November 10, 2008 - Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL) - Danbury Mad Hatters
Two big early games highlighted the card this week as the Mad Hatters looked to finally remove the bagel from the win column. The two games this week featured Brooklyn coming to town for the first time, and the Border War with Hudson Valley. Without further adieu, here's your Mad Hatters week in review...
(November 6) Brooklyn Aces 6, Danbury Mad Hatters 4
The Mad Hatters were looking to get their first win, both on home ice and of the season. Coming into town was a band of highly skilled players who showed their might, talent, and skill in a beating of Jersey. They were looking to go to 2-0, and try to set the precedent that the league would have to go through them if they wanted to win. The Mad Hatters were searching for their identity, as well as a much needed victory. Would they get it, or would the Aces fly into town and swoop up their second road victory before they could even step foot onto their own home ice?
The Mad Hatters got off to yet another great start when Alex Redmond scored just 45 seconds into the game from Drew Madeiros to take a 1-0 lead. After a fight between Mykul Haun and CJ Tozzo from Brooklyn, the Mad Hatters added to their lead when Drew Madeiros scored from Mike Payne and Dan Hickman at 2:40 to give the Mad Hatters a 2-0 lead. The Mad Hatters would add another goal just 3 minutes and 19 seconds later when Obi Aduba scored from Mike Payne to help propel the Mad Hatters to a 3-0 just 6 minutes into the game. Both the Thursday crowd and the Mad Hatters were riled up and starting to feel confident, but the Aces would come back by scoring 2 in the span of 2 minutes and 12 seconds to trim the lead to 3-2.
The period would not be completed before the game began to get a little heated. There was a skirmish in front of the Aces bench and, soon enough, Aces players on the bench became involved. Two players would begin to throw punches from the Aces bench, much to the chagrin of the Aces head coach. The two players were Rob Miller and Chad Wilcox. They both received fighting majors, and were shown the door just a little over halfway into the first period.
After 1 period, the Mad Hatters lead it 3-2.
After the display in the first period, the game quieted down significantly, but the Mad Hatters didn't lose their fire. They would score for the fourth time in the game when Jeff Mead scored on the power play from Billy Tibbetts and Igor Karlov at 8:26 of the second period to give the Mad Hatters a 4-2 advantage. It would stay that way until 5 minutes later when Brooklyn would get within 1 on a goal by Mike Thomson making it 4-3.
After 2 periods, the Mad Hatters are up 4-3.
Unfortunately for the Mad Hatters, they began to take a multitude of penalties which would squash any hope of a comeback on this night. They surrendered back-to-back power play goals to Brooklyn, and eventually the backbreaker to go down in defeat 6-4. Jeff Hill would take the loss to move to 0-1, while Miroslav Recicar would earn his first professional victory to go to 1-0.
Final Score: Aces 6, Mad Hatters 4.
(November 8) Danbury Mad Hatters 6, Hudson Valley Bears 4
This was the rematch that people in Danbury were waiting for. After last game, it was assured that the Mad Hatters staff wasn't going to take their loss, as well as all the fights and cheap shots, lying down. It was almost expected that if the Mad Hatters didn't come out and win this one, that changes were going to be made. No one was sure how big, but it was apparent to the players that Head Coach Dave MacIsaac and Hockey Ops GM Brendan Tedstone were not going to take losing lightly.
So, the stage was set for a rematch of the opener. For the Mad Hatters it was a must-win game. This was the Border War: Part II.
The blood was boiling early in the first period... sort of. Hudson Valley was without one of its brawlers, as was one Danbury's. The action, and hitting, would pick up in intensity as the game would wear on. Both teams traded many hard hits, as well as a few power plays. The Mad Hatters were able to connect on one of them in the first. Charles Harvey drew one player as he crossed into the Hudson Valley zone, and quickly dumped it off to Billy Tibbetts. Tibbetts drew two players as he skated toward the net on the stick side. What the Bears didn't see was Andrew Scampoli cheating in on the stick side from his point position. Scampoli came in, unabated, and took a pass which was right on the money from Tibbetts and slammed it into an open net to give the Mad Hatters a 1-0 lead 15:37 into the first. That lead would last until with 1:08 to go in the period, Chris Seifert scored for Hudson Valley just after a Bears power play expired to tie the game.
After 1, the game is tied at 1.
The second period started out the same as the first with some hard hits and scoring opportunities, but Danbury had an edge in the chances department. They kept flinging pucks at Hudson Valley goalkeeper Kelly Holowaty who was up for the task, but there was one he couldn't stop. It came 3:14 when the Mad Hatters were in the Bears zone and they were firing one shot after another, getting one rebound after another, and then the puck wound up on the stick of Dan Hickman. He had received a pass from Scampoli, who received one from Karlov on a rebound. Hickman gripped and ripped and let one fly through the Hudson Valley defense clanging off of two sticks, and finding a home between the glove and leg pad of Holowaty to give the Mad Hatters a 2-1 advantage.
After they took the lead, things started to go in the wrong direction for Danbury. They began to get chippy and would start taking bad penalties. The Bears would score three consecutive goals, two of them on the power play, two of them on bad bounces, and would take a huge 4-2 lead into the locker room. It seemed the momentum had swung in Hudson Valley's favor. The Mad Hatters looked as if they had seen this before: a lead and momentum taken away. However, the third period would have a different feel...
