Nordiques Repeat, Capture Triple Crown! Farrell Scores Hat Trick
05 October 2010 The Nordiques rebounded from a game 2 loss tonight to bring home the summer 2010 championship at Stamford Twin Rinks. This is the first-ever repeat championship for the Nordiques, having captured consecutive titles in the spring and summer. The back-to-back championship feat marks another major team accomplishment as well by completing the coveted triple-crown at STR dating back to the team's Winter (2009) championship. The Nordiques played 50 games packaged into 3 seasons over the past year. Winning 2 championships in that span is remarkable achievement. Well done Nordiques and Congratulations!!
The Nordiques made significant improvements in three major aspects of their game tonight. Number one fan, Lou Gioia, summed it up like this. "The offense cycled the puck successfully down low and made short, crisp, high percentage passes which led to more shots and more scoring. On the defensive end, if the D-men weren't blocking shots they often disrupted the shooter which reduced the number of shots on goal. And, Brian Fratturo was virtually impenetrable in goal. He controlled the crease, vocally instructed his defensemen and left the opposing shooters looking somewhat helpless and bewildered".
As for the Ice Paddys, the Nordiques said they are honorable players and respect the game. Clearly they are a skilled and fast team as well. What made the series even more difficult for the Nordiques was that they could not find much, if anything, to dislike about their opponent. Many teams, including the Nordiques, can more easily get keyed-up when there is some lingering animosity. That just wasn't the case with the Ice Paddys. This series was more about skill, heart and will than it was about winning a nasty battle in a long running feud. Nordiques played Ice Paddys 5 times in all, including 2 games in the regular summer season. The Nordiques outscored them by the slimmest of margins, by just 4 goals (a total of 20 goals for and 16 against), or an average score of about 4-3 per game.
The Nordiques scored early and often tonight. The final score (6-3) turned out to be the widest margin of any of the five contests between the Ice Paddys and Nordiques. The offensive hero is very deserving of the spotlight. Well-liked and respected by his team mates, Eric Farrell has contributed mightily in every post season game, but to his chagrin didn't end up scoring, Nonetheless he was always a difference maker for his line mates and team. Tonight he scored the second, third and fourth goals for the Nordiques, after the Matijcio brothers went tic-tac-toe for an early tap-in first goal.
Eric's first came just after a first period penalty kill, streaking down the right side and shooting a riser over the goalies shoulder. His second goal, which gave the Nordiques the lead, came in the third period as he backhanded a mid-air puck into the net. Eric's hat trick goal, compliments of Rick Gioia who hit him in stride with a skillful outlet saucer pass, enabled Eric to fire a strong shot that just beat the net minder cold. The game was momentarily delayed as arena workers gathered the hats tossed onto the ice by adoring family and friends. Late goals were added by tough winger Mike Robinson after a long scrum in front of the net and an empty netter by winger Breck Masterson.
Alt-captain Doug Eng said "it was a fantastic team effort...the entire season and especially tonight". Proud of the hard work and perseverance on display, he said "we never gave up, not for a moment even as Ice Paddys scored two quick goals" in the second period to even the score at 2-2. A team win for the ages which saw Doug and his D-mates let up only two odd-man rushes. Handling the defensive responsibilities tonight were Anit Arora along with Doug, Timmy Matijcio and alt-captain Peter DiMartino, and captain Rick Gioia with Tyler Schinto (it was later learned that Tyler played with a potentially serious injury...an act of bravery his team mates would have strongly urged him not to do).
The team overall responded well to the evening's challenge. The third line, centered by Tim Nash, had a very good third period. Showing composure and recognizing the moment at hand, Tim along with wingers Mike Schwartz and Dave Brion effectively played keep away and burned several crucial minutes in the third-period. Players watching from the bench were fired-up at seeing this.
