Sunday, 17 December 2017

Arch-Enemy Live Blog

We're minutes away from the start of Game Six of the preliminary series between Canada and the US as both teams looks to finalize rosters prior to the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics in February. There are still questions for each team that need to be answered regarding who will be going over to South Korea, and the recent slate of Canadian wins hasn't made any question easier to answer as both teams are getting contributions from all over their respective lineups. Tonight's game goes live in Edmonton, Alberta as the sixth and final game between these two foes at Rogers Place will decide all the unanswered questions!

Directly from their governing bodies, here are Hockey Canada's and USA Hockey's lineups for tonight's game.
With that, we're set for tonight's game as we'll pick this up with first period action!

First Period

  • It seems we have Rod Black and Cheryl Pounder to call this one. Yikes.
  • Shannon Szabados and Meaghan Mikkelson get the call in front of the Edmonton crowd. Both grew up in or in a suburb of Edmonton.
  • Monique Lamoureux will shift back to defence for this game for the US.
  • Does Robb Stauber own a razor?
  • Canada's attention to detail seems a little off in the opening minute as a couple of miscues with the puck have already been seen. Will that continue?
  • Excellent defensive play to break up a 3-on-1 by Monique Lamoureux. First good odd-player rush in the game just under five minutes into the opening period.
  • Natalie Spooner's shot escapes the glove of Maddie Rooney and goes over the net! US catches a break seven minutes in.
  • Maddie Rooney stops the puck, smothers it, and we have our first stoppage in action at the 12:05 mark. I'm liking that the officials are letting these two teams play!
  • High shot by Jocelyne Lamoureux is gloved by Szabados at 10:21.
  • With the stoppage at 8:32, this game feels like a chess match right now as both teams match lines and look for breakdowns in the defensive zone.
  • Szabados with a good glove save on Bellamy at 6:52.
  • Knight with good, strong play along the boards, but she needs to go to the net with the puck on that play. The sharp angle is too easy for Szabados to stop.
  • Spooner rips a wrist shot wide from the slot at 5:50!
  • Gigi Marvin is called for hooking at 4:49. Canada to the power-play!
  • Duggan takes a holding penalty, and we'll have a five-on-three for Canada!
  • MARIE-PHILIP POULIN scores on the power-play with a slap shot from the top of the left circle at 2:44 just after the first penalty expires! CANADA LEADS 1-0!
  • Canada with a dangerous icing with 16.3 seconds to play.
  • Canada wins the draw, pins the puck along the boards, and time expires in the opening frame!

First Intermission

  • Honestly, TSN's intermissions for women's hockey are pretty terrible.
  • Officially, I've lost interest. I'm turning it over to the Jets-Blues game.
  • Jets lead 2-0 over the Blues in the second intermission.
  • Nick Boynton might be the worst color analyst in any sport.
  • Back to TSN2 rather than listening to Boynton. Ugh.

Second Period

  • Micha Zandee-Hart upends Hannah Brandt, and Team USA will go to the power-play at 19:07.
  • Scramble around the net, but somehow Szabados keeps it out of the net at 17:55!
  • Penalty over, and Canada is back to even-strength!
  • Rod Black informs the world that Natalie Spooner is playing with a broken finger. Thanks, Rod! Great strategy there!
  • Icing called on the US at 15:11.
  • Szabados makes what looks to be an easy save on Cameranesi at 13:55 for a stoppage in play.
  • Canada head coach Laura Schuler giving Potomak, Spooner, and Irwin a talking-to as they come off.
  • Finally, we see some vintage Hilary Knight using her speed and big frame to set up a play! A good save by Szabados keeps Team USA off the board.
  • Poulin is stoned on the one-timer by Rooney at 11:35, and Canada can't sweep home the rebound! Rooney will freeze the puck at 11:34 after a monster save!
  • Good pressure by the Americans before Szabados finally smothers the puck at 10:27.
  • Knight with a nice drop-pass to Decker, but she's a foot over top of the net with her one-timer at 8:55.
  • Shannon Szabados' glove is looking world-class on that save off Marvin at 8:30.
  • Agosta to Poulin just goes wide on the one-timer at 7:48.
  • Duggan feeds Pannek in the slot, and she rips it off the post past Szabados!
  • Good cycle game by the Americans had a tired Canadian line pinned, and HILARY KNIGHT converts off the Coyne pass at 5:58! GAME TIED AT 1-1!
  • Icing called on Team USA at 4:21.
  • Rooney smothers a puck sent towards her by Wakefield at 3:29.
  • Poulin hauls down Duggan, and that's a hook at 1:56. US power-play!
  • Amanda Kessel trips Rebecca Johsnton, so we're back to 4-on-4 at 1:38!
  • A couple of late chances for the Canadians, but the horn sounds and we'll go to the intermission!

