AUSTIN (AP)—Last night the stage was set for the Bros Hockey Club to set an unprecedented standard of mediocrity as they pursued a fourth straight third place finish in their The Pond Hockey Club beer league division. Standing in their way was the hungry Wolves team. Historically, the Bros and the Wolves matches are often too close to predict until the waning seconds, and last night’s game proved to be no different, as the Bros gained a 10-9 lead in the last two minutes, and ultimately won 11-9.
The Blacksweaters bench was light, with only six skaters to assist broalie Steven “Tell It To Me” Sullivan, so the Bros set out to take advantage of the three line pass icing rules at the Pond to ensure clean line changes and to prevent the Wolves from opening up on the breakouts. The strategy was effective all night, and the Wolves found themselves hard-pressed to find breakaways or unable to generate quality odd-man rushes against the Star and Cannon.
The Bros established the tone early when Roy “Big Time In The Jungle” St. John and Steph “Tear It Down” Meyer connected on a beautiful odd-man rush. St. John sauced a pass over the Wolves’ defenseman’s stick and the puck found Meyer’s tape and ultimately the back of the net. Meyer finished the game with a team-leading four goals.
St. John’s presence was felt the entire game by the Wolves. He again proved that the Most Improved Player trophy should be hoisted above his head. While he did not score last night, St. John’s biggest statistic was that he prevented the Wolves from scoring. He tirelessly outworked the Wolves in the boards and his contributions were incalculable.
Bro Noah “CC Rider” Leggett added a hat trick, which included the go-ahead, game-winning goal on a sun setting, stutter stepped, back leg dangle penalty shot. Leggett spoke with PHC on NBC correspondent Jeremy Roenick after the game and Roenick asked him about that penalty shot. “Well, I just knew all game that Luty was struggling blocker high all night, so I just tried to bait him with the dangle and then go shortside high. It just kinda worked out, I guess.” Leggett was rewarded with the team’s coveted Gonzales Flag for his contributions during the game, and for stepping in the last half of the season for Bro Marc “We’re All In This Together” Henderson.
Danno “Tear It Down” Pranno played one of his best games of the season for the Bros. Pranno consistently found himself providing neutral zone presence and net presence on the forecheck. He was able to draw Wolves in the slot and did a great job as the setup man for Meyer and Eddie “Hard To Love” Valls. Valls tallied a hat trick, including the game-tying goal, and the empty net dagger. His defensive efforts helped stifle multiple breakout attempts by the Wolves, and he led all Bros in turnover generation as well. Valls’ night also included an assist on captain Andrew “Poor Man” Feigenbaum’s bar down snipe from the point. Feigenbaum collected two assists on the night to both Meyer and Valls.
BY THE NUMBERS:
4- Straight third place finishes for the Bros.
3- Number of Bros with at least three goals last night.
– Scott “Trials & Troubles” Van Pelt did not play due to oenophobia.
– Ross “Hard To Tell” Tagtow did not play due to a stomachache from eating too many Lifesavers.
– Scott “Take ‘Em Away” Poniewaz did not play because he recently watched Anchorman for the 823rd time and finally decided to find out what the idiom “When In Rome” means. We’ll let you know what he finds out when he returns.
– Fabian “Wagon Wheel” Figi is trying to improve his middle-out discovery technique in Switzerland.