Tag Archives: Ashlie Killen

December 15: Flames 2 @ NH Avalanche III 3

Saturday, December 15, 2012 saw the Manchester Flames Pee Wee Major team hit the road for a pair of road games. The first game was just a few minutes up the road, at the Ice Den for a contest with a familiar foe, the NH Avalanche Pee Wee 3 team. The teams had split the decisions in two previous meetings this season. From my visitor’s seat near center ice, I watched the game on Saturday afternoon, and I must admit that after watching 36 minutes of play, the effort felt like a win from the Flames side. However, the feeling I carried with me as I walked downstairs was one of disappointment and frustration, because what looked, better than not on the ice, resulted in a 3-2 loss, no points in the GSL Standings, and a pair of losses to the Av 3 team in league play. Really, who cares what I felt, so let’s get to the action.

1st Period: Manchester jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, scoring just 20 seconds into the game. Ashlie Killen and Sean Moore made passes that ended up on Zachary Bayer’s stick, who fired a wrist shot over the goalie’s shoulder and under the cross-bar to give the Flames the lead. The Flames would dominate possession, shots, and scoring chances through the rest of the period, although the period ended with the Flames leading 1-0.

2nd Period: The Flames would lose this period 1-0, despite out shooting the Avs 7-6 and carrying much of the play. Max LaJeunesse scored a power play goal for the Avs just 22 seconds after the Flames’ Achilles heel exposed itself, taking one of many penalties on the day. The power play goal tied the game at one apiece. For the rest of the period the Flames played well, got chances, then would take another penalty and give back momentum. After two periods the score was; Flames 1, Avalanche 1.

3rd Period: As we typically see, the third period opened up a little bit. There were three goals scored and six penalties called in the final period. For the Flames, the period progressed almost exactly opposite of how they would have liked. First, another penalty led to another power play goal for the home team. Then, Sam Hebert answered with a swift, strong rush to the front of the net, and scored the game-tying goal. Patrick Goren started the play with a quick pass to Wil Hebert, who hit his brother with the pass that sent Sam into the offensive end and the resulting goal. For the next several minutes the Flames would get some excellent scoring chances but could not convert, even while killing off a 4-on-3 shorthanded situation. Then, with the puck on their sticks, afforded both time and space, the Flames turned the puck over in their own end and quickly recovered it from the back of their own net. The goal was just a bad goal on a bad play, the type of play that rears its head in scenarios like these, when missed opportunities at the other end result in empty trips and near misses. That goal, a credit to the Avs, who capitalized on Flames miscues and penalties throughout the game, gave the home team a 3-2 lead with 3-plus minutes to play. The Flames promptly took another penalty, somewhat thwarting their own comeback attempt for 90 seconds. The Flames killed the penalty, pulled their goaltender, but could not get the tying goal.

In all, the Flames took 8 penalties to just 3 for the Avs. The Flames outshot their opponent in each of the three periods for a 23-16 advantage overall. The Flames are now 5-6-1 in GSL play, tied for 3rd place with 11 points, but have played the most games in the league (tied with Berlin who has also played 12 games) thus far. This leaves the door wide open for the teams lower in the standings to win games and garner points while the Flames have just 8 league games remaining. For example, the Avalanche 2 team has 11 points, and sits tied with the Flames in the standings, but they still have 10 games remaining.

 

December 2: Flames 5 @ Berlin 1

The Flames were in Berlin, NH Sunday morning for a Granite State game with the Berlin Sabers. They definitely showed the effects of playing an intense game just 16 hours prior, some 165 miles away. Unfortunately for the host Sabers, the effects carried over by the visiting Flames were those of intensity and team play, the latter of which was lacking on Saturday evening. The Flames jumped out to a 2-0 lead, increased the lead to 5-0, and won going away. The Flames earned two much needed points in the Granite State Standings with an impressive 5-1, road victory.

