AUSTIN, Texas- (AP) The Pond Hockey Club. Summer vacations, staycations, and spousal placations are in full swing during the summer session, but each team presses on toward one final goal and sets their sights on the championship. Last night was business as usual for the Bros, who faced the always scrappy Mean Eyed Cat (MEC) squad that seemingly used up all nine of their lives (and skaters) last week in a shootout win against Golden Thrashers. Historically, the Bros and MEC bounce back and forth, with both teams taking turns delivering defeating blows to the other. Dressed in their traditional home black sweaters with white shoulders, and unapologetically Texan Gonzales Star and Cannon, the Bros quickly put this game out of reach on their way to a 6-3 win.
The Bros started out hot with Kevin “Ready To Rock Bro” Gifford lighting the lamp on the team’s second shot of the night within the first three minutes of the game. MEC quickly responded, but the Bros bounced right back shortly thereafter when Gifford found twine again with the help of Noah “Do It All Bro” Leggett and Kyle “That Real Bro” McIntosh to put the Bros back on top. The rest of the first period was a chess match of MEC cherrypicking and a subtle Bros counterattack quarterbacked by Chris “Let It Bro” Beard. With deft defensive moves forcing shooters high and wide, Bert “Bromerican Greed” Bischof continues to fine-tune his positional play for the Blacksweaters.
The MEC struck first in the second, and both teams continued their grind for several minutes. Gifford picked up his third goal of the game, the hattrick, with the assistance of fantastic two-way play from center Fabian “Bro Need Superficial” Figi and Beard. The game was put on pause for a few minutes as the ice crew scraped off and removed brisket and tacos from the ice thanks to rowdy fans celebrating the three goal effort. After that, the team simply pulled away. Outstanding defense from Nick “Bro In Bro Out” Leggett and smart coverage by Steve “Anothers Bro Grind” Czerniak helped Beard set up Scott “Set Bro Free” Van Pelt‘s goal, to put the Bros up 4-2. Van Pelt barely missed burying the puck into the back of the nylon strings on another golden opportunity on the same shift. To keep things interesting for the fans, MEC scored their final goal before the end of the period to narrow the gap.
The Bros stormed the ice in the third period playing with their signature sui generis style and swagger. Goalie Chris “You Bro Who You Are” Luscombe and captain Andrew “Think of Things Bro” Feigenbaum played keepaway in the defensive zone with Nick Leggett, and Feigenbaum connected with Gifford on a brilliant read by both players that ended with Gifford scoring his fourth goal of the game, tying a single-game franchise record. McIntosh later cherried the game with a goal on a Figi assist.
The underlying tone of the game is the overall improvement. Despite a few breakdowns, the Bros were quick to adjust. Jay “Right Side of the Bro” Wood and Travis “No Sugar No Cream Bro” Considine made strong adjustments. Both players were skating unfamiliar positions and both made positive impacts for the team. Wood had two strong board battle victories that led to two Bros goals, and Considine continues to pester and baffle opponents with his unique style of play that constantly draws penalties.
For his overall play and strong neutral zone presence, McIntosh took home the team’s first star, and Gifford picked up second star. Locker Room Reporter Jeremy Roenick caught up with Kyle and his fans after the game for a quick post-game interview. Jeremy asked how the team feels heading into Saturday’s grudge match against Burt’s Reynolds (formerly Barn Burners). “You know, Jeremy, we’re just gonna take it how it comes right now. We’re playing pretty solid hockey, mate, and this team is just gonna keep going and grind and play smart puck.”
The game against Burt’s Reynolds is THIS SATURDAY at 3:10pm.
BY THE NUMBERS
4- Goals by one Bro in a game. Gifford ties…
…3 other current Bros who have also scored 4 in a game (Leggett, Leggett, and McIntosh)
Ross Tagtow was a healthy scratch due to life savers candymaking classes. While the Bros support a “school first” mentality, the adage “You can retake the class but you can’t replay the game” does hold true.