Saturday was one of the more interesting game days of the season. On top of hotly contested games, more than 20 players joined in the pleasant after-game festivities at McCarold, where stories, pints and good meals were shared.
The first game between the Tomahawks and Vipers began with intensity. There was an untoward incident to start the game where the referee was struck accidentally right where it hurts by one of the Vipers players. This was followed by an unfortunate incident where the player and the official exchanged some colourful adjectives and the player received a questionable major penalty (it seemed doubtful he struck the official on purpose.) The league will follow up on the event because it takes seriously respect for both players and officials. Abuse in either direction is not and will never be tolerated.
For the rest of the game, once everyone returned their focus to hockey, the Vipers opened up the machine scoring three in a row, playing with more confidence and cohesion than in recent matches. The Tomahawks missed a number of chances to score but played with a lot of determination. But the Vipers shut down the men in red and reniewed with victory in a glorious way!
The second game was between the Shamrocks and the Czechers, and the former respected their gameplan wich consisted of shutting down the neutral zone and shutting down odd-man rushes. In spite of that, the Czechers spent a lot of the game in the Shamrocks zone buzzing the net of the goaltender, the green star of the game, without managing to convert all of their chances to score. The Shamrocks countered the pressure and forced turnovers to create their best scoring chances on the rush. Speedy Daniel Maglione scored a hat trick in an 8-4 victory.
The on-ice evening ended with the Avengers defeating the Loggers 6-4. The game was very tight from start to finish, with the two teams exchanging goals right to the last minutes. With a few seconds to go and the Loggers putting on pressure in the offensive zone, the quick Avenger Bradford Redpath stole the puck and carried it to the empty net, sealing the victory.
The Loggers lost two players during the game, including the league’s leading scorer. It’s easy to imagine that if the Loggers had had a full roster we may have seen our fourth shootout of the season.
With three weeks to go until the playoffs, the race for the Tremblay Cup for the regular season champion is not over, even if the Shamrocks are now a few points ahead. Anyway, is it not said that the playoffs are a new season and everyone who makes it has a chance? We’ll know soon!
See you soon