The St. Charles Chill held a 3-1 lead headed into the third period but blew another lead and lost 4-3 in the shootout. – Photo/Mick Lite
The St. Charles Chill returned home tonight to play the Brampton Beast on Pink The Rink night in St. Charles and played in front of the biggest crowd of the season. It was Robby Moss in net for the Chill facing off against Kristofer Westblom of the Beast.
The Chill started the game strong with two great chances from Kyle O’Kane in front of the Beast net but Westblom came up big early. Westblom would continue to make save after save, stopping a total 12 shots in the first period. Robby Moss was forced to stop 10 saves, including a huge stop on a deflection in front. Moss stretched his pad to the post and held it there for two rebound shots by Beast forward, Taylor Michel. Michel was then drilled into the net by Steve Makway.
The Chill dominated the first 15 minutes of the game, piling on shots and controlling the puck in the offensive zone. Brampton started pushing back towards the end of the third and finished the period with ten shots on net after only getting two shots in the first ten minutes of the period.
Kevin Noble tripped a Beast player with a minute together, but as the whistle was blown, a scrum ensued. Erik Spady grabbed Chill captain, Jordan Fox by the throat and gave him a shove. Fox gave him a strong two-handed shove and tried getting him to drop the gloves. Both Spady and Fox received roughing minors. Noble received two for tripping on the play and the Beast went onto the powerplay. The first period would end scoreless but the powerplay would continue over into the second.
The Beast peppered the net to start the second period and eventually buried the puck past Robby Moss to give Brampton the lead, just 56 seconds into the period.
The Chill wouldn’t say die after the Beast scored and they battled back hard in the second half of the period. However the big turnaround came when Josh McQuade high-sticked Chill defensemen Kevin Noble with just under four minutes to go. Not only did the Beast get a penalty on the high-sticking call, but Trevor Harding, the night’s official, whistled the bench for “abuse of an official” as they were calling for a diving call. The replay clearly showed McQuade’s stick clipping Noble in the mouth. The Chill went on a 5-on-3 powerplay and they responded. It looked like at first, Martin Hlinka put the game back into a tie but after no call on the ice, the officials huddled to discuss the play. It resulted in the goal being waived off as the official had intent to blow the whistle.
Instead of taking the wind out of the Chill’s sails, they continued to push, and it was Andrew Conboy jumping on a loose puck to give the Chill their first goal of the night. The goal was assisted by Kyle O’Kane and Jordan Fox. The Chill didn’t stop there, as they took advantage of the continued powerplay and it was Phil Bushbacher redirecting a point shot from Kevin Noble to give the Chill the lead. Anthony Perdicaro registered the secondary assist on the Bushbacher goal.
The Chill didn’t stop there, as they would score again, on another redirection by Kyle O’Kane. Dan Weiss blasted the puck on net with under a minute to go and O’Kane just got his stick on the puck to slip it past Westblom, who let up three straight in less than four minutes to end the period. Jordan Fox notched his second assist of the night on the O’Kane goal as well.
The third period started and the Chill continued funneling pucks on net. Not only were they getting pucks through to the net, they were breaking up countless Brampton chances. The Beast received a powerplay, 13 minutes into the third period and had some glorious chances. Robby Moss and the Chill defense kept the puck out. With ten seconds left on the Makway roughing call, Dan Weiss joined Makway in the box for a shortened 5-on-3. Makway jumped out of the box but couldn’t stop Rob Collins on the doorstep to bring the Beast within a goal. Collin’s goal, his second of the night, was assisted by Andrew Fournier and Jamie VanderVeeken.
With 2:32 left in the third period, Matt Caruana scored to tie the game up from the Beast. The goal was assisted by Ben Woodley and VanderVeeken.
The period would end and the Chill and Beast would head to overtime. With scoring chances going both ways in overtime, the game overtime period would end with a tie and a shootout would be required for the game to end.
Anthony Perdicaro would score the only goal for the Chill in the shootout while Tyler Michel and Jason Pitton would score for the Beast to give them a 4-3 shootout win.
“We collapsed again, bottom line.” Jamie Rivers said after the game. “I don’t know how many times we can get beat up the gut for a breakaway pass and have that happen. Call me crazy but after I get burned two or three times, I don’t put my hand back in the fire. We’re not learning that. I don’t know how we have to pound that into their heads but these losing games in the third period is ridiculous. I don’t know if its a lack of effort or commitment, but it’s mental breakdowns.”
Robby Moss had another strong game between the pipes, giving the Chill every chance to get a win, stopping 31-of-34 shots, including a highlight real pad save to stop the Beast from scoring in the first. Rivers was very impressed with Moss tonight. “Robby was really good for us and we should have won that game for him. It’s another night where we pissed away points for Robby another win that he should have had that he didn’t get.”
Kyle O’Kane, the Chill’s leading goal scorer netted another goal tonight, added an assist, then capped off the Gordie Howe hat-trick by dropping the gloves with Rob Collins as time expired in the third period. O’Kane, standing at just 5″7 and weighing in at 173 pounds, is one of the last guys you’d expect to see in a scrap, and he explained things after the game. “I gave him a little whack on the leg and he turned around and punched me in the face. I was pretty sick of that old guy all night, no offense, so I just dropped my stuff and fought.”
O’Kane is taking these losses very personal and it’s weighing on him. “We have to learn to play with the lead. In my eyes, we should have won five straight here and we’ve dropped the ball. We’ve been winning in the third period and it’s simple, we have to play better defense. It’s getting to be embarrassing. I’m taking it very personal and I can’t take it anymore to be honest.”
The Chill are off until December 6th when they battle Denver on back-to-back nights at St. Charles and you can bet that Rivers is going to be working these boys extra hard in practice this week.