Tag Archives: Flames

Flames 16U Take Bronze at Nationals

Recently the Manchester Flames sent a 16U Tier II hockey team to the 2016 Toyota-USA Hockey Youth Nationals in Wayne, NJ. The tournament ran from March 31 – April 4 in multiple arenas. The Flames went 4-0 in the Tier II State Playoffs back in November to earn their bid to Nationals. The team representing New Hampshire, and the Manchester Flames organization, is listed here in hopes of bringing some attention to the kids, the coaches, and the parents, coming together to accomplish so much.

 

#/ Player/ School
1 Keenan Alnahas-Central
2 Jack Compos-Central
5 Kyle Greer-Bedford
6 Patrick Goren-Memorial
7 Tim Spencer-Bedford
8 Noah Charron-Goffstown
9 Bowen Bilodeau-Central
11 Erik Voloshin-Bedford
15 Zachary Bayer-Bedford
18 Ryan Sullivan-Memorial
22 Ryan Huppe-Trinity
26 Nathan Musgrave-Bedford
31 David Guimont-Bedford
34 Kevin Anderson-Bishop Brady
49 Phillip Tsoukalas-Windham
83 Colin Voloshin-Bedford
88 Zack Rice-Bedford
91 Jacob Tremblay-Pembroke-Campbell
99 Jack McDonough-Bedford
Head Coach: Troy Spencer
Asst. Coach: Mike Bayer
Asst. Coach: Chris Platek

16U Team 2016

(Photo by Goren) (c) Carmo Photography 2016

I wasn’t in NJ to see any of the games but I did see updates from several parents involved with this team. I put this together simply to bring attention to these kids. The vast majority of kids playing sports may never even qualify to play in the their own State’s tournament for whatever sport they compete in. Then, to win a State Championship happens to fewer still. Then of course, you add in a trip to Nationals, and well, that’s something you carry with you for the rest of your life. That’s awesome! Congratulations!

 

See, last year (2015), this team (several of the same players) also went to Nationals, out in Salt Lake City, Utah. They played 3 games and lost all three of them. They were outscored 16-0 in the games, losing to teams from Tennessee, Arizona, and Utah. Regardless of the results, I’d bet that any of these competitors would admit they were better for having played that competition, win or lose.

 

Fast forward to this past week. The Flames traveled to Wayne, NJ to play at the Nationals, again. This year was different. Last year’s adversity may have played a part in the motivation to get better. Better they were.16U logo

In the Flames first game, they battled a team from Wyoming. The Flames won the first period, 3-1, before being outscored 3-1 themselves in the middle period. This game turned into an epic battle.

 

The Flames actually fell behind 1-0 before Eric Voloshin scored on the power play with an assist from Zack Bayer. A couple of minutes later, Colin Voloshin scored an even-strength goal from Jack McDonough to give the Flames a 2-1 lead. With just 89 seconds left in the period, Zack Bayer scored on the power play, the favor returned with an assist to Eric Voloshin.

 

In the second period, Wyoming turned up the heat, scoring three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead. Then, with less than a minute to play in the period, Goffstown’s Noah Charron scored an even strength goal to tie the game at 4-4.

 

The final period was intense, and Wyoming scored first when Hunter Peterson (who would lead the tournament in goals, with 12) scored his third goal of the game to give them a 5-4 lead with less than 7 minutes to play. With just 59 seconds remaining, New Boston’s Kevin Anderson (Bishop Brady) scored the game-tying goal with an assist going to Phillip Tsoukalas. Regulation time would end in a 5-5 tie. After a 5-minute overtime period in which neither team scored, the game would be decided in a shootout.Flames

The shootout lineup went something like this, Noah Charron, Jack McDonough, Eric Voloshin, and Zack Bayer. Either way, the Flames won the shootout and took game one, 6-5. Keenan Alnahas played 56 minutes in net, turning away 19 of 24 shots, while the Flames pounded Nils Huot in net for Wyoming with 40 shots.

