We’re all still chasing the dream of hoisting the SCOHA Championship trophy. Division standings are getting tighter than a snare drum as we approach the Christmas break. More than half of us still don’t have the damn tree up yet while others had things up 3 weeks ago, have fun with that January hydro bill… My predictions I posted before last weeks games didn’t pan out as expected but as my good buddy Wayne once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take…” That aside, let’s untangle the week that was in Scohario…
BRUINS 6 OILERS 3: 9 minor penalties were called as both teams wanted to huddle around the timekeeper’s plug-in heater. The Bruins are in the mix for tops in the Junior circuit after a 6-3 win over the Oil. Neil “Dorsel” Finnerty scored two acrobatic goals Greg Lintott added 3 assists for the winning side. I must admit, the Bruins have a lot more depth than I give them credit for. These guys have all the energy in the world. They all jog on the spot while the Zamboni makes his rounds and star forward Peter Thompkins actually stuck around to load the bags and sticks into the team bus. It was the Oilers bus but still, he had the right idea. 3 straight wins for the Bruins while the Oilers have dropped 4 out of 5 but captain Steve Ditta said they will hold a players only meeting to get the ship righted.
FLYERS 3 REDWINGS 3: I called this one as being a high scoring barn burner but it turned out to be a defensive masterpiece. 3-3 tie as Ryan Haslam scored a pair for the Flyers and Dino Laporta added a snipe for the Redwings. Wings goalie Al Ringer is anything but. This guy has climbed the ranks of the junior division goalie stats and is definitely on a heater this season. Viewer ratings on the tv were through the moon but many wives quickly flipped it back to the Hallmark channel once the final horn sounded.
BLACKHAWKS 2 PENGUINS 2: The Blackhawks all could’ve fit into a 1981 Honda Civic as 4 players were no-shows for this one. Mike Troback shouldered the load for the Hawks, setting up both their goals while Glenn Rouse scored the tying goal for the Penguins who are starting to hit their stride.
CANADIENS 3 PENGUINS 0: I am running out of superlatives talking about this Canadiens lineup. Bill Templeman is playing like he is wearing Sealy posturepedic mattresses for goalie pads and the 2 free pillows as his trapper and waffle board (blocker). Templeman gets the 3-cheese bagel as the Penguins were surprisingly shut out. These guys have more talent than an episode of Baywatch but are just in a but of a funk. Trust me, they will turn it up to 11 before long. Canadiens Jason Harvey fire-grilled the Pens with a pair of beauts, added extra hot peppers for good measure, sending the Penguins home with gut rot.
LEAFS 5 BLACKHAWKS 0: The Hawks gave it their all but ended up getting starched by the Leafs. No one is finding Nino as Nino Magliaro scored a pair of 5 bell goals to secure the win for the Leafs. Garnet Wilson picked up the egg, making 29 saves for the shutout. He was caught snapchatting with fans afterwards in the lobby before the team bus rolled out. Leafs squeezed 4 assists out of Dave Mercer as he helped out as a spare. Paul “I can see” Cleary keeps his hockey career in the limelight the right track with 2 more assists to add to the pile.
FLYERS 2 BRUINS 2: Wayne Slewinski scored a goal and added an assist as the Bruins tied the suddenly surging Flyers 2-2 in front of a packed house at the Philadelphia Spectrum. The Flyers were down 4 players but battled through the trenches for a big point for their home fans. Conrad Allard and Ryan “Go Train” Maybrey scored for the Flyers while Slewinski and Chris Scott replied for the Bruins. The Flyers locker room post-game was pretty upbeat as reporters were granted more than the traditional 8 minutes to speak with players. Flyers goalkeeper Alex Greychuck could chuck wood. He played his best game of the season, stopping 36 shots to preserve the tie.
STARS 5 SHARKS 3: Stars Scott Wheeler should be wearing #8. He ran through the Sharks like an 8-wheeler scoring a goal and adding 3 assists as the Stars took the Sharks to the dentist 5-3. Let’s pause for a sec and acknowledge Stars captain Chris “4 bean” Barratto who set up 2 goals for the winning side. His next-level athleticism is second to none. I am not in the minority when I say Barratto has his team turning the corner on this season and are starting to read the headlines about being contenders. Stars Dale Brons scored a nice goal then fell as he was scaling the glass to get a selfie with an adoring fan.
KINGS 1 BLACKHAWKS 0: Bob “The Woz” Wachnuik scored the games only goal as the Kings shut out the Blackhawks 1-0. I had the over for this one on my Proline ticket so that went down the skimmer early. Scott Johnson draped a clear plastic bag across the crease to earn the honey cruller, making 29 saves for the Kings who have now won 4 out of 5 and are now in the thick of things heading into the xmas break. Hawks Tymen Edelkoort also played great but one lone goal got by him proving to be the difference. Edelkoort is having himself quite the season. He is a large part of him teams 2.55 goals against average per game. Pretty impressive considering the fire power he faces each week.
BRUINS 3 FLAMES 3: The Flames played the first place Bruins perfectly. They went into a loud boisterous TD Garden in Boston and came away with a 3-3 tie. Bruins got a pair from Troy Izlakar while 7 Flames picked up points. The Bruins are now 8-0-3 to start the season. Teams are watching their practices trying to figure out a way to slow these guys down. The Flames sucked back a case of orange Fanta before the game for more energy and it seemed to work. Flames Ted Marsalek looked like he was swatting flies all night as he must’ve stopped 50 shots for the tie.
REDWINGS 4 FLYERS 4: Redwings had 6 players missing. I think they rented a hottub and watched the Grey Cup in someone’s backyard. More fill-ins than a Boston Crème assembly line as the Wings and Flyers skated to a 4-4 tie. Redwings Henry “No More Fees” Marfisi put a pair of goals in the bank while almost everyone on the Flyers recorded a point. Flyers were also short, missing 4 skaters but battled hard to gain a big point to remain in the mix. Wings Ed “Shaky” Walton took 46 minutes to put his contact lenses in but thankfully he got them in as he scored the game tying goal in the final period. Redwings have scooped up 3 out of a possible 4 points on this road trip and look to climb the standings with a big win this upcoming weekend.
Well that’s about all from this end of the ice. The games are starting to mean a lot more than a smile and a handshake afterwards. Teams are looking to string winning streaks together to get to the top of the standings. Injured players are healing well and we all hope to see those back at the rink soon. Enjoy the rest of the week and for crying out loud, keep your stick on the ice.