Kalamazoo played two games this weekend following the Christmas break. Kalamazoo lost 5-2 in Fort Wayne on Saturday night. I did not attend that game. Cederholm did not finish the game after taking a high stick to the face. The game got a bit ugly in the 3rd period, and Fox picked up his first fighting major (and instigator minor) of the season. Fox finished the game with 11 PIMs. Besides the fight both Fox and Blomstrand had a quiet night.
I met up with Kzoo for their game on Sunday in Wheeling. As a precaution, Cederholm did not dress on Sunday – even though that left Kzoo playing one man short. I chatted with Cederholm after the game and he expects to play in the next game. He was a bit bruised and had some swelling from the high stick.
Blomstrand was in the starting lineup with being moved to the 1st line. Fox was on the 2nd line. Fox is on the 1st PP unit while Blomstrand is on the 2nd PP unit. Blomstrand remains on the 1st PK unit. For the first time this season I saw Fox on the PK – he was on the 2nd PK unit. Fox did well in his PK role so we shall see if the coach keeps him playing in these situations.
Fox assisted on the first Kzoo goal of the game with a great pass to set up the play. Fox was playing with more of an edge tonight. A bit too hard for my taste with some of the liberties he was taking but he stayed out of the penalty box. I got pictures of this great sequence in the 2nd period of Fox eliminating a real scoring threat.
Blomstrand had an excellent scoring chance late in the 1st period while on the PK. Blomstrand used his speed to clear past two Wheeling players for a breakaway. Unfortunately, the Wheeling goalie stopped Blomstrand’s shot. Blomstrand finished the night with 4 SOG. As much as I watch Blomstrand play his speed always amazes me with how quickly he can skirt by opposing players.
Blomstrand took a bad penalty for holding in the 2nd when his stick was tied up with a Wheeling player after a collision in front of the Kzoo net. Shortly after being released from the penalty box Blomstrand was on the ice for Wheeling’s first goal of the game.
Fox picked up assists on the 3rd and 5th Kzoo goals of the night. Kzoo scored those three goals in the span of 92 seconds. Fox was not on the ice for the 4th Kzoo goal. Fox is very vocal on the ice in yelling for the puck – I heard him more than usual tonight.
In the 2nd period, Blomstrand spent almost an entire shift on defense. As I have come to expect from him – Blomstrand looked great in that role/position. 15:30 into the 2nd period Blomstrand got hit in the knee by a slapshot and struggled a bit to skate back to the bench. I snapped a picture right after he got hit. Blomstrand did not play the rest of the 2nd period. Blomstrand played regular shifts in the 3rd period and did not seem to have any pain or issues skating.
Blomstrand had a very solid game despite being kept off the scoreboard. Having his parents visiting for Christmas always make Blomstrand play better – must be all the home cooked food🙂
To finish up the game Fox had a breakaway and scored an ENG with 39 seconds left. I joked with Fox after the game about how pretty a goal it was. Fox was named 2nd star of the game for his three assists and ENG. Fox finished the game a +4.
Kzoo has only two games this week. Their usual home game on New Year’s Eve is against Elmira. Kzoo faces off with Elmira again on Saturday night at home. Both Curtis Valk and Evan McEneny remain on 21-day IR but are eligible to come off IR any day. I am anxiously waiting for both to be activated. I have not heard any further news out of Kzoo regarding when we should see them in the lineup.
In other news – Mackenze Stewart got sent back to juniors yesterday. I was hoping to see him back in a Kzoo uniform this season as I was enjoying seeing his improvement and watching him grow as a player