In the end, it was Nordiques goalie Brian Fratturo who transformed this team from a perennial contender to a team that strikes fear in their opponent. The Nordiques ledger boasts relentless checkers, fearless hitters, talented scorers and smart defensemen. The addition of Brian lifted this team to another level. His hard work, consistency, commitment to team, enthusiasm and winning spirit has fans and team mates alike wondering whether he will be recognized and awarded with a role among the team captains. Three-time Nordiques champion Peter DiMartino said in the press room after the game that we believe in ourselves and we get the most out of our skills. We challenge ourselves to not get beat. Brian fits this team like a glove in that regard. Lots of players display terrific talent but we display superior heart along with talent. Brian has the passion and you can see it in his eyes. You can see it in the eyes of our team mates on the ice. You can see our determination...and so can our opponents".
Alt-captain Rich Bruno said "mission accomplished". The winter championship is most coveted by players it seems, but winning all three seasons makes the Nordiques unique. "Many teams don't stay together for three seasons let alone 10 years, like us". Also a 3-time champ, James Delorey said that "each one is special in its own way. Having lost game 2 and to answer back the way we did in game 3 makes this one very special. We take pride in our sweater, in our tradition. Our opponents were tough as nails and we tip our hats to them". "We'll remember the things that sometimes go unnoticed", said two-time champs Steve Hepensteil and Breck Masterson, "the small battle, the extra effort, the determination, guys lifting each other up. If the hockey gods wanted us to work harder to enjoy this victory more, then we're OK with that because it feels great".
Captain Rick Gioia said "this season was different because we finished the regular season in first place. In recent championship seasons we did not, but we thrived in the underdog role by competing from the 2nd 3rd, or 4th position. This time we finished first and with character and composure we completed the task as the top seed. Mission accomplished". While pouring champagne over his captain, Peter D said "each championship is a struggle and a blessing all its own. Seeing the guys pull together is a great thing. It's fun to watch. Our team is truly better than the sum of its parts and our captain sets the tone."
The evening ended with a little known Nordiques tradition as the last few remaining players hit the ice again for a late night streak on the west rink, probably in the 2am hour. In 3-4 hours, with alarm clocks sounding, most of these guys will be heading to the train, the office or the shop. Some taking their kids off to school. Quiet at last, the final task of the evening...the equipment can be removed, washed and hung and aired-out (or in Gioia's case, mercifully burned). Along with that, the players can put to bed the many superstitions each hockey player seems to carry like a burden or like a faithful companion. And now the body gets a chance to heal too. Then a thought...the fall/winter season is just 2 weeks away. Two weeks to heal deep tissue bruises, painful joints and other conditions. Well at least we're in game condition already.
The last item out of the equipment bag is, oh yeah, the champions shirt. If you're saying gee, is that all you get? The answer is we get the shirt and a whole lot more. Afterall, It can't be bought, it can only be won!!!
The Nordiques would like to thank their family, friends and fans in the Stamford, CT area and friends and family across the U.S. We'd especially like to thank our friends in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada who have taken an interest in our little team. With them, we continue to honor and respect the Nordiques sweater and keep it where it belongs...on the ice. We look forward to the day when the Nordiques can once again skate as an NHL team and restore the hockey pride and tradition in the great city of Quebec.
The players would also like to give special thanks to their wives, girlfriends, significant others, and their children and employers too who seem to get the short end of the stick at one point or another.
Summer 2010 Roster -------------------------
Rich Gioia D Captain Rich Bruno D Alt-Captain Peter DiMartino D Alt-Captain Doug Eng D Alt-Captain
Brian Fratturo G Anit Arora D Dave Brion F James Delorey F Eric Farrell F Steve Hepensteil F Breck Masterson F Justin Matijcio F Tim Matijcio D Tim Nash F Mike Robinson F Tyler Schinto F/D Mike Schwartz F Mitch Yashiro G
30 September 2010 The great news is that the Nordiques get to play one more game before the curtain is drawn on the summer session. One game, for the championship, no tears. The not-so-great news is that bruised ribs, elbows and shoulders will have to wait another week to begin healing. But this is why grown men with careers put their bodies to the test and sometimes through hell. It's for THIS game. Going out late at night, sometimes in dismal weather, after the kids are done with their homework and put to bed. It's to celebrate the great game of hockey. It's to accomplish something together. It's for THIS moment...and this moment will take place Tuesday October 5 9pm at STR.
