The jury is still out on whether an NHL season will proceed with a shortened schedule but hopes are U.S. Federal mediators joining in the fray will be able to cut through the Gordian Knot of negotiations and reach a solution.
It’s unfortunate that the “ugly” side of the league is being shown. It’s all about the money, neither side willing to give a little ground in order to get the game back on the tube for the masses; the target market that ultimately foots the bill. There’s definitely more to it than that, of course, and what the public is hearing, but money talks and what starts with a ‘B’ and ends with a ‘T’ walks.
Regardless, local hockey is strong and moving forward. In fact, the Men’s Rec League is approximately halfway through the regular season and fast approaching the Christmas break — yes, Christmas already! In the latest standings, Summitsport has ascended to the top of the league, ahead of the Blackcomb Blackhawks and the Pemberton Chainsaws, sitting in second and third place, respectively. Summitsport has stepped on the gas and raced to the head of the pack with a five-game winning streak.
Facing off against the veteran Longhorn Mighty Moose Monday (Nov. 26), the Summitsport lads had a tough contender in a well-played match that would go to the distance and need a shootout. The Moose opened the scoring early in the first period with a goal from R.J. Pearce, assisted by Fraser MacDonald.
The Summit would answer with a tally from Brent Milner, who did duty between the pipes for the former Summit team in the A League back in the day. Milner has since hung up the goalie pads for a regular shift as a player and never looked back, though he may still flash the pads if for some reason their regular goaltender can’t make the game.
Anyways, the Moose would end the period with a goal from Glenn Rodgers, taking the lead. In the second period, Summit defenceman Scott Baldry would tally an unassisted goal to tie the game at 2-2. Late in the period, Summitsport would take a penalty the Moose would use to their benefit to take the lead, albeit with one second left in the period. Rodgers was the right player in the right spot to tap in a beauty of a pass from Pearce to end the period up by one.
In the third, Summitsport forward Andrew Bradley took advantage of a Moose miscue to tie the game again, connecting with Jamie Mangan on a nifty give-and-go play. In the shootout, Summit drew first blood and hung on for the 4-3 win, as the Moose were unable to answer. Summit goaltender Matt MacNamara turned away 25 of 28 shots for the victory.
In Game 2 of the evening, the fourth-place Black’s Pub Marmots earned a 3-1 win over the Chainsaws in another close Rec League contest. The Marmots took control of the game from the start with three unanswered goals from John Lanteigne, Adam Livingstone and Ian Reith.
The lone goal from the Chainsaws would come late in the third and would prove to be too little, too late to mount a comeback. Despite that, the game did prove to be a tight, back-and-forth affair, with both teams surely to meet in the playoffs come March.
Longtime Marmot goaltender Elliot Moses made 28 saves for the win. It seems Moses has stepped back from his former dizzying schedule of A and Rec league games as a starting goalie, instead choosing his traditional team, the Marmots, to earn his victories.
In Monday’s nightcap, the eighth-place Fairmont Flyers took on the struggling, last-place Tapley’s Rooftop in a classic, bare-knuckle match up.
The Flyers would end up with the win, scoring a late goal in the third period and following up with an empty-net tally for a 5-3 triumph. It was especially painful to the Rooftop, who rallied from a two-goal deficit and tied the game with under five minutes remaining, only to give up a goal with under a minute left to play. Kudos to Flyers goaltender Robert ‘The Wall’ Wagner, who made 36 saves for the win.
Rec league action continues Friday (Nov. 30) with an early match between the Longhorn Mighty Moose and Blackcomb Blackhawks, followed by the Pemberton Chainsaws versus Dusty’s, and in the wee hours the Fairmont Flyers challenge the Walsh Restoration Shooters.