Spiders sputter post-bye in 5–1 loss to Nordeasters

It’s still hockey season, despite hiatus.

While the rest of the hockey world celebrated Hockey Day Minnesota and the All-Star Game, the Spiders’ skates have accumulated two weeks of rust, having been off the ice since Sunday, Jan. 12.

Notably rusty – Sunday marked the return to the ice of Dave Schuster, who had been on the IR list since July with the summer Spartans team.

The Nordeasters, coming off a 5–3 loss to the Wildcats last Monday, weren’t so rusty, and featured their former goalie J. Welch, who now plays at C2 for the Fighting Ice Fish, as their sub Sunday. And while according to the league he’s still rated C3, his higher level experience was on display the entire game, as the Spiders put high-quality shot after high-quality shot on the Nordeasters’ net, racking up 46 shots on goal, including a 25-shot second period, the NE’s 22.

The only puck that made it through was a Harry Long power play point shot that snuck through a four-skater screen in front of the net.

Otherwise, the Spiders’ porous defense was the other story of the game, as the final score was as imbalanced as the shots, 5–1 for the Nordeasters.

2019–20 C3 West Standings (Week 11)
Hooligans 12 11 1 0 0 22 66 18 93
Blade Runners 12 8 4 0 0 16 47 43 96
Spartans 11 7 3 0 1 15 35 21 56
Troopers 11 6 3 1 1 14 35 34 50
Spiders 11 4 5 1 1 10 38 42 102
Wildcats 11 4 5 2 0 10 37 46 89
Nordeasters 12 4 6 2 0 10 35 48 48
Ice Hawks 12 4 8 0 0 8 35 54 66
Flying Hellfish 12 1 11 0 0 2 29 51 60

While the Spiders haven’t dropped back in the standings, there are now three teams tied for fifth place, Spiders, Wildcats and Nordeasters, all with 10 points, and a handful of tiebreakers.

The Spiders are in first place, however, in the C3 PIM column, as the first team to achieve triple digits, at 102 minutes of shame.

Next up, another skate blade oxidation period, with the Super Bowl bye next weekend. When the Spiders return to the ice on Thursday night, in yet another late-night game, and will have their work cut out for them versus the first-place Hooligans (11–1–0–0). The Hooligans have won 10 straight, their only loss on opening night, losing 1–0 to the Spartans.

The previous matchup, on Thanksgiving weekend, was the Spiders’ worst loss of the season (so far), a 9–5 drubbing. The bright spot in that loss was that the Spiders had clawed back to a tie early in the third period, only to get into penalty trouble to get buried under four straight goals.

Puck drop at 9:30 at Breck, Thursday, Feb. 6.

For details, see the box score and game summary.

Game media

Jan. 26, 2020, C3 Spiders vs. Nordeasters, New Hope S.
Jan. 26, 2020, C3 Spiders vs. Nordeasters, New Hope S.
Jan. 26, 2020, C3 Spiders vs. Nordeasters, New Hope S.
Jan. 26, 2020, C3 Spiders vs. Nordeasters, New Hope S.

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