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March 25, 2013
Provincials Schedule-March 22-24
March 24, 2013
FLAMES CLOSE OUT SEASON WITH LOSS TO SHERWOOD

The North River Flames put their season on the line in their third game of the Provincials on Saturday afternoon, when they took on the Sherwood Falcons.  A win by the Flames meant they'd advance to the cross-overs on Sunday, while a loss meant "wait 'til next year."  Josh Smith was handed the goaltending assignment for the Flames.  With the loss of Sam MacKinnon to injury, affiliated player Brayden Monaghan was called up for the big game.

Smith was tested early, having to make a good stop right on his doorstep.  With four minutes gone in the period, Cale Rogerson broke in alone on the Falcons net, but could not convert.  As usual, Braidan Campbell showed terrific speed in the first period, keeping the Falcons chasing.  Despite determined work by the Flames, it was Sherwood that struck first, on a nice shot just under the crossbar with 3:34 to play.  Seconds later, however, Carly Thompson tied the game with tough play in front of the Sherwood net; Andrew Beach got the assist.  At the end of the first period, the teams were tied at one.

Early into the second period, Bryce Wheatley just missed on a one-timer after a great pass from Beach.  The middle stanza saw great chances at both ends of the ice, including a glorious opportunity for Rogerson that was thwarted by a fantastic save by the Falcons goalie.  Heading to the third period, the game remained deadlocked.

With less than three minutes gone in the third period, Sherwood took the lead on a nice one-timer that eluded Smith.  Two minutes later, the Falcons opened a two-goal lead on a great shot from a sharp angle.  Smith fought back, however, with a good solid save with 6:35 to play.  With just over two minutes left in the game, Smith was pulled in favour of an extra attacker, but the Falcons sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 1:38 to play.  As the buzzer sounded, the scoreboard read Sherwood 4, North River 1.  Player of the game for the Flames was Thompson, who, as usual, "came to play."

Monaghan was asked for his thoughts after the game.  "It was a tough loss.  This level of hockey (AA) is definitely faster than A, but I really like it!  I'll be in PeeWee next year, and I can't wait."

While the end result of the Provincials certainly wasn't what the Flames were looking for, one would be hard-pressed to find a team that had more fun, enjoyed each other's company, and bonded as a team more than this group of youngsters did over the last several months.  With great leadership from the coaching staff of Allan Rogerson, Brent Thompson, Logan Gallant, Marc Duguay, and Manager Chris Mills, as well as the constant presence of emotional leader Aaron Anderson, these kids showed what being a team is all about.  As they move forward in their hockey careers, no doubt this season, as the North River Atom AA Bulk Carriers Flames, will serve them well.  Certainly, more wins would have been nice.  But, it is the enduring friendships, the laughs, and the memories that allow this team to be described in two words: true champions.

 
March 23, 2013
FLAMES, TORNADOES SKATE TO THRILLING 1-1 TIE

On Saturday morning, the North River Flames looked to rebound against the Tyne Valley Tornadoes in their second game of the Provincials, after a stinging defeat at the hands of Gulf Storm the day previous.  Isaac Arsenault got the nod to start in goal for the Flames.

The early going saw good, determined work in the corners by Carly Thompson.  With 8:46 to play in the opening period, Tyne Valley was assessed a penalty, the first of many, many trips to the box for both teams.  On the eventual 5-on-3 advantage, the line of Cale Rogerson, Nick Mills, Ryan McLaughlin, Matthew Mills, and Calvin MacWilliams applied great pressure, with Rogerson eventually putting one past the Tyne Valley goalie on a rebound with 8:23 to go; Matthew Mills was awarded the assist.  Minutes later, the Flames had another two-man advantage, and a great shot from the point by Jack Nordquist nearly found the back of the net.  With 2:32 to play in the period, Rogerson came oh-so-close to giving his team a 2-0 lead, when he barely missed on a breakaway.  The closing seconds of the first period saw the game become a rough and tumble affair, which has been the case in previous contests between the two teams this season.  At the end of the first, North River lead by a score of 1-0.

With 10:35 to play in the second period, Arsenault made a great save on a scramble in front of his cage.  Seconds later, Andrew Beach broke in all alone on the Tyne Valley net, but was denied by the opposing goalie.  The Tornadoes then grabbed the puck, headed up the ice, and scored a nice goal to tie the game at one.  Tyne Valley was handed a penalty with 8:59 left in the period, but the Flames could not convert.  At this point, numerous penalties to both sides caused mass confusion among the referees, the scorekeepers, the coaches, the players, and the fans, resulting in a lengthy delay as the situation eventually got sorted out.  Late-period penalites to the Flames were killed off thanks to hard work by the likes of Nick Mills and Beach.  At the end of two periods, the teams remained deadlocked at one.

The third period proved to be a thrilling twelve minutes of play, with chances at both ends, end-to-end play, and a boisterous crowd cheering on their teams.  With just 4:37 to play in the game, Arsenault was called upon to make an amazing save from point-blank range.  The Flames killed off another penalty with four minutes left, and then Rogerson barely missed on a backhand opportunity with two minutes left to play.  When the clock struck zero, the teams settled for a one-one draw.

Player of the game for the Flames was Arsenault, who allowed his team to earn the tie with key saves at key times.  Arsenault offered this after the game: "Both teams played well.  My favorite save of the game was when I kicked out a rebound with my pad in the first period."

During the game, forward Sam MacKinnon was felled when he collided with two Tyne Valley players in the middle of the ice.  MacKinnon ended up leaving the game, and did not return.  Following the game, the speedy MacKinnon was asked what happened.  "I got hit by two players coming across the middle.  My head's a little sore."  MacKinnon is doubtful for this afternoon's game against Sherwood.

 
March 22, 2013
FLAMES DROP PROVINCIAL OPENER TO GULF STORM

The North River Flames opened the Provincials on Friday evening against familiar foe Gulf Storm on the CARI B ice, with Josh Smith getting the start in goal for the Flames.

In the early going, things looked quite promising for the Flames, with the majority of play taking place in the Gulf Storm end; good work by Colby Adams along the blueline kept Gulf Storm hemmed in their own zone.  While the Flames weren't able to find the back of the net, their opponents made the most of an early chance, scoring a short-side goal with 9:41 left on the clock.  Seconds later, Gulf Storm took a penalty.  While on the powerplay, Nick Mills barely missed tying the game on a backhand opportunity.  With 8:19 to go in the opening frame, Gulf Storm was penalized again, creating a five-on-three advantage for North River.  However, just fifteen seconds into the second penalty, Gulf Storm stuck again, opening a 2-0 lead.  The Flames pressed on, however, with Will Mix making a terrific rush from his own end, only to be denied by the Gulf Storm netminder.  With five minutes to go, Smith made a terrific pad save, followed quickly by another save on a partial breakaway.  With 2:24 to go, Nick Mills got off a hard wrist shot, only to be stymied by a nice trapper save by the Gulf Storm goalie.  Smith replied with a great trapper save of his own moments later, only a minute before the buzzer sounded with the Flames trailing by a score of 2-0.

The opening minutes of the second period saw few quality scoring chances for either side.  Then, with 8:50 to play in the period, Ryan McLaughlin came within a whisker of closing the gap to one on a breakaway of his own.  With 7:25 left on the clock, Gulf Storm was assessed a penalty, and Cale Rogerson barely missed with a high shot a minute into the powerplay.  With under three minutes left in the middle period, Gulf Storm opened a 3-0 lead on a rebound goal.  With 2:32 showing on the clock, the Flames took a penalty, and seconds later Gulf Storm made them pay, widening the gap to four goals.  Before the period ended, it was a case of deja vu, with Gulf Storm scoring on another man advantage, this time on a clear breakaway.  At the end of two periods, Gulf Storm held a commanding 5-0 lead.

The third period saw some determined work by North River to try to get back into the game, with the likes of Calvin MacWilliams backchecking hard and Smith making another solid stop on yet another breakaway.  With 9:11 to go in the game, the Flames finally put one past the Gulf Storm goalie, on a rebound goal by Bryce Wheatley. Carly Thompson and Andrew Beach picked up the assists. That's as close as the Flames would come, however, as Gulf Storm regained their five-goal cushion with 1:32 to play in the game on a breakaway goal.  As the buzzer sounded to end the game, the scoreboard read Gulf Storm 6, North River 1.

Player of the game for the Flames was MacWilliams, who gave it his all once again with hard skating in all areas of the rink.

Matthew Mills was asked for his assessment of the contest.  "We couldn't seem to score tonight," he said.  Referring to Gulf Storm, Mills commented, "They're good at passing and they're fast."  Asked what his team needs to do differently tomorrow as they play their second and third games of the Provincials, Mills offered this prescription: "Get shots from the point, pass the puck, and put the puck in the net!"

 
March 15, 2013
League Standings Website
March 11, 2013
FLAMES, CAPITALS SKATE TO 3-3 DRAW

The North River Flames closed out their regular season on Monday night, when they took on the Summerside Capitals at Slemon Park.  Isaac Arsenault got the start in goal for the Flames.

Early on in the opening period, a heady play by Cale Rogerson, chipping the puck ahead and chasing it down, nearly resulted in a goal for the Flames; the puck was covered up just in time by the Capitals goalie.  However, moments later, Ryan McLaughlin picked up a rebound and fired a wrist shot into the gaping cage, giving North River a 1-0 lead; the goal went unassisted.  Less than a minute later, Summerside squared the match at one, on a nice passing play from behind the Flames net to an open forward in front of Arsenault.  The emphasis on offense continued, with Sam MacKinnon then barely missing the net from the slot after a great pass by Nick Mills.  With 7:54 to go in the first period, the Flames were assessed a penalty, their first of many on this night.  The resultant penalty kill saw a wonderful save by Arsenault, who got the paddle down on a dangerous looking shot, and great work by Will Mix in clearing the puck from his team's zone.  Moments after the penalty expired, Arsenault made a terrific blocker save to keep the score tied.  With 5:34 to go in the opening frame, the Capitals took a penalty, but North River could not capitalize.  However, with 3:19 left on the clock, a shot along the ice by Nick Mills found the back of the net, giving the Flames a 2-1 lead; no assists were awarded.  With just 51.6 seconds left to play, Summerside tied the game on a controversial goal.  The officials conferred for approximately a minute, and concluded that the puck did indeed cross the line, despite protestations from the Flames players on the ice.  In the closing seconds, North River was handed another penalty, and the teams headed to the break tied at two.

With 10:40 left in the second period, Arsenault made a fantastic point blank save, and the Flames eventually killed off the penalty that was carried over from the first period.  With 9:13 left in the period, McLaughlin, finding himself with the puck along the boards deep in the Summerside end, threw the puck at the net, which bounced in off the goaltender's pad, putting the Flames ahead 3-2.  Again, no assists were credited on the goal.  With 7:45 to play in the period, Arsenault showed cat-like reflexes with a great toe save.  The fivesome of Bryce Wheatley, Andrew Beach, Nick Mills, Colby Adams, and Patrick Duguay then applied tremendous pressure in the Summerside end, but could not put one past the Capitals netminder.  With 5:16 to go, the Flames were penalized once again, but the penalty was killed off, thanks in large part to smart work by the likes of Rogerson who continually dumped the puck in the Summerside zone.  With 2:24 left on the clock, the parade to the North River penalty box continued.  Less than a minute into the penalty, Matthew Mills made what was certainly one of the best plays of the game, sweeping the puck away a split second before it crossed the Flames goal line.  Yet again, North River killed off the disadvantage.  Just prior to the buzzer, Jack Nordquist broke up a threatening break by Summerside, thanks to some terrific backchecking.  At the end of two periods, the Flames lead 3-2.

Just ten seconds into the third period, McLaughlin made a great rush to the Capitals net, but was thwarted by a strong pad save by the Summerside goalie.  Then, with 7:20 to go in the game, Arsenault stood tall and stopped a partial breakaway for the Capitals.  With 6:45 left on the clock, North River took yet another penalty, but it was the Flames who controlled the play and had the best scoring chances, not the least of which saw Calvin MacWilliams hit the crossbar.  The Flames found themselves short a player once again, when they were assessed another penalty with three minutes to go.  For the Flames, it was a matter of going to the well once too often, as Summerside tied the game on the powerplay with a nice shot to the top corner of the net.  In the dying seconds, a scramble ensued in front of the Capitals net, but the Flames could not find a way to drive the puck home; the game ended in a 3-3 tie.

Following the game, McLaughlin was asked for his assessment of tonight's contest and of what lies ahead.  "We took too many penalties", said McLaughlin, which was indeed an understatement.  "We have to work hard in the practices coming up, to get ready for provincials."  Regarding his own game tonight, McLaughlin said, "I was relieved to get back on the scoresheet."

The Flames are back on the ice tomorrow at 6:00 AM for practice at the APM Centre.

 
March 3, 2013
FLAMES LOSE NAIL BITER TO ABBIES

The North River Flames played their third game in two days on Saturday evening, when they visited the Charlottetown Abbies at the CARI B rink.  Josh Smith got the nod to start in goal for the Flames.

Smith was tested right off the hop, and came up with a strong blocker save.  The next several minutes, however, saw very few good scoring chances for either squad.  With just over three minutes left to play, Cale Rogerson missed on a glorious opportunity right in front of the Charlottetown net.  Then with 2:30 to go, Smith stood tall and turned aside a breakaway by an Abbies forward.  At the end of the first period, both teams were scoreless.

The second period saw the speed and intensity of play really pick up.  Charlottetown pressed for the opener, but terrific defensive play by the likes of Colby Adams kept the opponents at bay.  Mid-way through the period, Charlottetown finally broke through after an initial point-blank save by Smith, opening a 1-0 lead.  With 7:20 to play, Nick Mills broke in all alone on the Charlottetown cage, but was denied on a great chance to tie the game.  With 5:21 to go, the Abbies struck again with a nice shot to the top corner of the Flames net.  Moments later, however, the Flames showed great heart when Braidan Campbell got the puck, rushed down the ice, put a slick move on the Abbies goalie and buried the puck, closing the gap to 2-1; the goal went unassisted.  With 3:57 left, Charlottetown was assessed a penalty, but North River could not take advantage.  In the dying moments of the middle period, Smith made a wonderful save on a Charlottetown breakaway, keeping the score 2-1, which was how things stood heading to the third.

Early in the third period, the line of Nick Mills, Calvin MacWilliams, and Rogerson controlled the play, with Mills just missing on a one-timer and MacWilliams firing a backhand just inches over the crossbar.  With 8:28 to go, the Flames took a penalty, which was eventually successfully killed off, with the help of stellar goaltending by Smith.  With 5:14 left to play, the Abbies took a penalty of their own, and the Flames nearly capitalized when Ryan McLaughlin found himself alone in front of the Charlottetown net, only to be denied by a great save by the Abbies goalie.  Seconds later, however, North River did tie the game, when Rogerson scored with 3:48 to go; MacWilliams picked up the assist.  Then, with three minutes left on the clock, the Flames appeared poised to take the lead for the first time in the game, as the speedy MacWilliams broke in all alone but was stopped by the Charlottetown netminder.  A wild scramble ensued, but the puck stayed out.  With 2:44 to play in the game, the Flames took a penalty, and then another just twenty-two seconds later, to go down five skaters to three.  With just over a minute to play, an unbelievable shot over Smith's shoulder from a Charlottetown forward gave the home side a 3-2 lead.  Try as they might, the Flames couldn't get the equalizer, and the game ended with the Abbies winning 3-2.

After the game, Smith was asked for his opinion on the entertaining 36 minutes of play.  "It was a fast game," he said.  "They pass well and a few of their players can really shoot."  Asked what he thought of his defensive support, Smith said, "They played really well, but they need to keep their sticks down (to prevent deflecting the puck) and instead use their bodies more."

The Flames are on the ice next on Thursday at 6:00 AM at the APM Centre for practice, as they gear up for the provincials.  In addition, they have one make-up game to play against Summerside, with date and time to be determined.

 
March 2, 2013
FLAMES EDGE GULF STORM 3-2

Who knew a flame could withstand a storm?  Well, that's exactly what happened on Saturday afternoon, as the North River Flames defeated Gulf Storm by a score of 3-2 in what proved to be a thrilling match.

Isaac Arsenault got the starting assignment in goal, and was strong and confident from start to finish.  The Flames took the early play to their opponents, with Ryan McLaughlin denied by a good toe save by the Gulf Storm goalie after a good hard shot along the ice.  The Flames defencemen moved the puck well again in this contest; Will Mix and Jack Nordquist put this on display, with good passing in the Gulf Storm zone.  With 3:07 to go in the opening period, Calvin MacWilliams was denied after a nice passing play from his linemates.  With 2:40 left in the frame, Arsenault kept the opposition off the scoresheet with a great save on a breakaway.  With under two minutes to go, Mix, showing a great burst of speed, made a quick drive to the net, only to be denied by a good save by the Gulf Storm netminder.  At the end of the first period, the teams were scoreless.

The Flames continued to apply pressure, but good chances by Nick Mills and Matthew Mills went unrewarded.  Then, with 8:02 showing on the clock, Cale Rogerson gave the Flames the lead with a wonderful breakaway goal; no assists were awarded.  Gulf Storm was quick to reply, however, with a hard shot that found the top corner of the North River net, squaring the contest at one.  A minute later, some determined, tough work by the line of Andrew Beach, Bryce Wheatley, and Carly Thompson (perhaps earning the moniker "The ABC Line"), resulted in the go-ahead goal being scored by Wheatley; Beach got credited with the assist.  With 4:24 to go, North River was assessed a penalty; however, the best chance during the next two minutes of play went to the Flames, with McLaughlin denied on the Gulf Storm doorstep.  After a North River turnover, Arsenault was called upon to make a great save, and with time winding down, made another on a point-blank opportunity.  At the end of two periods, the Flames held a tenuous 2-1 lead.

