There’s no hockey from the NHL as of yet, both sides of the contractual conundrum are at a loggerhead so the hockey fan can wait (really!) or find something else to do with their time, money and interests.
So what’s a local hockey fan to do? Apparently, part of the answer is to get out and play hockey! It’s old news, but even President Obama had something to say about the lockout, having being quoted as saying ”Get this done” to no avail from the NHL owners’ brass or the players’ union.
Anyway, the season carries on, and before the snow really starts to fly. the local Men’s A League teams got things done over the weekend.
The Longhorn Outlaws managed to corral a win over the rival Tapley’s Winterhawks in a close game Sunday (Nov. 11). The Outlaws were quick off the draw, scoring 12 seconds in when Troy McLean deflected a quick slap shot from the point by blueliner Nic MacDonald. The Winterhawks shrugged the early goal off and came back at the six-minute mark when Tommy Stall converted a pass from behind the Outlaw net from Kirk Patterson. The Outlaws finished the period up a goal thanks to Welsh recruit Jeffrey Monahan who forms one part of the “Welsh Connection” along with fellow countrymen Scott Monahan and Iwan Beynon. They all call Wales home and surprisingly know more about hockey than rugby…
Stall added another goal to tie the game at two in the second. Shortly thereafter, Stall completed a hat trick on the power play, assisted by Matt Callahan and Andrew Bradley. Graham Samodien of the Outlaws made it 3-3 three minutes later to put the pressure on the ‘Hawks, who were playing with a short bench and starting to look tired. It took until the last second of play in the middle frame for the Outlaws to re-take the lead, with scoring his second of the night just before the buzzer.
The Winterhawks came back in the third to tie the game at four apiece with a point shot through traffic from D-man Al McDonald. As the game ground on, the short bench started to take its toll on the Winterhawks. They took a costly penalty inside the final five minutes and Samodien scored on the ensuing power play, assisted by MacLean and brother Grantley Samodien, the other half of the “twin line” for the Outlaws.
The Outlaws added an empty-netter for a 6-4 final. Quint Galeza made 29 saves in the win as the Outlaws snapped a four-game skid.
Also Sunday, the Icemen Hockey Club defeated the Mongolie Grillers 5-4 in an exciting game that needed a shootout. The Grillers took an early lead with goals from Pat Girouard and Dave Daling in the first. Jamie Brandon would answer for the Icemen in the second for the lone goal in the second period.
Third-period scoring would start with an unassisted, power-play goal by Iceman Sandy Tyler, tying it at 2-2. Grillers captain Chris Miron put his team back in front on a nice play from J.J. Bergeron, who fed Miron for a quick wrist shot to the back of the Icemen’s net. Brandon answer for his team with his second of the game two minutes later.
Things soon got a little rough on the ice with both teams taking untimely penalties. Tyler took advantage of a misplaced pass on a Griller power play to score a fortuitous shorthanded goal for the Icemen. Not to be outdone, the Grillers answered 20 seconds later when Matt King scored on a great individual effort to tie the game with five minutes remaining.
Each team had numerous opportunities to take the lead down the stretch, only to be stifled by the great goaltending at each end of the ice. Shootouts have not been kind to the Grillers and Sunday was no exception, with the Icemen winning 2-1. Icemen goaltender Mike Finlay made 26 saves the win.
The Icemen next face the Outlaws on Saturday (Nov. 17) at 8 p.m., followed by the Grillers against the Winterhawks at 10 p.m.