Monday, May 4, 2009

Texas Brahmas VS. Colorado Eagles Game 2

Game 2 of the Presidents Cup saw another see saw game where you had several lead changes and event went into OT where Ed Mcgrane who's had a great playoffs scored early in OT to tie the best of 7 series at 1-1.

A fast start to the game in Colorado with Riley Nelson scoring just 2 minutes in with his 5th goal of the playoffs with a great pass just outside the face off circle from Jay Birnie to put them up 1-0. After that, the Eagles went into penalty trouble where they spent 8 minutes in the box, fortunately for the Eagles were able to fend off the Brahmas PP till Scott Sheppard scored the 1st of 2 PP Goals just over 2 minutes from each other where Jason Deitsch helped him to put the Brahmas up 2-1 lead into the 1st intermission. Texas were looking to keep their momentum going after winning game 1 in Colorado.

If the Brahmas were looking to keep the Eagles down in the series, as for the Eagles they had problems. For the 2nd straight game, the Eagles controlled the 2nd period out shooting the Brahmas by a huge margin, but Jeager was able to keep them at bay untill F Konrad Reeder at the 7:16 mark of the 2nd period on the PP with the Assists from Schneekloth and Hogg to help tie it at 2-2 nearly midway into the game. Later in the period just about when the Eagles PP was to expire, one of the Defensemen that usually brings a physical presence to the team, Scott Polaski scored his 1st goal of the playoffs to take a 3-2 lead with help of Hogg's 2nd assist of the 2nd period and Erik Adams who has 0 goals but 7 assists in the playoffs put them up 3-2 late in the 2nd period where it was looking like it would be to tie up the series at 1-1.

With the 3rd period underway and the Colorado Eagles extended the lead to 4-2 just 3 minutes with a quick wrist shot from Jay Birinie with help from Hogg who had his 3rd assist of the game and Hammond who just blew away everone to help out with the breakaway to pass from Hogg who got it to Polaski to score and put the Eagles up 2. A timeout after the Eagles 4th goals was spose to regroup and try a new stragey, it worked like magic just 16 seconds after the face off as Jason Deitsch got the Brahmas back into the game by making it a 4-3 lead barley 4 minutes into the 3rd period. Sheppard flicked a bandhand pass to Sheppard who was waiting behind the goal line where he crashed Eagles goalie Andrew Penner to put behind the net. After that goal, the Eagles were playing a prevent defense to keep the Brahmas from tieing the game. Nine minutes into the 3rd period, the Brahmas Brandon Benedict helped the Brhamas tie the game at 4-4 to tie it and where it would eventully go into OT.

The Eagles were able to control play in the extra period when Ed Mcgrane received a cross ice pass on a breakaway where he zipped a great wrist shot passed Brahmas goalie Brett Jeager to help the Eagles win the game 5-4 in OT and tie the series at 1-1. Colorado outshot Texas 5-4 but controled play and were playing with a desperation not wanting to go into games 3, 4, and 5 down 2-0 in the Championship Series.

With the 2 games in Colorado behind us, the series shifts to the NYTEX Sports Center in North Richaland Hills, Texas for game 3 on Sunday May 3 in an afternoon game, then game 4 will be May 5 while game 5 will be on May 6. If the series returns for Colorado for games 6 and 7, Game 6 at the Budwiser Events Center will be on Friday May 8 with game 7 if needed would be on Sunday May 10 to decide the Central Hockey League Championship.

Through 2 games in this series, The Eagles will need to play and win in high scoring games as Colorado Goalie Andrew Penner isn't good enough where he would need to be the 1st star of the game. For Brett Jeager, he's proving to be a real strong part of the team as he has been great helping the team be able to comeback when they are behind and can keep a game tied where he was able to allow the Brahmas to come back to force game 2 to OT. For Penner to be sucessful in this series, he will need to get some help from his defense and will need to get some shots blocked to help him out.

Players like Tyler Skworchinski and Scott Sheppard are the best scores on this team, with Skworchinski 13 and Sheppard's 10 goals, they also have great abilties to set up with them having 5 and 6 assists. Deitsch has also been having a great playoff run be leading the team in assists in the playoffs with 14. Mike Vellinga has been pounding oppenets by forcing off their game and has an impressive +8 in the playoffs and can shut you down by stealing passes and setting up forwards going the other way on the ice. The Brahmas for the most part are in control in this series and they contuine to play well, they will without a doubt will win the Championship.

Calder Cup Update

Each of the 4 Division Final Series are 2 games into the American Hockey League Calder Cup Playoffs as the Houston Aeros took down the Peoria Rivermen in 7 games in the West Division Semifinals. Right now, it's the Milwaukee Admrials which are currently tied at 1-1 in the West Division Final. With the first 2 games in Milwaukee, the Aeros took game 1 2-1 while the Admrials took game 2 of the series 4-1 at home. Now the series will shift to the Toyota Center for games 3, 4, and 5 as game 3 will be tomorrow night as the Aeros hope to take a 2-1 lead at home and will need to hope players like Corey Locke who is leading the team in scoring during the playoffs with 10 PTS (4G, 6A) and Anton Khudobin with a strong 2.40 GAA so far in the playoffs. Their defense has been a questionable at times so far with being tied for giving the most goals with 22 given up. If they are going to have a long run, they will need to sure up the defense and committ to blocking shots which has been questioned at times this season.

Here's how the AHL Division Finals are going right now.

Atlantic Division

Providence Bruins VS. Worchester Sharks: Providence leads series 1-0

East Division

Hershey Bears VS. W/B Scranton Penguins: Hershey leads series 2-0

North Division

Manitoba Moose VS. Grand Rapids Griffins: Manitoba leads series 2-0

West Division

Milwaukee Admirals VS. Houston Aeros: Series tied at 1-1

Will Sergei Zubov Retire?

With Sergei Zubov having injury problems and having his current contract expring this season. One of the biggest questions the Stars will have this season is about Sergei Zubov leaving the team or possibly retiring all together. The last 2 years, Zubov has only played in 56 games combined, including only 10 in the 2008-09 season. This past year, he went out with a hip injury that basically kept him out from Jan. through the end of the season, if you ask me, he needs to offically announce retirement to allow one of their young defensemen to take a chance to be the teams #1 injury, somebody like Matt Niskanen or even Trevor Daley who has developed as a great player who can pass really well and can skate, deliver and take hits throughout the ice. He's had a great career both in the NHL and for the Russian National Team, but his time has gone and needs to step aside for the young defensemen to take a bigger role on the team. If he tries to comeback and has another injury plauged season, it could spell bad news on the defensive side of the ice like what happened this season.

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