The Long Awaited Continuing Saga of Hockey Talk
After being found out by a fellow hockey fan at the Gardens, I am heartened that people are actually reading my material about the Ducks, even if most of it is game updates done by the brilliant Don Helbig and staff at the Ducks Home Office. So, here we go again!
2/25 Game: Ducks Win!!!
Straight from the Ducks' Home Office
Brent's late goal lifts Ducks past Aeros
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Tim Brent scored the game-winning goal with 16 seconds left in the third period to lift the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks to a 3-2 win over the Houston Aeros Friday at Cincinnati Gardens.
Pierre Parenteau scored at 17:16 of the third period to tie the score at 2-2 and added an assist on a second-period power-play goal by Chris Kunitz for the Ducks, who won their fourth straight game and improved to 14-1-0-1 in their last 16 at home.
Frederic Cassivi stopped 20 shots to improve to 10-5-1 since January 1.
Matt Foy had both goals for Houston, which is 1-1-0-1 through the first three games of a five-game road trip.
Harding, a second-round pick by Minnesota in 2002, finished with 34 saves in the loss.
The Ducks and Aeros complete a two-game series Saturday at 7:35 p.m. at Cincinnati Gardens. Former Cyclones head coach Dennis Desrosiers and Stingers play-by-play announcer Andy MacWilliams will be inducted into the Cincinnati Hockey Hall of Fame during the first intermission.
First period: 1. Hou, Foy 7 (Cavosie, Heid), 8:36.
Second period: 2. Cin, Kunitz 13 (Malec, Parenteau), 16:32 (ppg).
Third period: 3. Hou, Foy 8 (Bouchard, Reirden), 6:28. 4. Cin, Parenteau 11 (Perrault, Kunitz), 17:16. 5. Cin, Brent 5 (Penner, Hankinson), 19:44.
Shots on goal: Houston 9-6-6=21; Cincinnati 14-10-13=37.
Power-play opportunities: Houston 0-for-6; Cincinnati 1-for-6. Goaltenders: Houston, Harding (37 shots, 34 saves; record 11-12-1); Cincinnati, Cassivi (22 shots, 20 saves; record 15-14-1). A: 5,434. Referee: St. Laurent. Linesmen: Gould, Lord.
Mark's 2/25 Hockey Remarks
Freddie Cassivi continued his red-hot goaltending, although there were some slips in his armor...This game was the first in a set of late game heroics for the Ducks, as Brent scored with just 16 seconds to go. It is nice to see Tim come out of his shell. The Ducks rookie has been snakebitten much of the year with injury. He has not had the chance to showcase his skills for much of the year, between learning the AHL game and being injured. I believe he is now starting to come into his own, and at just the right time of year. Pierre Parenteau continued his fine play, as he is developing into a continual point threat, whether it be on goals or assists, and he is showing more grit. I think it is due to the target sign my sister holds up before games which he always hits for good luck. Since he has been doing that, he has consistently scored in about every game. Dustin Penner continues to shine. However, he has not been that physical a presence for someone his size. I do love the way he sets up in front of the net on power plays, something ducks big men have not done well since the days of Jeremy Stevenson, but he is often beaten upon and does not respond in kind. However, he has shown lately a tendency to strike back, and is slowly doing away with his reputation as a Ghandi among players. Keep up the excellent work, Dustin!!!
2/26 Game: Ducks Win, More Drama!!!
From the Ducks Home Office
Kunitz goal with one second left in OT lifts Ducks past Aeros
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Chris Kunitz scored with one second left in overtime to lift the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks to a 4-3 win over the Houston Aeros Saturday at Cincinnati Gardens.
Kurtis Foster had two goals and an assist for the Ducks, who won their fifth straight game and improved to 15-1-0-1 in their last 17 at home.
Frederic Cassivi stopped 30 shots in the win for Cincinnati, which is seven games above .500 (31-24-1-3) for the first time since March 3, 2002 (29-22-8-3).
Kyle Wanvig had a goal and an assist for the Aeroes, who rallied from a three-goal second-period deficit to force overtime.
Mike Smith finished with 36 saves in the loss for Houston, which is 1-1-0-2 on its five-game road trip.
The Ducks face Grand Rapids Sunday at 5:05 p.m. at Cincinnati Gardens.
First period: 1. Cin, O'Brien 5 (Parenteau), 2:41 (ppg). 2. Cin, Foster 13 (Perrault, Brent), 6:02 (ppg).
