Spiders eat month-old donut

The Spiders scored their first goal since Jan. 3 in 5–2 loss to Ak Bars

The Spiders have been off the ice for a full three weeks thanks to the 2019 Great Freeze Off postponement of last week’s IceDogs game and the Super Bowl Bye. The rust was evident Saturday night at Highland, as the Ak Bars dominated the short-benched Spiders in the first period, putting up a three-goal clinic on the red-and-white drill cones.

In the second, the Spiders finally warmed up a bit, despite the bone-chilling temps inside the arena, giving the four shivering fans something to keep them awake. The Spiders ended up outshooting the Ak Bars 10–9 in the middle frame, and outscoring by the same margin, 1-zip. That score, a beauty of a play by Scott Bredael for his second of the season, from Noreen and Bullock was the first goal horn the Spiders have heard for themselves since Jan. 3. It was also the first time the Spiders’ goal song has been Chelsea Dagger, courtesy of Jason, the scorekeeper/DJ.

Incidentally, that Jan. 3 goal against the Wildcats was scored by … Scott Bredael.

In the third, the added to their dreaded two-goal lead, but midway through, Kevin Noreen got his first of the season, and almost got another but instead got a face full of dasher.

Following yet another snipe by the Ak Bars to increase their lead to 5–2, the Spiders effectively killed off a late-game power play. But again outshot the Ak Bars in the third, bringing the game total to 29–28 for the Ak Bars.

Final score: 5–2

But another moral victory for the Spiders in getting back in the goals column after a five-week drought.

2018–19 C3 East Standings (Week 13/14)
Team GP W L T OTL P GF GA PIM
Moose 13 11 2 0 0 22 60 26 76
Maroons 13 6 0 4 3 19 46 39 71
Les Etoiles du Nord 13 8 3 1 1 18 41 34 44
Wildcats 13 7 5 1 0 15 49 40 78
Royals 13 6 5 2 0 14 39 41 62
Arctic Wolves 14 5 5 3 1 14 63 54 66
Ak Bars 14 5 7 2 0 12 45 52 78
Knights 13 5 7 1 0 11 33 46 56
Icedogs 13 4 8 1 0 9 35 48 107
Spiders 13 1 11 1 0 3 24 55 62

Ak Bars improve to 5–7–2–0 and only a game and a half out of a playoff spot in the typically crowded C3 East middle of the pack.

Spiders increase their hole in the ice to 1–11–1–0, and with the C3 South Nighthawks having won a second game in January (2–11–0–0), puts the Spiders in the all-C3 cellar. Across the entire league, only three teams have a worse record than the Spiders:

  • B2 Spartans, 0–6–2–0, but they lost their Cinderella 6–0 C1 record having been moved up to B2 in December.
  • B3 West Gators, 1–13–0–0, including a 6–3 loss to the B3 Spiders.
  • C2 East Fighting Loons Thunder, at 1–11–1–0, have an identical record to the Spiders.
  • D2 Goal Diggers, 0–13–0–0 and zero points.

So the Spiders are at least not alone in their push for an overall first-round draft pick.

Next up, the Spiders return to Highland, Sunday, Feb. 17, to rematch the Royals, who lost 9–3 to the Arctic Wolves Saturday to drop behind the Wildcats and out of the top 4.

The previous game, Dec. 9, resulted in not only a 6–3 Spider loss, but an “upper-body” injury to Rich Elling that has kept him off the ice since. The good news is Rich is making progress and cleared to at least start skating again, and will hopefully be back with the team soon.

It’s a Family Sunday start time, 4:30 p.m. at Highland South.

For details, see the box score and game summary.

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