Live Blogging Rimouski vs. Windsor: Memorial Cup 2009

NB:  I booted up the computer and sat transfixed during the first six minutes or so of this game.  The action was back and forth like crazy to begin with.  The first couple of paragraphs are a summary of what happened to that point;  thereafter, the time-denoted comments came as the game unfolded.

First period:

A frenetic opening 6:20 saw an immediate chance off the opening draw for Rimouski (which I think was blocked by Engelage) and two other odd man rush opportunities.  One rush in particular seemed sure to produce a Rimouski goal;  the two Oceanic forwards were well separated and the puck carrier beat the Windsor defender with the pass.  It was obvious that Engelage would not be able to go side-to-side to stop the sure goal, but the pass deflected off the Oceanic player’s skate and – instead of a goal – there was no shot whatsoever.

The hitting is heavy – Ryan Ellis takes out Rimouski’s Veilleux when Veilleux glances down at the puck as he skates over his own blueline and into the neutral zone;  Ellis seems to pounce on him and nails Veilleux with a clean check that seems to stun the Oceanic forward, possibly causing some dental damage.  Veilleux gets up and heads down the corridor to see the dentist and to reconsider the wisdom of looking at the puck with Ellis on the ice.

12:45 remaining – Loktionov and Taylor Hall in on 2 on 1 on Oceanic goaltender Gougeon, Loktionov’s pass makes it to Hall but Hall cannot bang the puck home as he careens past Gougeon.

9:27 remaining -Rimouski’s Boudreau takes a penalty for hooking that gives Windsor its first power play opportunity.  The unit looks much more organized than it has in the last few games.  Nemisz, Loktionov, Ellis, Hall and Kwiet work the puck around the Rimouski zone but produce few shots that actually get through and on net – Hall has one from a sharp angle off the right wing post that is easily blocked by Gougeon.  Rimouski manages a couple of effective shot blocks that produce rebounds that either clear themselves out of the zone, or are easily cleared.

7:00 remaining – as the Windsor power play ends, Veilleux returns to the ice for Rimouski.  The Oceanic produce some pressure.

5:24 remaining – after some end to end action, Gougeon has to make a nice splits save on a shot by Windsor’s big defenceman Harry Young.

4:33 remaining – Windsor gets caught with too many men on the ice.  Rimouski seems to prefer to carry the puck in rather than dumping and chasing, with mixed results.  One effort is easily cleared, another produces a near opportunity as the Rimouski forward drives in from the right wing past a retreating Windsor defence.  The puck is turned over and Windsor has a partial 2 on 1 shorthanded the other way for MacDermid and Wellwood;  Gougeon makes the stop on MacDermid and the puck lies tantalizingly free but is cleared before Wellwood can find it.  Penalty killed.

1:14 remaining – Some more end to end action and Rimouski forces Windsor to ice it.  The Oceanic can’t keep the play in the Windsor zone.

:25 remaining – Mitchell and Piche get into it in the neutral zone, as do Henrique and Caron.  A lot of wrestling, but no actual fights seem to occur.  Four on four.

Not sure exactly what is going on here – it looks like Kwiet trips one of the ‘Nics while going off the ice, but I can’t tell if this is at the end of a period or while the players are supposed to be lining up for a faceoff somewhere.  Sportsnet doesn’t seem to want to supply that kind of information, (WTF?) or whether Kwiet has been penalized for the blatant shit-disturbing penalty.   Apparently, the period is over now though, because they’re showing NHL highlights and a piece on Jordan Caron.

Referring to CHL’s official gamesheet online, it looks as though Timmins and Cundari have been assessed penalties at the 20:00 mark for high-sticking, which would seem to suggest that Windsor will be two men down for a full two minutes to start the second;  there is no mention of a penalty to Kwiet.  I am very confused.  How the hell did this happen?  I may have to back the DVR up here…

Okay, I got it now.  With about 13 seconds remaining in the period, Rob Kwiet tripped Cormier as Kwiet was leaving the ice and Cormier was lining up for a faceoff.  That shit-disturbing play wasn’t penalized.  The officials then dropped the puck and the teams played the remaining few seconds (I must have missed this while typing something) and – at the 20:00 mark, as time is expiring, the official was calling a high-stick on Cundari when Timmins demolishes another guy in the corner.

