Smith, Bobby BRO 4 1 11 12 4 6 14 7%
Lemelin, Reggie SAS 3 4 1.55 86 .956
Middleton, Rick NEW 4 4 3 7 0 5 19 21%
Gilbert, Gilles SCS 1 1 1 32 .970

Silk City Wales
Weekly Preview: Silk City welcomes two visitors from the Prince of Wales conference as they welcome in Syracuse and St. Clair Shores. The Whales have been struggling at home so far this season and look to right the ship.
Syracuse Bulldogs @ Silk City Wales The Bulldogs score two first period goals and Mike Liut makes 45 saves as the Bulldogs defeat the Whales 2-1. Curt Fraser and Eddie Johnstone put Syracuse on the scoreboard, and while Jerry Korab’s short-handed goal in the second period drew the Whales to within one, Liut was a wall in net.

1st Star – Mike Liut, SYR – 45 saves
2nd Star – Eddie Johnstone, SYR
3rd Star – Curt Fraser, SYR

Saint Clair Shores Saints @ Silk City Wales The Whales get goals from five different players and break open a tight game to defeat the Saints 5-2. The Whales were ahead 2-1 to start the third period when Don Nachbaur’s fourth goal of the season gave Silk City a two-goal lead. Robbie Ftorek score brought the Saints back to within one goal, but Willi Plett and Mark Messier iced the game away late.

1st Star – Willi Plett, SCW – G
2nd Star – Brian Sutter, SCW – G
3rd Star – Mark Messier, SCW – G

Weekly Summary: The Whales split their two home games this week, only denied a chance at an additional win by a red-hot goaltender. Some line juggling between the two games has hopefully given the offense the kick start it has needed.
New Castle Ducks
Weekly Preview: The struggling Ducks play the also struggling St. Clair Shores Saints at The Duck Pond. New Castle comes into the game at 3-7-2 with St. Clair not much better at 4-7-1
Saint Clair Shores Saints @ New Castle Ducks St. Clair Shores 3 New Castle 2
The Ducks outshoot the Saints 37-18, win 63% of the faceoffs and dominate the attack, but lose 3-2. Ron Dugay scores twice for St. Clair Shores and Errol Thompson breaks a 2-2 tie with 3:27 to go in the game for the winner. Mike Liut makes 35 saves for the Saints. New Castle led 2-1 after two periods but two Power Play goals in the third period (Duguay, Thompson) made the Saints the winner. Ducks bad boys Terry O’Reilly and Frank Bathe (16 PIM in the game) got the penalties that led to the tying and winning goals.STAR #1- Duguay (2 G)
STAR #2- Thompson (1G, 1A)
STAR #3- Liut (35 saves).
Weekly Summary: St Clair Shores get a nice road win. The Ducks continue to struggle on offense, on the power play and in penalty killing.
Charlestown Chiefs
Weekly Preview: Four home games after the break – can the Chiefs come out of the gate hot?
Chicago Underground @ Charlestown Chiefs Chicago comes to town, and goalie Astrom feels like he’s back in the Windy City with all of the pucks blowing past him.

Both Paiement and McCarthy collect hat tricks in the 7-3 victory; Foster gets the “Never Quit” award for Chicago, as he scores a pair of goals with less than a minute left in the game. Well done, sir.

Scoring Summary
Per Time Str Team
1 3:34 EV CHA Paiement (5), assisted by Giles (6) and Gardner (9)
1 7:12 PP CHA Paiement (6), assisted by Kerr (5) and Gardner (10)
1 14:41 EV CHA Savard (6), assisted by Gradin (12) and Tremblay (9)
2 12:43 EV CHI Stastny (7), assisted by Savard (10) and Murray (4)
2 14:23 EV CHA McCarthy (4), assisted by Coffey (3)
2 15:16 EV CHA McCarthy (5), assisted by McDonald (5) and Savard (5)
3 5:21 EV CHA Paiement (7), assisted by Tremblay (10) and Mike McEwen (4)
3 16:37 EV CHA McCarthy (6), assisted by Paiement (13) and Potvin (6)
3 19:04 EV CHI Foster (2), assisted by Brasar (1) and Labraaten (3)
3 19:23 EV CHI Foster (3), assisted by McNab (2) and Dailey (10)

