Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Wolf Pack outlast Aeros, 4-3

Sissy psychedelic Satanism
Chris Rutsch/HWP photo

One day after losing at home to the San Antonio Rampage-- the team with the worst record in the AHL-- the Hartford Wolf Pack shot down the Western Division-leading Houston Aeros, 4-3, in a back-and-forth slugfest on Saturday night at the Hartford Civic Center. The Wolf Pack attack was led by Thomas Pöck's two goals, including the game-winner with under 4 minutes left in the third period, and by Lee Falardeau, who played a stellar game (+3) and had two assists in setting up goals by Martin Sonnenberg and Craig Weller. Dwight Helminen also had two assists for Hartford. Kirby Law scored his 30th goal of the season for Houston. With the win, Hartford extended its points streak to five games (4-0-0-1).

Wolf Pack goalie Al Montoya left the game midway through the second period, after suffering a groin injury while making what looked like a relatively simple save on a mini-breakaway by the Aeros' Bryan Lundbohm. Back-up Robert Gherson finished the game in net for the Wolf Pack, earning credit for the win. Forward Alexandre Giroux also left the game early on, for about the length of a period, after taking a blow to the forearm that made him immediately drop both gloves to the ice and skate off to the bench, grasping his left wrist in pain. Giroux returned to finish the game, though, and showed no obvious ill effects.

The game featured a good amount of fisticuffs, starting with Martin Grenier bloodying Houston's Bill Kinkel in a rousing battle during the first period. In the second period, Craig Weller fought one of the Aeros' fake Russians, Joey Tetarenko (who is actually from Saskatchewan). Weller controlled the battle from start to finish until Tetarenko, swinging wildly, was able to knock Weller off balance with a few gorilla-like forearm shots to the top of Weller's helmet.

Fedor Fedorov caused a major skirmish shortly after the Weller - Tetarenko bout in the second period, when he leveled Erik Westrum (the AHL's leading scorer so far this year) with a clean, hard check behind the Aeros' net, sending Westrum sprawling to the ice. Three different Houston players immediately ganged up on Fedorov, who started to punch back while the rest of the players on the ice skated over to join the fray.

If you can't do anything, don't do anything
Alexandre Giroux (Chris Rutsch photo)

The game ended with one of the weirdest situations I've seen so far this year, coming about a minute left in the third period while the Wolf Pack were already a man down, killing off a Joe Rullier penalty. Thomas Pöck lost his stick after he was hit in the corner behind the Hartford net while trying to play the puck, and rather than play without his stick while Houston was on a critical power play, Pöck grabbed Erik Westrum's stick from behind and ripped it out of his hands. A suprised Westrum held out his empty hands and started screaming at the referee while Pöck continued to play, using Westrum's stick. Eventually, an "illegal stick" penalty was called on Pöck, forcing the Wolf Pack to skate 3-on-6 with Houston's goalie sitting on the bench for the last 28 seconds of the game, but no further damage was done.

In the building, though a healthy scratch, was Andrei Nazarov. Nazarov, perhaps the top Russian-born enforcer in North America, has only played one game for the Aeros this season since being banished to the minors by the parent Minnesota Wild back in October.

UPDATE 2/16/06 - Thanks to and, you can now watch a one-minute video clip of the fight between Craig Weller and Joey Tetarenko. You can see, towards the end of the fight when Tetarenko starts chopping down on the back of Weller's helmet, that Tetarenko's elbow pad has slid down his arm, so that he's actually clubbing Weller over the head with a solid piece of hard plastic. The two commentators during this clip are Bob Crawford and, I believe, P.J. Stock.

Tetarenko vs. Weller (Windows Media)


Anonymous Ronda Rant said...

Thanks for the description of what was going on with Pock and the stick. I saw Westrum trying to rip a stick out of Pock’s hands and thought the penalty was going against Westrum for holding the stick.

Great report as always.

2/13/06, 1:51 PM

Blogger d-lee said...

Kleenex Girl Wonder! Sweet! I saw "them" play a few times a few years ago, and I have one of their, er.... I mean "his" records (Ponyoak).

BTW, steal away on that pollhost thing. I can't really claim it as my intellectual property. It takes literally seconds to set up an account, create a poll, and post it to your template.

2/13/06, 9:08 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

I had a chance to see Graham Smith (aka K.G.W.) play in Connecticut about a summer ago, but I blew it off. I've been far too lazy lately.

2/13/06, 9:14 PM

Anonymous dud said...

This place is too darn "hip" sometimes for me to understand. LOL

2/14/06, 10:55 AM

Blogger Brushback said...

That's how we are sometimes.

2/14/06, 3:03 PM

Anonymous mrs. brushback said...


Is that short for dude?

2/14/06, 7:51 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

I think it's short for dudn't care.

2/14/06, 10:27 PM

Anonymous dud said...

If you look at "dud" in the mirror it spells "bub".

Now you know.

2/15/06, 7:54 AM

Anonymous mrs. brushback said...

Funny how that works.

2/15/06, 11:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tetarenko got in a early and stinging right shot to the face of Weller. It was controlled by Weller from start to end...

2/20/06, 8:59 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

I thought that Weller was in charge during the fight, too, and of course we also have the video replay of the fight as further evidence.

The recap that the Aeros website posted after the game, however, told a different story:

"Houston’s Joey Tetarenko earned a clear decision over Weller, Hartford’s captain, two minutes after the goal."

Guess it goes to show that it all depends upon which side of the ice you're standing on.

2/20/06, 10:10 PM


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