EVANSVILLE, IN — The Evansville IceMen dropped a back and forth affair at home on Wednesday to the Atlanta Gladiators. Although 11 goals were scored, no team ever held more than a one goal lead. The game culminated with Atlanta scoring the game-winner in overtime, to win 6-5. There were a combined 69 shots and 29 points earned in the game, or as Dakota Johnson reminded me during the game: Defense is a myth.
- The IceMen power play continued its recent run of success, scoring on two of their four chances. They moved the puck well and created good scoring chances.
- The offense continued its explosion, scoring another five goals tonight. The IceMen have scored four or more goals in six out of their last seven games. The lone game they didn’t reach four, was a 3-2 victory in Toledo. I never fathomed this team could go on that type of run offensively at the beginning of the season. They’re getting offense from a lot of guys and continue to light up opposing goalies.
The Bad & Ugly
These are combined tonight because I don’t believe any of the bad are worthy of ugly (sans maybe the 2 soft goals), but the sum total of all the bad is ugly.
- Scott Greenham – He had a rough night in net. No goalie is ever expected to make every stop. I think it’s generally assumed that a “softie” will sneak in from time to time. There were two that got past Greenham tonight that never should have found their way into the net. Two in one game is tough to overcome.
- 5 on 3 – With the team leading 4-3 in the third period, the IceMen put themselves into a 5 on 3 penalty kill situation. In protecting a lead, a team has to be smart and play smart hockey. The Atlanta power play lead to a game tying goal making it 4-4.
- Final Minute Part 1 – With the IceMen leading 5-4, Atlanta pulled the goalie for roughly the last 90 seconds of the game. Evansville had multiple opportunities from within the offense zone to ice the game with an empty net goal. The team failed to capitalize on the opportunity.
- Final Minute Part 2 – It has always been infuriating to me to see a team give up a game tying goal in the final minute of regulation. I’m aware it’s easier said than done, but keep the puck cleared out of the zone, forced towards the boards and do all you can to keep the crease clear. Evansville didn’t and Atlanta tied the game.
- 4 on 3 overtime – Evansville went on the power play within the first minute of overtime. That creates a four on three situation and lots of open ice to work with. It feels like a certainty that the team with the power play will score. The IceMen got called for a penalty a minute later and Atlanta scored on their subsequent overtime power play.
The Evansville IceMen found a way to lose on Wednesday. No matter what offense was created, the team shot themselves in the foot time after time until they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Super Serious Final Thought
As you may or may not know, my wife and I are expecting our second child next Tuesday. As much as I enjoy the Sin Bin, the Maniacs and all three of my regular readers, I will be stepping away for a couple of weeks to be with my family during the Holiday Season and for the birth of my child. If there is any breaking news as it relates to the IceMen, stay tuned to The Sin Bin, it’ll still be covered. Whatever Holiday you may be celebrating, if you like Starbucks red cup or not and even if you’re from Fort Wayne or Cincinnati… from my family to yours: Happy Holidays!