|A week of highs and lows is the best way to describe our last four games.|
We start at home against a very good Portland team and flat out play one of our worst games of the year. It's disappointing to continue to see the lack of energy and passion in our own arena, especially to start the game. Portland takes advantage of our lethargic play and takes it to us pretty good. If it weren't for the stellar play of our young goalie, Karri Ramo, the 4-0 final could easily have been worse.
Our fortunes remained the same the next night at home versus Manchester. We started with our forwards flying, working hard and getting some great scoring opportunities. Unfortunately we do not score and our defense let us down with four very sloppy plays that end up in our net. We outshoot the Monarchs 15-9 and are down 4-0 at the end of the first period. We find a way to battle back to get within two but find the mountain too big to climb. Boutin enters the game in relief for Burke and makes a number of key saves to keep it close and give us a chance to come all the way back.
Discouraging, but we could not hang our heads as we had a tough road trip for a return engagement with Portland on Sunday to close out the weekend. We know they will come out flying and try to win the game in the first period and we weather a huge barrage and end the first 1-1. We knew if we kept it close through one we could win this one and that is what we proceeded to do. Our power play gives us a big lift in the second as we score on consecutive power plays to take a 3-1 lead after two. We get a little breathing room when we get to 4-1 early in the third and hold on nicely for the big 4-2 win against a team that had handled us so easily just two nights earlier. Ramo plays well again and Daniel Corso and Justin Keller lead the way offensively.
No rest for the weary...back home on Wednesday against powerhouse Hershey, a team that was 8-0-0 on the road this year coming into the game. It turns out to be a very close checking game and exciting to the end. Delmore scores late in the 3rd to force overtime and after no one scores in the OT we head to the our first shootout of the year. Corso and Spina score while Ramo stops four of five to seal the deal and give the Falcons a big 3-2 SO win.
Corso looks like a very good veteran offensive acquisition, Ramo continues to play mature beyond his age and the Falcons take a couple of small steps forward with the wins over two outstanding teams. Prospects Jones, Smaby and Keller gaining valuable experience and confidence with each game.
Happy Thanksgiving...'Til next week! Coach Stirling