Diablos Breath Easy Before Final Push
GOLDEN VALLEY, MN - The Diablo Hockey Club was able to score early and often on a short Buccaneer bench and was able to defeat the Buccaneers 7 to 1 to stay atop the AHA D1 West standings.
A sheet of ice so clean that a double helping scrambled eggs could have been served upon it greeted both teams last Saturday night in an early, 7:45 pm matchup. The Diablos entered the game with a noticeable spring in their gait after a huge 1-0 victory over the Nemesis. The Buccaneers, on the other hand, were in the D1 West doghouse, winners of only one this whole season. Despite this, the Buc's had played the Diablos tough in their previous two games this season and the Diablos were not going to take the Buc's lightly.
The Diablos were able to get on the board during the first shift when C - Ted Reiff's lack of judgment paid off. Rather than heading to the bench with his mates at the end of a shift, he tracked down a loose puck and pushed deep into the Buccaneer zone. Reiff was able to sneak around the defense and deposited the biscuit in the back of the net for an unrecognized 1-0 lead.
The next goal, which was also the game winner could be perhaps the most bizarre goal of the season. Goaltender Justin Alderink had corralled a loose puck and fired it up the ice to RW - Dave Christianson to start a breakaway. The puck got away from Christianson and ended up at the other end of the ice, on Buc's goaltender Pettengill's stick. He looked to forward the puck up to his team, but his pass hit an unidentified Buc defender in the breezers and it caromed into his net for an own goal. Alderink, being the last Diablo to touch the puck got credit for the goal and had a nice little "cele" to match it.
The Buc's were soon able to find the scoreboard when K. Krmpotich's hard work paid off when her wrister got past Alderink on a breakaway. (Perhaps now she can buy a vowel.) The Diablos were able to finish off the scoring for the period, however, as Reiff and LW - Jerrick Losey were able to finish with helpers from LW - John Driscoll and D - Andy Suerth, respectively.
A 4 - 1 lead was expanded during the second period as a shameful Driscoll left the penalty box and was able to fetch a pass from D - Mike Monroe for a sweet breakaway deke that gave him a yawning net for the finish. Perhaps it was Driscoll's shakes, or his own cheering section, but an inspired D - Greg Smith had the wind blowing beneath his wings as he picked up the puck on his blue line, weaved his way through traffic, found space for a wicked wrister and potted his first goal of the season. RW - Rocco Bonello finished off the scoring with great positioning and a solid finisher off of a pass through traffic from Reiff.
The Diablos posted their highest shot count of the season with 47 shots. On the other end, they were at their stingiest by allowing only 21 shots on goaltender Alderink. Excellent pressure on the puck by the Diablo wingers kept the puck in the Buccaneer end most of the evening.
Another Saturday game awaits next week, this time against the second place Ak Bars. The Diablos have split with the Ak Bars this season and the rubber match will have large implications for the final D1 West standings. Official AHA Scoresheet.
Here are the highlights.