Spiders outlast Fighting Loons 2–1

The Spiders took on the Fighting Loons at Richfield … very late Saturday night.

Despite empty ice before the game, the Spiders played their first late-nighter of the season, with a 9:30 p.m. puck drop. At least both refs made this game.

The four late-arriving fans to the chilly Richfield 2 bleachers must’ve got caught in the snow traffic and missed all the Spider offense. They would’ve seen what appeared to be a certain Miami University of Ohio student wearing his dad’s sweater, as #8 went coast to coast along the left side of the Richfield curling sheet, edging the defenders and beating the shocked Loon goalie (and astonishing the shocked Spider bench). Spiders 1-zip, assists to O’Connor and Berman.

And on the next shift, while the four fans were still getting their popcorn, a patented O’Connor’s point shot changed direction off a Loon defender and put the Spiders up to the dreaded two-goal lead. Assist to Grotbeck, who was sure he didn’t touch the puck.

That margin would last until midway through the second, as the Loons’ captain, rather than “directing” traffic from the blue line, got the Loons’ only score.

The third was filled with the usual questionable penalties, and scary moment when a Loon defender cleared a PK puck directly at his teammate’s head, clanging off the side of his helmet, immediately stopping play as the player went down, blood dripping on the ice. Richfield rink attendant to the rescue to patch him up for the remaining push in the last five minutes.

And there were plenty of chances in those last five minutes, including a frenzied flurry in the last minute with their goalie pulled following a time out. The puck never could get cleared out of the zone, and ended up on the stick of an open Loon forward in the low slot, just as the buzzer sounded.

Instead, the Spiders held on for the win, 2–1, and go up 2–0 on the young season.

Lifetime against the various versions of the Loons Dynasty™, the Spiders even up the series at 6–6 dating back to the 2013–14 season.

Next up, a matinee at Wakota/Woog, a rare 3:20 afternoon start vs. the Royals, who sit at 1–1.

For details, see the box score and game summary.

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