St. Paul, MN - Eight straight shutout periods was enough for the Diablos on Sunday night. In a third period barrage, the Diablos not only ended their scoring drought, but they completed a stunning comeback in overtime to defeat the AHA Hockey Buzz 4-3 at Pleasant Arena.
The Diablos came into the game disheveled, after failing to put the puck in the net for two straight games. Call it the "Coliseum Curse" - both games were played at the State Fair Coliseum. The first two periods were filled with bad bounces, missed opportunities, and a 3-o Buzz lead. The Buzz's Schultz & Bottenfield scored the game's first two tallies in the first period off of rebounds that seemed to seek out their tape. Good positioning and quick reactions gave the Buzz a 2-0 lead after the first. Their third goal was a nice shot by B. Neuman through a screen and the five-hole.
The key word Sunday night for the Diablos was patience. The Diablos kept the pressure up during the third period and were able to open the scoring with a John Driscoll finish off of a 2 on 1 started by a Jarick Losey pass to a streaking Ted Reiff. Reiff was able to pull up his hockey pants and slide it across to Driscoll who buried it on the far post at 12:31. The Diablos stayed patient and kept working the puck in the Buzz zone. Ten minutes later, Greg Smith moved the puck to Todd Ewing who tapped it back to Andy Suerth, making him some space. Suerth took advantage, skated in and wristed a shot high above Buzz goaltender Ridgely's blocker for the second score. The Diablos were the team buzzing now and just before pulling Justin Alderink for an extra attacker, Captain Todd Ewing punched in a rebound off of a Dave Christianson shot for the equalizer at 1:28.
Diablo Goaltender Alderink had a pretty uneventful third period with some solid saves, but with less than a minute made the save of the game as an unidentified Buzz winger was able to pick up a turnover and skate it right in. Alderink stood on his head to make the save and send the game to overtime. Overall, Alderink faced 25 shots and turned 22 away.
Starting off the four minute, running time overtime with a 5 on 4 power play, the Diablos were unable to attack deep into the Buzz zone. Once the teams were back to even strength, though, they worked it down in the Buzz end and Reiff was able to scoop up a free puck and work it behind the goal. He was able to find Losey down by the far post who one-timed an improbable shot off of Ridgely's skate and in the back of the net for the dagger.
The Diablos get the win and the two points. They're tied with the Muskies for the middle of the D1 West division with 4 wins and 3 loses for 8 points. The Diablos have a double dip this week with a Thursday game against the Bruins (who recently upset the Muskies) at the Schultz Arena in St. Paul.
Official AHA Scoresheet - TR