A defensive struggle was the theme of period one as both teams were up and down the ice in a hurry. The Blues and the K-Wings each had eleven shots on goal, but the Blues looked like the better defensive team during the first with more face-offs taken. No penalties were called during the first stanza as the teams played the first to a draw.
Things heated up during the second period as Stew Bell put a big hit on Danny Hamburg on the near side boards and was called for the first penalty of the game. A major penalty was called on Bell and a game ejection sent him to an early shower at 11:41 of the period. The Blues got on the board at the 2:12 mark with a rebound of a Chris Sitler shot by Josef Pontach and that made the score 1 – 0 Jr. Blues. Approximately two and one half minutes later Pontasch scored again on an assist by Kyle Cook to make the score 2 – 0 just five minutes into the second stanza. Kalamazoo scored on a Leone goal to get back within one goal at 8:13. Appleyard was called for holding for the only K-Wing penalty of the game through two periods. Neither team was able to convert on their respective Power Play opportunities. The defense was solid again for the Good Guys as we headed for the third period.
The K-Wings tied the score with a goal at 14:45 of the third period and both teams fought hard throughout the final stanza. The K-Wings got a two on one break away at the 19:17 mark and scored 5-hole on Gabe Antoni to give the Wings their first lead of the game. The Blues called a time out with 43 seconds left to regroup. Two faceoffs and poor puck control when they really needed it left the Blues on the short side of the 3 – 2 score. The loss was only the fourth since the first of the year. The same two teams play again tomorrow afternoon.
Next week the Blues return to the Nelson Center for three games against Janesville so let’s pack the old barn and cheer these guys to victory.
Game time tomorrow is 2:00 pm again, and don’t forget to spring forward with the clocks before you turn in tonight. Daylight Savings Time starts tomorrow!