The set up to last night's game was this. The Nordiques planned to come out strong, score early and take some of the will from their opponents. If all went well for the Nordiques, a team with nearly 10 years of Stamford hockey history, it could have celebrated its second consecutive championship and third going back to Winter 2009. The team was coming off of a four game win streak dating back to the final two games of the regular season, and already had defeated last evening's opponent three times (by one goal in each regular season game as well as an OT winner in game one of the championship series). As it turned out, winning at this level isn't ever easy and the hockey gods want the Nordiques to work a little harder so that the taste of victory is as sweet as can be.
The Nordiques fell behind quickly in the first period on a penalty kill and by the midway point of the game trailed 3-0. Would that be too big a hill to climb? Brian Fratturo played another scintillating game in goal for the Nordiques. Making big save after big save and giving his team a chance to mount a comeback. This has been a winning formula lately for the Nordiques. And here it was again, the Nordiques returned the favor in a big way. By the final stages of the third period, the score was tied 3-3 thanks to goals scored by the Matijcio brothers and Eric Farrell.
After the game, players spoke about the surge back to tie the game more than the lapse that followed. To a man, they agreed that they have a better game left in them. Also, they agreed that without Frat's acrobatics the comeback would not have been attainable. The Nordiques were tested by their speedier opponents. Too often the team collectively was a little slow to the puck and didn't often enough show the sort of grit around the opposing goal net like that which was displayed on the Justin Matijcio goal. To remedy last night's outcome, the team will have to remember the passion it took to fight back when they put the sweater on to take the ice in game 3. There is a price to pay and everyone has to pay it. That's what gives you ownership, that's what makes the moment last.
Team captains, Rick Gioia, Rich Bruno (A), Doug Eng (A) and Peter DiMartino (A) had this to say after the game. "Nordiques hockey is about passion, grit, desire and fun. Sometimes it's pretty, sometimes not. The Nordiques have found success by utilizing many different player types to contribute; the only prerequisites are courage, character, and a belief that each man will be a super team mate. These guys have responded to the challenge this season and jelled together well. Everyone on this team can make a contribution offensively or defensively in his own way with his own unique skills. The best part is that we are a band of brothers and winning or not winning doesn't not break our bond".
Likening Tuesday's icey showdown to a strategic battlefield skirmish, Lafleur-like winger Breck Masterson see the Nordiques as the infantry. At some point in the heat of the battle, the tide will turn, momentum will change and the push back begins. He says "It will not be from the large cannons or swift rockets but from the boot on the ground making that small, often unseen, crucial extra effort. It may be a relentless chase to a loose puck, a timely poke check, a face off win or just a smart line change..but the singular contribution will augment the spirit and drive of the troupes and the battle will be on, victory one inch closer".
Less eloquently but to the same point, defenseman Peter DiMartino followed Breck at the podium and offered a look back at recent big games in Nordiques history. "When the Nordiques won their biggest games, whether those games were regular season, playoffs or championship series, we were likely NOT the most skilled or talented team vying for that victory. However, what I know, is that we showed up with more hustle, more heart, more desire and more passion than the other sweaters did. That's why I fell in love with this team. We answer. We fight for every puck and every inch of ice. Nordiques teams score scrappy, lunch pale goals with players from all lines fighting like wounded animals around their opponents goal. At the same time, no one scores a goal on us unless they earn it. We don't make it easy or pleasurable to play us. That's what I see when I think about Nordiques hockey. Answering the challenge together, no challenge to great. It just doesn't get any better than that." When asked for a more concrete suggestion for Tuesday, he added, "Forget the last pass boys. Dump, chase, punish and score. Show them your WILL not your backhanded sourcer-passes. Everyone must BRING IT...nothing goes uncontested on Tuesday."
