Knights Hustle in Hard Loss

4679This past weekend the Canandaigua Knights played the Tri-County Eagles, the number one team (undefeated) and they fought valiantly. After losing the first game 7-2, leaving some to question the effort of the team, they showed that they wouldn’t back down from a challenge, even against a team that clearly outmatched them as far as speed, and overall skill.

“Before the game, I asked the guys why they were here,” assistant coach, Scott Reston said. “When everybody finished answering I told everyone that anything worth doing was worth doing right.”

The first period began with both teams getting pressure, but the Knights dominated most of the play for the first half of the period. Tri-County took over in the second half of the period, and they pressured the Knights heavily. With some back and forth action toward the end, Tri-County swarmed, and created an open shot that went top-shelf, glove-side, past Knights goalie Ian Campbell.

“On that play, Melroy, I think, asked if I got screened,” said Campbell of the goal. “I could see the whole way, but the problem was I played it cautiously, and I backed down in my crease. I didn’t play it as aggressively as I needed to.”

The period ended 1-0. Tri-County up.

Second period play began with immense offensive pressure from Tri-County, and it was all the Knights could do to keep the puck out of their net.

“We got a little too sloppy in our own end,” admitted Jeremy Trillaud, senior defenseman. “We needed to stay focussed and not run around as much as we were.”

“I think the game really slowed down, you know, in that second period where I froze a bunch of pucks,” said Campbell. “I was just trying to stop (Tri-County) from getting so much pressure.”

The Knights were able to break out for some offensive pressure, and play solid defense with the play going back and forth, a lot of the later part of the second period being played in the neutral zone. But on one particularly promising offensive attack, Knights center Kody Laird, pinched up to help in a corner, and the puck went to one of the fastest skaters in the league, and starting at the far end of the ice, he diggled, and wiggled his way past four of five guys, going in between two converging defenders to go in on the breakaway, for an goal that he made look easy.

“I had broken one of the laces on my right pad,” Campbell said. “And he was right-handed, so I figured he would steer to my left, and I was right. Anyway, when he did that he eliminated my ability to skate, because I couldn’t push off with my right leg, so I tried to poke check, and he just slid it in past me.”

On this play Campbell also mentioned he re-injured his upper body injury.

The second period ended 2-0.

“I told the boys, that wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but we kept it close by hustling,” said Nick Van Stralen, the coach of the Knights. “I could tell they were tired, so we needed to get out there and score quickly.”

That’s what they needed, and that’s what Gavin Furhmann gave them.

“I kinda saw a little bit of space, I don’t know, and I just passed to Pete, who made it happen, and Kurz finished it off for us,” he said. “We needed a goal so, you know, we got one.”

The score for most of the third was 2-1, a lot of good plays on offense and defense leaving the crowd in a great deal of suspense but, the Knights got a penalty late. The Knights were doing all they could to stop the high-flying power play of Tri-County. Eventually, in a scrum play at the net a goal went in.

“Of all the goals,” said Campbell. “That one angered me the most. Somebody was hooking my leg, so I couldn’t get my legs together to seal my butterfly, and it ended up dribbling past me, five-hole.”

The period was almost over when a bit of a fight broke out in front of the Knights net.

“I had hurt my (upper body) in the second period, and one of the players from the other team tweaked it when they were jamming the puck, so I hacked at his leg a little, and he got a mad, so they were talking trash, and it ended up, in a twisted way, giving them a goal.”

Number 9, the player who Campbell spoke of, was fired up after the scrap, and he got the puck, circled around the net, just like most of Tri-County’s cycle plays, but instead of looking for the weak side pass like they did every time before, the angry player looking to make a vengeful play, sniped top right, off the post, off the goalie, off the other post, and, of course, across the goal line.

“I knew he was mad, and he was looking to make a play, so I tried to stay against my post, but if there was one thing I learned, it was that they always passed to the weak side or the top of the slot. That time, though, he looked for the shot, took it, and got it. A sick play really.”

The Knights were able to get a late goal with a six on three advantage with Tri-County taking penalties late. But it was too little, too late,  and they left the game without any points.

4-2 was the final score, and it was indicative of the entire game. Tri-County was a couple steps ahead of the Knights, who showed their best defensive effort of the season.

They fell to 2-4-1* Their motto going forward, is stated by Coach Phil Priolo.

“If we just keep moving in the right direction we’ll be fine.”

 

*The post Knights Keeper Lacks, Offense Attacks, was about a game that was considered illegitimate by the league, and will be replayed on 1/16/15.

Knights Keeper Lacks, Offense Attacks

4679The Knights, coming off of their 3-1 win were confident in there abilities to play a complete game against the MCYH Eagles of Scottsville.

The game was a little weird from the beginning, though. The home team, the Eagles of Scottsville rescheduled the game the morning of the game, and did so illegally, not maliciously (see end for more), throwing the Knights for a slight loop.

“When I got there, I looked at the schedule, and there was no 9:30 game,” Logan Davis said. “So I knew something was messed up, but when we asked the guy about the nine-thirty guy he was a real jerk about it and was just telling us that the league rescheduled that morning and he just found out about it too, but he couldn’t help us out, cause it had to be the way it was or something like that.”

The Knights regrouped, with Greg Trost attempting to get them some lenience. Eventually the whole team (excluding Sid Klass who didn’t make the trip due to illness) was there, and they got on the ice with about sixty-nine minutes remaining on the game clock.

The game began and the Knights got a lot of pressure to begin with. Petermichael Karekos’ line was out, and they were moving the puck and getting quality shots. About two minutes in, Karekos was down low, and the Eagles of Scottsville were shoving him over, but he managed to get the puck to loop over the goalie and dribble in.

