Blade Runners edge Spiders in OT

A very even game ended up going the Blade Runners’ way in the extra frame.

For the first game after the Thanksgiving holiday, the Spiders traveled over the river and through the woods all the way to Inver Grove Heights in the middle of Sunday night to take on the 5th place Blade Runners. The Spiders roster saw its share of holiday attrition, with just 11 skaters dressing in the new Spider sweaters for puck drop (and joined by Mike “Second Wind” Schroeder halfway through the first period).

The scoresheet was populated early, with a first-shift penalty to Pappone, evened up by a second-shift penalty to the Blade Runners, and followed by a first-shift lucky-deflection goal by an unlikely source, D-man Jeremy Litton, scoring his first goal in two seasons (previous goal was March 18, 2018, vs. the Minnesota Warriors), assist to Kuhnly, playing in his first game of the season, and the Blade Runners’ D-man.

The Blade Runners answered midway through the period to tie it up, only to have late-arrival Mike Schroeder, who was already warmed up from his early game, snap a shot straight through from the point, assists to Kato and Bredael Johnson on the first draw of the power play.

Next on the scoresheet, D-man Harry Long was whistled for a hook, earning himself a four-second breather as the Blade Runners tied the game back up again off the draw.

Midway through the second, the Spiders notched what they thought was the go-ahead goal, but the striped crew thought differently, and wanted to keep it even by flagging the Spiders as in the crease. That inevitably led to the Blade Runners taking it the other way and getting the lead themselves with just under two minutes to go in the second.

Following the unhearable one-minute-remaining announcement for the period, Mike Schroeder extended his shift by a couple seconds to keep the puck in the offensive zone, reprising his left point shot, this time deflected up and over the goalie by Cory Vandenberghe, to re-tie the game with a period to go.

The third period saw its share of post dings, shoulder blocks, an homage to Alex Stalock by Bill McCormick, some uncalled body checks, and otherwise three penalties against the opposition — also unheard of in a Spiders game.

Onto the overtime, with the Blade Runners reprising the first-shift mentality from earlier in the game, scoring on a loose puck scramble in front of the Spider net that ended up with a rugby pileup on top of McCormick, and a loud celebration for the Blade Runners.

Final score: 4–3.

2019–20 C3 West Standings (Week 5)
Hooligans 6 5 1 0 0 10 35 12 57
Spartans 5 3 1 0 1 7 13 7 38
Troopers 4 3 1 0 0 6 13 8 18
Ice Hawks 5 3 2 0 0 6 21 17 30
Spiders 5 2 1 1 1 6 20 19 40
Blade Runners 6 3 3 0 0 6 21 26 60
Nordeasters 5 1 2 2 0 4 14 21 16
Wildcats 4 1 2 1 0 3 11 16 49
Flying Hellfish 6 0 6 0 0 0 6 28 36

The scoresheet seems to have suffered from the effects of tryptophan earlier this week, as there are no shots recorded in the third and overtime periods. The OT goal is apparently a Thanksgiving miracle.

The lifetime record against the Blade Runners stays relatively even — at 2–2–1–2 — dating back to the 2014–15 season.

The Spiders, with points in two of the last three games, still find themselves in the C3 West crowded middle, in a tie for third with four other teams, including the Blade Runners, Ice Hawks, and next week’s opponent, the Troopers.

The Spiders return “home” to Breck take on the Troopers in the first of three consecutive Monday night matchups to finish up the December portion of the schedule.

The Troopers are on the bye this week. They start back up against the Wildcats on Friday, then the Spiders on Monday.

The Spiders have never played the Troopers — this being their second season at C3, going 8–9–2–1 last season in C3 West, and in D1 and D2, the previous two years.

For details, see the box score and game summary.

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