Spiders hold off Ak Bar rally
Dec. 11, 2011
Ak Bars third-period comeback almost spoils Schuster showcase.
The Ak Bars, still looking for their first win of the 2011–12 season, faced the Spiders for the first time since 2006–07.
The Spiders’ checking line of Freed, Vandenberghe and Schuster instead put on an offensive showcase for the lone fan in the Aldrich stands, scoring all five goals for the Spiders, including a hat trick by Schuster. The shower of hat came just two seconds after former Spider Anton Petsan sat down for hooking, as Schuster scored off the faceoff draw from Pettengill on the power play.
The Ak Bars did mount a third-period comeback, moving within two halfway through the period, then within one with 1:30 remaining. The Ak Bars pulled netminder Cain for the extra attacker for the final minute. But the Spiders backcheckers had already gotten plenty of work on the PK all game, and were up to the task, and closed out the game 5–4.
On the Spiders’ end, Bill McCormick saw 21 shots, stopping 17, to which McCormick commented in his post-game interview, “There goes my GAA.” Cain had 25 Spider shots his way, stopping 20.
Even the penalty sheet was dominated by the third line, with Vandenberghe picking up a pair of sits, though one was only for a whopping 15 seconds, as the Ak Bars scored their second-period PPG. Pappone, Schwinn and Litton got the other two-minute rests.
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Despite the win, the Spiders stick to fourth place with nine points (4–2–0–1) in the standings, just a point ahead of the four-team, eight-point “middle of the pack” logjam. The Ak Bars still sit in last, with their two points (0–5–1–1).
Next up, the Spiders close out the 2011 portion of the schedule in style, over at the State Fair Coliseum against another longtime opponent in the 9th-place Sled Dogs (3–4). The Sled Dogs are coming off a 4–2 loss to the Diablos.
The last time the Sled Dogs and Spiders faced off was 2009–10 season, where the Spiders won both matches. Before that, a split in the 2006–07 season. And originally, the Beginner Spiders were at the mercy of the runtime rule, as the Sled Dogs won 7–4, 12–4 and, in the playoffs, 10–3 in the 2005 AHA beginner season.
For details, see the box score and game summary.