“It was a weird goal, but I was aiming for that, and it worked,” Pete said with laugh.

The first period was about to end, when goaltender made the biggest mistake of his short career, a mistake he will never live down, and will be reminded of daily, if not hourly. On the penalty kill, the Eagles of Scottsville dumped a puck down the ice, and Ian Campbell (a name to be remembered in utter infamy) scanned the ice.

“I tried to make a play by sending Noah (Van Stralen) away, drawing their pressure guy to the left, and passing to (Jared) Priolo to the right. So I pointed to the left, and Noah and the guy moved. I looked at the puck, and then I looked up to Jared. When I went to pass, the puck was in the net.”

One to one. Seriously, Ian?

With seconds left in the first, the Eagles of Scottsville also got a screen goal.

“It was SO STUPID,” blurted Campbell, when asked about the goal. “It was just unlucky, (Alec) Mel(roy) had just slid into to take out their guy, who was trying to screen me, and I couldn’t see, so I opened my stance to drop back, and get a better view, and so when I heard the shot, I dropped, but I was stuck with my right leg out, and by the time I brought in, the goal had been scored.”

Going into the second period down one, the Knights came out strong. They got a tying goal, and shortly after that, the Eagles of Scottsville came back to take the lead.
Not being discouraged, the Knights came back and put in a nice shortsided goal. The goalscorer (You know who you are, but I don’t.) brought the Knights right back into the game. But the Eagles of Scottsville were allowed into the zone with a few minutes left, and their slot guy was wide open, and he finished for the four to three lead.

“I honestly don’t know what happened (on that goal),” Campbell says. “But the problem with that goal was it felt like there was no defense. It doesn’t matter because you win as a team and you lose as a team. I put every goal on me, and that’s that.”

With about three minutes left in the period, the Eagles of Scottsville began a break out in their end, and the defense, who had been on the ice for about five minutes, was tired. So Jared Priolo and his defense partner decided to change, apparently thinking that the defenseman coming off the bench could make the play, unfortunately, that change mishap resulted in a three on none that the Eagles of Scottsville capitalized on.

5-3 at the beginning of the third period.

The third period was as quickly-paced as any game in this league, with the game clock only having twenty minutes left, with fifteen minutes of game to go. The Knights made no mistakes going after the Eagles of Scottsville, who had a lack of effort to begin the period. The Knights scored two goals within four minutes, and with seven minutes on the game clock the game was tied for a while. Then, Gavin Furhmann scored the goal that took the lead for the Knights!

Buuuuuut, then Ian Campbell blew it.

Off the face-off at center ice, one on one with a guy that broke free (thanks Galvin) Campbell squared off, and got sniped short side.

“Really a perfect shot,” Campbell admits. “You know, unstoppable, or whatever.”

The game ended tied at six, with both teams disappointed in the result but not in their efforts.

The game will be redone, due to unfair timing rules, but that’s still up in the air. The only thing for the Knights to do is keep plugging away and working hard.

3-1, Knights Dominate

4679After a four game winless streak (0-3-1) the Knights finally snagged the elusive victory. They Played the Monroe County Eagles, and the defense stepped up and played big, and dominated the other team.

The Knights were excited to play with two players returning from injury. Ryan Mack (lower body) and Logan Davis (entire body).

Both teams had miscues early, but the goaltenders managed to keep it scoreless most of the first period.

“Yeah, we stunk in the beginning,” goaltender Ian Campbell admitted. “Both teams were litterally missing the puck! The ice was a little slow, but it was so bad at one point I just yelled ‘Can someone please move the puck in a forceful manner!'”

Forward Logan Davis had an enormous hit his first shift, which lifted the opponent (not a small guy) off of his feet and sent the same opponent smashing to the ground.

But with a few minutes left in the first, the Knights’ Jake Cleason passed to Zac Cleason who buried the puck in the the net. It was a beautiful goal from a line that needed to start scoringe

“Yeah, I don’t play sports,” said Jake, when asked about what he saw on the play.

Zac, with a suave smile, looked at the camera, winked and said, “Yeah,” when asked the same question.

Coach Nick Van Stralen was pleased with the performance in the first period.

“Really we only had one bad stretch of hockey, and it was during our penalty kill. So, overall I think we played very well in that first period.”

The second period was about halfway done, when Logan Davis got the puck and snuck one past the opposing goalie.

Welcome back, Logan!

Up 2-0 going into the third, Coach Van Stralen reminded the team to finish strong.

“I just told them that they didn’t do as well in the second period, but it was still good. They just needed to keep skating, and work hard to finish the game.”

The third was back and forth breakaway chances that both teams’ defenses hustled and kept it 2-0 for the majority of the third.

With a few minutes remaining in the third period, a fatal face-off took place to the left of the home net. Ian Campbell was pretty certain, Kody Laird, one of the team’s best face-off winners, would win, but instead, he missed, and practically handed it to the winger, who then, accidentally fumbled the puck, and confused the goalie, and barely slipped it just inside the post.

“I don’t think that it was anybody’s fault but mine,” Campbell says, humorously jabbing a finger in Laird’s direction. “CodLaird was just trying to keep me on my toes.”

With the score 2-1, the Knights were most certainly on their toes. Particularly defenseman Ryan Mack.

“I knew I could do it,” he said. “It was just a matter of execution, and visualization, and diggling the socks off of every single player on their team. That’s all. No biggie.”

It’s true he did beat every single player on their team, including the great finish when he flipped the puck past the goalie.

With a solid game in net, and an impressive defensive game, the knights capitalized on their opportunities and secured a victory.

When asked if he feels the team is where they want to be, Coach Reston said.

“LOOOOGAAAAN!!!!”