Monday, April 26, 2004

Posted by Mark at 2:07 PM


The Cincinnati Mighty Ducks have pulled off an amazing playoff odyssey that few (sadly, including me) expected them to survive. They swept the defending Calder Cup (the AHL's Stanley Cup) Champs the Houston Aeros and presently have a 2 games to 1 lead over the Milwaukee Admirals. What follows is a game by game summary with my remarks.

Game 1 in Houston, Qualifying Round

Ducks take 1-0 series lead with 3-1 win over defending Calder Cup champion Houston

HOUSTON, TX -- Tony Martensson had a goal and assist and Ilya Bryzgalov made 28 saves as the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks defeated the Houston Aeros 3-1 Thursday at the Toyota Center to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three qualifying round Calder Cup playoff series.

Martensson scored a power-play goal 8:09 into the second period to tie the score at 1-1 and assisted on the go-head goal by Chris Kunitz, also on the power-play, three minutes later.

Casey Hankinson added a third-period tally for the Ducks, who outshot the Aeros 38-29, including 33-17 over the final 48 minutes.

Bryzgalov, making his first career Calder Cup playoff appearance, helped the Ducks kill all seven of Houston's power-play chances, including four in the third period.

Christoph Brandner scored the lone goal in the first period for the defending Calder Cup champion Aeros, who lost the first game of a playoff series for the first time in 10 series.

Frederic Cloutier surrendered all three goals on 38 shots for the loss.

The Ducks will look for their first-ever playoff series win Saturday when they face the Aeros in the second game of the series Saturday at 8:00 p.m. in Houston. The game can be heard on WCKY-AM (1360) and via the Internet at


First period: 1. Hou, Brandner 1 (Schutte, Hoggan), 4:41.

Second period: 2. Cin, Martensson 1 (Glencross, Popovic), 8:08 (ppg). 3. Cin, Kunitz 1 (Martensson, Armstrong), 10:08 (ppg).

Third period: 4. Cin, Hankinson 1 (Mottau, Aucoin), 2:59.

Shots on goal: Cincinnati 13-16-9=38; Houston 14-8-7=29.

Power play opportunities: Cincinnati 2-for-5; Houston 0-for-7. Goaltenders: Cincinnati, Bryzgalov (29 shots, 28 saves); Houston, Cloutier (38 shots, 34 saves).
A: 2,252. Referee: McCauley. Linsemen: Finn, Wilkinson.

Mark's Hockey Remarks: Game 1 @Houston

What a game! Hearing it on cybercast was probably just as exciting as being there....Ilja overcame the last game of the regular season debacle and shone for the Ducks. Ilja has been carrying this team on his back most of the season, and it is good he is still doing it. I love the other guys, but the offense has been low, and the defense has been terribly inconsistent. Hopefully this symbolizes it all coming together.

Game 2 at Houston, Qualifying Round

Ducks eliminate defending Calder Cup champion Aeros

HOUSTON, TX -- Stanislav Chistov scored two goals and Curtis Glencross had a goal and two assists to help the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks to a 6-3 victory and a best-of-three qualifying round series sweep over the defending Calder Cup champion Houston Aeros at the Toyota Center.

Mark Popovic, Mike Mottau and Chris Armstrong also scored and Tony Martensson recorded four assists for the Ducks, who won their first-ever playoff series.

Mottau broke a 2-2 tie with his first career playoff goal 6:50 into the third period. Armstrong's goal on a shot from the deep slot midway through the final period gave Cincinnati a 4-2 lead and proved to be the eventual game-winning tally.

Ilya Bryzgalov finished with 34 saves in the victory for Cincinnati, which will face Milwaukee in the West Division semifinals. The best-of-seven series will begin April 21 in Milwaukee at the Bradley Center.

Stephane Veilleux had a goal and an assist for the Aeros, who went 1-for-13 on the power-play in the series.

Frederic Cloutier surrendered five goals on 22 shots in the losing effort.


First period: 1. Cin, Chistov 1 (Aucoin, O'Brien), 11:05 (ppg).

