New Hope, MN. 11-17-07. The Diablos hockey team returned to the ice tonight looking to rebound from a horrible outing last week in their loss to the Nemesis. The Diablos were hoping that the Buccaneers, still looking for their first win of the 07-08 season, would allow them to get back on track. The Diablos picked up the win, and temporary claim the top spot in the D1 Western Division, with what proved to be a hard fought 4-2 win. Backstopped once again by able sub goalie Don Snyder, but missing regular forwards Rocco Bonello and Captain Todd Ewing, defensemen Ryan Carroll, Andy Claypool, and John Driscoll, and goalie Justin Alderink, the Diablos called on their other regulars and their trusty subs Dave Christenson, Larry Eckman, and Dean Groth to fill in and step up. The patchwork lineup and hard work proved to be just enough against a Buccaneers team that refused to roll over.
The first period started slow for the Diablos with no passing and inconsistent play in the defensive end. The Buccaneers tried to take advantage, but seemed as out of sink as the Diablos. The period ended with zeros across the board, no goals, no penalties, and almost no scoring chances for either team.
The second period started out better for the Diablos when defenseman, turned winger, turned defenseman Mike Monroe followed his acting captain's advice (finally) and put the puck on net with a hard shot from the blue line. C Ted Reiff pounced on the rebound and slammed home his third goal of the year at 14:53 for a Diablos lead. At 00:17 of the period LW John Blasingame was leveled at center ice by a trip by an overzealous Buccaneer leading to the first power play of the game.
The third period proved to be the pivotal one for both teams as the game came alive. The Diablos opened on the power play but were unable to score with the man advantage. However at 15:11, six seconds after the power play expired and before the Buccaneers could regroup, the Diablos struck. D Mike Monroe blasted another shot on net that went just wide, LW John Blasingame gathered the puck behind the net and made a nice pass to C Steve Nelson out front who slammed it home for his third of the year. The Buccaneers refused to give up and answered back with an unassisted goal of their own 50 seconds later at 14:39.
Play continued back and forth until LW Jarick Losey was hooked while trying to gather in a puck at center ice at 12:52 and the Diablos went on the power play for the second time. Like the first round the Diablos failed to get set up until the very end of the power play. D Mike Monroe did it again setting up Losey's game winner, a hard shot from the slot that banked off what seemed like the entire Buccaneers team before sneaking past the goalie for his second of the year at 10:50, two seconds after the power play expired. RW Dean Groth picked up his second of the year at 08:33 after taking a nice outlet pass from D Mat Lindquist, streaking in alone and firing a laser into the far corner. The Diablos had a third power play at 08:02 on a Buccaneers hooking call but failed to convert.
The score was 4-1 and the Diablos were apparently in control, but the Buccaneers refused to go away. They kept up the pressure until at 01:45 they snuck a second one behind goalie Don Snyder. At 01:28 D Greg Smith was called for tripping when a Buccaneer player stepped on his stick and went down. The Buccaneers pulled their goalie and went on a 6 on 4 power play with earnest. The Diablos were greatly aided on the penalty kill when one of the Buccaneers players broke the blade completely off his skate and went down in a heap. The Buccaneers buzzed around the Diablos goal but were unable to take advantage and the game ended with a Diablos 4-2 win. Shots on goal for the Diablos were 10-9-9 for 28; for the Buccaneers were 5-5-10 for 20. Goalie Don Snyder improved his Diablos record to 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA and a 0.930 save percentage - good for #5 overall in the league!
Stars of the game:
#1 D Mike Monroe (0g, 3a, 1 pipe)
#2 LW Jarick Losey (1g, 0a)
#3 Kloster - Buccaneers (2g, 0a)
Up next - At home against the Ak Bars at the State Fair Coliseum on Sunday 11-25-07 at 6:00p. Official AHA Scoresheet. - JB