Star 1: CHA Paiement 3 G, 4 Pts
Star 2: CHA McCarthy 3 G
Star 3: CHI Foster 2 G

GWG: Tom McCarthy

Notables: CHI None
CHA Plasse 36 saves, McCarthy hat trick, Paiement hat trick

Saint Clair Shores Saints @ Charlestown Chiefs Next up are the Saints, and they’re also reduced to sinners – surrendering 7 goals to the Charlestown offensive juggernaut. It’s deja vu all over again, as the Chiefs win 7-3.

Ray Bourque plays like the Hall of Famer that he is, scoring a pair of goals, an assist, and a +5 in the dominant effort.

Scoring Summary
Per Time Str Team
1 :59 PP SCS Christoff (4), assisted by Malone (5) and Babych (6)
1 1:24 EV CHA Gradin (3), assisted by Savard (6) and Tremblay (11)
1 14:29 EV CHA Bourque (5), assisted by Kallur (1) and Charron (3)
2 2:13 EV CHA Kallur (4), assisted by Bourque (5) and Steve Tambellini (2)
2 15:07 PP SCS Christoff (5), assisted by Duris (1)
3 11:35 PP SCS McClanahan (3), assisted by Malone (6) and Wilson (4)
3 14:51 EV CHA McCarthy (7), unassisted
3 19:35 EN CHA Linseman (3), assisted by Paiement (14) and Potvin (7)
3 19:39 EN CHA Bourque (6), assisted by Potvin (8) and Linseman (6)
3 19:51 EV CHA Sargent (1), assisted by Kerr (6) and Steve Tambellini (3)

Star 1: CHA Bourque 2 G, 3 Pts
Star 2: SCS Christoff 2 G
Star 3: CHA Kallur 1 G, 2 Pts

GWG: Tom McCarthy

Notables: SCS Liut 35 saves
CHA Linseman 12 PIM

Columbus Owls @ Charlestown Chiefs Ripley would be proud — believe it or not, the Chiefs win AGAIN by a score of 7-3. Who’d have thunk it?!

The Chiefs collect their goals from 7 different scorers, with Paul Baxter netting one in his first game of the season. He knows cracking the Bourque/Potvin/McEwen/Coffey/Giles/Maxwell blueline is next to impossible, so he makes a case for the first injury alternate.

Scoring Summary
Per Time Str Team
1 1:29 EV CHA McCarthy (8), unassisted
1 9:54 EV COL Stoughton (6), unassisted
1 10:49 EV CHA Baxter (1), assisted by McDonald (6) and Savard (7)
1 16:00 EV CHA McDonald (2), assisted by McCarthy (2) and Giles (7)
2 5:26 EV CHA Steve Tambellini (2), assisted by Kallur (2)
2 8:55 EV COL Jim Fox (7), assisted by Marois (2) and Goulet (7)
3 1:22 PP COL Zuke (2), assisted by Goulet (8) and Marois (3)
3 5:38 EV CHA Savard (7), assisted by McCarthy (3) and McDonald (7)
3 8:11 PP CHA Gardner (8), assisted by Paiement (15) and Mike McEwen (5)
3 16:19 EV CHA Kallur (5), assisted by Steve Tambellini (4)

Star 1: CHA McCarthy 1 G, 3 Pts
Star 2: CHA McDonald 1 G, 3 Pts
Star 3: CHA Kallur 1 G, 2 Pts

GWG: Steve Tambellini

Notables: COL None

Charlotte Dynamo @ Charlestown Chiefs All good things must come to pass, and the 7-3 victory string ends in harsh fashion — last place Charlotte comes out swinging and takes the final game 6-3.

Mike McEwen is a -4 for the Chiefs, and the team forces him to ride home in a chair strapped to the top of the bus. Maybe dodging insects on the highway will help his reaction time next game. Or maybe not. Either way, the message is delivered.