Second period: 3. Cin, Foster 14, 3:32. 4. Hou, Wanvig 7 (Veilleux, Koivu), 5:10 (ppg).
5. Hou, Foy 9 (Wanvig, Giroux), 13:12.
Third period: 6. Hou, Bouchard 10, 10:37 (ppg).
Overtime: 7. Cin, Kunitz 14 (Konopka, Foster), 4:59 (ppg).
Shots on goal: Houston 9-11-8-2-33; Cincinnati 16-12-8-5=41.
Power-play opportunities: Houston 1-for-5; Cincinnati 3-for-10. Goaltenders: Houston, Smith (62:10; 40 shots, 36 saves; record 14-13-2), Harding (2:45; 1 shot, 1 save); Cincinnati, Cassivi (33 shots, 30 saves; record 16-14-1). A: 7,496. Referee: Hoberg. Linesmen: Ferguson, Lord.
Mark's 2/26 Hockey Remarks
Wow!!!! This game is why hockey is so dramatic. Things can change in a second!
The Ducks had this game won! The got out to a 3-0 lead, scoring in droves in the first two periods. The defense then allowed, through sloppy and lax play, the Aeros to get back in the game, tying the score in the 3rd on a goal by cousin to Ducks star Pierre Parenteau, Pierre Marc Bouchard of the Aeros, a highly touted prospect for the Minnesota Wild. The tenor of the game was squarely in the Aeros favor.
That is where former Duck Todd Reirden stepped in. He acquired a very stupid penalty in the last part of the overtime, which led to the Ducks goal scored by Kunitz with virtually no time left on the clock. Reirden, true to his nature, blamed the loss on the ref, but it was his action that led to the penalty being called. Reirden, for his violent attempts to get to the ref, was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of the game, and may be subject to league action.
Cassivi looked tired in this game, though he did stop a lot of shots. I am wondering when this luck streak of the Ducks, just getting by, is going to end....
2/27--Ilja Fights Alone vs. Griffins, and Loses...
From the Home Office
Ducks fall to Griffins
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Matt Ellis scored the deciding goal in the third period to lift the Grand Rapids Griffins to a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks Sunday at Cincinnati Gardens.
Peter Vandermeer and Derek Meech also scored for the Griffins, who won their third straight game. Kip Miller chipped in with a pair of assists.
Joey MacDonald finished with 28 saves for Grand Rapids, which snapped a three-game losing streak against Cincinnati.
Cory Pecker and Dustin Penner scored for the Ducks, who ended a five-game winning streak.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 20 shots in the losing effort.
First period: 1. Gra, Vandermeer 2 (Bootland, Ledda), 0:40.
Second period: 2. Cin, Pecker 3, 10:36. 3. Gra, Meech 4 (Miller), 13:26. 4. Cin, Pecker 3 (Kunitz), 16:37.
Third period: 5. Gra, Ellis 11 (Miller, Kronwall), 7:34.
Shots on goal: Grand Rapids 6-12-5=23; Cincinnati 9-12-9=30.
Power-play opportunities: Grand Rapids 0-for-6; Cincinnati 1-for-6. Goaltenders: Grand Rapids, MacDonald (30 shots, 28 saves; record 28-25-1-1); Cincinnati, Bryzgalov (23 shots, 20 saves; record 31-25-1-3). A: 3,257. Referee: Hoberg. Linesmen: Gould, Mallin.
Mark's 2/27 Hockey Remarks
The Defense left Ilja alone against Detroit. Two of their three goals were either two on none breakaways or two guys ticktacking in the crease while our defense stands and looks. This was an awful game to watch defensively, and Ilja continues to struggle. However, he did look good overall in this game, stopping 20/23 shots. The Ducks made Joey McDonald look like CuJo, and let me tell you, Joey is no Cujo. The shots we took were mostly weak shots from outside that were easily stopped. Even though we scored on the power play, our woes continue. The Ducks continue to play too much on the blue line during the powerplay with the puck. I am all for cycling to get a good shot, with screens, etc., but come on...The Ducks gave up odd man rushes on intercepted passes at the blue line....They take too long to set up on the power play. There were times this year when they got nary a shot on a two minute powerplay. This was a serious setback.
3/4 Wolves Beat Ducks Behind Lehtonen
From the Home office
Wolves edge Ducks behind Lehtonen
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Kari Lehtonen stopped 42 shots to lead the Chicago Wolves to a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks Friday at Cincinnati Gardens.
