Monday, August 5, 2013

Championship Series, Games 1-3

Apologies for the hiatus, it has been a busy few weeks.  

After the Newtown Golden Eagles swept the Six Nations Slash 3-0 in the semifinals, they moved on to meet the Onondaga Redhawks in the best of seven Championship Series.  Games one through three took place this past weekend.

Game one took place at the Gil Lay Memorial Arena at 8:30pm Friday evening.  The opening game set the tone for the series as it was fast paced, physical, and entertaining.  The teams struggled to gain any ground on eachother early as it went back and forth the first two periods.  Newtown managed to reach a 4 goal lead but it would be short lived as Onondaga scored 3 goals in less than one minute to pull within one.  The Redhawks tied the game up briefly when Newtown scored what they hoped to be the game winner on a quick stick from Rudi George.  As was the case with the rest of the game, the lead was short lived and Onondaga tied it up with 40 seconds left in regulation.  Newtown pulled goaltender Clint Jones, for the man advantage at the end of the game but failed to find the net and regulation ended in a 13-13 stalemate.  Overtime was much like the first three periods.  For those that don't know, CanAm overtimes are played out till the end, no golden goals here.  Onondaga scored the first goal of the period, followed quickly by an answer from Newtown, but it was the Redhawks who recorded the final tally and took the win.  Morgan Montour led all scorers with 4 goals.

Game two was the next night at 7:30pm on the blue floor of Tsha'hon nonyen' dakhwa, the Redhawks home arena.  Nothing different this time around as the game was intense and closely contested throughout.  The goal of the game came at the end of the second period  when the Redhawks pulled their goalie for the man advantage and the last shot.  An errant pass bounced the way of the NGE and defender Josh Kacprzak launched a full field shot from the defensive zone, hitting nothing but the back of the empty net with 0.3 seconds on the clock.  Many thought it lucky, but his teammates confirmed it is a shot he tries again and again during water breaks at practice.  The goal was a momentum builder that put the NGE up 4 at the end of the period and came out in the third knowing it would not be easy.  The veteran Redhawks came out firing and narrowed the lead to one goal before a defender incurred a 7 minute penalty that put the Golden Eagles at a man advantage for the remaining 5:45.  They quickly capitalized with a power play goal from Kori Halftown which boosted their lead to 2.  Still a man down, the Redhawks scored a quick short-handed goal in transition and the lead was back down to one.  The Golden Eagles spread the floor with their powerplay offense to chew some clock, but still had the 30-second clock to contend with.  After a loose ball in the corner LeRoy Halftown caught a pass in the middle of the arc and scored on a sidearm shot to put the NGE up by 2 with 21 seconds left.  The score would remain 11-9 Newtown and the series tied at 1 a piece. Newtown had 8 players with one goal each.

Game three continued the trend as the fans in attendance got their money's worth each game of this series' opening weekend.  The Sunday afternoon contest started off slowly as it was 2-2 for half of the period with the Redhawks adding two more tallies late to take a 4-2 lead into the first break.  Newtown won the battle of second period scoring 5 to the Redhawks three and making it a tie ballgame in the process.  The third period started with a bang for Onondaga and they led by 4 with an 11-7 score.  Newtown began to pull their goalie for the advantage and chipped away with two 6 on 5 goals but it would not be enough.  The Redhawks added an empty netter to make it 12-9 and ran the clock out for the win and the 2-1 series lead.

Game four of the series is set to faceoff at 8:30pm Friday night at Tsha'hon nonyen' dakhwa.  For those fans travelling to the game, your best bet is to skip exit 39 and stay on the 90 to exit 36.  Once on 81 South follow the signs for the detour to take 481 back to route 81 and the Nedrow exit where the arena is located.