Sunday, October 31, 2010

Everblades Sweep Wings

The Kalamazoo Wings came into town as one of the last undefeated teams in the ECHL. The Everblades were coming off a less than stellar road trip. It seemed like the perfect storm was building.

It really didn't help that A.J. Thelen was coming to town.

After the Everblades chose not to offer him a contract, Thelen opted to join the Wings. It's not hard to imagine that Thelen probably felt he had something to prove. It's also not hard to imagine why he may want revenge on a fan base that was not often happy with his attempt at effort, and had no problem letting him know.

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In the first game the Blades had a come from behind victory, due in large part to two goals from Imbeault. In the second, they completely dominated the K-Wings, scoring six goals to their two.

This put the Everblades in the position of possibly being able to completely sweep the K-Wings on home ice, and in the first period it really looked like the third game in the series would parallel the second (score sheet). The Blades dominated the play, and even managed to net the first goal (the first time in seven games). A power play tally from Elgin Reid and an even strength notch from Matt Beca gave the Blades a 2-0 lead. The Wings responded with a goal to narrow the lead, but yet another power play goal from Elgin Reid gave them a two goal lead once again.

Unfortunately, the Wings began to show some life in the second period. They finally were rewarded when goalie Jaroslav Janus misplayed the puck behind his net leaving an empty goal for the Wings to score on. Therest of the period was uneventful and the Blades left the ice with their tenuous lead.

The Wings started the third right where they had left off and were able to tie it up a little over three minutes into the third. The Everblades had many close chances but K-Wings goalie Ryan Nie had shut the door in the first period and nothing was getting by him. Because neith team could convert on any of their chances, the game had to move to overtime.

Although both teams had some great chances, neither could make it work. That meant one thing: shoot-out time.

It might not have been a pretty game, but it was a win, and that's all that really matters. The Blades now have the momentum from the three game sweep to head into the road trip on a positive note.

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