Regular Season Standings after February 6th Games: Points for and Points Against in parenthesis.
1. Eagles 8 (29/17)
2. Knights 6 (30/18)
3. Colonials 6 (24/17)
4. Slap Happy 4 (16/21)
5. Mayhem 4 (30/38)
6. Walkers 2 (33/40)
7. Slashers 2 (23/31)
February 6th Results
Slap Happy 7 Mayhem 3
Walkers 9 Slashers 7
Colonials 5 Eagles 1
Slap Happy 7 Mayhem 3
Slap Happy got back on track with a 7-3 win over the Mayhem last night following a bye last week and an 8-1 loss to the Eagles the week before. The Mayhem only found themselves down 2-1 late in the 2nd period to the Colonials last week only to give up 5 goals in a 4 minute span to end the 2nd period and start the 3rd period. This game, they were only down 2-1 late in the first period before a tough luck bounce put them down 3-1 going into the 2nd period. Slap Happy scored 4 times in the 2nd period to go up 7-2 after 2 periods. Joe Bussard and Derik Day led the way offensively for the Slap Happy. Brenden Chesley scored his 3rd goal of the night in the 3rd period but they were unable to inch closer. Trent Bembenic and Jeremy Sawey were each present last night for the Mayhem after not being present last week. Nate May was not present for the Slap Happy last night. Brian Pangallo was not present for the Mayhem last night. The Mayhem are now 2 and 3 on the season and will look to even its record against the Slashers (also known as Mayhem 2.0). Slap Happy are now 2 and 2 on the season and will play the Walkers in the final game next Monday.
Walkers 9 Slashers 7
In a phone conversation with Josh Clontz following a Slashers 7-6 win over the Walkers last week, he talked about how impressed he was with the Walkers. He said two or three of their players could be 2nd round picks in a draft league, how good of a player Mark Chesley is going to be as he gets more experience and how good of leadership they have with Steve Hetrick both on and off the court. He also mentioned how valuable Jason Stamler still is to a team and how Brice Miller could have easily been snagged by a championship caliber team before the season started. Following 3 losses that could have easily gone their way, they were finally able to reach the win column last night. Unlike last week when they led most of the way, they found themselves down 3-1 in the first period last night. The Walkers were not able to increase their 2 goal leads last week and the Slashers were not able to increase their 2 goal lead last night. Laken Dodd scored the first goal of the game but the Slashers scored 3 unanswered goals. Vinnie Deloia scored the first goal for the Slashers. Him and Anthony Schuckers led the way offensively for the Slashers last night. The Walkers scored twice to end the first period including one that slowly rolled its way past John Matchock as he got caught away from the net (he was playing goalie for the Slashers last night). Mark Chesley added a couple big goals for the Walkers last night along with Jake Deberti and Brice Miller. The Walkers were up 6-5 late in the 2nd period before Anthony Schuckers scored late to tie the game up at 6 going into the 3rd period. Brice Miller led the way in the 3rd period to help the Walkers go up 9-6 at one point before the Slashers scored late to get within 2. They had some chances to get closer but Tony Dodd was able to make some good saves late to preserve the Walkers first win of the season last night. The Slashers will begin a new rivalry with the Mayhem for the next 2 weeks. They split into 2 separate teams before the season started due to increased amount of interest from people who wanted to play in the XHL this season. We will see how well the two divided their players when they go up against one another. The Walkers will see if they can keep their momentum going when they go up against the Slap Happy next week.
Colonials 5 Eagles 1
There are no longer any winless teams or unbeaten teams in the XHL following the Colonials 5-1 win over the Eagles last night. The Eagles controlled possession for the majority of this game, but the Colonials were able to get some stellar goal tending from Tim Herman and were able to block a lot of Eagles pass and shot attempts. Bob Anderson set Brian Anderson up for both Colonial goals in the first period. Midway thru the 2nd period, Eric Llewellyn slipped as Bob Anderson made a pass to Phil Mace. From there, Mace made a nice fake on Eagles goalie Henry Sutter to put the Colonials up 3-0. The Eagles had their share of chances to get back in it following a time out, but Tim Herman made sure that didn’t happen. Zach Foradori somehow got a shot past multiple Colonial defenders to begin the 3rd period, but that would end up being the only goal the Eagles would score. Bob Anderson scored 2 insurance goals later in the 3rd period for the Colonials including a nice shot on a 2 on 1 break. They are now 3 and 1 on the season. They were playing without Kevin Smith last night but he will be back for their game against the Knights next week. The Eagles dropped to 4 and 1 as they were playing without Cody Schuckers last night. They will be off next week. The Knights will be waiting for them in 2 weeks.
Alex Waddell (Eagles)
1. 5-1 loss to the Colonials last night. What can you say about the overall team effort? We didn’t do a very good job executing especially in the first period. Got a little better half way through but it was too late.
2. No Kevin for them, no Cody for you guys. What kind of game were you expecting going into it? Both of them are able to take over a game so it probably evened out with them both missing. It’s always a tough game against the Colonials but I’m glad I didn’t have to get in the way of any Kevin shots last night.
3. What positives can you take from the game? Henry did his part and gave us a chance. He continues to show why he’s one of the best. He’s always aware of the play and ready for the shot at any time. It’s reassuring to have him back there but even as spectacular as he is there’s only so much a goalie can do.
