Howe, Mark VER 4 3 7 10 0 8 11 27%
Resch, Glenn PIT 2 2 1.73 33 .943
Maruk, Dennis PHI 4 6 4 10 4 6 12 50%
Meloche, Gilles MAC 2 4 2 49 .925

Saskatoon Cyclone
Weekly Preview: After a crummy week 2, Saskatoon looks to rebound against some teams outside its division with Chicago in the opener and the New Castle Ducks in the closer.
Chicago Underground @ Saskatoon Cyclone Saskatoon’s first game against Chicago this season was a crazy one!

The first period saw Saskatoon come out with a small edge in shots (12-10) but Hardy Astrom was pretty dismal in the Underground nets giving up three goals to the Cyclone shooters while Reggie Lemelin kept Chicago off the board.

Keith Acton got the Cyclone on the board first with a deflection of Rick Vaive’s slapshot, but what hurt the Underground more than that was Peter Stastny limping off the ice with an ankle injury with only five minutes gone in the game.

Then with Stefan Persson off on a high-sticking double minor (the game was delayed a few minutes as Doug Risebrough had to find his teeth), Marc Tardif took a feed from Dino Ciccarelli in the corner and beat Astrom stick side low to make it 2-0.

Saskatoon closed off the first period scoring when right off the faceoff deep in the Chicago end Merlin Malinowski drew the puck back to Tardif who shuffled it back to the point where Kevin Lowe was waiting to drive the puck through Astrom’s legs and make it 3-0.

Chicago didn’t waste much time with its rebuttle in the 2nd. Mike Bossy waited all of 25 seconds to rifle Mike Eaves’ pass to the top of the faceoff circle and through Lemelin and into the Saskatoon net to cut the lead to two.

The Underground buzzed all around the net on power play opportunities but the Cyclone held them off only to have Eaves get involved in the action again with a pass from behind the net out front to Butch Goring who slapped it past Lemelin and cut the lead to one.

Malinowski gave the Cyclone some breathing room with Glenn Wesley off serving a penalty, the rookie centre deflected Lowe’s point shot up and over Astrom’s pads.

But Chicago was not going to go away…

Fricking Bob Dailey and his 50-pound skates pounced on the puck near the Chicago blueline after Ric Seiling smushed Lowe into the boards and the Sasquatch-like defender drove all the way down the ice and slammed the puck past Lemlin for a short-handed goal and make it a 4-3 game heading into the 3rd.

Chicago was grinding Saskatoon into a pulp along the boards and winning all the races to the puck in the third period, but high quality scoring chances were hard to come by until around the 10-minute mark when Denis Savard beat Lemelin cleanly with a wrist shot but nailed the crossbar head on and the puck bounced all the way back to centre ice.

With the Underground continuing to threaten Astrom became possessed by the spirit of Billy Smith and laid the lumber to Rick Vaive in the crease and got a minor penalty for roughing up the burly winger. On the ensuing power play with just under 6 minutes to go Gretzky’s shot from near the point took a crazy bounce off Jacques Richard’s stick and past Astrom to make it 5-3.

In kind of an asshole move with Chicago’s goalie pulled and a little over a minute left, Kent-Erik Andersson broke free on a breakaway and came in on the empty net all alone and tapped it in to make it 6-3.

Right off the next faceoff at centre ice Dan Labraaten slashed, held, pummelled and then tripped Andersson sending the Swede to the ice and giving the ref no choice but to call a penalty.

Gretzky snapped Richard’s pass into the slot past Astrom to make it 7-3 on the man advantage and that is how it ended.

Despite the score it was a very close game with Chicago and Saskatoon each getting 33 shots on goal. Power plays made a big difference with Chicago going 0/3 while Saskatoon was 4/7.

1. SAS, Tardif (1G, 3 A)
2. SAS, Gretzky (1 G, 2 A)
3. SAS, Lowe (1 G, 1 A)

New Castle Ducks @ Saskatoon Cyclone As if spirit of Billy Smith in Saskatoon’s first game was not enough, the Cyclone got the pleasure of facing the real deal in game two as they faced the New Castle Ducks.