Second Intermission

  • I need a beverage, so I'm taking a break over this intermission. Talk amongst yourselves!
  • Made it back with a local craft adult beverage, and I must say that craft adult beverages are so much better than the big producers.
  • I spent part of yesterday making irish cream from a recipe to which good friend Paul Lukas introduced me. I'll probably end up posting that recipe this week because it's so much better than buying that garbage that Baileys tries to peddle as "irish cream". Many thanks to Paul for that recipe!
  • Jets beat the Blues 4-0. Goals from Lowry, Laine, Scheifele, and Morrissey. Good response after the 2-0 loss last night.
  • Manitoba Moose won all three games in the last three days to move into first-overall in the AHL by three points over the Marlies. Moose have 45 points, and a pair of games against the Rampage prior to the Christmas break! Moose outscored Belleville and Toronto in the three games by a combined 14-5!

Third Period

  • Cameranesi may have saved a goal by hooking down Agosta, but she'll have to sit for two or less at 19:06 of the third period!
  • Kelly Pannek was dumped by Spooner at 16:28, and the Americans will get a power-play!
  • Blayre Turnbull with a good chance on the penalty kill, but Rooney is equal to the task.
  • Mad scramble around the Canadian net at 15:13, but no goals come of it!
  • The Canadian penalty expires seconds before the US goes offside at 14:25.
  • Spooner gets a great chance in front, but Rooney holds her ground to keep this game tied at 13:42!
  • A pass intercepted and Saulnier fed Johnston, but Rooney denied that chance at 12:06!
  • Americans ice the puck after some good pressure by Canada at 11:18. A tired American line stays on. Chance for Canada?
  • Team USA relieves the pressure and gets that line off the ice.
  • Cameranesi fired a puck way high at 9:51, but the Americans have good pressure right now.
  • How many times have the officials been in the way of a play tonight? C'mon, stripes. You're better than this.
  • Americans are called for offside at 8:24.
  • Szabados has to be sharp on a redirected pass, but she keeps the puck in front of her at 7:04.
  • The puck gets pinned under Blayre Turnbull, but the referee calls her for covering the puck at 6:32. US power-play!
  • Szabados made solid saves on both Cameranesi and Keller in front at 5:42!
  • Canada kills off the penalty!
  • Americans seem to be building momentum here.
  • Jenner and Saulnier can't get the 2-on-1 to work!
  • Agosta barrels over the referee after Szabados stones Stecklein on the doorstep!
  • Final minute of the third period!
  • Furious pressure from the Americans in the last 30 seconds, but we'll go to overtime!

Overtime Period

  • Brianne Jenner scored in overtime earlier in this series. Will we see more heroics from her?
  • Kessel with the first good shot over overtime at 4:03.
  • Brandt with a good shot turned aside by Szabados at 3:43.
  • Szabados freezes the puck that rolls in on her at 2:31.
  • Fortino with a great toe-drag, but is denied by Rooney at 2:02.
  • Saulnier and Turnbull with chances, but Rooney says no.
  • Rebecca Johnston is stopped by Rooney at 1:07.
  • Spooner throws the puck to the net and the puck is stopped by Rooney. The puck, however, is lying in the crease and JENNIFER WAKEFIELD barrels into the crease, pushing the puck across the line at the 27.4 mark! CANADA WINS 2-1!
  • Hold on! USA head coach Robb Stauber is challenging for goalie interference. The referees confer.
  • And the call is....
  • WOW. If you missed this one, you missed a great game. Neither team gave an inch, and this only makes me want the Olympics to arrive much sooner to see this great rivalry come to life once more!
Canada and the US put on a heckuva show in the last six games. There is nothing lost in this rivalry in having this six-game series, and it may actually have heightened the animosity between these two teams. If I'm Canada, I'm worried that the Americans may have been playing possum in this series as it seemed like that Hilary Knight line wasn't itself over the six games. If I'm Team USA, I'm worried that Canada has figured out the American system in taking five of six games.

In either case, we'll see what happens in February between these two teams when Olympic gold is on the line!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Peter said...

For a nano-moment, I thought you were going to drop a reference the lead singer of Arch Enemy, Alissa White-Gluz, who is not only French-Canadian, but one of the best and leading women in melodic death metal...only seemed appropriate! ;)