|Charlestown Chiefs vs. CapJack Rangers|
|SERIES PREVIEW||Stanley Cup Playoffs – a time for defense, a time for intensity, a miracle the Rangers are here!! Coming to Madison Round Garden are the Charlestown Chiefs along with owner Reggie Dunlap. Rangers come to the playoffs as the only playoff team to give up more goals than they scored and having the fewest points. Oh well, the point is, we’re here and hope to make the best of it.|
|GAME #1||This game held true to form for a Stanley Cup game. Defense ruled – 39 total shots between the two teams including 10 extra minutes of playing time. Hits were high, blocks were low. But the shots, while low, pretty much matched the scoring chances: 14 SOG for CHA and 12 scoring chances; 25 SOGs for CAP and 23 scoring chances! 6 Power Plays (2 for CHA, 4 for CAP) and no PP goals!
1st Period – Teams come out tentatively and skate around for a while, but nothing much is happening. However, the Chiefs finally get it going as the end of the period approaches. After Dion makes a nice glove save, the Chiefs win the ensuing faceoff – and McDonald gets a pass from Chouinard and fires it to Gardner and he slaps away and it just flew past Dion – never even saw it! 1-0 Charlestown with 4 to go and that’s how period 1 ended.
Period 2 – Talk about boring – 4 total shots on goal – FOUR!!!! 1 by the Chiefs, really, going to sit on a 1 goal lead for 2 more periods??? But their defense was working, Rangers only get 3 shots on goal and that included 2 power plays!! However, the period did have a goal. Midway through the 2nd, Rangers are putting on pressure with Shutt and Valentine really working hard. After a clear by the Chiefs, the tandem regains the puck, Valentine with it and he shuttles it to Shutt – a slapper – and he beats Resch, stick-side high. As the PBP says: “GOAL! MA! The Meatloaf! Steve Shutt” Game tied 1-1 and that was period 2.
Period 3 – The total shots go up to 12 (5 for CHA, 7 for CAP). Chiefs strike early when McDonald takes play into his own hands. Russell has the puck but McDonald checks him into the boards (almost looked dirty, but he got by with it). And he controls the puck – and then moves right in with it, shoots – and beats Dion and the Chiefs regain the lead. 17 minutes left and the Chiefs employ that shutout mode again. And it works, and it works, and it works!!! Well, it worked for 15 minutes. We just reach the 2-minute mark in the game when the Chiefs lose possession of the puck and Murphy (only in the game because Palmer was suspended) picks up the loose puck and enters on an odd-man rush. He passes to DeBlois who centers it back to Murphy, he shoots – and it beats Resch glove side low and the game is tied! And then no one else scored and we go to the first OT period.
OT 1 – Rangers continue to put a chokehold on the Chiefs (where is this defense coming from???). They limit the Chiefs to 1 shoot. They, in turn, manage 5 shots, but that’s not bad considering they only played 10 minutes of OT. Halfway through the period, Chouinard has it for the Chiefs trying to set things up. But Quenneville (only in the game due to suspension of Kotsouplous) knocks him off the puck. Rangers control it, Shutt leads the team on the rush. They beat Huber, then Shutt passes to Mulvey – he shoots – GOAL!! And the Rangers win (and good thing as Dore gets hurt on the play). CAPJACK 3-2 OT winners.
STARS: (all CAP)
1. Shutt 1 goal, 1 assist
2. Murphy 1 goal
3. Mulvey 1 goal (GWG in OT)
|So game 1 in the books, Rangers up 1-0. Can we keep up this frenetic defensive pace, or will it all fall apart?
Stanley Cup Round 1 – Charlestown at CapJack game 2 (Rangers up 1-0) after winning a very tight defensive game in sudden death OT.
|GAME #2||Game 2 is somewhat of a reverse of game 1 – the Chiefs out shoot the Rangers 25-16, but instead of no PP goals (6 chances in game 1) we have 4 (on 10 chances) in game 2. Goalies must have been tired (or they weren’t used to getting shot at). 2nd biggest discrepancy in this game was faceoffs – Rangers dominated the circle winning 59.2% of the puck drops.