Smith, one of the top goalies in the game, was like a wall in the first period against the Cyclone shooters. Smith robbed Rick Vaive and Brent Ashton from in close in the first half of the period and then with Saskatoon on a 3-on-2, he did it again to Marc Tardif. Tardif’s shot bounced right back to the Saskatoon left winger, but he was poke checked by Ryan Walter who sent Yvon Lambert free to race in on Cyclone goalie Rogie Vachon. Vachon’s pad kicked out at the last minute deflecting the puck up and wide of the net, but Walter raced in and came away with it and tucked it between Rogie’s pad and the post on a nifty wraparound to make it 1-0 12 minutes into the game.

Smith continued to stone the Cyclone, but the opportunistic Saskatoon shooters jumped on a double-minor high-sticking penalty to Brad McCrimmon and they came back with a wraparound goal of their own courtesy of Rick Vaive with only 50 seconds left in the 1st. They’re cheap and pretty f-ugly but what the heck? The goal was also marked by Keith Acton apparently celebrating a little too much and got slammed headfirst into the boards for his efforts and had to leave the game.

The Ducks didn’t get their first shot of the 2nd period until over two minutes in when Nick Fotiu floated a shot towards up and apparently through Vachon from right around the blueline to make it 2-1 for the visitors. It was Lugnut’s 1st goal of the season.

Kent-Erik Andersson tied it up at 9:49 of the period when Brent Ashton crushed John Barrett along the boards freeing up the puck for the Swede and giving him a breakaway goal to tie things up 2-2.

The 2nd period was all New Castle otherwise though with them topping the Cyclone by a wide margin of 15-5 in shots.

Bobby Clarke and Chris Kotsopoulos christened the fresh 3rd period ice with their blood just 46 seconds in and got both teams going with some crazy end-to-end action.

Finally it was none other than Mr. Wayne Gretzky who woke up out of his two-period funk and one-timed a feed from Dave Taylor through Smith’s legs to make it 3-2 Saskatoon with 13 minutes to go.

Old man Clarke apparently still had something left in the tank when three minutes later he dashed in from the top of the faceoff circle and fired a wrist shot over Vachon’s glove to make it 3-3.

Gretzky gave the Cyclone back the lead with 4:30 to go when he snapped Taylor’s pass off Smith’s outstretched trapper and into the New Castle net.

Billy Smith never got the chance to get to the New Castle bench for the extra attacker. Just as Smith was making his way towards the bench Ducks’ forward Mike Allison exploited Vachon’s Achilles’ heel (and apparently its inability to stay snug against the post) as he took Rick Lanz’s missed shot and wrapped it around and into the net to tie it up with 1:19 left on the clock.

The two teams played the last 79 seconds tightly and didn’t register a shot as they both seemed content with the tie.

New Castle outshot Saskatoon 35-27 in the game.

1. SAS, Gretzky (2 G)
2. NEW, Allison (1 G, 1 A)
3. SAS, Vaive (1 G)

Weekly Summary: Three points out of a possible four and lucky to come out with the point against New Castle despite being outplayed is a far cry better than last week so we will gladly take it.
Brooklyn Harbor Rats
Weekly Preview: A .500 start so far, but a big 4 game home stand this week in Brooklyn. We play host to Columbus, Ohio, St. Clair Shores and Chicago.
Columbus Owls @ Brooklyn Harbor Rats In a tight 1-1 game in the 3rd period, the visitors are awarded their 6th and 7th power plays of the evening and convert on both. Ted Bulley and Blaine Stoughton put the Owls up 3-1 and although Mike Gartner would score to make it a one goal game with 1:11 remaining, Doug Soetaert makes 33 saves as Columbus walks out of Brooklyn with the 3-2 win.
Ohio Legends @ Brooklyn Harbor Rats Eddie Mio stops 44 shots and Don Maloney scores both Legends goals as Ohio and Brooklyn skate to a 2-2 tie. The Harbor Rats did manage to grab a 2-1 lead against Mio, but Maloney’s second goal of the game, a power play score, evened things up in the 3rd.
Saint Clair Shores Saints @ Brooklyn Harbor Rats Ron Duguay gets the Saints in front in the first, but Dave Christian and Darryl Sutter score second period goals to put the Harbor Rats on top. Down to crunch time we go and with just :16 seconds on the clock, Wayne Babych scores to even things at 2-2. Rats fans leave disappointed with a second straight 3rd period blown lead resulting in a tie.
Chicago Underground @ Brooklyn Harbor Rats After 2 periods we’re in a 3-3 game when Bengt-Ake Gustafsson breaks in alone and snaps the shot past Hardy Astrom to give the Rats the lead. Less than 2 minutes later, Clark Gilles bangs home Bossy’s rebound to tie the game again, 4-4. Just 61 seconds later Mike Gartner puts the Rats back in front and this time, Brooklyn manages to hang on for their only win of the home stand, 5-4.
Weekly Summary: A very rough home stand that saw the Harbor Rats collect 4 of a possible 8 points. The offense was stymied in the first 3 games, scoring just 2 goals in each contest, before breaking out in the final game against Chicago.
Saint Clair Shores Saints
Weekly Preview: The Saints take on Cap Jack and Vermont
CapJack Rangers @ Saint Clair Shores Saints The Rangers score all 4 goals in the first period in route to an easy win. The Saints score 2 goals in the second period, but fall short. Trottier and Shutt each score 2 goals for the Rangers. Babych and Duguay score for the Saints.

