Three Short Hand Goals Not Enough for Win

The Amerks managed to score three short handed goals tonight against the Hamilton Bulldogs and all it got them was a point in an eventual shootout loss.  The short handed goals were scored by Kenndal McArdle, Drew Larman, and David Brine.  The Bulldogs goaltender Cedric Desjardins deserves an assist on McArdles first goal.

I’m really not sure if the game was somewhat boring, or it was just the difference of being at the Knighthawks game on Saturday with over 9,000 people to just over 3,000 tonight at Blue Cross Arena.

Anyways, on to the game.  Brock Trotter scored the only goal of the first period at 9:34 with a shot from the just outside the front of the net through the five hole of Tyler Plante.  David Desharnais passed the puck from just behind the net to Trotter waiting for the puck.  Great pass, great shot, appeared as if Plante was somewhat screened on it.

The Amerks certainly had a number of close calls in the first with Randall Gelech and Karl Stewart each ringing shots off the posts.  About an inch closer inside and the puck would have gone in.  Unfortunately close doesn’t really count, just an honorable mention.

Kenndal McArdle gets the play of the game with his first goal.  Just prior to getting the puck and scoring he made a diving save on the right side of Plante, put his stick to the ice, and blocked a shot from going in.  The puck was eventually cleared down ice where Desjardins came out of net to play it.  He passed the puck up towards center ice, which is somewhat of a normal play.  The only difference this time was McArdle skating across the ice where he intercepted the pass and shot it into an empty net from just outside center ice.

The Bulldogs followed up with a goal about three minutes later by Mike Glumac.  Brock Trotter was bringing the play down the right side boards with a 2 on 1 against Ellerby, fed a perfect pass to Glumac who easily beat Tyler Plante.  Plante really didn’t have a chance on the play.

Heading into the third period down by a goal, Drew Larman went streaking up the ice getting the puck, going in on a breakaway and scoring yet another short handed goal to tie the game at two  Larman knocked it in with a back hand stick side top corner beating Desjardins.  Mike Caruso was given an assist on the play after he knocked it down the boards and Larman was able to get at it before a Bulldog touched it.

Glumac scored his second goal of the game with just under six minutes left to get the Dogs up by one.  Sergei Kostitsyn was skating with the puck behind the net being pushed around by Garrison, unfortunately Kostitsyn was able to squeeze a pass out front to Ben Maxwell who nudged the puck through the goal mouth to Glumac who was just standing there waiting for it.  Another goal and another Amerk out of position which didn’t give Plante a real chance.

Mike Caruso went to the penalty box with 2:52 left to play in the third.  Normally at that point in the game most people would have been willing to call it a game, but not tonight.  With two short handed goals already on the scoreboard it was time for a hero.  The hero tonight for at least tying the game was David Brine.  It was yet another great hustle with a sense of urgency and hustle getting the puck and going in on net.

“We’re proud of our guys for not panicking when it was 3-2,” Jason Cipolla said.

When was the last time the Amerks scored three short handed goals?  No idea, but we’re certainly going to try and find out.  The more interesting fact would be, have they ever scored short handed three times and lost?  I’ll follow up if I find any info.

It seems like it’s a common occurrence this season getting close in the third, Larman said, “We were feeling good after the second period going into the third, we adjusted our play a little bit and went a little more aggressive got a couple breaks on the penalty kill.”

In overtime the Amerks managed four shots compared to one by the Bulldogs.

The Amerks had (in order) Judd Blackwater, Michal Repik, Karl Stewart, Stefan Meyer, Mike Duco, and Michal Repik all take shots in the shootout.  Duco was the only player able to score for the Amerks.

As for the Bulldogs, they had (in order) Yanick Lehoux, Mike Glumac, Brock Trotter, Sergei Kostitsyn, David Desharnais, and Yanick Lehoux all take shots.  Lehoux scored on both his shots giving the Bulldogs the shootout win.

Coming into tonight the Amerks were on a five game losing skid, tonight marks the sixth winless game in a row.  The streak for the season is seven.  Wednesdays game against the Manitoba Moose could be a tough one.

Drew Larmen said afterwards, “Coming in we knew we needed to win, the guys didn’t quit the whole game, got the point but didn’t get the extra one.”  Larman had been out of action for a month with a rib injury that seemed to come at the wrong time for him as he was just starting to pick up his game.  The time off did not seem to have an impact on his game, “I just keep up conditioning and recharge the  batteries a little bit when ya can and come back stronger,” he said.

No sports team should ever be happy not coming away with a win, but sometimes you have to take anything you can get at this point in the season.  “The result was better that we got a point out of it.  The guys worked for three in three battled very hard and we’re proud of that it’s too bad we didn’t get the win though.  We’re proud of our guys for not panicking when it was 3-2,” Jason Cipolla commented.

The Amerks have off on Monday and return to practice on Tuesday prior to Wednesday nights game at Blue Cross Arena against the Manitoba Moose.