Evens Finals at A Game Apiece
by Jason Cohen ITC Staff Writer
Legault's goal at 8:43 of overtime gave the Austin Ice
Bats a 2-1 win in Game 2 of the Central Hockey League
President's Cup Finals, evening the best-of-seven series
was great to get back to where we needed to get from
last night," Bats coach Brent Hughes said. "We've
still got a long road ahead of us."
3, 4 and 5 are in Memphis, starting Monday night. The
Kings leave Austin with a split for the second year
in a row, though until Dan Price made it 1-1 at 11:32
of the third period, it appeared they'd leave with more.
the end of the day are you happy for a split? Yeah,"
Memphis coach Doug Shedden said. "I'm not happy
that we had a chance to really put the foot down on
them and not bury them, but they're a great team, nobody
thought it was going to be a four game sweep. We won
seven games in a row and now we've got to get our heads
back there and do something again."
winner came amidst a scrum of second chances, with strong
work in the corners by he and Greenlaw and a delayed
reaction by the goal judge and referee Gord Dwyer as
the puck got past the line.
was just sort of battling for the puck down in the corner
and it popped out to me," said Legault, who'd already
gotten off one shot. "I passed it out in front
to Greenlaw who got a pretty good shot off, the rebound
came out to me and I just fired it at the net. Somehow
it snuck in. I was laying in the corner looking, I thought
it was in his pads and all of a sudden I saw the ref
pointing at the goal."
was a solid if not especially inspired game up until
the third. Austin's intensity remained sporadic, prompting
Hughes to mix up his line combinations. Memphis continued
to have the Ice Bats' number in the defensive zone,
but didn't generate any scoring sparks
themselves. Bats goaltender Matt Barnes and his Kings
counterpart Mark Richards played as finals goalies showed,
stopping 35 shots each.
Bats defenseman Mike Gaffney got the lowest low and
highest high in a matter of five minutes. He could only
sit and watch, serving an unnecessary obstruction-holding
penalty, as Jonathan Gagnon gave the RiverKings a 1-0
lead at 6:37 of the third period.
sure enough, with an unthinkable 0-2 series deficit
looming over every shift, Gaffney got open during the
sort of puck-cycling the Bats had lacked most of the
series. Gerald Tallaire found him at the left point,
and Price deflected Gaffney's drive past Richards for
the tying goal.
was Austin's first score in more than two full games,
dating back to the second period of Game 6 of the Laredo
no way that Gaffney shot should get through, our guy
should have blocked it," Shedden said. "Y'know,
if you want a championship you got to have everybody
paying the ultimate price, and we didn't have that tonight."
goal was like Viagra washed down with Red Bull for the
Bats, which looked like a different team from there
on out. Solid penalty killing got their feet out of
the fire when the team was whistled for a too many men
on the ice penalty with less than three minutes remaining
Austin enjoyed a power play early in OT, thanks to a
Riley Cote holding-the-stick that probably wouldn't
have been called if not for the fact that it caused
a Memphis three-on-one.
Bats couldn't score on the PP, but continued its momentum.
Tab Lardner and Gerald Tallaire both had chances before
Legault's tally cued an emotional post-game celebration
(and a huge sigh of relief for Hughes).
had a lot of overtime games and one-goal hockey games
this year," the Bats coach said. "I think
that does help out when you get in these situations."
the series in Memphis last year, with Memphis winning
4 games to 1, I think they were a little bit intimidating
to some of the guys," said Legault, who also lost
a final last
with Elmira of the UHL. "Now that we've proven
to ourselves we can beat 'em I think it's going to be
a different series."