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High Sticking

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mooseheads = T1000s

Bring on game seven

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 5:57 PM

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After a game where the Moncton Wildcats put on a show for their own fans (a 7-3 win, with the Cats Barbashev having 4Gs and 2As), Nikolaj Ehlers—the Mooseheads dashing dane—put on a show of his own, which could have been his last as a Moose.

The Mooseheads set the tone after puck drop, controlling the play and making passes that you’d expect from the CPU to make on superstar mode in NHL15. I haven’t seen many of the new Terminator: Genesys trailers, but I hear it stars the Mooseheads.

Brandon Vuic opened the floodgates by chipping a puck between two Moncton defenders before scoring a backhand beauty. Just like I would do if I was playing… NHL. You know when you're in the zone and you ride that video game wave? That was the Mooseheads last night. The top line continued their dominance with Ehlers having 2Gs and 2As (31 points in the playoffs), Danny Moniyhan with three assists and Meier with a goal and assist, every time they were on the ice, they looked dangerous. Dangerous like some T-1000s. The rest of the Mooseheads looked like T-800s, taking the fight to Moncton like the police station shootout.

Winnin' ain't easy.
  • Winnin' ain't easy.

After the first period I was preparing to start reporting to Skynet. It was 4-0, the game was in the bag. Mission accomplished, machines.

Knowing what the bleak future holds (because lets face it, Moncton looks a hell of a lot like the scorched Earth you’d expect after judgment day) the Wildcats decided to hell with this, we'll send these robots back from whence they came and started their resistance. Sensing the Mooseheads’ programming had selected “power drive” the Cats made adjustments. Kyle Reese Bronson Beaton (great name) got them on the board followed by another Moncton goal before the end of the second, with the Mooseheads Machines holding a three goal lead.

Having the most dangerous lead in hockey, the Mooseheads kept it in the danger zone. They tried to make the same sort of plays they were attempting successfully in the first half of the game, with mixed results this time. The Cats were wise to their tricks of sending someone back in time up the ice for a long pass and mounted their comeback. That patented Moncton quick counter-attack started to click as they managed to “claw” their way back into the game badly outshooting Halifax and making it 7-5, but that's as close as they would get.

Maybe it was all one long con by the Mooseheads. Building a huge lead only to see it evaporate in the later stages of the game. It’s certainly not ideal to lose a huge lead like that, but at the end of the day they still won. The team looked great on a whole (minus the second half of the game where they took the foot off the gas and let the Wildcats back in the game) and I don’t think you want to completely embarrass them before the game shifts back to Moncton. That shit is called bulletin board material, you don’t need to give them extra incentive to win.

Game 7 is set for Tuesday night at 7PM in Moncton. I, for one, will welcome Skynet and the headlines that say “MONCTON DESTROYED, MACHINES WIN”.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Welcome to High Sticking, and the Mooseheads playoffs

A new hockey blog

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 4:42 PM

RYAN CHISHOLM
  • Ryan Chisholm

Welcome to High Sticking, a Coast hockey blog. Our ex-Burger Fairy and resident hockey superfan Ryan Chisholm gets slightly toasted and sees some hockey in the press box with the big kids.

Started as a burger now I'm here, started as the Burger Fairy now I'm home team reporting here. That’s right folks, the OG Burger Fairy has become a beat reporter. Most of you were probably watching the start of the NHL playoffs, so let me try my best at recapping game four of the Mooseheads second round playoff series.

I managed to get lost trying to find which entrance I was supposed to go in so I missed puck drop. I made my way up to the press area, trying to not get in the way of actual hockey professionals, which I also failed at. I wandered down the row trying to find a seat and made it to the end and realized I was in the section where the scratched players sit, too far. So I turned around to head back in the other direction, when I was greeted by said players. I settled way up in the rafters behind the net, it’s practically the view I use when I play NHL on X-Box.

RYAN CHISHOLM
  • Ryan Chisholm

Early on in the first the Mooseheads were controlling the play, if I really knew what Corsi and Fenwick were I could tell you they were probably leading in that but I don’t because I dropped out of pre-calculus in high school and a lot of math is involved. Moncton was the first team penalized but the Mooseheads couldn’t capitalize. I didn’t really see what happened because I was trying to take notes, notes I can’t even read. After trading chances Moncton took another penalty, and again Halifax couldn’t score, this was the theme of the night. With another penalty killed, momentum started to turn in the Wildcats’ favour but Mooseheads goalie Brassard weathered the storm. The teams would trade chances, Halifax would go up the ice, cycle the puck around and shoot, then Moncton would collect the puck and come down on a quick counterattack. Things started to get chippy shortly after the midway as players met each other in front of the benches for some face washes. After the dust settled, the Wildcats were on their first power play. Like any cat, they moved around the perimeter until deciding to randomly attack your feet. After hitting the post, they quickly collected the rebound and sent it out to the point for a shot through traffic that sneaked in Brassard’s five hole to give the Wildcats the first goal of the game. The Mooseheads continued to carry most of the play with their patented pretty passes but couldn’t convert them into a highlight reel goal. Moncton caught a lucky break after Meier lost his footing in front of the net and left the puck waiting for the Wildcats to “pounce” on (sorry not sorry). They had a flurry of chances hitting another post and banging the puck in for another goal with 10.2 seconds remaining in the first, the building let out a huge sigh followed by a sombre walk to get more beer and 50-50 tickets.