Scoring Summary
Per Time Str Team
1 5:03 PP CHD Simmer (9), unassisted
1 9:32 EV CHD Cashman (3), unassisted
1 13:38 PP CHA Potvin (5), assisted by Gardner (11) and Kerr (7)
1 15:53 EV CHD Lacroix (2), assisted by Smith (8) and Sims (5)
2 2:13 EV CHD Turnbull (4), assisted by Smith (9) and Jonathan (2)
2 11:15 EV CHD Jonathan (1), assisted by Turnbull (7) and Clackson (1)
3 1:36 PP CHD Perreault (3), assisted by Smith (10) and Geoffrion (1)
3 13:47 EV CHA McCarthy (9), assisted by McDonald (8) and Savard (8)
3 19:43 EV CHA Bourque (7), assisted by Paiement (16) and McDonald (9)

Star 1: CHD Turnbull 1 G, 2 Pts
Star 2: CHD Jonathan 1 G, 2 Pts
Star 3: CHD Simmer 1 G

GWG: Ian Turnbull

Notables: CHD Esposito 31 saves, Smith,D 3 assists
CHA None

Weekly Summary: 6 of 8 points, 24 goals scored and 15 surrendered. We’ll take it.
Pittsburgh Spirit
Weekly Preview: Defending Cup Champs, The Pittsburgh Spirit decide to rest up a lot of regulars and prepare for the worst…
New Castle Ducks @ Pittsburgh Spirit Pittsburgh 0-7 on the PP, but still manages to eek out a 3-2 victory.
Silk City Wales @ Pittsburgh Spirit Silk City never had a lead, but made a valiant comeback in the 2nd to make it 5-3 Spirit, but Norwich pots his 1st of the season in a spot start to close the game out with a 6-3 Pittsburgh victory.
Weekly Summary: Rested up 2/3 of the top line, and other top 9 forwards and top 4 defensemen, and got lucky to manage 2 wins. We will have to do this a few more times at home, and we don’t expect the same outcome.
Philadelphia Firebirds
Weekly Preview: Philly after a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong break takes on two tough teams in Vermont and the top team Mackinac island
Vermont Foresters @ Philadelphia Firebirds Denis Maruk opens the game with his 9th of the year. That stands into the third period with Philly controlling play..but you ever get that feeling that you blew too many chances lol Kent Nilsson ties it at-1 with his 7th. Then former Firebird TG Gorence put the Forresters up 2-1 with his tip in of a Dale McCourt blast. Hoganson puts in an EN to put the cherry on top for Vermont!

Great goaltending by Brodeur !

Mackinac Island Moose @ Philadelphia Firebirds The Moose come to Philly as the best team !

1st – John Tonelli tips in a Boxxy blast to philly up 1-0 Smith takes a 5 minute penalty for the Moose and Schmautz gets his 10th on the pp to put philly up 2-0
2nd – Rod Langway scores on a breakway short handed which is like finding a unicorn!!!!!!
But the Moose come back with goals by Boutette and Kurri
3rd – Billy ” Id rather be a Firebird” Barber ties it up at 3 with his 5th. The the Birds take over Hislop gets the 2nd shorthanded goal for philly and his 1st of the year. Tony Mckegney then scores twice to get the win for Philly. Rumor McKegney was told after the game he had been traded.

Weekly Summary: 1-1 for Philly. The Birds continue to struggle on the PP. The rumor is the gritty Philly teams was looking to get the “Rat” to make this team even tougher to play against.
Saint Clair Shores Saints
Weekly Preview: The Saints play host to Silk City in the Saints lone home game for the week.
Silk City Wales @ Saint Clair Shores Saints Bob Kelly starts the scoring with his 5th goal of the season. In the 2nd period, Dave Babych scores to make it a 2-0 Saints game.

Early in the 3rd, Babych scores again and its 3-0. But, Bourne scores his 6th for the Wales and the shutout is over. With 3 seconds to go, Babych scores an empty netter, which is good for a hat trick!

St. Clair Shores 4 Silk City 1

1st – Babych 3 goals, 1 assist
2nd – Kelly 1 goal, 2 assists
3rd – Gilbert 32 saves.

