Tag Archives: Keenan Alnahas

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

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.

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 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.

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 !!!!