Karl Stewart and J.P. Vigier scored 1:28 apart in the first period for the Wolves, who won their sixth straight game.
Lehtonen, recognized as the top prospect in the AHL by The Hockey News for a third consecutive season, made 36 saves over the final two periods en route to his 29th victory of the season.
Alexei Smirnov had the lone goal and Frederic Cassivi finished with 25 saves for the Ducks, who lost their second straight game.
The Ducks complete a six-game, five-team homestand Saturday against Utah at 7:35 p.m. at Cincinnati Gardens.
First period: 1. Chi, Stewart 14 (Roche, Van Buskirk), 3:14. 2. Chi, Vigier 23 (Santala, Bohonos), 4:42.
Second period: No scoring.
Third period: 3. Cin, Smirnov 8 (Penner, Parenteau), 10:00.
Shots on goal: Chicago 8-7-12=27; Cincinnati 6-19-18=43.
Power-play opportunities: Chicago 0-for-4; Cincinnati 0-for-4. Goaltenders: Chicago, Lehtonen (43 shots, 42 saves; record 29-15-2); Cincinnati, Cassivi (27 shots, 25 saves; record 16-15-1). A: 4,034. Referee: St. Pierre. Linesmen: Ferguson, Phillips.
Mark's 3/4 Hockey Remarks
Keri Lehtonen showed why he is an All-Star. He made fantastic saves, causing many oohs and aaah's from the crowd. Frederic Cassivi's run of wins came to an end, as he looked tired, and the defense was still reeling from the game against Grand Rapids. Parenteau and Penner are growing into consistent scoring threats, and it was good to see Smirnov score, despite the losing. Alexei is a great guy, off the ice, and he has had the misfortune of being bitten by the injury bug the last two seasons. Joffrey Lupul made his return to the ice, and he was sorely missed. Sheldon Brookbank said he may begin to play again in a few weeks. Joel Perrault came back and has been playing with reckless abandon, in spite of his concussion.
Let me just say this at this point: COACH SHAW, I WAS WRONG!!! Despite my own misgivings, you have led this team brilliantly, and though I have questioned and still question personnel decisions (Malec on the Penalty Kill???, on the ice in crucial situations???), you have done a brilliant job in juggling and leading this team. I hope you continue to push the right buttons! Thanks for proving me wrong, and for being a stand up guy when questioned! You are a great citizen and ambassador to hockey.
3/5--THE RETURN OF BRYZ!!!
From the Home Office
Ducks blank Grizzlies 1-0 behind Bryzgalov
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Chris Kunitz scored the lone goal and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 20 shots as the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks beat the Utah Grizzlies, 1-0, Saturday at Cincinnati Gardens.
Kunitz scored his 15th goal 34 seconds into the second period for his fourth game-winning goal of the season for the Ducks, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Bryzgalov stopped six shots in the first period, six shots in the second period and eight more in the third en route to his third shutout of the season, his second against Utah.
The Ducks have posted shutouts in each of their last three games against the Grizzlies and have not allowed a goal in their last 184 minutes, 24 seconds against Utah.
Jamie Storr, the seventh overall pick in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by Los Angeles, made 23 saves in the loss for Utah, which fell to 5-22-0-2 away from home this season.
The Ducks begin a three-game road trip March 11 in Utah.
First period: No scoring.
Secnd period: 1. Cin, Kunitz 15, 0:34.
Third period: No scoring.
Shots on goal: Utah 6-6-8=20; Cincinnati 8-10-6=24.
Power-play opportunities: Utah 0-for-5; Cincinnati 0-for-7. Goaltenders: Utah, Storr (24 shots, 23 saves; record 11-23-2); Cincinnati, Bryzgalov (20 shots, 20 saves; record 14-11-1). A: 6,944. Referee: St. Pierre. Linesmen: Gould, Lord.
Mark's Hockey Remarks
YES!!!!!!!!! Ilja Bryzgalov showed why he is the Ducks all-time winningest goaltender, and the top goaltending prospect in the organization. He played a brilliant game, and the defense played as it has had the potential of doing all season. Chris Kunitz, like Brent, has been bitten by the injury bug and just in the last couple of months has regained his full form. He has begun to pile on the points, and we need each and every one of them. This game was an excellent example of what this team is capable of when everything clicks. Welcome back, Ilja!!!!