Sunday, April 4, 2010

2010 SPHL Playoffs: Game 2 (post script)

Wow!!! What a game!!! I've been in hockey for 15 years now, and that is one of the most exciting games I've ever been a part of. The Surge nearly stole one from us, but Daryl Moore tied it up with 12 seconds left in regulation. The overtime period was almost non-stop action, flying from end to end at a breakneck pace. Each team had multiple scoring chances and each goalie made several key saves to keep the game alive. Snakes rookie sensation Levi Lind ignited the celebration with 58 seconds left in the overtime period with a shot that hit the post, then banked in off the back of Surge goalie Bill Zaniboni.

The Snakes dominated the game early, setting the pace with their physical play for the second game in a row. They managed to maintain the physical play through the first, despite a Surge goal just 50 seconds into the game. The pace was slowed down by a series of Snakes penalties, putting the #1 ranked Surge power play to work. The Snakes killed off the first period power plays, even managing to net a short-handed goal on a great effort from Sam Bowles.

The second period saw just one goal and one penalty...both credited to the Surge's Thomas Boudreau. The Surge controlled most of the play, logging 17 shots on goal to the Snakes' 9, but Snakes goalie Ian Vigier held the fort and maintained a 3-2 lead after 2 periods.

The Surge power play came to life in the 3rd period, scoring 2 goals on 4 opportunities (the only 4 power plays assessed in the 3rd period). This gave the Surge their first lead in the game. The Snakes generated numerous opportunities to score before Moore's goal tied it with 12 seconds remaining.

The teams traded opportunities in the overtime period, with numerous scoring chances for each team. Both goalies came up big several times to keep the game alive. Finally, with 2:21 remaining, former Snake Daryl Moor took a boarding penalty and gave the Snakes the only power play opportunity of the OT period. This opened the door for Levi Lind's seeing-eye goal to tie the series at one game apiece.

This game was a huge win for us. It gave us some much-needed confidence and I think it took a little wind out of the Surge's sails. I still think they're pretty cocky, but probably not feeling bulletproof like they were entering this series. They know they're in for a fight now. Next up, another week of practice (really 3 full days of practice after Easter Sunday off) to get ready for Games 3 and 4 (and Game 5, if necessary). If it goes the distance, it'll be 3 games in 3 nights. But basically we're now in a best-of-three series for a trip to the finals. I can't wait 'til Thursday!

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