Seven come eleven has it really been a week and a half that this report has been marinating? What can I say but it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Twas not the official STORM game but rather the first meeting of this young season with our biggest rivalry, the Greece Arcadia/Olympia Lightning, on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Tell you what, I'll put our assistant coaches up against their assistant coaches any day - if you happened to see the Lightning's display case at the shore the nite of the game, then you know what I mean.
OK so Amanda was back for an encore but apparently someone in the office did not get the Section V memo about holding all announcements during the anthem... and the rocket's red glare... paula, line 4 please... in air... It was Miller time with a Dan, Karen and Michael sighting in the stands, and Dan was so pleased to see that Marty did not make the game for he then figured he just might have a shot at winning the 50/50. Much to Dan's chagrin, Marty appeared out of no-where midway through the first frame and Dan quickly realized his chances of winning had now vanished.
Ian Cumming got the nod in the nets for the Thunder and turned away 16 of the 17 shots he faced to backstop a 3-1 victory over the Lightning for Thunder's first win of the year. Lightning seemingly took a page out of Hilton's playbook with a half dozen icings in the first frame alone. Keenan Mahoney was working hard at both ends of the rink taking the body with a pair of nice hits. Thunder clearly outmatched the depleted Lightning lineup but it was not until the 225 mark that they would get their first goal. It was Mike McNeil swarming the net and picking up the trash on the powerplay assisted by Anthony Crawford and Jared Tam-Grimshaw. Witnessed a contact to the head holding penalty - never heard of that one before and i'm a ref - perhaps I was sleeping during that part of the seminar?
Lightning would counter ten minutes into the second stanza when Joe Lombardo joined the rush and put away the rebound from a shot by Kevin Forney, assisted by Caleb Spall. It was as if confetti was falling from the rafters after they scored in disbelief. There was much rejoicing in the Lightning camp, but it was short-lived as McSkillet went hard to the net 3 minutes later and buried a feed from eHots, only to find out that the net was off. I hate when that happens. A minute later Thunder found themselves back on the powerplay and this time it was Jared putting away the rebound off the wing shot by AC130, 2-1 Thunder. There were ten pens in the second period so very little even strength play and very little flow.
Andy Sherry logged a "harry" in the third and then Curran O'Brien beat Higgins short side with a one-timer fed by AC on the half-wall. It was the Andies Candies goal of the game - pretty sweet!
I'm usually a glass half-full kinda guy and tend to look on the bright side of life and I know most people say a win's a win but, as odd as it may sound, for me this was sort of a disappointing win because I know Thunder can do better. We played down to the opponent's level and there was way too much ME and not enough WE out there. The good news is we got the W and I am confident that we will figure out how to play as a team going forward.