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.

Memorial Cup: Live Blogging Game 1 vs. Drummondville

NB:  I really started live-blogging a few minutes into the 2nd period; the bits about the first period were notes I was keeping to do a recap,.

160px-Windsor_Spitfires_logo new
Go Spits Go!!

Pre-game ceremonies underway:  if the PA announcer doesn’t pick up the pace, Windsor’s Memorial Cup participation drought could easily stretch from 21 to 22 years before the puck drops.

Early flurry and big chance on Engelage;  the Windsor goaler looks a little lost, and like he’s turning the wrong way.  Another couple of early chances in the Windsor end for the QMJHL champs, and Windsor is looking a little bit like a team that hasn’t played a game in over a week – which is what they are.

There was a strange discussion by the Sportsnet announcers during which they observe that Taylor Hall has so many gold medals, he might easily be mistaken for Mister T, “but with a better haircut.  Same beard though.”  The two announcers laugh and the next word out of the play-by-play guy’s mouth is “Blacker…”, which I incorrectly mistake for a moment as a startlingly inappropriate (and somewhat confusing) continuation of the jest, rather than a reference to the Windsor defenceman.

Jesse Blacker gets crunched on a cheap-shot elbow in the Windsor zone by Sean Couturier.  Blacker had gotten rid of the puck long before the hit and wasn’t looking when Couturier tried to force feed him an elbow.  I think I could learn to dislike these guys.  The Windsor power-play looks mostly disorganized, except for one brief bit of sustained pressure;  again, like a team that hasn’t played in a while (though also oddly reminiscent of the way the PP looked during Game 4 of the OHL Final vs. Brampton).