CHL Update: Rhinos Freeze Minnesota for First Title

The Virginia Rhinos came into this year’s CHL season with some unfinished business.  The Saskatchewan Shockers affiliate had a strong season in 2017 and felt that they should have won the Howard Trophy, the league’s championship.  But in the Finals, they ran into the Utah Owls and red-hot goalie Sherman Carter, and suffered an upset loss in five games.

“We all felt really unhappy about the way last year ended,” said D Rennie Cox.  “It’s like eating a great meal and then having your dessert taken away.  We were all hungry for revenge.”

Once the Rhinos made it to the postseason, they were not to be denied.  They barreled through the Eastern playoff, dismissing the Oshawa Drive in a three-game sweep.  Then in the Finals, it took Virginia only five games to knock off the Minnesota Freeze and claim their long-awaited trophy.

“I was impressed with how focused our team was,” said Rhinos coach Jeffrey “Swampy” Marsh.  “Everyone in here was willing to work hard and do whatever it took to get this done.”

Virginia’s path to the championship started with an epic battle at Northwoods Auditorium.  The Rhinos got off to an early two-goal lead, but the Freeze rallied with a pair in the third to force overtime; the game-tying blast from D Brian Coldivar came with just 1:20 left in regulation.  The game wound up lasting until the third overtime, making it the longest contest in league history.  Finally, 37 seconds into the sixth period, RW Chris Quake pounced on a loose puck in front of the crease and putting it past Minnesota goalie Curt Freeze for a 3-2 win.  “Honestly, we were all kind of too tired to celebrate,” said Quake.

The Rhinos were able to shake off their exhaustion in time for Game 2.  They got off to a fast start, scoring three goals in the first six and a half minutes, and cruised to a 4-2 win,  Goalie Gus Parrish made 35 stops to back up his team’s offensive effort.  “Winning the first two games on enemy ice, that was huge,” said Marsh.  “It really put us in the catbird seat for the series.”

With the action shifting back to Tidewater for Game 3, Virginia outshot Minnesota 41-28.  Although Freeze made a valiant effort to keep his team in it, the Rhinos tied it up on a Cox slapper with 9:44 remaining, then got the game-winner from LW Jayden Gunn in overtime for a 4-3 triumph.  Minnesota squeaked out a 1-0 win in Game 4 to avert the sweep, on the strength of LW Henry Van Alpin‘s power-play goal in the third period.  In addition to losing the game, the Rhinos lost C Cyril Perignon, one of their top scorers, to a lower-body injury.  But the Rhinos shook off the loss of their top center and finished things off in Game 5 with a big third period, striking three times with the man advantage to pull out a 5-3 win despite being outshot 32-19.

The post-game celebration was led by Cox, who was named Finals MVP after putting up 5 goals and 5 assists in the series.  “This was a real showcase for Rennie,” said Marsh.  “Unfortunately, I don’t think he’ll be playing for me next year, but that’s life in the minors.  Onward and upward!”

Now that the Rhinos have their title, many of the players (like Cox) are looking forward to joining the Shockers and helping them to a championship.  “We’ve got great chemistry here and we’ve accomplished a lot,” said C Cyril Perignon.  “The next step is for us to get up to the SHL and go from there.  We think we’ve got the nucleus of a potential Saskatchewan dynasty right here.”

Game 1

Final - Game 1, Virginia @ Minnesota, Northwoods Auditorium

                   1   2   3 1OT 2OT 3OT   F
Virginia           2   0   0   0   0   1   3
Minnesota          0   0   2   0   0   0   2

Virginia               G   A PTS PIM +/-   Minnesota              G   A PTS PIM +/-

