Monday, March 9, 2009

Rangers give Flyers another run for their money

So much to blog about. First of all let's start with Saturday night because I don't think I already blogged about the Flyers huge double OT win in Spirit River. I want to start by saying that although I don't always respect the way they play the game, the Rangers that is, I do respect the heck out of the way they compete. No other team in the NPHL this year has shown the guts and effort and determination to play against this Flyers team. That's why the fact the Flyers are up 3 games to 1 in the series doesn't tell the whole story. Game 4 was a gritty affair and right off the face off Shuya got into it with Lefley. You might want to come to the NPA Tuesday night to see the continuation of that rivalry alone. Chad Vizzutti got the start and played well. The game had a good flow and there were lots of scoring chances. Tyler Loney was playing as a forward for the night and made a couple of moves, one in particular, that belied his size and strength and made him look more like Paul Coffey than Chris Pronger. Nimble is the only way to describe the move that included a toe drag and a spin-o-rama. Wade Hocking scored a beauty as well and at times the Flyers fore check and physical play threatened to overrun the Rangers. But they never quit and they have a very high level of compete to borrow a phrase from Marc Crawford.

Mark Wallman was buzzing all night and the guy has speed and all kinds of moves. He scored from his back late to get the Rangers within 1 goal with 2 minutes left and they eventually tied the game up and off to OT we went. Kip Noble was hit hard in the OT session and didn't return but fortunately the Flyers have depth on D and Tyler Loney was able to slot back into his usual Dman role. The kid line was unstoppable in the first period of game 3 and they found some of that magic in OT. Donny Lloyd, who is one of the best D men in the league and maybe the best (Noble included), reversed the puck in his own zone but instead of finding a teammate who would then have cleared the puck, he found Clayton Bahm instead. Maybe Lloyd was just as surprised as we were that Bahm actually made a road game. Thankfully he did for the Flyers as he intercepted Lloyd's pass and found Jeff Fast who couldn't dig the puck out of his skates but managed to get the puck over to Jeff Shipton who banged home the winner. What a thrilling game it was and congrats to Jon Zacks who picked Jeff Shipton to score the winner. The Flyers can now close this series out in 5 games tomorrow night on home ice but in no way is this a series that the Flyers will win easily.

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