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PGS S52 Game 40: Halifax vs. Carolina
(This post was last modified: 02-08-2020, 10:39 PM by Finetales.)

raiders Halifax Raiders vs. Carolina Kraken Kraken
Final Score: 0 - 4
Game Link

Tall Grass Media SMJHL Season Coverage Series presents:

Kraken Awakened, Blanks Raiders


          Both the Carolina Kraken and the Halifax Raiders came into this matchup eager for a rebound win, both having suffered losses (to Vancouver and Detroit, respectively) in their previous games. The Kraken were the favorites to win as they came in tied for 1st in the SMJHL, with the Raiders sitting closer to the bottom of the pack. Fortunately, neither team was plagued with injuries going in.

First Period
Shots: 10 (HFX) - 7 (CAR)
Goals: 0 (HFX) - 2 (CAR)

          The game began with a penalty just 17 seconds in on Halifax top-line d-man Valantin Kalashnikov for hooking. Neither this power play nor the second that began almost immediately after the first ended (with Indigo Trevino putting Halifax a man down again with another hooking penalty) resulted in a goal for Carolina. The game remained scoreless for over 9 minutes before Buster Cherry rifled a shot past Olli Saarinen Jr. to put the Kraken up 1-0. Not to be outdone by Carolina's two power plays, Halifax drew three penalties in a row in the second half of the period, but were unable to capitalize on these chances. The score remained unchanged until Michael Lee, who assisted Cherry's goal, scored another goal for Carolina with less than a minute left in the period. Although Carolina ended the period up 2-0, the period was full of back-and-forth hockey, with Halifax taking three more shots on goal than Carolina only to be denied all of them by Mike Hroch.

Second Period
Shots: 2 (HFX) - 7 (CAR)
Goals: 0 (HFX) - 1 (CAR)

        The second period was not kind to the trailing Raiders, who only getting two shots on goal off on the Kraken team that was firing on all cylinders by this point. Carolina matched their first period shot output, and took advantage of their single power play to score their third goal of the game, courtesy of Joseph Weston in the waning seconds of the PP. Cherry took an interference penalty for Carolina eight seconds after Weston's goal, but his team's penalty kill was able to fend off Halifax's PP1 unit. The rest of the period had no more penalties but was dominated by Carolina despite the lack of additional goals, and the period ended 3-0 Carolina.

Third Period
Shots: 11 (HFX) - 8 (CAR)
Goals: 0 (HFX) - 1 (CAR)

          Halifax made some productive changes in their locker room between periods as they attacked Carolina's netminder with 11 shots in the third period (up three from Carolina's eight). However, their frustrated play cost them another goal at the beginning of the period, with Matthew Brundt taking a cross-checking penalty just 16 seconds into the period that turned into a power play goal for Carolina (scored by Stirling MacTavish). Although Carolina had one more power play and Halifax two later in the period, no more goals were scored despite constant pressure from the Raiders and the game ended 4-0 Carolina.

Final Score: 0 (HFX) - 4 (CAR)
Three Stars: Mike Hroch (1 - CAR), Michael Lee (2 - CAR), Stirling MacTavish (3 - CAR)

          Carolina's starting goaltender delivered an impressive shutout performance in this game, rightfully earning him the first star of the game. The Kraken's 1-2 punch of lights-out goaltending and a solid blue line squad shutting down chances was integral to their win. The second and third stars could have gone any three ways between Michael Lee, Stirling MacTavish, and Joseph Weston, all three of which had one goal and one assist. Lee's +2 +/- stat earned him the second star, and MacTavish's three hits, two shots, and one shot blocked edged him out for the third star over Weston. Halifax's best player was either Izzy Dudemeister with 2 hits and 3 shots blocked, or Marty Sertich with 3 shots and 3 hits. The Raiders put in a good effort in the first and third periods, but it wasn't enough against a buzzing Carolina team and their brick wall in net. If Carolina can continue putting up consistent shot numbers and creating chances to compliment their solid back end, they should continue to be a threat.

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Hiroshi Ohira - S53 RW #36 Manhattan Rage/Colorado Raptors

Comment 1: The Key to Penalties
This game was rife with penalties from both teams. It was a highly aggressive game with an average of 3.6 penalties per period the distribution was pretty similar with 5 coming in the first (2 at first for Halifax, followed by 3 in a row by Carolina). 1 for each in team in the second, and 2 for the Raiders and 2 for the Kraken in the final period. This is an interesting pattern of the Halifax Raiders setting the physical tone for the game early and Carolina not being afraid to answer back. This strategy obviously payed off for the Kraken as they were able to capitalize on 2 of the power plays and had a very strong penalty kill against the Raiders stopping all 6 of their PP attempts.

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     Platoon    Timber

7's Turning Points of the Game: (159 words)
Just 17 seconds into the game, Valentin Kalashnikov was called for hooking on Alexei Rykov, and Carolina basically started the game on the power play. The resulting pressure led to a fatigued Indigo Trevino taking a sloppy hooking penalty himself. Carolina started with all the momentum this game, having 6 of the first 7 shots on goal, the last of those 6 going in for the first goal of the game. The tables turned in the second half of the period, Carolina took three back to back penalties, but held strong though all of them. The shots were helping Halifax pull back some of the momentum, until Michael Lee put one away in the last minute of the period. Out shooting the opponent, but being blanked on 6 minutes of power plays and having a second dropped on you right as the period ends is hellishly effective at destabilizing a junior team's morale and that was seen perfectly tonight.