Weekly Summary: SCS wins 4-1 over Silk City.
Vermont Foresters
Weekly Preview: Philadelphia and Brooklyn come up north to visit Vermont and get some maple syrup
Philadelphia Firebirds @ Vermont Foresters an evenly played penalty filled game between 1st place Philadelphia and struggling Vermont. both teams took 30 shots, won 30 faceoffs and hits were 20-19 in favor of Firebirds. the foresters were shorthanded 7 times while getting only 3 powerplays. the difference was they scored 2 ppg in 3 attempts, plus a penalty shot, while allowing the visitors only 1 goal in 7 chances. Vermont scored twice in the opening period, mccourt on the pp and leach at even strength for a 2-0 lead. jensen scored the only goal of the 2nd on the powerplay to cut the lead in half to 2-1. howe scored even strength and leach his 2nd of the game on the powerplay to make it 4-1 halfway through the 3rd. anderson scored to make it 4-2, vail scored his 6th on a penalty shot for the home team 5-2 lead and lee netted the final for the firebirds ending the game 5-3. brodeur outplayed beaupre in net for the foresters.
Brooklyn Harbor Rats @ Vermont Foresters Brooklyn stops up at the bjc to face the foresters and the referees seem to not like Vermont’s style of play making the home team play shorthanded 7 times while getting only 2 powerplays and that made the difference in the game. a scoreless first period gave way to don marcotte scoring an early ppg for the home team but dean talafous scored on the powerplay late in the period to end the 2nd even at 1. 11:54 in the 3rd, anton stastny scored on the powerplay to give Brooklyn a lead 2-1 but with 1:45 left in the game dale mccourt stole a pass and tied the game at 2 for the final score. murray bannerman made 27 saves to 21 saves for greg millen.
Weekly Summary: a win and a tie for Vermont is hopefully a turning point in the season for the foresters. dale mccourt had 2g 1a and Vermont killed off 11 of 14 penalties, while going 3 for 5 on their chances.
Brooklyn Harbor Rats
Weekly Preview: one home game for Brooklyn this week, with New Castle coming to town
New Castle Ducks @ Brooklyn Harbor Rats A wild game in which the Ducks enjoy a 5 goal 2nd period and take the lead in the 3rd only to have Mike Gartner’s 3rd goal of the game snap a tie with just :37 seconds left in regulation. What a way to enjoy the hat’s raining down on the Brooklyn ice! No goaltending in this contest in which the teams combine for 14 goals.
Weekly Summary: an 8 goal performance capped by Gartner’s hat trick sends the Brooklyn fans home happy
Ohio Legends
Weekly Preview: Ohio comes into the week at 4-6-2, second in the Adams Division behind the runaway leader Mackinaw Island. The Legends host three games looking to stay in the playoff race.
CapJack Rangers @ Ohio Legends Ohio came out in this one smoking. A pair of goals in the first eleven minutes, as Alain Cotegrabbed his own rebound at 2:14 for his first of the season. Willy Lindstrom also netted his first at 10:34 on the power play on a wraparound for the 2-0 Legends lead. Ohio’s second goal came on a five minute power play. CapJack struggled early, getting its first shot of the game at 13:33 of the first. The Rangers would be outshot, 16-4, in the opening frame.

In the second, Tiger Williams pushed the lead out to 3-0, when Tiger Williams collected his eight goal at 15:28 with a four-on-four goal with a delayed penalty coming to the Rangers. CapJack dominated the shots in the middle frame, 14-4.

Bernie Federko added to the lead at 9:02 with his second goal of the season from the top of the goal crease. CapJack would get a pair of goals on the leaky Jim Rutherford in the final minute from Lucien DeBlois (19:04) and Steve Shutt (19:50) to cut the deficit to 4-2.

Ohio had 23 scoring chances and was one-for-eight on the power play. CapJack had 14 chances and was zero-for-six with the man-advantage. Jim Rutherford picked up his first win of the season by stopping 26 shots. Markus Mattson absorbed the loss, turning aside 27 shots.

Final: Ohio 4, CapJack 2

Vermont Foresters @ Ohio Legends The teams exchanged goals through out the contest and Ohio was rewarded with a victory after scoring the final goal with 34 seconds remaining.

