2016 SHL Finals – Game 2

Michigan SmallWashington SmallMICHIGAN GRAY WOLVES 2, WASHINGTON GALAXY 0

Every player dreams of playing his best when the stage is biggest.  Michigan Gray Wolves goalie Dirk “The Bear” Lundquist is living the dream in the SHL Finals.  Already universally recognized as the league’s best netminder, Lundquist has somehow managed to elevate his game to the next level in the postseason.  With the help of a stifling Michigan defense, he posted his second straight shutout of the Washington Galaxy, as the Wolves got some late-game lightning from their third line to claim a 2-0 victory and a 2-0 lead in the Finals.  It’s the first time in SHL history that anyone has posted back-to-back shutouts, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for his time.

“How ’bout The Bear, everybody!” said Michigan coach Ron Wright after the game.  “He’s just playing on a different plane than everyone else.  He sees angles in his head that no one else sees.”

Lundquist was quick to credit his defenders for their role in his performance.  “I could not have done this without my teammates in front of me,” said the Wolves netminder.  “I didn’t have to make many ten bell saves, because the defense was denying them good looks.  They made me look very good.”

The Wolves’ blue-line corps definitely turned in a strong outing.  Through the first two periods, they limited Washington to a mere 10 shots.  The Wolves dominated the play in the neutral zone, and on the rare occasions when the Galaxy did cross the blue line, Michigan’s defensemen did a good job angling them away from the net.  “They just shut us down completely,” said Galaxy RW Jefferson McNeely.  “It definitely felt like the ice was tilted against us.”

But Galaxy G Roger Orion was doing a fine job in his end, turning aside 20 Michigan shots over the first two frames.  When Washington drew a pair of penalties in close succession at the start of the second, Orion stood on his head and stopped several quality chances.  “We were getting a little frustrated,” said RW Gordon Lunsford.  “We were dominating the play, but we weren’t getting any results.  But Coach Wright kept us up.  He told us that if we kept up the same level of intensity, we’d get through eventually.”

Both teams stepped up their offense in a frantic third period, combining for 29 shots after producing only 30 in the first two periods combined.  “Both sides were really sniffing out a goal there,” said Wright.  But even as more shots came their way, Lundquist and Orion remained perfect.  As the minutes ticked away, both teams grew more desperate.  “There was a real first-goal-wins sense there in the third,” said Galaxy LW Casey Thurman.

With less than four minutes left in the game, the Wolves finally broke through, with C Wesley Knight deflecting a shot past Orion’s left blocker.  A little more than 30 seconds later, Wolves D Patrick Banks stuffed home a juicy rebound to double Michigan’s lead.  As Banks celebrated with their third-line mates, the Galaxy hung their heads.

“We fought them dead even all the way,” said Thurman, “and then we fell apart at the end.  Tough way to lose, for sure.”

The good news for Washington is that the action now shifts back to Constellation Center for the next three games.  Unless the Galaxy can solve Lundquist, though, they won’t have a shot at getting back in this series.

Washington coach Rodney Reagle remains confident in his team’s chances.  “Whenever I’m in a tough spot, I seek inspiration from the words of my favorite philosopher, Mr. T,” said Reagle.  “As the great man once said, ‘To be a bodyguard is to be a kamikaze pilot.  Dedicated.’  The same is true with hockey.  We’re dedicated, and we’re ready to get back in this.”

 

12/05/2016, SHL Finals Game 2
WSH vs. MIC, Cadillac Place

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

 
Washington            G   A PTS PIM   Michigan              G   A PTS PIM

Thurman        LW     0   0   0   0   Kronstein      D      0   0   0   0
Wright         D      0   0   0   0   Bailes         C      0   0   0   0
Costello       C      0   0   0   2   Madison        D      0   0   0   2
Buchanan       D      0   0   0   0   Lunsford       RW     0   0   0   0
McNeely        RW     0   0   0   0   Seppa          LW     0   0   0   0
Camernitz      LW     0   0   0   0   Mudrick        D      0   0   0   0
Warriner       D      0   0   0   0   Marlow         C      0   0   0   0
Marais         C      0   0   0   0   Tollefson      D      0   0   0   0
Anderson       D      0   0   0   0   Denison        RW     0   0   0   0
Takoyaki       RW     0   0   0   0   Gauss          LW     0   2   2   0
Van Alpin      LW     0   0   0   0   Labrakov       D      0   1   1   0
Corbett        D      0   0   0   0   Knight         C      1   0   1   0
Sullivan       C      0   0   0   0   Banks          D      1   0   1   2
Hogaboom       D      0   0   0   0   Poulin         RW     0   1   1   0
Pentti         RW     0   0   0   2   Preston        F      0   0   0   0
-----------------------------------   -----------------------------------
TOTALS                0   0   0   4   TOTALS                2   4   6   4

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

 
Washington         SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Orion              36    34    2  0.944

Michigan           SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Lundquist          23    23    0  1.000

 

First Period
------------

GOALS:
None


PENALTIES:
None


Second Period
-------------

GOALS:
None


PENALTIES:
01:18  WSH  Pentti 2:00 (Roughing)
03:35  WSH  Costello 2:00 (Interference)
12:27  MIC  Madison 2:00 (Elbowing)

Third Period
------------

GOALS:
16:05  MIC  Knight (Labrakov, Gauss)
16:39  MIC  Banks (Gauss, Poulin)

PENALTIES:
19:30  MIC  Banks 2:00 (Tripping)


 
SHOTS
------
                  1   2   3   OT   F
Washington        5   5  13       23
Michigan         10  10  16       36

 
POWER PLAYS
-----------

Washington   0 for 2
Michigan     0 for 2

 
INJURIES
--------

None
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