The Eels swarmed all over the Blades from the drop of the puck. Despite scoring 6 goals it was quite evident from anyone watching the game, there was zero chance that the Blades would win this game. The Eels dominated play in every element of the game. Their fore-check was so impressive. It systematically caused the Blades to turn over the puck. The Eels won virtually every 50 50 battles. They owned the boards and filed deeded rights in the opposing goalie’s blue crease.
Equally impressive was the back checking. Again, and again the Blades offense was disrupted by an Eel coming back and thawing their offense. The Eels defensemen were stela on the blueline and on their gap. The forwards were on fire. Their speed and skating was nothing short of explosive. Just look 10 goals. Jacob Handfast had a hat trick and Crabtree who scored 2 goals in the game was one shy of breaking the Eels all time goal scoring record. You could see the Blades were exhausted. There were 7 different players who tallied goals for the team on Sunday.
But there were breakdowns no doubt. Six to be exact. Two short handed goals. In fact, both on the same power play. This was a problem Friday night as well. Moreover, the offensive rush by the defense was a little too much and they got caught behind the play and it resulted in several goals. These inequities need to be adjusted for the playoffs. Sometimes these breakdowns happen in the euphoria and excitement of offensive zeal. No doubt Coach Frankie Scarpaci will make the corrections for the playoffs. Indeed, playoff hockey requires a much tighter and more discipline approach.
Coach Scarpaci gave his players Saturday night off after the stinging 4-1 loss of Friday night against this same Blades team. He expected his team to sweep the home and away series over the weekend’s last remaining home and away games of the regular season. He saw his team get unraveled Friday night. But any good coach saw through the loss. It wasn’t because his team did not have the skill or talent. No way. He was emphatically convinced he had the talent. They simply were not dialed in for that game. They fell into the trap of many hockey teams that mentally they knew they captured or seized if you will 2ndplace and became complacent and did not come out with the Eels work ethic instilled and engrained in these boys.
OMG some coaches would panic in this instance. Indeed, especially for the Eels – the word complacency is not in their vocabulary. But Coach Scarpaci had 100% confidence in his players. He settled them down in the locker room post game. He knew they needed a day off to rest and unwind and get re-focused and to clear their heads. Sometimes a day off helps ten-fold. He then re-grouped and got their game faces and commitment and hunger on board 1 hour before Sunday’s contest.
You could see from their faces and the drop of the puck “the boys were back in town”. They were ready and willing to get their game back in check and to put on a show for their last homestand of the season. It was in front of a packed house of 500+ people. Their performance was indeed impressive.
The Team will focus on the task ahead of them and that is getting ready for playoffs. They will practice Monday through Thursday and no doubt be reviewing their own game film and video of the Tampa Juniors. A team they know very well. These will be exciting games this upcoming weekend. The first game will be Friday morning and 2ndgame will be Sunday. A best 2 out of 3 formats. The 3rdgame if needed will be Monday. Good luck guys.
In net for the Eels was Danick Francoeur who played awesome turning away 26 of 32 shots.
Scoring for the Eels in the game went as follows: