The Blades kicked off their second home series against the Jackals last night. With a severely gutted roster, the Blades had no choice but to play smart.
The first goal of the night was pretty much the way the Jackals goals would be all night. Slightly flukey, slightly goalie Pat Nagle's fault, all bad news. The Jackals first goal, 14 seconds into the game made it 1-0. The score remained that way until a little after the nine minute mark when a power play goal from David Rutherford tied it up (assist to Beca and Fischer). The period ended with things all tied up 1-1.
The second period saw the weakest tripping call ever on Trevor Bruess. Of course the Jackals were able to convert on that power play to take a 2-1 lead 3:35 into the period. About a minute later, the Blades responded with a goal from Matt Beca to tie it up once again (assists to Tardif and Lawson). 23 seconds later the Jackals took the lead for the third time, but the Blades tied it right back up a minute later with a goal from Luc Tardif (assisted by Donald).
About 30 seconds later the Everblades took the first lead of the night with a goal from Trevor Bruess (assists to Van Dyk and Fischer). Unfortunately, another weak call on the Everblades allowed it to be tied up 4-4 with a Jackals goal in the closing minutes of the period. The score remained tied 4-4 when the buzzer sounded on the period.
The third period was quiet, for the most part. the ref decided to put his whistle away and let the guys play. Unfortunately, the Jackals were able to score in the latter half of the period to make it 5-4. The Blades tried their hardest, but they couldn't beat the Jackals netminder and the period enede with the blades losing 5-4 to the Jackals.
The gamesheet is here.
The pictures I took last night:
- I really thought the Blades were the better team. They held Elmira in their end for long, intense, stretches.
- I still think that Elmira's goalie is beatable. The guys just need to be ready to pot a rebound.
- I don't know if it was the ice was an issue. The puck seemed to be bouncing a lot more than usual and a lot of guys were having skate issues.
- A few people have mentioned that two Blades goals were not called because the ref was out of position. I'm not sire if that's true or not, but the ECHL's officiating isn't spectacular so I'm not surprised if it is.
- I'm underlining this for impact: The Blades need to stop looking for calls after every slightly illegal play or move from the opposing team. Either the penalty will be called or it won't. The game continues until the ref blows the whistle, no exceptions, don't stop playing, don't stop pressuring.
There is some good news though. The Checkers have returned forward Justin Shugg. I, for one, am happy to have the Shuggernaut return when we need offensive firepower desperately. The Blades signed goalie Billy Sauer yesterday. You may remember him, and his fight with Bobby Goepfert, from last season. I feel like I should make a sign that reads "It's OK Billy, Big Bad Bobby Goepfert isn't here anymore. You're safe... for now."
One more thing, Toys for Tots tomorrow night. If I see anyone in a Blades jersey walk up without a toy you're getting Clacksoned (I'm using this to describe jumping someone from behind and beating them up from now on). Also, Teddy bear toss Saturday. I look forward to getting pelted with stuffed animals and I hope any of you who sit close to the glass do as well.