Second Period:

Rimouski begins with a 4 on 3 powerplay, as the teams had been at 4 on 4 when Windsor took these two dumb calls.   On the ice for Windsor I see Ellis (surprise), Spits Captain Harry Youndgand Nemisz.  Rimouski has Veilleux, Cormier, Cornet and Piche.   The Sportsnet announcers don’t seem to really even be discussing what idiotic penalties these are and what a critical juncture of the game it is.

18:05 remaining – big shot block by Ellis on a shot from the point, he seems hurt.  Penalty killed.

17:40 remaining -Gougeon just stoned Taylor Hall on a breakaway, shorthanded I think – Sportsnet is doing a terrible job letting me know what the situation is here.  How ’bout mentioning the manpower situation, guys?

16:42 remaining – Cormier is sprung on a play up the middle and scoreson a nice backhand through Engelage’s legs.  I am now being advised that was a powerplay goal.  Timing is everything, guys.

15:40 remaining – Ellis is on the ice again, Windsor is applying pressure.  The unfortunately named Luca Cunti takes a high sticking call for Rimouski.  Ellis, Loktionov, Hall, Nemisz and Kwiet take the ice for the Spits.  Nemisz knocks down a clearing attempt by Gougeon, faceoff coming outside the Rimouski zone.  Hall gathers the puck and carries up the left wing, offside.  The second PP unit comes on – Timmins, Mitchell, Henrique take the ice, D seems to be the same.

13:41 remaining – Ellis has a huge shot, then another – he scores.  Nice job to get that shot through traffic, it goes top cheese to Gougeon’s glove side but he never saw it.  Big powerplay goal for the Spits.

13:30 remaining – Windsor right back into the ‘Nics zone and looking for more.  A good shift by Wellwood, MacDermid and Shugg goes to hell when Wellwood hauls down a Rimouski defender (Boudreau) while pursuing the puck behind the Oceanic net.  Not good.

12:00 remaining – Huge pressure by Rimouski against the second PK unit.  Hall finally manages to clear it, and the next up-ice pass fails to connect for Rimouski and leads to an icing.

11:15 remaining – 3 on 2 Windsor shorthanded, Mitchell scores.  He made the play by knocking an airborne puck down and causing the turnover, then manages to get up ice to receive a cross-ice feed from Timmins and pound it home from the high slot, using Cundari as a decoy.  The goal will not be officially shorthanded, as it enters the net at the 8:50 mark, when the penalty is expiring.

1):53 remaining – Windsor is right back in looking for more.  I think it’s important not only for this game, but for the Spits’ confidence, for them to get on a roll here and now, and if I was Boughner I’d be coming back with Timmins’ line.

10:33 remaining – that’s who Boughner has out there.

9:35 remaining – Henrique, Hall and Nemisz follow up and have a little bit of pressure but then surrender a weird looking 3 on 2 rush the other way and Rimouski’s Caron scores over Engelage’s left shoulder (top right corner of the net) with 9:15 remaining.

9:08 remaining – Jesse Blacker is in a fight standing up for Mitchell, who was dumped heavily into the boards off the ensuing faceoff by the Oceanic forward McMillan.

Boughner has juggled the lines, moving Loktionov  out from between Hall and Niemisz.   Windsor is pressing still, but seems to have lost some steam after that Rimouski goal.  I would bet Boughner rides Timmins pretty hard for the next little while.

5:13 remaing – Rimouski scores again.  A little sequence of pressure in the Windsor zone produces a faceoff in the Spitfire zone, the draw is controlled by Windsor’s Shutron but turned over in the slot and Oceanic left winger Patrick Delisle-Houde rips one past Engelage’s blocker.

5:00 remaining – next shift and it’s MacDermid, Loktionov and Mitchell – lines continue to juggle for the Spits.  Ellis blasts one from the point, glove save by Gougeon with 4:02 to go.

3:44 remaining Rimouski comes deadly close to picking up another goal when Cunti circles the net and dishes out front.  The puck is cleared but when Rimouski comes back up ice, Cunti scores as this time Veilleux is able to find Cunti wide open on the left-wing for a tap in that Engelage hasn’t got a hope of tracking down.  Windsor is on the run and needs a goal immediately.

3:05 remaining – the home crowd is really chanting for the Oceanic.

