Tag Archives: slap shots

January 13: @ Flames 6 vs. Shamrocks 4

Sunday afternoon it was back to the rink on Electric Street; West Side Arena, and the Flames playing host to the Shamrocks. You may recall that the Shamrocks are a big team, long, lanky, and skilled. The Flames and Shamrocks met twice in December with each earning a 2-1 victory on their home ice. Both games were tightly contested, nearly even in shots, with the Flames trying to deny the big bodies room to skate and unload their howitzer like slap shots. Let’s see how this one turned out.

1st Period: In the opening period it looked like we were all headed for another 2-1 outcome, or something close to it. The Flames started slowly, but held on tight to get through the first period and keep things tight. The Shamrocks did score the only goal of the period. The home team had troubles getting the puck out of their own end, mostly because they ignored teammates who were open or at least in a better position to move the puck along. Even so, the shots were nearly even. The thing that looked least promising was the amount of space the Flames players were allowing the Shamrocks’ big boys to skate their wing and rifle shots towards the net.

2nd Period: Whatever transpired in the 60 second intermission certainly worked, well, sort of? The Flames did come out much more intense, especially in the offensive end. Although they did allow a pair of goals on just three shots; both were blatant breakdowns. On the other hand, they scored two goals themselves and got twelve shots on goal. Sam Hebert cut a two goal deficit in half when he scored a pretty goal after being set up by little brother, Wil Hebert. Then the Flames went down 3-1 and it looked as though the period would end that way. With 1:01 left in the period, Zachary Bayer scored a big goal, cutting the Shamrock lead to one. Bayer was set up nicely by Jackson Puzzo and Wil Hebert. After two periods, the Flames trailed 3-2.

3rd Period: In the final period, the Flames took the offensive to another level and the Shamrocks found themselves playing from behind. First, Zachary Bayer took a pass from Ashlie Killen and scored the game-tying goal. Then Bayer struck for his third goal of the game when Wil Hebert and Patrick Goren set him up for a power play goal. The Flames now led with more than nine minutes to play. Next, Sam Hebert scored again, this time unassisted, and the Flames led 5-3. The Flames were dominating play; they reeled off eleven shots in the period before the visitors registered even one shot. But, as two-goal leads go, one shot pulled the Shamrocks back into the game. They scored with 1:07 to play, just after they had pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker. The faceoff at center ice meant the Shamrocks would put their goalie back in net and for the next 40 plus seconds the Flames maintained pressure, keeping the extra attacker off of the ice. Then with 21 seconds left, the net emptied and the visitors made their final push. The Flames were ready and broke up a centering pass, with Zachary Bayer finding the puck on his stick again. Bayer shot on net from his own blue line, even though several coaches were heard calmly suggesting otherwise. The shot was on the money and with 0:01.6 seconds left to play, the Flames had scored their 6th goal in less than 22 minutes of play. The Flames dominated in offensive chances and shots on goal, mustering 27 shots over the final two periods, and 35 shots on goal in total. It was another well deserved win for the home team, who clearly got better as this game wore on.

 

December 1: Flames 1 @ Shamrocks 2

Saturday night the Flames made a visit to Ristuccia Memorial Arena in Wilmington, MA for a game vs. the Shamrocks. In my mind this game reminded me a little bit of a young driver trying to remember how to drive a standard; the clutch pops early, the car takes a while to get moving, then after a while the gears are handled properly and the car progresses smoothly. That’s kind of how the Flames started the first two periods this evening. In the first period, the Flames allowed five shots and hordes of scoring chances before they managed a single shot and started to play even hockey. In the second period, the Flames allowed five more unanswered shots, including the game winning goal, before taking their play to a competitive level. So, lets recap this thing, shall we?

1st period: First, let me say that the Shamrocks had a couple of players that were very big, and quite intimidating. After number 5 dropped his kids off at the sitter’s and arrived at the rink, he let a few slap shots rip, and the sound of the puck hitting the glass was enough to send people scrambling for cover. Anyways, the Shamrocks started with 5 straight shots, a ton of scoring chances, and possessed the puck almost entirely for about four minutes. After taking a couple of penalties, the home team allowed the Flames to get things going a bit, and the rest of the period was much different. Ultimately the Flames ended up tied at 7 shots apiece after a period. The Shamrocks did lead 1-0 after scoring on a beautiful pass play, setting up a one-time redirection for the goal. The Flames did take just one penalty in the 1st period, with 23 seconds left. This would haunt them in the next period.

2nd period: Again, BANG! The Shamrocks started the period, and the Flames were slow to get going. Before they knew what hit them, they allowed five more unanswered shots, and allowed a power play, the ultimate game winner. The goal was an innocent play that turned into an offensive undressing for the Shamrocks and Flames goaltender, Keenan Alnahas couldn’t overcome the breakdown in front of him. So, with 29 minutes and 11 seconds left in the game (a lot of time), the Flames trailed 2-0. Less than three minutes later, Zach Bayer took the puck from his own end, skated up the left-wing boards, and ripped a wrist shot as he turned towards the net at the face off circle. The shot beat the Shamrock goalie high to the glove side and just snuck in under the crossbar and inside the far post. 2-1, the Flames trailed with more than 26 minutes to play. There were matching penalties called with 3:38 to play, when it appeared the Flames were certain to be going on a power play. After two periods, the Flames trailed 2-1, and were only being outshot 16-14, after horrendous starts in both periods.

3rd period: I don’t know if the Flames tired or if the bigger team wore down the smaller team, but the Shamrocks had the better chances, more shots, and even more opportunities for wide open looks at the net that resulted in errant shots. One play to note was an outstanding save that Alnahas made with his left pad while the Flames were on a power play. The Flames defense just backed off, or parted, or I’m not sure what, and a Shamrock forward walked in for what he thought was a sure goal, until the left pad denied him. The Flames were desperate and down a goal, but couldn’t manage much offense. Passes weren’t made, moves were duplicated, and the Shamrocks played the Flames to the tendencies they had shown in the first two periods, holding the visitors to just 5 shots in 15 minutes. Alnahas was pulled with a minute to play but the score remained 2-1 at the final horn. The contest was competitive and both teams showed they have talents and skills worth respecting.

On tap: The Flames follow up their late game tonight with a trip to the Great White North tomorrow morning when they play @ Berlin, NH at 11:30am.