Nordiques take game 1 from Paddys in OT
24 September 2010 Game 1 of the best of three championship series lived up to the hype. It was tight, hard fought and fast moving. The goal tending was spectacular. The Nordiques battled to a 3-2 overtime win and are now one win away from defending their championship crown. Game 2 will be played Wednesday September 29 at 9pm.
A few minutes into the overtime period the Nordiques defense blocked a shot, quickly cleared their zone and moved the puck down the ice. Battling a pair of Ice Paddys along the boards and in the corner, Eric Farrell came away with the puck and moved it toward the front of the net. As both Paddys defensemen jousted to tie up Breck Masterson in front of the net, Mike Robinson pounced on the loose puck and tucked it behind the defenseless net minder.
It was a thrilling game to win for the Nordiques and a painful game to lose for the Ice Paddys. After the victory, a relieved captain Rick Gioia revealed that this victory marked the first time in team history that the Nordiques won a game 1 of a best of 3 championship final series, despite the team's multiple championships. He added that the team "will have to show it can play with character and composure now that it holds a series advantage".
Not surprisingly, the game was reminiscent of the two games played against Ice Paddys early in the summer season -- low-scoring with late goals accounting for Nordiques victories. Nordiques trailed for more than half the game last night before responding to take a lead late in the second period. The Nordiques were outplayed for most of the first period and were fortunate to trail by just one goal going into the second period. Both teams had to kill a few penalties and had their respective turns controlling the game. Steve Hepensteil, Justin Matijcio and Big James Delorey took some pressure off the Nordiques defense by pinning the Paddys in their own zone several times while Tyler Schinto, Tim Nash and Dr Mike did a great job all night keeping the Paddys first line tied up. Nordiques players kept moving the puck, moving their feet and began to draw some penalties. Just like last game, Nordiques forwards made good use of their point men again and several good scoring chances came from point shots.
Deeper into the game, the Nordiques began to out-muscle and out-skate their opponents and with 4 minutes left in the second period the White Shirts finally hit the net. It was Tim Matijcio producing not one but both goals late in the second period by slalom-ing his way through an obstacle course of Ice Paddys as they threw themselves in front of him in an attempt to slow down the burly, quick moving and Sabre-loving defenseman.
The Nordiques maintained the one goal edge late into the third period. Time and time again it was Brian "Thunderbuns" Fratturo saving his team with outstanding net play. Ice Paddys have plenty of offensive talent and speed, and they had their shots. Only once since the first period did a shot elude Brian, and that happened with about 2 minutes remaining in the third period to tie the game. But Brian made key saves from distant and point blank ranges all night. He challenged shooters and moved athletically around the crease. He bailed out a defenseman or two when break outs were unsuccessful. Once again, he kept his team in the game long enough for team mates to produce some more offense.
Standing beside Brian were some gritty defensemen who withstood a fair amount of pressure from Paddys wingers crashing the net. The D blocked several hard shots and picked up their checks in front of Frat. Pairings remained the same with Anit Arora and Doug Eng, Timmy Matijcio and Peter DiMartino, and Rick Gioia and Rich Bruno. They all did a good job clearing the puck and limiting rebound chances especially in the second half of the game.
Reporters asked Fratturo after the game whether this was his finest performance since signing a multi-year agreement with the Nordiques. The exhausted goalie responded by saying "Yes, I was challenged tonight and I played well. The boys played well in front of me also. Letting up 2 goals against the Paddys is about as good as I can do and I'm pleased. I will be ready for game 2 and we'll be looking to end it there."
