|There is some history between the two teams that would be facing
off tonight, as some former FireCats are now Plymouth Stingrays. In
addition to that, the teams split their two regular season meetings,
with the FireCats getting the best of the Stingrays in their most
recent matchup. Drew got a surprise tonight - he started the game at
Left Wing, after not playing offense for approximately 12 months!
Although he didn't score, he did get some quality scoring chances
while presenting an imposing net-front presence.
The game got off
to a good start for Novi, as they would score the games opening goal
on a tap-in a little over six minutes after the opening faceoff. The
two teams went back and forth, trading scoring chances all while
making some quality defensive plays. Novi would give up the lead
before the period would end, however, as Plymouth scored on a hard
slapshot with just over three minutes to play. That would be it for
scoring in the opening fifteen minutes, and the game would go to the
first intermission tied at one.
Plymouth struck early in the second, taking their first lead with
a tap-in goal of their own not even a minute in. Although giving up
the lead so early was frustrating to the FireCats, they didn't give
up. They would come back to tie things up at two with a slapshot
goal of their own with just over three minutes remaining. With just
over a minute remaining, Novi would retake the lead with another
tip-in, making the score 3-2 as they headed to the second
Unfortunately for the FireCats, they disappeared in the third
period. Plymouth scored early to tie the game up, and retook the
lead just 15 seconds after that. That would be it for the FireCats
on the scoreboard, as Plymouth would go on to add two more goals.
When the final whistle blew, it was Plymouth coming out victorious,
with a 6-3 win over the FireCats.
I do have to mention one thing about this contest... one Plymouth
player (#15), flattened one of the Novi players with a vicious hit
along the boards, causing the FireCats player to bounce his head off
the ice. There was no retaliation from Novi for this action, and the
refs handed out a simple two minute penalty. As the clock wound
down, a FireCats defenseman knocked this same Plymouth player to the
ice with what will be a clean hit in a couple month, but remains a
penalty now. The Plymouth player did not respond well to taking his
own medicine, jumping up to push and swing at the Novi player. He
wound up with a 10 minute penalty this time, but it was far too late
in the game to matter (less than a minute remained). To make matters
worse, the parents cheered his actions, as did the coach. Not what I
want to see in a youth hockey game...