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PGS S52 Game 40: Halifax vs. Carolina
#1
(This post was last modified: 02-08-2020, 10:39 PM by Finetales.)

raiders Halifax Raiders vs. Carolina Kraken Kraken
Final Score: 0 - 4
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Tall Grass Media SMJHL Season Coverage Series presents:

Kraken Awakened, Blanks Raiders
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Preview

          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.

Summary
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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#2

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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#3

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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#4

Episode tres! ACE’S CRANKIN HITS!
Halifax is visiting YOURRRR CAROLINAAAA KRAKENNNN!
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.


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Kraken Wolfpack Kraken Wolfpack Kraken Wolfpack Kraken Wolfpack Kraken Wolfpack Kraken

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