Reporters asked Eric Farrell about his strong play along the boards. Eric said "lately I can't seem to get into scoring position, but I've been working hard and it's gratifying to contribute to the win". Meanwhile, Robinson gave all the credit for the goal to his line mates for doing their jobs and freeing him to score.
Early in the game, Anit Arora took a high stick to the chin and bled through most of the contest. His team mates were lifted by Anit's courage and his demonstration of team before self. He was unavailable for questioning after the game as he directly went to Stamford Hospital for stitches. Shortly after Anit was cut, Peter DiMartino took a four-minute roughing/boarding call sending a Paddys player hard to the boards and ice. Reporters asked if that was retaliation and he replied, "it's been frustrating that a few of the Nordiques skill players, particularly Anit and Justin, have been targeted and roughed up by opposing teams"..."no doubt that both of these guys play hard and can handle their own affairs, but game one is a good time to send a message of our own. I was very happy when the boys successfully killed the penalty time."
If the Nordiques can win one of the remaining two games, the core of this team will have won the triple crown at STR. That is, the team will have won Fall/Winter, Spring, and Summer season championships.
Nordiques roll to Playoff Win; Will play for Championship
21 September 2010 The Nordiques' quest for consecutive championships continues with a convincing 5-1 win over Nomads last night in the elimination round. A best of 3 championship series begins on Thursday September 23 (see Summer 2010 Results link for game schedule) versus tonight's Ice Paddys/Sting winner. The Fleur de Lis took control of this game right away with superior skating, puck control and tight checking. The bench was alive with chatter and players supporting each other. Conversely, Nomads skaters were easily frustrated, took several penalties, and generally had a difficult night.
Anchored by the inspiration play of Dave Brion, the Nordiques were dominant in all zones. Nordiques wingers and point men lambasted the Nomadic goalie with shots far and near. Opposing defense had a difficult time clearing the crease and zone. At the end of the first period the score was 3-0, and the game was virtually over by then. Bruno, Breck, Justin, Dave and Mike scored goals. Defensively, the Nordiques controlled the puck and the game. Clean defensive breakouts led directly to three Nordiques goals. Pairings included Anit/Doug, Timmy/Peter D, and Ricky/Richie. Goaltender Brian Fratturo seldom was called upon in this game but did make a few difficult stops.
September 22 Postscript Ice Paddys defeated Sting 6-4 last night in the 2nd/3rd place playoff qualifier. That means it's Nordiques vs Ice Paddys in the finals for the summer championship. During the season, these two teams battled hard and played two very close games. Each time the Nordiques prevailed on come from behind 1-goal victories (both games ended 4-3). Notable Nordiques players in those contests were Timmy Matijcio and Anit Arora who scored the game winners, and Brian Fratturo who kept the Nordiques in the game long enough to fashion a comeback victory.
Nordiques win finale 5-2; Will defend crown as top-seed
16 September 2010 The Nordiques completed a late-night back-to-back sweep last night with a 5-2 victory over Sting. The short summer regular season schedule has ended with the 8-2 Nordiques atop the 6-team tier (refer to Summer 2010 Results link). Defense of the spring championship title will begin Monday evening September 20 against 4th place finisher Nomads. The other elimination game will see Ice Paddys and Sting (both finishing the summer with 7-3 records) battle for the right to play in the best of three championship series final. Combined, the Nordiques won 4 of 5 games versus these three opponents this summer.
The Nordiques season finale last night was a showdown between two prideful, strong-willed teams. Downright gnarly at times, players on both teams stepped over the line. Around those distractions, 5 different Nordiques scored goals including Doug Eng, Breck Masterson, Brian Fratturo, and the Matijcio brothers. It was a very good night for Mitch Yashiro too who turned in his second stingy performance in as many nights amid much mayhem in and around the crease. Opponents scored just 2 goals per night against the Nordiques in these two games due in large part to Mitch's solid play. The defensive core played confidently in front of Mitch, moving the puck quickly and hammering anyone attempting to set a screen in front of him. Nordiques' defensemen limited the damage caused by Sting "hangers" and that made a big difference. Successfully defending the d-zone were Anit,Timmy, Ricky, Peter D, Rich, and Tyler. All battled hard.