Second period: 2. Hou, Veilleux 1, 0:43 (ppg). 3. Cin, Popovic 1 (Kuntiz, Martensson), 12:08. 4. Hou, Michalek 1 (Cavanaugh, Boogaard), 13:15.

Third period: 5. Cin, Mottau 1 (Glencross, Martensson), 6:50. 6. Cin, Armstrong 1 (Glencross, Martensson), 12:04. 7. Cin, Chistov 2 (Hankinson, Aucoin), 14:42. 8. Hou, Cavosie 1 (Veilleux, Wanvig), 16:53. 9. Cin, Glencross 1 (Martensson, Kuntiz), 18:07 (eng).

Shots on goal: Cincinnati 5-7-11=23; Houston 13-14-10=37.

Power play opportunities: Cincinnati 1-for-2; Houston 1-for-6. Goaltenders: Cincinnati, Bryzgalov (37 shots, 34 saves); Houston, Cloutier (22 shots, 17 saves, 1 eng). A: 4,307 Referee: Langdon. Linsemen: Finn, Christian.

Mark's Remarks: Game 2

Chistov is the MAN! He is scoring prodigiously when it counts, just as he did in the NHL playoffs last year. This young man just needs to put it together in the regular season and he will be an all star. He is a great clutch player.

This Glencross kid is showing spark as well. He has impressed me with his ability as well as his grit...nice addition at seemingly the right time....


Game 1 Conference Semis at Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE, WI -- Stanislav Chistov scored his second goal of the game 8:32 into overtime as the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks shocked the top-seeded Milwaukee Admirals, 5-4, in the first game of the West Division semifinals Wednesday at the Bradley Center.

Pierre Parenteau scored the tying goal with 1:11 left in regulation for Cincinnati, which has won its first three playoff games, outscoring opponents by a 14-8 margin.

Tony Martensson assisted on the game-winner by Chistov and a second-period score by Chris Kunitz, giving him a club-leading eight points in the postseason.

Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 29 shots, including three in overtime, to help the Ducks win their third straight game on the road for the first time since February 8-10, 2002.

Darren Haydar and Simon Gamache each had a goal and assist in the loss for Milwaukee, which had a 4-2-2-0 record against CIncinnati in the regular season.

Wade Flaherty posted 28 saves for the Admirals, who will host the second game Friday.


First period: 1. Mil, Gamache 1 (Pivko, Hutchinson), 5:30 (ppg). 2. Cin, Bylsma 1 (Smith, Parenteau), 15:20.

Second period: 3. Cin, Chistov 3, 0:46. 4. Cin, Kunitz 2 (Martensson), 17:24.

Third period: 5. Mil, Hrkac 1 (Zanon, Darche), 4:22 (shg). 6. Mil, Smith 1 (Gamache, Haydar), 9:08 (ppg). 7. Mil, Haydar 1 (Shishkanov, Safronov), 13:56. 8. Cin, Parenteau 1 (Mottau), 18:49.

Overtime: 9. Cin, Chistov 4 (Martensson), 8:32 (ppg).

Shots on goal: Cincinnati 13-7-6-5=33; Milwaukee 9-7-14-3=33.

Power play opportunities: Cincinnati 1-for-4; Milwaukee 2-for-7. Goaltenders: Cincinnati, Bryzgalov (33 shots, 29 saves; record 3-0); Milwaukee, Flaherty (33 shots, 28 saves; record 0-1). A: 1,906. Referee; Hoberg. Linsemen: Behling, Cichy.

Mark's Hockey Remarks on Game 1

What is up with these attendance figures? This is the Playoffs, baby....Show some spunk! Anyway, Chistov continued his clutch work and lifted us to this win....Ilja was challenged a bit, but still had a good night. He is showing his detractors he can play in the playoffs, and this team is showing grit developed through many hard times this season....Armstrong continues to impress, and makes me wonder WHY ISN'T HE IN THE NHL? Not that I am complaining, he is doing great for us. Go Ducks!

Then The Tire Blew: Ducks Lose Big in Game 2 at Milwaukee

Admirals blank Ducks 6-0 to even series 1-1

MILWAUKEE, WI -- Scott Upshall had three goals and Wade Flaherty stopped all 22 shots he faced as the Milwaukee Admirals defeated the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks,
6-0, Friday at the Bradley Center to even the best-of-seven West Division semifinal series at one game apiece.

