Author: Kevin Colelli

Grew up in upstate NY, went to college in Boston. I cover professional women's hockey (CWHL and NWHL) for SB Nation. Sometimes I play goalie

2/19 Feature Game Recap

Bluega Whales v. GryffinDucks

The feature game last Sunday at Hartmeyer was the first real test of the first-place GryffinDucks. The team in maroon was without the league’s leading scorer, Chuck, who has 15 of the team’s 26 goals on the season. The Bluega Whale’s high-powered offense and solid defense was bolstered by the addition of Katy, the Flamer’s goalie, in net. If there was ever a matchup in which the league’s top team could look like an underdog, it was this one.

The opening minutes of the game tried to erase any doubt of maroon’s dominance. A few quality chances for the GryffinDucks had the Bluega Whales on their heels, unable to even exit their defensive zone until two minutes into the game.

That first zone exit would prove to be killer though. With the GryffinDucks caught in a delayed offside, Streicher was able to carry the puck all the way down the boards into the attacking zone. He attempted to pass to Ashleigh waiting in the low slot, but the pass was deflected into Ryan. Streicher picked up the rebound and maneuvered around the back of the net, just beating Ryan to the far post for a wraparound goal.

After the goal, the Bluega Whales stole the momentum. Scoring chances evened out over the rest of the first period. Ryan became a lot more athletic in goal and began trying to set up breakouts for the GryffinDucks. A failed breakout attempt though would lead to a second goal for the Bluega Whales. After Sebastian tried to wrap the puck around the boards from behind the net, Streicher activated from the point and again tried to center a pass. After a few bounces, the puck found its way back to Streicher, who lifted it over Ryan’s pads for his second of the game. The Bluega Whales entered the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.

The second period started strong for the GryffinDucks, but Katy proved to be up to the task. After a scary spell of zone time where Ryan had lost his stick, Anton and Libs created an excellent 2-on-1. Katy tracked it the whole way and was able to easily block the resulting shot. Shortly after, Dan generated a breakaway chance by catching the Bluega Whale defense standing still. Once again, Katy was there with a pad save to keep maroon off the board. Libs would get one more quality chance before the period was up, taking an offspeed shot from the low slot. Katy was able to get a piece of it with her pad and it trickled onto the line but not over. Against all odds, the second period ended scoreless.

The third period would be all Bluega Whales. Despite the best efforts of the GryffinDucks defense, Ryan would be tested multiple times by high danger shots. Eventually the Bluega Whales got one more on the board, thanks to a beutiful play by Ashleigh. She took a hard shot from the top of the right circle, and Ryan was unable to control the rebound. He attempted to stick the puck towards the boards, but Ashleigh was crashing the net and it bounced off her shin pad. She picked it up behind the net and ricocheted it off Ryan’s skate as he was retreating into the net. An unusual goal, but a goal nonetheless.

When the dust (snow?) settled, the Bluega Whales had stunned the GryffinDucks and earned a 3-0 victory, scoring as many goals on Ryan as he had allowed in the entire rest of the season. Katy recorded the first shutout against the GryffinDucks, stopping all 20 shots put against her. With their second loss, Ryan’s first, the GryffinDucks fell out of first place in the league, though still maintain the top spot in the East Conference. With the win, the Bluega Whales move into third in the West Conference, as they hope to use their last three games to edge out the Greyt White Sharks or Green Gays and Ham, who are currently tied for first.

Looking Ahead: Golden Skate Warriors v. Lean Mean Pink Machines

Ashleigh will look to bring her success back to the Golden Skate Warriors, who are within striking distance of third place in the East Conference. The Lean Mean Pink Machines will be hungry for their first win of the season, especially after the incredible game they played last week against the (now) first-place Green Gays and Ham. The last time these two teams met, the Golden Skate Warriors easily claimed a 6-0 victory. Don’t expect that to be the case this time around. Keep an eye on the Lean Mean Pink Machines to play spoiler and showcase just how far a team can come in a few short months. Celebrate your favorite team winning (or eat your feelings after a loss) at Shamrock, our social sponsor for the evening. See you on Sunday!

 

1/29 Feature Game Recap

The New Black v. The Greyt White Sharks

(Watch the full game here)

Teams are really coming together at this point in the season and shoring up lines and pairings, but the subs really shined in this match-up between The Greyt White Sharks and The New Black.

The Greyt White Sharks took a page out of The New Black’s playbook and went for an early attack right off the opening faceoff. Miranda surprised Rob by winning the draw directly back to Amanda Forbes, who started a couple feet in front of her defensive blue line. Amanda streaked past Rob and The New Black defense and centered a pass to Miranda who was waiting at the back door. A timely stick lift from Kelli, who was on loan to The New Black from the Unforgivables, stopped Grey from breaking open the scoring.