Rangers 4 Saints 2

1-Trottier 2 goals, 1 assist
2-Shutt 1 goal, 1 assist
3-Schutt 1 goal

Vermont Foresters @ Saint Clair Shores Saints Duguay scores for the Saints on a power play. Lukowich ties the game for the Foresters. The Saints get 2 straight goals on power play goals by Ftorek and McClanahan. The Foresters get a late goal, but they don’t catch up.

Saints 3 Foresters 2

Weekly Summary: The Saints split their series by losing to the Rangers and defeating the Foresters.
Charlotte Dynamo
Weekly Preview: The upstart Charlotte Dynamo, seeking some semblance of early-season consistency, hosted the St. Clair Shores Saints and Syracuse Bulldogs, in two intra-division matchups.
Saint Clair Shores Saints @ Charlotte Dynamo St. Clair Shores 5 Charlotte 2
Make no mistake, this one was a rout as the Saints scored the first five goals — all even strength — in the first two periods. Charlotte veteran goalie Tony Esposito played the part of sieve, fielding 17 saves and letting in five for a woeful save percentage of .773. Esposito, who somehow eluded an in-game hook, was clearly outclassed by winning goalie Mike Luit who, by contrast, stood on his head to save 43 shots in capturing second star honors. The first star was credited to Ulf Nilsson, who provided the Saints’ third and fifth goals in this contest (third star went to center Steve Christoff who scored the second goal). Mike Rogers and Glenn Anderson each scored two inconsequential goals in the third period for Charlotte, when the outcome had already been settled.
Syracuse Bulldogs @ Charlotte Dynamo Charlotte 7 Syracuse 4
The Dynamo outscored the Bulldogs in each of the three periods and then held off a rally effort by its visitors to hold on. Charlotte, ahead 2-1 early in the second, seized control of the game on a pair of rapid strike goals by Laurie Boschman that put the host team ahead 4-1. Fellow third-liners Jean Ratelle and Wayne Cashman assisted on both Boschman goals, which came within two minutes of each other. Tallies by Syracuse’s Reed Larson and Curt Fraser later in the second, reduced the margin to 4-3 but a Cashman goal 38 seconds before the horn sounded put the Dynamo ahead by two, 5-3. A Pierre Larouche Bulldogs goal with 1:27 to play reduced the deficit to 5-4 but two consecutive Dynamo empty netters with less than 30 seconds remaining put the game on ice.
Weekly Summary: Summary: The 5-2 loss to the Saints typifies Charlotte’s overall season: mediocre at best goaltending has hampered the team in its bid to reach .500, and the Dynamo — capable of 40 shots on goal in any given night — has failed to capitalize on numerous scoring chances in its losses. Charlie Simmer who has emerged as one of the league’s top scorers (16 points), fired 7 shots himself in the game, though failing to score as the team narrowly missed being shut out. By contrast, the ENTIRE St. Clair team took 22 shots and cashed in five times.
Columbus Owls
Weekly Preview: Owls look to get on track with 2 home games
Saskatoon Cyclone @ Columbus Owls Saskatoon 3 Columbus 2

Marlin Malinowski scored to break a 2-2 tie in the 3rd period and Saskatoon wins 3-2

Silk City Wales @ Columbus Owls Silk City 7 Columbus 2

Silk City scores 6 straight goals in the last 2 periods and routed the Owls 7-2. Kehoe and Bourne
scored 2 times each.