Darren Haydar had two goals and an assist and Tony Hrkac added a goal and an assist for the Admirals, who scored five of their goals on the power-play.

Andrew Hutchinson and Curtis Murphy each chipped in with a pair of assists for Milwaukee, which killed 10 Cincinnati power play chances.

Flaherty stopped five shots in the first period, nine shots in the second period and eight more in the third en route to the shutout.

Ilya Bryzgalov surrendered four goals on 29 shots before being pulled in favor of Eddy Ferhi in the second period for the Ducks, who suffered their first playoff defeat (3-1).

The third game of the series will take place Saturday at 7:35 p.m. at Cincinnati Gardens.


First period: No scoring.

Second period: 1. Mil, Haydar 2 (Shiskanov, Pivko), 2.22 (ppg). 2. Mil, Upshall 1 (Hrkac), 11:59. 3. Mil, Hrkac 2 (Haydar, Henderson), 14:49 (ppg). 4. Mil, Haydar 3 (Tiley, Murphy), 16:20 (ppg).

Third period: 5. Mil, Upshall 2 (Schultz, Hutchinson), 3:07 (ppg). 6. Mil, Upshall (Hutchinson, Haydar), 16:46 (ppg).

Shots on goal: Cincinnati 5-9-8=22; Milwaukee 17-15-14=46.

Power play opportunities: Cincinnati 0-for-10; Milwaukee 5-for-11. Goaltenders: Cincinnati, Bryzgalov (36:20; 29 shots, 25 saves; record 3-1), Ferhi (23:20; 17 shots, 15 saves); Milwaukee, Flaherty (22 shots, 22 saves; record 1-1). A: 2,846. Referee: Pochmara. Linsemen: Jacobs, Stensland.

Mark's Hockey Remarks on Game 2

The inconsistent Defense reared its ugly head again, giving the Ducks their first and biggest defeat in this year's playoffs. The Ducks D gave up a total of 46 shots, which is unconscionable to expect a win. The D did not get tight, and they were not playing good defensive hockey. And, as per the usual this season, the offense was near absent. Come on guys, buckle down...we need to win this, baby!

Ilja is THE MAN! Game 3 at Cincinnati April 24

Ducks blank Admirals 1-0 behind Bryzgalov

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Ilya Bryzgalov earned his first career playoff shutout as the Cincinnati MIghty Ducks blanked the Milwaukee Admirals, 1-0, Saturday at Cincinnati Gardens to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven West Division semifinals.

After making nine saves in the first period, Bryzgalov turned aside seven shots in the middle period and six over the final 20 minutes to hold on for the win. A second-round pick by Anaheim in 2000, the 23-year-old Russian native finished with 22 saves and helped the Ducks stop six power play chances for Milwaukee.

Tony Martensson scored his second goal of the playoffs 8:21 into the opening period for the Ducks, who will host Game Four on Monday at Cincinnati Gardens.

"This was the best game I've seen in my two years coaching here," Ducks coach Brad Shaw said. "The fundamentals were good. There weren't too many mistakes out there."

Wade Flaherty, who blanked the Ducks 6-0 in Game Two of the series, stopped 21 shots in the loss.


First period: 1. Cin, Martensson 2, 8:21 (ppg).

Second period:

Third period: No scoring.

Shots on goal: Milwaukee 9-7-6=22; Cincinnati 11-7-4=22.

Power play opportunities: Milwaukee 0-for-6; Cincinnati 1-for-4. Goaltenders:
Milwaukee, Flaherty (58:45; 22 shots, 21 saves; record 1-2); Cincinnati, Bryzgalov
(22 shots, 22 saves; record 4-1). A: 1,826. Referee: St. Pierre. Linsemen: Kneale, Mallin.

Mark's Hockey Remarks on Game 3

What a birthday Present, a playoff win at home! April 25 was my birthday, and The Guys gave me a great present, a Win! Here lately, I have not agreed very much with Coach Shaw, but I will have to agree with this statement:
"This was the best game I've seen in my two years coaching here," Ducks coach Brad Shaw said. "The fundamentals were good. There weren't too many mistakes out there."