Tiger Williams opened the scoring with his ninth goal at 4:24 to give Ohio a 1-0 lead. Mark Howe would even the scores with his third marker at 17:55.

In the second, Brett Callighen picked up his fourth of the campaign at 2:36 and the Foresters would knot things up late in the frame (17:12) when Eric Vail picked up his second score. The Legends would lose Jim Korn for the remainder of the contest with an injury shortly after the scores were tied.

In the third, Ohio scored first when Tim Kerr collected his second score of the year at 7:35. Don Luce’s slapper from the blue line at 16:23 was his second of the season and locked the game back up at three apiece.

The game winning goal came with 34 seconds remaing when Kerr netted his second of the night and third of the year. Kerr deked a defenseman and went over the trapper for the score.

Eddie Mio picked up the win with 24 saves, while Richard Brodeur took the loss with 27 saves. Vermont was deadly on the power play, scoring twice in four chances–while the Legends went zero-for-five with the man-advantage.

FINAL – Ohio 4, Vermont 3

Syracuse Bulldogs @ Ohio Legends The contest began as a disaster for Ohio, as Syracuse scored twice in the opening 1:42. The Bulldogs got goals from Eddie Johnstone, his fifth (at 41 seconds) and then Pierre Larouche, his fourth). The Legends would cut into the deficit with Don Maloney’s seventh at 10:45–but the Bulldogs would push the lead out to 3-1 at the intermission when Tim Higgins collected his fourth at 13:12. Syracuse held the shots advantage at 15-8 after 20 minutes.

Ohio would get the only goal of the second at 17:02 when Bob Nystrom netted his second of the season.

In the third, the Legends would tie the game at 11:31, when Mark Kirton picked up his third. Before the crowd could settle back in their seats–as Tim Young scored forty seconds later (his fifth) to give the Bulldogs a lead again. It took 65 seconds from there (13:16) for Bernie Federko to pick up his fourth and knot the game for the final tie at four apiece.

The shots on goal favored Ohio, 31-30. Jim Craig stopped 27 shots for the visitors, while Eddie Mio turned away 26 for the Legends. Ohio was zero-for-two on the power play, while Syracuse was zero-for-four with the man-advantage. The Legends also had nine blocked shots to none for the Bulldogs.

FINAL – Ohio 4, Syracuse 4

Weekly Summary: Ohio took five of six points at home this week, to maintain the second spot in the Adams Division. The organization is not sure if it is contending or building for the future and the results did nothing to help clear the picture this week.
Mackinac Island Moose
Weekly Preview: One home game this week for the Moose against Brooklyn (5-5-2). Brooklyn features on of the best passer with Bobby Smith and two good scorers in Mike Gartner and Darryl Sutter, 8 goals each so far this season. The Moose throw out their top goalie, Gilles Meloche to hold them off.
Brooklyn Harbor Rats @ Mackinac Island Moose Moose 6, Harbor Rats 2 – Tight first period with only 5 SOG combined the first 10 minutes. Things loosen up as the period works forward and the visitors draw first blood when McCarthy slips one by Meloche late to send the game to 1st intermission at 1-0 Brooklyn. The Moose answer back early on a goal by Boudreau and then take the lead later on a powerplay that has Dupont scoring, and the game goes to the 2nd intermission 2-1 Mackinac Island. The Moose lose Stewart to a game misconduct after a good fight with Jarvis.
3rd period is all Moose as they net 4 goals, 2 even (Dunlop and Lysiak) and 2 on the powerplay (Barber and Park). Sutter puts one in for the visitors but the Moose prevail 6-2.
Free Fudge for all ticketholders!
Boudreau injured for the game in the 2nd period
1st star – Park 1g1a
2nd – Dupont 1g1a
3rd – Barber 1g
Weekly Summary: A win in the only home game after the lengthy layoff is good.

Gilles Meloche continues his hot run allowing only 2 goals against a strong Brooklyn team that scores 4 goals per game. Strong team effort with 6 goals by different skaters and 12 players getting points.