In the third period, the line of Beach, Wheatley, and Thompson continued to give the opposition fits, with apparent boundless energy and dogged pursuit of the puck.  With 6:33 to go in the game, the Flames took another penalty, but solid netminding by Arsenault kept Gulf Storm from tying things up.  With only three minutes to go, on a breakaway resulting from incredible hard work on his part, Rogerson gave the Flames a 3-1 lead; the goal was set up by a terrific pass from Patrick Duguay, who got the lone assist on the goal.  Fifteen seconds later, however, North River took another penalty, and Gulf Storm took advantage, closing the gap to one.  In the dying moments, with the Gulf Storm goalie out of the net, the Flames showed maturity and good hockey smarts with dumping the puck in the Gulf Storm end and killing the clock.  The Flames flooded onto the ice as the buzzer sounded, with the final score North River 3, Gulf Storm 2.

Mix was asked for his thoughts after the game.  "We're really happy with this win," he said.  "We skated harder than we have in a long time."  Asked to describe his breakaway in the first period, Mix offered this: "Andrew (Beach) gave me the puck, and I rushed to the net.  I fell and my leg hit the post.  Luckily I didn't get hurt."

So, that's two wins in two days for the Flames.  Later today, they'll go for the trifecta when they visit the Charlottetown Abbies at CARI A at 5:45.

 
March 1, 2013
FLAMES TAME MUSTANGS

The North River Flames hit the road on a drizzly Friday night to take on the Morell Mustangs.  Josh Smith got the start in goal for the Flames.

The Flames struck early (just 42 seconds in), with Calvin MacWilliams making a great rush into the Morell zone and passing the puck to Cale Rogerson, who made no mistake in burying his shot.  Unfortunately for the undermanned Mustangs, this was a sign of things to come for the entire game.  Less than a minute later, North River opened up a two-goal lead, when Nick Mills potted one after a nice feed from Rogerson, who was on fire all night.  Rogerson, the speedy winger, connected again with 10:18 left in the first, with a nice shot to the top corner; the goal went unassisted.  After that bit of furious action, the Flames held a 3-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.  The next several minutes saw sloppy play on both sides, with the game having more turnovers than Mary's Bakery.  With 9:03 to play in the period, the Flames were assessed a penalty, but good work by Sam MacKinnon, Ryan McLaughlin, Willie Melanson, and Matthew Mills resulted in the penalty being killed off.  With 5:36 showing on the clock, Nick Mills scored again with a hard shot to the lower part of the net; Bryce Wheatley got the lone assist.  With just under three minutes to play, Smith was called upon to make three fantastic saves to preserve the North River lead.  Throughout the game, Smith was aided by responsible play from the defense corps, with Patrick Duguay shining in the first period with good stick work.  With 1:14 to go, Wheatley scored from a very tough angle with a terrific shot; the goal went unassisted.  At the end of the first period, the Flames held a comfortable 5-0 lead.

Early in the second period, the Mustangs showed some life, when a hard shot over Smith's shoulder found the twine, closing the gap to four.  The middle section of the period saw few good chances for either side, with much of the play taking place between the bluelines.  With 4:28 to play, the Flames were handed a penalty, but again the penalty killers did their job, and emerged with the four goal lead intact.  With under a minute to play, Smith made a wonderful save on a partial breakaway for the Mustangs.  After two periods of play, North River led 5-1.

The Mustangs continued to battle, and were rewarded with a goal with 10:48 to play in the game.  The line of Nick Mills, Rogerson, and MacWilliams then really started to move the puck well, and proved too much for Morell to handle for indeed the entire game.  With 6:50 to go, Wheatley scored after a prolonged and wild scramble in front of the Morell cage; Colby Adams and Andrew Beach picked up the helpers.  Will Mix was then called upon to make a great defensive play, after some terrific pursuit on his part.  MacWilliams gave the Flames a 7-2 lead with 4:40 to go in the third, after a nice pass from Nick Mills.  Seconds later, Wheatley completed the hat trick with a nice shot from the slot; Carly Thompson got the assist.  With just under four minutes to go, Beach scored on a rebound, with Thompson picking up another assist.  With 3:37 left to play, Smith made arguably the play of the game, with an acrobatic glove save behind his head.  At this point in the game, the outcome had long been decided, but that did not detract from how spectacular Smith's save was.  MacWilliams closed out the scoring with under a minute to go, with Nick Mills getting the assist.  Final score: North River 10, Morell 2.

Offensive player of the game was Wheatley, who lead the way with three goals and one assist, and the defensive player of the game was Melanson, who was steady as always on the back end.

Rogerson was upbeat, naturally, after the big win.  "We passed really well tonight," he said.  "I was happy with my game," stated Rogerson, who should have been, with a strong three-point performance.  As far as playing on a line with Nick Mills and MacWilliams is concerned, the winger was complimentary.  "I really like this line.  We're all the same speed."  Translation: fast!

The Flames play a pair of games tomorrow, firstly at the APM Centre at 9:20 to take on Gulf Storm, and then at 5:45 at CARI A to play Charlottetown.

 
February 24, 2013
FLAMES DROP HOME GAME TO TYNE VALLEY

A day after a hard-fought tie against the Tignish Aces, the Flames hosted another western team on Sunday, when the Tyne Valley Tornadoes visited the APM Centre.  Isaac Arsenault got the nod to start in goal for North River.

Affiliated player Andrew Dooks saw his first Atom AA action in this game, and provided great presence on the back end, with a slapshot that impressed all those in attendance.  The first half of the opening period saw few good scoring chances for either side.  With 6:42 to play in the period, the Tornadoes took a penalty, and while on the powerplay, Andrew Beach, coming off a two-goal performance on Saturday, just missed from the Tyne Valley doorstep.  The penalty was eventually killed off, and then the Tornadoes struck for a goal on a rebound with 3:18 to go in the opening frame.  That was followed less than a minute later with a terrific high shot by a Tyne Valley forward that found the back of the net, giving the visitors a 2-0 lead.  Moments later, the Flames found themselves in a hole, when the Tornadoes struck again, opening a 3-0 lead, which was the score when the period ended.

Less than two minutes into the second period, North River was assessed a penalty, and Tyne Valley struck again on a rebound, taking a commanding 4-0 lead.  The Flames would not fold, however, and with 8:50 to play in the period, Calvin MacWilliams made a great rush from his own end and put his side on the board with a wonderful effort; Willie Melanson picked up the assist.  The Tornadoes then took back-to-back penalties, affording the Flames a five-on-three advantage.  However, the home side could not take advantage of the golden opportunity to get back in the game.  The second period saw the Flames continually buzzing the Tyne Valley net, but not getting many quality shots on goal.  With 1:26 left in the middle stanza, North River was penalized, but a minute later MacWilliams grabbed the puck in his own end once again, made a beautiful rush down the ice, and scored a memorable shorthanded goal to bring the Flames to within two; the goal went unassisted.  At the end of two periods, the Tornadoes held a 4-2 lead.

The Flames were successful in killing off the penalty that was carried over from the second period.  With eleven minutes left in the game, Tyne Valley broke free on a dangerous-looking rush, but a terrific defensive play by Dooks prevented the opposition from creating a good scoring chance.  With 10:41 to go, Tyne Valley took a penalty, but the man advantage was short-lived for the Flames, as they were handed a penalty of their own a minute later.  With 9:14 to play, the Tornadoes scored a back-breaking goal with a great shot to the top shelf, for which Arsenault could not be blamed for letting by.  The Flames netminder bounced back moments later with a terrific save off a deflected shot.  With 5:48 left on the clock, Ryan McLaughlin scored from the slot to make the score 5-3; the goal went unassisted.  A minute later, an apparent goal by the Flames was mysteriously waved off by the referee, which had everyone in the stands scratching their heads.  With 1:20 left to play, the Flames pulled Arsenault from the net in favour of an extra attacker, but could not put another one past the Tyne Valley netminder.  The closing moments turned into a rough and tumble affair, with much pushing and shoving and multiple penalties being assessed to both teams.  As the buzzer sounded, the scoreboard showed Tyne Valley 5, North River 3.

Coach Allan Rogerson announced that the offensive player of the game was MacWilliams, and the defensive player of the game was Patrick Duguay.

Following the game, Carly Thompson was asked for her thoughts.  "It was a rough game," Thompson said.  "Tyne Valley is strong, and they're strong on their sticks."  At one point in the game, Thompson seemed to fall awkwardly behind her own net, and appeared to injure herself.  The Flames forward offered this explanation: "I got cut off, landed on my head and then twisted my leg."  Thankfully, Thompson seemed none the worse for wear and finished the game strong.

The Flames are next on the ice on Thursday morning at 6:00 for practice at the APM Centre.

 
February 23, 2013
FLAMES, ACES BATTLE TO 3-3 DRAW

The North River Flames and Tignish Aces squared off on Saturday in Crapaud in a battle of east versus west.  The Flames called upon Josh Smith to tend the net in this contest.

The early play favored Tignish, with Smith making several good saves to keep the Aces off the board.  Defenceman Matthew Mills was strong in front of Smith, smartly clearing the puck away from in front of the Flames cage.  With eight minutes left, however, Tignish broke through with a nice shot to the top corner, opening a 1-0 lead.  On the following shift, Cale Rogerson made a move that has become his trademark over the season, driving hard and cutting into the middle of the net; however, the Tignish goalie made a nice save to keep his team in the lead.  Seconds later, Andrew Beach found himself alone with the puck in front of the Aces net, and made no mistake, burying a shot to tie the score at one; Carly Thompson got the assist.  With 6:22 left on the clock, the Flames took a penalty, but the man disadvantage was killed off, and the period ended with the score tied at one.  The Flames were no doubt fortunate to end the period tied with the Aces, as the majority of scoring chances were in favour of the visitors.

Early in the second period, Ryan McLaughlin barely missed giving the Flames the lead, hitting the post from a tough angle.  With just over eight minutes left in the frame, Tignish was assessed a penalty, and the Flames capitalized, with Beach potting his second goal of the game to give the Flames a 2-1 lead; Colby Adams and Bryce Wheatley got the helpers.  The Aces then got into a bit of penalty trouble, with back-to-back visits to the box, creating a 5-on-3 situation in favour of North River; however, the Flames weren't able to capitalize, and took a penalty of their own with 28 seconds left to go in the period.  At the end of two periods, North River held a 2-1 lead.

The carried-over penalty was killed off, with defenceman Patrick Duguay doing good work keeping the puck in the Tignish zone.  With 8:54 to play, the Flames were penalized again, and this time the Aces made them pay, scoring on a rebound only ten seconds into the powerplay, tying the score at two.  Two minutes later, Will Mix got the puck along the boards in his own end, quickly moved the puck up the ice to Rogerson, who in turn found Nick Mills, who then fed the puck to Calvin MacWilliams.  The speedy forward fired home the go-ahead goal, on one of the Flames prettiest goals of the year; Mills and Rogerson picked up the assists.  With 4:30 left to go in the game, Smith made a terrific point-blank save to maintain the one-goal lead.  An apparent North River goal was then waved off with 2:43 to play, as the referee had blown the play down.  The Flames then tried to work the clock, with MacWilliams smartly dumping the puck in the Aces zone in order to make a line change after a long shift.  Unfortunately, however, with just 1:40 to play in the third period, Tignish tied the game with a terrific top-shelf shot.  Then, with under a minute to play, Smith stopped a partial breakaway to keep the score tied.  With only a handful of seconds left, Rogerson broke down the right side and fired off a backhand that was stopped by the Aces goalie as the buzzer sounded, and both sides had to settle for a 3-3 tie.

Coach Allan Rogerson announced that the offensive player of the game was Beach, and the defensive player of the game was shared by Jack Nordquist and Mix.

Following the game, Willie Melanson said that he was happy with the tie, since Tignish is such a strong team.  "They pass well and are really fast," stated the Flames defenceman.  "If we skate hard and keep passing the puck tomorrow against Tyne Valley, I think we'll win."

Game time tomorrow is 3:50 at the APM Centre.

 
February 16, 2013
FLAMES IMPRESSIVE IN WIN OVER FALCONS

The North River Flames hit the road to take on the Sherwood Falcons at Cody Banks Arena on Saturday.  Isaac Arsenault was between the pipes, and affiliated player Brayden Monaghan made his Atom AA debut for the Flames.

The early going appeared to be a feeling-out process for both teams, with few quality scoring chances for either side.  Monaghan, who seemed to provide an extra spark for North River all game, had the first good scoring opportunity with 6:31 to go in the first period, but was turned aside by the Falcons goalie.  That was followed up by an impressive shift for Cale Rogerson, who barely missed from in front of the net with 4:15 to go, but would not be denied less than a minute later after great hustle to the Sherwood cage; Calvin MacWilliams picked up the assist.  The line of Carly Thompson, Andrew Beach, and Bryce Wheatley then hit the ice, and showed tremendous puck movement, keeping the Falcons off balance.  With under a minute to go in the period, Arsenault was called upon to make a solid stop on a good wrist shot from in front.  The period ended with the Flames leading 1-0.

North River continued to press for another marker in the second period, and it was Nick Mills who gave the Flames a bit of breathing room with a tremendous wrist shot that found the top corner with 9:13 to go; the goal went unassisted.  With 7:28 left in the second period, the Flames were handed a penalty, and Sherwood took advantage, closing the gap to one only nine seconds into the powerplay.  At this point in the game, it became apparent that the passing drills the Flames coaches have been running have really started to pay dividends.  The players moved the puck unselfishly, quickly, and with authority, serving to open up the ice, keep the opponents chasing, and provide more good scoring chances.  This was really put on display in the latter stages of the period, when Beach came oh-so-close to scoring after some slick passing by his linemates.  After two periods of play, the Flames held a 2-1 lead.

Early in the third period, the commitment to good passing continued, when Rogerson dished the puck off to MacWilliams, who made no mistake with a precise shot that found the top corner; Nick Mills got the other assist.  A minute later, the Flames opened a three-goal lead when Wheatley scored on a rebound after some great work in the trenches by Beach; Thompson and Beach got credited with the assists.  Credit to the Falcons, however, for not quitting, and Arsenault had to make a sharp save with six minutes to play.  With 5:35 left on the clock, hard, smart work by Monaghan was rewarded when he potted the Flames fifth goal of the day; the goal went unassisted.  With 3:22 left, Sherwood capitalized after a wild scramble in front of the Flames cage, closing the gap to 5-2.  Things got interesting with under two minutes to play, when the Falcons scored again after a nice passing play on their part.  However, for Sherwood it was a case of too little, too late, as North River held on for an impressive 5-3 victory.

Offensive player of the game was MacWilliams, who until today suffered from a string of plain old bad luck, despite very hard work game in and game out.  Defensive player of the game was Jack Nordquist, who provided a very steady presence on the back end all game.

Sam MacKinnon was asked for his assessment of today's victory.  "I think we did so well because we passed to the defense more than we have in the past.  We worked hard, Isaac played great, and we ended up winning because of that."

Many of the Flames fans commented on how well the players moved the puck, playing one of their best games all season.  "Instead of trying to do it all themselves, they passed, and look at what happened.  A great victory."   Amen to that.

The Flames are next on the ice on Wednesday morning at 6:00 for practice at the APM Centre.

 

 
February 8, 2013
FLAMES DROP OPENING GAME OF SUMMERSIDE TOURNAMENT

Penalties.  Turnovers.  Penalties.  Breakaways for the opposition.  Did I mention penalties?

All of the above combined for a disappointing result for the North River Flames, in their first game of the Summerside tournament against familiar foe Gulf Storm.

Josh Smith was between the pipes for the Flames, and suffice it to say if not for several great saves by the North River netminder, the score would have been much more lopsided.  That's not to say that the Flames were terribly outplayed, but Smith was indeed called upon to make several stops on breakaways and quality chances on his doorstep.

Just thirty-three seconds into the game, Gulf Storm was assessed a penalty.  However, early in the powerplay, Smith was called upon to turn aside a breakaway opportunity for Gulf Storm.  The Flames were unable to capitalize on the man advantage, which may have given the opposition some confidence as the game progressed.  But North River continued to apply pressure, controlling the early going.  Suddenly, however, a Gulf Storm forward broke free, and fired home a nice shot to the top corner of the Flames net, opening a 1-0 lead.  With 6:49 to go in the period, the Flames took a penalty, but a fantastic glove save by Smith, good work on the faceoffs by Carly Thompson, and terrific defensive play by Colby Adams all contributed to a successful penalty kill.  With under five minutes to go in the opening frame, Smith made several keys saves, some while the Flames were again shorthanded.  In the waning moments of the period, Thompson broke in alone on the Gulf Storm net, but was hauled down as she was about to take a shot; while Gulf Storm was subsequently handed a two-minute penalty for tripping, many in the crowd were surprised that a penalty shot was not called.  Moments later, the man advantage was negated, as the Flames took yet another penalty.  At the end of the first period, Gulf Storm lead 1-0.

Early in the second period, the line of Andrew Beach, Sam MacKinnon, and Ryan McLaughlin controlled the play in the Gulf Storm zone, but was unable to find the back of the net.  Yet again, a Gulf Storm player then broke free with the puck, and made no mistake with a terrific shot just under the North River crossbar.  With 4:58 to play in the second period, Gulf Storm was handed a penalty, but again the Flames could not convert on the man advantage.  The rest of the period may best be described as Penaltypalooza, with both teams making frequent trips to the box, often in the form of off-setting minors.  At the end of a wild and wacky second period, Gulf Storm lead 2-0.

