PLYMOUTH MN, The immortal Alabama football coach, Bear Bryant, once described playing to a tie like "kissing your sister". If that's true, there was a lot of sisterly love in the opening round of the D1 playoffs last night as three of the four matchups ended in ties. The Diablo's and Ak Bars did their part in skating to a hard fought 2 - 2 tie.
The Ak Bars came out and out-skated the Diablo's in the first period, but it was a Dean Groth wrist shot low and away that put the Diablos on the board first. Ted Reiff got credit for the assist. However, as quickly as the Diablos got on the board, the Ak Bars scored the equalizer and the go ahead goal on successive shifts. Both D. Bannister and K. Nelson scored from their blueline, :23 apart to take a lead that would hold through two periods.
The Diablo's seemed to be slow of foot in the first period, but picked up the pace in the second and the third. Jarrick Losey notched the pace up even further when he collected a puck in his own end and skated it up. With grace, poise, and the speed of a thoroughbred, he weaved his way past the Ak Bar blue line. He shoulder-shimmied the Ak Bar defender which provided just enough space to unleash his cobra-like wrist shot through the closing space between the defenders and over the glove of Ak Bar goaltender T. Cain. If a prettier goal was scored last night, this reporter did not see it. With that goal, Losey is one third of the way to riding the bull.
The score remained tied throughout the third. The Diablo's found their legs and buzzed the Ak Bar goal, but couldn't convert any chances. The Diablo's were able to shoot 22 pucks on Cain, while goaltender Justin Alderink saw 25 and discarded 23.
The Diablo's will continue their improbable playoff run with a Friday night game against the D1 East Renegades on the west sheet at St. Louis Park. The Puck Drops at 6:00. Official AHA Scoresheet - TR