You'll Get Nothing And Like It
Al Montoya (Chris Rutsch photo)
The Hartford Wolf Pack were only able to scrape together one goal over two games this weekend, but managed to come up with one win to show for it-- a shoot-out victory in Bridgeport over the Sound Tigers on Friday night. Saturday night, the Wolf Pack lost at home to the division-leading Portland Pirates, 1-0.
Hartford came into this weekend's games ranked dead last in the Massey Ratings-- probably not the most accurate list ever invented, but still an example of how sorry the team's fortunes have been this season.
Friday's game in Bridgeport had a bit of an early buzz to it, as the Sound Tigers made a peace offering (100 free tickets is what I heard) to the raucous Danbury Trashers fans who had previously made the Sound Tigers their sworn enemy.
From the Connecticut Post, 10/20/06:
Sound Tigers Extend Welcome Mat For Home Opener
They're rowdy, they're boisterous, they're sometimes vulgar. They're also loyal, though, which makes the infamous Section 102/14 crowd valuable to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers' goals of boosting attendance and atmosphere this season at the Arena at Harbor Yard. A group of Danbury Trashers fans from Section 102 at Danbury Ice Arena, many of whom migrated from the legendary Section 14 at the New Haven Coliseum, are invited guests of the Sound Tigers for tonight's home opener against the rival Hartford Wolf Pack. Team president Howard Saffan extended the invitation after a recent meeting with representatives from the group, who were displaced after the Trashers of the UHL suspended operations. "They explained their passion as far as rooting for their team and cheering against the other team," Saffan said. "I basically invited them to be a part of us, as long as they understand we appeal to family-fun entertainment."
The group will be camped out in its usual spot behind the visitors' bench. If all goes well, Saffan said — and he'll be keeping an eye on them — he hopes they'll return, along with other fans to watch what could be a strong Sound Tigers team in their sixth season.
Nothing too life-threatening resulted, however, and a thread on the Trashers fans' message board seems to show a relatively mild reaction. One hitch prior to the game, though, was the player introductions getting interrupted three times because the fire alarm kept going off.
As for the game itself, Greg Moore scored the lone goal for the Wolf Pack and also netted the winner in the overtime shootout, with Steve Valiquette in net atoning for his earlier 5-goals-in-one-period loss to the Sound Tigers the week before, as Hartford got their first win of the season.
David Liffiton battles Portland's Simon Ferguson (Chris Rutsch photo)
Saturday night's 1-0 loss at home to Portland was a spirited game, at least, with four fights and more big hits than I've seen in one game in a long while. Dale Purinton and Trevor Gillies fought twice, and Dale still doesn't seem to have the hang of the new visor rule. Most of the sluggers in the league have been getting rid of their helmets quickly when they get into a fight, to avoid injury from the mandatory visors; but Dale steadfastly has been leaving his on, forcing the other guy to try to pry the helmet from Dale's head before he can throw any serious punches. I dunno, maybe Dale's onto something.
The best fight of the night was Hugh Jessiman's, against Ryan Carter in the third period. Carter stunned Jessiman with one hard shot in the middle of the bout, but Jessiman was in control the rest of the way, with his huge roundhouse punching style. Hugh can't seem to keep his feet underneath him when he fights, though, so he ended up falling down at the end, as usual.
Al Montoya played brilliantly against the Pirates, making a bunch of spectacular stops and expecially showing great quickness whenever the Pirates had the puck down low with a bunch of bodies in front of the net. The Pirates' only goal of the game came when Montoya was down in a butterfly stance, protecting the posts as the Pirates were trying to jam the puck home underneath his pads. Portland's Pierre Parenteau wound up with the puck on his stick blade and merely flipped it up over Montoya, who couldn't really do anything about it.
Anyway, just in time for Christmas for you rabid El Montoya fans, there's a new McFarlane-type figurine available:
There also seems to be some sort of El Montoya Christmas album on the market, though I'm not quite sure if it's really El Montoya singing on it or not:
If anyone has a copy, maybe they'll let me know.