PERIOD 1 – the game starts poorly for the Chiefs. 17 seconds into the game, Chouinard is nailed for slashing for 4 minutes! About a minute and a half into the PP – Lafleur gets the puck and flips it to Kotsopoulos (back from suspension) and he winds up and shoots – Shutt deflects – and it gets past Resch for a quick 1-0 lead. Still on the same PP and Cloutier dumps it in – Trottier digs it out – passes to Cloutier, to Mulvey – shoots – GOAL (his 2nd of the playoffs). 2:40 into the game and it’s 2-0 Rangers. But wait – Trottier, who was blanked in game 1 then scores TWICE before the period ends for a 4-0 CapJack lead. Hoping to totally break the Chiefs spirits and go off with the 4-0 lead after 1 – Tremblay has a different plan. With a minute left in the period, McEwen gains control and chips it to McCarthy. He takes it over the blue line and feeds it to Tremblay – he shoots and hits the back of the net. GOAL. Period ends 4-1 CapJack.
PERIOD 2 – Rangers are happy and play rope a dope to sit on the lead. Chiefs come out trying to bust the bubble but can’t seem to get anything real to happen. And as the period is nearing completion, the only score occurs when after a line change, Palmer (back from suspension) gains control, slides it to Siltanen who plays it to DeBlois, who makes a move and shoots and he scores his 1st of the playoffs. So it’s now 5-1 Rangers and that’s how period 2 ends.
PERIOD 3 – Chiefs are really on the ropes now. And the Rangers decide to not make it easy, instead of clamming up, they start out a bit offensive. 4 minutes in, Dore blocks a shot, Shutt grabs it and goes – he’s accompanied by Kotsopoulus who passes to Mulvey, who flips it to Valentine who shoots on the one-timer and he flies it high over Resch’s stick for the goal on the Rangers 1st shot of the period. 6-1. Then a minute later, Baxter is whistled for roughing. Out comes the Rangers PP group (already successful twice) and again they work it into the net – this time it’s Cloutier with the goal. And it’s 7-1 Rangers with 14 minutes to play. Chiefs don’t quit, but they don’t made up the deficit. Gardner scores his 2nd goal of the playoffs with a PP goal with 11 to go and then Hlinka scores his 1st with a minute to go. But they don’t even pull Resch and the game ends 7-3 CapJack!
STARS (all CAP)
1. Trottier 2 goals, 1 assist
2. Cloutier 1 goal, 2 assists
3. Mulvey 1 goal, 2 assists
|Rangers take game 2 and both home games to start this round of the playoffs. They go to Charlestown with a lot more confidence then when the games began and they hope to keep up this formula. Don’t change it if it works!!!
We return to Charlestown down 0-2 after a beatdown in CapJack. Can we stop the bleeding?
|GAME #3||The Chiefs know they’re in trouble, and respond in big fashion early – Denis Potvin beats Dion at 3:18 of the opening period to draw first blood. But less than 2 minutes later, Siltanen beats Resch to tie it back up at 1-1. Grrr!
But Lanny McDonald atones for an earlier interference penalty by zipping one in the twine at 19:06 of the 1st… and then ANOTHER at 19:59(!!!) to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead after 1 period.
In the 2nd, CapJack strikes off the stick of Larry Robinson to make it 3-2, and that score holds until 13:24 of the 3rd when Tom McCarthy scores his 1st of the playoffs to pad the lead to 4-2. Guy Chouinard (1) pops one into the empty net to close it out at 5-2.
Crowder and Gardner get game misconducts for fighting in a 6 man brawl at 8:34 of the 1st – not good when your ace scorer departs with less than 4 minutes of ice time – but thanks to Lanny we pulled it out.
Star 1: CHA McDonald 2 G, 3 Pts
GWG: Lanny McDonald
Notables: CAP Crowder,Keith 15 PIM
|GAME #4||The boys are feeling good after a big win, and carry the momentum into the next game. Gradin (1) scores on the PP just 1:57 into the game (thanks for the cross check, Trottier!). Then the Chiefs get goals from LANNY (3) and Gardner (3) in the middle of the 1st to open up an early 3-0 lead.
But CapJack is no slouch – they respond in a big way in the 2nd, with goals from Cloutier (2) and Shutt (3, PP). Grrr!
Late in the 2nd, Paul Baxter (1, ?!?!?!) beats Bouchard to make it 4-2.
It’s far from over.
In the 3rd, MacMillan (1) beats Resch at 14:13, but Mario Tremblay (2) scores less than 2 minutes later on the PP (the Rangers just can’t stay out of the box).
So we’re at 5-3 with less than 15 seconds left… Valentine (2) beats Resch to make it 5-4. Rut-roh!
