The Brahmas took on the Wichita Thunder Sunday evening. It was a very close game,a nd a hard fought game that should have ended in a much different fashion.
The first period started off with a goal by Alex Bourret for Wichita with 14:44 left in the first. The Thunder took the first infraction of the game with 10:31 to go, as Justin Sawer got busted for highsticking. The Brahmas would get into the zone during the power-play, but then an errand pass would deflect out of the zone before a good shot could be taken.
It was T.J Fox that got called with 7:26 left in the frame for interference. Fox got out of the box with 5:26 left, and 14 seconds later he got called for a phantom hooking call, making the first blown call by the ref.
Chad Woollard, the great Chad Woollard, got the Brahmas on the board after breaking in behind the Thunder D and going cookie jar on Thunder goalie Ryan McDonald. It was a pretty goal by Woollard, tallying up his goal count to 11.
The shots after the first period were Wichita 11, Brahmas 10.
The Thunder started the 2nd frame off with a penalty just 9 seconds in as Chris Greene took a 2 minuet seat in the sin bin for holding the stick. Then, with 15:42 left in the period, Thomas Beaurgard shot a puck that had eyes on it past Guggenberger high glove side.
With 10:42 left, Adam Hogg had to sit in the penalty box for another blown call, “closing his hand on the puck.” Hogg made a defensive hand pass, something that is legal to do while inside the defensive zone, so long as you do not close your hand on the puck, as Hogg did not. This blown call led to a Thunder goal by RG Flath.
Ryan Hand tried Justin Sawer as a dance partner with 7:50 to go in the 2nd, and I am not sure that Hand got the better of that deal.
With 6:44 left, Ross Rouleau started a comeback, scoring with assists by Woollard and Wild. Not long after, with 3:41, TJ Fox tied it up as he painted the corner past McDonald after breaking in behind the Thunder D after a beautiful pass by Woollard.
The shots after two were Brahmas 23, Wichita 22.
The third period saw no goals and only one penalty called on each team (even though many more were evident), just a tied game at 3 apiece.
The extra time started out with Guggenberger standing on his head and keeping the Brahmas in the game. Strong, strong play from Guggenberger in the OT, even stopping a penalty shot awarded to Wichita. That was not the correct call, as the Thunder player was not cleanly away from the Brahmas D when the infraction occurred, but it worked out well for the Brahmas thanks to Guggenberger.
However, ref Mark-Andre Lavoie did not think that he had blown enough calls in the game as of yet. So, when Rouleau was cross checked in the face and did nothing but push back a little bit to stand up for himself, Mark-Andre Lavoie decided to call a 1 minuet minor on Rouleau for slashing, then another 1 minuet penalty for unsportsmanlike for Rouleau not just bending over and taking the bogus call. This happened with .37 left in the overtime. With 9.1 seconds left, Wichita scored the game winner behind a Thomas Beauregard goal.
So, I hope that this article gets around to the CHL officials as this is not the first horrendously called game by Mark-Andre Lavoie. I do not like to blame refs for lost games, but when it is so obvious that Ray Charles could see it…
On a happy note, I had with me in attendance my nephew who is 13. This was his first hockey game, ever. After the game, he got to meet Chad Woollard and Jim Burichin, and got a few autographs from the guys. As we were standing outside between periods, he asked me if they had skating lesions, as this was the only sport that he has ever seen that he thought he would like to play.
A special thank you to Chad Woollard for taking the time to talk to us like he did, and for everything that he has done to help me. You are a great hockey player and a great person. Thank you.