2016 SHL Finals – Game 1


Despite his team coming into the SHL Finals as a strong favorite, Michigan Gray Wolves coach Ron Wright stressed the importance of starting the series strong.  “In a short series, it’s all about momentum,” said Wright.  “Fall into a hole, no matter how strong you are, and it can be impossible to get out.  I want to see us make a statement right away.”

In Game 1, the Wolves did exactly what their coach wanted.  They made about as strong a statement as possible, seizing control of the game in the first period and cruising from there.  Behind the brilliant play of G Dirk “The Bear” Lundquist (31 saves), Michigan put up a 4-0 shutout that left the visiting Washington Galaxy dazed and confused.

“Man, they really came to play,” said Washington LW Casey Thurman.  “We’re really going to have to step it up in the next game, or we’re just going to get run over.”

The Galaxy came into the game determined not to let Michigan push them around.  “We know the Wolves play a physical game,” said Galaxy D Bruce “Boom Boom” Hogaboom.  “We wanted to show them that we’re not scared.”

As a result, Washington started the game in a feisty mood, throwing elbows and hips at the Wolves.  Less than eight minutes into the game, Galaxy LW Walt Camernitz took exception to a hard check into the boards by Wolves D Bjorn Tollefson and came up swinging.  Both players wound up getting majors.

Washington’s aggressive play wound up getting them into trouble later in the period.  Rookie D Grant Warriner was whistled for high-sticking with about six minutes left in the first period.  The Galaxy managed to kill off that penalty, but no sooner had they done so than D Kevin Buchanan was hit with a double minor for spearing Michigan C Hunter Bailes.  The crowd at Cadillac Place booed Buchanan lustily, but the boos turned to cheers a couple minutes later when Michigan D Fritz Kronstein went top-shelf on Washington netminder Roger Orion to put the home team on the board.

“I saw a little daylight and I took advantage,” said Kronstein, who was Michigan’s first-round pick in this year’s draft.

Less than a minute later, the Wolves doubled their advantage as LW Jorma Seppa, filling in on the top line due to Vladimir Beruschko‘s injury, scored on a wraparound.

“That second goal really threw us off,” said Hogaboom.  “We’d been holding our own all period, then boom-boom, we’re in a hole.”

The Galaxy hoped just to survive the rest of the first and head into the locker room down 2-0, but Michigan RW Oskar Denison scored on a slapper in the waning seconds of the period for a three-goal advantage.

“At that point, we knew we were basically done for,” said Camernitz.

The rest of the game was somewhat anticlimactic, highlighted by one more goal (by Wolves C Warren Marlow in the third period) and one more fight (between Hogaboom and Michigan D “Mad Max” Madison).  The real star of the day, though, was Lundquist.  The goalie flashed his athletic prowess making some brilliant saves to keep the shutout intact.  In the second, Lundquist made several brilliant saves to help Michigan kill off back-to-back penalties.  In the third, he made a tremendous glove save to stone Washington C Eddie Costello on a breakaway attempt.

“The Bear’s motor is really incredible,” said Wright.  “Even after the outcome of the game wasn’t in doubt, he was still in top form, still hustling.  If he keeps up this level of play, it’s going to be a real short series.”

After the game, Galaxy coach Rodney Reagle sought to put the game behind him.  “I’m not going to watch the film of this game,” said Reagle.  “I think I’m going to burn the film, in fact.  If I want to watch something, I’ll watch Die Hard instead.  At least that one has a happy ending.”


12/04/2016, SHL Finals Game 1
WSH vs. MIC, Cadillac Place

                  1   2   3   OT   F
Washington        0   0   0        0
Michigan          3   0   1        4

Washington            G   A PTS PIM   Michigan              G   A PTS PIM

Thurman        LW     0   0   0   0   Kronstein      D      1   0   1   0
Wright         D      0   0   0   0   Bailes         C      0   2   2   0
Costello       C      0   0   0   0   Madison        D      0   0   0   5
Buchanan       D      0   0   0   4   Lunsford       RW     0   1   1   0
McNeely        RW     0   0   0   0   Seppa          LW     1   1   2   2
Camernitz      LW     0   0   0   5   Mudrick        D      0   0   0   0
Warriner       D      0   0   0   2   Marlow         C      1   1   2   0
Marais         C      0   0   0   0   Tollefson      D      0   2   2   7
Anderson       D      0   0   0   0   Denison        RW     1   0   1   0
Takoyaki       RW     0   0   0   0   Gauss          LW     0   0   0   0
Van Alpin      LW     0   0   0   0   Labrakov       D      0   0   0   0
Corbett        D      0   0   0   0   Knight         C      0   0   0   2
Sullivan       C      0   0   0   0   Banks          D      0   0   0   0
Hogaboom       D      0   0   0   5   Poulin         RW     0   0   0   2
Pentti         RW     0   0   0   2   Preston        F      0   0   0   0
-----------------------------------   -----------------------------------
TOTALS                0   0   0  18   TOTALS                4   7  11  18

WSH: Francis, Braun, Wallington
MIC: Beruschko, Berlinger, Mratic

Washington         SH    SV    G    Sv%
Orion              28    24    4  0.857

Michigan           SH    SV    G    Sv%
Lundquist          31    31    0  1.000


First Period

17:10  MIC  Kronstein PP (Seppa, Bailes)
17:56  MIC  Seppa (Lunsford, Bailes)
19:52  MIC  Denison (Tollefson, Marlow)

04:48  MIC  Seppa 2:00 (Elbowing)
07:51  MIC  Tollefson 5:00 (Fighting)
07:51  WSH  Camernitz 5:00 (Fighting)
13:42  WSH  Warriner 2:00 (High-sticking)
15:58  WSH  Buchanan 4:00 (Spearing)

Second Period


05:50  MIC  Poulin 2:00 (Cross-checking)
07:46  MIC  Knight 2:00 (Tripping)
10:30  WSH  Pentti 2:00 (Holding the Stick)
13:10  MIC  Madison 5:00 (Fighting)
13:10  WSH  Hogaboom 5:00 (Fighting)

Third Period

03:48  MIC  Marlow (Tollefson)

17:02  MIC  Tollefson 2:00 (Roughing)

                  1   2   3   OT   F
Washington        9   9  13       31
Michigan          8   7  13       28


Washington   0 for 4
Michigan     1 for 3



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