind. First, Zachary Bayer took a pass from Ashlie Killen and scored the game-tying goal. Then Bayer struck for his third goal of the game when Wil Hebert and Patrick Goren set him up for a power play goal. The Flames now led with more than nine minutes to play. Next, Sam Hebert scored again, this time unassisted, and the Flames led 5-3. The Flames were dominating play; they reeled off eleven shots in the period before the visitors registered even one shot. But, as two-goal leads go, one shot pulled the Shamrocks back into the game. They scored with 1:07 to play, just after they had pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker. The faceoff at center ice meant the Shamrocks would put their goalie back in net and for the next 40 plus seconds the Flames maintained pressure, keeping the extra attacker off of the ice. Then with 21 seconds left, the net emptied and the visitors made their final push. The Flames were ready and broke up a centering pass, with Zachary Bayer finding the puck on his stick again. Bayer shot on net from his own blue line, even though several coaches were heard calmly suggesting otherwise. The shot was on the money and with 0:01.6 seconds left to play, the Flames had scored their 6th goal in less than 22 minutes of play. The Flames dominated in offensive chances and shots on goal, mustering 27 shots over the final two periods, and 35 shots on goal in total. It was another well deserved win for the home team, who clearly got better as this game wore on.


January 12: @ Flames 5 vs. NE Stars 1

Saturday evening, wait, I mean Saturday afternoon, the Flames played host to the NE Stars. The game was scheduled to begin at 6:10pm, according to the league website and the various calendar’s used by Flames families. Except that the game was really scheduled for 4:00pm. Thanks to the attendant on duty at the rink who called our coach to let him know that our team was missing from their own home game, we showed up, in increments, and managed to get the game played. I wasn’t there as I had committed to work until 5:30 or so, in order to still get to our 6:10 game, but thankfully our team’s parents reacted quickly, assembled enough of a team to begin play, and then added to the numbers as the game progressed. Interestingly enough, several Flames players were recorded as posting personal bests in the “getting dressed” category. Furthermore, the Flames rebounded from a tough loss earlier in the day and walked out of West Side Arena with a 5-1 win, all before their originally scheduled game time of 6:10pm. Let’s get to the action, of which I know nothing about, but I do have the score sheet and will reference that.

1st Period: True to the spirit of late arrivals, neither team scored a goal in the opening period. There were a few penalties called, but the excitement really stemmed from who would show up for the Flames and when.

2nd Period: The second period started with an early goal scored by Brendan Courtney who was assisted by Patrick Goren. Shortly thereafter, the NE Stars tied the game at 1-1, and eventually the period would end with that same tied score.

3rd Period: Now, looking at the score sheet, it appears as though the third period got a little bit crazy. First, the Flames were whistled for SIX penalties in the period, none of which were matching, nor did they allow a power play goal. This all adds up to being shorthanded for more than half of the period. Even so, the Flames erupted for four goals in the period and won going away. Sam Hebert scored a pair of unassisted goals, and then Zachary Bayer scored a goal set up by Ashlie Killen. Finally, Sean Moore scored a shorthanded goal with less than a minute to play, and the Flames had earned themselves a 5-1 victory.


Something Nice

Sometimes it still happens. Goodness appears without being beckoned. Last week a package arrived at my front door and it was addressed to me. I quickly racked my brain trying to recall if I had ordered anything or had been waiting for any items. Nothing came to mind. My wife encouraged me to open the box as she seemed to know what it was. So, open it, I did. The package gave no clues as to who this was from, and neither did the contents upon opening the box. It was a book. A book about the nuances and unwritten rules of our national pastime. A book on baseball, one I didn’t already own. I was happy to receive this gift but still didn’t know who it was from until I opened the front cover. There was a simple hand written note inside. The book was from a friend. A friend whom I’ve never met. A friend who I know only through correspondence. A friend with whom I share a mutual respect for many of the subtle beauties all around us, and a respect for the things that bring simple pleasures to our lives. I’m quite thankful for my new book. And something tells me that I may just read it while visiting a place of peace and quiet that this friend and I both enjoy. Thank you for the book and for your thoughtfulness. It’s good to witness something nice.

January 12: @ Flames 1 vs. Hanover 2

The Pee Wee Major Flames played host to Hanover on Saturday morning for an important GSL game. After getting two points in Hanover three weeks ago, the Flames were primed to sweep the season series and step even closer to a playoff berth. That was not how it turned out though. The Flames lost a tough game to watch, 2-1. It was tough to watch because the Flames appeared to be the better team, had the better chances, but just handed the puck over to Hanover time after time. In my notes on today’s game, I wrote two things down multiple times, “pass the puck” and “too cute”. As the game wore on I wrote these things with more fervor and more exclamation points. Now, I may not have had the best morning myself, which of course frames the view that I reference here, regardless, I know when a play could and should be made. It is certainly worth noting that the Flames have been playing good hockey as of late, good team hockey at times, even. Today was a chance to solidify a playoff spot in a very tough Tier II Division, and the Flames ‘toe dragged’ the outcome, giving it away to Hanover.


