Spiders stop Spartans after third period snooze

The Spiders dominated the D1 Spartans until letting off the gas in the third period.

The D1 Spartans, new to C3 but last winter’s D1 champs, struggled to contain the Spiders newly juggled forward lines, with the debut of Mike Schroeder at center. The scoring opened early, with newly unscratched winger Todd Krough potting the first of his eventual hat trick four minutes into the game, from Sommerness. Then it was Grotbeck from O’Connor, the first assist of his four-apple night, and Krough again from Sommerness, to give the Spiders a three-goal cushion after one period.

The Spartans then tested the Spider special teams, with Kevin Ronneberg netting his first of the season, from O’Connor and Litton.

With a four-goal lead cooking through two, it was as though Doc Rob was on the bench between periods giving the pep talk. And sure enough, the Spartans notched one, then another on the same shift, by the same goal scorer (#1 G. Potts), to cut the Spider lead in half.

Penalty trouble put the Spiders back on the power play, and Tim Johnson scored a highlight reeler from the goalmouth from Schroeder and O’Connor, to turn the tide. Another even-strength goal from Krough to cap his hat trick, and another power play goal from Schroeder (giving him the AHA Gordie Howe Hat Trick) from O’Connor sealed the game.

The last entry on the scoresheet came from goaltender Terry Tucker, who was flagged for hooking with 7 seconds on the clock.

Final score: 7–2

2022–23 C3 West Standings (Week 3)
Nordeasters 3 2 0 1 0 5 17 11 8
Les Etoiles du Nord 3 2 0 1 0 5 13 8 6
Saints 3 2 0 1 0 5 11 7 10
Minnesota Mallards 3 2 1 0 0 4 17 6 6
Spiders 3 2 1 0 0 4 14 11 29
Fighting Walleye Blue 3 1 0 2 0 4 7 6 16
Fighting Loons 3 1 1 0 1 3 12 11 20
Blade Runners 3 0 2 0 1 1 8 18 32
Arctic Wolves 3 0 2 1 0 1 4 12 14
Spartans D1 3 0 3 0 0 0 4 17 12

And thus began the rush from the Spider dressing room to the Gold Rush dressing room by four of the players, with Gold Rush taking on the Kan Jammers in the late game on EPCC 1 (they won 4–3, their first win of the season, making it a four-goal night for Krough!).

The win moves the Spiders back into the playoff picture of the young season, in a three-way tie for fourth place.

Next up for the Spiders, the first-place Nordeasters, whom the Spiders saw twice last season, and split the series. And lifetime, dating back to the 2019–20 season, the record favors the Nordeasters, with the Spiders going 1–2–1.

It’s the first of five Saturday night games on the schedule, 7:45 p.m. at New Hope S.

For details, see the box score and game summary.

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