Monday, May 20, 2013

Portland VS London: Memorial Cup Game 2


real time fan discussion
i will say one thing ... " the bull " is devoting a helluva lot of air time to this memorial cup - 90 minute pre game show before every game ... every game on the radio .... long post game show

gotta be a lot of stress on Les' voice

For hometown boy Leier, the thrill of scoring in front of friends and family brought a huge smile to his face in the postgame press conference.
“I think I heard my mom screaming from the crowd, so it was pretty cool to score a goal,” Leier said.

It’s the second straight year, and second time since the current format began in 1983, that all four teams have started at 1-1.
“It makes this tournament real interesting now,” summed up Winterhawks goalie Mac Carruth, who rebounded from a disappointing first start against Halifax. “Everybody’s got the same thing going and it’s going to be fun from here on.”

Bo Horvat and Alex Broadhurst replied with a goal and an assist each for London, while Scott Harrington also scored. Anthony Stolarz allowed five goals on 26 shots before being replaced by Jake Patterson. The Knights backup finished with five saves.Portland defenceman Seth Jones, the No. 1 ranked North American skater according to NHL Central Scouting ahead of next month's draft, had a relatively quiet night for the Winterhawks, but still finished with a plus-4 rating.
After London tied the game 3-3 early in the third period, Pouliot, a first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012, ripped a shot off Stolarz's shoulder and in on a Portland power play at 6:20. De Leo ended the London netminder's night at 6:43 by sliding a shot home from the slot.
The Knights had a couple of chances to get closer as the period wore on but Carruth shut the door.

With Portland leading 1-0 after a sleepy first period, the floodgates opened in the second. Bjorkstrand doubled the Winterhawks’ lead 2:17 into the second after wheeling out from behind the London net and snapping a shot shortside on Stolarz.
Rattie then stretched the advantage to three with a goal that was a carbon copy of his effort against Halifax on Saturday night. The St. Louis Blues draft pick moved into the London zone and toe dragged the puck around a Knights defender before slipping a backhand past Stolarz at 10:23 while falling to the ice.
 Ty Rattie led the Winterhawks with two goals and also added an assist, while Taylor Leier scored a goal and added a pair of assists. Mac Carruth turned aside 25-of-28 shots for the Winterhawks, who also got goals from Oliver Bjorkstrand, Derrick Pouliot, who scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, and Chase De Leo.

 First and foremost: the goalie played better.  He said he would.  Other than that, this was the same 'Hawks team we've seen all year:  sick moves by Ty Rattie, secondary scoring, & help from the back end.  The entire second line scored goals tonight - which means victory on most nights.

It was a little sketchy after coughing up that 3-0 lead, but that's why they are the #adversityhawks.  Upon staking that 5-3 lead, I remarked, "If they can't hold a 3 goal AND a 2 goal lead in the same game, they don't deserve to win this thing anyway" - but they found a way to ride it out.

 I've been critical of patterns all playoffs that are "not sustainable" - winning off of flukey bounces & out of character sub-par performances by key players or goalies standing on their heads.  I feel you can chalk up almost every 'Hawks loss this spring in these categories.  Can you say the same thing about the goals that Ty Rattie is scoring right now?  Those things are crazy:  its 5 star highlight reel action every game.  However, he keeps burying them - which makes it a trend, rather than a set of occurrences.  We've been pretty fortunate to watch him knock out the Chiefs in Game 7 OT in their barn, and never look back.

If they can find a way to beat Saskatoon, then they are in fat city.  I feel pretty good about those prospects:  The 'Hawks are better than the Blades.  With a little help from the other game, they could be looking at an automatic finals appearance.  Worst case, they get in the hard way.

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