Spiders Second Period Shorthanded Showcase Starts Season Spectacularly
Nov. 3, 2022
The debut of the 2022–23 Spiders looked awfully familiar to start. A two-goal deficit with frequent visits to the penalty box, classic Spider hockey.
Except the penalty trouble was the key to victory.
On one PK in the second, newly demoted center Harry Long cashed in shorthanded to make it 2–1. And 21 seconds later, the Johnson Bros. tied it up with another shorty.
The Blade Runners decided to take a penalty of their own, but the Spider Special Teams kept the momentum, with a pinching Kato from behind the net, dishing around to Litton who laid the puck at the feet of Sommerness for the go-ahead goal.
A rare even-strength goal by the Blade Runners re-tied it.
The Spiders responded with another strategic penalty, which led to another shorthanded goal, this time Sommerness from Vandenberghe. And with that, the third shorty of the game, the Spiders set a new franchise record for most shorthanded goals in a game.
That record was set nearly 14 years ago, on Nov. 23, 2008, vs. the Royals, on this very Richfield 2 ice sheet, with two shorties in that 6–3 victory, with the gamewinner that night coming from Nick Ungaro, who incidentally made his re-debut with the Spiders tonight after an 11-year hiatus.
The Blade Runners knotted it back up on the first shift in the third, where the score would stay through regulation, despite a fruitless Spider 5-on-3 power play in the waning minutes of the game.
In OT, it thankfully took only 25 seconds for Paul Berman to snipe his trademark snapper, thus relieving the wheezing Spider bench from having to take another shift, and giving the Spiders their first win of the season.
New Spider goaltender Terry Tucker kept the Spiders in the game, despite numerous snipes (and pipes) from the newly returned to C3 former C2 Chaos players, who often dominated the play in the Spider defensive zone.
The lifetime series against the Blade Runners moves back toward a draw, at 3–3–1–2.
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As the saying goes, if the season ended today, the Spiders would make the playoffs!
Next up: The Spiders take on the last-place Fighting Loons, who lost 6–5 to the Nordeasters.
Puck drop is another late one, 9:30 at Breck next Wednesday.
For details, see the box score and game summary.