Spiders fully eclipsed by Etoiles

On the night of the 2019 lunar eclipse, the Les Etoiles du Nord (Stars of the North) instead did the eclipsing, handing the Spiders their second consecutive shutout.

Last week, the first-place Moose got bored manhandling the scoreless Spiders. This week, the short-benched Spiders, with a roster decimated by travel, illness, injury, etc., at least made it a bit more of a challenge for the second-place Les Etoiles.

Following a first-shift goal against, the Spiders settled down and held the Nords to just one more late in the first on a beautiful deflection in front from a perfect point shot following a blue line turnover.

It took the Nords half of the second to add insurance, and it took a mad scramble in the crease and a nonexistent whistle despite a covered puck for the Nords’ nightcap in the third.

The Spiders had their best chances in the third, but the Etoiles’ Agerter, who has had the Spiders’ number since 2015, earned his donut.

The refs, apparently reading the Spider scouting report, knew the Spiders were one shorthanded goal against from tying the franchise record set in 2005–06, and pocketed their whistles for non-Spider infractions accordingly, only being forced to blow by a reckless board play that sent John Andres tumbling high over an outstretched skate in the neutral zone.

Despite the three Nord power plays, the stellar Spider special teams held the Les Etoiles to zero PPGs, and even the lone Spider power play held the Les Etoiles to zero SHGs!

Final score: 4–0

The shutout comes exactly one year after both the 2018 edition of Hockey Day Minnesota, and ... the last time the LED Nord shut out the Spiders. And, given this is the third shutout this season, that gives the 2007–08 edition of the Spiders some company in the history books, as the 2018–19 Spiders tie the record for most shutout losses in the regular season.

2018–19 C3 East Standings (Week 12)
Moose 11 10 1 0 0 20 53 16 60
Les Etoiles du Nord 12 8 3 1 0 17 37 29 38
Maroons 12 5 0 4 3 17 40 34 65
Royals 12 6 4 2 0 14 36 32 60
Wildcats 11 5 5 1 0 11 36 34 64
Knights 12 5 6 1 0 11 28 40 48
Arctic Wolves 12 4 5 2 1 11 50 47 58
Icedogs 12 4 7 1 0 9 33 43 101
Ak Bars 12 4 7 1 0 9 36 46 64
Spiders 12 1 10 1 0 3 22 50 60

The Les Etoiles du Nords keep their lock on second place, with an 8–3–1 record, and 17 points.

And the Spiders extend their separation in C3 East, putting a three-game margin between last place and the mid-cellar IceDogs and Ak Bars, with a 1–10–1 record and still three points. And officially, are mathematically unable to reach first place, with the Moose’s 20 points, the Spiders three points and only eight games remaining in the regular season.

Next up for the Spiders, it’s another game against the IceDogs, who sit in 8th place, 4–7–1 and nine points. The previous post-Thanksgiving matchup in November went the dogs’ way, 6–4.

Puck drop is a rare Tuesday night game, Jan. 29, 9:30 p.m. at Woog/Wakota.

For details, see the box score and game summary.

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