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Quad City Storm

Game Recap/Analysis

Special Teams Sink Storm in Sweep

Special Teams Sink Storm in Sweep

MOLINE, Ill — The Knoxville Ice Bears swept their weekend series against the Quad City Storm, taking Saturday’s game 3-1. The game was very physical, though there were no fighting majors. The special teams weren’t very special for the Storm, as their conversion rate was abysmal.

The Storm started strong, scoring on their first shot of the game after going on the power play just 45 seconds into the contest. Off the ensuing faceoff, Mike Moran scored with help from Mathias Ahman and Cole Golka.

Following that tally, the Ice Bears were able to test their power play unit a little over a minute later thanks to an elbowing call against Trevor Momot. There began the parade of players to the penalty boxes, as there were seven penalties called in the first period and a total of 18 by the end of the night. The first period was a chippy affair as both teams tried to get on the scoreboard, though another penalty wouldn’t be called until the eight-and-a-half-minute mark of the period. 

As play moved through the Ice Bears’ defensive zone, there was some jockeying for the puck and words exchanged that resulted in Sacha Roy and Moran engaging in a near-fight. They became entangled in an aggressive hug, with their gloves dropping but neither one throwing a punch. During that encounter and the ensuing chirping and kerfuffle by both teams, Kyler Matthews left the bench before the dust had settled to engage in the camaraderie of hugging and chirping. As there were already five skaters on the ice for the Ice Bears, Matthews was given a game misconduct for leaving the bench during an altercation. Both Roy and Moran were given unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, a call that was made four more times before the final horn. 

Shortly after the minor penalties ended, Filip Virgili was called for slashing, unleashing Knoxville’s power play unit once more. This time the man advantage was successful for the Tennessee-based team, as they scored 40 seconds into the powerplay. Brady Fleurent, after scoring two goals on Friday including the game-winning goal, was credited with the tying goal. Brett Beauvais and Rex Moe picked up the assists on Fleurent’s goal. There would not be another goal scored for 43 minutes.

The second period saw the Storm have a golden opportunity to take back the lead, as they had first a power play and then a 5-on-3 power play five minutes into the sandwich stanza. The Storm couldn’t score on that man advantage, nor the following advantages.

The home team then began the third period with nearly two minutes of power play remaining for them, but the power play unit that had been one-for-five quickly became a unit unable to convert on a sixth advantage. The penalty kill unit for the Storm did shine, however, killing four out of five penalties. The goal that broke the deadlock was scored shortly after a penalty was killed by the Storm, however.

Just under a minute after Moran left the penalty box for a hooking call, Dean Balsamo snuck past the Storm defense to beat Kevin Resop on his left side. Resop went to the bench for the extra attacker a few minutes later, and the Storm thought they had tied the game with a goal with roughly 90 seconds remaining in the game. The play was ruled dead before the puck crossed the line, much to the anger of the Storm fans in attendance. With less than a minute left in the game, Moe scored on the empty net after the Storm had nearly tied it on a shot that went just wide of the net. 

The Storm dominated shots on goal 42-24, but many of the shots were of low quality that didn’t have a chance at changing the score.

“Well, five-on-three and you don’t score? You lose. And we lost,” said Storm Head Coach Dave Pszenyczny. “We went one-for-seven [on the power play], not good, not very good. But that team will change here in the next few days, so that was the last time that group will be together.” 

The Storm will be on the road for three games in three days, starting with an Education Day game at 10:30 AM against the Peoria Rivermen. They will return to Vibrant Arena at The MARK on December 22 for a Thursday game against the Vermilion County Bobcats, with a special start time of 6:10 PM CST.

Be sure to follow @FPHStorm for the latest news and in-game tweets.  

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    Anna Headley covers the Quad City Storm for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with her on Twitter @FPHStorm.

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