Laronov         LW     0   0   0   0   0   Fleury          LW     0   1   1   0   0
Cox             D      1   1   2   4   0   Kerasov         D      0   2   2   2   0
Perignon        C      0   1   1   0   0   Everest         C      0   0   0   0   0
Blacklett       D      0   0   0   2   0   Coldivar        D      1   0   1   0   0
Quake           RW     1   0   1   2   0   Winters         RW     0   0   0   0   0
Gunn            LW     1   1   2   2   2   Van Alpin       LW     0   0   0   0  -2
Bruzek          D      0   0   0   0   0   Staples         D      0   0   0   0   0
Brooks          C      0   2   2   0   2   Cornett         C      0   0   0   0  -2
Corbetta        D      0   0   0   5   0   Manton          D      0   0   0   0  -1
Diehl           RW     0   1   1   0   2   LaNeige         RW     1   0   1   0   1
Garner          LW     0   0   0   2  -1   Flake           LW     0   0   0   0  -2
Stephens        D      0   0   0   0   1   Sickel          D      0   0   0   5  -1
Harlow          C      0   0   0   0  -1   Alpine          C      0   1   1   0   1
Ackler          D      0   0   0   0   1   Polarski        RW     0   0   0   0   1
Krombopoulos    RW     0   0   0   0  -1   Warrenton       D      0   0   0   0   0
----------------------------------------   ----------------------------------------
TOTALS                 3   6   9  17   1   TOTALS                 2   4   6   7  -1

Scratches:
VIR:  Duncan, Coolidge
MIN:  Sullivan, Martinsson

Virginia            SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Parrish             34    32    2  0.941

Minnesota           SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Freeze              54    51    3  0.944


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

GOALS:
03:12  VIR  Cox (Gunn, Brooks)
16:17  VIR  Gunn (Diehl, Brooks)

PENALTIES:
06:58  VIR  Garner 2:00 (Hooking)


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

GOALS:
None


PENALTIES:
14:41  MIN  Sickel 5:00 (Fighting)
14:41  VIR  Corbetta 5:00 (Fighting)


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

GOALS:
01:22  MIN  LaNeige (Kerasov, Alpine)
18:40  MIN  Coldivar (Fleury, Kerasov)

PENALTIES:
03:09  VIR  Cox 2:00 (Interference)
04:59  VIR  Gunn 2:00 (Slashing)

First Overtime
--------------

GOALS:
None

PENALTIES:
15:50  VIR  Blacklett 2:00 (Diving)

Second Overtime
---------------

GOALS:
None

PENALTIES:
05:01  MIN  Kerasov 2:00 (Tripping)
14:23  VIR  Cox 2:00 (Slashing)
17:47  VIR  Quake 2:00 (Elbowing

Third Overtime
--------------

GOALS:
00:37  VIR  Quake (Perignon, Cox)

PENALTIES:
None

SHOTS
------
                   1   2   3 1OT 2OT 3OT   F
Virginia          14  11  12   8   8   1  54
Minnesota          6   5   9   6   8   0  34

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

Virginia         0 for 1
Minnesota        0 for 6

INJURIES
--------

None

 

Game 2

Final - Game 2, Virginia @ Minnesota, Northwoods Auditorium

                   1   2   3   OT   F
Virginia           3   0   1        4
Minnesota          0   1   1        2

 
Virginia               G   A PTS PIM +/-   Minnesota              G   A PTS PIM +/-