 

Less than 24 hours later, the Flames were back on the ice to play the Nebraska champs. This game was quite different from the opener where offense ruled, and few penalties were called. The Flames were called for 8 minor penalties in this game (with no penalties called in the 3rd period), but somehow kept Nebraska from scoring with the man advantage, as they went 0-7 on the power play. After one period, the score was 1-1. After two periods, the score was 2-2.

 

Nebraska scored first, late in the opening period, but Manchester answered with a goal of their own, just 90 seconds later. Colin Voloshin scored the goal with an assist going to Ryan Sullivan. Early in the second period, the Flames went up 2-1 when Zack Bayer scored from Eric Voloshin. Nebraska would tie the game a few minutes later.

 

In the 3rd period, the Flames would get a goal from Colin Voloshin with just 3:17 left in the game. The lone assist went to Kevin Anderson. The New Hampshire State Champs would pepper Nebraska goaltender, Brodie Bednarz, with 48 shots before being pulled for the extra attacker. There were only 56 seconds left on the clock when Kyle Greer would score an empty net goal to seal the Flames 4-2 victory. Assists on the final goal went to Jack McDonough and Eric Voloshin. David Guimont was excellent in net for the Flames, stopping 25 of 27 shots he faced.

 

Game three saw the Manchester Flames play the Oklahoma City Oil Kings, and this game was flat, down and dirty. This game would feature 14 power plays, 34 minutes in penalties, headshots, missed calls, and 13 total penalties that were called (9 on the Flames).

 

Oklahoma would jump out to a 4-1 lead in the first 24 minutes of the game. Each game was played in three, 17-minute periods, and a 5-minute overtime if needed. The second half of this game, especially the final period, saw the Flames stand up for themselves and be counted. The lone Flames goal in the first two periods, came when Eric Voloshin scored on a nice play from Zack Bayer and Colin Voloshin on the power play.

 

In the 3rd period, the Flames were literally on fire. They scored two goals and cut the deficit to 4-3 with half a period to play. Eric Voloshin scored an even-strength goal that was unassisted. Then, Zack Rice scored a goal set up by Ryan Huppe and Tim Spencer. After cutting the lead to one goal, the Flames were whistled for four consecutive penalties, and couldn’t overcome the disadvantages to score another goal. Finally, on the power play, Oklahoma scored on a power play with 20 seconds left to win 5-3. The Flames split the goaltending duties in this game with, David Guimont playing 23:51 and allowing 4 goals, while Keenan Alnahas played 27:09, allowing 1 goal. Apparently nobody kept track of shots on goal in this game so I will assume that the Flames goaltenders were awesome and saved a lot of shots.

Screenshot 2016-04-07 at 9.38.16 AM

The game against Oklahoma was a physical battle, and it was mentally draining as well. Despite the loss, the Flames qualified for the Playoff Bracket, making the final four.

 

As the pairings would have it, the Flames would open the playoffs against the team from Wyoming. Manchester would fail to get any continuity going in this game and ultimately lose 5-0. The game was full of penalties (12) and totaled 40 minutes in penalties, including misconduct penalties to both sides. The teams would combine to go 0-for-10 on power plays. Keenan Alnahas played 17:00 (one period) in net, allowing 2 goals on 6 shots. David Guimont played 34:00 (two periods) in goal, allowing 3 goals on 24 shots. The Flames would get 21 shots on Nils Huot in net, but none would get by him. Wyoming would go on to win the Championship, beating Oklahoma 4-2 in the finals. The Flames would end up taking the Bronze medal, finishing in 3rd place.
Only one team every year gets to end their season and post-season with a win in any given level of play. That’s very difficult to achieve, and people lose sight of the teams (everyone else) that doesn’t win their final game of the season, or even qualify for post-season play. This is where I like to turn things to reverse and realize how many teams started play at any given level, way back at the beginning of the season. Then the funnel gets smaller, and fewer teams qualify for local playoffs, and then only one team wins at that level. Next thing you know, there are just a few teams playing at Regionals, Sectionals, Nationals, or whatever it may be. To know that a team made it that far, to play with the final teams competing at all, is pretty awesome. To also realize that it took everyone on the roster to get there, is even more impressive. Then to place, to earn a medal in the final rounds of competition, well that’s something to hold dear because so few get to apply their skills in such rarefied air. Congratulations to the Flames 16U team, to their coaches, the families, and the organization. Remember though, chances are, none of us would be talking about Wayne, NJ and Nationals were it not for the kids. It’s all about the kids.