Despite trailing on the scoreboard all night, Sting was still a very difficult opponent. Out-manned and over-matched, the orange shirts never allowed the game get out of reach. The core of the team and their goalie played a solid game and limited the Nordiques' output. Sting surely will be difficult opponent to face in the playoffs next week.
Out of character for a summer game, 18 Nordiques players answered the call and the bench was bursting with talent. Some played despite injuries. Many of these players were motivated to right a wrong and to exact a degree of punishment on our rival, who's transgressions a week ago prompted a strong and unified team response. That mission was accomplished; and now the Nordiques move-on expecting the past will not be prologue...but resolutely prepared if it is.
The contest included plenty of hits (intentional and not), retaliations, bench barking and taunting, quite a few penalties and even a some ejections. While this is not entirely out of character when these two teams line up against each other, this game was far worse. However, the on-ice officials did a great job as always, dispensing discipline, tolerance, and humor in measured proportions. Oddly enough, at the end of the game (almost all) players shook hands, smiles were not difficult to find, and even some apologies were offered. To hockey players though, this is not odd at all. We salute each other's passion for the game. And for the record, the Nordiques could easily get fired up to play Sting again next week if both teams win their qualifying games.
Nordiques win 3-2; Showdown for first place tonight
15 September 2010 The Nordiques posted a 3-2 win last night over a pesky Fat Tire squad. Starting in net for just his second game with the Nordiques this summer, Mitch kept the team in the game with strong net play, yielding 2 goals and stopping many. While Mitch and the Nordiques defense were shutting out Fat Tire in the third period, Tim Matijcio carried his team to victory scoring a third period hat trick, including a short-handed game winner with a minute to play.
The win raises the team's summer record to 7-2 resulting temporarily in a first place tie in the standings with one regular season game remaining. The tie will be resolved tonight as the Nordiques play "the team that shall not be named" with an identical 7-2 record. The winner of the game will face Nomads (4th place) in the first round of the playoffs and the loser will face Ice Paddys (3rd place). Captain Rich Gioia assured reporters after the game that the team is ready and fired up for Wednesday's game, saying he's rarely seen his team so personally invested in and focused on one regular season contest. The Nordiques to a man expect a very physical and passionate battle.
Last night's contest was well-played. The Nordiques used a 3-line offensive scheme and all lines tested Fat Tire's goalie high and low. Despite the Nordiques' offensive effort, Fat Tire defense played well and their goalie yielded few rebound opportunities. Through 2 periods, the Nordiques failed to score. Meanwhile, the Nordiques as a unit were just a little slow in the defensive zone, being beat to loose pucks at key times. Fat Tire moved the puck smartly around the net, the result of which was a 2-0 lead going into the third period.
In the third, the Nordiques took 4 consecutive penalties...certainly not helpful for a team trailing by two goals. "Quite honestly", alt-captain DiMartino said after the game "our defense and our goaltender Mitch did a helluva job keeping us in the game...surrendering a 3rd goal may have been too much for us to overcome". Several team mates commented on Mitch's gutsy play and his recovery following last week's loss. Mitch quickly deflected the praise away saying "The star tonight was Timmy, he put us on his back and willed us to victory. It was an awesome display and fun to watch him".
Nordiques absorb second loss
10 September 2010 The Nordiques decisively lost their second game of the summer season 7-3. With two scheduled games remaining before playoffs, the Nordiques own a 6-2 record and for the moment hold a second-place tie in the standings. The final two regular season games will be played this week (Tue and Wed). Having already qualified for the summer playoffs, the Nordiques will set out to defend their spring championship in the days to follow.
