2018 SHL Finals – Game 1


Coming into the SHL Finals, the conventional wisdom was that whichever team controlled the pace would have the edge in the series.  If the speedy Anchorage Igloos could turn the series into a track meet, they would likely prevail.  On the other hand, if the Quebec Tigres could slow things down and keep the Igloos from running past them, their dogged defense and excellent goaltending would give them the edge.

The outcome of Game 1 scrambled that narrative a bit.  Quebec succeeded in slowing the game down; the Igloos weren’t able to pull off any of their famed breakaways and odd-man rushes.  In fact, Anchorage didn’t even outshoot the Tigres.  But Igloos goaltender Ty Worthington outdueled his Tigres counterpart Riki Tiktuunen, and Anchorage emerged with a 2-0 win at Centre Citadelle.

“This game was a testament to our versatility as a team,” said Igloos coach Sam Castor.  “We like to play fast and furious, but even when our opponent is able to slow us down, we can still go toe-to-toe and win that kind of game.”

During their division series sweep of the Michigan Gray Wolves, who play a trapping style similar to Quebec’s, Anchorage pushed the pace early in order to get an early lead and set their opponent on its heels.  The Igloos weren’t able to do the same thing in this game, thanks in part to the fact that they were whistled for four penalties in the first period alone.  They successfully killed off all four, but Castor was displeased with what he saw as one-sided officiating.  The coach was spotted giving head referee Scott Pritchard an earful as the period drew to a close.

“I wanted to draw his attention to the disparity in the calls,” said Castor wryly after the game.  “But we’ve got to recognize that it’s [Quebec’s] game.  They’ve got guys who pester you and get under your skin, then you retaliate and that’s what the officials see, so you get penalized.  We can’t let them bait us.”

Despite all the calls against them, the Igloos had a lead after the first, thanks to a good break just over four minutes in.  C Nile Bernard blistered a shot toward the right post.  Tiktuunen made a tremendous sprawling save, but allowed a juicy rebound.  The puck wound up on the stick of LW Les Collins; he threaded a pass to D Ted Keefe, who was parked on the left edge of the crease.  Keefe buried the puck in the upper left corner of the net before Tiktuunen could react.

“That was a real heads-up play by Les,” said Bernard.  “He recognized in a split second that Tiktuunen might stop his follow-up, but Keefer had a wide-open look.  That was huge.”

The second period was a bit of a slog, as the Tigres frustrated Anchorage’s zone entries again and again, and the puck seemingly spent the entire period ping-ponging around the neutral zone.  The Igloos played a patient game, probing for seams in Quebec’s defense and not finding many.  The team combined for only 15 shots in the period.

In the third, Quebec had to kill off a carryover penalty, then a slashing penalty to LW Walt Camernitz a couple minutes later.  The effort seemed to leave the Tigres fatigued, and they struggled to keep up the same pressure they had earlier.  Shortly after the end of the Camernitz penalty, the Igloos set up shop in the Quebec zone.  The Tigres tried several times to clear the puck out of their end, to no avail.  Finally, after over a minute and a half of zone time, Frost crashed the net, then faked a slapshot before firing it back to D Tony Citrone at the point.  Citrone laced a one-touch pass to LW Jerry Koons in the left faceoff circle, and he beat Tiktuunen short side.

“We were under a great strain, and we buckled,” said Tigres coach Martin Delorme.  “It was a brief lapse, but we cannot afford those against a team this strong.”

Now facing a two-goal deficit, the Tigres found their second wind and pushed hard down the stretch.  Nearly half of their total shots in the game (13 of 28) came in the third, almost all of them after Koons’ tally.  When Igloos LW Waldo Miranda received a double minor with a minute and a half left in the game, Quebec yanked Tiktuunen for a 6-on-4 advantage.  They peppered the Anchorage net with shots, but Worthington came up huge, making one athletic save after another.

“Ty came through the fire there in the end,” said Castor.  “He’s not flashy, but he gets the job done.”

With the win, Anchorage seized home-ice advantage from the Tigres.  Delorme said that he was not about to panic, however.  “Of course, we would have liked to win,” said the Quebec coach.  “But we are not going to let one close defeat shake our confidence.  We will go out in Game 2 and we will prevail.”

Final - Game 1, Anchorage @ Quebec, Centre Citadelle

                   1   2   3   OT   F
Anchorage          1   0   1        2
Quebec             0   0   0        0

Anchorage              G   A PTS PIM +/-   Quebec                 G   A PTS PIM +/-

Koons           LW     1   0   1   4   1   Camernitz       LW     0   0   0   2  -1
Keefe           D      1   0   1   0   1   Workman         D      0   0   0   0  -1
Frost           C      0   1   1   0   1   Zarkovich       C      0   0   0   0  -1
Martinsson      D      0   0   0   0   0   McKinley        D      0   0   0   0  -1
Ericsson        RW     0   0   0   0   1   Mirac           RW     0   0   0   0  -1
Collins         LW     0   1   1   2   1   Fisker          LW     0   0   0   0  -1
Pomfret         D      0   0   0   0   1   Ilyushin        C      0   0   0   0  -1
Bernard         C      0   0   0   0   1   Jones           D      0   0   0   0   0
Frederick       D      0   0   0   0   0   Robinson        RW     0   0   0   0  -1
Miranda         LW     0   0   0   6   0   MacDiarmid      LW     0   0   0   0   0
Citrone         D      0   1   1   0   1   Pugliese        D      0   0   0   0  -1
Zhlotkin        C      0   0   0   2   0   Kalashnikov     D      0   0   0   0  -1
Calligan        D      0   0   0   0   1   Pentti          RW     0   0   0   0   0
Summers         RW     0   0   0   0   1   Miller          C      0   0   0   2   0
Bellmore        C      0   0   0   0   0   Wesson          D      0   0   0   0   0
----------------------------------------   ----------------------------------------
TOTALS                 2   3   5  14   2   TOTALS                 0   0   0   4  -2

ANC:  Montrechere (inj), Druzek, Trammell
QUE:  Shovshenkov, Zhzhynov, Kane

Anchorage           SH    SV    G    Sv%
Worthington         28    28    0  1.000

Quebec              SH    SV    G    Sv%
Tiktuunen           28    26    2  0.929


First Period

04:16  ANC  Keefe (Collins)

01:24  ANC  Zhlotkin 2:00 (Hooking)
05:16  ANC  Miranda 2:00 (Elbowing)
11:12  ANC  Koons 2:00 (Elbowing)
16:01  ANC  Collins 2:00 (Cross-checking)

Second Period


13:32  ANC  Koons 2:00 (Clipping)
19:27  QUE  Miller 2:00 (Clipping)

Third Period

08:47  ANC  Koons (Citrone, Frost)

04:17  QUE  Camernitz 2:00 (Slashing)
18:36  ANC  Miranda 4:00 (Elbowing)

                   1   2   3   OT   F
Anchorage         11   8   9       28
Quebec             8   7  13       28


Anchorage        0 for 2
Quebec           0 for 6




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s