Regular Season Standings after January 30th Games: Points for and Points Against in parenthesis.
1. Eagles 8 (28/12)
2. Knights 6 (30/18)
3. Colonials 4 (19/16)
4. Mayhem 4 (27/31)
5. Slap Happy 2 (9/18)
6. Slashers 2 (16/22)
7. Walkers 0 (24/33)
January 30th Results
Slashers 7 Walkers 6
Eagles 6 Knights 3
Colonials 9 Mayhem 3
Slashers 7 Walkers 6
We had our closest game of the season between the Walkers and Slashers (better known to the Walkers as Mayhem 2.0) last night. The Walkers continue to get better by the week as they led by 2 goals on multiple occasions last night, including 6-4 in the 3rd period, but were not able to extend the lead or hang on at the end. Neither team had a win going into the game but both played well last night. Brice Miller put the Walkers up 2-0 late in the first period before Jeff Wehner answered for the Slashers to pull them to within a goal going into the 2nd period. Mark Chesley put the Walkers up 3-1 in the 2nd period before the Slashers answered again on a nice pass from Anthony Schuckers to Andrew Britton. Britton would score another big goal later in the game for the Slashers. Later in the 2nd period, a crazy sequence of events unfolded when Jeff Wehner had a 1 on 0 breakaway opportunity. He even faked out Walkers goalie Tony Dodd, but Dodd somehow made the save whenever Wehner put up a good shot against him. All Jeff Wehner could do was tip his cap to Dodd, but as he was doing so, a Walkers pass (not sure who passed it) made it to Laken Dodd on the other side of the court and she got one by Derrian Matchock (goalying for the Slashers last night) to put the Walkers up 4-2. Anthony Schuckers would soon make it 4-3 but the Walkers answered again when Brice Miller scored to put them up 5-3 in the 3rd period. Josh Clontz was playing in place of Zach Smith last night and contributed a goal to close the Slashers to within a goal once again but Jason Stamler answered soon after to put the Walkers up 6-4 about 5 minutes into the 3rd period. The Slashers were finally able to tie the game when Corey Bassett put one by Tony Dodd to tie the game up at 6. Bassett had missed out on some good opportunities earlier in the game but finally capitalized on a good opportunity. The Walkers called a time out to slow the momentum down but the Slashers soon scored again to go up 7-6 (Anthony Schuckers). The Walkers had some opportunities to tie the game but were unable to do so. The two teams will play again next week at 720. Jake DeBerti was missing for the Walkers. The Slashers were without Vinnie Deloia and Zach Smith.
Eagles 6 Knights 3
Following convincing wins for the Knights over the Slap Happy and Colonials, some players and teams around the league may have thought the rest of the league was playing for 2nd place, but the Eagles played a near flawless game last night in a battle of 2 unbeaten teams. They got a morale boost when Cody Schuckers was able to make the game. He contributed 3 goals including a goal in the first period to put the Eagles up 2-0. Zach Foradori got the scoring started early when he beat Clint after gaining a little separation from a Knights defender. The game remained 2-0 for a while into the 2nd period before the Knights scored twice to tie the game at 2. Andy Calvert intercepted a pass in the Eagles zone and was able to get one by Henry Sutter to make it 2-1. Despite that goal, Henry Sutter is continuing to play stellar for his new team. Brandon Reiter had a goal later in the 2nd period as well but the Eagles answered when Cody scored another goal and Eric Llewellyn scored late in the 2nd period to put the Eagles up 4-2 going into the 3rd period. Alex Waddell and Cody Schuckers would go on to score big goals in the 3rd period to give the Eagles a little bit of a cushion. While not mentioned enough, Henry Sutter played a big role in the Eagles win last night and has been a big part of their 4-0 start. Following the game, Austin Boyd simply said that everyone on the Eagles team is playing their role really well right now. The Eagles are now 4-0 and will play against the Colonials at 820 next week. The Knights will be off next week before having another game with the Colonials on February 13th. The Eagles and Knights will have a rematch on February 20th. Both teams had their full squad there last night.
Colonials 9 Mayhem 3
The Colonials improved to 2 and 1 on the season with a 9-3 win over the Mayhem. The final score may be a little misleading. Derrian Matchock and the Mayhem hung tough for 2 periods, but 4 colonial goals in a 4 minute span early in the 3rd period put the game out of reach. The Colonials went up early on some nice passing from the Andersons to Phil Mace. Bob Anderson would later score on a breakaway backhanded goal to put the Colonials up 2-0 but they would go over 20 mintues without scoring again. Brenden Chesley had a couple real nice slap shots in the game including one to pull the Mayhem to within a goal at 2-1. It would remain 2-1 for a while before Kevin Smith finally got a shot by Derrian Matchock late in the 2nd period to make it 3-1. Derrian Matchock made several good saves in the game but may have run out of energy as the game went on (he also played for the Slashers in a game before this one). Kevin Smith led the way in the 3rd period outburst to help the Colonials gain a comfortable margin. Phil Mace had 3 goals for the Colonials while Brenden Chesley had 2 for the Mayhem. Tyler Stitt (might have been Brian Pangallo) had a goal to pull the Mayhem to within 4 at 7-3 in the 3rd period but the Colonials would later add a couple insurance goals to improve to 2 and 1 on the season. They will face the undefeated Eagles next week at 820. Their leading scorer, Kevin Smith, said he will not be there next week. The Mayhem will look to bounce back against the Slap Happy. Trent Bembenic was not in the lineup last night. John Matchock was in the lineup for the Colonials after having to miss a couple games. While not scoring any goals against his son last night, John Matchock had some good news to reveal in his interview. See question #5 in particular.
