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Green Sweeps Carmel in First Round of SHL Playoffs

By Jackie Kadin, 02/11/20, 4:30PM CST

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Green dispatched Carmel 10-1 and 7-1 in the first round of the SHL playoffs. Game 1 found Green away at home at Twin Rinks. Preston Watt saved an early Carmel breakaway chance. Charlie Acri found Ryan Gallagher in front of the net, who did a spinorama before burying the puck to give Green a 1-0 lead (John Kane also with an assist). A Simon Chong blast from the point was tipped by Charlie Ware (Brian Dolby also with an assist) and Gallagher’s second goal of the game (assisted by beautiful passes from Spencer Lifvendahl and Danny Budington) quickly made it 3-0. Carmel was called for roughing, putting Green on a power play. Gallagher was apparently confused for Lifvendahl as he was called for cross-checking when a Carmel player lost an edge and slid into the boards, leading to 1 minute of 4-on-4 play. The Carmel penalty expired, putting Green on a penalty kill for 1 minute. Tyler Nolan had a good clear and Budington showed great effort in poking the puck out of the zone at the blue line while on his knees. Trent Kadin drew a tripping call, putting Green back on a power play. The power play unit showed great movement, with everyone touching the puck. Acri rebounded a Kane shot (John Babnik also with an assist) to give Green a 4-0 lead after one period of play. Kadin was tripped again early in the second (or maybe he just needed his skates sharpened) and a quick Babnik goal (Acri and Mac Zelazny with the assists) made it 5-0. Ryan O’Rourke stole the puck and found Ware for a good chance, but Ware’s shot was high. Gallagher knocked down a pass from Lifvendahl and scored in the slot for his hat trick. Watt made a strong save on another Carmel breakaway chance before Chong found the back of the net on a nice pass from Babnik (Acri also with an assist) to make it 7-0. Dolby was called for interference and Green had a good shorthanded chance on the penalty kill, but Nolan apparently had an extra-large bowl of Wheaties for breakfast as his clearing attempt went into the rafters. Carmel scored, but Gallagher and Lifvendahl had a good give-and-go before Gallagher scored his 4th goal of the game (and ensuring the safety of his hands for at least one more night) to make it 8-1. Graeme Paul and Zelazny had a good 2-on-1 chance, but Paul’s shot was saved. Johnny Hackett tipped a Pugliese shot from the point on a power play to make it 9-1 at the end of the second. Nolan scored for Green in the third (Babnik and Acri with the assists) to make it a 10-1 final.

Coming off of a dominating performance, Green had a slow start in game 2, failing to convert on an early power play. Max Lee saved a Carmel breakaway, and a Lifvendahl breakaway was saved at the other end of the ice. Lee came out to play the puck on another Carmel breakaway chance, and saved a shot and rebound on a Carmel 2-on-1. Dolby got Green on the board early in the second on a power play goal from the point (Acri and Kadin with the assists). Kane scored on another power play (Dolby and Acri with the assists) making it 2-0. The floodgates were then opened as Babnik rebounded a Dolby shot and Gallagher found Budington in the slot with a beautiful pass to make it 4-0. The defense didn’t let up, with great backchecking by Kalev McCarthy and Magnus Sivertson. O’Rourke went to the box for a high stick box with 1:09 left in the second, and Carmel scored early in the third just after the penalty expired to make it a 4-1 game. Babnik made a nice play at the blue line, knocking the puck down and getting it to Acri, who buried it to make it 5-1. Nolan hit the post and Acri got the rebound to make it 6-1, and Acri scored again on a pass from Babnik for his hat trick and a 7-1 Green victory and trip to the semi-finals of the SHL playoffs.