AUSTIN, Texas (AP) The Pond Hockey Club. Rivalry Night in Austin. The battles between the Snipez (nee: New Centaurs) and Bros HC always have the distinct playoff smell and style of play. Arguably the two grittiest clubs in the league always put on a fantastic show in front of family, friends, and peers. Coming in to last night’s game, Snipez’ league domination led by Michael Morris and Dylan Pratt were pitted against the smothering, fast paced play of the red hot Bros.
The first period of the game was an absolute grind, with both teams taking turns up and down the ice. Both teams struggled offensively in the neutral zone, and exceptional defensive plays and phenomenal goaltending set the tone. The Bros defensive determination looked to keep the high-scoring Snipez off the scoreboard, but a late period goal off a faceoff put the Snipez ahead 1-0 near the end of the first. Undeterred, the Bros managed to tie the game before the end of the period. Fantastic second efforts from Ross “The Bro Wagon” Tagtow and Fabian “Puke and Cry Bro” Figi set up Nick “Bro-ing It” Leggett. Leggett managed to score from above the faceoff circle.
The momentum favored the Bros in the second period. On a delayed hooking penalty, Chris “I Live For that Bro Look” Beard split two defenders and buried the puck past goalie Tom Ligh to put the Bros ahead at 2-1. Exceptional defense by the Bros helped the Bros carry the lead through the end of the second. Noah “Flying Bro Cloud” Leggett helped Figi and Steph “How’d You Pin That Bro on Me” Meyer keep Pratt and Morris off the puck in the neutral zone, wreaking havoc on the Snipez game plan. Captain Andrew “Water Bro” Feigenbaum and David “Muck Bro” Biagini continuously forced the Snipez breakouts to the corners to clear up the lanes. A late second period surge by the Snipez during a power play gave goalie Chris “Thumb Bro” Luscombe some heartburn, but Feigenbaum cleared the puck twice from precarious positions to keep the Bros ahead. Two of Luscombe’s saves will be SportsCenter’s Top Plays of the Day at #2 and #3 after Richard Panik’s #1 Play of the Day goal against the Penguins.
The Snipez tied the game early on in the third when former long-time Bro Mark Hendersenko found twine. The Bros, undeterred, pushed hard. Drew “Green Mind, Bro” John led several surges late in the game, but got tied up before he could set up a play or get a shot off on net. A fake shot pass by Feigenbaum to Tagtow couldn’t find the back of the net, and Tom “Hot Broritto #2” Harp came within micrometers of putting the Bros ahead on at least three occasions. Layne “Turnip Farm Bro” Brougher played a smart defensive game and he helped generate several plays with patient puck movement.
At the end of regulation, the score was tied at 2. Beard and Feigenbaum shot for the Bros. Both shooters had the puck roll on edge on them in the same place on the ice. Neither were able to score, and the Snipez took home the victory and two points on the game winning goal by Morris in the shootout.
After the game, Pierre McGuire caught up with coach Scott “Broget It” Van Pelt to discuss the team’s momentum and mentality with the playoffs on the horizon. “Well Pierre, you know, I thought we played a great game against those guys and we were really proud of shutting them down, but in the end, we realize our Achilles heel this season is the shootout.” McGuire gushed about the Bros defensive game, “You guys did a really great job containing Pratt. You know, I remember watching him come up in Whitby, and I just knew this guy was going to be something special in the beer leagues. His father’s second cousin’s neighbor’s boyfriend is a good fishing buddy of mine and Mike Babcock, so we got to see him lace up a lot as a kid, but you guys did a phenomenal job of shutting him down.” Van Pelt replied, “Yeah, I mean, we just look to keep him off the puck, and we really enjoy playing these guys and they really enjoy playing us. Seems to be a great rivalry building up between the two clubs.”
With his meritorious efforts offensively and defensively, Fabian Figi took home first star and the much sought after Gonzales Flag. For his defensive efforts and goal, Nick Leggett took home the second star and Gadsden Flag.
The Bros wrap up their regular season next Wednesday against the Mean Eyed Cats.
Eddie Valls- DNP because he wanted to test out his new macro lens set on the first bluebonnets of the season.
Larry Powell- DNP due to doing grown up things like getting caught up at work and learning how to use chopsticks.
BY THE NUMBERS
4- Shootout losses for the Bros this season
3.1- Points per game for Dylan Pratt
0- Points allowed to Pratt by the Bros last night.