Keeping with the tenor of the second period, the Flames opened the third with another trip to the penalty box.  Seconds later, Gulf Storm made the Flames pay, with a powerplay goal after a scramble in front of Smith.  The next several minutes saw some great goaltending by Smith, and with 5:31 to play in the game, North River finally got on the board on a rebound goal by Cale Rogerson; the goal went unassisted.  Any thoughts of a comeback were quickly dashed, however, when less than a minute later, the Flames were penalized again.  Gulf Storm again took advantage, burying the puck and opening up a 4-1 lead, which is how the clock read when the final buzzer sounded.

Game officials announced that Rogerson was the Flames player of the game.  Coach Allan Rogerson advised afterwards that the coaching staff's offensive player of the game was Thompson, and the defensive player of the game was Matthew Mills.

Patrick Duguay was asked for his thoughts on today's opponents.  "They're strong on their sticks and can really skate," he said.  "We need to skate harder and take fewer penalties."  Asked what he likes most about the sport of hockey, Duguay stated, "I really like the speed of the game."

The Flames are scheduled to take on Charlottetown tomorrow at 1:00, however an approaching major winter storm may nix those plans.  Stay tuned for an announcement tomorrow morning.

 

 
February 3, 2013
FLAMES HOLD OFF LYNX 2-0

On a snowy Sunday afternoon, the North River Flames hosted the Southside Lynx at the APM Centre.  This being Super Bowl Sunday, the Flames faithful hoped their side would play like champions today and emerge with a victory.

Isaac Arsenault was tasked with quarterbacking the Flames in this game, with the starting assignment in goal.  Just seconds in, Arsenault was tested by a hard shot from a Southside player, but the North River goalie was equal to the task.  The line of Nick Mills, Cale Rogerson, and Braidan Campbell pressed back, applying tremendous pressure in the Lynx zone.  Their hard work paid off, when Rogerson tickled the twine with 9:28 left on the clock; Colby Adams got the assist.  The middle section of the first period saw full control by the Flames, with the puck rarely leaving the Southside end of the rink.  With 6:10 left to play in the period, the Flames took a penalty, but still North River was able to control the play.  Adams let go a terrific shot from the point, only to be denied by a great glove save from the Southside goalie.  With 4:45 to play, the Flames were called for a penalty when a streaking Southside player was hauled down while driving to the North River net.  The referee determined that the Lynx player was free and clear when hauled down from behind, thereby awarding a rare penalty shot for the visitors.  As the crowd looked on intently, Arsenault absolutely stoned the Lynx shooter on the attempt, maintaining the 1-0 lead for the Flames.  As the period progressed, Jack Nordquist made some terrific plays, working hard to keep the puck in the Southside zone.  With 2:12 left to play in the period, Arsenault made a wonderful blocker save.  At the end of the period, the Flames held a tenuous 1-0 lead.

Under two minutes into the second period, hard-working Bryce Wheatley provided the insurance marker, with assists going to Andrew Beach and Nick Mills.  The second period continued to see total control by the Flames, with the "Three C's" line of Calvin MacWilliams, Cale Rogerson, and Carly Thompson keeping the Lynx under seige.  With 6:15 to go, however, a Southside player broke in alone on Arsenault, but the North River goalie again made the save look easy.  With 4:53 left on the clock, Rogerson was denied on the doorstep by a fantastic save by the Lynx netminder.  With 2:54 to play, Southside took a penalty, but the Flames were not able to capitalize.  With under a minute to go in the period, North River was assessed a penalty, which carried over into the third period.

The Flames were successful in killing off the penalty, and began re-applying pressure in the Lynx zone.  However, they weren't able to put another one by the opposing goalie.  With 7:30 to play in the game, Nordquist was able to harass a Lynx player just enough to turn a dangerous-looking rush into a missed opportunity.  With 5:43 to play, North River was penalized again, but continued strong goaltending by Arsenault, and effective penalty killing by Beach, Adams, Willie Melanson, and Ryan McLaughlin kept the score 2-0.  With just over three minutes to go, Arsenault made perhaps his most spectacular save of the day, flashing the leather and snaring the puck out of the air.  Yet again, the Flames took a penalty with 1:49 left in the game, but the Lynx could not solve Arsenault, and the Flames emerged victorious by a score of 2-0.

The coaching staff announced that the offensive player of the game was MacWilliams, who was a threat all day, and the defensive player of the game was Arsenault, who was perfect in victory for the Flames.

After the game, MacWilliams was asked for his thoughts.  "We passed the puck well today, and Isaac made some great saves for us."  Regarding today's opponents, MacWilliams was complimentary.  "They worked hard all game.  We need to keep skating if we want to keep winning."

The Flames are back on the ice tomorrow at 6:00 AM for practice at the APM Center, weather permitting.

 
February 3, 2013
FLAMES, MUSTANGS SKATE TO 3-3 DRAW

The North River Flames and Morell Mustangs met for the second day in a row at the Crapaud Arena, on Saturday, February 2, Groundhog Day.  Thankfully for the Flames, they didn't suffer the same fate as did Bill Murray in the 90's movie, who had to endure reliving the same day over and over; while today's contest had an eerily similar start to yesterday's, the final outcome was much better for the Flames.

Josh Smith got the nod to start in goal for North River, and was tested early, with the Mustangs controlling the play in the opening minutes of the first period.  With just over a minute gone in the period, Smith calmly turned away a Morell breakaway.  However, the Mustangs continued to press, and eventually opened the scoring with 8:38 to go on a rebound.  The Flames fought back, with Carly Thompson barely missing on a rebound after a Willie Melanson shot.  Morell showed good speed, but slick defensive play by Patrick Duguay kept the opponents from threatening to score again.  Half-way through the period, the tide seemed to turn in favour of the Flames.  Calvin MacWilliams was denied from point-blank range after some hard work down low, and then Will Mix wowed the crowd with terrific backchecking as the play went the other way.  With under three minutes to play, Nick Mills made a great rush and pass to Cale Rogerson, who just missed on a one-timer; however, seconds later, that tandem would not be denied, as Rogerson returned the favour, making a slick pass to Mills, who fired the puck home.  At this point in the contest, it appeared that the Flames were finally starting to find their legs.  With just 40 seconds to play, Smith was called upon to make a terrific save, ensuring the teams headed to the break tied at one.

Early in the second period, North River got into penalty trouble, finding themselves down five skaters to three.  The Mustangs made the Flames pay for their misdeeds, scoring off a rebound with 10:31 to play in the period, opening a 2-1 lead.  Less than a minute later, Morell widened their lead to two, after a similar-looking rebound goal.  Full credit to North River, however, as only moments later, Rogerson closed the gap to one after finding the back of the net on a rebound goal of his own; Nick Mills got the assist.  Then, with 5:36 to play, Ryan McLaughlin made a nice cross-ice pass to Braidan Campbell, who was positioned perfectly in the slot; the speedy forward made a nice five-hole shot, tying the game at three.  Morell took a penalty with 2:52 left in the second frame, created by great hustle by MacWilliams.  The power play was short-lived, however, as the Flames were assessed a penalty of their own less than thirty seconds later.  The period ended with the teams tied at three.

With 10:49 to go in the game, North River was penalized again, but the penalty killers did terrific work, successfully killing it off.  With 8:00 to play, hard-working Sam MacKinnon came within inches of giving the Flames the lead after some good work in front of the Morell net.  With 5:27 to go, the Flames took yet another penalty, but smart play by the likes of Melanson and Colby Adams clearing the puck out of their zone prevented the Mustangs from mounting a serious attack.  Neither team was able to solve the opposing goalie, and the game ended in a 3-3 tie.

Offensive player of the game was Rogerson, and defensive player of the game was Adams.

Following the game, Nick Mills was questioned about the hard-fought contest.  "We played a much better game than last night," he said.  "We did a much better job passing the puck and skating hard."  Asked what he thought made the Mustangs such a tough opponent over the last two games, Mills offered, "They pass the puck really well."  Referring to tomorrow's game against Southside at the APM Centre (puck drop at 3:50), Mills stated that "We need to work hard and be ready for rebounds."

 
February 1, 2013
FLAMES COME UP SHORT AGAINST MORELL

The Flames played a rare home game away from the APM Centre, when they hosted the Morell Mustangs in a Friday night tilt in Crapaud.  Isaac Arsenault got the start in goal for the Flames.

The early going saw great work by the fivesome of Bryce Wheatley, Nick Mills, Braidan Campbell, Colby Adams, and Jack Nordquist, who kept the puck in the Morell zone for the entire first shift; unfortunately, they weren't able to create quality scoring chances, a theme that would prevail for the entire game.  With nine minutes to play in the opening period, Arsenault made a great pad save, but seconds later Morell capitalized on an unfortunate deflection in front of the Flames cage, giving the visitors an early 1-0 lead.  Defencemen Adams and Nordquist played a great first period, making smart clearing plays and stopping more than one good-looking rush for the Mustangs.  With 4:39 to play, Sam MacKinnon fired off a hard shot on the Morell goalie, and Ryan McLaughlin picked up the rebound, stuffing the puck home; MacKinnon was credited with the only assist on the play.  With just under two minutes to play, Arsenault made two brilliant back-to-back saves to keep the score tied.  With under five seconds left on the clock, McLaughlin barely missed the bottom corner of the net with a wrist shot from in front, and the teams headed to the break tied at one.

With 9:51 to go in the second period, Morell was assessed a penalty for hauling down the ever-dangerous, hard-working Calvin MacWilliams.  However, the Flames were not able to mount a sustained attack and created no good scoring opportunities on the man advantage.  With 7:22 to play, Morell took the lead with a good shot to the lower part of the net.  The Flames stormed back, with Nick Mills getting off a good shot moments after the Mustangs goal; however, the visitors goalie was equal to the task.  Seconds after that, Campbell came within a hair of tying the game, when his shot rang off the crossbar.  MacWilliams was then denied on the Mustangs doorstep, after a terrific pass from Cale Rogerson.  Morell took another penalty with 3:12 to play, but again the Flames could not capitalize, despite a couple of good chances.  With 19.7 seconds to play in the period, the Flames took a penalty of their own, but the period ended with the Mustangs leading by just one.

North River did successfully kill off the penalty carried over from the second period, but the play that followed might best be termed as sloppy.  For the next eight minutes of play, the Flames simply did not create enough chances to threaten tying up the game.  With 3:25 to play, Arsenault made a wonderful save on a breakaway, giving his squad some hope.  With just over one minute left, the Flames lifted Arsenault in favor of an extra attacker, but the move was to no avail.  When the final buzzer sounded, Morell emerged victorious by a score of 2-1.

Following the game, many of the Flames fans were overheard using terms such as "slow", "no energy", and "not hungry enough."  Full credit would have to be given to the Mustangs, who worked tremendously hard from whistle to whistle and earned the victory.

Offensive player of the game was MacKinnon, and defensive player of the game was Will Mix.

In the dressing room afterwards, Wheatley was asked for his take on the game.  "We didn't work hard enough," he said.  "We didn't play our best, and they played well.  We'll bounce back tomorrow."

Wheatley was referring to the Flames next contest, which takes place tomorrow at 4:00, same location, same opponents.  And, hopefully, much different result. 

 
January 27, 2013
FLAMES DOMINATE IN WIN OVER COLE HARBOUR

The North River Flames played their third game of the Dieppe tournament on Saturday afternoon, when they took on the Cole Harbour Wings.  Among those in attendance was a group of vocal supporters who made the trek from Bathurst to cheer on the Flames.

Isaac Arsenault was between the pipes for the Flames, and although this turned out to be a rather lopsided affair in favour of North River, Arsenault was perfect throughout the first two periods of play, after which he was spelled by Josh Smith.  An early rush by Calvin MacWilliams seemed to hold promise of getting the Flames on the board, but the Wings goalie made a nice save.  With 10:17 to go in the first period, Cole Harbour took a penalty, and Andrew Beach took advantage with a nice shot that found the back of the net; the goal went unassisted.  With 6:06 to play, Sam MacKinnon widened the lead to two, on a pass from Nick Mills.  Less than a minute later, MacKinnon struck again, giving North River an early 3-0 lead; Beach picked up the helper.  The Wings deserved credit for not folding early, and Arsenault was called upon to make a nice save with 4:47 to play.  The Flames certainly helped their goalie, with Cale Rogerson providing great pursuit on the backcheck.  With 2:35 to play in the opening period, Ryan McLaughlin scored on a wraparound, giving the Flames a 4-0 lead; the goal went unassisted.

The second period began with the Flames holding a commanding 4-0 lead.  The line of McLaughlin, MacKinnon, and Beach was noted for having a great game, and a good early shift in the second period was evidence of that.  With 6:51 to play in the period, Nick Mills let go a wrist shot that fooled the Cole Harbour goalie, giving North River a 5-0 lead; no assists were awarded.  With 5:05 to go, Nick Mills made a beautiful pass to Bryce Wheatley, who drove the puck home, widening the gap.  With 4:30 to play, the Flames took a penalty, but that was followed shortly by a too many men penalty being handed to the Wings.  At the end of two periods, North River lead 6-0.

Less than a minute into the third period, Wheatley barely missed on a one-timer.  Then, with 10:50 to go in the game, Nick Mills scored again with a hard shot; again, the goal was unassisted.  North River came within a whisker of scoring again, when McLaughlin hit the post with 6:40 to play.  The teams traded penalties for the remainder of the game, and when the buzzer sounded, the Flames emerged with a dominating 7-0 victory.  Player of the game was Nick Mills.

Beach was asked for his thoughts after the game.  "We skated hard, and got more shots to the net today," he said.  Asked why his line was so effective today, Beach stated, "I'm not really sure.  We were just rolling and were in the right places at the right times.  I really like playing with those two guys," referring to MacKinnon and McLaughlin.

Despite a two and one record, including two shutout victories, the Flames were not able to advance to the coveted cross-overs.  Despite that, it surely was a weekend filled with great hockey, lots of laughs, and memories to last a lifetime.

 
January 27, 2013
FLAMES WIN ONE, LOSE ONE TO OPEN DIEPPE TOURNAMENT

The North River Flames played a pair of games on Friday to open the Dieppe tournament, their only off-island trip of the season.  The Flames first game was against a talented team in the Riverview Blues, and North River was tasked with playing catch-up from the get-go.

Isaac Arsenault got the start in goal, and the Flames last line of defence was very busy from start to finish.  The Blues got on the board less than a minute in, on a hard five-hole shot.  The Flames battled hard to tie things up, but weren't able to muster many quality scoring chances.  With 6:51 to play in the first period, Riverview struck again on a shot to the top corner of the net, and shortly thereafter, widened the lead to three when the puck slid just inside the low corner.  The Flames and Arsenault continued to fight, with the North River goalie making a nice pad save on a streaking Riverview player.  The Flames responded, when Nick Mills made a great spin move and an even better pass to linemate Bryce Wheatley, who scored on his own rebound with 4:49 to play; Mills and Patrick Duguay got the assists.  With 3:52 to go in the opening frame, North River took a penalty, and the Blues made the most of the opportunity, on a strange goal that resulted from a shot from beside the net, somehow bouncing in off the goalpost.  The Blues were assessed two penalties late in the period, but the Flames weren't able to capitalize, seeing the teams head to the break with Riverview leading 4-1.

Riverview took yet another penalty early on in the second period, but again the Flames were not able to create enough good scoring opportunities.  The middle stanza was highlighted by several great saves by Arsenault, giving his team a chance to come back.  Ryan McLaughlin barely missed on a great rush to the Blues net, and Andrew Beach wasn't able to corral the puck on the rebound.  Throughout the game, Braidan Campbell showed great speed; with 40 seconds left on the clock, he broke free, but was denied.  At the end of two periods, the score remained 4-1 in favour of Riverview.

With 8:42 to play in the third period, the Blues scored on a point-blank shot.  The Flames simply were not able to bounce back, and Riverview was able to net a couple of more goals before the third period buzzer, making the final score 7-1.  Player of the game was Calvin MacWilliams, who was as quick and hard-working as ever.

Defenceman Will Mix gave his assessment of the contest.  "Riverview passed the puck really well.  They're a fast team.  Next game, we need to get more shots off."

The Flames second game of the day was against a more familiar foe, as they took on the Summerside Capitals.  Josh Smith got the start in goal for the Flames.

Smith gave a glimpse of how he'd play early on, with a nice point-blank save less than a minute in.  After North River took a penalty with 10:19 to go in the first period, Smith made an amazing blocker save to keep the Capitals off the board.  Mid-way through the period, Matthew Mills began to display good, smart play with terrific up-ice passes.  Many among the Flames fans commented on the strength of the North River defenceman's game, and he was rewarded with an assist on a Nick Mills slapshot goal with 6:17 to play in the first period.  Another standout throughout the game was Carly Thompson, who was at her speedy and "in your face" best, frequently causing havoc in front of the Summerside net.  With 3:01 to play, Nick Mills scored again with a great shot to the top corner; the goal went unassisted.  Only seconds later, Bryce Wheatley continued a hot streak with a goal off a feed from Nick Mills.  After one period, the Flames lead 3-0.

With 10:18 to play in the middle period, Ryan McLaughlin scored with a nice wrist shot; Andrew Beach got the assist.  The remainder of the period offered few good chances for either side, and after two periods of play, North River held a 4-0 lead.

The third period saw a parade of players from both sides heading to the penalty box, with more than one 5-on-3 situation.  Both goalies stood tall, however, and Smith was helped greatly on penalty kills with hard work by the likes of Patrick Duguay.  The game ended with the Flames prevailing 4-0.

Player of the game was Smith, who recorded his first shutout of the season.  Smith was clearly thrilled with the outcome, and with the effort of the players in front of him.  "We took a few penalties, but were able to kill them off," he said.  Asked what his most memorable save of the game was, Smith replied, "I liked my body save where the Summerside player dove across in front of me."

The Flames are back on the ice on Saturday to take on Cole Harbour.