1st period: The Flames played well from the start. They held an impressive 11-2 advantage in shots, and it even seemed more one-sided than that. Wil Hebert was the first of five different Flames to score a goal after being set up by his older brother, Sam Hebert. Then, with just 16 seconds left in the period the Flames struck again, and this time it was all about passing. Ashlie Killen made a D-to-D pass over to Patrick Goren who let a shot go from the left point. The puck was deflected by Sean Moore en route to the net, and the carom went right to Jackson Puzzo who converted the chance, giving the Flames a 2-0 lead after one period. Superstitiously, I was knocking on the lumber in the Notre Dame Arena bleachers as a comment was made noting that the Flames had played a penalty-free period; to no avail.

2nd period: The Flames would get called for two penalties each in the 2nd and 3rd periods, still a vast improvement over recent weeks. Anyways, back to the action. The Flames scored their third goal when multiple feed attempts to Ryan Douthart who was parked in the slot, led to a rebound goal scored by Zach Bayer. Again, it was team hockey, and it paid off. Bayer, being fed passes down low by Goren and Killen, had made a pass or two to Douthart, who got away a couple of good shots that were turned away, the last of which was a rebound pounced on by Bayer to get the goal. Again, Killen was part of the pass play, but only two assists are awarded in hockey, and they went to Douthart and Goren. 3-0 Flames. Minutes later, Sam Hebert reached high into the air and knocked down a fluttering puck with his glove hand, the puck hit the ice in front of him and he was off to the races. Sam skated in nearly alone and buried a short-handed goal giving the Flames a 4-0 lead. 41 seconds later, Brendan “Thunderstick” Courtney ripped a slap shot just inside the far post for an apparent goal. The goal was waved off as Sean Moore had redirected the shot with an apparent high stick. Two minutes later the Flames got goal number five on another unselfish hockey play. Killen, Goren, and Bayer, and Sam Hebert were dominating puck possession and feeding Kyle O’Flaherty around the slot area in an attempt to get him his first goal of the season. They did their job and Kyle scored a great goal, but I will get to that in a minute. First, I neglected to mention in Saturday’s summary something I noticed and should have recorded, but forgot as the hour approached midnight at the end of a long day. Here it is, and I am sure Kyle was not alone in this but he stood out to me on Saturday, and again on Sunday. Shift after shift O’Flaherty challenged bigger, stronger, opposing forwards, by skating hard and shadowing these players who were looking to receive breakout passes. In the moments that the Flames played their best on Saturday night, Kyle was pressing the forwards, challenging them to get free just to receive a pass, and his disruption led to turnovers and Flame offensive chances. He was at it again on Sunday and he got the ultimate hard working hockey reward, a nice goal. Ok, so the goal, Ashlie Killen wound up for a big shot, which faked out everyone in the building when the puck trickled some four feet off of her stick, right to Zach Bayer. Bayer fed a pass to the slot towards O’Flaherty but he was being stick-checked or held and the puck ended up on Patrick Goren’s stick at the right point. Goren let a low shot go along the ice, O’Flaherty in a half spin, got the toe of his stick blade on the puck and guided it perfectly through the goaltender’s five-hole for his first goal. The score was 5-0 in a runaway game but the celebration on the ice, by teammates, who were playing like teammates, was nice to see. The period would end with the Flames leading 5-0 and owning a 29-5 edge in shots on goal.

3rd period: The game’s final 12 minutes saw Berlin get a hard working goal of their own, a credit to continuing to work hard and not give up, as it should be. The Flames played defensemen on offense and vice-versa. They would not score any goals but these new lines showed their teammates, the coaching staff, and the nearly sold out (not really), visiting crowd that they can pass the puck. After all was said and done the Flames won 5-1, garnered 35 shots on goal, and got 9 saves on 10 shots against from Keenan Alnahas and Anders Lindberg. It was a solid, intense, team effort following a late game the night before, and the result showed that.

On tap: Saturday the Flames host the Bulldogs (our newest rival) in the world famous West Side Arena at 2:30pm. Then Sunday it’s another home game at 3:00pm vs. Keene. Have a great week!