Nordiques win, 9 players show up for beers afterward!
31 August 2010 The Nordiques rolled to their sixth win tonight defeating Lightspeed 8-1. With a firm grip on first place, the Nordiques will be idle for the next 2 weeks before putting their 6-1 record on the line for contests on back-to-back nights. Perhaps the most notable news of the evening was that 9 players came out for post-game beers, easily a summer season high-water mark.
Halfway through what was a fairly tightly played first period, the Nordiques tallied three unanswered goals. Mike Robinson scored his first of two goals this period off a deflection from Tim Matijcio's shot following a nice spin-a-rama move at the blue line. Then Jim Delorey followed shortly after with his first of two goals of the night by poking in his own rebound. Despite fine saves by Lightspeed goalie Seeweed, the Nordiques had lots of chances off rebounds as the opposing defense had trouble moving pucks and players away from the net.
Steve Hepensteil and Justin Matijcio owned the second period...scoring several goals off nice feeds from each other. The Nordiques moved the puck nicely through the neutral and offensive zones while strong defensive play left few if any rebound chances in front of Brian Fratturo who returned tonight after sitting out two games with a hand injury. Brian did use that hand to make a couple of remarkable stops, one in particular from point blank range off a hard shot by Coogan at the top of the slot.
Anit Arora played a very strong game on the blue line for the Nordiques, around the puck all night and making it difficult for Lightspeed skaters to penetrate the zone with the puck. Before Lightspeed scored their lone goal of the night late in the third, Eric Farrell scored the final Nordiques goal. This was a well-earned goal as Eric was close to the action all night...even closer to the action after the game.
Nordiques come from behind to topple Nomads
26 August 2010 Down by two goals late in the second period, the Nordiques scored the next four goals for a big 4-3 win over Nomads. The win improves the Nordiques summer run to 5-1, maintaining a firm grip on first place in the division. The win also marks a triumphant return of the A-train, back after a long summer mission to Belize where he taught youngsters to skate.
James "Ice Time" Delorey was the offensive star tonight scoring 2 goals inside of a minute to bring the Nordiques back to life after trailing 2-0 late in the second period. At 2-2 in the third, Mike Robinson and Tim Matijcio, two big-time goal scorers, netted the third and fourth goals, respectively, to build a 4-2 lead. These would turn out to be all that A-train needed as the Nordiques held on for a 4-3 win. A-train (Nordiques championship goalie for the Winter 2008/09 season) played goal for an injured Brian Fratturo who has missed two games with a stubborn hand injury. In his usual pattern, A-train gave up a soft goal early but played well afterwards.
Defenseman, zen-master, and all-around tough guy Rich Bruno was knocked out of the game after taking a slapshot off the ankle. Down a man, the defensive core sucked up the remaining ice time and kept several surging Nomads at bay.
The Nordiques play again Tuesday August 31 at 9pm versus Lightspeed.
Nordiques Suffer First Loss of Summer Season
23 August 2010 The Nordiques lost tonight to Fat Tire by a score of 6-2. This is the first loss of the season for the Nordiques who had been on a 6-game win streak going back to the spring playoffs. The loss brings the summer record to 4-1 with a tough showdown against the Nomads to be played later this week.
This is also the Nordiques' first-ever loss to Fat Tire, a team organized for the spring 2010 season. Obviously they have improved a great deal and brought it all on this night to play the white-n-blue. Observers say FT defense were very tough tonight, not yielding many opportunities at all. On the other end of the ice, kudos to captain Rick Gioia for stepping between the pipes to play for Brian Frat who sat out with an injured hand.
4-0 Nordiques defeat Paddys again 4-3
10 August 2010 The Nordiques bested Ice Paddys tonight for the second-time this summer season by an identical 4-3 score. After taking a 1-0 lead, the Nordiques trailed by a goal two times in the contest before fighting back with 2 late goals to wrestle an important victory away from the team closest in the standings prior to this week's action. The victory came despite some sloppy play by the Nordiques in its own zone, and improves the team's record to a stout 4-0.
