AUSTIN (AP)- The Pond Hockey Club celebrated the opening of their facility and program expansions this past weekend to kick off the inaugural seasons of new adult hockey offerings in the Heart of Texas. During the off season between the Bros’ fourth straight third place finish in the Pond beer leagues, the team elected to jump to B1. The Bros Pond team became a player development program for the 5v5 squad, and recently rebranded as the Blueshirts.
Last night the Star and Cannon kicked off the inaugural B1 season at the Barn, the Pond Hockey Club’s new elite USA Hockey ice sheet, in a gutsy battle against the Leftovers. Your Bros ultimately fell to their opponent 4-3. From the early minutes of the game, fans and players alike knew that goals would be sparse and that the outcome would rest between newcomer Bro goalie Chris “Bro Stewart” Luscombe and the grizzled rink rat goaltender Michael Nightingale. Although the Blacksweaters lost, and despite the fact that Luscombe has not played competitive hockey for more than three consecutive presidential terms, he was awarded the team’s coveted Gonzales Flag for making big stops in clutch moments throughout the game. Mike Milbury spoke with Luscombe about how his time off the ice impacted his game, and Luscombe replied, “Well Mike, I feel really good, we were in this game all night, and we’re only going to get better. I don’t hurt in any weird places, so that’s good, but ask me again tomorrow!”
After a hard, scoreless first period battle in which both teams demonstrated supreme longanimity, the Leftovers struck first early in the second period. Shortly thereafter, the Bros retaliated when Ross “Every Picture Tells A Story” Tagtow scored to tie the game. The period continued and the Bros demonstrated a far superior forecheck presence. Led by Nick “Seems Like A Long Time” Leggett, Fabian “(I Know) I’m Losing You” Figi, and Steph “That’s All Right” Meyer, the Bros generated countless opportunities for offensive production. Pierre McGuire spent the entire second period between the glass gushing about the Bros new offensive swing play to anyone unfortunate enough to overhear him. “Guys, I spent a lot of time watching Nick come up through the Chaparral beer leagues, and I gotta tell ya, he is going to be a great fit for this hockey club. He generates opportunities for himself, he generates opportunities for his teammates, and he is going to make his presence known. You put him out there with longtime Bros Figi and Meyer, and these guys are just going to be scary good this season.”
While Leggett was garnishing the attention of both McGuire and the Leftovers, it was his older brother, Noah “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” Leggett who took a pass from captain Andrew “Maggie May” Feigenbaum coast-to-coast to set up longtime Bro Scott “Mandolin Wind” Van Pelt for the Bros second goal. Leggett appeared to fake a last second shot and instead sauced Van Pelt a beauty for the easy goal for last night’s Pinthouse PizzaPlay Of The Game. Van Pelt also scored the Bros’ third goal with a beauty after Luscombe was pulled with a minute left in the game.
New Bro HC member Drew “(Find A) Reason To Believe” John kicked the rust off last night, and showed considerable improvement as the game progressed. It’s only a matter of time before he’s up to speed and wreaking havoc on the ice.
The Bros were strong defensively all night, winning countless one-on-one battles, forcing the Leftovers to take the puck into the corners, or generate turnovers on rushed passing. Chris“Gasoline Alley” Beard played an incredible game, and his two-way abilities will help cement the Bros as a legitimate championship contender. Layne “Only A Hobo” Brougher found ways to buy time for the forwards to break free. His potential is potentially exponential, and he is another darkhorse cog in the Bro machine to be a playmaker and game changer. Larry “My Way of Giving” Powell skated his first game back after a prolonged stint on the injured reserves at the Pond. He was solid defensively, and as he settled in to the pace of play, began making good passes to the wings on the breakout. His expansive, albatross-like reach will be invaluable for the Bros.
Next week at the Barn, the Bros face Learn To Skate in the Wednesday Matinee game at 6:45pm.
Bro Eddie Valls is out for the season with a broken collarbone. He will be undergoing surgery on Friday. Best wishes for an expedited recovery, and expect to see him behind the bench in his finest of Don Cherry blazers for upcoming games.