USA Hockey

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Fire and the Moon

I never know what I might see just by getting outside. I love the outdoors.

The moon climbs a little higher while I enjoy the warmth of the flames.

The moon climbs a little higher while I enjoy the warmth of the flames.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite pictures from my phone. The flames are reaching for the moon.

One of my favorite pictures ever from my phone. The flames are reaching for the moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NH Avalanche 2000 Weekend November 15-16

This weekend the NH Avalanche 2000 team had a pretty full weekend playing two games on Saturday and another game Sunday morning. All three games were played at The Ice Den Arena in Hooksett, NH.

I am going to approach this recap a little bit differently I think. I am just going to list the results and then write about some points from the games and see how that goes. Continue reading

February 17: @ Flames 3 vs. Raiders 3

Sunday afternoon the Pee Wee Major Flames returned to home ice for a game against the Raiders based out of Everett, MA. Right away it was apparent that the Flames effort level and team involvement were back, and Saturday’s game just a memory. The Flames would take a 2-1 lead half way through this game, only to lose the lead late in the 3rd period. Then the hockey gods smiled on the home team when the Flames scored with an extra attacker on the ice with less than a minute left. The game ended in a 3-3 tie.

1st Period: Just 22 seconds into the game, the Flames trailed 1-0 when play broke down in front of their own net, and the opportunistic Raider top line put them ahead. For the rest of the period the Flames dominated scoring chances and shots, getting 10 of the next 11 shots in the game. With 8:36 left in the period, Sam Hebert scored on the power play and the tied things at one apiece. The period would end with the Flames feeling like they should have scored a couple of more goals, but tied 1-1.

2nd Period: The second period started with the Flames getting the early chances but the score remained tied. Then Sam Hebert struck again, and gave the Flames a 2-1 lead. It was Hebert’s 60th goal of the season and 42nd goal in 24 Mass Select games. The Flames would retain this lead for the next 20 minutes of hockey time. The second period ended with the Flames leading 2-1, and holding a 17-6 advantage in shots. Again, they were unable to widen the lead, or put away the pesky, ever-improving Raider club.

3rd Period: The Raiders showed that they weren’t giving up, or going away in the final period as they outplayed and outworked the Flames for much of the period. Finally the lead that carried no comfort in it was gone. The Raiders top line struck for a goal with 3:16 left in the game. Then 60 seconds later they tallied again, giving the visitors a 3-2 lead with just 136 seconds left in the game. The Raiders, who had spent most of the season in last place in their division, had beaten the Flames in their only other visit to West Side Arena, and they had also moved out of the cellar in the division. It appeared as though the Flames were going to lose another home game to the Raiders despite beating them twice on their home ice. Then, with the goaltender pulled, and Sean Moore parked legally in front of the net, the Flames reached back for a little more. Sam Hebert and Patrick Goren exchanged passes before throwing the puck at the net. The Raider goaltender never reacted to the puck as Moore limited his view of anything at all, and the puck slid unimpeded to the goal mouth where Zachary Bayer slammed home the game-tying goal with just 41 seconds left to play. With the game tied, the Flames returned Anders Lindberg to their net, and held on for the tie. Although, just seconds after the center ice face-off  Bayer found himself with the puck on a clear breakaway. There was not another Raider even in the defensive zone as Bayer approached the net. Bayer let a shot go, but the Raider goal tender was squared up to the shot and made a clean save without a rebound. The game would end in a 3-3 tie.

The tie was just the third tie of the season for the Flames, bringing their overall record to 34-20-3 on the season. With just a couple of weeks left in the season, the Flames have 7 different players with 30 or more points on the season.

