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Last night, the Bros looked to battle their way to their sixth bronze medal finish. Standing in their way was the formidable Mean Eyed Cats (MEC) team that defeated the Bros in all three appearances by one goal in each match. The Bros took the ice wearing their classic star and cannon uniform to celebrate and honor the franchise’s leading scorer, Steph “Exp Bro” Meyer’s, final game as a Bro. After 10 seasons with the squad, Meyer will be moving on from the team to pursue a master’s degree in engineering.
The first period was messy, with neither team able get much set up in the offensive zones for much of the frame. The physicality between the rivals set the tone for the rest of the match. With less than four minutes left in the first, Noah “Bro From The Skies” Leggett won a faceoff in the offensive zone and captain Andrew “Spanish Castle Bro Magic” Feigenbaum found room and time at the blue line to backhand a pass to Nick “Wait Until Tomorrow, Bro” Leggett, who spun around two defenders to put the Blacksweaters ahead 1-0. The lead proved to be shortlived, as MEC tied the game shortly before the end of the period.
The second period opened up much like the first. Both teams, however, seemed to find their groove and shot attempts increased. On a delayed high-stick penalty against the Bros midway through, MEC found twine to take a 2-1 lead. Excellent puck movement from Tom “Ain’t Bro Telling” Harp and Drew “Little Bro Wing” John helped push the puck through the neutral zone. The two served as conduits for Meyer and Fabian “If 6 Was 9 Bro” Figi to set plays up deep in the forecheck zone. The Bros managed to tie the game in the closing minutes of the second when Eddie “You Got Me Floatin’ Bro” Valls scooped a rebound, toe dragged a defender, and scored.
The storybook ending heading into the third period took shape. The stage was set for Meyer to score the game winning goal for the Bros. His long time winger partner Ross “Castles Made of Bros” Tagtow managed to arrive in time for the puck drop, and a fire burned within the team to break the tie and emerge victorious. Dazzling efforts from Chris “She’s So Bro” Beard, physical crease presence from David “One Rainy Bro” Biagini, and acrobatic saves from goalie Chris “Little Miss Loverbro” Luscombe kept the Bros fighting. Layne “Bro as Love” pushed the puck into the offensive zone for countless opportunities. Despite a flurry of attempts, the Bros were simply unable to score again. A late turnover at the blue line by Brougher led to a MEC goal with three minutes remaining. The Bros hopes of winning faded as the MEC player’s stick crepitated as it hit the puck.
After a timeout called by the Bros with 1:10 remaining in regulation, the Bros sent out Meyer to give him the the storybook ending that only Disney magic could produce. Unfortunately, Disney does not have staff writers churning out scripts about beer league hockey comebacks, and the Bros fell to MEC by the score of 3-2.
NHL correspondent Kelly Nash spent some time with the Bros after the game at Slab BBQ to ask some of the team to reflect on Meyer’s impact on the franchise. Longtime linemate Figi said, “Kelly, we weren’t too good for a long time, but he just skated hard every shift and never gave up. It really rubbed off on us and he helped us play harder. We clicked really well and found a lot of success together.” Tagtow responded, “He’s a really great guy and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Mostly I’m just going to miss his locker room presence. ‘Shower Thoughts By Steph’ are always funny.” Biagini, the former captain of the Red Rockets reminisced on going head to head with Meyer. “He’s just strong on the puck. I always hated when he got penalty shots, because when his backhand was on, he was unstoppable. He’s a tough guy to play against- plain and simple.” Nash asked Feigenbaum about Meyer’s impact on the team. “Kelly, the very first game I played with him- we almost got in a fist fight on the bench. The gloves were off. After the game, we knew we both wanted the same thing and the team began to flourish. The guy just goes hard all the time. He’s a leading scorer, he’s a great locker room presence, he epitomizes everything about this franchise. He plays hard in the corners, always has his feet moving for the breakout, and everyone feeds off of him. He’s a true lead-by-example guy, and we will never find anyone to take his place. He was always borrowing cups, but we never told him that just about all of us carried an extra just for him. Maybe we should bronze one with his jersey number on it.” As she made her way to Meyer to ask him to reflect on his time with the Bros, Steph wiped a few tears away with his well-worn, occasionally washed jersey as he spoke in to her microphone. “I’m so thankful to get to play 10 consecutive seasons with an awesome group of guys despite having an extremely mediocre captain.”
Meyer, overwhelmed by the adoration of his teammates, was awarded the Gonzales Flag as first star of the game. Since it was his final game as a Bro, the team gave him his own to be proudly displayed wherever his educational path takes him. Valls and Nick Leggett took home the second star and the team’s Gadsden Flag.
The draft takes place this Friday; the Bros are looking to stay together, but management is cautiously optimistic at the prospects of new blood.
- Larry Powell DNP due to a back injury he received after slipping on his standup paddleboard on Town Lake.
BY THE NUMBERS
10- seasons with the Bros for Meyer
Boatloads- number of points for Meyer, the franchise leader.
0- Number of players who will ever truly fill his role with the team.