Spiders come up just short in season opener, with 4–3 loss to Wildcats

Second period afternoon nap dooms Spiders.

The Spiders kicked off the 2018–19 season in a rare Saturday afternoon matinee, a week after the rest of the league hit the ice.

The much-needed bye seemed to help the Spiders in the first period, ending the first with a confident 1–0 lead after Jason Freed potted his first Spider goal since March 6, 2016, in his return to the ice after two years on ice (IR).

However, the midafternoon start time signaled the Spiders to reprise their well-oiled second period snooze, giving up four unanswered, with the lone Spider entry on the scoresheet coming from a too-many-men whistle (served by Pettengilll also in his Spider re-debut) as Sommerness tumbled over the boards onto the ice, resulting in a traffic jam at the bench.

The Spiders woke up a bit in the third, following a waved-off goal by Sommerness, climbed back into the game, with goals from Grotbeck, from a perfect blue line pass from Schroeder to Schuster, and four minutes later, Pappone sniped the goalie from the high circle, helper to Elling.

A scary moment on a Wildcat breakaway as the Wildcats #28 tumbled into McCormick, resulting in a grievous “lower-body injury” to the goaltender. But Bill miraculously made the save, one of his 26 on the afternoon.

The Spiders had their chances the rest of the third, and Coach Roy pulled the goalie at 2:40, albeit accidentally. But nothing found the net, as time ran out on the season opener.

Final: 4–3 Wildcats

2018–19 C3 East Standings (Week 1)
Team GP W L T OTL P GF GA PIM
Royals 1 1 0 0 0 2 2 1 2
Moose 1 1 0 0 0 2 6 2 8
Maroons 1 1 0 0 0 2 4 2 4
Les Etoiles du Nord 1 1 0 0 0 2 7 3 0
Wildcats 1 1 0 0 0 2 4 3 4
Icedogs 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 6
Arctic Wolves 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 6 10
Ak Bars 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 2
Knights 1 0 1 0 0 0 3 7 2
Spiders 1 0 1 0 0 0 3 4 2

The Spiders return to action next Sunday against the Moose, at Saint Thomas Academy, a rink the Spiders haven’t played since Jan. 26, 2014 (Freed scored in that game too…).

The Moose are a new team to C3, moving up from D1 after a 14–3–1–1 first-place finish last season.

Puck drops at 9:20 p.m. Sunday.

For details, see the box score and game summary.

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