Tag Archives: Jackson Puzzo

Ottawa 1 – January 25: Flames 3 vs. Perth Blue Wings 1

The Manchester Flames Pee Wee Majors traveled to Ottawa, Ontario to compete in the 9th Annual Capital Winter Classic Tournament, and this morning they played their opening game. Walking into the complex this morning, we sought the unfamiliar relief of the cold rink as a place of warmth to get away from the wind chills of 10 and 20 degrees below zero. Feeling frozen, maybe a little bit, the Flames were matched up against the Perth Blue Wings to start the tournament. The Flames started slow but did rally to earn a 3-1 win.

1st Period: The Flames managed five shots on goal, and did control the puck some, while taking a few icing calls. They held the Blue Wings to just a pair of shots on goal. After one period, the game was tied at 0-0.

2nd Period: the second period saw the Blue Wings score first. After a loose puck sat for what seemed like an hour in the Flames empty defensive crease, Patrick Goren swept the puck aside, and clear of the goalmouth. The trouble was that Goren used his gloved hand to do so, which, by rule awards the non-offending team a penalty shot. The Perth player scored and the Flames trailed 1-0. The Flames took a penalty just 20 seconds after the goal and were in a tight spot, not wanting to go down by two goals. The Flames and, superb penalty killer, Brendan Courtney, held their own, and killed the penalty. Then with just 78 ticks left to play in the 2nd period, the Flames scored on the power play to tie the game. After a great shift from Wil Hebert, Jackson Puzzo, and Sam Hebert, they were rewarded with a goal. Sam finally tapped the puck into the net after shots and passes had trickled through traffic, bounced off of the goalie, and appeared to going wide of the net. Sam collected the puck and quickly slid it behind the goaltender before he could recover. Puzzo and Wil Hebert got the assists. The period ended with the game tied at 1-1, and the Flames holding a 14-6 advantage in shots.

3rd Period: 11 seconds into the final period, the Flames took the lead. After winning a scrum following the face off, Sam Hebert took a pass from Sean Moore and bolted up left wing. Hebert made no mistake, roofing the puck in the top right corner of the net, and scoring his second goal of the game. Minutes later, Zachary Bayer scored on a set up from Jackson Puzzo and the Flames led 3-1 with half a period to play. The Flames collapsed around their own net and kept most play to the outside in trying to preserve their lead. The final score would stay the same, a 3-1 win for the Flames. Keenan Alnahas and Anders Lindberg combined to save 10 of 11 shots and earn the win for the Flames. The Flames generated 19 shots on goal in the game. Sam Hebert was named player of the game for the Flames who move over to the Bell Sensplex, and the Mattamy Homes Arena for a 7:30pm game tonight, against the Kitchener Jr. Rangers Blue.

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.

January 6: @ Flames 3 vs. 495 Stars White 2

After two games on Saturday the Flames came into Sunday afternoon’s game with the 495 Stars White team with a full 24 hours off. The Flames and Stars were meeting for the 4th and final time this season, and if the game followed previous results, this would be a tight one. In three previous meetings, the Flames earned one goal victories in each, 4-3, 3-2, and 3-2. During the pre-game skate both referees were geared for a feisty, heavy penalized type of game, but I pointed out that previous encounters had been pretty crisp, and clean. So, here we go.

1st Period: The first period set the tone for the rest of the game really. There were few shots by either team, much of the play was from the face off circles and out through the neutral zone, and above the circles at the other end. Both teams contested odd man rushes, and breakouts, and play was overall defensive in nature. This favored the Flames largely due to the fact that the Flames broke through and scored twice in the period, while getting just 5 shots to the net. Ryan Douthart (who I think played his best game of the season, and continues to improve) scored a great hockey goal to get the Flames started. Jackson Puzzo got the puck to Sam Hebert who drove to the net creating a defensive collapse on him. This freed up Douthart who got the puck, and shot on net, and then he followed his own rebound and put the puck in the net. The Flames led 1-0. Late in the period Sean Moore made a nice little tip pass to Sam Hebert who took the pass in full stride and beat everyone to the net, scoring a pretty goal, and giving the Flames a 2-0 lead. After one period; 2 goals scored, 9 combined shots, and just one combined penalty.

2nd Period: The Stars had a better 2nd period, but it didn’t start that way. The Flames had some early chances and several shots, but gave the momentum back by taking consecutive penalties. The Stars took full advantage of the penalty whistled when the Flames stop skating and get their sticks parallel to the ice, hooking. Less than a minute after having an unsuccessful power play, the Stars corrected matters on this advantage. The Stars got a power play goal to cut the Flames lead in half. Then, just 10 seconds later, Bang! The game was tied at 2-2. The Flames were able to get the lead back before the period ended when Sam Hebert took the puck off of a Stars’ stick and went the length of the ice to score his second goal of the game. The period ended with the Flames leading 3-2. The Stars had 7 shots to just 6 shots for the Flames.