 
January 20, 2013
FLAMES DROP HARD-FOUGHT CONTEST TO GULF STORM

Well, the N.H.L. is back, but who needs it when you've got hockey as exciting as was witnessed on Sunday morning in Murray River?  The North River Flames squared off against Gulf Storm in front of a raucous crowd in the cross-over game in the Montague Norsemen Memorial Tournament, and the effort put forth by both sides will long be remembered by those in attendance.

The Flames went with Josh Smith in net, who was brilliant in his previous appearance in the tournament, a 4-1 win over the Sherwood Falcons.  Smith was tested in the very early going, with a good scoring chance for Gulf Storm thwarted on the North River doorstep.  With 7:16 to play in the opening period, Gulf Storm was handed a penalty.  On the power play, Colby Adams made some great shots from the point, followed up by a fantastic defensive play to break up a Gulf Storm counter-attack.  While the power play was unsuccessful, the Flames continued with an aggressive style of play, but Gulf Storm pushed right back.  While there were opportunities for both teams, they were few and far between in the first period; the teams headed to the second period tied at zero.

Less than a minute into the second period, North River was penalized, but incredible penalty killing by Sam MacKinnon, Ryan McLaughlin, Calvin MacWilliams, and Patrick Duguay kept the Gulf Storm attackers at bay.  With eight minutes to play, Smith was faced with a Gulf Storm player bearing down on him all alone, but the Flames goalie was equal to the task and made a great stop.  A minute later, North River's Bryce Wheatley was denied right in front of the opponent's net.  Matthew Mills really impressed the crowd with very strong defensive play, breaking up plays and clearing the puck out of his zone.  With just 40 seconds left on the clock, Gulf Storm opened the scoring on a nice low shot that barely squeaked by the post.  The teams headed to the dressing rooms with Gulf Storm up 1-0.

Early in the third period, Gulf Storm took a penalty, and the Flames looked to take advantage.  However, an unfortunate turnover behind the North River net lead to a shorthanded goal that put the Flames down by two.  The goal didn't seem to deflate Smith, however, as he made a wonderful pad save with five minutes to play.  With just over a minute to go, the Flames pulled the goalie in favour of an extra attacker.  Seconds later, Gulf Storm was assessed a penalty for too many men on the ice, resulting in a 6-on-4 advantage for the Flames.  Try as they might, the Flames could not solve their opponents, and fell by a score of 2-0.

The hockey that was played, and the effort put forth by the Flames over the course of the hour was something to marvel at.  More than one fan opined that this game saw perhaps the best effort by the Flames so far this season.  With a few bounces the right way, there is no doubt the result could have been very different.  The Flames gave everything they had, and for that the young squad should be very proud; no doubt the experience over the weekend will serve the players well going forward.

Most sportsmanlike player was Jack Nordquist, and player of the game was Braidan Campbell.

Following the game, Nordquist was complimentary to today's opponents.  "They're very skilled and they skate fast," he said.  Asked what the team needs to do to be more successful, Nordquist replied, "We just need to pass the puck more."  Referring to next weekend's tournament in Dieppe, Nordquist was quick to state that he's really looking forward to staying in the hotel with his teammates.

The Flames have early morning practice this week, the details of which will be forwarded by Chris Mills.

 
January 19, 2013
FLAMES LOSE TO PREDATORS, BUT ADVANCE TO CROSS-OVERS

The North River Flames were back on the ice on Saturday afternoon, when they took on the Tracadie-Sheila Predators in their third game of the Montague Norsemen Memorial Tournament.  Isaac Arsenault was between the pipes for the Flames.

Arsenault was tested early on, and responded with terrific pad and glove saves, more than one of which was from point-blank range.  Mid-way through the opening period, Will Mix broke up a dangerous looking rush by the Predators.  With five minutes to play, Ryan McLaughlin's backhander just missed its target; the Predators then picked up the puck, rushed down the ice, and scored on a beautiful move that Arsenault could not be faulted on.  The Flames attacked back, with Cale Rogerson doing good work crashing the net.  At the end of the first period, Tracadie-Sheila lead 1-0.

The Predators picked up where they left off, with good pressure and quality scoring chances, but Arsenault turned those early opportunities aside.  With 9:52 to go in the second period, Bryce Wheatley, who's held a hot hand as of late, flicked a shot home to tie the score at one; Nick Mills got the assist.  Arsenault did all he could to keep the Predators from taking the lead, with even more great saves, at least one of which was on a clear breakaway.  The line of Carly Thompson, Andrew Beach, and Rogerson then had a terrific shift, hemming the Predators in their own zone and using their speed to create good scoring chances.  Just as it seemed the Flames might take the lead, Tracadie-Sheila did so with a nice wrist shot that found the top of the net.  Shortly thereafter, the Predators were assessed a penalty, but, despite their best efforts, the Flames were unable to take advantage.  With just 1:21 to play in the period, the Predators were assessed another penalty.  North River played some terrific hockey, working extremely hard to score the equalizer.  At the end of the second period, however, the score remained 2-1 in favour of Tracadie-Sheila.

With three minutes gone in the third period, the Predators widened their lead to two goals, when a shot bounced off the post, hit the back of Arsenault's leg, and a diving Tracadie-Sheila player shoved the puck to the back of the net.  With 5:20 to play in the game, the Flames closed the gap once again, when McLaughlin's backhander found its way to the back of the net; Matthew Mills picked up the assist.  Less than two minutes later, however, Tracadie-Sheila scored a backbreaker, on a terrific wrist shot on a clear breakaway.  As the clock began to wind down, the Flames pulled Arsenault in favour of an extra attacker, but it was to no avail.  The Predators emerged with a hard-fought 4-2 victory.

Most sportsmanlike player was Mix, and player of the game was McLaughlin.

Following the game, speedy forward Braidan Campbell was asked for his thoughts.  "Tracadie-Sheila is a good team," he said.  "They're fast and are good shooters."  Asked about how he's enjoying the season so far, Campbell replied, "I've got great teammates, and we all get along well.  We're having a lot of fun."

Despite the loss, the Flames advanced to the all-important cross-overs, and will face Gulf Storm tomorrow at 8:00 AM in Murray River.

 
January 18, 2013
FLAMES SPLIT PAIR OF GAMES TO OPEN MONTAGUE NORSEMEN TOURNAMENT

The North River Flames played two games on Friday, January 18 to open the Montague Norsemen Tournament, one a very close loss to Gulf Storm, and the second a convincing win over the Sherwood Falcons.

The first game of the day was against Gulf Storm at the Montague Wellness Centre, and saw Isaac Arsenault get the call to start in goal.  Early action saw a good attacking style of play by Sam MacKinnon, and solid defensive play with Patrick Duguay working hard to keep the puck in the Gulf Storm zone.  Despite the fact that the early action was controlled by the Flames, it was Gulf Storm that opened the scoring with 9:01 left to play in the first period, on a nice passing play.  North River responded by creating chances of their own, including one where Carly Thompson barely missed on a one-timer after a wonderful tic-tac-toe play from Cale Rogerson, to Andrew Beach, to Thompson.  Then Ryan McLaughlin came very close on a good scoring opportunity after a nice pass from MacKinnon.  Defenceman Calvin MacWilliams was his usual reliable, fast, and smart self, ensuring that the puck didn't remain in the Flames zone long enough to cause his team any trouble.  With 5:04 to play in the period, Arsenault made a difficult save look easy on a deflected shot.  With 4:12 to play, Gulf Storm widened their lead to 2-0 after a defensive breakdown in the Flames end.  At the end of the period, the Flames found themselves down 2-0.

The second period saw more good play by the Flames defense, with Will Mix steady as always on the blueline, and creating opportunities for his team.  Half-way through the period, Rogerson was denied after a nice rush to the net, followed by Beach just missing on the rebound.  When the buzzer sounded, the score remained Gulf Storm 2, North River 0.

With five minutes left in the game, MacKinnon let fly a nice backhander the barely missed its mark.  With under two minutes to play, Bryce Wheatley gave the Flames some hope with a slick play in front of the net that resulted in a goal; the goal was unassisted.  The Flames pulled the goalie, but to no avail.  In fact, it was Gulf Storm that nearly scored, only to be denied by McLaughlin, who had taken up residence in the North River net, with a nice leg save.  The final score was Gulf Storm 2, North River 1.  Most sportsmanlike player was Matthew Mills, and player of the game was Wheatley.

Colby Adams had these thoughts on the contest: "It was a hard game, and they're a hard team to get around.  Next time, we have to try to block some shots."

The Flames second game of the day was held in Georgetown, and the opponent was the Sherwood Falcons.  Josh Smith was in net, and saw plenty of action over the three periods.  Adams really shone in this contest, making terrific defensive plays and ringing a nice shot off the post in the first period.  The Flames took a penalty with 3:44 to play, but it was successfully killed off.  With 39.5 seconds to play, North River opened the scoring when Wheatley got the puck past the Sherwood netminder, with helpers going to Nick Mills and Braidan Campbell.

Just seconds into the second period, McLaughlin gave the Flames a 2-0 lead on a rebound off a Willie Melanson shot; Patrick Duguay got the other assist.  MacWilliams wowed the crowd with unbelievable work and skating at both ends of the ice.  The Flames kept the pressure on, but the Falcons did not fold, and closed to within one after a goal off a scramble with 7:37 to go in the period.  However, the Flames regained their two-goal lead when McLaughlin scored off a nice rush; Adams and MacKinnon got the assists.  Only 39 seconds later, McLaughlin completed the hat trick on a similar-looking rush and a nice shot to the top corner; Adams and Jack Nordquist got the helpers.  After two periods of play, the Flames held a 4-1 lead.

The third period turned into the Josh Smith Show, with the Flames goalie turning aside chance after chance for the Falcons, with brilliant pad and glove saves that surely frustrated the opponents.  At the end of the game, the scoreboard showed Flames 4, Falcons 1.  Most sportsmanlike player was Smith, and player of the game was MacKinnon.

McLaughlin was asked for his thoughts on the game.  "It was a good win because we needed it to have a chance at making the cross-overs.  It would be great to finally make it that far."  As far as his hat trick was concerned, McLaughlin stated, "It was pretty exciting.  My teammates were happy for me."

The Flames are back on the ice tomorrow afternoon in Montague to take on Tracadie-Sheila.  Game time is 2:40.

 
January 13, 2013
FLAMES, ABBIES SKATE TO THRILLING 4-4 TIE

Coming off a disappointing showing against the Pownal Red Devils on Saturday, the North River Flames played a fantastic game on Sunday against a strong Charlottetown Abbies team at the CARI A rink.  Josh Smith got the starting assignment in goal for the Flames.

Things didn't start off very well for the Flames, with the Abbies opening the scoring just twenty-five seconds into the contest on a breakaway.  The Flames responded well, however, mounting an attack of their own.  Carly Thompson was denied on a great attempt at a one-timer right on the Charlottetown doorstep.  The Abbies counterpunched, with aggressive rushes up the ice, but strong play by defencemen Jack Nordquist and Will Mix prevented the home side from getting to within scoring range of the Flames net.  The fivesome of Matthew Mills, Braidan Campbell, Nick Mills, Calvin MacWilliams, and Patrick Duguay then applied tremendous pressure in the Charlottetown end, for what must have seemed like an eternity to the Abbies and their fans.  The Abbies stormed back with a dangerous looking rush, but Ryan McLaughlin did a nice job breaking up the play.  McLaughlin then fed a pass to Willie Melanson, who broke in alone on the Charlottetown net; his strong shot, however, barely missed the mark.  The following shift saw some nice passing among Thompson, Cale Rogerson, and Andrew Beach, allowing North River to maintain control of the game with the edge in puck possession.  At the end of the period, the Abbies held a 1-0 lead.

With a late Flames penalty carrying over into the second period, Charlottetown continued to press, but good work down low by Nick Mills killed valuable time off the penalty.  Four minutes into the period, Smith was called upon to make a fantastic save on a breakaway, keeping the Flames within a goal.  Perhaps that provided a spark for the visitors, as Rogerson tied the game on a nice shot with 7:21 to go; the goal was unassisted.  Less than a minute later, McLaughlin gave the Flames the lead on a nice shot that went in the left-hand side of the net, with little room to spare; Melanson picked up the assist.  End-to-end action continued, with Smith making a wonderful pad save to maintain the Flames lead.  With 2:50 to play, McLaughlin struck again, with a great shot from in tight on the Charlottetown cage that found the top part of the net; Nick Mills got the helper.  The Abbies pulled back within a goal only thirteen seconds later, and then with 1:33 to play, they tied the game at three.  At the end of two periods of thrilling hockey, the score was knotted at three.

With 10:01 to play in the third period, Charlottetown was assessed a penalty, and Rogerson took advantage with a terrific rebound goal after some tough work in the trenches; Nick Mills picked up the assist.  With seven minutes to play, the Flames came within a whisker of taking a two-goal lead, when McLaughlin barely missed from in front of the net, after a terrific pass from Sam MacKinnon.  The Abbies were penalized again with 6:44 to play, but it was the home squad that scored, tying the game at four.  Things got a little dicey from then-on-in for the Flames, as they were handed a penalty with 4:08 to play.  Terrific work by the penalty killers, however, did not allow the Abbies to create any quality scoring chances.  With a minute to go, Rogerson came oh-so-close to giving the Flames the lead when his backhander slid by the Abbies goalpost.  With 52.7 ticks left on the clock, North River made another trip to the penalty box; again, however, the Abbies weren't able to threaten the Flames cage, and the game ended in a 4-4 draw.  It was a thrilling end to a fantastic contest.

What began to emerge in the first period, and indeed continued on throughout the game, was a commitment by the Flames to moving the puck with smart passes, thereby creating more scoring opportunities.  This no doubt delighted the coaches and the North River faithful.

The coaching staff announced that the offensive player of the game was Rogerson, and the defensive player of the game was Colby Adams.

Rogerson was enthusiastic in the dressing room after the game.  "We passed the puck well tonight," he said.  "The Abbies are a good team, but we skated with them and played well."  Asked what he thinks contributes to his scoring prowess, Rogerson credited "Lots of time practicing in my garage and in the driveway!"  Finally, when asked what it might take to beat the Abbies next time around, Rogerson offered this recipe: "Shoot hard, pass the puck, and skate!"

The Flames are next on the ice for practice on Thursday morning at 6:00 at the APM Centre, as they prepare for the Montague tournament on the weekend.

 
January 12, 2013
FLAMES COME UP EMPTY AGAINST RED DEVILS

The North River Flames got back in action on Saturday afternoon at the APM Centre, when they hosted the Pownal Red Devils in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

Isaac Arsenault got the starting assignment in goal, and ended up facing a barrage of shots over the course of the thirty-six minutes of play.  Barely eighteen seconds into the game, the Flames were assessed a penalty, and less than a minute later, the Red Devils made them pay with a power play goal to open the scoring.  Pownal took the play to the Flames, pressing for a second goal, but Arsenault turned away everything thrown at him for the duration of the first period.  With 6:35 to play, the Red Devils flew in on a breakaway, but Arsenault shut the door on the attempt as well as on a good rebound opportunity.  With 4:08 to go, Pownal was handed a penalty, but North River was unable to come up with any good scoring opportunities, which indeed was the case for the entire first period.  With 2:43 left on the clock, the Flames took another penalty (a theme that was to repeat itself all too often over the course of the game), but excellent penalty-killing by Colby Adams, Andrew Beach, Bryce Wheatley, and Sam MacKinnon ensured the home team would head to the break down by no more than one goal.

As the second period began, the Flames found themselves on their heels as a very aggressive and fast Red Devils team continued to apply pressure.  However, more key saves by Arsenault kept the Pownal attackers at bay.  With 6:58 to play in the period, the Red Devils were penalized, but as had been the case up to this point, the Flames failed to get many shots through to the net and therefore were very limited in their quality scoring chances.  The final five minutes saw a steady stream of North River players heading to the penalty box.  At one point, the Red Devils had a five-on-three advantage, but great work by the likes of Jack Nordquist and Calvin MacWilliams on defence allowed the Flames to successfully kill off the penalties.  At the end of two periods, the score remained 1-0 in favour of the visitors.

Early in the third period, Cale Rogerson made a terrific rush to the net, a trademark move of his over the course of the season, but the Red Devils goalie made a fantastic save to keep the Flames off the scoreboard.  That was followed up by a good chance for Nick Mills in front of the net, but again the Pownal goalie was equal to the task.  On a positive note, the Flames finally began to create some good scoring opportunities, but on the negative side, they simply weren't able to bury the puck.  About half-way through the period, the Flames had a golden opportunity to tie the game when the Red Devils took back-to-back penalties, but the two-man advantage was short-lived, when North River was quickly assessed a penalty as well.  With 7:00 to play, Arsenault, facing a streaking Red Devils forward, heard the sweetest sound a goalie can hear; that distinctive "ping" when a puck hits a goal post.  But with 3:36 to play in the game, Pownal salted the game away on a beautiful breakaway goal.  The game closed out with even more penalties being handed to the Flames, all but snuffing out any hopes of a miracle comeback.  The Flames did pull the goalie, but it was to no avail, as the Red Devils celebrated a 2-0 victory.

The shutout loss marked the first time this season that the Flames were unable to find the back of the net.  Following the game, many of the North River faithful were overheard praising the Pownal squad, for their quickness, their ability to move the puck, and their positional play.

Coach Allan Rogerson announced that the offensive player of the game was Braidan Campbell, who was as speedy as always, and the defensive player of the game was Arsenault.

Arsenault was asked for his comments in the dressing room afterwards.  "They're really fast", he said, referring to today's opponents.  "We just didn't skate hard enough, and they were able to skate by us."  Asked what his most memorable save of the day was, Arsenault took his time with his answer, presumably trying to narrow it down from the dozens of shots he faced during the game.  "In the third period, I made a nice save with my left pad.  I knew it impressed the shooter when he looked at me with a smirk on his face."

