AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters)- The Pond Hockey Club. Last night the Bros looked to conclude their Winter 2017 season on a high note against the Mean Eyed Cats (MEC) before the playoffs begin next week. Instead, the Bros, mathematically set to play Barn Burners in the first round, looked listless at times in what fans and coach Scott Van Pelt can only hope is not an ominous sign of things to come.
At times last night, the Bros, drenched in victory gold and black from head to toe, appeared to put the pieces together, offensively. However, the Bros failed to heed the battle cry of the great philosopher Lil’ John, who famously yelled “SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS!” once or twice, or maybe three times. The Bros registered four shots in the first period. Exceptional efforts were made by Nick “Pretty Bro Pimpin'” Leggett and Drew “Bro’s an Outlaw” John in the first. Their hustle and grit along with the skill of goalie Chris “Dust Bronnies” Luscombe held MEC to just one goal. When the sound of the buzzer reverberated through the rafters of the Barn to signal the end of the first period, the Bros found themselves down by a goal.
Captain Andrew “That’s Life, Bro” Feigenbaum and Noah “Wheelbro” Leggett found an early rhythm on defense, and the pair helped set up Eddie “Bro Life Like This” Valls‘ beautiful goal. Ross “All in a Daze Work, Bro” Tagtow pulled off a rebound and found the space for a beautiful pass to Valls, whose tenacity and persistence lead to the tying goal. The lead was short lived, as MEC answered with another goal within 90 seconds of Valls‘ goal. The undeterred Bros briefly roared back to life, and the relentless hustle from Nick Leggett lead to his game-tying goal with help from Tom “Lost My Head There, Bro” Harp and a great neutral zone push from Fabian “Stand Inside, Bro” Figi. The second period ended at a 2-2 draw, with the Bros tallying only six more shots on net.
Mike Milbury caught up with Nick Leggett after the second period and asked him about the goal. “I dunno, Mike. Their D-man was on me hard and I almost kinda lost my edge there on my left. He went to poke check and body me, but I got his stick up and he lost his twig and left me get my shot off before blowin’ a tire out there.”
The third period featured long stretches of MEC forechecks. Chris “Bad Bromens” Beard valiantly protected the crease for Luscombe, sacrificing his body to preserve the Bros’ chances of winning. Larry “Kidding Around Bro” Powell made his return felt last night, with his pterodactyl-esque wingspan poking pucks away with the prowess of a seasoned veteran. Midway through the third, a battle in front of Luscombe broke out, and referee Joe Johnstone impeded Feigenbaum from a play along the side of the net. Feigenbaum’s stick got caught in Johnstone’s leg, and the stick was stripped from his hands. Without his stick, the captain rushed to the front of the crease to protect Luscombe. David “Bro Imagination” Biagini stood his ground and with a Herculean effort, he managed to push bodies and puck to the corner. As Feigenbaum retreated to pick up his stick behind the net where Johnstone left it, the puck made its way back to the crease where a goal was called. Coach Van Pelt, had he been able to make the team bus in time, would have thrown the coach’s challenge on the call, as the Bros on the ice at the time believed there was irrefutable evidence to overturn the call. Unfortunately, in the beer leagues, the presence of net cameras and Intel’s 360-degree angle cameras borrowed from the NFL is scarce. A late push from the Bros, included an opportunity where Tagtow was robbed of his first goal of the season off a beautiful one-timer set up by Figi.
With the sound of the final buzzer, the Bros lost another game by one goal. They finished the regular season at 3-5-4. The team looks for another successful playoff run beginning next week. For his exceptional efforts in stopping 28 of 31 shots, Chris Luscombe earned the first star of the game and the Gonzales flag. Eddie Valls picked up second star of the game and the team’s Gadsden flag.
–Steph “Bro Vile” Meyer DNP due to cedar fever; the only prescription for which is more than just cowbell.
–Layne “It’s a Big Bro Out There” Brougher DNP due to experiencing signs of snoreovirus.
BY THE NUMBERS
-3 wins this season for the Bros, their fewest in over 7 seasons;
-5 seed for the Bros push for the playoffs;
-14 shots registered by the Bros last night, a franchise record-low;