2015 SHL Finals – Game 1

Washington SmallAnchorage SmallWASHINGTON GALAXY 3, ANCHORAGE IGLOOS 2

The Anchorage Igloos came into the SHL Finals as heavy favorites.  If they expected this series to be a cakewalk, though, they’ll need to adjust their expectations.  The Washington Galaxy skated into Arctic Circle Arena and stole Game 1 by a 3-2 margin.

“You guys might want to hold up on the coronation,” Galaxy RW Jefferson McNeely jibed to reporters after the game.  “Looks like we’ve got a real series on our hands, huh?”

The Igloos are famous for their team speed, and early in the first game, they threatened to leave the visiting Galaxy in the dust.  A little more than 6 minutes into the game, Anchorage had already secured a 2-0 lead on goals by LW Les Collins and C Jake Frost.  “That was a real gut check for us,” said Washington D Kevin Buchanan.  “They were turning [the game] into a track meet, and we just weren’t able to keep up.”

But Washington coach Rodney Reagle made some adjustments and encouraged his team to keep their heads up.  “I told ‘em all to take a deep breath and figure out a way to get in Anchorage’s heads,” said Reagle.  “The pressure’s on them; they’re the favorite.  If we can disrupt their flow, we can change the whole series.  That was the message.”

Reagle’s players listened.  Late in the first period, Galaxy D Bill Corbett goaded Collins into a slashing penalty, and Galaxy RW Nori Takoyaki took advantage, banging home a goal from the left faceoff circle to make it 2-1.

In the second period, Washington managed to slow the pace of the game and prevent the Igloos from making their trademark breakaways.  Late in the period, the Galaxy first line struck twice to claim the lead.  First, C Eddie Costello banged home a blue-line shot through traffic to tie the game.  Then, less than a minute later, Igloos RW Sven Danielsen was whistled for tripping.  On the ensuing power play, Costello faked another blue-line slap shot, instead passing to LW Casey Thurman, who was sitting in front of the crease.  Thurman tipped it past Anchorage goalie Ty Worthington for a 3-2 lead.

In the third period, the Igloos peppered the Washington net with shots (a total of 14 in the period), but Galaxy goalie Roger Orion made several brilliant saves, and Washington’s defenders also sacrificed their bodies to block a number of Anchorage attempts, as the Galaxy held on for the victory.  The crowd filed out in stunned silence, perhaps realizing that they were in for more than they’d bargained for.

Buchanan proudly lifted his shirt in the locker room to display the bruises he’d received from blocking shots.  “That’s playoff hockey, baby!” Buchanan shouted.  “Those are badges of honor right there.  We’re not about to let up!”

Castor remained confident despite his team dropping the opener at home.  “We never thought the Galaxy were going to make this easy on us,” said Castor.  “We knew we’d have to earn this.  But we’re going to have to turn the intensity up a notch in the next game.”

05/17/2016, SHL Finals Game 1
WSH vs. ANC, Arctic Circle Arena

                      1   2   3     T
Washington Galaxy     1   2   0  -  3
Anchorage Igloos      2   0   0  -  2



1:01   ANC   Collins PP (Montrechere, Baker)
6:16   ANC   Frost PP (Koons, Ericsson)
17:54  WSH   Takoyaki PP (Anderson, Camernitz)

0:49   WSH   Buchanan, 2:00 (Roughing)
2:55   ANC   Keefe, 2:00 (Cross-Checking)
5:02   WSH   Douglas, 2:00 (Interference)
11:43  WSH   Anderson, 2:00 (Tripping)
16:38  ANC   Collins, 2:00 (Slashing)


14:17  WSH   Costello (McNeely, Thurman)
15:36  WSH   Thurman PP (Costello, Buchanan)

2:26   ANC   Martinsson, 2:00 (Interference)
5:17   ANC   Bernard, 2:00 (Slashing)
10:44  WSH   Pentti, 2:00 (Holding)
15:11  ANC   Danielsen, 2:00 (Tripping)



7:11   WSH   Buchanan, 2:00 (Roughing)
10:32  ANC   Bench Penalty, 2:00 (Too Many Men on the Ice)
             Served by Zhlotkin
13:05  WSH   Anderson, 2:00 (Roughing)


Washington         SH    SV    G    Sv%    TOI
Orion (W)          28    26    2   .929  60:00

Anchorage          SH    SV    G    Sv%    TOI
Worthington (L)    36    33    3   .917  60:00


              1   2   3     T
Washington   11  15  10  - 36
Anchorage     9   5  14  - 28


Washington - 2 for 6
Anchorage  - 2 for 6

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