First intermission means Timbits time, which is probably one of the best parts about going to the Mooseheads. It’s supposed to be about fun, but me and my friends usually make a bet on which color is going to win, somehow I always seem to be on the losing end of this bet and have to buy beer for them. The red team beat the white team 3-0. I probably would have chosen white.

As the intermission started to wind down, I noticed other press people beside me had some pop and sandwiches. Where do I get those? I was starving, but I didn’t want to ask them because they seemed important—I think some of them might have been NHL scouts. They also had these charts of the ice and would mark stuff down, maybe I should get some of those for next time.

Winnipeg Jets draft pick Nikolaj Ehlers picked up where he left off at the end of the first, but he couldn’t score. On a scale of normal to awesome he would have been rad. The Mooseheads got their second penalty of the game, I didn’t really see what happened because I was too busy taking notes about a nice saucy pass Ehlers made. I heard boos and chants of “ref you suck” so maybe it was questionable. The Wildcats didn’t score. I think Ehlers started using his turbo button dancing around Wildcats until one of them gave up and tripped him. The power play unit came back on the ice and continued to press looking for a goal, but Moncton did a good job of blocking most of their chances. With back to back penalties killed Moncton started to have all the momentum while the Mooseheads struggled to get anything going. The Mooseheads started firing everything on net, and like the Great One said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I saw a girl use that as her description on Tinder, I swiped left. With all the shot blocking the Wildcats were doing I figured it was a matter of time before the Mooseheads got a lucky bounce, and sure enough they did. A Wildcat player went down after blocking the shot and was slow to get off, as he was finally making it to the bench Meier and Ehlers came down the ice with Meier scoring low stick side for his eighth of the playoffs. Moncton was still leading in shots, but Halifax was on the board and controlling the play. The Mooseheads struck again with Bent getting a goal after driving to the net and having the puck ricochet off him with just over a minute left to play.

Second intermission time, the cars come out to do their laps around the ice and I’m left wishing that one of these drivers would start doing donuts around the face-off circles. That’s how you sell cars—make it cool. All this talk of donuts is making me hungry, where are these snacks at? Next up is the Subway build a sub, adding fuel to my aching stomach. Two teams of two have to build a sub by running around collecting the sub ingredients (it looks like a cold cut, meatball is superior). It’s team Cole Harbour against team Truro, team Truro looks like they had too many beers and get demolished by the boys from Cole Harbour. My hometown team managed to pull out the victory and one of them removes his helmet to reveal a man bun. When is this man bun trend gonna die down? Before you can answer, it’s time for the t-shirt toss, where grown men compete against small children. Seriously guys, if you aren’t there with a kid you shouldn’t be going for a t-shirt. We all know you aren’t going to wear it.

RYAN CHISHOLM
  • Ryan Chisholm

Start of the third and the Meier, Monyihan and Ehlers line starts to get turnt up. Moncton took another penalty, will the Mooseheads score? Nope. Moncton gets another penalty. Another powerplay for the Mooseheads and another kill by the Wildcats, same old, same old. Play started to get sloppy with players losing their footing and the puck bouncing over sticks, I was convinced the winning goal would come from a flukey bounce. The Mooseheads found themselves tempting fate when Hardie took a holding penalty behind the net. The Wildcats had the Mooseheads hemmed into their own zone for a majority of the powerplay but Brassard came up big. With the penalty killed, Halifax tried to get the go ahead goal with the top line looking dangerous. On their heels the Wildcats took a time out, trying to make it to overtime, and—spoiler alert—they did.

At this point its getting pretty late and I’m starving, I decide to finally go and search for these fabled press snacks, I found them. I grabbed a Coke out of the fridge and saw there were three little subs left, I decided to throw caution in the wind and take one. I don’t want to give up my media badge this early but a man’s gotta eat. The drum cam comes on the jumbotron, trying to get people to air drum. Most of the people they featured where teenage boys though, and they are apparently too cool for that shit.

Overtime starts with Moncton bringing it to the Mooseheads. That is until Ehlers takes the ice and becomes a one man show banking the puck off the boards to himself multiple times to create some space and a scoring chance, but can’t find the net. The play kept moving at a brisk pace with each team trying to end it. Halifax gets a break as a Moncton player puts the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty. Just like the previous five or six (I lost count) powerplays the Mooseheads can’t score. I’m sure Dubeau is all “do you even score, bro?” Halifax’s best chance of overtime came on a Monyihan shot that hit Dubeau in the shoulder, went over him and trickled to the line but the Moncton defenders cleared it before it went in. I like to call this the TSN turning point because shortly after, the Wildcats took the puck into the Mooseheads zone scored from a pass behind the net out front, evening the series at two games apiece, ending in 3-2 in overtime.

Next game is Friday night in Moncton before they are back at for a pivotal game six at home. Hopefully the Mooseheads win the next two so I can keep this gravy train going.

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