4. Only one goal despite a lot of possession time. What do you think went wrong offensively? We haven’t been able to score on them even going back to the finals in brockway. They did a good job of blocking a lot of passes across the middle and getting odd man rushes on the turnovers. We need to make some adjustments to our play next time we face them.
5. No Cody for you guys. What does his presence do for your team? We have a lot of guys on our team that can quarterback but Cody might be the best. He has a great vision of the game and can walk right in and score at any time. The results might have been different if he would have been able to make it but we need to and I think we are capable of winning without him. He definitely makes it a lot easier though as long as we have him in the playoffs when the games matter the most.
Brice Miller (Walkers)
1. You guys picked up your first win last night. What can you say about the overall team effort? That was one of our best efforts especially in the third to keep them out of our net.
2. You have been in every game but came away with losses. How nice was it to finally come away with a win after all the close losses? Yeah it definitely felt good after some tough losses. I think we all felt we beat that team last week so coming away with this one felt good.
3. You guys outscored them 3-1 in the 3rd period. Did you do anything different in that period or did it just come to you? . I think the group simply wanted it more. We moved the ball much better and got a bounce to get it started. I think I had to knock the ball out of the air twice to get the first goal over to Mark. Once we got ahead we stayed there and kept them away from our net.
4. You guys are obviously a different team than last season. Has it been more fun playing this season compared to last season? Yeah definitely. Games have been closer and that helps. It’s a young group that has to find a way to play together rather than play for ourselves. We did that last night. The first period was the best ball possession and team game we’ve had so far.
5. Whats your super bowl prediction? Eagles 37-34
Brian Anderson (Colonials)
1.No Kevin or Cody tonight. What were your expectations coming into the game and how did their absences change the game? I definitely was not expecting to win but we may have caught them at the right time considering how well they played against the knights last week. They couldn’t have played much better and maybe they left some of that on the floor last week. Both Kevin and Cody are big difference makers. I feel like the Eagles have a better supporting cast than we do. We had to play a more conservative game last night and try to capitalize on turnovers. We got some really good goal tending last night. That was our only realistic chance to win. Hopefully both those guys will be present next time we go up against one another.
2. You were able to score two big goals in the first period to give the Colonials a lead for the rest of the game. What did you see on those plays and do you think scoring first was important tonight? I was able to get a little separation. They were chasing Bob around and I just happened to get a slight opening on both shots. I couldn’t repeat the first shot if I tried 100 more times. It hit the right corner of the net perfectly. As good as Henry has been, there is no way he could have saved that lucky shot. We definitely couldn’t afford to get behind. Our only hope was to get a few goals early and to play solid defense from there.
3. The Eagles beat the Knights pretty handily last week but the Knights beat you guys convincingly earlier this season. Do you feel like there is a favorite at this point in the season or do you think it could go anybody’s way? With Cody, I still think the eagles have a slight edge over the rest of the teams. They are solid all around and have a top caliber goalie in net. I will be anxious to see how it all plays out. I must say that I feel much better about our team after last night. I thought we were pretty sloppy in the first 3 games.
4. Phil hasn’t played for a while. How do you see his game so far and how has he fit in with the Colonials? He is in really good shape for his old age. He keeps himself active even when he isn’t playing hockey. I am sure he will disappear before the season is over. He has always been a good fit on our team. He knows where to go on offense and I think he is an underrated defender. He played great defense for us tonight.
5. We all know you are great at predicting sports outcomes; especially when it comes to the Pirates. Who do you see winning the Super Bowl Sunday? What will be the final score? I think this is the Eagles year for both the XHL and NFL. They have looked awfully good. Even when they play bad, they still have a chance to win. I am going to say 27 to 20. They have a great pass rush too. Hopefully they can get Mahomes out of rhythm
1. 7-3 loss to the slap happy last night. What can you say about the overall team effort last night? It was a great effort all around. Everyone hustled, our positioning was good, we’re communicating better, and our goaltending was solid again. We hung in there with a pretty good team and we lit the lamp first. You won’t hear me complain.
2. You had most of your guys there last night (which has been kind of rare). How do you think the overall team chemistry looked? It’s getting better every week, and it’s only going to keep getting better! I watch these young kids grow every week and like what I see. Walt and Brendan are starting to assume leadership roles on the team which is great to see too.
3. You guys had a bad 2nd period this week and a bad 3rd period last week. What do you think went wrong in the 2nd period last night? We were playing a tough team but even they have to admit they got a couple luck bounces, haha. We just didn’t maintain possession in the second which meant we didn’t get chances and they did. Brendan, Trent and Ty-Squared had a monster shift in the 3rd which got our momentum going again.
4. What positives can you take out of the game? We probably covered most of that in 1&2, haha. The chemistry is getting better and the boys are gaining more confidence. Every week we have something to build off of and I really liked what I saw with the defensive play last night. They didn’t get open easily, we had sticks and bodies in lanes, and we didn’t didn’t give up many from the slot, and that’s where those guys thrive.
5. You will play Mayhem 2.0 next week. What kind of game are you expecting? It’s gonna be tough. Not just because I’m used to playing with most of those guys, but they’re hungry and I expect it to be a grind.