AUSTIN, Texas (AP)- The Pond Hockey Club. The fans gathered on the glass with beers in their hands and beards on their faces, and with the drop of the puck Rivalry Night™ had begun. Each team earned a chance or two right away—Snipez would fire a hard shot wide, then Fabian “My Fam, Bro” Figi would find the puck on the far boards and rush it up the ice for a chance on the other end. Pucks were sailing across the slot like trust fund kids across Lake Travis—but neither team could paddle one home. The best early chance might have found the twig of Bert “Bro-mares” Bischof, waiting at the back door, left wing side, only to see the puck ricochet off the goalie’s pads. After the game, Bert claimed he saw the chance replaying in his head whenever he closed his eyes.
The Bros were building momentum though, owning the puck, digging it out of the corners, firing shots from the point, and getting deflections—but every now and again an odd man rush would reverse the pressure. Drew “No Bro Substitute” John looked solid throughout, despite this being only his second game on defense, moving confidently to break up Snipez’ formations. He was finding the puck and clearing the zone like an experienced blueliner.
About halfway through the first though, a cleared puck got caught in traffic jam just outside the zone. Snipez chipped the 50/50 puck back toward the middle and came back across the blue line two-on-one. Chris “Waiting For Bro” Beard attacked the puck, but let the pass across to Inner Space Caverns tour guide Mike Morris, who beat Chris “Oh It’s Such a Bro”” Luscombe‘s glove with a laser to the far corner.
Not to be discouraged, your Bros fought back immediately. They swarmed Snipez on the next two shifts until Noah “It’s So Bro” Leggett decided to say “eff this group project, I’m just gonna do this myself.” He stole the puck, sped past the D, and fired the puck short side past the helpless ‘tender. The first period would end 1-1.
The second period was mostly a defensive struggle. Ross “I See Bro Standing There” Tagtow used his legs to stay between Snipez and the net, and employed some savvy stickwork to disrupt chance after chance. Strong backchecking from the Bro forwards kept the game tight as well, especially from the tireless Nick “We Who Bro” Leggett, who never likes to spend too long without the puck.
The only really good chance was given up by the Bros on a bad pinch by Beard, which allowed Morris to sprint up the middle of the ice. Drew and Beard both gave chase, almost impeding him enough to reach the puck—but afraid of giving up a shot to the Snipez’ best sniper, Beard lowered his shoulder and tossed Morris into the net. Interference. The refs called for the most exciting play in hockey: the penalty shot. Morris skated, deked— SAVE Luscombe! After 13 rounds of practice last week, he stopped the shot with ease, and the game remained tied.
Late in the period though, the Bros lost a key faceoff in their own zone, and a Snipez point man (unencumbered by a Bro winger) doinked a puck in off the tuchus of one of the tussling centers in front. The Bros would start the 3rd needing some smelling salts and some salty goals.
The period started rough. Snipez remained true to their name, as a wing skated up the right side boards, and fired a seeing eye shot to the far post from a tough angle. None of their three goals would come from in close, only shots from the perimeter—making them the Houston Rockets of pond hockey: no points in the paint and nothing but threes.
But you know your Bros have heart, and there was plenty of time to make up the two goal deficit. Michael “Turning Bro” Qualls and Travis “Puppet Bro” Consadine were grinding the whole game, but seemed to really gather momentum in the third. When the D looked to make a pass, they would be open. When the puck was dumped in, they would go win it back. That building momentum would finally start to pay off when Kyle “Bro is Forming” McIntosh found himself with some space above the right circle. He moved in mostly unguarded, and ripped a page right out of Snipez’ book—he picked his spot on the far post, and rang the puck off it and in to make it 3-2 with six minutes to play.
A late power play would provide the Bros the chance they needed. With a Snipez goon sent off for roughing, the Bros set up camp in the offensive zone and started zinging pucks toward the net. Blocked shots, deflections, bouncing pucks—chances were forming but fizzling. Beard looked to Luscombe, and called him to the bench for the extra attacker.
The power play was nearing its end, and Snipez cleared the zone, but the puck came right to Beard. He took the puck and flew wide around the stationary penalty killers into the zone. The middle of the ice was clogged, so Beard took the puck around behind the net, looking for an opening. Then—like a RAY OF HOLY LIGHT THROUGH THE CLOUDY SKY—Scott “Bros, Money, Bro Children” Van Pelt appeared, with his stick on the ice and facing the net. Beard fired the puck through to SVP who tipped it in—one-timer, TIE GAME. We’re going to OVERTI—oh, wait, we just do some ridiculous skills competition in the regular season.
The Snipez sniped their first shot of the SO, and earned the 2 points with a 1-0 SO win. Nonetheless, the Gary Bettman Loser Point™ was a happy consolation for the Bros, who despite their hard work, never led in the game.
Kerry “Bro-ing All Away” McAlister missed the game while trying out for Real World Miami: It is What it is
Andrew “My Shad-bro” Feigenbaum missed the game after getting caught in an overly long conversation about what did and what did not belong on a hot dog
SVP would earn the coveted (and still missing) Gonzales flag for his late game heroics as the game’s first star
Drew’s Fleshlight would receive the second star and Gadsden flag for keeping Drew calm and out of the sin bin
By the Numbers
3 Point lead for Bros HC over 2nd place with 3 games to go
2 Bros HC power plays
1 Snipez’ penalty shots
0 Special teams goals for either team