You can see in this play how much The Greyt White Sharks have come together as a team over this season. Miranda wins the faceoff back to Amanda, who seemed to be planning to skate it forward (given her aggressive starting position). Nancy on right wing sees this and immediately falls back to cover Amanda’s open defensive spot. When Amanda enters the attacking zone, you can see Allison on the left wing look back to make sure k8 is covering left defense (instead of shifting over to cover right defense), giving her the all clear to continue deep into the zone behind Amanda. Rather than splitting the defense, Amanda pulls to the left, giving Miranda an opportunity to get to the back door. Luckily for The New Black, Kelli wasn’t pulled out of position and was able to notice Miranda sneaking in and lift her stick before she could receive the pass. This was an excellent offensive play and would’ve been a sure goal without someone as experienced as Kelli on defense.

And yes, this was all just the first 11 seconds of the game.

Kelli was not the only sub to impress for The New Black. Patrick, also subbing from The Unforgivables, went coast to coast to open the scoring and give The New Black a 1-0 lead. Coming off an icing call, John won the defensive zone draw and the puck made its way to Patrick in the slot. He used a bit a speed to get through the neutral zone and around one defender, taking a shot that just went a bit wide. His shot was hard enough though that it rebounded off the end boards. The Greyt White Shark defense was caught watching the puck, and Patrick was able to use his forward momentum to get to the puck and put the odd-angle shot past Kit, who was still coming across the crease.

The New Black looked to take that lead into the first intermission, but Greg would dash that dream with 29 seconds to go. Greg picked up the puck in the defensive zone and began to skate it along the boards. Patrick tried to step in to challenge, but Greg sped around him, leaving only Drew to contend with. Drew wasn’t able to force Greg far enough out of the center, and Greg’s shot ricocheted off of Andrew’s shoulder and in to tie the game at 1.

The second period would prove to be largely uneventful. The New Black’s defense was able to lock down and deny The Greyt White Sharks on some prime scoring chances. The increased focus on defense left them wanting for quality chances of their own, though.

Just 30 seconds into the third period, Greg would strike again. Jim did an excellent job to clear the zone and push the puck forward. Patrick corralled the puck just inside The New Black’s defensive zone, but his cross-ice-pass was read perfectly and picked off by Greg, who found himself all alone squaring off against Andrew. He made no mistake with his shot, and gave The Greyt White Sharks the lead 2-1.

Try as they might, The New Black was not able to get past the Grey defense. Patrick had the best chance to tie the game, but Kit was up to the task and made a fantastic blocker save off the shot from the right circle. Even with the goalie pulled, The New Black was unable to generate any more offense, and The Greyt White Sharks took the game 2-1.

The player on the ice that impressed the most was Dex, who was subbing for The Greyt White Sharks from The Flamers. Despite having to suit up with his own team immediately after this game, Dex was giving everything he had on the ice, generating multiple quality scoring chances. This game was a perfect example of how teams have locked down their systems, but also of how subs can still have a tremendous impact.

Looking Ahead: House of Blues v. The Flamers

House of Blues is looking to remain in sole possession second place in the Eastern Conference, but The Flamers can get a share of that spot with a win. The teams last faced each other in mid-December, with House of Blues claiming a 3-1 victory. Expect this game to be a closer than the last. The Flamers have found their scoring groove in the last few games and are backstopped by Katy with a 0.914 save percentage. The scoring has been streaky for House of Blues, but the triumphant return of Simon, who had 13 goals last season, may be just the spark they needed. As if that wasn’t enough excitement, there will be Girl Scout cookies on sale from 5:30-7pm! Don’t forget to join us at Dexter’s Pub, our social sponsor for the week, before or after the game.

1/22 Feature Game Recap

Green Gays and Ham v. The Greyt White Sharks

(Watch the full game here)

Drama was the name of the game at Hartmeyer Arena on Sunday night, as the undefeated Green Gays and Ham squared off against a Greyt White Sharks team that had shutout its last two opponents.

The Greyt White Sharks won the opening draw, but after a failed zone entry it would be the Green Gays and Ham that earned the first bit of offensive pressure. The Grey defense did a good job of getting in the way of shots to keep Green from scoring early.

Grey would get a chance of their own off a center ice faceoff win. After a prolonged period of zone time, Green attempted to clear the puck down the center, but it was picked off by k8 who read the play beautifully. They skated into the high slot and attempted a quick shot before being taken out, but Greg picked up the puck and fired a hard shot at Mary. Not only was it a great save by Mary to keep the game scoreless, it was her 1000th save in the MGHA!

Kit would make some stellar saves of her own later in the period. Less than 20 seconds after Mary’s save, Kit managed to keep her skate on the post while Courtney and other Green Gays jammed at the puck in the crease. Somehow Kit was able to hold her ground, and the Grey defense cleared the puck behind the net.

Courtney would find the back of the net soon enough though. With just under six minutes left in the period, she broke away from the Grey defense and got Kit to commit the butterfly before tucking the puck in behind Kit’s right leg. Kit’s bad luck would continue less than a minute later, when Claire took a shot from the high circle that just squeaked past Kit’s left pad and in to double Green’s lead.