On Tap:

Saturday, Feb 23: @ Shamrocks, Ristuccia Arena 7:20pm

Sunday, Feb 24: @ Nashua Pee Wee 3, Skate 3 Blue 12:00pm

February 16: @ Flames 2 vs. Nashua Pee Wee III 0

In the spirit of today’s Flames home game, I am writing this while four people stand around watching me. The Pee Wee Major Flames earned a berth in the GSL playoffs by virtue of their 2-0 win over the Nashua Pee Wee 3 team. Wil Hebert scored a goal assisted by Patrick Goren in the first period, and Brendan Courtney added an unassisted, empty net goal with 27 seconds left to play in the game. Keenan Alnahas and Anders Lindberg combined in goal for the teams’ 8th shutout of the season.

Keeping a mindful eye on my word count, as compared to the number of passes the Flames attempted today, there’s nothing else to see here.

I ask myself; overanalyze much? Sometimes.

February 2: Flames 3 @ Raiders 0

The Flames returned to the States, and also resumed playing league games after playing in 8 tournament games over the past two weekends, including the visit to Ottawa, ON. In, normal, road game, fashion, the Flames made the trip to Everett, MA for an 8am showdown against the Raiders. Although the Flames never really seemed to click into gear as a cohesive unit this morning, they played well enough to win 3-0. The goaltending tandem of Anders Lindberg and Keenan Alnahas stayed red-hot, earning their 7th shutout of the season, stopping all 16 shots.

 

1st Period: It was apparent to me early on that this Raider team has improved. They were much more structured in their movement of the puck, and their methodical approach to working the puck up ice gained them more scoring opportunities. Even so, the Flames struck early with a goal in the first three minutes. Zachary Bayer rushed up the left-wing and beat the Raiders to their own net and scored by beating the goaltender up high. Patrick Goren and Sam Hebert made passes out of their own end in order to spring Bayer on his rush up ice. After one period, the Flames led 1-0 and held a slight 7-6 advantage in shots. The shots on net totals were somewhat misleading, as the Raiders piled up five shots on one power play.

 

2nd Period: In the second period, the Flames came together a little bit better, and really pressed the Raider players coming out of their own end. This created two things; for one thing, the Flames caused turnovers by pressuring the puck carrier. The second thing that came from the pressure was scoring chances. The Flames outshot the Raiders 10-3 in the period and doubled their lead on the scoreboard at 2-0. Wil Hebert scored an unassisted goal when he took over a shift as a one-man forechecking force. He picked off a puck at center ice, curled around a defender, and beat a couple of stick checks from retreating Raiders en route to the front of the net, where he buried his shot.

 

3rd Period: The Flames killed an early penalty in the final period, holding a two-goal lead while looking for some insurance. Insurance came when the Flames, after cycling the puck through a line change, scored a nice goal, set up by teamwork. Zachary Bayer got the goal, but the puck could have easily been pushed into the net by Kyle O’Flaherty, who was in the right place at the right time. Brendan Courtney had made a nice pass to set the whole thing up, and got the only assist on the goal. The score remained 3-0 through the final buzzer, and the Flames earned their 32nd win of the season.

 

On Tap: Sunday, Feb. 3: @ Nashua Pee Wee 2 – Skate 3 Blue – 10:50am. This is an important GSL game tomorrow morning. The Flames need points in the standings to solidify a playoff spot.

Ottawa 3 – January 26: Flames 0 vs. Kanata Blazers 2

Saturday afternoon the Flames played their third and final game of round robin competition in the 9th Annual Capital Winter Classic Hockey Tournament. The Flames played the Kanata Blazers with a playoff berth on the line. As it turns out, the Flames fell to the Blazers 2-0, and missed out on a playoff spot due to tie breakers. Let’s recap.

 

1st Period: The first period played out like I thought it might, even, conservative, and a little bit physical. It was at least all of those, as the teams combined for six total shots, and nary a scoring chance, although the Blazers did hit the crossbar with a shot late in the period.