3rd Period: There was no scoring in the final period, nor were there any penalties called. However, this may have been the most dominating period for the Flames. Over the final 20 minutes of play, the Flames allowed just 4 shots to reach their goaltender. They controlled play, gave up almost zero chances, and outshot the Stars 8-3. Douthart had half of the Flames shots in the period. The home team played well, another solid team effort in earning their third straight 3-2 win at the hands of the 495 Stars White team. The win gives the Flames a 3 point lead in their division standings, while still having played one less game than the 2nd place Bulldogs.

On Tap:

Monday night, January 7th (tonight): Flames vs. Avalanche II @ 7:50pm (West Side Arena)

Saturday, January 12th: Flames vs. Hanover @ 10:20am (West Side Arena)

Saturday, January 12th: Flames vs. NE Stars Select @ 6:10pm (West Side Arena)

Sunday, January 13th: Flames vs. Shamrocks @ 2:10pm (West Side Arena)

January 5: Flames 4 @ Raiders 2

Saturday morning at 8:00am the Flames Pee Wee Major team brought its first performance of 2013 to the Allied Veterans Memorial Rink in Everett, MA. With a game time scheduled early, reminding me of Mite hockey schedules, the players and parents made their way south in the dark. An early game on a Saturday morning, following a holiday week had all the makings of a sluggish performance. To make matters worse, upon arriving at the rink and taking the pregame skate, the Flames were down a few players due to sickness and other conflicts. Thus, shorthanded, the game began.

1st Period: Any sluggish performance worries were quickly dashed as the Flames jumped out to a very fast start. Through the first five plus minutes of play, the Flames had mustered 6 shots on goal, and even more scoring chances. During which time, they hadn’t allowed anything even close to a shot on Keenan Alnahas in their net. That would change shortly; kind of. To give you an idea of how this Flames team rolls, they are constantly working hard, looking to improve, and sometimes surprise one another with their level of play. In this case, Sam Hebert spun and fired a slap shot, low and hard, at his very surprised goaltender. Keenan is very good, but he wasn’t expecting a rocket coming back at him from his own team, off of a face off win. Unfortunately Sam has a good shot and the puck found the net and the Raiders led 1-0 despite being outshot 9-0 at the time. Less than two minutes later, with the Flames on a power play, Sam took another slap shot. This time S. Hebert carried the puck up ice, entered the offensive zone with speed and ripped a slap shot to the far side, beating the goaltender to his glove side, under the crossbar. Game tied, 1-1. Shortly thereafter, the Flames struck for another goal when Wil Hebert created some space for himself and got the puck down low to Jackson Puzzo who turned the net from behind the goal line and did something that the Flames have been guilty of not doing enough of this season; he threw the puck to the front of the net. Bingo! Goal! Puzzo’s goal gave the Flames a 2-1 lead and the score remained the same through the end of the period. The Flames had shown up all right, they outshot the home team 15-2 in the period and would have, should have, could have, been ahead by three or four goals.

2nd Period: The Flames once again dominated the second period too. Wil Hebert got the Flames on the board first with an unassisted goal giving the visitors a 3-1 lead. The Raiders answered on a clean breakaway and scored to make it 3-2. The interesting, and almost concerning thing here was that the Flames had allowed 2 goals and only had allowed 3 Raider shots on net. After several penalties assessed to both teams, the period came to and end with the Flames holding a precarious 3-2 lead. The shot advantage was 25-6 in favor of the Flames.

3rd Period: The third period saw action that some of us had feared from the beginning, the Flames short bench seemed to catch up to them some. Well, that and four more penalties taken in the final period. The Raiders played a strong third period, out shooting the Flames 13-10 over the final 15 minutes. Even so, the Flames had numerous chances to extend the lead and even pull away. Finally, almost ten minutes into the period, Sam Hebert scored a power play goal and gave the Flames some breathing room at 4-2. The Flames would take two more penalties before the final whistle sounded. The Flames held, and Alnahas made some terrific saves to make sure the Raiders did not get any closer. The game ended with the Flames earning a 4-2 on the road.

By virtue of the early morning victory, the Flames took sole possession of 1st place in the Mass Selects Pee Wee 00 Indian division. Their record in league play improved to 13-5-0.

December 30: @ Flames 2 vs. NH East 1

Sunday afternoon the Flames returned to home ice, hosting the 1st place (GSL) NH East Eagles. This NH East club has proven over the years to be well coached and very stingy on the defensive end of the ice. In early November they shut out the Flames 3-0, allowing just 12 shots in the game. In GSL play, the Eagles had allowed just 14 goals in 10 games played. And so it was entering play on Sunday. The Eagles, 7-1-1 and in 1st place coming to town for a game with the Flames who just recently started playing like a unit, like a team. Shall we?

1st Period: The first period looked like so many battles with these Eagles in prior meetings, not much open ice, few chances, and the visitors getting the only goal of the period. The Flames iced the puck four times in the first period just to stay within reach. And the period ended with NH East leading 1-0 and holding an 8-5 advantage in shots.

