AUSTIN, Texas (AP)- With the alluring scent of freshly wafting covfefe in the rafters, the Bros HC took to the ice on Wednesday night against the formidable Mean Eyed Cat (MEC) squad. Last week, the Bros lost a heart breaker to Snipez in a shootout, and the team looked to maintain sole possession of first place with the season winding down as the excitement of playoffs heats up. The stars aligned and the Bros had enough healthy scratches that they managed to sign longtime teammate Steph “On Your Bro Side” Meyer to a one day contract so that he could retire a Bro on his last full night in Austin.
This game was a grind from the opening possession. With the initial puck drop at 9:38pm, both teams looked as if the drop occurred at 12:18am. Both teams struggled to find their groove, but MEC scored deep into the first to take an early lead. Undettered, undaunted, and unfazed, the Bros pushed back when Noah “Something Bro Here” Leggett found twine from a set up from his blood brother Nick “Home Bro” Leggett after a beautiful takeaway from Kyle “Brordinary” McIntosh. This would seem to be the Bros motif for the evening, as Noah would go on to carry the Bros on his back en route to an eventual hat trick.
The second period featured more of the traditional muck and grind that these two teams bring out in one another. A second MEC goal was matched again by Noah, and solid neutral zone possession and neutral zone backchecking from Bert “Untitled Bro” Bischof kept the MEC honest for much of the period. The Bros had a few chances to capitalize and take the lead, including a beautiful shot pass from Leggett to Mike “Bro Bloom” Qualls that just missed Qualls’ stick.
The third period was again a muck and grind. Noah put the Bros ahead, but MEC used up seven of their nine lives to tie the game with six minutes remaining. Herculean defensive efforts from Chris “Bring You Down Bro” Beard, Drew “Wasting Bro Time” John, Kerry “Bromises” McAlister, and captain Andrew “Bro Disguise” Feigenbaum bolstered goalie Chris “I’m Still Here, Bro” Luscombe for the final minutes of the game.
For the third consecutive week, and fourth time this season, the Bros were forced to pick up a win in a shootout. After the MEC scored on their second attempt, Meyer buried his shot to keep the Bros alive. Luscombe, reminded everyone that he truly was still there with his sine qua non goaltending. He stopped the next 23 straight attempts against him until McIntosh scored in the 25th round to give the Bros a hard-fought victory.
After the game, Doc Emrick had a chance to catch up with Luscombe to ask how he stopped 23 consecutive shootout shots. “Doc, I just found my groove and managed to take away a lot of their options by not conceding to a forehand-backhand or playing my hand too early by going down in the butterfly prematurely.” Emrick also chatted with Meyer about the importance of this game for him personally. “Doc, I’m just really thankful I got to spend so many great seasons with this team, and it felt great to contribute tonight and get the win with these guys. I just want to be a Bro forever.”
For scoring three goals to carry the team through regulation, Noah Leggett was awarded the team’s coveted first star. For elevating the team through a Barn-record 25-round shootout, Chris Luscombe was awarded the team’s second star of the game.
The Bros face MEC again next week at 6:45pm.
-Fabian “Deadbeat Bro” Figi was a healthy scratch and spent the evening scraping catfish off the homemade blue line on his kitchen floor.
-Scott “Gone Bro” Van Pelt was a healthy scratch because he was filming a remake of the taping of the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” intro.
-Ross “Stuck Bro” Tagtow was a healthy scratch because Tinman needed a heart transplant.
-Travis “You Bro” Considine was a healthy scratch because he needed to keep his penalty minutes down or his mother said she’d ground him for the summer.
BY THE NUMBERS
-25 round shootout;
-23 consecutive shootout attempts stopped by Luscombe;
-3 goals by Noah;
-2 points for the win;
-1 last game with the Bros for Meyer.