4-2 Hudson Valley, after 2 periods.
The Mad Hatters came out with fire in the third period. You could see it right from the opening faceoff to start the third. It only took 26 seconds for the Mad Hatters to get right back in it. Eric Linkowski was given too much room as he walked into the zone and fired a shot that beat Holowaty through the five hole to get the Mad Hatters back within 1. Just 29 seconds later, the Mad Hatters tied it up when Alex Redmond punched home a rebound as three Mad Hatters were on the door step trying to punch the tying goal in. There was much jubilation then, but there would be more to come.
Both teams were now hitting anything that moved and the pace was picking up. When you looked out at the ice, from time to time, you could see a bit of resignation in the Bears. The Mad Hatters were looking for the lead. Like lions circling fallen prey, the Mad Hatters could taste it. It would finally come at 5:47 when Mykul Haun tossed a shot at the net, and Drew Madeiros, who stood perched and untouched next to the glove side of Kelly Holowaty's net, slid the rebound inside of the post and charged towards his teammates near the faceoff circle. The Mad Hatters had come back for the first time this year to take a 5-4 lead.
The Mad Hatters knew that a 1 goal lead would be cutting it too close, so they went in for the kill. They would have their opportunity just 53 seconds later. Adam Sinewitz tossed a pass up to Obi Aduba, who led the charge in a 2 on 1. Aduba drew both the goaltender and the defenseman to him, and it left Igor Karlov open just enough to bang home Aduba's pass. It was Karlov's first professional goal. After he knocked it home, 1,339 fans jumped up in unison as Karlov darted toward the fans in section 101, jumped against the glass in unified celebration, and 5 of his teammates jumped up on top of him. The ladies and gents from section 102 serenaded Holowaty with the chants of "Sieve! Sieve! Sieve!", but they were more in celebration for a team that gave them something to cheer about for the first time in a long time. A celebration of victory about to come.
The Mad Hatters had not only completed the comeback, but they had stuck the sword in deeper. It was a lead they would not relinquish, and one that 1,339 fans would appreciate.
After their victory, the Mad Hatters saluted their fans by raising their sticks in their direction. It was a symbolic gesture given the support for Danbury's hometown team.
Final Score: Mad Hatters 6, Bears 4
UP-AND-COMING, COMING UP
The Mad Hatters will face their first road test of the season when they head to Brooklyn to take on the Aces on Saturday, November 15 at 7:30 pm. Mad Hatters fans are encouraged to make the trip for this one and help represent their Mad Hatters. You can purchase tickets through the Aces website at brooklynaces.com.
The Mad Hatters will return to the DIA on Wednesday, November 26 to take on the Jersey Rockhoppers. Start time for that game is 7:00 pm and tickets can be purchased online at madhattershockey.com and in person at the Danbury Ice Arena box office.
SEKUND STARR SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
MAD HATTERS THREE STARS OF THE WEEK
FIRST STAR: Drew Madeiros (2 Goals, 2 Assists, +2, Game Winning Goal on 11/08)
SECOND STAR: Igor Karlov (1 Goal, 3 Assists, +3)
THIRD STAR: Alex Redmond (2 Goals, +2)
HONORABLE MENTION: 2 Honorable Mentions this week: Billy Tibbetts with 3 assists, but mostly for his work on the penalty kill, and Head Coach Dave MacIsaac earning his first professional win as a head coach. Way to go, Dave!!
VILLAINS OF THE WEEK
This week's villains are Rob Miller and Chad Wilcox of Brooklyn: Miller and Wilcox were both ejected after fighting from the bench, leading to both a massive wrestling match and the fantastic photo below. Guys, you wear letters for crying out loud! If you're going to fight, at least wait until you're off the bench! Also, make sure you don't get caught by the photographer... (Special thanks to Bill Thebert of EPHLfanzone.com for the photograph.)
GET WELL WISHES
We want to say "Get well" to Mad Hatters forward KC Caudill who is suffering from a lower body injury. We hope he gets back out onto the ice soon. However, he did look good behind the bench as Dave MacIsaac's assistant. Maybe there's a future for him there...
ON THE AIR
The Mad Hatters first webcast was an incredible success. Many thanks to all of the people who tuned in to listen. The Mad Hatters next broadcast will be this Saturday when the Mad Hatters head to Brooklyn to take on the Aces at 7:30 pm. To listen to the game, visit madhattershockey.com on Saturday and follow the instructions listed to catch all of the action!
ONE LAST THING...
It was great to see so many of you on Saturday for the victory. The Mad Hatters appreciate your support. They came back with your will and support. They can keep it up all season, but they need you! If you enjoyed yourself at a Mad Hatters game, tell a friend. This is YOUR team. YOU can make it successful on the ice. You have the ability to turn the tide. You proved it this Saturday. Keep up the great work!
And to all of those fans who have been bashed before for prior indiscretions, you're creating a good name for yourselves with your conduct. Bravo, and keep it up! We wouldn't be here without you!
See you next Monday.