Coach, I have been coming since year one of the Ducks, 7 years ago. This was by far one of , if not the best, games I have ever seen at the Gardens by the Ducks...heck, even by the Cyclones, who were here for 10 years before moving in 1996.

Ilja has continued to show he is a money goalie, especially when the D does its job. Guys were hitting the ice to block shots, misdirecting shots, and hitting guys hard. It was a great game, and great to watch. And though the crowd was sparse, it was loud and active, especially in the 3rd period when the players didn't hear the whistle blow because it was so loud. The Ducks now have a 2-1 series lead...


Thursday, April 15, 2004

Posted by Mark at 9:35 PM

The Long Promised 'Passion' Review

For the maybe three people who still check in (not counting the lame hamster who does), here is the long promised discussion of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."

A Film I Recommend

This film is highly recommended. I cannot say I like it, as some of the brutality makes this too strange of a statement. I mean, I don't want to sound like: Hey, let's see Jesus get scourged again, what a cool movie! It is not like that. This movie is one man's expression of his faith and his interpretation of the events some 2000 years ago.

Artistically, A Masterpiece

Stylistically, this film is very well done. Mel Gibson used camera angles to make a smaller set seem like the metropolis of Jerusalem circa the time of Jesus. The camera angles are extremely well done, adding great cinematic style to the presentation. The way the character of Satan is portrayed is also interesting, stylistically. Instead of a man or a demon, it is a rather different looking woman, in fact a woman who might appear attractive, but you notice flaws. The nails, the face, etc. Something is not right. Then the clincher (won't give that away, to those of you who still haven't gone).

The big complaint I hear from those who still haven't gone is the subtitles. The use of the original languages adds to the experience; it does not detract. Hearing Jim Caviezel (sp?) use Aramaic is most fascinating, and the way the subtitles are done you can easily hear the meaning of the words as you read them. This move to use subtitles was controversial, but it was extremely well done. The crew of this movie should be nominated for awards. Jim Caviezel and the cast did a great job of portraying their emotions through dead languages, in addition to the physical acting.

Mr. Gibson does a great job, and his work shows great research into the customs, dress, and traditions of the time. Everything looks authentic, down to the roman uniforms and the clothing etc. of the times. It was very well done, and the cinematography again made you feel like you were there. This was a very well done film.

Now, down to the violence and gore. This film has a sequence of about 25 minutes that is VERY intense. This would be the scourging sequence. I cannot tell you that it is NOT BLOODY. It is, very much so. I cannot tell you that it is not brutal. It is. However, the reviewers who said this was all about violence and gore are wrong. The film is more non-gore than gore. It has beautiful flashback sequences of Jesus's ministry. So, to say it is not violent would be a lie. To say it is gory pornography is an injustice. This film is violent, but it is in context, and this was a violent scene. I think many have a picture that maybe Jesus was given a leather strap treatment like a father beating a son. Not true. Jesus was tortured, people, and it was for all of us. Sometimes I think we have to be reminded of the depths of His sacrifice,and this film does just that. It is very powerful and moving to see the love and sacrifice in Jesus's eyes, even as the Romans are doing the torturing. To see His determination, in the face of all the persecution, is inspiring, and moves to tears. This is a most powerful film. The crucifixion scene is very powerful, with Jesus imparting care of His mother to the disciple who was his brother. It was very poignant, very meaningful. It inspired.

In closing, this film is very powerful. However, I do agree with some of the critics in that the ending was not uplifting enough. While I understand that the movie basically about his crucifixion should not necessarily be uplifting (Jesus is dead, but yay, let's go party would have been bad), I still think maybe something more should have been done. However, this movie IS VERY POWERFUL. It takes fundamental truths from the Bible and shows them in striking and also beautiful format. The words of Jesus in His native tongue are poignant and thought provoking. To see the depth of His sacrifices is convicting, and it moves one to their core. This movie, I suggest, is a must see. However, taking into account children, I would not allow children under 12 to see this movie. It is violent, but it is a very realistic and truthful account of the Crucifixion. I believe as the pontiff is quoted as saying, "it is as it was."