Laronov         LW     0   3   3   0   1   Fleury          LW     0   1   1   0  -1
Cox             D      2   1   3   0   2   Kerasov         D      1   0   1   0  -2
Perignon        C      0   2   2   0   1   Everest         C      0   2   2   0  -1
Blacklett       D      0   0   0   2   2   Coldivar        D      0   0   0   0  -2
Quake           RW     0   1   1   2   1   Winters         RW     0   1   1   0  -1
Gunn            LW     0   0   0   2   0   Van Alpin       LW     0   0   0   0   0
Bruzek          D      0   0   0   0   0   Staples         D      0   0   0   0   0
Brooks          C      0   0   0   0   0   Cornett         C      0   0   0   0   0
Corbetta        D      0   0   0   2   0   Manton          D      1   0   1   0   0
Diehl           RW     0   0   0   4   0   LaNeige         RW     0   0   0   0  -1
Garner          LW     1   0   1   0   1   Flake           LW     0   0   0   0   0
Stephens        D      1   0   1   0   0   Sickel          D      0   0   0   0   0
Harlow          C      0   1   1   4   1   Alpine          C      0   0   0   0  -1
Ackler          D      0   0   0   0   0   Polarski        RW     0   0   0   2  -1
Krombopoulos    RW     0   0   0   0   1   Warrenton       D      0   0   0   0   0
----------------------------------------   ----------------------------------------
TOTALS                 4   8  12  16   2   TOTALS                 2   4   6   2  -2

Scratches:
VIR:  Duncan, Coolidge
MIN:  Sullivan, Martinsson

 
Virginia            SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Parrish             37    35    2  0.946

Minnesota           SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Freeze              40    36    4  0.900

 

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

GOALS:
01:20  VIR  Stephens (Laronov, Perignon)
04:24  VIR  Garner (Cox, Harlow)
06:37  VIR  Cox (Laronov, Quake)

PENALTIES:
09:24  VIR  Gunn 2:00 (Interference)
09:53  VIR  Diehl 2:00 (Slashing)
17:59  VIR  Quake 2:00 (Clipping)
18:08  VIR  Harlow 2:00 (Tripping)

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

GOALS:
02:22  MIN  Manton (Winters, Everest)

PENALTIES:
09:03  VIR  Corbetta 2:00 (Roughing)
14:59  VIR  Harlow 2:00 (Cross-checking)
16:04  MIN  Polarski 2:00 (Cross-checking)

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

GOALS:
00:34  VIR  Cox (Laronov, Perignon)
08:38  MIN  Kerasov (Fleury, Everest)

PENALTIES:
18:27  VIR  Blacklett 2:00 (Roughing)
19:43  VIR  Diehl 2:00 (Tripping)


 
SHOTS
------
                   1   2   3   OT   F
Virginia          13  12  15       40
Minnesota         11  13  13       37

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

Virginia         0 for 1
Minnesota        0 for 8

 
INJURIES
--------

None

 

Game 3

Final - Game 3, Minnesota @ Virginia, Waterfront Center

                   1   2   3   OT   F
Minnesota          1   0   2    0   3
Virginia           1   1   1    1   4

 
Minnesota              G   A PTS PIM +/-   Virginia               G   A PTS PIM +/-

Fleury          LW     0   1   1   0   1   Laronov         LW     0   1   1   0  -1
Kerasov         D      1   0   1   0  -1   Cox             D      1   1   2   0   1
Everest         C      0   1   1   0   1   Perignon        C      0   0   0   0  -1
Coldivar        D      0   1   1   0  -1   Blacklett       D      1   1   2   4   1
Winters         RW     1   1   2   0   1   Quake           RW     1   0   1   0  -1
Van Alpin       LW     0   0   0   0  -1   Gunn            LW     1   0   1   0   1
Staples         D      0   0   0   0  -1   Bruzek          D      0   1   1   0   1
Cornett         C      0   0   0   0  -1   Brooks          C      0   0   0   0   1
Manton          D      1   0   1   0   1   Corbetta        D      0   0   0   2   1
LaNeige         RW     0   0   0   0  -1   Diehl           RW     0   0   0   2   1
Flake           LW     0   0   0   0  -1   Garner          LW     0   1   1   0   1
Sickel          D      0   1   1   0   1   Stephens        D      0   0   0   0  -1
Alpine          C      0   1   1   0  -1   Harlow          C      0   2   2   0   1
Polarski        RW     0   0   0   0  -1   Ackler          D      0   0   0   0  -1
Warrenton       D      0   0   0   0  -1   Krombopoulos    RW     0   0   0   0   1
----------------------------------------   ----------------------------------------
TOTALS                 3   6   9   0  -1   TOTALS                 4   7  11   8   1

