Spiders in first place...

...In the PIM column. Spiders sit for half the game in 2–1 loss to Troopers.

The Spiders returned to the closer confines of chilly Breck Monday night to take on the third-place Troopers (3–1–1), a team the Spiders have never faced.

The game was owned by the Spiders for the first 23 seconds, as Jon Pappone rang up his first of the year off the second faceoff of the game, drawn by Dave Sommerness.

And that’s all she wrote for Spider offense. The Troopers answered three-and-a-half minutes later to tie it up. The game was even from there on, save for the direction of ref whistles. A Trooper roughing call early in the second turned into a send-em-both, which then turned into a teach-a-lesson 10-minute misconduct for Dave Sommerness.

The Troopers did their own scoring after the puck drop in the third, taking the lead just a minute in.

Another two-minute break was awarded to Brad Sutton, who notched his 100th penalty minute in a Spider sweater — congrats Brad! Just 80 minutes to go to catch LaCosse!

That was followed by yet another non-call against the Troopers, which led to yet another non-non-call against the Spiders, with Cory Vandenberghe also getting 10-minute misconduct.

The Spiders called timeout at 1:45, and pulled the goalie, though the offense didn’t get much of a chance, and a Trooper breakaway almost sealed the deal, only to be prevented by free safety Mike Schroeder.

The Spider bench chit-chat quietly offered up USA Hockey Rule 616(b) for consideration:

If the opposing goalkeeper has been removed from the ice and an obvious and imminent goal has been prevented by the fouled from behind provisions, then the Referee shall stop play and award a goal to the non-offending team.

It was the only non-call to go the Spiders’ way.

Final score: 2–1

2019–20 C3 West Standings (Week 6)
Hooligans 6 5 1 0 0 10 35 12 57
Troopers 6 4 1 1 0 9 20 14 26
Blade Runners 7 4 3 0 0 8 26 26 68
Spartans 5 3 1 0 1 7 13 7 38
Ice Hawks 6 3 3 0 0 6 22 25 32
Spiders 6 2 2 1 1 6 21 21 70
Wildcats 5 1 2 2 0 4 16 21 63
Nordeasters 6 1 3 2 0 4 14 26 16
Flying Hellfish 7 1 6 0 0 2 14 29 38

While it’s just the second regulation loss of the season, the Spiders find themselves in C3 West standings freefall, with the two lone wins of the season coming over a month ago, going 0–2–1–1 since, and now in 6th place.

The Troopers jump to second place at 4–1–1, one point behind the Hooligans.

The Spiders jump to first in the PIM column though, with the 30 PIM from tonight pushing the Spiders ahead of the Blade Runners by just one minor. Of course, 30 PIM in a game is nowhere near the record for the Spiders. That’s safely held by Dave Lavigne’s Sin Bin Showcase night, which ended up at 51 PIM, vs. Ak Bars on March 12, 2014. For now.

Speaking of Spiders acquired in trade with the Ice Sages for draft picks to be named later, tonight’s game also had another milestone, besides Brad’s. Scott Bredael playing in his 100th game in a Spider sweater. Scott could be seen scrambling for his iPhone to capture the vaunted AHA Silver Stick ceremony, but for some reason couldn’t find his phone.

The Spiders next face the fourth-place Spartans (3–1–0–1). The Spiders have never played the Spartans, since they moved up from D1 in 2015–16. They have made the post-season every year since then, including a shootout loss to the LED Nords in the C3 final last spring. Spider fans will recall this was originally supposed to be the Spiders in the final, thanks to a spelling mixup.

This Spartans team is of course not to be confused with the Wing+Der+Rush+Pack Spartans summer team, which of course had a swift playoff exit in August.

Puck drop, in the second of three Monday night games, is 9:15 at Richfield.

For details, see the box score and game summary.

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