2nd Period: Something changed in the second period, even though no goals were scored. The Flames skated harder, with more purpose. The Flames even drew a couple of penalties, and even though they didn’t score, they clearly had the better chances to score. Better chances, even though they did allow a few odd man rushes, but Keenan Alnahas and Anders Lindberg were equal to the task, and then some. After two periods, the Flames trailed 1-0, were being outshot 16-10, but showed hope. Actually, late in the period it looked like the Flames had tied the game when Sam Hebert made some precision moves in tight and rang a shot of the nearside post. The puck came out from the post at an angle, hit off the goaltenders pads and appeared to cross the goal line while spinning and wobbling like the lid of a jar of strawberry jelly hastily opened. I had a pretty good view from 100 feet away, but the referee blew the whistle, announcing, “no goal”.

3rd Period: Just when it looked like the Flames would be bitten by the ‘too many trips without getting a shot, let alone a goal’ bug; Sam Hebert scored. Sam’s goal tied the game at one apiece. The play was set up with hustle from Zachary Bayer, and the long reach and passing ability of Brendan Courtney. Hebert let the shot rip, and there you have it, tie game with 8:08 to play. The Flames were outshot in the third period too, but this was different, somehow. They possessed the puck, and cycled the puck well, not always getting shots, but making the Eagles work to defend their end. Ultimately this type of play led to the game winning goal. It’s probably a goal the Eagles would like to have back because it looked barely a tick above harmless, but a goal is a goal. The Flames had cycled the puck well for a full shift and the Eagles finally had a chance at a free clearing pass. But Jackson Puzzo had other ideas, swiping the pass and getting the puck to Sam Hebert. Hebert finished the play, scoring the go ahead goal with just 1:47 to play. Sam would take a penalty 57 seconds later when the Flames were struggling to clear the puck out of their own end. NH East had an offensive zone face off, a power play, and an extra attacker in lieu of their goalie, and the puck on a stick, wide open, in the slot. They shot, point blank, and Anders Lindberg made a brilliant save, being the best penalty killer when he had to be. That was the game. The Flames killed the next several seconds of penalty time before Wil Hebert drew a penalty by working hard and refusing to give up the puck while alone in the corner of his offensive end as Eagles players tried getting the puck loose to rush up ice one more time. The final buzzer sounded, and the Eagles, looking like they weren’t sure how to react, were shocked, and the Flames were elated with the win, the two points, and the fruits of their labor. The final score was 2-1, in favor of the Flames, despite being outshot 22-13. Lindberg played 41+ minutes on the weekend and made 24 saves against 24 shots. The Flames have been recipients of outstanding goal-tending from Alnahas and Lindberg all season. These two have certainly been major contributors to the Flames success.

Happy New Year !!!!

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!

 

November 25: Flames 2 @ Concord 2

Flames comeback to earn a point in GSL Standings

Sunday afternoon the Flames traveled to Concord, NH to play a Granite State Hockey League game vs. the Concord Capitals. Just two weeks ago, the Flames blew a 3rd period lead on home ice in a 3-2 loss to the Capitals, after playing an otherwise solid game. Yesterday things looked like another loss might be in store for the visiting Flames. Not so fast. The Flames bounced back and earned a point in the GSL Standings, the result of a 2-2 tie.

Let me start from the beginning. That would be the 1st period, where, despite being short-handed for 6 of the 12 minutes in the period, the Flames out shot the Capitals 5-3 and had the better of the scoring chances. The first period ended scoreless, 0-0.

The 2nd period stayed largely the same as the opening stanza. The Flames took a penalty, killed it off, got good shots, and good scoring chances. But, like we see so often in sports, when teams tempt fate by playing in a manner that defies the book of how-to, and so too, the Flames started to pay for their individual driven, penalty marred style of play. Concord scored their first goal on a nice rebound goal of an even better initial save made by Keenan Alnahas. 5:16 later, the Capitals took a 2-0 lead and there were only 14-plus minutes left in the contest. Before the 2nd period ended, the Flames were able to cut the lead from 2 to a single goal. Sean Moore scored a hard-working, lunch pail carrying type of goal that was set up by Sam Hebert and Zach Bayer. The period ended with the Flames trailing 2-1.

In the 3rd period Concord, who is already a solid team defense unit, clamped down their end and as much of the neutral zone as they good, in hopes of hanging on to their 2-1 lead for 12 more minutes. The Capital all but disappeared, and maybe would not have surfaced again, were it not for additional penalties handed to the Flames in the final two minutes of play. I’m getting ahead of myself though, lest I forget the Flames game-tying goal. Zach Bayer struck for a goal, it was set up by Jackson Puzzo and Patrick Goren, and the game was tied 2-2 with 2:29 left. The Flames took penalties with 1:47 left, and with 0:39 left, allowing Concord a brief 5-on-3 power play chance. The defense held, as did, Anders Lindberg in goal, and the Flames came away with a point in the standings, earning a 2-2 tie. For the game, the Flames out shot their opponent 19-12 and really carried the offensive pressure. I did hear the coaching staff vocalizing a recurring thought through the game, and that was, “Pass the puck!!!!” I am sure that thought may come up in practice this week.

On tap:
Saturday, December 1st, 7:20pm: @ Ristuccia Arena vs. Shamrocks (Wilmington, MA)
Sunday, December 2nd, 11:30am: @ Notre Dame Arena vs. Berlin (Berlin, NH)