The Flames are back in action tomorrow evening at 6:30 to take on the Charlottetown Abbies in the CARI A rink.

 
January 6, 2013
FLAMES DROP HOME GAME TO ABBIES

The North River Flames played their second game in three days, when they hosted a resurgent Charlottetown Abbies team on Sunday afternoon at the APM Centre.

Josh Smith got the nod to start in goal, and he was tested early and often.  The Abbies showed their speed early, but Colby Adams made a terrific play to break up a good scoring chance for Charlottetown.  The Flames stormed back, with Cale Rogerson making a strong rush to the net and breaking in alone, only to be denied by the Abbies netminder.  Seconds later, Rogerson came oh-so-close to opening the scoring, but his shot rang off the goal post.  Mid-way through the opening frame, the Abbies broke the scoreless tie with a nice shot over Smith's shoulder.  A minute later, Smith was faced with a Charlottetown player breaking in all alone, but the North River netminder made a strong save.  The Flames replied with a breakaway of their own, again by Rogerson, but the Abbies goalie turned the shot aside.  End-to-end action continued, with Smith once again called upon to stop yet another breakaway.  Moments later, however, the Abbies opened a two-goal lead with an identical looking shot to their first goal, in the top corner of the Flames net.  Rogerson, who recently returned after an illness, seemed to catch of case of bad luck for this contest, as another excellent scoring opportunity was stopped by a red-hot Charlottetown goalie.  With 1:03 left in the first period, the Abbies opened up a three-goal lead, on a nice passing play in front of the North River net.  The first period ended with the Flames finding themselves in a 3-0 hole.

Unfortunately, the second period started in the same way the first period ended, with Charlottetown scoring on a nice shot along the ice, giving the visitors a 4-0 lead.  Despite the defecit, the Flames didn't quit, and Carly Thompson came close on a chance on the Charlottetown doorstep with 8:12 to go in the period.  Smith, who couldn't be blamed for having nightmarish visions tonight of Abbies jerseys bearing down on him, once again denied a breakaway attempt with 8:00 left on the clock.  The Flames took a penalty with 6:32 to play, but the Abbies couldn't capitalize.  With 4:15 left to go, Ryan McLaughlin had a good opportunity to get North River on the board, but his shot missed its mark.  Again, the Flames showed grit, with Braidan Campbell putting his speed on display, backchecking hard to break up a play and then storming in alone on the Abbies net; his hard work, however, went unrewarded.  With only 45 seconds left to go in the period, Charlottetown scored a huge goal on a nice deke in front of Smith, giving them a 5-0 lead heading to the third period.

With 9:54 to play in the final period, the Flames were assessed a penalty, and the Abbies made them pay once more with a shot that eluded Smith.  Shortly thereafter, Nick Mills just missed on a wrap-around opportunity, followed by McLaughlin failing to connect on a one-timer.  Unbelievably, Smith made yet another breakaway save with 3:35 to play in the game.  One of the highlights for the Flames had to be Thompson's late drive to the net, a wonderful effort that saw her fend off a defenceman, and get off a one-handed shot that nearly beat the Charlottetown netminder.  A late short-handed effort by Nick Mills finally broke the shutout bid of the Abbies goalie, making the score 6-1; the goal went unassisted.  Only ten seconds later, he struck again, with another unassisted goal.  That was as close as the Flames would come, however, and the Abbies emerged victorious by a convincing score of 6-2.

Throughout the game, many of the Flames players made a habit of making good passes, which paid off in moving the puck up the ice quickly and creating good scoring chances.  Matthew Mills was noted for his particular penchant for dishing the biscuit, a fact not lost on the fans.  It seems clear that this is one player that understands it's much more important to play for what's on the front of the jersey, than for the name on the back.  No doubt the coaching staff hopes the list of players that have taken this to heart is one that keeps growing throughout the season.

Following the game, coach Allan Rogerson announced that the offensive player of the game was Thompson, and the defensive player of the game was Smith.

Thompson was asked for her thoughts following the contest.  "We worked hard but we let them skate too freely."  As for her formula for the next time these two rivals meet, Thomson had this to offer: "We need to get in their way more, and not just let them skate by."

The Flames are next on the ice on Thursday morning at 6:00 for practice at the APM Centre.

 
January 4, 2013
FLAMES EARN ROAD VICTORY OVER RED DEVILS

After a rather lengthy layoff, the North River Flames were back on the ice for a Friday night tilt in Pownal against a strong Red Devils team.  Isaac Arseneault got the assignment in goal, and was tested often throughout the contest.

Right off the hop, the Red Devils had a great scoring opportunity, but Arsenault stood tall and turned the shot aside.  Moments later, Colby Adams did a terrific job breaking up a dangerous-looking rush by a Pownal forward.  The Red Devils carried the early play, and were rewarded with a goal with 8:29 to play in the opening period.  Less than a minute later, however, the Flames squared the contest when Nick Mills showed great patience, made a wonderful move in front of the Pownal cage, and slid the puck home; the goal went unassisted.  Much of the play throughout the evening was along the boards, and Sam MacKinnon was particularly strong in this area of the game for the Flames.  Such hard work paid off, when Nick Mills struck again with another great move in front of the net with 7:39 to go, giving North River a 2-1 lead; this goal was also unassisted.  On several occasions, the Flames defencemen broke up good opportunities for the Red Devils, something Arsenault no doubt noticed and appreciated.  With 4:55 to play in the period, after a wild scramble in front of the Pownal net, the Flames opened up a 3-1 lead when Ryan McLaughlin banged the puck over the line; Carly Thompson picked up the helper.  North River kept the pressure on the Red Devils, with a strong shift by McLaughlin, Matthew Mills, and Andrew Beach; unfortunately their efforts did not yield a fourth goal.  Late in the period, Arsenault made an absolutely amazing point blank save to preserve the two-goal lead.

Very early into the second period, which turned out to be a wild and woolly twelve minutes of play, Pownal closed the gap to one after a turnover in the Flames end.  Then, with 9:44 to play in the middle frame, the Red Devils tied the game on a terrific shot that Arsenault could not be blamed for letting by.  The Flames pressed for the go-ahead goal, but continued to play responsible defensive hockey, with the likes of Matthew Mills displaying his hockey smarts by covering up on defence when required.  With 7:00 to go, Willie Melanson did indeed give the Flames the lead, with a nice five-hole shot along the ice; Nick Mills got the assist.  Melanson wasn't done there, however, when he struck again with a wrist shot over the goalie's shoulder with 6:24 to play in the period; Patrick Duguay got credited with the assist.  With 1:44 left on the clock, Nick Mills scored his third goal of the game, giving the Flames a 6-3 lead; Melanson picked up the assist.

Early in the third period, Thompson showed her strength with a good drive to the net and a nice pass out front that nearly resulted in a seventh goal for North River.  The bulk of the period was controlled by the Flames, with much of the play taking place in the Pownal zone, with the likes of Jack Nordquist doing a great job keeping the puck inside the opponent's blue line.  Pownal took back-to-back penalties mid-way through the third period, allowing the Flames to maintain pressure on the Red Devils while the seconds ticked away on the clock.  Relentless pressure by the line of Beach, McLaughlin, and Nick Mills was entertaining to watch but did not result in a goal for the visitors.  With just under three minutes to play, Arsenault was tested one more time on a three-on-none rush, but calmly turned the shot aside.  As the final buzzer sounded, the Flames emerged victorious by a score of 6-3, widening their lead in the Eastern Division over the second-place Red Devils to three points.

Following the game, coach Allan Rogerson announced that the offensive player of the game was Matthew Mills, and the defensive player of the game was Bryce Wheatley.  Mills was asked for his thoughts, and gave this assessment: "It was a very intense game.  I think the key to our win tonight was that we passed the puck well, skated hard, and put lots of pucks on the net."

The Flames are back on the ice tomorrow at 4:10 for a practice at the APM Centre, with their next game being on Sunday at 3:50 when they host the Charlottetown Abbies.

 

 
December 25, 2012
Merry Christmas Flames!

Merry Christmas Flames! Hope Santa made the trek to your home!

Our next ice times:

Thursday, Dec. 27 at 8:30am- Practice

Sunday, Dec. 30 at 3:50- Home game vs Morell

 

 
December 16, 2012
FLAMES END BUSY WEEKEND WITH WIN

The North River Flames played their third game in three days on Sunday, hosting the Sherwood Falcons at the APM Centre.  But before the game began, the Flames got a motivational boost during a presentation to a very important member of the team's staff.  Aaron Anderson has been contributing to the success of many North River minor hockey teams over the years, with his presence behind the bench and constant encouragement to the players.  This year has been no exception, with Aaron being the Flames emotional leader, game in and game out.  As a token of appreciation, parents of the players came together to provide Aaron with a well-deserved early Christmas present, in the form of a North River Flames winter jacket and track suit, both embroidered with Aaron's last name.  No doubt Aaron was proud to don the jacket but, true to form, he immediately called the players into a huddle for a pre-game cheer, which was met with applause from those gathered in the dressing room to witness the presentation.  On that highly emotional note, on a rather emotional weekend, the Flames took to the ice, perhaps understanding more fully that, when all is said and done, being kind and respectful to one another is more important than wins, goals, or assists.

The Flames went with Josh Smith in net, who has been half of a red-hot goaltending tandem, alongside Isaac Arsenault.  Very early on, Matthew Mills came within a hair of opening the scoring for North River.  That was followed by a number of good opportunities at both ends of the ice; thankfully for the Flames, it was Cale Rogerson who cashed in with 8:26 to go in the period, on a rebound off a Nick Mills shot.  Sherwood stormed back, but a nice defensive play by Bryce Wheatley foiled a good scoring attempt for the Falcons.  With 4:41 to go in the period, North River was handed a penalty, and the Falcons capitalized less than a minute later, tying the game at one.  Sherwood followed that up with a good drive to the Flames net, but Smith made a fantastic point-blank save to preserve the tie.  With 2:02 to go, North River took another penalty, but fantastic penalty-killing by Wheatley, Carly Thompson, Willie Melanson, and Will Mix kept the Falcons from scoring.  The first period ended with the teams tied at one.

Early in the second period, Patrick Duguay and Jack Nordquist made strong defensive plays to frustrate the Falcons.  The line of Sam MacKinnon, Andrew Beach, and Ryan McLaughlin had been having a strong game, with good work along the boards, showing they simply wanted the puck more than their opponents.  It seemed only a matter of time before the trio was rewarded, and sure enough, MacKinnon's shot found the back of the net with 9:16 to go, with Beach and McLaughlin picking up the assists.  On several occasions, Colby Adams provided great support on defence, and his strong shots from the point provided the Flames with excellent scoring opportunities.  Just prior to the period ending, Matthew Mills had two great chances to score but could not convert (certainly not for lack of effort), and Smith made two excellent saves preserving the North River lead heading to the third period.

The final period saw defenceman Calvin MacWilliams really begin to stand out, with very steady play in his own zone and several rushes down the ice that had the fans shaking their heads in wonder.  With 4:03 to go in the game, McLaughlin gave the Flames a 3-1 lead with a wrist shot that the Sherwood goalie was unable to handle; Beach and MacKinnon got the assists.  With under a minute to play, the Falcons pulled their goalie, and the move paid off with a break down the left side and a nice shot over Smith's shoulder.  However, it proved to be a case of too little, too late for Sherwood, as the Flames hung on for a 3-2 victory, solidifying their hold on first place in the Eastern Division.

Following the game, coach Allan Rogerson announced that the offensive player of the game was Beach, and the defensive player of the game was Duguay, both well-deserved honours.  Coach Rogerson was asked for his thoughts on today's game.  "Perhaps Aaron's new jacket was a good luck charm for us," he said.  "I think Aaron really helped propel us forward, as he seems to always do.  Our team worked really hard, and created many good scoring chances."  As this was the team's last game before the holidays, coach Rogerson wanted to wish all of the players and their families a Merry Christmas.

The Flames are next on the ice on Thursday morning at 6:00 for practice at the APM Centre.

 
December 15, 2012
FLAMES DROP CLOSE ONE TO TYNE VALLEY

It's said that everyone loves a parade, except when it's a parade of players to the penalty box in a game of hockey.  When the North River Flames hit the road to take on the Tyne Valley Tornadoes on Saturday, both teams often found themselves shorthanded, with several calls leaving players, coaches, and fans scratching their heads in puzzlement.

When the Flames took to the ice, it was Isaac Arsenault between the pipes for the visitors.  The Tornadoes proved to be a big, fast squad that gave the Flames everything they could handle on this day, and more.  In reply, Braidan Campbell was strong on the puck early on, and the line of Willie Melanson, Carly Thompson, and Matthew Mills worked like crazy to open the scoring for North River.  With 8:24 to go in the first period, the Flames went on the powerplay, but it was Tyne Valley that opened the scoring shorthanded, with one of their players making a nice move on the Flames defence and letting go a nice hard shot to the top corner.  Later on in the North River powerplay, Calvin MacWilliams was denied on a great scoring chance.  With under five minutes to play in the opening stanza, the Tornadoes opened up a two-goal lead on a one-timer that eluded Arsenault.  Only seconds later, Arsenault bounced back with a terrific save after a scramble in front of the net, that prevented Tyne Valley from opening up a 3-0 lead.  As the seconds ticked down in the period, the line of Andrew Beach, Sam MacKinnon, and Ryan McLaughlin buzzed the Tyne Valley net, but was unable to cash in.  When the buzzer sounded, the home team lead 2-0.

Early in the second period, the Tornadoes had several good scoring chances, but Arsenault shut the door each time.  With under a minute gone in the period, the Flames were assessed a penalty.  However, it was North River that hit paydirt, with McLaughlin scoring a shorthanded goal on a nice shortside shot; MacKinnon picked up the assist.  The North River defencemen then really started to shine, with Colby Adams making great efforts to thwart chances by Tyne Valley, and Bryce Wheatley throwing his body in front of a hard shot directed towards the Flames net.  Matthew Mills was noted for making several smart plays with the puck, clearing it out of his zone quickly and off the boards.  Half-way through the second period, Arsenault was tested on a Tyne Valley breakaway, but the North River goalie made a wonderful save to keep his team within a goal.  With 6:28 to play, both teams were penalized.  Nick Mills had a great opportunity to tie the game from right in front of the net, but had his stick tied up at the last second.  With 2:00 to go in the period, Arsenault again showed why he's gotten so much high praise this season, with a fabulous point-blank save.  As luck would have it, though, a shot from the point that found its way through a maze of players in front ended up in the back of the Flames net, giving Tyne Valley a 3-1 lead.  Less than a minute later, it appeared that the Flames replied, on a fantastic end-to-end rush by Nick Mills; however, as the puck went in the net, the Flames were somehow assessed a penalty and the goal was negated.  That was followed-up by another Flames penalty, putting them down 5 skaters to 3.  Cale Rogerson then took matters into his own hands, making a remarkable rush of his own, and tickling the twine with exactly one-tenth of a second remaining in the period.  After two periods of play, the score stood Tyne Valley 3, North River 2.

The third period was a penalty-filled affair (in actuality too many to list here), with both teams making frequent visits to the sin bin.  Arsenault continued to make great saves, and the North River penalty killers worked tremendously hard in killing off all of their penalties.  With 2:00 left, Willie Melanson had a good chance to tie things up, but was denied.  With under 2:00 to play, the Flames went on the powerplay, and they eventually pulled the goalie, giving North River a six-on-four advantage.  With 32 seconds to play, Nick Mills got off a great shot, but was unable to convert.  That was as close as the Flames would come, and the Tornadoes emerged victorious by a score of 3-2.

Coach Allan Rogerson announced that the offensive player of the game was McLaughlin, and the defensive player of the game was Adams.

Coach Brent Thompson was asked for his thoughts following the game.  "The kids played hard, but we simply took too many penalties.  I think we'll bounce back tomorrow."  Coach Thompson was referring to the Flames next game, when they take on the Sherwood Falcons in the friendly confines of the APM Centre at 3:50.

 
December 14, 2012
FLAMES DEFEAT STRONG POWNAL TEAM

The North River Flames travelled to Pownal on Friday evening to take on a talented Red Devils team, in a battle of the top two teams in the Eastern Division.

The Flames went with Josh Smith in net, and once again goaltending was key to the team's success.  Early action saw strong play by the Flames defensive corps, with Jack Nordquist foiling a good chance for the Red Devils.  As for the forwards, hard skating and aggressive play from the get-go from the likes of Matthew Mills was effective in keeping the Red Devils on their heels.  Mid-way through the period, Smith made a series of great saves to keep Pownal off the scoreboard.  With 4:28 to play, North River opened the scoring when Willie Melanson took a nice pass from Cale Rogerson and fired a shot over the Red Devils goalie's trapper.  Less than a minute later, Melanson struck again after a scramble in front of the Pownal goal, giving the Flames a 2-0 lead.  The Red Devils then pressed back, but Patrick Duguay made several good plays, pokechecking the puck off opponent's sticks, and fellow defenceman Calvin MacWilliams provided great pursuit of the Red Devils attackers.  Late in the period, however, a turnover in the Flames zone lead to a Pownal goal, on a shot that went in off the goal post.  Before the period expired, Smith was called upon to  make a stop on a Pownal breakaway.  At the end of the first period, the Flames held a 2-1 lead.