7's Unsung Hero of the Game: (131 words)
It's not often you see a 2nd line forward logging over 20 minutes in a game, but Michael Fitted of Carolina was up to the task tonight. Not only did he log the assist on the demoralizing Micheal Lee goal, but he went 18-27 on face offs, was on the ice for 6:39 of the Kraken's 12 shutdown penalty kill minutes, and was 16 of 23 on his passes tonight. This small Finnish facilitator did everything he was asked of by his team tonight, and was rewarded with a point, but he was a key part in containing the middle of the ice on the penalty kill and his skating proficiency meant that Halifax was unable to really move the puck and get efficient shots off with Fitted on the ice.

7's Hit of the Game: (123 words)
Down 4-0 in the third, Raider rookie Alexander Roach still managed to make his presence known this game as he came Carolina's stud Tom Fiddler receiving a hospital pass near center ice. Fresh off his turnover just seconds before, the young 6'3 center cleanly crushed the Kraken veteran with his head turned towards a streaking Alexei Rykov. Carolina maintained possession, but the aggressive play late in a blowout left a bad taste in the mouth of many Kraken players. There was no retaliation on ice, but Roach has definitely put his number in their minds for the games later in the season. I appreciate the energy, and the desire to get your team engaged, but it was at least 20 minutes too late.

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Episode tres! ACE’S CRANKIN HITS!
Anyways, bias aside, you know where we’re here for. Everyone knows the rules. IT’S TIME FOR SOME HITS!

The Kraken came out with a stellar performance by Mike Hroch. No, that’s not a meme, he’s literally named Mike Hroch. Hroch pitched a 4-0 shutout. Not only did he shut the damn door on the Halifax Raiders, he sat someone down on their ass too! It’s a rare edition of ACE’S CRANKIN HITS when the hit of the game goes to a goaltender, but hey, let’s celebrate! Dive in and take a look –

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MARVELOUS! He maybe got his hands a bit high, but when the guy with the pillows on his legs gets involved, I won’t complain.

RIP Dangel. See you on the other side, brother.

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Kraken Canada Wolfpack Canada Wolfpack Canada Wolfpack Canada Wolfpack Canada Wolfpack Kraken


Carolina Penalty Kill
It's no secret that this game was littered with penalties from both teams. In a game like that, it usually comes down to special teams, and it did again in this one. The Carolina Kraken wound up taking 6 minor penalties throughout the game, but they were able to kill off each and every one of them. The Carolina kill was led by high-energy forwards Michael Fitted and Joseph Weston, who each logged over 6 minutes, and rock-solid defensemen Tom Fiddler and Alexei Rykov. There was nothing the Halifax Raiders could do to get one past these guys on the powerplay.

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Ziggy Tambo - LW - Anaheim Outlaws

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Carolina Refuses to Cool Off

Carolina's hot start to the season continues, at least for one more night. Their offense couldn't be contained as they win this easily 4 goals to 0. Carolina comes into this game earning a point in 6 of their first 7 games, and with the win tonight the Kraken extend that to 7 out of 8, with 6 of those being wins. Carolina will look to keep that going against another team atop the standings in Detroit, whom they beat just a week ago. When asked about the streak the coach downplayed it saying "We are just playing our game. That's all I can ask of these guys".
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Lines Crossed

It seemed that the Raiders third and fourth line was pretty surprised about their on ice time after the game. Usually the fourth line plays a shift or two a game with the third line getting a quarter of the shifts. The gameplan quickly fell apart as the third liners ended up with the most time on the ice, and the first line guys receiving more time on the bench. This could have been a wake up call to the starters after getting in a hole early on. The same goes for the defense as the third line defense outpaced the first line in on ice team. Maybe this is the wake up call the starters needed.
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Two Shots???

The Raiders locker room during the second intermission was not a friendly place. The coach berated his team for only getting 2 shots on goal in the second period. Some say the coach had to be held back by assistants as he berated his starters about their lack of effort and execution. He called out his captain and leaders of the team to wake up. It must have slightly worked as they out shot Carolina in the third but to no avail they still walked away with zero goals. Maybe the pep talk had too much of an effect. Only 6 seconds into the third period and Brundt was called for Cross checking putting his team on their back foot mere seconds into the final period.
126 Words

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Stat Pack Breakdown

Everybody Gets a Penalty!
A full period of hockey, in this game, was played with a team on the powerplay or on the penalty kill. Okay not literally, but there was a full 22 minutes of penalty time given in this game as both teams were given at least five penalties a piece. While penalties played a big part of this game, only one team made them count as the Kraken managed to grab two powerplay goals, which ended up being the nail in the coffin of the Raiders as those two goals put the game out of reach for them.

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Credit to Copenhagen, Wasty, FlappyGiraffe, InciteHysteria, and caltroit_red_flames
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