Several Nordiques players were key in contributing to the slim victory. Brian Fratturo handled immense pressure in net as he laid out more than a SI swimsuit model to smother a few would-be Ice Paddys goals. In the post game interview (and in noticeable pain), Frat explained how he kept his team in the game by saying "The magnets I inserted in my chest protector tonight surely saved me...who knew rubber was magnetic?! Shortly after, Frat was seen doing wind sprints in the parking lot, the pain apparently relieved.
Offensive-minded defenseman Anit Arora, a tenacious, selfless, and cerebral player score 2 goals tonight, the second of which was the game winner. Fleet of foot, Anit used an unorthodox dump and chase move to score his first goal. He flipped a backhander off the opposing defenseman's neck before collecting the loose puck and firing it home causing the goalie's water bottle to explode from the puck's impact. Anit added the winner late in the game and the team held the line the rest of the way to preserve an exhilarating 4-3 win. Anit called it "a total team effort to stay in the game".
Mike Schwartz also hit the score sheet, recording the Nordiques first goal of the evening. Notable mentions go to Captain Rick Gioia with a strong transition game and to centerman Justin Matijcio for 45 minutes of tenacious play.
Nordiques score 6-3 win over Lightspeed
3 August 2010 The Nordiques continued their recent roll with a 6-3 win over Lightspeed and take a 3-0 record into a game 4 rematch with Ice Paddys. Currently the Ice Paddys trail the first place Nordiques in the standings by 1 game as the short summer season approaches the midway point.
Balanced scoring among the first 2 lines with steady defense and big-time goaltending kept the opponents well in-check throughout the game. Plenty of scorers tonight including Justin Matijcio, Steve Hepensteil, and Eric Farrell. Notable newcomer Tim Nash netted 2 goals from the left wing in his Nordiques debut.
The game was close through 2 periods, but a 3-line offensive approach wore down Lightspeed defense. By the third period, Lightspeed goalie Seaweed was being pounded with rubber. As usual Seaweed played a great game in net for Lightspeed. Meanwhile, Frat provided numerous clips to the highlight reel with some huge saves as he goes on to win his 5th straight contest (going back to the spring championship round).
Late Goal Propels Nordiques to 4-3 Win
27 July 2010 The Nordiques improved its summer 2010 record to 2-0 with a hard fought victory over a tough Ice Paddys team. Players showed up with plenty of grit and physical play, and officials called several roughing penalties throughout the contest.
Nordiques jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period before the Paddys registered a goal late in the first. Every inch of ice was contested and each team worked hard around and away from the puck. After a scoreless second period, Ice Paddys quickly scored 2 in the first minute of the third period to even it up at 3 goals apiece. Not a good start to the period for the Nordiques. The score remained that way and it appeared a shootout would be needed to settle the contest.
"If he had $1,000 he'd just spend it", but tonight he had just 30 seconds...Timmy Matijcio settled things his way. With time running out, Tim rushed the puck from behind his own goal line and buried the give-n-go winner down low with inside 30 seconds left...game over! Awesome effort and skill on display last night by Timmy and linemates. The entire team kept the game within reach and weathered intense pressure at times. But none more than Frat. Thunderbuns was huge in goal again and provided the big saves throughout the game. Get that man another red bull.
Nordiques Start Summer with 8-2 Win
22 July 2010 Fresh off their spring championship a week earlier, the Nordiques continued to roll with a debut summer win over Fat Tire. Plenty of scoring by all three offensive lines and strong net-minding by Frat was more than enough to secure the 8-2 win.
Players were challenged mostly by keeping down the large amounts of tequila consumed at Peter D's championship party less than 24 hours earlier.
"nos bras meutris vous tendent le flambeau, a vous toujours de la porter bien haut..."