It’s All the Rage, Bullfrogs Lose : Roller hockey: Portland’s power-play goals keep Anaheim from advancing to defend its league title.
The Bullfrogs looked like a desperate and frustrated team against Portland in Game 2 of the Roller Hockey International Western Conference finals Tuesday night at The Pond.
The game was all the Rage as Portland converted on four of five power plays in an 11-7 victory over the Bullfrogs before a crowd of 10,241. With the victory, Portland won the series, two games to none, and advanced to the RHI championship series.
Brian Downey had four goals and an assist and Chris Valicevic had two goals and three assists for the Rage, which finished fourth in the Northwest Division. Portland will be host to Eastern Conference-champion Buffalo in Game 1 of the championship series tonight.
“We didn’t seem prepared for what they threw at us tonight,” Bullfrog Coach Grant Sonier said. “They really used their team speed. When they get a step on you, it’s an instant two-on-one. When they can do that, they dominate.”
Portland’s speed and skill dominated the game as they broke free for numerous odd-man rushes on Bullfrog goalie Rob Laurie. Laurie, who had 44 saves in Monday’s loss, had 26 Tuesday in helping to keep the Bullfrogs withing striking distance.
The victory gave Portland Coach John Black some sense of redemption. Black coached the Blades last season to the league semifinals, where the Bullfrogs eliminated them and went on to win the championship. This season, the Blades brought in Bobby Hull Jr. to coach and Black found a new home in Portland.
“I just wanted to get to the finals,” Black said. “I built the type of team that has players with strong offensive skills. The challenge is to get them to play defense.”
And Portland’s defense clamped down on the Bullfrogs, holding them to 32 shots. Rage goalie Lance Carlsen had 75 saves in the two victories, anchoring a defense that held Bullfrog forward Victor Gervais without a shot on goal.
Gervais, who had 12 playoff goals before Tuesday, culminated his frustration by drawing a 10-minute misconduct penalty with seven minutes remaining and the Bullfrogs trailing by two. Gervais finished with four assists.
Brad McCaughey had three goals and Darren Perkins also had four assists for the Bullfrogs.
Portland scored on nine of 12 power plays in the series, helping thwart any Bullfrog comeback attempts.
Kevin Kerr scored midway through the third quarter to draw the Bullfrogs even, 5-5, but the Rage responded with three goals, two by Gerry St. Cyr, in a 2 1/2-minute span to push the lead to three.