Columbus Owls
Weekly Preview: Owls try to get their season on track with games vs Cap Jack and Chicago
CapJack Rangers # Columbus Owls The Rangers opened the game up with a 4 goal second period and a 3 goal third period and buried the Owls 9-1. Steve Schutt had a hat trick and Guy Lapointe had a goal and 4 assists. Bryan Trottier added 4 assists in the blowout win.
Chicago Underground @ Columbus Owls Chicago scored the tying goal with 6 seconds remaining to cap a comeback from down 3-1 and the Underground earned a 3-3 tie.
Weekly Summary: The Owls are still struggling and in last place in their division.
CapJack Rangers
Weekly Preview: Rangers have been slow to start and this week host two 1st place teams off to hot starts. Way to return from holiday break
Mackinac Island Moose @ CapJack Rangers The Moose come into this week at 10-1-1 and have given up half as many goals as the Rangers. So what happens in this one, the Moose score half as many goals as the Rangers – what??
Rangers open the scoring with a 1st period goal from Rick Smith. They make it 2-0 early in the 2nd on a Schutt PP goal. Mackinac Island cuts it to 2-1 midway in the 2nd on a goal from Barber.
Then the 3rd period opens and rookie Kieth Crowder gets his 1st goal and then Lonsberry scores to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead. Napier scores in the last minute for the Moose to make the final 4-2. Except for scoring chances and hits, the game was pretty even – in those categories the Rangers won out 30-16 in hits and 32-10 in scoring chances.
1. Crowder 1 goal
2. Schutt 1 goal
3. Lonsberry 1 goal
Saskatoon Cyclone @ CapJack Rangers Saskatoon was 7-3-2 coming into this week.
Gretzky made his presence known with 3 minutes left in the 1st scoring an unassisted goal. Shutt tied it a minute and a half later and then 30 seconds later MacMillan scored to put the Rangers up 2-1 after 1.
Then Cloutier scored two minutes into the 2nd to make it 3-1! Quenneville then capitalized on a Lonsberry penalty by scoring the PP goal as the 6 minute mark in the 2nd approached. Then that Gretzky guy took it upon himself to tie the game 6 minutes later scoring another unassisted goal. And then as the period drew to a close, Gretzky sets up Rota for the go ahead goal.
3rd Period – Cyclone up 4-3 but the Rangers are playing better after the break and just past the halfway point, Nethery gets his 1st goal of the season from Joly and Schutt to tie the game. And then, and then, and then – oh you know – the TIE THING. Game ends 4-4.
1. SAS – Gretzky 2 goals 1 assist
2. CAP – Cloutier 1 goal, 1 assist
3. CAP Nethery 1 goal
Weekly Summary: 2 games, 3 points – that’s a high point for this season!
Chicago Underground
Weekly Preview: Chicago with one home game this week, take on the Spirit from Pittsburgh who are the reigning MWOTHL Stanley Cup Champions.
Pittsburgh Spirit @ Chicago Underground Pittsburgh gets out to a 2 to 0 lead after two periods of play. Chicago strikes back twice & ties it up, but the Spirit have too much of a good thing going for them & turn it on, scoring 3 goals in just over 2 minutes in the middle of the 3rd Period to take this one walking away.

Final Score: Pittsburgh 5 – Chicago 2

Labatts Three Star Selection:
Star #1 – Ron Greschner – 2 Goals – 4 Points
Star #2 – Rick MacLeish – 1 Goal – 3 Points
Star #3 – Guy Chouinard – 1 Goal – 2 Points

Chico Resch had 33 Saves for Pittsburgh
Game Winning Goal scored by Guy Chouinard

Weekly Summary: Chicago loses out on some points at home & continues to slide down in the standings. High hopes after week #1 have Chicago already thinking about next year.
Saskatoon Cyclone
Weekly Preview: After a bit of a layoff the boys are back at it again entertaining a nifty trio of teams in the arse-whooping Mackinac Island Moose, the Philadelphia Firebirds and the Ohio Legends. Mack and Philly just happened to be the #1 and #2 ranked teams in the league. Nice.
Mackinac Island Moose @ Saskatoon Cyclone So much for easing into things after turkey fest 2018 …

The Moose whomped the Cyclone in the first period, outshooting the home team 16-4 thanks in no small part to 4 consecutive power plays and generally treating Saskatoon like a bunch of dish rags as they flopped about and tried to prevent goaltender Reggie Lemelin from getting shell-shocked.

