8S, no. 4; newsletter by h.s.)
Question: What's worse than playing the A-division Blackhawks?
Answer: Playing them at 11:30 at night.
Here's the recap: We had nine skaters, but among the missing were two of our defensemen (Roger and Dan Pomphrey), so we opened with a 3-man rotation on the blueline featuring Dave, Scooby and Russ. The Blackhawks were able to put a lot of pressure on us early, but we were holding them off while still generating chances up front (Jimmy and Ralz had some awesome chances throughout the period). Finally, the Blackhawks persistence paid-off as they were able to crowd the crease and put in a rebound about halfway through the 1st. Although the action was end-to-end, that would be the only score in the period.
Things started getting a bit more physical in the 2nd and the same Blackhawk player (the huge guy) who scored their first goal, made a nice backhand move on a loose puck in front to give the 'Hawks a 2-0 lead early-on in the 2nd. Lots of skirmishes began to erupt and soon we were either killing penalites or on the powerplay (Scott LeMatty was punched in the head which resulted in a 5:00 minute major and ejection for that Blackhawk player). We had a 5-on-3 at one point which we couldn't capitalize on, but the opportunities were there and we had a number of great plays up close (great hustle by Scott LeMatty and Jimmy), and finally Ralz was able to get us on the board with a strong effort on a scramble to close the gap to 2-1 (although the scoresheet credited Wildman with this goal). Although we didn't give up as many powerplays, Russ did land an additional 10:00 misconduct in the 2nd, which left us without his on-ice presence until midway through the 3rd.
Still, trailing by one is pretty impressive against that squad and things were looking up as the 3rd period began. But minutes into the period, however, Dave landed in the box and just seconds into his penalty the Hawks won the faceoff in our zone and their point put the slapshot in for the 3-1 lead. Scott LeMatty would end up in the sin bin twice in the 3rd and although we continued to press up front (good hustle by Ralz and Farkas, and some nice charges by Scooby), we couldn't pick up any rebounds as their goalie was doing a nice job of holding onto them. We generated a couple more chances with the extra skater with 1:30 remaining, but had trouble keeping it in their zone. When the final whistle blew, both teams had served a total of 35:00 minutes of penalties (a Pirate record); we had 20:00 minutes called on us -- just shy of our record 22:00 minutes we served vs. the Jags B last July.
1) SCOTT LeMATTY
For his physical play throughout (and also for his restraint on not being drawn into a fight)."
2) TIM HAND
For our only goal (his third of the new season).
3) ED SOUTHWORTH
For his good 2-way play and strong skating..