2:17 remaining – Rimouski appears to have too many men on the ice; no call.  Dale Mitchell is working the refs, to no avail.  Nemisz, Hall and Loktionov on the ice for Windsor.  Loktionov digs one out of the corner, walks out and wrists one high over the glove of Gougeon for a desperately needed goal.   I don’t know where the hell Loktionov has been, but now was an excellent time for him to show up.  Gougeon got a piece of the puck, but not enough.

1:21 remaining, Windsor is pressing again with Wellwood, Mitchell and Henrique cycling.  Huge opportunity for Wellwood to tie it with 1 minute remaining.  Another rush up ice for Wellwood during which he appears to be getting ridden like Space Mountain by the Oceanic defender – no call.  One more rush by Niemisz, he’s crushed by Brunetand the period ends with a wee bit of nastiness at the end of the period.  The ref seems to be calling some penalties, I wonder if Sportsnet will share with us what they might be?

Third period

According to the CHL’s website, Rimouski has drawn the extra penalty for the scrum at the end of the second – specifically, Cormier has gotten a roughing penalty.  Windsor will start the 3rd with a powerplay and a fresh sheet of ice.  The Spits desperately need a powerplay goal.

Going in to the 3rd, my thinking is that Windsor defenceman Ryan Ellis has definitely stepped his game up after a disappointing performance yesterday, and Taylor Hall has been fantastic again.  Other than his brief but important appearance to fire home the 3rd goal, Loktionov hasn’t been much of a factor.  The Spits need another great period from Timmins, Mitchell and Nemisz, all of whom have been generating energy and getting things moving in the Windsor direction when given the chance.  Eric Wellwood has also played well – except for the stupid penalty he took at the start of the second that seemed to really derail some momentum.   I am cautiously optimistic that Gougeon will need to play an excellent 3rd to keep the Oceanic ahead;  I know Engelage still has a key save or two in him.  I hope.

19:26 remaining – Loktionov, Nemisz and Hall start the 3rd on the PP.  Loktionov’s soft pass in the neutral zone is picked off by Logan McMillan who walks in on Engelage, has a first attempt partially blocked by Ellis, but McMillan gobbles up the loose puck and rips it past Engelage on a bad angle.  So much for my theory, it’s 5-3 Rimouski on a shorty.  The camera shows Loktionov seated on the Windsor bench;  I doubt that’s likely to change much in the next little bit.

18:00 remaining – penalty killed, Windsor was never able to generate any sustained pressure on the PP.

15:40 remaining – Shugg, Wellwood and MacDermid manage to generate some sustained pressure at least, and Cundari gets a great drive on net but it’s easily stopped by Gougeon.  Small steps will be needed to change the tide.

15:58  remaining – Hall carries the puck up the right wing and is hauled down;  he gets a shot off as he’s going down but Gougeon stops it.  Henrique and Piche get in a scrap in front of the net.  Rimouski’s Marc-Andre Bourdon will take the additional penalty for hauling down haul.  No question about it, Windsor’s power play MUST click or there will be no Memorial Cup for the Spits.

15:40 remaining – Ellis bangs one off the crossbar from the point

14:53 remaining Ellis has a chance to shoot again, and there’s traffic, but it doesn’t go in.  Another shot from Loktionov who is on the other point gets blocked.  He and Ellis play pitch and catch until Loktionov gets another chance, Gougeon saves it with his right shoulder.

14:18 remaining – another Rimouski penalty, Brunet for high sticking.  5 on 3 for the Spits.  Ellis gets another chance from the point, blocked.  A chance in tight goes wide on a cross-ice feed to Loktionov, whose stick shatters, preventing him from taking the pass.  The first penalty has been served.  Ellis shoots again, blocked by Cormier.  Ellis feeds low to Loktionov, to Hall, shot stopped by Gougeon.    Cundari carries up the right wing, shot by Mitchell deflects wide, Spits can’t collect the puck for another chance and the penalty is killed.

12:10 remaining – Rimouski fans are on their feet cheering.  Mitchell a chance on the right wing, blocked by Gougeon.

11:11 remaining – big scramble in front of Windsor net. The puck is cleared, but carried back in to the Spitfire zone.  Loktionov picks the pocket of a Rimoski forward, Hall goes up the left wing, circles the net, feeds to Young, shot off the bar and the puck falls to the left of the net.  Loktionov picks the puck up and banks it off somebody in front for a goal, 5-4 Rimouski with just over 10 minutes remaining.  Fasten your seatbelts.