From the beginning scenes at Gethsemane, to the triumphal beat of the end, you see the determination God had to send His Son to save each and every one of us. Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice. Thank you, Mel Gibson, for your determination in getting this lifechanging movie out. Go see it, friends, and believe!

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Posted by Mark at 10:27 PM


May God bless you and keep you, and make His face shine upon you!

He is Risen!!!!!!


Posted by Mark at 10:26 PM

Ducks End Regular Season Wide World of Sports Style

April 9--The Thrill of Victory....

Ducks give Houston a problem

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Ilya Bryzgalov recorded his sixth shutout of the season to lead the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks to a 4-0 victory over the Houston Aeros Friday at Cincinnati Gardens.

Bryzgalov turned away 13 shots in the first period and 30 overall in the win for the Ducks, who snapped a four-game winless (0-1-3-0) and moved into a tie with Houston for fourth place in the West Division.

Mike Mottau, Tony Martensson, Joel Perrrault and Alexei Smirnov scored for Cincinnati, which qualified for a postseason berth for the fourth time in franchise history.

Kyle Kettles surrendered all four goals on 21 shots in the loss for the Aeros, who are winless in their last four games (0-2-2-0).

The Ducks will play Houston in a best-of-three qualifying round series next week. The teams both play their final regular season games tonight. Should they end up tied for fourth the Ducks would host the series at Cincinnati Gardens due to having more wins than Houston.

The Ducks face Cleveland tonight at 7:35 p.m. at Cincinnati Gardens. Houston will host Grand Rapids.


First period: 1. Cin, Mottau 8 (Chistov, Smith), 18:23. 2. Cin, Martensson 15 (Kunitz, Perrault), 19:17.

Second period: No scoring.

Third period: 3. Cin, Perrault 14 (Smith), 1:12. 4. Cin, Smirnov 9 (Armstrong, Hankinson), 3:02.

Shots on goal: Houston 13-8-9=30; Cincinnati 6-11-8=25.

Power play opportunities: Houston 0-for-5; Cincinnati 0-for-3. Goaltenders: Houston, Kettles (43:02; 21 shots, 17 saves; record 4-9-5), Cloutier (16:58; 4 shots, 4 saves); Cincinnati, Bryzgalov (30 shots, 30 saves; record 27-24-10). A: 4,011. Referee: Hoberg. Linsemen: Gould, Mallin. Records: Houston 27-34-14-4; Cincinnati 29-36-13-1.

Mark's Hockey Remarks

This game was awesome! The Ducks took it to Houston, in more ways than one. Even though the Ducks primary enforcer, Josh Gratton, was a scratch, the Ducks were very feisty, with several fighting majors handed out. Mike Mottau, Stan Chistov(!), Dan Bylsma, and even Casey Hankinson were some of the unusual fighters. Ilja was brilliant in the net, and the team played great defense mixed with unusual scoring would not last....

After the game, engaged in usual banter with players. Mary and I presented the Bryzgalovs (who are expecting their first child) with some baby baubles for their little one, and I showed Ilja a Todd McFarlane action figure I had painted as Ilja. He was very impressed, and they were in a great mood. The guys played hard, and they seemed ready for tomorrow's game against Cleveland....However, maybe they were worn out because that game was the.....

The Agony of Defeat....

Barons pound Ducks to take home Labatt Blue Cup

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Patrick Rissmiller recorded three goals and an assist and Miroslav Zalesak had two goals and an assist as the Cleveland Barons beat the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, 8-3, Saturday at Cincinnati Gardens.

Matt Carkner, Grant Stevenson and Jon DiSalvatore also scored the Barons, who claimed the Labatt Blue Cup with a 4-2-2-0 record against the Ducks this season.

Nolan Schaefer stopped 28 shots in the win for Cleveland, which finished the regular season with a franchise-record 37 wins and a 45-point improvement over last season, best in the AHL.

Stanislav Chistov had two goals for the Ducks, who lost for just the third time in their last 12 games (4-3-5-0).

Ilya Bryzgalov surrendered all eight goals on 31 shots in the loss, the first in five games at home for Cincinnati (2-1-2-0).