Weekly Summary: Owls lose both games to fall to 2-7-1 giving up over 4 goals a game.
Pittsburgh Spirit
Weekly Preview: The Spirit sit atop the division and hope to add to their lead. The only bad so far? Goaltending has not been as good as we had hoped. Resch has been good but St. Croix needs to get it together a bit.
Ohio Legends @ Pittsburgh Spirit A close contest sees the Spirit and Legends tied in the 3rd. The clock winds down 5… 4… 3… Ribble shoots and scores! A last second (or three) win by the defending Cup Champs. 3-2.

Sittler gets 2 helpers to add to his league leading points total.

Columbus Owls @ Pittsburgh Spirit The Columbus Owls fly into town… Who? The Owls. Who? (eye roll)

This one was all Spirit as they are up 2-0 as the 2nd winds down, but Bulley (2) bullies his way onto the scoresheet to make it 2-1 Spirit.

Head to the 3rd where Hagman (1) gets his 1st on the campaign to give the Spirit a 3-1 lead.

With 2 minutes left (1:59 to be exact), Jim Fox (5) makes it a game as it’s 3-2.

With 7 seconds left, Jarvis (2) rips the heart out of the Pittsburgh crowd as the games ends in a tie 3-3.

Weekly Summary: Again… Resch wins, St. Croix doesn’t. Coaches take notice. Still, we’re on top of the division. So there’s that.
Vermont Foresters
Weekly Preview: vermont has chicago and mackinac island visiting the bjc this week.
Chicago Underground @ Vermont Foresters a back and forth 1st period saw chicago take the lead on a ppg by gillies, the vermont responds with goals by leach and marcotte 33 second apart to take a 2-1 lead but that lasts less then 3 minutes when goring scores on the powerplay with less then 2 minutes to go in the 1st. 4 goals, all in the 2nd half of the period and a 2-2 tie. the 2nd period saw no scoring. the 3rd period returned to wild as gillies netted his 2nd ppg of the game just 1:11 into the 3rd for a 3-2 underground lead. denis savard made it 4-2 at the 11:20 mark for a 4-2 lead, which would have seemingly sealed the victory but this is the 80s and no lead is safe. pat price scored 23 second later to make it 4-3. just 41 seconds after that morris lukowich tied the game at 4. 59 seconds after that lukowich scored again to give the foresters a 5-4 lead which they managed to hold onto the rest of the way. chicago gets 3 ppg and their 4th was scored during a delayed penalty but fall after giving up 3 goals in 1:40 in the 3rd.
Mackinac Island Moose @ Vermont Foresters vermont looks to build on their exciting win against chicago versus the visiting moose and it seems like they will getting a goal 42 seconds into the game by mark howe. 5:12 later eric vail makes it 2-0 and it looks like the moose will be lost in the forest but this again being the 80s sees jari kurri score with less then 30 seconds left in the 1st to make it 2-1. dupont ties it at 2 12:21 into the second but reggie leach gives vermont the lead again less then 4 minutes later 3-2. the moose then plow through the foresters early in the 3rd with a shg by bill barber 2:14 in, 2:21 later don lever made it 4-3 with an even strength goal and 4 minutes after that brian propp made it 5-3 with a ppg. craig ramsey gave the home fans some hope at the 12:42 mark and a 5-4 deficit but vermont couldnt get the equalizer and fall to the moose. brodeur struggles with little defense in front of him.
Weekly Summary: vermont splits 2 games, giving up 4ppg in 11 chances, while going 0-5 highlighting 3 problems. weak powerplay, weak penalty kill and too many penalties, a big change from last season when the foresters were one of the least penalized teams. mark howe had 1g-4a in the 2 games