Grey would attempt to get on the board themselves, with some great chances from Amanda Forbes and k8, but neither we be able to solve Mary’s goaltending quite yet. The first period would end 2-0 Green, but the game was more evenly matched than the score let on.

Grey would come out in the second period looking to get back in the game. Amanda would continue her strong assault on the net, even collecting her own rebound for another shot, but Mary continued to hold strong. Despite their lack of luck on offense, Grey got a bit lucky on defense. Justin broke away and was poised for a quality scoring chance, but lost the puck off his stick before he could take a shot on Kit.

Grey finally got on the board with just under seven minutes to go in the period. Amanda passed down low, and the puck trickled behind Mary but not over the goal line. Greg was there to poke it home for the first Grey goal. The rest of the period would be all Grey. A pair of goals, one shorthanded, would put then in the lead for the first time in the game. It was a lead they would not relinquish.

A beauty of a goal from Amanda would extend the lead to 4-2 four minutes into the third period. Mary was down on the ice after making the initial save, and Amanda picked up the puck behind the net and lifted it to go bar down.

The goalies would really step up at this point. With Grey catching Green on a bad line change, Mary made an excellent pad save then leaped out of the crease to cover the puck and allow her team to reset. Kit made a few pad saves to preserve Grey’s lead, but Green would get one back after Claire capitalized on Amanda catching an edge.

The final two minutes were nail-biters. With Amanda catching another edge, this time it was Courtney who got a chance, but she shot high and wide. Mary would skate to the bench for the extra attacker, and Green almost tied it up, but an amazing block from k8 in the waning seconds clinched the win for the Greyt White Sharks. The win gave them a share of the league league, and the defeat of Green Gays and Ham leaves no more undefeated teams in the league. Stars of the game in my opinion are Claire for her two goals and k8 for their amazing defense.

Looking Ahead: The New Black v. The Greyt White Sharks

The last time these two teams met, the Greyt White Sharks skated away with a narrow 1-0 victory. Both teams have shown they are capable of high scoring games, so it seems that strong defense will prevail. This game could really go either way, but I’m giving the edge to the Greyt White Sharks after the incredible defensive showing from k8 and Amanda. The New Black may want to watch last week’s game and take notes. Join us on Sunday at Hartmeyer Arena at 7pm to catch the action. We will be joined by Community Sponsor GSAFE, and will celebrate the day at Shamrock, our Social Sponsor for the weekend.

    

Introduction and 1/15 Feature Game Recap

Hello fellow MGHAers and fans!

For those that don’t know me, I’m a first year player in the league. When I’m not playing hockey or working at my day job, I write about professional women’s hockey for SB Nation’s The Ice Garden. I’ve joined up with the league to write a weekly recap of the feature game, as well as promote some of the other cool events that make the MGHA so awesome.

If you have any feedback or suggestions about content you’d like to see, I’m all ears!

The Flamers v. The Lean Mean Pink Machines

If you didn’t have the privilege of catching the feature game last Sunday, you missed one of the most exciting MGHA games I’ve witnessed in my short time here. While some prefer to watch high-scoring “barn burner” games, my favorite hockey games are always the low-scoring “goalie battles”. And that is exactly what the Flamers and Lean Mean Pink Machines delivered.

The Flamers came out hot — pardon the pun — and forced Pink Machines’ goaltender, Leah, to make a glove save just 39 seconds into the game. The teams would trade chances throughout the first period, but both Leah and Flamers’ goalie Katy stood tall in their creases. Red looked as though they might break open the scoring with three minutes left in the period, but Leah made three consecutive saves from pointblank range to keep the game scoreless.

To start the second, the Flamers doubled-down on their strategy to pressure Leah early, forcing her to make another glove save, this time just 15 seconds into the period. The second period would mirror the first until the Flamers tallied a goal with under 7 minutes left. Austin walked into the zone, moved around the defender, and fired off a shot into the space he created, beating Leah blocker-side. Leah was not shaken though, and continued to make excellent saves, including a stick save on a point shot taken by Austin on the very next shift.

Not to be outdone, Katy shined in net for the Flamers in the third period. She came up with several big saves, including a truly unbelievable glove save on Jen Voichick to preserve the shutout in the dying minutes of the game.

With the score still at 1-0, the Pink Machines would pull Leah from the net to get the extra attacker. Katy was again challenged, and the Flamers were forced to ice the puck twice, but they managed to hold on to squeak out the victory.

Stars of this game without a doubt have to go to Leah and Katy. Both goalies kept their team in the game and dazzled with some sharp flashes of the glove.

Looking Ahead: Green Gays and Ham v. The Greyt White Sharks

In next week’s feature game, Green Gays and Ham (3-0-3) are looking to stay undefeated. The Greyt white Sharks pose a great chance of spoiling this dream. Captain Greg already has eight points on the season (5g,3a) and Kit is holding down a 0.91 save percentage between the pipes. Be sure to join us on Sunday at 7pm in Hartmeyer Ice Arena to see how it plays out!