Slow-footed Spiders escape with tie, advance to semi-final
April 4, 2009
A small but weary group of Spiders — 11 and 1/3 to be exact — held on to a tie against the Fighting Ice Fish this morning at New Hope. The point locks in the Spiders’ hold on first place in the round-robin standings and gets them an invite to the D1 semi-final tonight at BIG.
The Spiders had to not only overcome the fatigue from the previous night’s win, the officiating crew was hoping for an exciting finish, calling the game evenly, if even means the calls were consistently against the Spiders. Racking up five penalties to the Fighting Ice Fish’s two until the end, the Spiders’ PK unit had its work cut out for it.
The scoring started with a Spider goal, with 5:03 remaining in the first, by Chris Flannery, on assist from Ryan Herman and Aaron Bedessem.
The Fighting Ice Fish answered back at the end of the second frame, with 2:25 remaining, to tie the score.
With a minute and half remaining in the second, Flannery was called for “tripping,” and it took under a minute for the Ice Fish to jump out ahead, 1–2 with 34 seconds on the clock. To close out the second, Bedessem got called for “elbowing,” putting the Spiders back on the PK. Successfully killed, Jay Hilden got the Spiders back in it, scoring at 14:14 and tying up the score.
At 13:40, Flannery for “delay of game” (or for those of you keeping score at home, getting cross-checked, falling on the puck), and at 12:18, Vandenberghe for “interference.” An Ice Fish surefire goal on a 3-on-1 successfully negated by a trademark Hilden flying poke check.
To get through, the Spiders quick-shifted the remainder of the game, turning away Ice Fish scoring chance after chance, and with both teams equally exhausted, time almost ran out.
However, one uncalled body check too many gave Armel and an Ice Fisherman the opportunity to have a conversation in front of the Ice Fish bench. That conversation resulted in #43 T. Patronski of the Ice Fish wondering if the incessant whistles meant it was time for a line change, and jumped off the bench into the fracas. At an AHA hockey game.
Well, given the refs had their sights only on white sweaters throughout the game, the ref didn’t see anything, except Armel, who got a minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct, served by Herman. Said the ref, “If he did come off the bench, I didn’t see it.” Followed by, “Let’s play hockey.” Way to rev ’em up, ref!
And so the Spiders were yet again back on the PK, with nine seconds on the game clock, score tied. The Ice Fish did get a chance, but time ran out, resulting in the tie. Final: 2–2.
The weary teams put on little in terms of shots, with the Spiders putting up 17 (8, 5, 4), and Amber Obermoller seeing 15 (7, 2, 3).
After the game, the Fighting Ice Fish captain did the right thing, and let the ref know which player had jumped off the bench. Kudos to D. Adams for a very sportsmanlike move. The ref then retroactively assessed #43 T. Patronski with an unsportsmanlike minor, and a 10-minute misconduct.
|Fighting Ice Fish||3||1||1||1||3||11||7||+4|
With the tie, the Spiders notch five points in the round-robin standings, good for an invite to the D1 semi-final tonight at BIG. On the other side of the red line, the Fighting Ice Fish needed a win to get on the evening’s dance card, as they come away with a 1–1–1 record. The midday game between the Ice Gators and Lumberjacks determined their fate, as the Ice Gators handily won over the short-benched Jacks, giving the Ice Gators four points and a 2–1 record, and the nod for the semi-final tonight.
That means the Spiders will don their soaked gear and head back to BIG tonight, to face the Ice Gators for the semi-final. The previous meeting between the two teams, last night, resulted in 4–2 win for the Spiders.
It’s win or go home. Puck drops at 8 p.m. on BIG 2.
For details, see the box score and game summary.
Litton (14) takes a rest while inspecting the Ice Fisherman’s stick curve.
Mike Johnson (42) has some company.
Aaron Bedessem (13) gets ready for the draw.
The Spiders bench plots strategy, or at least takes a much-needed rest.
Jay Hilden (7) looks for the video feed replay on the New Hope scoreboard.
The Fighting Ice Fish center is dreaming about soccer season, watched by Cory Vandenberghe (82).