Spiders solve Riddlers in 4-1 win

A 6 p.m. puck drop – as close to a family-friendly game time as you can get in the AHA – drew a solid handful of B1 Spiders supporters to Richfield Ice Arena on Sunday. The wives and children in attendance were not left disappointed as the Black & Red came out on top in a hard-fought 4-1 win in their rematch against the Riddlers.

The victory was especially sweet for goaltender Greg Buell, who turned away 29 of 30 shots. Buell’s near perfect performance between the pipes came nine weeks after the Riddlers defeated the Spiders 11-1 in a game where Buell was testing out a new set of leg pads - which he has since left in the garage until further notice.

The win vaulted the Spiders (6-8-1) ahead of the Riddlers (5-8-2) in the standings. It also kept the Spiders’ playoff hopes alive for another week as they prepare for their toughest three-game stretch of the season (Outlaws, Grizzlies, Ligers).

Christian Peterson got the party started early in the first period – at 10:13 – when he carried a deft neutral zone pass deep into enemy territory and then made sharp cut across the broadside of the Riddlers goalie before burying the puck in the top right corner to give the Spiders a 1-0 lead.

The Riddlers answered just 45 seconds later as bruising winger J. Laskowski went coast to coast and bulled his way through the Spiders defensive line to tie the score at 1-1.

The next 15 minutes of hockey provided many scoring opportunities for both teams, with both goalies making several great saves. Spiders winger Shane Lauinger broke the tie with 6:29 left in the second period, when he picked the top right corner on a perfect pass through the slot from center Dominic Forsman.

Lauinger’s goal – which was witnessed by his wife, toddler and newborn – gave the Spiders a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, despite their eight trips to the penalty box (to the Riddlers’ two). The

In the third period the Spiders killed three consecutive penalties without yielding a goal. They then added a key insurance goal at 6:29 when defensemen Jason Vinar stepped up from the point into the high slot to bury a shot (his fourth goal of the season) past the Riddlers goaltender.

Winger Jason Yancey put the nail in the coffin – giving the Spiders a 4-1 lead – by netting his fifth goal of the season with 3:29 remaining.

The victory gives the Spiders a 3-1-1 record over their past five games, after ending a difficult six-game losing streak.

Next week the Spiders go on the road to Inver Grove Heights for a 9:20 tilt with the Outlaws, who they trail by three points in the B1 Division playoff race.

For details, see the box score and game summary.

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