The Knights faced the Perinton Blades at Paul Louis Arena last Sunday. The game was a roller-coaster of a game, where the Knights seemed to be in for a long day, with the Blades slipping two goals past Ian Campbell in the first four minutes.
“I was having a lot of trouble positioning myself in those first minutes,” Campbell said. “It’s tough to judge you’re positioning with the way their boards are, and I was just very uncomfortable in the beginning.”
The Knights responded and rebounded, getting a nice rebound goal from Kody Laird. Someone else scored, too. 🙂 The Blades, though, came back with a lot of intense offensive pressure, and where able to skate the puck low, and get it out in front for an unstoppable shot.
“I should have had the man in front of the net,” Noah van Stralen admits. “But, actually I did have him, he just outmuscled me. I was blocking his stick, and he just fought through to get off the one timer.”
Only down one, with a last minute power-play that was carrying into the second period, the Knights focussed on what they were doing wrong on defense, and a couple things to tweak on offense, and they looked to execute the little things and eventually tie the game during the power-play.
Unfortunately a defensive mishap gave the other team a two-on-one, that they capitalized on, short-handed, with a one-timer.
“Don’t ask me about that one,” Campbell warned interviewers. “I don’t want to talk about that one.”
The knights were rattled, and just tried to fend off the more intense Perinton team. The second period was filled with penalty calls, and each team alternated power-plays, with the knights giving up three more goals, but Gavin Furhmann burying another rebound goal.
Going into the third, the knights were just saying stay with it, the other team had signs of giving up late in the second, and fifteen minutes is long enough to get four goals. Then the Blades blew past the Knights for the first few minutes. The Knights held on for dear life as the Blades skated circles around them. For about three minutes the action barely left the Knights end, and then Jeremy Trillaud was OBVIOUSLY tripped in the goal crease, and the Blades, not being called for the OBVIOUS tripping, snuck one past.
“I’m not talking about that one either,” Campbell stated. “This whole game made me mad, but that goal was the absolute worst. It was difficult to restrain from yelling in at the refs. Hardest job in the world and all, sure, fine, whatever, but call it how it is!”
The Blades let up significantly, and started playing a much more defensive strategy. The knights capitalized twice. Petermichael Karekos had a beautiful goal. Karekos walked in and skated the defenseman away out of the shooting lane, moved outside, and shot far corner, an incredible snipe.
“It was Ovechkin-esque,” says Campbell.
Within two at the end of the game, the Knights pulled their goalie, and had at least thirty great opportunity’s to score. The Blades goalie was in a zone stopping all of the late chances.
As the game wore on, the tension between the teams was building, and it was fueled by taunts directed at the Knights bench from the Blades players. It culminated in an after game scuffle, that was broken up, and sorted out. There were no penalties awarded, but Pete Karekos flipped the puck to the net as the Blades goalie was getting his water bottle, and the refs gave him a misconduct. Fortunately, he wasn’t suspended for any following games.
“Overall,” asst. Coach Phil Priolo said. “I thought we had a pretty good game. We had a lot of blown defensive assignments: two D in the corner, and the net was wide open, or not getting goal-side of the offensive player, but other than that, we really stayed with them. We just couldn’t grab the win.”
“It was those two goals in the beginning,” Campbell says. “Like I said, I was just uncomfortable, and it showed on the scoreboard.” Campbell was asked if he thought his team could be happy about the way the capitalized offensively. “There are no ‘moral victories’, if that’s what you’re trying to say, so we can be happy about whatever we want, but it’s not going to change the score on the board: 7-5. Which is what matters at the end of the day.”
I couldn’t have said it any better myself.