From a Tuesday Low to a Saturday Night High!
Puckers lost their first LHL game of the season last Tuesday to Tornado Luxembourg by a score of 9-1. This defeat brought the Puckers team back to reality that in Luxembourg the younger, faster, and fresh with loaded new recruits Tornado team is the #1 team in the country. The Puckers tried playing a tight defensive game, but Tornado found ways to get quality shots off from the slot by scoring at least 6 of their goals from the slot. Vesa Hirvonen, the Finnish player who is well known by the Puckers and even trained with them in Metz over the summer, was playing wing (normally he is a defenseman) and ended up being a Puckers Killer with his 3 goals and 3 assists.
Tornado stacked up during the off-season with their new recruits (2 Americans, 1 Canadian, 1 Latvian, and an ex-KHLer). A whole new team full of speed and high hockey IQ, and octane fire power. This has risen the tide of all the players who remained with Tornado and the Youngsters joining the team from the Huskies organization. The only thing the Puckers can endeavor to do this season against Tornado is to keep the game tight defensively and achieve a respectable score differential in the next match. 9-1 was not what the Puckers had in mind and will need to devise a gameplan and training regimen to do better next time. Austris Ulass got the lone Puckers goal of the game to break the shutout and Patrik Hedberg (former Tornado player) got the Puckers Hard Hat for his stingy defense as he and Olli Kankare were the defensive pair that only gave up 1 goal out of the 9 Tornado scored in the match.
For pictures of the match (thanks to Tom Krause), go to the following link:
On Saturday night, the Puckers took on the Grand Ducs as part of the first of 3 official Puckers Nation Derby matches (1 Trophée Federal and 2 LHL matches). Saturday's match was a Trophée Federal battle and the Puckers were looking to redeem themselves against the new Lux Senior team who were coming off a big win of their own (8-4 victory over Beaufort Knights) . The Puckers came out buzzing taking a commanding 4-1 lead after the first period off of goals by:
1) Sean O'Driscoll (assisted by Aubin and Lutov)
2) Philip Dahlgren (unassisted)
3) Nick Aubin (assisted by O'Driscoll)
4) Travis Dominski (unassisted)
The Puckers started the second period with complete dominance and game taking a 6-1 lead halfway through the period with goals from:
5) Cam Knowlett (assisted by Mekhaeel and Dahlgren)
6) Torge Schwandt (assisted by Leduc)
The game was slowed down with an errant penalty call by the officials who called two minutes for batting a puck down with a highstick and where the stick did not hit any other opponent. The Puckers lost a bit of focus and ended up playing the last six minutes of the period shorthanded.
The third period was won by the Grand Ducs 1-0, but again (as was the case in the first and second periods) the puck possession and shots were clearly in favor of Puckers who all in all never felt threatened by the Grand Ducs to forge any sort of come-back. Both teams ended up with 10 penalty minutes each so no malus given. There was an awkward moment in the third period where a goal scored by Nick Aubin in the slot was nullified due to a high stick that nobody saw, but then again people are anxiously awaiting the video footage of the match from Luxembourg Hockey Video Master Liam McEvoy. Link will be provided in the comments once available. In the meantime, here is a link to the pictures of the match (thanks to Jussi Mattila):
The Puckers had 6 different goal scorers and Boshua on defense, who was recipient of the Puckers Hard Hat, to help propel the Puckers' winning streak to six games and continued possession of first place in the Trophée Federal North East Division.
Puckers next games will be as follows:
LHL game: Friday, December 8th at Beaufort Knights
Trophée Federal game: Sunday, December 10th at Mulhouse