Marksmen Blank Storm on Star Wars Night
#SPHL | Saturday, @QuadCityStorm hosted a Star Wars night as @Marksmen_Hockey continue their visit to Moline. @FPHStorm has the recap:
MOLINE, Ill. — The Force was not with the Quad City Storm on Saturday, as the home team was blanked on 2-0 by the Fayetteville Marksmen in their second of three consecutive match-ups this weekend. The night was replete with Star Wars references, from specialty jerseys worn by the Storm and auctioned postgame to in-arena music and a Star Wars movie-crawl introduction. The Marksmen represented the Empire following the Battle of Yavin, striking back after the Storm defeated them in the playoffs last season. Nobody told the producer of the movie crawl that Empire Strikes Back features the Rebels losing at the end with the loss of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker’s hand.
The game began with heavy pressure from the Marksmen on Kevin Resop, and the Storm only managed one shot on goal through the first seven and a half minutes of the first period. The Storm spent most of the opening minutes of the game in their own zone before going on the first penalty kill of the night at 7:23 after a delay of game minor during the faceoff. The Storm killed most of the penalty, but with roughly 30 seconds left in the Marksmen’s man advantage, Jack Patterson lit the lamp behind Resop.
The Storm then had their own chance on the power play a couple of minutes later but could not register even one shot on goal during those two minutes. The Storm are currently seventh in the league for power-play conversion with only a 20 percent conversion rate, one spot ahead of the No. 1 team in the league, the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs. The Storm are third in the league for killing penalties, though they’ve had plenty of practice with that this season, as they have been shorthanded a total of 112 times so far in 25 games.
The second period did not fare much better for the Storm, as they could not generate scoring chances for long swaths of the frame. During the first six minutes of the second period, the Storm only added one shot on goal even though the teams were at even strength for five minutes of that time. In the same stretch of time, Fayetteville had added five shots on goal. During the latter half of the second period, the Storm found their footing and began to apply more pressure to Jason Pawloski, but it was too late even after adding 11 shots on goal during the period.
Filip Virgili appeared to score to tie the game at 2:32 of the second period, with the goal light flashing and the rest of the arena effects signaling a goal. The officials, however, ruled it no goal, so the Marksmen kept their lead early in the first period. Storm Head Coach Dave Pszenyczny was highly displeased by the ruling, yelling and slamming the bench door when the officials conferred with him. Mike Mercurio served the bench minor for verbal abuse of officials, just as he had served the bench minor in the first period, and the Marksmen struck again while on the man advantage. Just over a minute into Fayetteville’s power play, Brian Bowen added to the Fayetteville lead to make it a two-goal game.
The Storm continued to attempt shots on goal, putting together a long stretch in the offensive zone in the latter half of the final frame, but couldn’t solve Pawloski. Coach Pszenyczny pulled Resop with two and a half minutes remaining in the game, but it wasn’t enough to right the ship of the Storm’s losing streak.
“We’ve got a makeshift lineup,” said Pszenyczny. “It is what it is, it’s hard to find bodies this time of year, and we’re still going through injury problems.”
The Storm have lost 10 of their last fourteen games, having a 2-6-1-1 record in their past ten games. Even with the roster moves that have occurred lately during the losing skid, the Storm are not the same team that began the season in first place. They will have the chance to begin their ascent through the standings on Sunday with a special Pucks and Paws Day game, with the addition of Michael Moran and Alexis Girard to the roster. Both players were each suspended for one game after instigating fights during the last five minutes of the game on Friday.
Be sure to follow @FPHStorm for the latest tweets and updates about the Storm and beyond.
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