Spiders mauled by Wildcats 7–1
March 13, 2019
The Spiders play non-spoiler in the C3 East playoff race.
Somehow, the teams that take on the Spiders find themselves slotted better in the playoff race. Besides padding stats, as the Wildcats did running up the score 7–1 Wednesday night, they kept pace on the Knights, who have snuck up to fifth on the backs of their Spider victory, the Royals, and the Arctic Wolves, who did their won stomping of the Spiders last week.
With goaltender McCormick getting some much needed siesta time in Mexico this week, the Spiders were backed by sub goalie Shane Durbin. Had Durbin seen the Spider stat line for the season, he might’ve turned down the gig.
Though unlike most Spider games this season, where the Spiders are at least playing close to par in the first period (through week 17: nine-goal differential in the first period; 20 in the second, and 21 in the third), Wednesday’s game dug a hole in the ice quickly, with a first-shift goal, followed by three more early and often, including the first shorthanded goal the Spiders have allowed since the double shorty debacle against the Maroons in December.
That shorthanded goal puts the 2018–19 back in the history books for the third week in a row, tying the season record for most shorthanded goals allowed. The previous failed sump pump high-water mark brought to you by Roto-Rooter was set in 2005–06, the Spiders very first full winter season, where the then D2 Spiders at least offset those shorties with four of their own. The Spiders this season have had no such puck luck.
With just over a minute remaining in the second, Schuster got the Spiders on the board, assist to Johnson, to make it 5–1, to erase the impending donut and narrowly avoiding yet another entry into the record book ... most shutout losses in a season. That honor still sits tied at three, shared with the 2007–08 edition of the Spiders, as set earlier this season against the Nords, and holding on tight with two games to go.
The Wildcats added two more in the third, to bring the final to 7–1.
The only other scoreboard activity was the Spiders’ parade to the penalty box, including a Natural PIM Hat Trick for Brad Sutton.
While there have been plenty of times where Spider players have put up crooked numbers in the PIM column in a game including taking up multiple (or more) rows in the stat sheet, per Spiders Stat Bureau, that is only the second time in franchise history that a player has been “awarded” three consecutive minor penalties without being interrupted by either a teammate or an opponent. The previous instance was April 14, 2012, in the playoffs against the Nighthawks, when Dave Lavigne racked up three consecutive minors, though the luck of the scorekeeper’s data entry draw kept them lined up (the first bin sit was an offsetting penalty with the Nighthawks’ … and then current C3 Tier Admin … Heather Rogers).
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The Wildcats sit just a point ahead of the cutoff, with the Knights and Royals both at 20 points and two games remaining, against the Royals and Maroons.
The Arctic Wolves shutout loss to the first-place Moose Wednesday sends them to the golf course, as soon as this rain lets up, and they’ll be waiting at the tee box behind the Ak Bars and Icedogs. (The Spiders have already finished their round, overran the bill at the 19th hole, sold their clubs, and quit golf.)
The Knights, who followed up their 6–2 outdoor win over the not-first-place Spiders two weeks ago with a 6–2 upset of the first-place Moose last Friday and knocked off the Nords 1-zip on Wednesday, to stay firmly in the race. The Royals are right behind the Knights, having followed two consecutive losses with wins against the Icedogs on Friday and the Ak Bars Wednesday.
The Nords, with two losses in a row, find themselves facing two win-out-or-study-up-on-AHA-math games, against the Arctic Wolves and Moose.
The Maroons, after putting up five consecutive wins, lost to the Icedogs 3–2 Wednesday, but are assured at least a third-place finish, face the Ak Bars and Wildcats.
And finally … the Moose, sitting atop the C3 East standings, can finish as low as third, depending on the Nords, who hold the tiebreaker over the Moose, or remain in first and break the 30-point barrier. They stopped a two-game slide (vs. Maroons 4–0 at SLP Outdoor; vs. Knights 6–2) to beat the Arctic Wolves Wednesday, 4-zip. They’ll be looking to get some much-needed help from everyone’s favorite point booster, the Spiders, on Monday night.
Puck drop on the rubber match is back at Highland for the third time this season, Monday at 7:50 p.m.
For details, see the box score and game summary.