Spiders lose in Spider-like fashion to shut the door on 2018–19 season
March 21, 2019
Come-from-ahead disintegration in 8–3 loss to Icedogs ensures Spiders hold the worst record across the entire AHA.
On the first full day of spring, it’s appropriate that the Polar Vortex game that was rescheduled from January ended with the Spiders melting down in familiar fashion after a very solid first period against the second-to-last-place C3 East team the Icedogs.
Just two-and-a-half minutes in, Scott Bredael got the Spiders on the board, assists to Grotbeck and Schroeder. Though the Spiders held the lead for just under five minutes before the Icedogs tied it, the Spiders actually broke the first-period stalemate with four minutes to go to get their second lead of the game, with the goal coming from surprise game-time decision Rich Elling, who returned to Spider action after missing 13 games due to a “upper-body” injury suffered back on Dec. 9 vs. the Royals. Welcome back, Rich.
The lead lasted all of three minutes, and the first period ended where it started.
Even though the Spiders gave up two in the second, the game was still well in hand, including two spectacular Spider PKs that almost potted the season’s first shorthanded goal (for the Spiders). The second of those PK opportunities came courtesy of Mike Johnson’s second penalty of the season, as he wanted to be sure to somehow get on the scoresheet given it was his 200th game in a Spider sweater. Mike becomes just the third D2/D1/C3 Spider to join the Double Century Club, along with C3 Captain Jeremy Litton and Cory Vandenberghe, based on his games with both D1/C3 and B3. (Former D1 Spiders Aaron Bedessem and Jay Hilden, along with B3 Captain Josh Cagle and B3 goalie Brian Dow are also on the B3 squad’s 200 list.) Scorekeeper Andy Bauer ignored all requests to stop the game for the AHA Golden Stick ceremony.
The spring thaw began in earnest early in the third though, and to say the third periods have not been in the Spiders’ favor this season would be a bit of an understatement (the Spiders have been outscored 36–9 in third periods this season). A wide-open back door tap-in by the Dogs’ veteran #58 J. Feldt, scored his first of two in the period.
The Spiders’ lone tally, again by Elling, who doubled his season’s offensive stats in a 21-minute span, came just as the Spiders third power play of the game expired, to close the Dogs’ lead to 5–3.
Feldt’s second came just over a minute later, who doubled his season stats in a four-minute span, followed by the backbreaker by the Dogs’ backbreaker #25 McDonald just 10 seconds into a Dog power play, put the game well out of reach. That power play was earned by Chris Pettengill, who was also playing in a milestone game, his 100th game as a Spider tonight. But the 10-second bin sit prevented scorekeeper Bauer from handing Chris his AHA Silver Stick trophy.
The Dogs added yet another insurance indemnity marker to bring it to 8–3. Just one goal shy of earning the coveted runtime clock against the Spiders this season.
Filed under the moral victory category, none of the Dog deluge came from their leading scorer #23 J. Kaszas, who was held off the scoresheet, after having put up a Texas Hat Trick on the Spiders in the first game of the season.
The Spiders also outshot the Dogs 36–32, only the second time since the Knight win, and sixth time all season, that the Spiders have outshot an opponent. And Bill McCormick, who requested his net be covered with the BIG 2 shooter tutor board just to even things up, had to make some miraculous saves on packs of rabid Icedogs hunting in the crease, including one waved off in the third that seemed to find its way through a gap in the netting.
Two minutes after the final goal, a Schroeder coast-to-coast breakaway was cut short by the Dogs’ Easton artist #43 Mattson, who stuck around to offer his advice to Schroeder rather than being escorted away by the game officials, despite this being a so-called point of emphasis with the league. Those same game officials also determined the Spiders don’t score on breakaways so a penalty shot was pointless. Schroeder wouldn’t have been up to the task anyway, as it was his second hard collision of the night, the first coming with his D-partner earlier in the period. Needless to say, Schroeder would not return, and the Spiders would not score on the power play.
A final PK drill for the Spiders, and the 2018–19 season was in the books. Final score: 8–3. Final record: 1–17–1–0.
That record stands alone across the entire AHA, as the only team that could’ve “beat” the Spiders, the 1–18 D2 Gold Diggers, ended up winning last night 9–3 to improve to 2–18, and four points, one more than the lowly Spiders. Last season’s 0–20 Minnesota Warriors still stand as the only team in the history of the C3 level, dating back to 2011–12, to go without a point. So the Spiders have something to look forward to next season.
The Spiders’ record ties the 2016–17 Scarlet Rebellion, the only other team to go 1–18–1 and three points. (The renamed Rebellion went 13–6–0–1 and 17 points the following season, and moved up to C3 this season. So the Spiders also have something to look forward to next season.)
The Spiders also finish with the lowest goals-for total since Beginner School, where the 2004–05 Spiders put 29 away, though that was in only seven games. The 2018–19 Spiders ended with 39 goals, six short of the previous two low-water-mark seasons, 2005–06 and 2007–08, both with 45 goals.
Next up, the playoffs. Next up for the Spiders, a 12.5% chance in the AHA draft lottery to get the overall first pick.
|Les Etoiles du Nord –x||20||12||5||2||1||27||68||47||68|
|Spartans C3 –x||20||14||5||1||0||29||88||47||133|
|Gold Rush –x||20||13||7||0||0||26||95||68||120|
|Hooligans C3 –x||20||12||7||1||0||25||70||58||146|
|Fighting Loons C3||20||5||13||2||0||12||68||95||68|
|Fighting Piranhas C3 –x||19||14||5||0||0||28||75||47||92|
|Leafs C3 –x||19||13||5||0||1||27||84||47||145|
|Shame On Ice C3||18||5||9||4||0||14||34||50||70|
For those teams heading to the playoffs, including Dave Sommerness’s Gold Rush, there’s plenty of time to let the rust accumulate on skates, as the post-season won’t get underway until the second week of April.
Meaningful games were still being played Thursday to determine the C3 East dance card order.
The first-place Moose still needed some help from AHA math to maintain their crown over the Maroons. And despite pulling only a tie out of the LED Nord, the Wildcats did the Moose a solid, taking down the Maroons in overtime 2–1, to give the Moose the C3 title at 31 points, a point ahead of the Maroons.
And while the Wildcats did their part, the Knights, the ONLY team the Spiders beat this season, showed they were able to brush off that defeat, and since the outdoor game, have put together a five-game winning streak, capped with eliminating the Royals (22 points) Wednesday 5–2 to finish with 24 points, a point ahead of the Wildcats and the fourth and final C3 East playoff berth.
The final C3 East contingent:
- Moose: 15–4–1–0; 31 points
- Maroons: 11–1–4–4; 30 points
- LED Nord: 12–5–2–1; 27 points
- Knights: 11–7–1–1; 24 points
Congrats to the Moose on their second consecutive division title, having gone 14–3–1–1 in D1 last season (and 16–3–1–0 at D2 two years ago).
For details, see the box score and game summary.