Scratches:
MIN:  Sullivan, Martinsson
VIR:  Duncan, Coolidge

 
Minnesota           SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Freeze              41    37    4  0.902

Virginia            SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Parrish             28    25    3  0.893

 

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

GOALS:
08:51  VIR  Blacklett (Harlow, Garner)
10:49  MIN  Manton (Sickel, Alpine)

PENALTIES:
06:15  VIR  Blacklett 2:00 (Roughing)

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

GOALS:
00:22  VIR  Quake (Bruzek, Laronov)

PENALTIES:
09:31  VIR  Corbetta 2:00 (Delay of Game)

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

GOALS:
02:17  MIN  Kerasov (Winters, Coldivar)
06:50  MIN  Winters (Everest, Fleury)
10:16  VIR  Cox (Harlow)

PENALTIES:
15:24  VIR  Diehl 2:00 (Elbowing)
18:35  VIR  Blacklett 2:00 (Hooking)

Overtime
--------

GOALS:
04:36  VIR  Gunn (Blacklett, Cox)

PENALTIES:
None


 
SHOTS
------
                   1   2   3   OT   F
Minnesota          9   8   8    3  28
Virginia          14  11  12    4  41

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

Minnesota        0 for 4
Virginia         0 for 0

 
INJURIES
--------

None

 

Game 4

Final - Game 4, Minnesota @ Virginia, Waterfront Center

                   1   2   3   OT   F
Minnesota          0   0   1        1
Virginia           0   0   0        0

 
Minnesota              G   A PTS PIM +/-   Virginia               G   A PTS PIM +/-

Fleury          LW     0   0   0   0   0   Laronov         LW     0   0   0   0   0
Kerasov         D      0   0   0   0   0   Cox             D      0   0   0   0   0
Everest         C      0   0   0   0   0   Perignon        C      0   0   0   0   0
Coldivar        D      0   0   0   0   0   Blacklett       D      0   0   0   0   0
Winters         RW     0   0   0   0   0   Quake           RW     0   0   0   0   0
Van Alpin       LW     1   0   1   0   0   Gunn            LW     0   0   0   0   0
Staples         D      0   0   0   0   0   Bruzek          D      0   0   0   2   0
Cornett         C      0   1   1   0   0   Brooks          C      0   0   0   2   0
Manton          D      0   0   0   0   0   Corbetta        D      0   0   0   6   0
LaNeige         RW     0   0   0   0   0   Diehl           RW     0   0   0   0   0
Flake           LW     0   0   0   0   0   Garner          LW     0   0   0   0   0
Sickel          D      0   0   0   0   0   Stephens        D      0   0   0   0   0
Alpine          C      0   0   0   0   0   Harlow          C      0   0   0   2   0
Polarski        RW     0   0   0   0   0   Ackler          D      0   0   0   0   0
Warrenton       D      0   0   0   0   0   Krombopoulos    RW     0   0   0   0   0
----------------------------------------   ----------------------------------------
TOTALS                 1   1   2   0   0   TOTALS                 0   0   0  12   0

Scratches:
MIN:  Sullivan, Martinsson
VIR:  Duncan, Coolidge

 
Minnesota           SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Freeze              21    21    0  1.000

Virginia            SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Parrish             19    18    1  0.947

 

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

GOALS:
None


PENALTIES:
14:56  VIR  Corbetta 2:00 (Slashing)

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

GOALS:
None


PENALTIES:
15:26  VIR  Corbetta 2:00 (Roughing)

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

GOALS:
03:01  MIN  Van Alpin PP (Cornett)

PENALTIES:
02:03  VIR  Brooks 2:00 (Hooking)
06:31  VIR  Bruzek 2:00 (Roughing)
06:38  VIR  Corbetta 2:00 (Elbowing)
18:55  VIR  Harlow 2:00 (Roughing)


