Golden Valley, MN - The D1 West Diablos were able win their biggest hockey game of the season on Saturday with a 3 - 1 win over the second place Nemesis. The Diablos were able take advantage of a Peter Sinesio putaway and two Dean Groth goals while keeping the Nemesis from getting too cozy in front of goaltender Justin Alderink. The win gives the Diablos two crucial points in the tightening D1 West standings.
The Diablo game plan was to keep the high flying Nemesis from getting too many skaters moving the puck in the neutral zone, while getting some quality shots off on their own. The Diablos started off with a first period goal from Sinesio after Larry Eckman was able to free the puck up and throw it toward the goal. A few shifts later, Sinesio was in the vicinity of a falling Nemesis player and was sent off with a trip. The ensuing penalty kill was full of opportunities... for the Diablos. John Driscoll threw a puck toward the net and Groth was there for the finisher.
Although the Nemesis out-shot the Diablos 40 - 28, the Nemesis was mostly stymied by Diablo's netminder, Justin Alderink. The second period brought the Nemesis their best opportunity when Stanger, the D1 West leading goal scorer, converted on a breakaway. After that, Alderink was golden, keeping all shots out of the back of the Diablo net.
The Nemesis had a generous stretch during the third period and the Diablos found themselves on a 5 on 3 powerplay. Groth potted his second goal of the night after he was able to pick up a rebound off of an Andy Suerth slapper. At that point, the Diablo plumbers kept the Nemesis from organizing any substantial comeback.
With the two points, the Diablos are now tied for second with the Nemesis with 14 apiece. The Ak Bars are first with 16 and will be the Diablo opponent in two weeks, however, the red hot Buccaneers are next on the schedule. That match up will take place at West Side / Yackel Arena next Sunday at 5:30 pm.
Official AHA Scoresheet. - TR