Being short-handed that much meant the Sir Gretzky couldn’t do jack sh!t on offense since he was out there logging about 8 minutes alone in the period killing penalties alongside Bob Gainey. Fate can be cruel though and that fickle finger jammed itself knuckle deep in the nose of the Moose.

Gretzky and company had just killed their third straight penalty (a hooking penalty to Malinoski) when the puck found itself at Gretzky’s skates as he headed to the bench. What the heck he figured, I guess, and went in alone on Mike Palmateer and flipped the puck high stick side over his shoulder to deflate the Moose (picture the Michelin Man with an arrow fired into his groin and you get the idea).

The bewildered Cyclone took the ice in the 2nd period up 1-0 and spent the next 20 minutes grinding the bejeebers out of the Mackinac Island skaters, keeping most of the action right up close and personal along the boards prompting Jari Kurri and Brian Propp to each leave the game for short stints to have splinters removed. The teams slogged through the period tied in shots 7-7, but it was Gretzky once again who was the only one to solve a goalie as Mark Napier watched helplessly from the penalty box as Gretzky one-timed a pass from Dave Taylor past the sprawling Moose netminder at 12:58 of the 2nd to make it 2-0. It was Gretzky’s 9th of the season.

The teams opened things up a bit in the 3rd period as the refs put away their whistles. Frustration and an increasing number of friction burns began to set in on the Mackinac Island players who at the 10-minute mark of the 3rd were still being held at bay by Lemelin. Still, a 2-0 lead against the high octane Moose offense was about as secure as the position of White House press secretary and the Moose got the boost they needed at the 11:35 mark when the Saskatoon prime penalty killer – Gainey – was sent off just because I guess. That or the stranglehold he had on Mark Napier anyway.

Taking the place of Gainey on the penalty kill was Rick Vaive … a move of questionable sanity since Vaive was the Saskatoon designated sadist who would sucker punch a nun to get at a second swig of Communion wine. Regardless, punk Vaive broke up a play at the Cyclone blueline by mugging Brad Park and together with Gretzky the pair raced down on Palmateer with only defenceman O’Connell to beat. Always a captain of finesse, Vaive didn’t even try and immediately after a pass from Gretzky smashed the puck off the left post and in past Palmateer for a short-handed goal to make it 3-0. It was only Vaive’s 2nd of the season.

A complete defensive collapse by the Moose in their own end with just over two minutes to play resulted in a turnover that Dave Taylor slid across to Darcy Rota for a rare flash of offense – albeit wasted – as he scored his 2nd of the season going top shelf on Palmateer.

… and that was that. Saskatoon gets its first shutout most improbably against the Mackinac machine with Reggie Lemelin stopping 33 shots and deservedly getting the first star.

Mackinac outshot Saskatoon 33-23 with a big edge in offensive zone attack time (5:42 to 3:22).

Philadelphia Firebirds @ Saskatoon Cyclone Things wouldn’t get any easier with Philly skating into town after the Moose.

This game featured pretty much every form of physical abuse being dished out that a sado-masochist could ask for with even the limp-wristed duo of Risto Siltanen and Merlin Malinowski going at it in a five-minute slapfest that reminded me of something I witnessed at a Comicon as a kid when a bunch of nerds began jostling in line for a George Takei authograph … lots of screaming, slapping and even something resembling punches that never landed.

Overall though it was a very strange game with Philadelphia dominating in shots on goal (38-25) but spending a full minute less time on attack than Saskatoon which was probably due largely to the Cyclone having six power plays in the game compared to just one for the Firebirds.

Jacques Richard put the Cyclone on the board first with a breakaway deke goal on Don Beaupre just over two minutes into the game for his 8th of the year. Octagenarian Marcel Dionne managed to drag his oxygen tank and tent up ice a few minutes later to rifle the puck past Rogie Vachon (kind of like having Waldorf score on Statler). It was Dionne’s 8th of the year as well and ended the scoring in the 1st period.

