AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters)- For centuries, scholars maintained that the two-goal lead is the worst lead to have, and the Bros HC found out the hard way last night just how easy it is to lose it. On a night ushering in the NHL’s Western Conference Power Era and the Auston Matthews Aura, the stage was set at The Pond Hockey Club for the Bros to add another victory to the win column against a struggling and battered Learn To Skate (LTS) squad.
The Bros started strong in the first period, and dominated puck possession. The first goal of the game came halfway through the first period when Bro Nick “Cry Baby” Leggett buried a five hole shot off a spoon-fed puck from his brother Noah “Mess Around” Leggett. The two continue to be a dynamic pairing and spark for the Star and Cannon. Despite multiple scoring opportunities, LTS goalie Sean Booth kept his team hot for blood.
The Bros found their rhythm in the second period, and Stephan “Sweetie Little Jean” Meyer and Fabian “Too Late To Say Goodbye” Figi added immense offensive firepower and neutral zone pressure on the overwhelmed LTS squad. Despite multiple collisions between LTS defenseman Kurt Maciej and several Bros throughout the second period, many of which only appeared remotely accidental, the Bros kept their cool. Figi took a pass from Scott “Cold Cold Cold” Van Pelt and increased the lead to the ever dangerous two goals. As the second period came to a close, LTS scored on goalie Chris “Trouble” Luscombe. Luscombe played admirably despite fighting a few lower body injuries. As his conditioning regiment continues, the team expects him to continue his meteoric rise to legendary beer league goalie status.
The third period was a vintage Bros performance of how to not play hockey. With the exception of Noah Leggett’s beaut-status top shelf goal which reestablished the two point lead, the rest of the period was atrocious. The period was marred by two fights, including a brawl, dilatory play offensively and defensively, and the Bros saw their two goal lead collapse to a tie that led to their eventual shootout loss after a 3-3 regulation draw. Drew “Tell Me I’m Pretty” John and Ross “Portuguese Knife Fight” Tagtow played well, with John playing some of his best hockey of the season in the third period. Tagtow had two breakaway opportunities thwarted by Booth.
Larry “How Are You True” Powell and captain Andrew “That’s Right” Feigenbaum played solid defensively. Powell also had several shots from the point; however, he needs to keep his shots low to help generate deflection opportunities. At least four of his shots went through the uprights at DKR Stadium. Feigenbaum played a pivotal during multiple prolonged stretches of penalty kills in the third. Chris “Punchin’ Bag” Beard continues to be the ultimate team grinder, and is winning over the hearts of his teammates with his grit and hustle. His shootout goal was certainly highlight worthy despite the losing effort. A true team player, Beard has become an invaluable member of the roster. Layne “Spiderhead” Brougher’s skating was markedly improved last night, however he found himself in a few self-induced precarious situations, of which one led to the eventual LTS game-tying goal.
Throughout the game, tensions were boiling between Maciej and the Bros. The referees continued to ignore the railroading collisions between Maciej and multiple Bros, including Feigenbaum, both Leggetts, Brougher, and Meyer, and Beard. The common denominator in all of those big hits was Maciej. The first kerfuffle between the Bros, Maciej, and one other LTS player occurred after the whistle blew on a Bros shot. Van Pelt took offense to how Maciej played recklessly all night. At some point, the referees should have stepped in and put an end to the seemingly apparent open ice hits and hipchecks into the boards, but they refused. After Noah Leggett scored in the third, he skated by Maciej and chirped him. In retaliation, Maciej, who is nearly twice the size of Leggett, slammed Leggett’s head intentionally into the boards. After the dust settled and the yardsale ended, Maciej and one other LTS player received 10 minute major penalties, as did Van Pelt. Despite a plea from the Bros that Maciej should be ejected, he was not. Needless to say, the game film will be reviewed by the Commissioner in the war room today to determine if additional disciplinary action is warranted.
For his valiant efforts in defending his teammates, Van Pelt was awarded the team’s coveted Gonzales Flag.
The team will be at the Texas Stars Hockey game Saturday night. Look for the flag if you are in attendance!
Next week, the Bros take on the red hot Michael Morris, Tom Ligh, Dylan Pratt and the rest of the undefeated New Centaurs at 8:10 pm.
BY THE NUMBERS:
6- Power play opportunities in which the Bros did not score.
4- Power play opportunities in which LTS did not score.
4- Games the Bros have lost this season by one goal.