9:16 remaining – Mitchell goes up the left wing, is knocked down and Wellwood takes it, loses it and Henrique almost steals from the third Rimouski forward to touch the puck in front.  The puck is then turned over, leading to a scramble in front of the Rimouski net, but Windsor can’t bang it home;  MacDermid goes so far as to raise his stick and the play by play guy is assigning the Spits a goal, but they’re not going to post that one on the scoreboard because it didn’t go in.  Fantastic glove save by Gougeon while on his back lying in the net.   Whoa.

8:56 remaining Windsor wins the draw and is raiing shots on Gougeon.  Nemisz deflects one just wide on a shot by Young.  Hall to Loktionov to Ellis, cycled again to Nemisz and Ellis, centred in front but nobody home.  Windsor is pressing like crazy.

7:16 remaining – Veilleux and his mates have the puck in deep on Windsor again, relieving some of the crazy pressure.  Timmins’ line takes the puck back up ice and freezes it behind the Rimouski net.  Windsor ultimatley contols off the draw (though the puck is cleared first) but can’t get an opportunity.  It’s cleared down the ice.  Hall is chasing it in the left wing corner but can’t get it and it comes out but goes riht back in again – and again.  Cleared into the Rimouski bench, faceoff in Oceanic territory upcoming.

About 5:00 remaining – Off the draw, the play comes up ice on a pass from Bourdon, it goes to Veilleux who’s in alone on Engelage.  The Spits goalie makes a great stick save to deflect it over the top of the goal and save any chance for the Spits.

Fortier, Delisle-Houde and MacMillan have the Spits runing around in their zone.  Mitchell carries up ice for Windsor.  Wellwood chases it into the right wing corner.  Nemisz controls in the right wing corner, a shot from the point is blocked by Gougeon.

2:30 remaining – Windsor can’t get organized to get the puck deep on the Oceanic.  Credit Rimouski, they are playing a high-pressure, high-risk forecheck in the neutral zone – and it’s working.

2:20 remaining.  Faceoff at Rimouski blueline won by the Oceanic, they carry it up ice and take a long shot on Engelage, it’s rushed back up by the Spits and Henrique gets a slapper from the top of the circle on Gougeon, who stops it.  Faceoff controlled by Windsor, and there’s another point sot on.

1:30 Goalie out for the Spits.

Ellis to Loktionov to Hall, just missed a wide open net.  Another bouncing puck just to the left of Gougeon, Mitchell dives but can’t get it.  Rimouski almost gets the puck in the Windosr zone, but Spits recover.  Ellis and Kwiet trade it, then shoot on Gougeon, Hall has a near miss to Gougeon’s left.

That puck that Mitchell couldn’t get?  Bourdon deflected it.  The guy has 3 assists for Rimouski and saved the game there.  Rimouski is 5 seconds from winning the game, the faceoff is outside the Oceanic zone.

:05 remaining – Timmins will take the draw.  He  wins it and gets it to his winger who shoots it in, but it’s partially blocked and Gougeon gets the puck and clears it out.  Rimouski wins 5-4.

Windsor will likely finish last in the round-robin now.  Dammit.

By junior

Guitar owner and silly person.

4 comments

  1. I wonder if the back-to-back games had anything to do with it? My sample size (2007-09) is admittedly small, but it appears that the host league’s two teams never play games on successive days.

    I’m gong to have to give the opening game a spin, curious about the Kelowna defensemen (according to the MemCup website, the two pituitarially-endowed gentlemen are 6’5″ and 6’7″, each around 210 lbs.); wondering who’s responsible for giving their keeper such a light workload.

  2. Spits looked outclassed for most of what I saw. I missed the big scoring explosion in the second period (dinner time and Mom doesn’t watch hockey and I like to eat) but the Spits defence looked pretty porous and gave up a lot of opportunities when I was watching. Taylor Hall in particular was unable to score when he had several good opportunities – including in the last few seconds of the game. Not much output from him yet.
    If Spits beat Kelowna, they can create a tie-breaker game if anybody else ends up 1-2 also. Not much hope from what I saw but in junior hockey – you never know.

  3. @ Mike: I think back to back DID have something to do with it; taking a gut punch in overtime on the first night and then having to play again less than 24 hours later, it must have been surreal for those kids.

    @Geez: Hall has been snakebitten, no denying it – but the guy is getting all kinds of chances. He can play on my team any time.

    @ eye: NEVER! Go Spits Go!!!

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