Early in the second period, Rogerson just missed in front of the Pownal net after a lovely set up by Melanson.  With 7:48 to play in the middle period, the Flames were handed a penalty, but that man disadvantage was killed off effectively.  The game then turned into a fast, entertaining affair, with both sides obviously putting a lot of importance on coming away with a win in this contest.  With 2:10 to play in the second, an unlucky bounce found its way behind Smith and into the Flames net, squaring the score at two.  Just prior to the end of the period, and early on in the last frame, a series of penalties to both teams was called, some of which caused confusion among the fans and ultimately both coaching staffs and the on-ice officials.  When all was said and done, the Flames found themselves down five players to three; however, solid, determined play saw North River kill off both penalties, likely a turning point in the game.  Perhaps that fired up Smith, who then reeled off at least five spectacular saves that clearly frustrated the Red Devils and no doubt brought a smile to the kid behind the mask.  The line of Sam MacKinnon, Ryan McLaughlin, and Andrew Beach then had a terrific shift, applying great pressure in the Pownal zone.  With 2:12 left to go in the game, Beach made a fantastic cross-ice pass to Rogerson right in front of the Red Devils zone, and the North River sharpshooter made no mistake, stuffing the puck home and giving his team a 3-2 lead.  With under a minute to play, the Red Devils pulled their goalie in favour of an extra attacker, but it was to no avail, as the Flames hung on for a well-deserved 3-2 victory.

The North River coaching staff announced that the offensive player of the game was Melanson, who had two goals, and the defensive player of the game was Nordquist, who was solid on defense all game.

Rogerson summed up the team's success in today's game with three words: "We skated hard."  Asked about his game-winning goal, Rogerson described it this way: "Andrew fed me a nice pass, and I went five-hole with a one-timer."  The Flames play another road game tomorrow at 2:30 in Tyne Valley.  Asked what it would take for the team to continue to be successful, Rogerson said "We need to keep skating hard and passing the puck."

 
December 8, 2012
FLAMES END POWNAL TOURNAMENT WITH WIN

Coming off two stinging defeats to open the Markan Hardwood Memorial Tournament in Pownal, the North River Flames looked to come away victorious over their familiar foes from Sherwood, and that's just what they did in front of an enthusiastic crowd on Saturday afternoon.

Isaac Arsenault got the assignment to start in goal for the Flames, and once again their goaltending was certainly a strong point throughout the contest.  A key save early by Arsenault proved that he was ready to play, which likely provided a shot of confidence to the North River skaters.  Sherwood started hot, bearing down on the Flames net on a few occasions; however, great backchecking by the likes of Braidan Campbell and Ryan McLaughlin helped prevent the Falcons from getting the all-important opening goal.  At the opposite end of the rink, Sam MacKinnon was fearless in his attack, with his usual straight-ahead, quick, aggressive play that kept the Sherwood defence on edge.  A good amount of play in the first period took place between the bluelines, with neither side able to mount a sustained attack or to get many shots on goal.  Indeed, this type of play has been indicative of how games have gone for both the Flames and Falcons as of late, with both teams having difficulty scoring a lot of goals.  However, with 2:15 to go in the opening frame, a Falcon player seemed to have an excellent opportunity to break in alone on Arsenault, only to be thwarted by an excellent defensive play by Will Mix.  The Flames replied with their own good scoring opportunity, with Cale Rogerson just missing from right in front of the net with thirty-five seconds to go in the period.  As the buzzer sounded, the teams were deadlocked at zero.

The second period opened with a good scoring chance for Nick Mills, but again a strong effort went unrewarded.  The teams then reverted to similar play to what took place in the first period, with turnovers by both teams and not many quality scoring chances.  Suddenly, however, Nick Mills found himself alone in front of the Sherwood net, and got off a hard wrist shot that beat the Falcons goalie, giving the Flames a 1-0 lead; linemates Rogerson and Willie Melanson picked up the assists.  With 4:39 to play in the middle period, North River had a great opportunity to widen the lead to two, as Sherwood was assessed a penalty.  Early on in the powerplay, Rogerson, after a wild scramble, came within a whisker of scoring, but the Falcons goalie was able to cover up the puck.  Bryce Wheatley did a terrific job keeping the puck in the Sherwood zone during the powerplay, with Colby Adams providing great support as well.  The Flames were unable to convert on the man advantage, which seemed to provide a bit of a jump to their opponents.  With 1:33 to play, Arsenault was called upon to make a terrific pad save, maintaining the Flames lead.  Then, with just 19.7 seconds left in the period, Andrew Beach scored on a wonderful effort in front of the Sherwood cage, with McLaughlin getting credited with the assist.  After two periods of play, the Flames held a 2-0 lead.

In the third period, the tandem of Rogerson and Nick Mills really started to heat up, with Mills setting up his linemate on several occasions with terrific cross-ice passes, and Rogerson showing his strength with driving to the net.  With 9:01 to go, Arsenault made another solid save, preserving the Flames two-goal lead.  But with 5:12 left to play, the Falcons ruined Arsenault's shutout bid, with a high shot over the goaltender's shoulder.  North River was quick to reply, when Melanson scored off a rebound with 4:22 to play; Rogerson picked up the helper.  The next fivesome out, that of McLaughlin, Beach, MacKinnon, Adams, and Wheatley then applied tremendous pressure, hemming the Falcons in their own end as precious time ticked off the clock.  North River was penalized with under a minute to play, but the Flames held the fort and skated away with a 3-1 victory in what was often a chippy affair between the two rivals.

Player of the game for the Flames was Carly Thompson, who as usual was speedy, aggressive, and played with a bit of an edge, wise enough to never cross over the line.  Most sportsmanlike player for North River was Nick Mills.

After the game, MacKinnon was asked for his comments on today's contest.  "We played a good game today.  We passed it better than we have been, and I think we skated harder as well."  Asked why he thought the Falcons seemed to be a little more short-tempered than usual, MacKinnon offered this opinion: "We put the pressure on them and kept coming at them.  This was a good win for our team."

The Flames are on the ice next on Thursday morning at 6:00 for practice at the APM Centre.

 
December 7, 2012
FLAMES FALL TO STRONG DIEPPE TEAM

In their second game of the Pownal Markan Hardwood Memorial Tournament, the North River Flames took on the Dieppe Aigles on Friday afternoon in Pownal.  The Aigles proved to be a rather formidable foe, displaying speedy play and slick passing.

Josh Smith got the start in net for the Flames, and played a fantastic game, turning aside a multitude of terrific scoring chances for Dieppe.  The Flames held their own in the early going, with the line of Carly Thompson, Braidan Campbell, and Matthew Mills working tremendously hard in battles along the boards.  The first period saw a solid commitment to backchecking from the entire North River squad, which no doubt was welcomed by Smith.  Despite hard work by the Flames, the Aigles struck first, on a rebound in front of Smith with 6:43 to play in the first period.  A minute later, Smith made his first of many brilliant saves, shooting out his right pad and directing the puck out of harms way.  That seemed to ignite the Flames, as Cale Rogerson stole the puck and scored on a lovely shot to the top shelf of the Dieppe net with 4;23 remaining in the opening stanza; the goal went unassisted.  Rogerson continued to press, buzzing the Dieppe zone and their net.  However, the Aigles answered back, on a deflected shot that found the back of the North River net with just under three minutes to play in the period.  Dieppe followed that up with another quick goal after a scramble in front of Smith, giving them a two-goal cushion heading to the second period.

Early on in the second, the Flames were penalized, but terrific work by the penalty killers did not allow the Aigles to capitalize; Calvin MacWilliams stood out by making it look easy, clearing the puck out of his zone with strong, quick shots, killing valuable time off the clock.  With 8:30 to go in the period, Smith was called upon to make a nice save on a breakaway; this turned out to be the first of many breakaway chances for the Aigles that Smith turned aside.  Less than a minute later, Smith committed larceny by snaring a hard shot with his trapper.  Rogerson and Nick Mills then flew down the ice on a two-on-one, with Rogerson making a nice pass to Mills; however, the Aigles goalie stood his ground and kept the lead at two.  Moments later, Smith was again challenged on another breakaway, but again he frustrated the opponents by making a great save.  A third breakaway by Dieppe over the course of a couple of minutes was successful, giving them a 4-1 lead with 4:08 to play in the second period; when the buzzer sounded to end the period, that's how the score stood.

With 10:40 to play in the third period, the Aigles caught a very lucky break, when the puck took a strange bounce, flew high in the air, over Smith's head, and into the back of the net.  That put the Flames in a four-goal hole, but credit to them, they did not quit.  Campbell broke in on the Dieppe net all alone, but was denied by a hot Aigles goalie.  As if trying to set some sort of record, the Aigles stormed in on yet another breakaway on Smith, but the Flames goalie made a brilliant save, followed seconds later by perhaps an even better toe save.  With 4:14 to go in the game, Rogerson scored his second goal of the game, with a shot that rang off the crossbar and in; Nick Mills picked up the assist.  Dieppe pushed for a sixth goal, but Smith pushed back.  The game ended with the Aigles prevailing 5-2.

Player of the game for the Flames was Rogerson, and most sportsmanlike player was Colby Adams.

Smith was asked for his comments following his brilliant performance.  "Dieppe is a really tough team", he said.  "They're fast and they pass the puck really well."  Asked for his opinion on how his teammates played in front of him today, Smith was at once complimentary and objective in his critique: "We played a good game, we worked hard, but we need to start capitalizing on our chances."  When asked what he likes most about playing in net, Smith flashed a sly grin and said, "I like seeing the looks on their faces when I make a good save."  No doubt, today, more than once Smith had the Aigles looking like they had seen a ghost.

The Flames hit the ice in Pownal tomorrow for their third game of the tournament, when they take on the Sherwood Falcons at 1:00 P.M.

 
December 6, 2012
Pownal Tournament Schedule is on our CALENDAR!

Check "calendar" for the 3 tournament games.

 
December 6, 2012
FLAMES DROP OPENING GAME OF POWNAL TOURNAMENT

Two nights after facing Gulf Storm in Kensington, the North River Flames opened the Pownal Markan Hardwood Tournament against the same opponents on Thursday evening.  The outcome was in doubt until literally the final second of the game.

Isaac Arsenault got the start in goal, and provided absolutely stellar goaltending from the opening face-off to the end of the game.  As was the case on Tuesday in Kensington, the Flames had total control of the early play, and admittedly for most of the first period, with the vast majority of the play being in the Gulf Storm end of the ice.  However, North River was unable to cash in on several good scoring chances.  With 10:06 to play in the opening frame, the Flames were handed a penalty; however, that was effectively killed off by the likes of Bryce Wheatley and Colby Adams providing solid defensive play.  While shorthanded, Cale Rogerson was denied on a good scoring opportunity for the Flames.  Following the penalty kill, the Flames picked up where they left off in applying pressure to Gulf Storm, with Patrick Duguay doing a nice job keeping the puck in the opposition's zone.  A sudden scoring chance for Gulf Storm, with 3:05 to play, was thwarted by a nice glove save by Arsenault.  That was followed up with a beautiful pad save by Arsenault that had the Flames fans roaring with approval.  The first period ended with the teams squared at zero.

As the second period began, the line of Rogerson, Willie Melanson and Nick Mills did terrific work in the Gulf Storm end, winning the battles for the puck and creating good scoring chances for the Flames.  With 10:37 to play, Gulf Storm was assessed a penalty, and the Flames were able to convert; Andrew Beach banged the puck in after a wild scramble in front of the net, giving North River a 1-0 lead.  The lead was short-lived, however, as Gulf Storm came right back down the ice and tied it up on a nice shot.  The Flames defence continued to provide great support to Arsenault, with keeping the puck cleared away from the front of his net and in pursuing the Gulf Storm forwards that tried to break in on the North River cage.  At the end of twenty-four minutes of play, nothing was solved, as the teams were tied at one.

With 9:35 to go in the final period, Gulf Storm capitalized on a scramble in front of Arsenault, taking a 2-1 lead.  North River then took a penalty, but hard work paid off, as the penalty kill was successful.  With 4:20 to go in the final frame, Matthew Mills flew in alone on a breakaway, tried to go five-hole, but the Gulf Storm goalie was equal to the task and maintained their tenuous lead.  With under two minutes to play, Gulf Storm was handed a penalty.  The Flames pulled their goalie, giving them a 6-on-4 advantage.  Wild, furious play ensued in the Gulf Storm end; with one second left on the clock, the Flames had a great opportunity to tie it up, but the Gulf Storm goaltender made a great save on a backhand from Nick Mills.  No doubt the 2-1 loss was disappointing for the  Flames, and the team likely deserved a better fate, but they rightfully held their heads high in the dressing room afterwards.

Player of the game for the Flames was Braidan Campbell, and the most sportsmanlike player was Jack Nordquist.

Campbell was asked for his thoughts after the game.  "It was a good game."  Referring to Gulf Storm, Campbell said, "They've got good skills.  Next game, we'll have to work harder and hopefully we'll get more bounces going our way."

The Flames second game of the tournament is Friday afternoon at 1:30 when they take on Dieppe at Pownal Stadium.

 
December 4, 2012
FLAMES FALL TO GULF STORM

In a battle of first place teams, the North River Flames took to the ice in Kensington to face Gulf Storm on Tuesday evening.  Josh Smith had the assignment in net for the visitors.

Early play was largely contained in the Gulf Storm end, with Jack Nordquist being strong on the puck and providing good pursuit.  Fellow defencemen Calvin MacWilliams, Patrick Duguay, and Bryce Wheatley did a terrific job keeping the puck in the Gulf Storm zone.  With 5:35 to play in the opening period, Smith made a string of three excellent saves to keep the home team off the scoreboard.  Moments later, Andrew Beach had a good chance to open the scoring for the Flames, but the Gulf Storm netminder made a great toe save.  Just before the period ended, Gulf Storm broke in on a three-on-two, but Smith played it perfectly and denied the home side shooter.  The first period ended with neither side being able to solve the opposing goalie.

Early in the second period, a nice shot by Ryan McLaughlin was met by a quick trapper save by the Gulf Storm goalie.  The Flames had a wonderful chance to open the scoring with 9:00 to play, when Cale Rogerson flew in on a breakaway, only to be denied.  Shortly thereafter, North River was handed a penalty, and Gulf Storm took advantage just as the penalty expired, giving them a 1-0 lead.  The line of Rogerson, Beach, and Nick Mills responded with a very strong shift, providing aggressive play; however, they were not able to find the back of the net.  Very late in the period, Nordquist, usually a stay-at-home-defenceman, made a nice rush to the opposition's net and nearly tied the game.  However, at the end of the period, Gulf Storm maintained a 1-0 lead.

Early in the third period, the Flames were assessed another penalty, but successfully killed it off.  In fact, during shorthanded play, Rogerson broke in again on the Gulf Storm net, but was once again turned aside by a hot goalie.  With under 9:00 to play, Gulf Storm struck for their second goal of the game, after a scramble in front of Smith.  As soon as the puck was dropped, the home squad broke in again on Smith, but this time the Flames goaltender made a great toe save to keep North River alive.  The Flames then went on a powerplay of their own, but could not put one past the Gulf Storm goalie.  With about 4:00 to play, another scramble took place in front of Smith; the puck appeared to be covered for at least a couple of seconds, but the whistle was not blown before the puck eventually found its way to the back of the net, giving Gulf Storm a 3-0 lead.  That was followed shortly by another goal for the home team on a breakaway that Smith had little chance of stopping.  The Flames did respond with a nice top-shelf goal by Wheatley with just over a minute to play; Willie Melanson picked up the assist.  Gulf Storm closed out the scoring with 42 seconds to play, making the final score Gulf Storm 5, Flames 1.

Coach Allan Rogerson announced that the offensive player of the game was Sam MacKinnon, who had great jump all game, and the defensive player of the game was MacWilliams, who always provides very reliable, smart play on the back end.

In the dressing room after the game, Nordquist was asked for his thoughts on tonight's game and on the strength of the opposition.  "They're a really good team because they're such great skaters; they're fast.  We'll come back harder on Thursday (when the Flames open the Pownal tournament against this same Gulf Storm team).  We'll have to make better passes."

The Flames opening game of the Pownal tournament is Thursday at 5:20.

 
December 1, 2012
FLAMES BATTLE BACK IN WIN OVER ABBIES

The North River Flames put their impressive record on the line on Saturday, December 1 against the Charlottetown Abbies in the friendly confines of the APM Centre.  Isaac Arsenault got the start between the pipes for the home team.

The Abbies struck first, with a nice shot that found its way to the back of the Flames net less than a minute into the opening period.  The Abbies opened up a two-goal lead only moments later, when a tough shot eluded Arsenault.  After just over a minute of play, the Flames found themselves in a bit of a hole.  However, North River fought back quickly, when Carly Thompson scored with 10:36 to play in the period, after a nice rush by Matthew Mills.  A little over a minute later, Nick Mills, on a great effort, scored with a wonderful deke to tie the game at two.  The line of Andrew Beach, Sam MacKinnon, and Ryan McLaughlin applied tremendous pressure mid-way through the period, and kept the Abbies hemmed in their own end.  With 4:47 to play in the opening frame, Arsenault made a great save to keep the score tied for the time being, but Charlottetown pressed, and took the lead moments later on a nice shot over Arsenault's shoulder.  True to form, the Flames struck back, with Nick Mills scoring again on a shot along the ice.  With just over three minutes to play, North River was assessed a penalty, and Charlottetown took advantage, putting them back in the lead at 4-3.  With 1:12 to play in the first period, the Abbies once again opened up a two-goal lead on a screen shot that Arsenault had little chance of stopping.  At the end of the first period, the visitors held a 5-3 lead.

Early on in the second period, the Flames closed the gap to one, when Thompson netted her second goal of the game after a scramble in front of the Abbies net; Braidan Campbell picked up the assist.  The middle period saw the Flames really buckle down and play good defensive hockey, with Thompson being strong on the puck, and responsible play by the likes of Patrick Duguay and Colby Adams.  Hard work by the entire team was rewarded mid-way through the period, when Matthew Mills, who had been snake-bit up until this point in the season, broke in all alone on the Charlottetown net and tied the game on a nice shot along the ice.  Less than a minute after that, McLaughlin skated down the right wing, and fired off a wrist shot that found the mesh, giving the Flames their first lead of the game at 6-5.  The line of Nick Mills, Willie Melanson, and Cale Rogerson had a great outing, and moved the puck quickly and smartly in the second period and indeed throughout the contest.  The Flames pressed for a seventh goal, with Will Mix working hard to keep the puck in the opposition's zone.  Arsenault made a wonderful glove save with three minutes to play in the period, followed shortly by a breakaway chance for Thompson going unrewarded.  North River took a penalty late in the second, but when the buzzer sounded, the score remained 6-5 in favour of the home side.

