Strange things were happening Tuesday night at the Salt Palace, where the Golden Eagles defeated Kalamazoo, 7-3.
- Penalties, a normal part of every game, were nearly non-existent. Only two penalties were called all game, both in the final seven minutes. And no fights. Can you imagine a hockey game without a single fight?- Two Eagle goals came within 10 seconds of each other in the third period, about as fast two goals can possibly be scored.
- Mark Osiecki, the only Eagle player who hasn't scored a goal this year, finally was credited with his first goal . . . only to have it taken away about a half hour later by the official scorer (Tim Sweeney had tipped in Osiecki's long shot).
- Eagle trainer Brian Patafie proved himself a prophet. Before the game he wrote a `2' on Paul Kruse's taped wrists, predicting the number of goals Kruse would get on the night. Kruse got two.
The victory marked the 13th win in 14 games in what has turned out to be a fabulous February for the Eagles. The Wings, leaders in the IHL East, had won six of seven before Tuesday, but lost for the third time in four tries this year against Salt Lake.
"Our guys get up for the quality teams, particularly against Kalamazoo," said Eagle Coach Bob Francis. "They made it difficult for us in the first period, but we made some adjustments and picked up our tempo."
After Kerry Clark opened the scoring for Salt Lake, the Wings came back with a pair of goals to lead 2-1 after the first period.
Kruse got his first goal at the 8:53 mark of the second period on a nice drop-off pass from Todd Harkins, who had received a pass from Sergei Priakin.
Later in the period, Darryl Olsen put Salt Lake ahead for good when Sweeney hit him with a pass from the boards.
Early in the third period of the fast contest, Osiecki sent a screamer from the top of the right circle that Sweeney deflected in - his 9th goal in just 15 games since coming from Calgary.
The Wings appeared to jump back in the game when they scored at the 12:07 mark as Gary Emmons slipped one around Steve Guenette.
Less than a minute later came the Eagle explosion, two quick goals within 10 seconds.
Kevan Melrose took a pass from former Harvard teammate C.J. Young and slapped it home. "It was just like in the good old Harvard days when C.J. was feeding me - like deja vu," said Melrose, who also had two assists.
Then Kruse got No. 2 just in front of the net off an assist by Harkins.
Priakin, the Soviet who joined the team just last week, capped the scoring two minutes later on a short-handed goal, the Eagles' 16th of the year.
"We're getting better and better and I think we can still get even better," said the always-optimistic Francis.
The Eagles play Kalamazoo again Thursday at Acord Arena and the two teams go at it again Friday in Michigan.