They came out hittin’. That’s what they say they’ve got to do. That’s what they say makes them successful.
And then Dave Banfield nabs Brett Gallant for hitting Brandon Kozun away from the puck.
They kill that penalty. They create some chances (Nino Niederreiter made a nifty little behind-the-back touch pass to Brock Nelson that came to naught but was still pretty.) And then Dave Banfield nabs Nathan McIver for boarding Dave Meckler.
And then Banfield nabs Matt Donovan for hooking Tanner Pearson as Pearson cuts to the net for one of the Monarchs’ better scoring chances. (Anders Nilsson, naturally, stopped it.)
They’re the kind of penalties that could throw a team off its game: If you’re hitting and you’re getting called for it, do you back off it?
They didn’t. Sure it didn’t hurt that they scored a goal less than a minute after they killed off the last of the three penalties. But they kept hitting. Heck, David Ullstrom, coming back, threw a hit that wound up drawing a power play late in the period.
“When we play that way,” Scott Pellerin said, “our style, with our identity, when we’re physical and work hard on pucks, we’re going to get chances and score goals, more often than not.”
They put together a very strong, bounce-back effort after last night’s debacle, and they shut out the Monarchs at home.
One more tomorrow.
Seven defensemen for the first time this year. Hill and McIver, with limited exceptions, more or less traded off the sixth spot alongside Hamonic, and they contributed, Hill with a couple of assists, McIver with the physical presence and a fight.
The Monarchs, meanwhile, are decimated by injuries on defense, and Slava Voynov seemed to struggle tonight on top of it, so that surely didn’t help them.
MacKay, with his uncle behind him, did some good things for the second night in a row. “It’s good to play with guys who can move the puck,” MacKay said. “It’s been a while since I played a real game. The jump’s huge.” Last night, the first game, “a little nerves, a little pit in the stomach, but you battle through. … You try to make something happen, keep it simple.” He got a couple of points, putting the puck back to the point for Landry’s and Hill’s shots. “There’s obviously a learning curve for him, but he played hard,” Jack Capuano said. “You play hard, good things happen.”
Speaking of his uncle (who had coached MacKay in USA Hockey), “We talked to Garth (Snow): We’re going to rotate some coaches, Brent (Thompson), Dougie (Weight), every now and then,” Capuano said. “It’s one thing to watch from up top, but it’s different when you’re at ice level.”
And finally: New goal lights. Balance between those and a horn that doesn’t stick in the “blaring” position will surely come.