Friday the Thirteenth: Bad Luck for the Kings
Nobody named "Jason" dressed in a hockey mask appeared to carve up the Gold Kings Friday, but a bunch of Tacoma Sabrecats did their best impression of the cinematic serial killer to take game 2 of the Taylor Cup quarterfinals.
Boyer, Ryan and the Boys Together after a Goal
At first it appeared as if the Gold Kings were going to build on their 6-2 pummeling of the Sabrecats from the night before. With just about nine minutes gone in the first, R.J. Enga snuck the puck past Sabrecat goalie Jean-Ian Fillatrault on the short side. Just three minutes later, Terry Ryan converted a face off win by making a beautiful deke on a Sabrecat defenseman then undressed Fillatrault and deposited the puck in the open net to stake the Gold Kings to a 2-0 lead.
But then the bad luck started.
Sabrecat Corey Morgan took the puck down ice on a 2-on-none with Alexeev flanking him with just over a minute left in the first. He attempted to go five-hole on Mark Gowan but Gowan made the stop. However, Gowan's own momentum carried him sliding into the net with the puck nestled on the front of his leg pad. The referee, who blew calls all night, was right on top of it and called it a goal. It was clear from that point on that luck was not going to be blessing the Gold Kings.
Tacoma controlled the second period outshooting the Gold Kings 16-12 and outscoring the home team 2-0. Going into the third, the Gold Kings were down 3-2.
The Gold Kings were a team that came back all year though and the Sabrecats knew it. With only 27 seconds gone in the third, Morgan scored his third of the night on a blast from the point to put Tacoma ahead 4-2. Proving resilience, raging against misfortune, and battling against overly inept officiating (One comment from the bleachers was "Hey ref, the proctologist called, he found your head.) the Gold Kings persisted. Martin Woods fed 50-goal scorer Enga in the slot, who blasted the puck glove side past Fillatrault.
Ryan Fixing to Get Thrown Out
Three unanswered goals, including two in two minutes, by the Sabrecats made the score 7-3 and put the Gold Kings away. Even the usually mild-mannered Gold Kings fans momentarily turned into the more "Mr. Hyde" version of hockey fanatics and were warned to stop throwing things on the ice.
Of course, with the score out of reach, the Gold Kings also instigated some emotional outbursts in the form of fisticuffs. Little Craig Chapman did a nice job against Lowe and J.S. Trudelle refused to let Fleenor get away on an icing call without dropping the mitts.
Craig Chapman In Trouble
But nothing, not fists, not cups of beer hurled onto the ice and certainly not the refs were going to stem the tide of bad luck that burst through the dam and drowned the Gold Kings in temporary mediocrity.
However, they would come back in the series after dropping game 3 in Tacoma. They forced a game 5 and won that in a wonderful match 3-2 to advance to the Northern WCHL finals.
One More Before the Road