Spiders succumb to elements, Knights 6–2 in Frostbite Cup
March 2, 2019
The Spiders’ first-ever foray into the outdoors couldn’t break the Spiders’ season-long cold snap.
Saturday was the day for the C3 East Frostbite Cup, with eight of the 10 C3 East teams getting the invite to skate in the Great Outdoors at the St. Louis Park Rec Center’s new ROC outdoor arena. While the conditions for the earlier games were relatively mild, the Knightcap had the Spiders and Knights dropping the puck after sundown at 7:15, just in time for the return of the Upper Midwest Polar Vortex Round 3, as temps began to drop. Gametime temp was 10 degrees, and despite the mostly covered arena roof, the windchill courtesy of the 20mph wind gusts could definitely be felt coming in through the barely enclosed player bench.
Kudos (and apologies) to crowd of eight people (including the B1 Spiders’ Hank Long, who shot the game photos for the Spider Media Group) who somehow made it through the game, watching slow, old man hockey in the frigid temps.
As luck would have it, the SLP West rink was celebrating CosPlay skate night, where you dress up and pretend to be your favorite comic character. The SLP ROC rink was celebrating its own brand of CosPlay, where you dress up and pretend to play something resembling the sport of ice hockey.
The Spiders got on the board first courtesy of George Farner for his first of the season, assists to Schroeder and Andres, as the Knights goaltender thought he had the puck covered, but it somehow squeaked in to the net. Spiders 1-zip.
Despite getting outshot in the first, the Spiders held the lead until just under five minutes to go in the period, when the Knights got an equalizer.
Early in the second, on the game’s first power play, the Knights capitalized on a beautiful tip shot from the high slot to take the lead. And midway through, added another to attain the dreaded two-goal lead.
By the end of the second period, everyone’s water bottles were frozen solid. But the ice on the playing surface, which wasn’t in good condition to start the game, began to crumble and chip due to the temps, and the puck began bouncing uncontrollably.
In the third, following the Spiders’ third unanswered PK, and one they had to earn with mad scramble after mad scramble in front of the Spider net, the Spiders’ offense came back to life, with a beauty of a passing play, completed by Mike Johnson, for his first of the season, assists to Freed and Schroeder.
The Spiders’ hopes of tying the game were dashed on the very next shift, as the Knights put two away in 36 seconds to put the game out of reach. One more in the meat minutes by #16 B. DuFresne, following his WWF takedown of Andres in the corner (not a penalty), put the final score at 6–2.
The icicle-laden scorekeeper (and photographer-for-hire!) wasn’t tasked with tracking possession time, but given the shot differential (39 to 25), the Knights had the puck much of the game, courtesy of the Spider trademark tape-to-tape turnover.
Was it fun? We’ll let you know when our fingers and toes thaw out.
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The Knight, the only team beaten by the lowly Spiders this season, improve to 7–7–1–1 in a three-way tie with the Royals (7–7–2) and Arctic Wolves (6–7–3–1) for fifth place in C3 East — one spot out of playoff berth.
The Spiders improve their overall C3 draft pick position, at 1–14–1–0.
Next up, an extremely rare (except in the playoffs; therefore extremely rare for the Spiders) Friday night game. The Spiders take on the Arctic Wolves. The last game on new year’s eve eve, was a 6–1 drubbing for the Wolves.
Puck drop is at 8:15 at Eden Prairie Community Center 2.
For details, see the box score and game summary.