Dead River @ Nordiques
The first game of the 2012 playoffs starts with a bit of a mismatch as #5 Dead River tries to knock off the #4 Nordiques.
The Nordiques have taken 3 of 4 games this season, but the last was a dominant 6-3 win for Dead River. Unfortunately for Dead River this isn't a sign that they have figured things out and are in a good position to win. Dead River was the benefactor of the Alternate Player Protocol(APP) which allowed them to fill out their roster on a weekly basis with some talented players from other teams. Those alternates were integral in the ladder climb out of the basement for Dead River as they went 4-2-0 in the last six games to jump from 6th to 5th.
Dead River will only have 6 or 7 rostered players at their disposal for the playoffs and they won't be the right ones to win this game.
The Nordiques fell into a dismal black abyss that engulfed their team game in the middle second half of the season. Their offense, defense and goaltending all went to hell and they couldn't win a game to save their lives. They closed out the game with a beaut of a 4-3 win over Tuck, but went 1-4-0 in the five games before that span and being outscored 38-15.
The Nordiques should pull through on this one 6-3.
Nordiques Roll Shorthanded Dead River, 9-3 2
As advertised the Nordiques took this one home but blew out Dead River in the process. They used 6 different goal scorers and 9 players recorded points in the 9-2 win.
Unfortunately for Dead River their roster issues caught up to them tonight. With only 7 possible rostered players available for the playoffs and two of them out of town it was essentially a 45 minute death march for the 2011 Whalen Cup Champion Dead Rivermen. That death march lasted about 15 minutes tops and the Nordiques had already amassed a 5-1 lead and were outshot 18-5.
The Nordiques used four different scorers in the first period with "Fierce" Pierce Mayhew scoring a pair of goals and an assist earning himself the first star of the game. Defenseman Ryan "The Governator" McGovern opened the scoring with an unassisted goal almost 10 minutes in. Mayhew got his first about 90 seconds later. There was a glimmer of hope for Dead River when Jason "Bling" Gramling cut the lead in half with what must have been a double toe-drag followed by the triple deke.
The Nordiques added three goals in the last 5 minutes of the period behind goals from Eric Krivitzky, Brian "Redbeard" Racicot & Mayhew's second of the night.
Despite giving up 5 goals, Dead River's goaltender Greg "Bin Feiden" Feiden was outstanding. Stopping 13 of 18 shots doesn't seem like something to brag about, but with an exhausted team in front of him, and virtually no defense he made some spectacular saves and had zero chance of saving 4 of the goals
END OF THE FIRST: Nordiques 5, Dead River 1
The pace slowed a bit in the second as the Nordiques seemed to pull off the gas a bit, only adding a single goal in the period, Krivitzky's second.
END OF THE SECOND: Nordiques 6, Dead River 1
The Nordiques added another trio of goals in the third period to Tuck's one. A pair of goals from Dr. Roger "Dentist Drill" Phillips DDS(Of Hanover NH) had a pair of key late goals that made it 7-1 and 9-2 and the wonderful Douglas "Lightsides" Heavisides. Dead River's lone goal came off the stick of Nick "Oil Slick" O'Brien.
END OF REGULATION: Nordiques 9, Dead River 2
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