John Matchock (Colonials)
1. You made your debut tonight. What can you say about the overall team effort ? I thought we played well. We didn’t get the results on the scoreboard at first but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Mayhem played well in front of Derrian.
2. You haven’t had a chance to play as much as you would like. Have you missed it or have you kind of enjoyed the break (considering we play year round ). You have no idea. I miss playing hockey. Playing and seeing everyone. It was nice to see a lot of faces tonight. You have no idea.
3. What kind of expectations do you have for the rest of the season? Personally, just keep playing. Little rusty today. Team wise, keep playing hard.
4. Derrian has been getting a lot of shots his way. How do you think he did tonight considering it was his 2nd game? He played really well. He made saves that I thought were going in. He must have got that from his dad.
5. You will soon be a Grandfather. Does that make you feel good or bad? Thanks Brian. Lol. Makes me feel old but excited. Happy for Derrian and Kelsey. Better be a boy. Lol. Alot of penguins gear will be purchased.
Jason Stamler (Walkers)
1. 7 to 6 loss tonight. What can you say about the overall team effort? The whole team played great.
2. You guys were ahead the whole game until the end. What do you think went wrong in the 3rd period? We lost our composure after a goal was called a goal that wasnt one.
3. Do you like playing in these kind of good competitive games ? Yes those kind of games are fun
4. What positives can you take out of these first 4 games? We have to keep playing the way we are playing. We will eventually win.
5. You get to play them next week. Are you expecting a similar kind of game? Yes next week will be the same.
Zach Foradori (Eagles)
1. 6-3 win over the Knights last night. What can you say about the overall team effort in the win? We played great, I had a couple mistakes here and there like most people have. But everyone else was solid all night.
2. You set the tone with the first goal of the game. Are you happy with how you are fitting in with this team right now? Love it. Having so many defensive minded players on the team makes it easy for someone like me who isn’t a great defender so that I can do my assignment and kind of “roam” up court looking for opportunities. Little snipe here little snipe there and I’m set
3. What can you say about Henry Sutter’s play so far? Best goalie in the league right now, no doubt about it. Until someone proves they’re better he’s got it locked up. There’s no telling where we would be without his play.
4. You guys held the Knights to 3 goals. Were you surprised at all? Not at all. We had a game plan and stuck to it throughout. Like I said, no one is perfect but we did phenomenal executing. I do have to say the Knights cheerleading section made it very very difficult on us. We almost broke under the pressure.
5. You went from not playing this season to playing on a sponsored team with fancy shirts. And 4-0 with your best friend Larry K to start out the season. Have you thought of going out to buy a lottery ticket anytime soon? I’m just in it for the jerseys. Fly Larry Fly! Fly like an Eagle!!
Cody Schuckers (Eagles)
1. 6-3 win over the Knights last night. What can you say about the overall team effort in the win? Very happy with everyone’s effort each player showed up and contributed. Everybody is buying in and wanting to win together as a team and I think that’s why we’re having success. We have all the right pieces and we’re fitting them together extremely well and winning games as a team is the result.
2. You probably haven't been on the same team as Boyd, Henry or Zach before. How do you think they have fit in with this team so far? Probably can’t say enough about the new additions. I’ve played against Boyd since we were 15 in Brockway always on the opposing team and one of hardest guys to play against in my opinion. To me he does a lot of the little things right in both ends which obviously makes you dangerous but I think his special skill is he never gives up on plays. So yeah very happy to finally have him in the same jersey and build some chemistry. Henry Sutter is the best goalie in the league. Simple as that call it my opinion call it whatever you want that kid is amazing in net. I’ve had the pleasure of playing with great goalies throughout my years and I’m getting to play with the one who is doing it the best right now. And finally Zach Foradori is a stud, quite possibly one of the best wrist shots in the league. I remember when he first started here he showed potential and has exceeded expectations and he’s continuing to get better. So yea all great additions to any team but luckily for us we got them and we’re just gonna keep getting better as a team.
3. They tied the game at 2 in the 2nd period but then you guys scored 4 of the next 5 goals. What do you think made the difference for you guys? I think we just kept at our game. Ya know we’re all buying in to a true team first mentality and it shows. When you’re utilizing all four of your players it’s difficult to defend even for the best defensive teams. And again my opinion my interview I believe we have the best defense in the league. Being able to stifle their fast breaks and go the other way and control the play how we want that’s gonna lead to goals.
4. What kind of chance were you guys giving yourself going into the game considering how solid the Knights roster is? I knew it was gonna be a tough game they’re a good team got some of the best players in the league out there. But the confidence we have in each other on the Eagles makes us just as good if not better than any other team.
5. Colonials next week. Rumor has that you wont be there and Kevin wont be there for the Colonials. What kind of game do you expect regardless of who is there? Again it’ll be a tough game just like against the knights. Everyone knows it’s no secret any team Bob Anderson is on has a chance to win period. Something I’ve always admired and respected about the Colonial team is even when they may not have the best rosters on paper they compete every year.
Josh Clontz (Slashers)
1. You got a taste of xhl action tonight. What can you say about the overall team effort? Team effort was great.
2. You guys were down the whole game until the last 6 minutes. What do you think you guys did better in the 3rd period? I think a big thing was that we controlled the play better by slowing things down a bit. Another key was Derrian got his angles dialed in and made some good saves for us.
3. This is a team consisting of guys who were looking to play in the league but didn’t have a team to play on. How do you think everyone did considering the lack of practice with one another? Everyone did a great job. It took us some time to all get on the same page, but everyone was patient, and it all came together.
4. What was your impression of the walkers tonight? They get better every season. They have some veterans and a lot of young talent. I hope they continue to progress.
5. You will get a rematch next week. Do you expect a similar kind of game? I hope so!!! I like close games.