Sunday, February 8, 2009

Flyers overcome Spirit

Wow. OK where to start? The Flyers won last night. The first goal of the game was scored early on by Venhola from Spirit River. The Flyers responded with three straight goals of their own and looked to be taking over. Jeff Fast twice and Jeff Shipton scored for FSJ before Mike Lefley and Mark Wallman scored to tie the game up at three just ten minuted into the first period. Clayton Bahm scored the final goal of the first period with 3:54 left in the period to give the Flyers the 4 - 3 lead. There were 108 minutes in penalties in the first period, more on that later. In the second Kip Noble had two goals and an assist and by the end of the period the Flyers were leading 7 -4. 116 penalty minutes in the second period. In the third there weren't a lot of players left from either team as several guys had been tossed from the game, more on that later, Spirit River scored two third period goals sandwiched between goals from Noble and Middleton that made the final score 9 - 6. 254 minutes in penalties in the game.

Alright. It started on the opening puck drop with Shane McCormick getting his stick up on Dave Alexander and throwing a couple of gloved punches while Dave just kind of held McCormick off but both guys were given double minors for roughing and 10 minute misconducts. Colin Lefley and Tyler Loney got into it in the first period as well but even though both had dropped the mitts, no punches were thrown so both were given double minors for roughing and ten minute misconducts. A fight ended the third with Aaron Scheppers tossed them with DJ Barbarich. Neither one of them landed any punches of real consequence so the bout will be called a draw. In the second was when things got out of control. Matt Shuya was run from behind and went into the boards behind the net face first but there was no cal from the ref. So Shuya popped up and you could tell he was pissed off. Shuya through three big hits in a row after the hit from behind and all three were clean but were right on the borderline. The thing is someone could have got hurt and it all started with the ref missing a call. If the stripes gets the original hit from behind what occurred next doesn't happen. After Shuya delivered the third of his big hits on Colin Lefley it was Lefley who took exception. They two squared up and looked to be about to fight when Lefley cross checked Shuya in the face. Shuya ended up going to the hospital with a broken nose and a bad cut to his lip where his teeth had come right through the lower lip. Shuya and Lefley then engaged in a fight and luckily Lefley never landed any punches on Shuya. Probably another draw. Lefley received a 5 minute major from cross-checking Shuya in the face and a match penalty which should carry with it a suspension. Again the hit from behind was dangerous, Shuya angry running around hitting everything was a little dangerous, the cross-check to the face and the fight would have all been avoided and the safety of the players protected if the Ref had called the original hit from behind. It was during the ensuing power play that things got scary. Chad Wilchynski slashed Luke Middleton and was about to receive a 2 minute minor when he lost his mind. Todd Alexander was trying to cross the blue line with the puck and Wilchynski cross checked Todd in the face. Todd was wobbly to say the least as he tried to make his way to the bench and it was a little scary to watch him trying to find his feet. He left the game with a concussion and didn't return. Meanwhile 3 different Flyers went after Wilchynski but it was Todd's cousin Dave the captain who got there first. Wilchynski is a big boy but Dave was pummeling him so Wilchynski decided to lye down on the ice and turtle. I can't express how much of a chicken sh*t move it is to turtle and especially after cross-checking someone in the face. You have to stand there and fight and if you get beat up oh well that's what you have to do. You just can't turtle. Wilchynski then got up after Dave had been pulled off and seemed pissed off that the ref was throwing him out of the game. Spirit River is a chippy team that does a lot of stick work and that is fine but the whining they do after some of the horrible penalties they take is almost worse. That was it for fights in the second period. In the third the only fight was Tyler Loney and Mazurek. Loney easily won this fight landing all of the punches that were thrown and Mazurek got one shot in before the linesmen tried to break up the fight. It was then that Mazurek started really throwing punches. OK. Wow. It was eventful last night to say the least.

Shuya's nose sounds like it will be OK in a couple weeks as there was no major damage and Todd seemed like he was doing fine on the bus on the way home although he did say he had been better, and I don't doubt it. With a bit of a break now until the playoffs both guys should be ready to go with Shuya possibly wearing a full cage. What was most interesting is what happened on the bus ride home. A movie was never put on. No one was playing any games. The boys all gathered in a big group and were laughing and joking. That was the most lively the bus has been after a game in a long time. It really felt like this team became a closer group after last night's game. Coach Brash said it was a bit like old time hockey and the Flyers weren't scared of that kind of game. They certainly responded in the right away, stood up for each other, and won the game on the scoreboard as well. I think this game will go a long way to bringing this team together and they really are ready for the playoffs now.

Monday I will try to post a little bit of a wrap up of the season.

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