Another day, another blown two-goal lead, this one coming apart with the Isles ahead by 2 with less than 17 minutes left in regulation.
I took my five-year-old son to the game, and he was getting antsy down the stretch, for reasons much different than mine. He wanted to get his free hockey stick (more on that in a later post) and go home. I just wanted to see the Islanders win.
OK, so there's not much you can do when a shot from the point ricochets a couple of times before finding the twine, which is what happened on Carolina's first goal. But then a shot from the point finds the five-hole (Was DiPietro screened? Tough to tell from Section 325) and suddenly the game is tied.
Just as I was explaining the concept of overtime to my son, Carolina scored. "That's a horrible loss," said my friend Jimmy Mac, seated in front of us with his wife and two young daughters. I'm sure he -- and plenty of other parents of young ones at the game -- wanted to vent a little more loudly and profanely at the turn of events, but we held our collective tongues in order to be good role models.
All this despite the return of Radek Martinek and Brendan Witt to the back line, and for two-plus periods -- particularly the second period -- all looked fine. Hilbert and Satan gave the Isles a two-goal cushion and the game seemed somewhat in hand. Another lesson for the young ones -- never let down.
Meanwhile, there was plenty to complain about regarding the officiating. Few penalties called all game, and then Martinek gets called for boarding (borderline in my eyes, but OK) -- but you're telling me Fedotenko WASN'T hammered by a cross check in front of the Carolina net in the final minutes? Where was that call? And then Sutton is called for a cross check in overtime? Horrible. Of course, the Hurricanes score to win. No home calls here, I guess.
So that's three in-conference points the Islanders have let slip through their fingers the last few days, with game two of the home-and-home at Carolina on Tuesday night.
SUFFOLK ALL-STARS RULE!
Sweet sassy molassy, did you see the final score of the Lighthouse Cup? Suffolk County romped to an 11-0 victory over the Nassau County stars, scoring eight goals in the second period to put the game away early. Read all about it here. Congrats, Suffolk!