The loss, coupled with Houston's win against Grand Rapids, dropped the Ducks into the fifth and final playoff spot in the West Division. They'll begin a best-of-three Calder Cup qualifying round series Thursday in Houston. All games in the series will be played at the Toyota Center.


First period: 1. Cin, Chistov 4 (Stepp), 5:23. 2. Cle, Carkner 2 (Mather, Clowe), 10:37.

Second period: 3. Cle, Rissmiller 12, 0:07 (shg). 4. Cle, Zalesak 34 (Hansen, Rissmiller), 0:35. 5. Cin, Chistov 5 (Armstrong, Aucoin), 3:48 (ppg). 6. Cle, Rissmiller 13 (Hansen, Zalesak), 5:38.

Third period: 7. Cin, Mottau 9 (O'Brien, Smirnov), 1:28 (ppg). 8. Cle, Rissmiller 14 (Hansen), 19:10. 9. Cle, Stevenson 13 (Joseph, Bootland), 10:31. 10. Cle, Zalesak 35, 12:12. 11. Cle, DiSalvatore 22 (Fibiger, Cloutier), 17:47 (ppg).

Shots on goal: Cleveland 9-11-11=31; Cincinnati 7-12-12=31.

Power play opportunties: Cleveland 1-for-2; Cincinnati 2-for-4. Goaltenders: Cleveland, Schaefer (31 shots, 28 saves; record 14-9-3); Cincinnati, Bryzgalov (27-25-10 shots, 0 saves; record 0-0-0). A: 6,718. Referee: Hoberg. Linsemen: Gould, Lord. Records: Cleveland 37-28-8-7; Cincinnati 29-37-13-1.

Mark's Hockey Remarks

This game hacked me off....the Ducks were flat from the start, not hitting passes and simply not hitting...where was the fire displayed last night? What the heck? And, in shades of Montreal and Patrick Roy, the increasingly idiotic Brad Shaw left Ilja in for all 8 goals..... WTF?

Brad Shaw is a nice guy....Like Moe Mantha, as a person, Brad is good to talk to and congenial to the fans. However, he has proven rather hopeless and inexplicable as a head coach. Take tonight's decision to hang Ilja out to dry. Ilja was not with it, and skated off the ice promptly after the sixth goal, realizing he simply did not have it on this night. He looked at Eddy Ferhi, the backup, and said, it is up to you to take it....I stink tonight. Coach Shaw pulled a power trip and sent him back out to get killed. Also, and this is the analysis of Mr. O'Brien, the father of one of the players..."why is Andy Rierson playing? He has been out for many games, and Shaw puts him in on the power play? And in an important game for the playoffs? " Why would Mr. O'Brien say this? Andy got the puck taken from him several times leading to odd man rushes that resulted in goals. It was a pathetic end to a season, and the coaching of this team is very suspect. As we go into the playoffs, we have a starting goaltender p.o.ed because his coach did what Montreal's coach did to Roy, and we have a team that just got manhandled.....Terrible, terrible move, Mr. Shaw. I am sorry, but I for one hope the rumors are true that you are gone after this year and Dan Bylsma will hang up the skates and go behind the bench. Dan seems to have a better rapport during his stints behind the bench as an assistant this year. It was a disgraceful move by Coach Shaw, and it really hurt the morale of the team.

The Ducks play this week in a 3 game series against Houston, and thanks to the loss, all three games are in Houston....Here is the breakdown:
CINCINNATI, Ohio -- The American Hockey League on Sunday announced the schedule for the West Division best-of-three Calder Cup qualifying round series between the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and the Houston Aeros. All games in the series will be played at Houston's Toyota Center.

Below is the series schedule:

Game 1
Thursday, April 15
Cincinnati at Houston
8:00 p.m.
WCKY-AM (1360)

Game 2
Saturday, April 17
Cincinnati at Houston
8:00 p.m.
WCKY-AM (1360)

*Game 3
Sunday, April 18
Cincinnati at Houston
8:00 p.m.
WCKY-AM (1360)

* = if necessary

The Ducks went 3-2-3-0 against the Aeros this season, including 1-1-2-0 in Houston.