AUSTIN (AP)- The Pond Hockey Club was buzzing last night as fans fought Mopac, Interstate 35, and Loop 360 traffic to pack the Barn for a highly touted matchup between the Bros HC and Learn To Skate.
The two teams were very evenly matched through much of the first period, but the Bros got a lucky break when the puck ricocheted off of Ross “Nine Bros” Tagtow’s skate past LTS goalie Brandon Fawks for the first score of the night. LTS came roaring back a few minutes later when they scored off an unbelievable deflection that sent the puck banging off broalie Chris “Heavy On Your Love” Luscombe’s shoulder, smacking the crossbar with stentorian resonation, hitting Luscombe’s back, and dropping just past the goal line. Luscombe, garnisher of the team’s Gonzales Flag, played another outstanding game last night despite the outcome.
The second period was not kind to the Bros. They were on the receiving end of two questionable penalty calls that resulted in two successful LTS power play goals. Despite the calls, the Bros had multiple chances with a 5-on-3 power play advantage, but the squad was unable to capitalize on the opportunity. The team found themselves down 4-1 at the end of the second period.
The Star and Cannon roared to life in the third. Led by the grit and hustle of Nick “Drop It (An Old Disguise)” Leggett and Fabian “Only The Strong Survive” Figi, the Bros sprang to life and finally looked like a team with the potential for success. Leggett’s greasy goal was set up by his brother, Noah “Easy Money” Leggett, and Figi broke free with the puck, snapped a head fake, and scored with an unconventional looking five-hole wrist shot. For his grit, hustle, leadership, and competitiveness, Figi was awarded the team’s beloved Gonzales Flag.
With the minutes winding down and the Bros intensity revving up, LTS was forced to take longer shifts as the Blacksweaters’ forecheck prevented LTS players from coming off the ice. The Bros were unable to score again, and the team lost another heartbreaker, 4-3.
Despite the loss, the team is really vibing. If the third period is any indication of where the Bros are going, fans can expect to see some fireworks. The team rolled two forward lines, which featured Steph “Rock & Roll Music” Meyer slotted on wing along Scott “Take Me” Van Pelt with Figi at the helm. At wing, Meyer excelled at digging the puck out of corners, winning board battles, and had sublime neutral zone presence to prevent LTS from making the deep breakout pass. Consequently, LTS did not have a single odd-man rush the entire game. Van Pelt and captain Andrew “I Need You Tonight” Feigenbaum were on the same neural wave, with Feigenbaum hitting Van Pelt on countless breakout passes, and the two even had a brilliant scoring opportunity when Feigenbaum sauced an ankle high shot to Van Pelt’s stick. Despite Van Pelt’s screen and beautiful deflection attempt, Fawks made a phenomenal save.
The other forward line was powered by Noah Leggett at center, with his brother and Tagtow playing wings. The balance of the two lines was superb, and the Bros are confident that the offense will only continue to flourish as the season progresses.
Defensively, the Bros had good moments and ugly moments. Despite the exceptional efforts of Chris “Meet Me On The Mountain” Beard, LTS seemed to find ways to score. Layne “Back On The Road Again” Brougher continues to improve and his confidence with the puck is only increasing. While he needs to be cautious of drawing the opponents on him while in his defensive zone, his first-pass abilities were markedly better last night than the game last week against the Leftovers. Jason “Roll With The Changes” Klotzer played well in his first B1 game after getting the call-up from the Blueshirts.
Next week, the Bros play a pivotal early-season game against the newest B1 Powerhouse, New Centaurs. This is a statement game and must-win for the Bros. New Centaurs, who punished Leftovers last night, have demonstrated that they are the team to beat this season. A Bros victory against the NC will send a message to the league that the boys are here to win championships.
Puck drop next week is at 6:45pm. The Bros will be holding an autograph session with fans at Pluckers after the game. Also, fans who purchased the Bro Victory Black VIP Glass Seats package for the game are entered to win “Five Free Wings” Pluckers cards.
Larry Powell missed last night’s game due to taking a knee on I-35 NB to protest traffic and the proposed $550M I-35 improvement bond package.
Drew John missed last night’s game due to another listeria concern (We’re looking at you, Blue Bell Ice Cream!)
BY THE NUMBERS:
2- Straight games when Ross Tagtow scored the Bros first goal.
2- Straight losses by the Bros when Ross Tagtow scores the Bros’ first goal.
5- The elusive number of goals required to be guaranteed a victory at the Barn.