B1 Spiders victorious in franchise debut

AP Wire

Oct. 27

St. Louis Park, Minn.

As far as franchise debuts go, the B1 Spiders knew their Saturday night lid lifter at St. Louis Park would, if nothing else, serve as an ice breaker for a team with more than half of its roster new to AHA. But if you wanted to call it a test of sorts, this new franchise made the grade.

Two first-year Spiders – winger Aaron Forsman (two goals) and netminder Greg Buell (32 saves on 33 shots) – helped lead their newly-formed squad notch its first win in as many tries at the B1 tier with a 3-1 win over the Venom.

It was fitting that a Spiders veteran – forward Jason Yancey – netted the first goal for the franchise. And it came early, as Yancey (who also plays with the B3 Spiders) connected on a top-shelf shot from the slot at 10:48 in the first period. That goal not only made B1 Spiders history, it also gave the ‘Black and Red’ an early 1-0 lead. Aaron Forsman and Dominic Forsman assisted on the play.

Less than four minutes later Aaron Forsman walked around two defensemen packed inside the slot and deked out the opposing goaltender to put the Spiders up 2-0. Younger brother Dominic fed Aaron from the corner after a sustained offensive possession that visibly wore down their opponents’ resolve to challenge the puck.

With the Spiders already on the scoring sheet twice in the first period, the Venom stepped up their intensity in the second period. It is no coincidence that what evolved into a physical battle for the puck, resulted in three penalties being assessed to each team during the second period. The Venom capitalized just once on a potpourri of power play opportunities, finally scoring their first goal of the game with 46 seconds remaining in the second period, to make it a 2-1 game in favor of the Spiders. It was to be the only goal on the night for the Venom, as Greg Buell stood tall – and sideways when necessary – to turn away every other shot he faced.

The Spiders re-asserted control of the game flow in the third period, helped by Aaron Forsman’s second goal of the contest at 14:44 (assist from Christian Peterson). Forsman carried the puck into the offensive zone on a two-on-two with defenseman (and cousin) Hank Long. The Venom defenseman who was accounting for Long as he entered far side of the slot attempted to box out Long and knocked over his own goalie. As the Venom players fell into the net, Forsman deftly scooped the puck over the pile.

That proved to be the last goal of the game. Instead, both teams filled up the penalty section of the scoresheet, each being assessed four separate penalties during the course of the third period. The fact that it was the season opener might explain the physicality, as the Venom and Spiders were two of five teams at the B1 tier called for 8 penalties in their respective games on Saturday.

The Spiders next test comes against the Piranhas, Monday Nov. 5 at Richfield Ice Arena.

News & Notes

Connections abound

While the B1 Spiders are a new team, there aren’t a lot of strangers to the squad.

B3 Spiders:

Six players from last year’s B3 team helped form the core of the new franchise. They include: Ryan Wilson, Matt Adelman, Christian Peterson, Jason Yancey, Joe Long and Hank Long.

Forsman cousins:

Ryan Wilson, Hank Long, Joe Long, Dominic Forsman, Aaron Forsmanand George Forsman share a grandmother and grandfather. The cousins spent many Thanksgivings and Christmases during their formative years playing hockey on the pond at their large family gatherings.

Wayzata coaches:

Spiders vets Christian Peterson and Ryan Wilson were able to wear down a group of their fellow hockey dads and coaches to join in their AHA fun. Dave Krenn, Jason Vinar, Steve Mackie and Greg Buell have all coached their kids with either Christian or Ryan in recent years.

Other notable connections:

Matt Adelman and Joe Ruedy are cousins. Joe attempted to play on the B3 Spiders a few years ago, but evaluated at B1 and was unable to be rostered. When Matt came calling Joe this summer to tell him about a new B1-level Spiders team, you can bet Joe was happy to not have to skate another eval.

Joe Long recruited Tony Blatter. They live in the same condo building and had parked their cars next to each other for a few months. When they started to notice hockey bag smells that weren’t their own, they chatted and found that both played AHA. And that they were on opposing B3 teams. They decided to unify their commutes to the hockey rink this season.

Shane Lauinger comes to the Spiders via Hank Long. Their wives are best friends from college and Hank was able to wear Shane down on his adult hockey league stories and get him to join the newly formed team.

Aaron Forsman and Matt Adelman also discovered midway through the game that they played youth baseball with each other in Bloomington.

Brandon Van Zeeland comes to the B1 Spiders via free agency. He recently moved the Twin Cities from Wisconsin, and was drafted by captain Ryan Wilson.

For details, see the box score and game summary.

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