When the third period began, MacKinnon started to really shine, with hard work and strong rushes to the net.  With 9:30 to play, Thompson came within a whisker of scoring again, when her shot rang off the post.  Thompson was all over the ice in this game, just missing on another breakaway moments later.  One of the key plays of the game was Arsenault's terrific glove save on a breakaway with 7:00 to play, preserving North River's one-goal advantage.  The Flames continued to apply the pressure, looking for the insurance marker, and almost had it on a glorious chance for Rogerson; the Charlottetown goalie stood tall, however, and the score remained 6-5.  When the Flames took a penalty with 6:15 to play, you could sense nervousness among the home-town fans.  It was then that the Flames played what was perhaps their best two minutes of hockey so far this season; a determined, hard-working, hard-skating group of youngsters simply would not let this one slip away, and did a terrific job killing off the penalty.  Rogerson just missed sealing the game with 43 seconds to play, after a great feed from Mix.  Regardless, the Flames held on for a thrilling 6-5 victory, improving their record to 6-1-1.

Coach Allan Rogerson announced that the defensive player of the game was Mix, and the offensive player of the game was Nick Mills.

Matthew Mills was asked for his thoughts after the game, and particularly regarding netting his first goal of the year.  "It was a relief," Mills said.  "Today was a great effort by the team.  We made some great passes, and were really aggressive on the puck.  We won a lot of the battles as well."

The Flames are on the ice again tomorrow at 3:50, for practice at the APM Centre.

 
November 25, 2012
FLAMES PULL OUT ROAD WIN OVER MUSTANGS

The North River Flames hit the road for a Sunday afternoon tilt against the Morell Mustangs, and it was an entertaining affair from start to finish.

Josh Smith was between the pipes for the Flames, and was called upon on several occasions to turn aside quality chances for Morell.  Early on, the defensive corps provided great support to Smith, with the likes of Patrick Duguay and Colby Adams smartly clearing the puck out of harms way.  At the other end of the ice, the defence did a terrific job holding the puck at the Morell blueline and throwing it back in, creating several good scoring chances.  Less than three minutes into the first period, Carly Thompson banged in a rebound to give the Flames a 1-0 lead; Braidan Campbell picked up the assist.  It was only a matter of time before Thompson cashed in, as she had been very close on several occasions in previous games.  Following a nice save by Smith, the line of Campbell, Cale Rogerson, and Nick Mills applied tremendous pressure with an aggressive style of play.  Furious end-to-end action ensued for much of the remainder of the opening frame, with Smith standing tall on several occasions to maintain the tenuous lead for the Flames.  With 1:35 to go, the Flames widened the lead to 2-0, when a nice backhander by Sam MacKinnon found the back of the net; Andrew Beach and Will Mix were credited with the assists.  With only a few seconds to play, Rogerson was sent in all alone after a lovely pass from Nick Mills, but was turned aside by the Morell goaltender.  After twelve minutes of play, North River held a 2-0 lead.

A minute into the second period, Smith made an astounding glove save, that surely frustrated the Mustangs.  That was followed by a good scoring chance for the Flames, when Ryan McLaughlin just missed converting on a one-timer.  North River continued to press, and when a nice wrist shot from the slot by Willie Melanson tickled the twine, after a great feed from behind the net by Nick Mills, the score was 3-0 in favour of the visiting team.  For the rest of the second period, the Flames controlled the play, with continued strong defensive play by Duguay and great, heads-up passing by Calvin MacWilliams.  As the buzzer sounded, the Flames held what appeared to be a comfortable 3-0 lead.

A fast-skating, hard-working Morell team was not about to go quietly.  Three minutes into the third period, a deflection found its way through the five hole and to the back of the Flames net, closing the gap to 3-1.  That seemed to spark the Mustangs, as moments later a furious scramble took place in front of Smith, but the North River goalie held the fort and ensured the two-goal cushion remained intact.  However, with 6:26 to play, the Flames were assessed a penalty; on the Morell power play, another tough deflection got by Smith.  Suddenly, the Flames found themselves on their heels and the Mustangs were right back in the game.  The Flames did everything they could to hold onto the lead, but with 47.7 seconds to go, the Mustangs tied it up, and it appeared the Flames would have to settle for a somewhat disappointing tie.  However, only 17 seconds later, with under half a minute to go, Nick Mills broke in down the left wing, showed great patience, and flicked the puck just under the crossbar to give the Flames a 4-3 lead and to cause a roar among the North River faithful that may have been heard back at the APM Centre in Cornwall.  The clock wound down, and the Flames skated away with a thrilling 4-3 victory.

Throughout the game, the Flames showed a great commitment to responsible play at both ends of the ice, being aggressive in the opponent's zone and backchecking hard when the play went the other way.

Following the game, coach Allan Rogerson announced that the player of the game for the Flames was Melanson.

Duguay was asked for his comments in the dressing room afterwards.  "They have players over there with strong shots, and can really skate," referring to the Mustangs.  Asked what he thought was the secret to the Flames success today, Duguay replied "We skated hard and are starting to pass the puck more."

The win solidifies the Flames hold on top spot in the eastern division, with a record of 5-1-1, good for eleven points.

The Flames are next on the ice for a practice on Thursday morning at 6:00 at the APM Centre.

 
November 25, 2012
North River at Morell- Sunday, Nov.25

Reminder of Sunday's game in Morell at 2:55

 
November 25, 2012
Early Bird Schedule- Nov 23-25

Friday, November 23

Game 1 vs Gulf Storm -9:15 at Cody Banks

Game 2 vs Halifax- 4:45 at Cari A

 

Saturday, November 24

Game 3 vs St. John- 11:15 at Cari B

 
November 24, 2012
FLAMES CLOSE OUT EARLY BIRD TOURNAMENT WITH WIN

In a battle of the Flames, North River took on a solid team from Saint John on the CARI B ice on Saturday morning, the local squad's third and final game in the Early Bird Tournament.  While the results on Friday were disappointing, our Flames bounced back and showed great enthusiasm from whistle to whistle in this contest.  North River went with Isaac Arsenault in net.

Things did not start off promising for North River, as Saint John opened the scoring just 18 seconds into the contest on a rebound in front of Arsenault.  Perhaps one of the key plays of the game occurred just seconds later, when Arsenault stoned a visiting Flame, preventing North River from going into an early hole.  With 9:56 to go in the first period, Saint John was handed a penalty; while on the power play, Andrew Beach came within inches of tying the game, after a nice pass from Sam MacKinnon.  Then, while still on the powerplay, Nick Mills tied the game at one, on a set-up by Cale Rogerson.  Moments later, a nice toe save by Arsenault kept the teams deadlocked, and soon after that, a great defensive play by Will Mix broke up a good scoring chance for Saint John.  With 6:31 to play in the opening frame, Saint John did take the lead on a tough shot, but again Arsenault bounced back with a great point-blank save only seconds later.  Saint John was assessed a penalty late in the period, but North River was unable to take advantage.  After one period of play, Saint John held a 2-1 lead.

Early in the second period, Matthew Mills was denied on a point-blank opportunity.  Then, with 9:25 to go, Ryan McLaughlin got free, went in on a breakaway and made a nice deke on the opposing goalie and slid the puck home to tie the game at two; the goal went unassisted.  As the period progressed, North River began to take control, with the line of Carly Thompson, Braidan Campbell and Matthew Mills applying constant pressure.  Late in the frame, Nick Mills scored a beautiful goal on a great effort, putting the home team in the lead 3-2; Rogerson picked up the assist.  With less than a minute to play, Saint John struck again to square the game at three, and the teams headed to the dressing rooms to prepare for the final period.

Early in the third period, Saint John took another penalty, but a good chance for McLaughlin went unrewarded, as did a chance for Rogerson after a nice pass from Bryce Wheatley.  With 7:16 to play, Rogerson stuffed home a rebound, putting North River ahead 4-3; MacKinnon got the assist.  Saint John continued to press, but an excellent pad save by Arsenault kept North River in the lead.  That was followed by a nice breakaway goal by Rogerson, with Nick Mills picking up the assist, widening the North River lead to 5-3.  The hometown squad was not satisfied, and the line of McLaughlin, Beach, and Willie Melanson pressed hard for a sixth goal, to no avail.  With 3:35 to play, Rogerson completed the hat trick, with assists going to Nick Mills and MacKinnon.  Saint John made things interesting by closing the gap to 6-4 late in the game, while North River was two men short.  However, that was as close as the visitors would come, and North River hung on for an exciting and satisfying 6-4 victory.

Following the game, the coaching staff announced that Rogerson was the Flames offensive player of the game, with a terrific 3 goal, 2 assist effort, while Arsenault, who came up with big saves at big moments, was the defensive player of the game.

Beach was asked what the key was to today's victory.  "We played really hard.  We backchecked better than yesterday, and made more passes today."  Asked what he likes most about the sport, Beach replied, "The fast pace of the game."

North River finishes the Early Bird Tournament with a record of 1-2, in games against three very strong squads.  The Flames take to ice tomorrow in Morell for a game at 2:55 against the Mustangs.

 
November 23, 2012
FLAMES DROP PAIR OF GAMES AT EARLY BIRD TOURNAMENT

The North River Flames laced 'em up for two games on Friday, November 23 in the Sherwood Early Bird Tournament.

The first game took place at Cody Banks Arena, with the opponents being a fast, hard-working team in the form of the Gulf Storm.  The Flames opposition has had a good start to their season, and today's game was evidence of why that is the case.  Isaac Arsenault got the nod to start in goal, and provided fantastic goaltending in the face of many odd-man rushes and out-and-out breakaways.  The Flames came very close to opening the scoring, when a backhand chance by Cale Rogerson with 6:30 to go in the first period just missed finding the back of the net.  Shortly after that, Arsenault made a nice glove save, a play that would be repeated several times throughout the contest.  The Flames were assessed a penalty with under two minutes to go in the first period, but Gulf Storm could not take advantage.  The first period ended with the teams squared at zero.

End-to-end action ensued early in the second, when finally Gulf Storm broke the ice on a rebound goal.  The Flames tied things up with 6:17 to go in the middle frame, when Nick Mills scored off a rebound as well; Sam MacKinnon got the assist.  A couple of close calls for the Flames followed, but to no avail.  The second period ended with the score tied 1-1.

Gulf Storm struck very early into the third, and as far as the Flames were concerned, it was, unfortunately, down hill from there.  Two more goals by Gulf Storm sealed the deal; final score: Gulf Storm 4, Flames 1.  Defensive player of the game for the Flames was Arsenault, and offensive player of the game was MacKinnon.

Following the game, Will Mix was asked for his comments.  "They out-skated us," he said.  "They're a really good team."  Asked what he likes about playing defense, Mix said "I find you get to handle the puck a lot.  I like that."

In the afternoon contest, the Flames took to the CARI A ice against a much heralded team from Halifax.  Josh Smith was between the pipes for the Flames, and saw shot after shot from beginning to end.  Smith kept the Flames in the game early, despite penalties to his team and many shots by the opponents.  Mid-way through the opening frame, however, Halifax struck for two quick goals, and then two more near the end of the period, giving them a 4-0 lead after one.

The second period started the same way the first period ended, with the Flames taking more penalties and Halifax making them pay for it in the form of more goals.  After Halifax expanded their lead to 6-0, the Flames got on the board on a goal by Nick Mills with 10:42 to go in the period.  That was all the scoring the Flames could muster, however, against a determined, fast, hard-working team from Nova Scotia.  When the dust settled on a wild second period, Halifax held a commanding 9-1 lead.

Smith continued to battle in net, making great glove saves and poke checks, while continually under seige.  Another goal mid-way through the third closed out the scoring, with the final being 10-1 in favour of Halifax.

The offensive player of the game for the Flames was Carly Thompson, and the defensive player of the game was Colby Adams.

Asked for his thoughts afterwards, Willie Melanson gave high praise to the squad from Halifax.  "They're a really fast team.  We took a lot of penalties and can't do that against a team like that."  Near the end of the game, it appeared that Melanson had sustained an injury.  "A player's stick hit me on the back of the helmet," he said.  Asked about tomorrow's game against a team from Saint John, Melanson vowed that the Flames would work harder.

While the Flames didn't get the results they were looking for today, each time on the ice is a learning experience and something positive can always be gained from that.

 
November 18, 2012
FLAMES WIN THRILLER OVER SHERWOOD

The North River Flames were back on the ice on Sunday, November 18, hosting the Sherwood Falcons at the APM Centre.  The previous two contests between the teams were extremely competitive, with Sherwood winning an exhibition game by a single goal, and the second game ending in a tie.  Today's match followed suit, with the game decided with under two minutes to play.

The home team started Josh Smith in net, and he was tested often by a strong Sherwood squad.  The Flames had the first good scoring chance, when Nick Mills was denied on a nice opportunity early into the opening frame.  With 9:30 to play in the first period, Andrew Beach found himself in alone on the Sherwood net, only to have the puck slide off his stick at the last moment.  The Falcons appeared poised to open the scoring a minute later, but a nice pad save by Smith kept the opposition off the scoresheet.  Smith was helped greatly on the day with good backchecking by Sam MacKinnon, and smart, strong defensive play by the likes of Calvin MacWilliams and Matthew Mills, who made the transition from forward to defense for today's game.  However, with just under five minutes to play in the first period, the Falcons took the lead after a scramble in front of the North River cage.  The line of Beach, Ryan McLaughlin, and Colby Adams was strong all day, with consistent pressure on the Sherwood defense.  As the first period was closing out, Patrick Duguay made a nice play to clear the puck from in front of Smith; at the end of the first, the score stood 1-0 in favour of the visitors.

Early in the second period, the Flames went on the power play, and Adams came very close to capitalizing on a point-blank opportunity.  Shortly thereafter, Braidan Campbell tied the game on the power play on a nice shot from the slot; Cale Rogerson picked up the assist.  But the tandem of Campbell and Rogerson was not done there.  With 8:50 to go in the period, Campbell made a great rush up the ice, with Rogerson the beneficiary of a rebound, giving the Flames a 2-1 lead; Campbell was awarded the assist.  Minutes later, however, the Flames were assessed a penalty, and the Falcons were quick to take advantage, scoring on a rebound, and tying the game at two.  With 5:55 to go in the second period, Nick Mills was robbed on a great glove save by the Sherwood netminder.  North River went on the power play again with 2:26 to go in the period, and a nice pass from McLaughlin to Adams looked like it might result in the Flames regaining the lead; however, Adams was denied by the Falcons goaltender.  However, while still on the power play, Rogerson scored his second of the game with a nice backhander, with Campbell picking up another assist.  After two periods of play, the Flames held a slim 3-2 lead.

Early into the final period, Smith made a great save to maintain the lead for North River.  That was followed quickly by a beautiful rush by Campbell, who had arguably his strongest game of the season so far.  Unfortunately, he was unable to convert.  With just under eight minutes to play, a mad scramble ensued in front of Smith, but he held the fort and the home team held the lead.  Rogerson then had a glorious chance to perhaps put the game away, but his shot rang off the post.  With 4:56 to go in the game, the Flames were assessed a four-minute penalty, and the Falcons applied tremendous pressure in trying to tie the game.  Smith made a great glove save, but the Falcons would not be denied. The visitors tied the game on a nice low shot with 1:45 to go in the third period, and it appeared the game would end in a draw.  However, only nine seconds later, Beach found McLaughlin with a great pass, who flew in on the right wing and let go a hard wrist shot that found the back of the net, and sent the players on the ice and on the bench into a frenzy.  The Falcons then pulled their goalie, but to no avail.  The Flames held on for a thrilling 4-3 victory.

Following the game, coach Allan Rogerson announced that the offensive players of the game were Adams and MacKinnon, and the defensive player of the game was Jack Nordquist, who provided solid play from start to finish.

Adams was asked for his thoughts in the dressing room afterwards.  "We played a good game.  They're a tough, fast team."  Asked how he liked playing alongside McLaughlin and Beach, Adams replied, "It's a lot of fun.  We get along great!"  Adams obviously enjoys the sport of hockey, and commented that his favorite parts are "Skating fast and shooting the puck hard!"

With the win, the Flames improve their record to 4-1-1, good for nine points and tops in the Eastern Division.

The Flames are next on the ice for practice on Thursday morning at 6:00.

 
November 16, 2012
FLAMES SUFFER FIRST LOSS OF REGULAR SEASON

The North River Flames hit the road on Friday, November 16, to take on a strong team from Tignish.  The Flames were riding high after a 3-0-1 start to their regular season, but ran into a buzz saw in the Tignish squad.

Isaac Arsenault got the start in goal, and unfortunately ended up seeing more rubber over the course of the game than Highway 401 sees at rush hour.  Things started off relatively well for the Flames, in the form of a nice penalty kill early in the first period by Nick Mills, Cale Rogerson, Will Mix, and Jack Nordquist.  Then, with 4:43 remaining in the period, the hosts struck paydirt after a 2 on 0 resulted in a goal off a rebound.  The Flames fought back, and under a minute later Nick Mills tied the game with a nice shot from the slot, with Rogerson and Braidan Campbell picking up the assists.  However, for the remainder of the period, and arguably for most of the rest of the game, the majority of the play was in the North River end.  With 2:37 left in the opening frame, Tignish scored on a hard shot, giving the home team a lead they would not relinquish.  With only 5.5 seconds left in the period, Tignish struck again on a high shot, sending them to the break with a 3-1 lead.