Richard nabbed his 2nd of the night and 9th of the year midway through the second period on a power play after picking up a rebound on a shot by Keith Acton and tapping it past Beaupre to make it 2-1.

The suddenly awoken Rick Vaive got into the act bashing his way through a crowd in front of the net to drive home his 3rd goal of the year at the 14:17 mark to make it 3-1 for Saskatoon with Richard picking up his 3rd point of the night in a role aiding and abetting Vaive.

Saskatoon’s newest bad boy – Malinowski – extended the lead to 4-1 with his 5th on the power play on a shot through the legs of Beaupre with only 3:15 to go.

Those crazy Philadelphian bastards just would not give up though and pulled their goalie with about 2 minutes to play. Playing cocky and trying for the empty net goalie backfired like Fat Bastard after a binge at Taco Bell. Kent-Erik Andersson’s wrist shot sailed wide of the Philly net resulting in an icing and almost immediately after the faceoff John Tonelli tipped a shot by Rod Langway past Vachon to make it 4-2 with 1:23 to go.

Thankfully the Cyclone learned from their mistakes … NOT … and Rick Green fired a shot the length of the ice nowhere near the Firebirds’ net and once again resulting in an icing. And once again … history repeated itself only 23 seconds after Tonelli’s 4th goal with Tony McKegney zipping one on a wire past Vachon’s trapper to make it 4-3.

The F’birds poured it on in the last minute but Saskatoon never got the opportunity to shoot again at the empty net so they held on to win 4-3. Richard’s two goals and an assist gave him 1st star but McKegney and Dionne shared 2nd and 3rd Star honors thanks to two-point performances.

Columbus Owls @ Saskatoon Cyclone On paper this should have been the easiest game, but apparently those louts from Ohio can’t read.

Bernie Federko (2), Dave Williams (8) and some clown named Savard (1) all scored for Columbus in what can only be described as an absolute crapping of the bed by Rogie Vachon who faced all of 8 shots in the first period. A garbage goal by Joel Quenneville (4) late in the period was all that the Cyclone could put together resembling offense in their awesome six-shot barrage on Jim Rutherford.

Rick Vaive scored for the 3rd straight game for Saskatoon to bring the home team to within one early in the 2nd, but then the Legends remembered all that they had to do was shoot the puck towards the Saskatoon net and magical things might happen with Rogie at his best. First it was some guy named Kirton who drifted a back-hander up and over Vachon’s trapper for his 2nd of the year (3:10) and then with the Cyclone fighting to get back on a power play Younghans found himself all alone with a breakaway on Vachon … may as well have had a dense cloud of fog in nets tonight. Poof … 5-2 Ohio.

Poof … adios a-hole Vachon and insert Game One hero versus Mackinac, Reggie Lemelin. The post-mortem on Vachon was 5 goals allowed on 11 shots. Ick.

Lemelin’s presence boosted the Cyclone confidence and they surged back at the tail end of the 2nd period on goals by Dave Maloney (3) on a nice pinch-in from the point to wrist one past Rutherford and then Marc Tardif counted his 4th of the season with a power play marker to make it 5-4.

Jacques Richard’s first shift of the 3rd period was a great one as he, Malinowski and Vaive completed a 3-on-1 break against Ohio to even the score at 5-5.

The rest of the period was all Ohio with the Legend outshooting Saskatoon 17-7, but Lemelin was equal to the task and stoned the Ohio shooters to keep things tied.

As both teams got set to settle for the divvying up of the 2 points, the Cyclone mounted one last rush up ice with Gretzky, Taylor and Rota. Gretzky broke into the slot and clanged a shot straight off the crossbar with 10 seconds to play and the puck bounced right back to Dave Taylor and the LA Kings sniper made no mistake tucking the puck through Rutherford’s legs for a heroic comeback and 6-5 win over Ohio with 9 seconds on the clock.

Lemelin took First Star honors once again despite not even starting in nets, but he made his presence flet by stopping all 25 shots he faced.

Weekly Summary: Not much to say as we could not have asked for a much better home stand with Gretzky only being a factor in one of the three games and still coming away with six points. Very entertaining and good games all around against three darned good teams.