It was momentarily difficult to figure out which team was which when they came out for their pre-game skate last night at Thayer Arena. Our guys and their opponents, the Hamden (CT) Green Dragons were circling their respective ends in what looked like pinwheels of green, gold, and white. Once the split-second initial surprise had passed, however, it was obvious that the good guys were at home and were wearing white.
In any event, the Hawks put up a solid win last night, downing the Green Dragons, 6-3. Liam Watkinson, Jonathan Finelli, and Chris Shalvey each tallied a goal and an assist on the evening. The game was broadcast live right here on The Network, but prior to game time the staff realized that we'd be a man down in the booth, as the venerable Stone Freeman would be unable to attend. A Twitter SOS was then put out to the legendary Mark Stillson, one of the founding fathers of The Network and formerly the voice of the hockey Hawks.
@mark_stillson71: SOS to Stillson....need you at Thayer...
— Hawks Sports (@bhsportsnetwork) February 8, 2014
Stillson came through...again.
Arriving at the tail-end of the second period (we won't ask what the quality of his driving was in order to make that kind of time), Stillson was in the booth for a 'welcome back'-type interview during the first part of the intermission and to provide assistance as the color analyst during the third period. Up until he'd arrived, the always-reliable and The Network's own voice of reason, Cam Brennan, ably took up the mic in solo fashion for the entirety of the first two periods, doing his usual bang-up job, for both the play-by-play duties and analysis of the action. Cam is always there to provide answers to detail-oriented questions to the staff during intermissions and interviews and such.
The entire game can still be seen in the central UStream viewer at the top of the page.
For the Hawks, the game itself was one of the out-of-state, non-league matchups that was designated to count on this season's overall record. As such, our guys had to play this game to win against a top-quality opponent. This was no scrimmage.
Out of the gate, it seemed that the Dragons were going to give the Hawks all they could handle, and for most of the game they did just that. The action was fast-paced and the hitting was hard. The Dragons, did, in fact, get out to leads of 1-0, 2-1, and, early in the third period, 3-1. From that point on, the Hawks asserted themselves and netted five unanswered goals, highlighted by an impressive break-away and ending with an uncontested empty-netter.
Was it mere coincidence that the Hawks' dominant play emerged at roughly the same time as their 'past soul' and voice arrived in the booth?
The world may never know.
Three of the goals, including the break-away, can be seen here:
The Hawks secure their tenth win of the season and have some pretty important division games looming against Mount St. Charles and LaSalle. The Network is next scheduled to broadcast the game against Coventry from Thayer Arena one week from tonight, but there is a possibility that that broadcast may not be possible, due to unforseen scheduling difficulties. As they say in the media business....Stay Tuned...
...to The Network.