Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Straight Up And Narrow

I buy me a burger when the tacos go fickle and they skimp on the meat and they triple the pickle
Hugh Jessiman battles Houston's Josh Olson against the boards during a Feb. game in Hartford(Chris Rutsch/HWP photo)

The Hartford Wolf Pack grabbed a piece of first place, ending the Houston Aeros' 7-game win streak while extending a 6-game streak of their own, by beating the Aeros in Houston last night, 5-1. After trailing in the game 1-0 entering the second period, the Pack reeled off five unanswered goals, including 3 goals on only 5 shots taken in the third period. Houston came into the game with the top winning percentage in the AHL, but the Wolf Pack have now swept the season series with the Aeros, 2-0. Hartford now sits alongside Portland atop the AHL's Atlantic Division with 82 points, and have moved 8 points ahead of the Manchester Monarchs, who are in a bit of a tailspin, losing 7 of their last 10 games. The Wolf Pack are 13-1-0-1 in their last 15 games, and will face Portland at home on Wednesday.

Alexandre Giroux scored two goals for the Pack, his 28th and 29th of the season. Dan Girardi scored 2 goals and was a +4 on the game, while Hugh Jessiman and Jarkko Immonen had 2 assists each. Patrick O'Sullivan scored the lone goal for the Aeros, his 35th of the year. The Aeros have three of the top six point-getters in the league with Eric Westrum (#1), Kirby Law (#2), and O'Sullivan; that's not even including Roman Voleshenko, who has 27 goals for the Aeros this season but isn't even among the top 50 players in the league in scoring.

Dan Girardi's first goal of the game, the eventual game-winning tally, was a fluke goal on a dump-in from center ice that ended caroming off one of the metal support pieces that holds up the glass and into the net behind Josh Harding, the Houston goaltender who had skated away from the crease in anticipation of playing the puck in the corner. Al Montoya was in net for Hartford, and improved his record on the season to 19-5-1 (wins-losses-shootout losses).

The game ended on a fight in the final two seconds between Hartford's Craig Weller and Houston's Bill Kinkel, with both players landing plenty of punches in what seemed to be a pretty good fight, judging by Bob Crawford's radio call. Kinkel ended up drawing an extra instigating minor, as well as a 10-minute instigating misconduct and a 10-minute game misconduct. Martin Grenier, who had fought Kinkel in an earlier meeting last month, did not play in this game because of strep. Also, Wolf Pack forward Martin Sonnenberg left the game with a knee sprain in the first period.

A lot of hippies are selfish, unpleasant, and not particularly funny
Pack defenseman Dan Girardi (Rutsch photo)

Elsewhere around the league last night, Nick "Two-Tooth" Tarnasky-- previously believed to be one of the lousiest players ever-- scored all three Springfield Falcons goals in their 3-2 win over Bridgeport last night, including the game-winner in overtime. There goes that grave misconception.


Anonymous pack attack said...

Two-tooth Tarnasky had his game of a life-time last night. He ought to retire while he is ahead. Then again, he is better than Mitch "you-rang" Fritz. And lack of teeth and mullets are favored in Springfield. Perhaps Tarnasky ought to stay.

The fight at the end of the game with Weller and Kinkle was a bit of an oddity this season. I suspect the new rule for this season which states -- "A penalty for instigating in the final five minutes of regulation or in overtime will carry an automatic game misconduct, an automatic one-game suspension and fines to the coach and team of the offending player. Punishments will double with each subsequent offense. " -- has something to do with the lack of end-of-game frustration fights.

Some more stats which may be interesting: last season's team in many ways was a benchmark team with 30 wins at home, 50 wins total, and 106 points. Last season's team had 80 points at the 61 game mark. This current team has 82 points having completed the same amount of games.

These kids are destroying all expectations to this point in time. With so many rookies, including goal-tenders I would have been happy with 82 points for the entire season -- when the season started. Now with 19 regular season games remaining -- 12 wins would have this team tying last season's all time high Wolf*Pack regular season record.

Funny how that works.

3/5/06, 1:52 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

The rule that I like the best is the one that goes, "Albany and Springfield will always suck, year after year after year".

After training camp had ended, I had thought that goaltending would be the one weak spot on this team.

Fortunately, Montoya keeps winning (when he finishes the game, that is), and the Pack were able to identify who the best back-up would be, after first having to sort through the pile of Holt, Bruckler, and Gherson.

Face it, Gherson has been a big part of keeping this current streak going, stepping in and getting the job done each time the #1 guy (Montoya) was sidelined.

Dan Girardi has been a major find, also.

3/5/06, 4:48 PM

Blogger gsdgsd13 said...

And now your pal Tarnasky has been called back up to the Lightning. That game, and the attendant publicity, must have done it.

Thanks to the aforementioned recent nostalgia, I read your post title and started singing "straight ... like ... an ... arrrrrrroooooooooowwwwww!!" Yeah, I know it's from another song, but I can't help my brain's poor form.

3/6/06, 4:39 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

Hopefully when Tarnasky hopped the plane to Tampa he remembered to bring his teeth with him.

3/6/06, 10:51 PM

Anonymous mrs. brushback said...

He must have, because there certainly aren't any extra teeth lying around in Springfield.

3/7/06, 2:10 PM

Anonymous G12 said...

I don't know about that i think Puppy probabley has lost one or two since her trip to Hartford

3/8/06, 8:03 AM

Blogger Brushback said...

Kinkel ended up getting a 7-game suspension for his fight with Craig Weller at the end of the game. story

3/9/06 - "The American Hockey League today announced that Houston Aeros forward Bill Kinkel has been suspended a total of seven (7) regular-season games as a result of his actions during an AHL game vs. the Hartford Wolf Pack on Mar. 4.

Kinkel received an automatic one-game suspension for instigating an altercation within the final five minutes of regulation, and a six-game suspension for leaving the bench for the purpose of starting an altercation.

3/10/06, 11:48 PM


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