D1 Diablos fall 5-2 to Royals; Global Ski Mask Shortage.
DiabloHockey Correspondent Peter Sinesio reports from Highland Arena in St. Paul
If you were planning on giving someone a ski mask for the Holidays...you might want to make other plans. It appears as though the D1 Royals, who spent months stockpiling black ski masks, large nondescript brown bags, and black clothing, managed to steal a deceptively close game by defeating the D1 Diablos by a score of 5-2.
The Satanic Underground Kingdom's Bureau of Unholy Statistics for Hockey (SUKBUSH) confirmed that this was the closest 5-2 D1 Diablo game ever played. The Diablos came out flying and played a fast paced game. Outskating their opponents from the opening draw, the Diablos took the lead thanks to the lightning quickness of the "Power Line" of Dean "Machine" Groth, Dave "War Hammer" Schaefer, and Monique "AzzKikr" Lindquist (Schaefer from Groth & Lindquist). The Power Line used their speed to create chances throughout the game, and put what seemed like a hundred shots on the Royals Goalie.
If the Power Line put a hundred shots on, then the "Unholy Trinity of Steinbach" Line must have had a thousand. The Steinbach brothers Cory, Taylor, and Shane generated scoring chance after scoring chance using their speed, skill, and sheer will to win. Unfortunately, the Royals goalie had just won the lottery, hooked up with a supermodel, managed to get free snacks from the vending machine, gotten a huge undeserved promotion at work, made millions on a simple bank error, and was generally enjoying the luckiest day of his life.
As the game wore on, the Royals would score two consecutive goals to get ahead 2-1. The Diablos answered back when the "Destruction" line of Larry "Tomahawk" Eckman, Peter "Hail Satan" Sinesio, and Shawn "Mr. Clutch" Fricke scored to tie the game at 2 in the second period. Shawn Fricke, fresh off his nickname-earning goal with 50 seconds on the clock against the Spiders, battled hard to get the puck deep in the Royals zone. Peter Sinesio managed a short pass from behind the net, and it was all Eckman needed to bury it for his 2nd goal in 3 games.
Throughout the remainder of the game, the Diablos mostly outplayed, out-skated, and outshot the Royals. They don't award points based on shots though, and the Diablos suffered a few defensive lapses late in the game to finally fall 5-2. The game was 3-2 until just the final minutes of play, when the Royals managed to score on a few of the rare breakaway chances given up by the normally stingy Diablos.
In all, it was an impressive effort for the Diablos. Despite being outscored, the Diablos outshot the Royals 35-23. In the third period alone, the Diablos controlled play by outshooting the Royals 16-4. There were several occasions when the Royals, who have mastered the art of defensively collapsing around their goalie, got hemmed in their own zone for several minutes at a time. The Diablo defensemen did a great job keeping the puck in the offensive zone, and the Royals quickly lost their energy and gave up chances. Defenseman Mike "Death Cannon" Wrobel, in his Diablo debut, impressed his new teammates with strong 2-way play and several great shots on goal.
In a rare postgame interview, one Royals player, speaking only on condition of strict anonymity, said "[The Diablos] scared the shit out of us at first". When asked for a reaction to this sentiment, the Royals goalie said, "Yeah they totally--wait..hold on....I just found $1,000 on the ground....and another $20 in my pocket.....and it looks like someone is about to give me a new Lexus, free of charge..."
The remaining Royals players could not be reached for comment. Official AHA Scoresheet.