Wednesday, 3 January 2018


When a team gets on a roll, it can often be difficult for their opponents to stop the impending destruction headed their way. Momentum plays a big role in hockey despite it being hard at times to pinpoint what sets a team's momentum in motion. Perhaps it's the return of a certain star player. Maybe it's a big victory over an opponent one wasn't supposed to beat. Maybe it's just luck. In any case, the Aalborg Pirates of the Danish Metal Ligaen came out of the holiday break to play the Herlev Eagles, and they started 2018 off in a rather astounding way.

After a solid December that saw them move up the standings and catch the second-place Frederikshavn White Hawks, the Pirates opened 2018 at home against the Herlev Eagles who sit in tenth-place of the eleven-team league and were 37 points back of the Pirates going into the game today. Herlev's season is virtually over already as they sit fifteen points back of ninth-place Sønderjyske, but they are still playing for pride as they take to the ice in the second-half of this season. The only problem is that they ran into an Aalborg Pirates team that is playing inspired hockey as they charge up the standings in an effort to catch the first-place Herning Blue Fox.

How inspired was it? Let us count the ways, color-coded for easy reading.
  1. At 2:39, Kirill Kabanov scores from Jeppe Jul Korsgaard and Martin Lefebvre (1-0).
  2. At 5:00, Kirill Kabanov scores from Henry Hardarson (2-0).
  3. At 16:18, Henry Hardarson scores from Emil Marcussen and Sebastian Brinkman Andersen (3-0).
  4. At 17:21, Martin Højbjerg scores from Mikkel Højbjerg and Julian Jakobsen (4-0).
  5. At 19:00, Jeppe Jul Korsgaard scores on a power-play from Christopher Frederiksen and Karill Kabanov (5-0).
  6. At 21:11, Olivier Hinse scores from Jeppe Jul Korsgaard and Clay Anderson (6-0).
  7. At 21:42, Nikolaj Carstensen scores from Kristian Kodal and Henry Hardarson (7-0).
Now before we go any further, Herlev is currently trailing 7-0 just 1:42 into the second period! Herlev's starting goalie, Evan Mosher, didn't even start the second period after being down 5-0, and his replacement, Jacob Muller Hansen, surrendered two more goals in 1:42. Ouch. The only good news is that the Pirates wouldn't find the net again in the middle frame. The third period, though, was a different story.
  1. At 40:31, Mikkel Højbjerg scores from Martin Højbjerg and Julian Jakobsen (8-0).
  2. At 42:44, Kim Staal scores from Frederik Bjerrum and Thomas Søndergaard (8-1).
  3. At 44:19, Martin Lefebvre scores on a five-on-three power-play from Olivier Hinse and Christopher Frederiksen (9-1).
  4. At 44:37, Mikkel Højbjerg scores on a power-play from Martin Højbjerg and Julian Jakobsen (10-1).
  5. At 47:29, Pierre-Olivier Morin scores on a power-play from Martin Højbjerg (11-1).
  6. At 50:24, Julian Jakobsen scores on a power-play from Olivier Hinse and Jeppe Jul Korsgaard (12-1).
  7. At 57:33, Clay Anderson scores from Kirill Kabanov and Jeppe Jul Korsgaard (13-1).
Wow. Let's throw out some kudos to the Pirates for taking it to the Eagles today because it isn't often you see a 13-1 score in a hockey game. Among those that should be noted for their performances are Jeppe Jul Korsgaard as he led the way with a goal and four assists, Kirill Kabanov had a pair of goals and a pair of assists, Martin Højbjerg had a goal and three assists, and Julien Jakobsen matched Højbjerg with a goal and three helpers. Of the 21 players who dressed for the game - and newly-acquired Peter Quenneville did not dress for this game - 15 of those players recorded points. Outside of goalkeepers Jesper Wulff Pedersen and Tadeas Galansky, only defencemen Lasse Bo Knudsen, Jeppe Sylvester Holmberg, and Jeppe Sylvester Iversen and winger Tobias Maximilian Ladehoff didn't record a point. Of the 19 skaters, only defenceman Kristian Kodal and winger Emil Marcussen failed to record a shot on net. Aalbog outshot Herlev 42-17 - four less goals than the Eagles had shots!

Make no mistake in that this was a good, old-fashioned butt-whipping by the Pirates, so we'll see if this offensive explosion can continue as they play aforementioned ninth-place Sønderjyske on Friday before squaring off with the team they're chasing in the Herning Blue Fox at home on Sunday. Head coach Brandon Reid hasn't made any indication as to when Peter Quenneville will add his scoring touch to the lineup, but it's going to be hard to mess with the 13-goal chemistry that the Pirates have found early in 2018!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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