Early into the second period, the home team widened it's lead to 4-1 when a shot along the ice eluded Arsenault.  Shortly thereafter, Willie Melanson showed what it means to never quit when he skated hard on the backcheck, thwarting a breakaway chance for a Tignish player.  That was followed by a good scoring opportunity for Matthew Mills after a great effort by Carly Thompson to set up the play.  Throughout the game, good defensive play by Sam MacKinnon, a forward, and Bryce Wheatley, a defenceman, was evident.  The Flames were able to pull to within two goals when a good shot by Ryan McLaughlin went in off the left post with 3:43 left in the middle frame.  Another late period goal by Tignish, this time with 25 seconds remaining, restored the home side's three-goal lead.

The Flames opened the third period with nice pressure by the line of Nick Mills, Rogerson, and Campbell, but were not able to capitalize.  With 6:53 left in the period, Tignish was assessed a penalty for too many men on the ice, but the Flames were unable to take advantage, despite a couple of good chances.  With 4:24 to go, a failed clearing attempt by the Flames ended up in a goal for Tignish, increasing their lead to 6-2.  Less than a minute later, a tough rebound resulted in another goal for the home team, and the scoring was closed out by Tignish with just under three minutes to go, after a great save by Arsenault.  The final score was Tignish 8, North River 2.

Following the game, coach Allan Rogerson announced that the offensive player of the game was Campbell, and the defensive player of the game was Calvin MacWilliams.

Despite the tough loss, the players were upbeat in the dressing room following the game.  Wheatley was asked for his thoughts on the contest.  "They're a tough team.  They're really fast.  I'm not worried about it.  We'll come back on Sunday."  Having moved from forward to defence, Wheatley said that it was a little tough at first, but now he's used to it and enjoying it.  "I like stopping the other team," he said.

The Flames will attend a UPEI hockey game tomorrow night, and on Sunday will play host to the Sherwood Falcons at the APM Centre.  Game time is 3:50.

 
November 14, 2012
Flames Weekend Schedule!

Friday: Away Game: North River at Tignish - 6:20pm

Saturday: UPEI Panther Game (CARI)-(Game time 7pm) -players are to meet at 5:30 for pizza/drinks in hospitality room.

Sunday: Home Game: Sherwood at North River at 3:50pm (APM)

 
November 11, 2012
Flames Down Red Devils 4-2

The North River Flames kept their undefeated record intact with a hard-fought 4-2 victory over the Pownal Red Devils on Sunday, November 11 at the APM Centre.

The Flames went with Josh Smith in net, and he provided stellar goaltending throughout the game.  The home squad struck early, with Ryan McLaughlin scoring just 18 seconds into the game, after a feed from Andrew Beach.  However, only thirty seconds later, the Red Devils struck right back, tying things at one.  Pownal had their share of chances in front of Smith, but strong play by Sam MacKinnon and Bryce Wheatley in clearing the puck away, and hard skating both ways by Matthew Mills, kept the Red Devils from taking the lead.  An example of how committed the team is to good defensive play was shown when Jack Nordquist made a terrific shot block mid-way through the first period.  With about four minutes to go, Smith made a series of three fantastic saves, to keep the game tied, which was how the period ended.

The Flames were assessed a penalty 2:30 into the second period, but solid penalty killing by Calvin MacWilliams, Patrick Duguay, Carly Thompson and Colby Adams kept the Red Devils from taking advantage.  Shortly after, the Flames were given a power play of their own, and were able to capitalize on a goal by Nick Mills, with Beach picking up his second assist of the game.  Less than a minute later, North River extended their lead to 3-1 when Nick Mills struck again, this time on a breakaway and a nice top-corner shot.  Moments after that, Adams had a breakaway of his own, and came oh-so-close to giving the Flames a three-goal lead.  With about a minute to go in the period, Smith put on a goaltending clinic, making four unbelievable saves to ensure North River headed to the final period with a 3-1 lead.

The Red Devils would not go quietly.  With 9:46 remaining in the third period, they closed to within one on a good hard shot.  Less than a minute later, however, the Flames restored their two-goal advantage when McLaughlin stuffed the puck home after a scramble in front of the net; Nick Mills picked up the helper.  The home team picked up a penalty with 7:00 left, but great penalty killing by the likes of Will Mix and Willie Melanson kept Pownal from closing the gap.  As the clock wound down, the visitors pulled their goalie, but a penalty on their part sealed their fate.  Final score: North River 4, Pownal 2.

Following the game, coach Brent Thompson announced that the offensive player of the game was McLaughlin, and the defensive player of the game was Smith.

Asked for his comments, McLaughlin was quick to praise his teammates.  "Our backchecking was really good again, and Josh (Smith) was great in goal."  This being Remembrance Day, McLaughlin paid tribute to his late grandfather, Patrick McLaughlin, who served in World War II.  "I worked really hard for my grandfather today."

The Flames are next on the ice on Thursday morning for practice at the APM Centre.

 
November 10, 2012
Flames, Falcons Skate to 2-2 Tie

The Flames took to the road to face the Sherwood Falcons on Saturday, November 10 at Cody Banks Arena.

Isaac Arsenault got the start in goal, and was sharp from the get-go.  The majority of the early play was in the Sherwood end, with the Flames coming up short on a number of good scoring chances.  Andrew Beach came within an inch of opening the scoring, after a point-blank chance.  With three minutes left in the first period, Arsenault stymied the Falcons with a great glove save.  The first period ended with the score tied at zero.

Early in the second period, the Flames opened the scoring, when a nice shot by Ryan McLaughlin found the back of the net, through the five-hole; Bryce Wheatley picked up the assist.  Mid-way through the frame, Nick Mills was rewarded after a great effort, sliding the puck past the Sherwood netminder, putting the Flames ahead 2-0.  Moments later, however, the lead was cut in half, when the Falcons capitalized on a three-on-one break.  Less than a minute after that, the game was tied again, when a Falcons player found himself alone in front of the Flames cage and made a nice shot that eluded Arsenault.  It was then that Carly Thompson seemed to take matters into her own hands, with tenacious forechecking and aggressive play.  It became obvious why Thompson has earned a reputation for never giving up on the play.  Yet, the period ended with the teams tied at two.

Early in the final period, the Falcons were denied on a wonderful stop by Arsenault.  Mid-way through the period, end-to-end action became the norm, but neither side was able to score.  The Falcons took a penalty with 5:40 left on the clock, but the Flames were unable to take advantage.  With just over three minutes to go, a Sherwood player seemed to have the game on his stick, but Arsenault made a fantastic save that had the Falcons scratching their heads.  When the clock showed zero, the score was North River 2, Sherwood 2.

Following the game, Thompson was asked for her thoughts on the contest and on what lies ahead for the Flames.  "We played great today.  We backchecked really well, and both our offense and defense was really good.  I just hope we play this well tomorrow."  When asked what she likes most about the sport of hockey, she was quick to reply, "The competitiveness!"

The coaching staff announced that the offensive player of the game was Thompson, while the defensive player of the game was Patrick Duguay, who was strong on the puck from start to finish.

The Flames are next on the ice on Sunday, November 11 at 3:50 when they host the Pownal Red Devils at the APM Centre.

 
November 4, 2012
FLAMES CRUISE TO VICTORY OVER SUMMERSIDE

The Flames improved their record to 2-0 with a 7-2 win at home on Sunday, November 4 against the Summerside Capitals.

Josh Smith got the start in goal, and was very solid from start to finish, making several key saves to hold Summerside at bay.  He was supported by strong defensive play; early on, Patrick Duguay was a great presence in clearing the puck from in front of the North River cage.  Summerside took an early penalty, but the Flames were not able to convert on the power play.  The first period saw great passing by the home squad, with Sam MacKinnon standing out with crisp passes to his linemates; indeed, MacKinnon was tenacious on the forecheck and at buzzing the Summerside goal throughout the game.  Half-way through the first period, a flurry of action saw Willie Melanson make a terrific defensive play, followed quickly by a sharp save by Smith.  Later on, Matthew Mills came within a whisker of opening the scoring.  Strong play by the defense was present all day, with Jack Nordquist working hard to keep the puck in the Summerside zone.  With 2:55 left in the opening frame, Nick Mills scored on a nice backhand, to give the home team the lead, with Braidan Campbell and Cale  Rogerson picking up the assists.  At the end of the first period, the Flames held a 1-0 lead.

Early in the second period, Summerside banged in a rebound after an initial great save by Smith, tying the game at one.  Shortly afterwards, the Flames were charged with too many men on the ice, but did terrific work in killing off the penalty.  Right away, North River was awarded with a power play of its own, and the home team was quick to take advantage; Campbell scored on a nice shot that went off the crossbar and in, after a feed from Bryce Wheatley.  This seemed to ignite the Flames, with Colby Adams just missing the Summerside goal after a slick play by Nick Mills, who played terrific at both ends of the ice for the entire game.  With 3:21 left in the second period, Wheatley scored a power play goal, to give the Flames a 3-1 lead, which they held heading into the final period.

Summerside did not quit, pulling within one early on in the third with a power play goal of their own.  From then on, however, North River took control and ran off four straight goals.  First it was Nick Mills with a hard wrist shot from right in front of the net, with Adams getting credit for the helper.  Adams followed that up with a goal of his own from the slot, with Nick Mills getting the assist.  Next it was Campbell scoring on a nice shot along the ice, with assists going to Rogerson and Carly Thompson.  With 6:40 left on the clock, Smith made a fantastic point-blank save to frustrate the visiting team.  The scoring was closed out with just over two minutes remaining, when Ryan McLaughlin scored a backhanded goal while the Flames were shorthanded.  As the clock ticked down, Melanson made a wonderful play in blocking a hard shot by the Capitals.  The buzzer sounded, and North River emerged victorious by a score of 7-2.

Coach Allan Rogerson announced that the offensive player of the game was Nick Mills, who had a terrific three point game, and the defensive player of the game was Will Mix, who was solid as always on the blueline, providing strong defensive play, great passing and skating.

At the end of game, Nick Mills was asked for his comments.  "Our team has been working really hard.  I think the key to today's win was how hard we backchecked."

The Flames are on the ice next for practice on Thursday morning.

 
November 3, 2012
FLAMES OPEN REGULAR SEASON WITH ROAD VICTORY

The Flames travelled to Crapaud on Saturday, November 3 for their first regular season game, with the team looking sharp taking to the ice in their away reds.  Isaac Arsenault got the nod to start in goal against the Southside Lynx.

North River pressed early, with Willie Melanson making a great rush to the net, only to be turned aside by the Southside netminder.  The Flames controlled play in the early going, and had several good chances to score.  Finally, with 7:09 remaining in the first period, Andrew Beach knocked in a rebound, with Colby Adams drawing the assist.  The Flames continued to press, with the aggressive line of Nick Mills, Braidan Campbell and Cale Rogerson causing particular problems for Southside, not only in the opening frame but for the entire game.  Arsenault provided very steady play early on, with the help of a strong defensive corps.  As the clock wound down, however, the Lynx tied the game at one on a partial breakaway.  It appeared that the teams would end the period deadlocked, but with just 3.1 seconds left, Ryan McLaughlin scored from the slot, after a nice feed from Beach, to give the Flames the lead.

The second period began with great end-to-end action.  The Flames did control the majority of the play, winning the battles for the puck.  Late in the second frame, Arsenault put his goaltending skills on display, stopping a breakaway and then snaring a hard shot with his trapper.  Near the end of the period, the Flames did a great job killing off a penalty.  Defenceman Will Mix was very strong with great passes and providing strong defensive play.  The period ended with the Flames clinging to a 2-1 lead.

With 10:19 left in the third period, Southside tied the game on a breakaway.  Shortly after, however, the Flames regained the lead, this time for good, on a long wrist shot from Nick Mills that found the back of the net.  North River pressed for the insurance marker, with Carly Thompson just missing on a breakaway after a great pass from Matthew Mills, who himself had a very solid game from start to finish.  From then on, it was Arsenault who provided what the Flames needed to hold on for the victory.  Fantastic pad and glove saves, including one with the Southside net empty and just ten seconds remaining on the clock, had the crowd buzzing.

Following the Flames 3-2 victory, Arsenault was asked for his comments on the team and the game.  "The team is looking good.  We played hard and the defense was great.  I've been a goalie for three years and I really like it."

The Flames next game is on Sunday, November 4 at 3:50 at the APM Centre, when they take on the Summerside Capitals.

 
November 3, 2012
Summerside Visits North River on Sunday

Game vs Summerside

Date: Sunday, November 04

Where: APM

Time: 3:50

50/50    The "Wheatleys"!!

    See you at 3:00!

 
October 28, 2012
FLAMES DROP NAIL-BITER TO SHERWOOD

In the team's third exhibition game of the season, the Flames dropped a hard-fought contest to the Sherwood Falcons 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at the APM Centre.

The Flames started Josh Smith in goal, who made some key saves early on to keep Sherwood off the board.  The first period saw chances at both ends of the ice, with both teams pushing for the opening goal; however, Smith and the Sherwood netminder pushed back and kept the scoresheet clean.  The Flames showed terrific heart in backchecking and breaking up several chances for the Falcons.  Defenceman Calvin MacWilliams was denied on a good short-handed scoring opportunity just as the buzzer sounded to end the first period.  Heading into the second period, the teams were scoreless.

The Flames finally broke the ice with 10:15 remaining in the second period, on a goal by Ryan McLaughlin, with Bryce Wheatley getting the helper.  Less than a minute later, Sherwood replied, capitalizing on a rebound in front of the Flames net, to even the score 1-1.  Midway through the second frame, the Flames applied furious pressure, with the line of Carly Thompson, Matthew Mills, and Braidan Campbell buzzing the opponent's net and creating several good chances.  However, with 2:41 remaining in the period, the Falcons took the lead on another tough rebound.  As the buzzer sounded to end the second period, the score stood 2-1 in favour of Sherwood.

Early in the third, Cale Rogerson was denied on a great short-handed chance.  The Flames continued to apply pressure to the Falcons throughout the final frame, but were unable to tally the equalizer.  Final score: Sherwood 2, Flames 1.

MacWilliams was very solid on defence throughout the contest, and was asked for his thoughts following the game.  "The team looks good this year.  We showed great team work, and never gave up today.  I'm sure we'll bounce back."

The Flames are next on the ice on Thursday at 6:00 A.M. for practice at the APM Centre.

 
October 28, 2012
Next Ice Times

Practice

When: Thursday at 6:00am

 

Game vs Southside (League Opener!)

When: Saturday November 03 at 10:00am

Where: Crapaud

 
October 25, 2012
Home Game on Sunday

GAME VS SHERWOOD THIS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28  AT 3:50 (APM) 50/50- #4... MacWilliams!

 
October 25, 2012
Flames Fundraiser Set For Saturday at 7:00am!!

We will see all players wearing their red jerseys and any parents(maple leaf jerseys!!) at the Save Easy in Cornwall on Saturday at 7:00am. At that point you will be given instructions to report to various outlets to sell the product. We thank everyone for their hard work on Wednesday in bagging the Stew Bags and we are looking forward to seeing your sales skills at work.

 
October 21, 2012
Flames Shutout Abbies

The Flames had to battle a bit harder this evening but managed to blank the Abbies 5-0. Some players were playing new positions tonight and adjusted quite well. Isaac Arsenault made some key saves down low in earning the shutout. Fine effort by everyone this weekend!

Our next ice time is Thursday morning's practice followed by a home game on Sunday vs Sherwood. Believe the league schedule comes out on Thursday so I will post upcoming games on the Calendar at that time.

 
October 20, 2012
Flames Overpower Abbies in Exhibition Play

The North River Flames had little problem finding the back of the net this evening enroute to a 10-1 victory over the Charlottetown Abbies. (official game sheet missing so no stats available!)  Players were making some unselfish plays by passing the puck and making the game a lot easier!

Game time tomorrow is 6:30 at CARI A vs Charlottetown. Looking forward to seeing some great hockey!

 Go Flames Go!

 

 
October 20, 2012
GAME VS CHARLOTTETOWN- SUNDAY AT 6:30

Game vs Charlottetown- Sunday at 6:30 (CARI A)

 
October 13, 2012
PRACTICE Thursday at 6:00am!!

Good practice today boys and girls! See you bright and early Thursday morning!

**If have time players I woulk like you to click on the DOWNLOADS button and preview the Tampa Bay Corner Drill on Youtube (just dopy and paste website). We may perform it on Thursday.

-As well parents, click on the CALENDAR to view upcoming events.

 
October 10, 2012
Atom AA Flames Final Roster

Congratulations to the following players for making the 2012/13 North River Atom AA Bulk Carrier Flames:

Andrew Beach

Willie Melanson

Nick Mills

Sam MacKinnon

Cale Rogerson

Brayden Campbell

Will Mix

Ryan MacLauchlan

Carly Thompson

Jack Norquest

Colby Adams

Calvin MacWilliams

Bryce Wheatley

Patrick Dougay

Matthew Mills

Isaac Arsenault

Josh Smith

 

-Our first practice will be on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 4:10 (APM).

**Again the coaches would like to express their thanks for everyone's effort during the tryout sessions. If your name is not on the list, we hope you have a enjoyable year with your team!

 

 
October 6, 2012
Atom AA Tryouts!

Thanks to all players who participated in the first tryout today. All players are asked to attend second session as well.

Tryout #2- Monday, Oct 08 at 6:20

15 min skills session followed by 45 min of scrimmage. Players will be assigned jerseys prior to session. Some cuts will be made after second tryout.

 

Tryout #3- Wednesday, Oct 10 at 6:20

15 min skills session followed by 45 min of scrimmage.

Final team roster to be identified following 3rd tryout.

 

 

 

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