 

2nd Period: The second period starting much the same way the first period played out, even, not many chances, and scoreless. Then things changed quickly, and they changed dramatically. I wish the momentum change wasn’t tied to something the team has struggled with all season, but in hindsight it looks that way. With 5:33 left to play in the period, or just past the half way point of the game, the Flames made their customary goal tender change. At that time in the game, the Blazers might have looked like the better overall skating team, but the Flames were getting chances sporadically as well. At this measurement point, the Flames had 6 shots, the Blazers had just 4. There were no goals scored, nor were there any penalties for either team. With 4:50 left in the period the Flames took a penalty, 2:00 minute penalties in Canada. At 3:16 left, the Flames took a second penalty; this one gave the Blazers a 5-on-3 advantage for 26 seconds. The Blazers needed just 13 seconds to score a power play goal, taking a 1-0 lead. Just like that, the Blazers had gone from 4 shots in nineteen minutes to ripping off 7 shots in the next 3+ minutes. Honestly, neither Flames penalty was brutal; however both of them could have been easily avoided. The period ended with the Flames trailing 1-0, and now being out gunned 12-6 in shots. Another note, after the change in goal, the Flames did not register a shot for the remainder of the period while the Blazers had 8 shots.

 

3rd Period: The third period was desperation time for the Flames; at least they were getting more desperate with each passing minute. Even so, the Flames only registered 1 shot on goal in the first nine minutes of the third period. During this time, the Blazers constantly had both defensemen back while making perfect break out passes time and time again, and rushed up ice, three across, like it was drawn up on the board. The Blazers also struck for a second goal in this time and were dominating play. The Blazers had sent 10 shots on net to the Flames 1 shot until the Blazers took their only penalty of the game. The Flames rallied over the last 1:48, getting 4 shots on goal, but were unable to score. Ultimately, the Flames lost 2-0, and were dominated in shots by a 24-11 margin. After losing to the Blazers it was up to tie breakers, and remaining games from other teams to determine the fate of the Flames playoff hopes. Zachary Bayer was recognized as player of the game for the Flames.

 

As it turned out, the Flames tied for first in their division, but were seeded third as a result of their goal differential. Then, the other three divisions finished play, and seeded their teams, which left the Flames as the 8th overall seed, and only 6 teams moved into the playoffs. So, the tournament was done for the Flames. No playoffs due to tie breakers, which ultimately comes back to how the team performed on the ice.

 

From this perspective I thought the team played well. They competed in every period, and gave themselves opportunities to win games, and win they did, two out of three times. The Flames scored 4 goals and allowed just 3 goals over the three games played, while taking 6 minor penalties. The goaltenders were sensational. Anders Lindberg made 29 saves on 31 shots for a save percentage of .935. Keenan Alnahas saved 15 of 16 shots for a percentage of .938. These percentages are fantastic at any level. These two and the team may have deserved better based on their abilities to keep pucks out of their own net. Either one of these goalies could have been player of the game in any of the games. In my opinion, Brendan Courtney could have been player of the game in all 3 games, as he did his best Zdeno Chara, shutdown defenseman impersonation. There were notable players up and down the lineup for the Flames and they should take pride in their effort as a team, and as individuals. Good showing Flames!

 

The trip to Ottawa was fun, even if frigid temperatures kept sightseeing to a minimum. The kids played good hockey, they played in world-class facilities, they played in a community that’s part of a country that takes this game seriously, and expects all that participate to play the game the right way. The Pittsburgh Penguins held a practice in the rink next door (in the same building) to the ice sheet that the Flames were playing on in their final game. I saw the kids scurry and scamper up and down hotel halls so they could hang out together and play more knee hockey, or go swimming, or just be together. I also saw the rosy red cheeks of one teammate after another returning from a brisk skate on the Rideau Canal. I hope all had fun. I know I enjoy the city of Ottawa and the offerings it makes available to visitors, and I hope others enjoyed a slice of their visit to Ottawa as well. Our family had fun, and I particularly enjoyed getting a 4 mile skate on the canal with both my 20-year old and 12-year old sons.