Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hull Makes Early Impact, Then Blues' Boat Sinks vs. Canucks

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hull Makes Early Impact, Then Blues' Boat Sinks vs. Canucks

Article excerpt

It seems inaccurate to say the Blues were unprepared Thursday night for Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Vancouver Canucks.

Brett Hull scored 20 seconds into the game, and rookies Ian Laperriere and Denis Chasse came out hitting. Everything looked good.

Then the bottom dropped out.

Referee Rob Shick gave Chasse a five-minute major penalty for kneeing and injuring Jeff Brown. The Canucks scored twice on the ensuing power play and went on to an easy 6-1 victory at Pacific Coliseum.

The victory gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead in the National Hockey League playoff series, which continues tonight with Game 4 at the Coliseum. Game 5 is Monday in St. Louis.

It was a big night for former Blues. Sergio Momesso scored twice. Geoff Courtnall had a goal, and Cliff Ronning had three assists.

Dave Babych, Trevor Linden and Jyrki Lumme also scored goals for the Canucks. Pavel Bure had three assists, and Kirk McLean was outstanding in goal.

A pregame ceremony delayed the start of Game 3 for 15 minutes. The Canucks introduced 30 of their former greats and not-so-greats before introducing each member of their current team. Then Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan stretched out the national anthems.

The Blues anxiously waited in the locker room during the hoopla, then emerged in a foul mood. It took them only 20 seconds to score.

Al MacInnis held in Bret Hedican's clearing pass along the right-wing boards and pushed it ahead to Brendan Shanahan, who evaded a Hedican check and skated behind the goal line. He turned and slid a pass to Hull in the slot.

Pavel Bure skated toward Hull but had his back to Shanahan and failed to see the puck until Hull snapped a shot just under the crossbar over McLean's right shoulder for his second goal of the series.

But the Blues quickly lost the momentum. Chasse laid out Brown on an open-ice hit. Shick sent Chasse off and the Canucks took charge.

Only 24 seconds later, Lumme tied the game with his first goal of the playoffs. Lumme took Ronning's pass from the right corner and fired a low slap shot from the point that beat Curtis Joseph on the short side. It was Vancouver's first shot of the game. …

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