 
SHOTS
------
                   1   2   3   OT   F
Minnesota          9   4   6       19
Virginia           8   6   7       21

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

Minnesota        1 for 6
Virginia         0 for 0

 
INJURIES
--------

Cyril Perignon (VIR) -- Lower-body  5 games
Alan Manton (MIN) -- Lower-body  15 games

 

Game 5

Final - Game 5, Minnesota @ Virginia, Waterfront Center

                   1   2   3   OT   F
Minnesota          1   1   1        3
Virginia           1   1   3        5

 
Minnesota              G   A PTS PIM +/-   Virginia               G   A PTS PIM +/-

Fleury          LW     0   0   0   0  -2   Laronov         LW     1   2   3   0   2
Kerasov         D      0   1   1   0  -2   Cox             D      1   2   3   0   2
Everest         C      2   1   3   2  -2   Blacklett       D      2   0   2   2   2
Coldivar        D      1   1   2   2  -2   Quake           RW     1   1   2   0   2
Winters         RW     0   2   2   0  -2   Gunn            LW     0   0   0   2   0
Van Alpin       LW     0   0   0   0   0   Bruzek          D      0   0   0   2   0
Staples         D      0   0   0   0   0   Brooks          C      0   4   4   0   2
Cornett         C      0   0   0   0   0   Corbetta        D      0   0   0   0   0
LaNeige         RW     0   0   0   0   0   Diehl           RW     0   0   0   2   0
Flake           LW     0   0   0   0   0   Garner          LW     0   0   0   0   0
Sickel          D      0   0   0   2   0   Stephens        D      0   0   0   0   0
Alpine          C      0   0   0   2   0   Harlow          C      0   0   0   0   0
Sullivan        D      0   0   0   0   0   Ackler          D      0   0   0   0   0
Polarski        RW     0   0   0   0   0   Krombopoulos    RW     0   0   0   0   0
Warrenton       D      0   0   0   2   0   Coolidge        F      0   0   0   0   0
----------------------------------------   ----------------------------------------
TOTALS                 3   5   8  10  -2   TOTALS                 5   9  14   8   2

Scratches:
MIN:  Manton (inj), Martinsson
VIR:  Perignon (inj), Duncan

 
Minnesota           SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Freeze              19    14    5  0.737

Virginia            SH    SV    G    Sv%
----------------------------------------
Parrish             32    29    3  0.906

 

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

GOALS:
00:16  MIN  Everest PP (Coldivar, Winters)
02:51  VIR  Cox (Brooks, Laronov)

PENALTIES:
00:16  VIR  Diehl 2:00 (Unsportsmanlike Conduct)
17:11  VIR  Blacklett 2:00 (Hooking)

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

GOALS:
01:34  VIR  Quake (Cox, Brooks)
14:31  MIN  Everest SH (Winters)

PENALTIES:
14:30  MIN  Alpine 2:00 (Tripping)
16:12  VIR  Bruzek 2:00 (Tripping)

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

GOALS:
02:15  VIR  Blacklett PP (Quake)
03:02  MIN  Coldivar PP (Kerasov, Everest)
09:59  VIR  Blacklett PP (Brooks, Laronov)
14:52  VIR  Laronov PP (Brooks, Cox)

PENALTIES:
01:21  MIN  Sickel 2:00 (Delay of Game)
02:33  VIR  Gunn 2:00 (Diving)
08:37  MIN  Warrenton 2:00 (Cross-checking)
14:26  MIN  Coldivar 2:00 (Diving)
19:42  MIN  Everest 2:00 (Elbowing)


 
SHOTS
------
                   1   2   3   OT   F
Minnesota         12  10  10       32
Virginia           6   6   7       19

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

Minnesota        2 for 4
Virginia         3 for 5

 
INJURIES
--------

None

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