Monday, December 17, 2007

Recap II: Diablos Win 4-3 in OT

(*Note: I had asked Jarick or Peter if they wanted to write a recap. Jarick first declined, but then I got one after I posted below. If anyone else wants to write a recap, send it in! (I tried posting Todd's email, but for some reason, the software melted down) - TR)

Good spirits filled the plywood box that made up the locker room for the night, setting the tone for the evening: work hard and have fun, no matter what happens on the scoreboard. Coming off back-to-back shutout losses, the Diablos knew all they needed was one good shot, one dirty goal, and the rest would follow.

The game got off to a fast start immediately as the newly-formed line of Losey-Reiff-Driscoll took the ice. Right from the opening faceoff, the Diablos skated the puck into the offensive zone, fired their shots, and drove hard to the net. A quick turnover led to a rush going the other way as Justin Alderink made a quick glove save. It would be a fast game. Several more chances were followed up by the Sinesio line, featuring the return of LW John Blasingame to the lineup and the premiere of Matt Lindquist at forward. The Ewing-Christenson-Monique Lindquist line spent most of the night doing the dirty work, shutting down the Buzz's top line and getting several looks as well.

Although the Diablos peppered goalie Ridgely with shots, the Buzz struck first at 11:16 of the first period as Schultz scored unassisted. The Diablos were 0-3-0 when the other team scores first, but they kept their spirits up and continued the forecheck. Their bad luck continued, however, as Bottenfield notched the second goal of the night for the opposing team 2:23 before the first intermission.

Justin stood tall in the second period as the Buzz circled the offensive zone. The lone Diablos penalty was borne of frustration as the puck repeatedly managed to find the stick of a black-and-yellow player. Once again, the hard work of the Diablos went unrewarded as Buzz player Neuman scored their third of the night with 3:19 left in the second.

Having gone eight full periods without a single goal, the Diablos knew they had to work as hard as ever on the ice. It seemed as though the curse would continue as the seconds ticked away with the goose egg on the board. But spirits remained high on the bench, teammates voicing their support for the strong plays in the offensive zone and the great stops by Alderink. The Diablos caught a break as the Buzz were caught with an extra man on the ice, and the power play would prove to be the turning point. At the tail end of the bench minor, LW Jarick Losey flipped a quick pass in the defensive zone to C Ted Reiff. Reiff made another quick pass in the neutral zone as RW John Driscoll streaked down the wing, entered the zone, and fired. At 12:31 remaining in the third period, the curse was broken, the shutout streak had ended, and the comeback had begun.

The Buzz defense stood tall, but the Diablos had tasted blood and wanted more. With another quick breakout late in the period, D Greg Smith sent a long pass to Diablos captain and LW Todd Ewing, who gave it to D Andy Suerth. Suerth, known more for his physical play and bench language, fired a quick wrist shot past the goalie for the Diablos second goal of the night with 4:30 left in the period. Captain Ewing, who struggled with an equipment issue throughout the night, led his team by example as he nabbed the game-tying goal off a great pass by C Dave Christenson with 1:52 in the game. In the dying seconds of the third, Alderink saved his team by stopping a breakaway chance, which gave the team much needed energy for the coming overtime.

Although they struggled to break out the puck early in the extra minutes, the Diablos turned up the heat in the offensive zone, firing shot after shot towards the Buzz netminder. The Reiff line had plenty of scoring chances as wingers Losey and Driscoll battled to clear the net and their center nabbed every loose puck. As the puck slid behind the goal, Reiff shot a quick pass to Losey, who shot the puck into the slot and true to form, he was the last to know as another ugly goal found its way off an opposing player and in with 1:52 left in OT. The Diablos had scored four unanswered goals late in the dying minutes of the game to earn their fourth win of the season in an amazing character win. - JLosey

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