But Paul Baxter (2, ?!?!?!?!?!) scores his SECOND goal of the game into an empty net at 19:57 to put a 6-4 lid on the Chiefs victory.
|t’s a series again! We return to CapJack tied up at 2-2.
Quarter-final series between the Charlestown Chiefs and the CapJack Rangers – GAME 5 – series knotted at 2-2 as home teams prevail. So we are back at Madison Round Garden and the Rangers hope to keep the hometown thing going!
|GAME #5||The Rangers spent a lot of their time in Charlestown in the penalty box – and again they do so in game 4 – 6 power plays for the Chiefs in 16 minutes of penalty for CapJack. The Chiefs aren’t a whole lot cleaner in their play – 14 minutes and they give the Rangers 5 power plays. Well, the power plays are the difference in this game!!
Home team skates out in front in the 1st as Mulvey (2) scores on a PP at 6:27 (Gould for hooking – hmm, that doesn’t sound right). Then Palmer (1) scores with 6 1/2 left for a 2-0 lead. However, Mulvey is caught checking from behind (again, something can be made of that as well) and Chouinard (2) tallies to get it 2-1 with 4 minutes left. But wait, the scoring isn’t done, Houle (1) ties it up with 2 to go so the 1st period ends in a draw.
PERIOD 2 – Rangers go into that tight shell – firing only 6 shots – but 2 of them by Cloutier (3, 4) find the back of the net. The 1st on a PP as McKegney gets called for checking from behind (this was the favored call of the day for the refs – 3 of them). The 2nd goal came with 5 1/2 to go – and Dion and the defense didn’t allow any of the 11 Chiefs shots to get in the net.
PERIOD 3 – We start off with the score 4-2 Rangers, but Gradin (2) and the Chiefs quickly change that when the gain control early and drive to the Rangers zone – they mesmerized the crowd as they passed it around, and around, and around – and then Gradin said, enough of this and fake everyone by shooting – and it worked as he scored to cut the lead to 4-3 with 18 minutes to go! Then one of those embarrassing things happens – midway through the period, Charlestown gets called for too many men on the ice! And Valentine (3) takes advantage. Rangers get the puck, they clear it to Valentine, he moves up ice – shoots – it’s blocked, but he regains control of it and seems to be a one man machine as he skates behind the net and tries the wraparound – and pulls it off! 5-3 CapJack with 8 1/2 to go. And then the Rangers really do the Archie Bell and the Drells as they tighten up their ranks and don’t allow anything from the Chiefs. Another Chiefs penalty with just over 2 to go didn’t help their cause and the game ends 5-3 Rangers.
STARS (all CAP)
1. Cloutier 2 goals
2. Valentine 1 goal, 1 assist
3. Palmer 1 goal
|So, game 5 goes to the Rangers and they all travel back to Charlestown for game 6 – the Chiefs on the brink of elimination while the Rangers try to break the road losing pattern!
Game 6 against CapJack, with the home team holding serve to date.
|GAME #6||Facing elimination at home, can the Chiefs force a game 7?
It certainly doesn’t look like it, as CapJack lightning strikes twice in the first 91 seconds! First Trottier (3) at :38 and then Mulvey (3) at 1:31 to stun the crowd.
But team MVP Paul Gardner takes matters into his own hands (as he has all season), scoring his 4th of the playoffs at 9:34. But Trottier, a perpetual thorn in the Chief buttocks, puts his 4th of the post season in less than a minute later. WTF?!
We’re far from done with first period scoring though.
Denis Potvin (2) and Paul Gardner (5) beat Dion late in the 1st and just like that we’re tied 3-3 going into the locker rooms!
The second period is uneventful, other than a pair of dumb Charlestown penalties. The 2nd is by the goalie Resch at 19:00. The Chiefs kill the first half off…
And we head to the 3rd…
Of course, Valentine (4) makes Resch pay. Not sure whose a bigger PITA, Trottier or Valentine… but I digress.
Fortunately for the Chiefs, Shutt takes a dumb slashing penalty a minute later and BAM! Ivan Hlinka (3) scores to tie it back up 4-4!
We stay that way through regulation.
SUDDEN DEATH!!! Jean Claude Van Damme is smiling somewhere.
The fun doesn’t last long, as Shutt (4) atones for his earlier penalty by scoring less than 3 minutes into the extra period and the stunned crowd can’t believe it’s over.
Congrats to CapJack on a fun series, and thanks to everyone who keeps the lights on at the league home offices.
|SERIES SUMMARY||You win some, but in the end, all but one of us are losers.|