1st Period: After one period there was no score. Both teams were solid, allowing virtually nothing in their own defensive ends. The Flames were the first to buckle a little bit, when they took back to back penalties for careless stick work. The Flames killed the penalties, and one might say they would have killed them easily, were it not for getting ‘too cute’ with the puck. On consecutive clearing attempts, Flames players tried to toe drag the puck, or otherwise stick handle from their own end when a simple clear would have been the choice best served. Both times the puck was kept in by Hanover and shots on goal were the result.


2nd Period: Individual play carried into the second period, and it wasn’t long before it came back to haunt the Flames. Less than three minutes into the period, the Flames had a 3-on-2 break, and the center man had the puck with space. On his wing, his line mate was open and 50 feet ahead of him. No pass was made. The wing paused and waited, and then waited some more while the center man weaved through neutral ice. By the time the puck entered the zone, without a pass, both wings were offside. Innocent enough, right? Wrong. The resulting faceoff was won cleanly by Hanover, and they skated in on a clear breakaway, scored the goal and took a 1-0 lead. Fortunately, the Flames answered shortly thereafter on a beautiful centering pass from Zachary Bayer to Ryan Douthart who one-timed the pass from the slot, between the circles, and beating the goaltender to tie the game at 1 apiece. The period would end in a 1-1 tie, leaving just 12 minutes to decide the outcome.


3rd Period: The Flames came out and played, what I thought was their best period of the game in the final stanza. They dominated with shots on goal, puck possession, and had many scoring chances. Hanover did get some tremendous help from their goaltender. Hanover got help from the post of the goal, where one shot that beat the goaltender, ended up hitting and staying out of the net. Hanover got help from their defense who cleared a couple of sure goals off of rebounds. Finally, Hanover got help from the Flames themselves, who continued to stickhandle in tight spots when a pass or a dump in would have secured possession of the puck and possibly, additional chances to score. Then, with 2:12 to play, the Flames got cute in the offensive end, turned the puck over, and gave up the go ahead goal at the other end of the ice. The Flames pulled their goaltender with 1:07 left to play and did generate some great chances to tie the game, but Hanover and their goalie held the fort, and got the win.


Disney and Dora

The twins get some down time in their new comfy chairs while watching Dora and sitting in their favorites, Cinderella and Lightning McQueen.

001 (2)


Pee Wee Major Flames Tournament times for MLK

Date Fri Game Time ARENA Home Team Away Team
18-Jan Fri 11:50 AM West Side Arena Flames 00 Conquistadors 01
18-Jan Fri 9:10 PM West Side Arena Keene Flames 00
19-Jan Sat 12:50 PM West Side Arena Ice Cats Flames 00
Date Sat Game Time ARENA Home Team Away Team


January 7: @ Flames 4 vs. NH Avalanche II 3

Special thanks to Amaris, Mel, and Alan for getting information to me in compiling this summary. I appreciate it very much and I am sorry I missed such a great game, as I had a previous baseball commitment on Monday night. Thank you.

The Flames Pee Wee Major team had so much fun playing hockey over the weekend that they kept right on playing into the school week. Monday night the Flames played host to the NH Avalanche II team which entered the game undefeated in Granite State play. The Av’s were also responsible for the Flames largest deficit in a loss this season when they beat the Flames 5-1 in their first meeting. In a game that proved to be far more exciting than the BCS National Championship game, the Flames earned a thrilling 4-3 win.

1st Period: Sean Moore got the Flames on the board first, following his own shot and rebound to put the puck in the net, giving the Flames a very short lead. Seconds later the Av’s took advantage of a defensive breakdown and scored on a wide open look at the net. Later in the period Jackson Puzzo went into the offensive boards and won a battle for the puck before centering a pass to Zachary Bayer. Bayer beat the goaltender clean, giving the Flames their second advantage of the game, 2-1. True to early form in this one, the Av’s answered again, this time just 16 seconds later. Again, the lead was gone, and the game was tied 2-2. The Flames had come to play and better yet, were utilizing their resources to create match-up issues for the Av’s who seemed a bit shocked that this game wasn’t already over.

2nd Period: In the second period the Flames continued to play well and make it clear that this wasn’t the same team that lost back in October. This time Bayer had the puck below the goal line and fed a pretty pass across the goal mouth to Puzzo who neatly one-timed the puck into the net giving the Flames their third lead of the game at 3-2. This time, the Flames held the lead, at least for a while. Although the home team spent the last four minutes of the period shorthanded, they held the Av’s from scoring and led at the end of two periods. The lead was in place thanks to some herculean penalty killing efforts from Brendan Courtney, Patrick Goren, Sam Hebert, and Wil Hebert.

3rd Period: The third period was more of the same, highly contested, evenly played hockey, with the Flames clinging to a one goal lead. Then, late in the period the Av’s scored a goal to tie the game at 3 apiece. This goal was questionable in many people’s mind. Did the Av’s player knock the puck into the net with his arm or hand, or with momentum carried into the crease? The officials did confer, and the call stood, goal for the Av’s, much to the chagrin of the Flames bench. Less than a minute later, while killing yet another penalty called for Flame stickwork, Sam Hebert scored the Flames fourth go ahead goal of the game, while shorthanded. The Flames held on and got the win despite the extra attacker the Flames had to contend with over the last 90 seconds of the game. This was a good hockey game and the Flames continued to play well, and to play like a team. They moved the puck, played together, and took advantage of match ups and style of play at every turn.