Tag Archives: Power play (sporting term)

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 29: @ Flames 2 vs. Shamrocks 1

Saturday the Flames started their final weekend of the year 2012 with the first of back-to-back home games. They hosted the Shamrocks at West Side Arena. These are the same Shamrocks that beat the Flames 2-1 back on the 1st of the month. A big team with some skill, some size, and some big shots that was able to create quite a bit of open space for themselves the first time they met. The Flames answered the call and played a solid, disciplined game from start to finish, earning their own 2-1 victory.

1st Period: The Flames scored first when Sean Moore, who has been heating up lately, scored on a nice play set up by Zachary Bayer. Other than the Moore goal, the period was quite even. Both teams registered 8 shots, neither team was called for a penalty and both teams did a nice job of clogging areas on the ice, not allowing odd man rushes.

2nd Period: The second period only offered a single penalty called and no scoring as far as the score sheet was concerned. However, the Flames had some great chances, definitely getting better looks at the net than the visiting Shamrocks, but could not extend the lead. The Flames outshot their opponent 11-8 in the period and held a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard.

3rd Period: In the third period some things returned to a more normal, if not, familiar state. The Flames were called for three penalties in the period, two of which were called quickly, as in, quickly in direct proportion to the quickness in which the Flame player stopped skating and started reaching with their stick. Whistle! Penalty. The feet must keep moving. Anyhow, before the penalties, there was the Flames second goal of the game. Just 14 seconds into the period, Zachary Bayer scored on what was an innocent looking play set up by Christian Levesque, but Bayer worked hard, and was rewarded with the goal. Later, came the penalties, and allowed this Shamrock club back into the game. For nearly all 45 minutes of play the Flames had stymied the big guns of the visitors, allowing almost no time or space. They got off one, or maybe two, big shots in the game, but they were off target, and the rest of the time the Flames played team defense and allowed almost no good looks at the net. All except for the power play goal they allowed with 2:08 left in the game. The Flames held on and won 2-1 in a good, clean, crisply played hockey game. The Flames’ goal-tending tandem of Anders Lindberg (Win) and Keenan Alnahas combined to save 19 of 20 shots faced, earning the team’s 20th win of the season. Saturday’s win set the stage for a big Granite State game on Sunday afternoon, also at West Side Arena, stayed tuned.

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.