AUSTIN, Texas (AP) The Pond Hockey Club. As the regular season for the Summer 2017 session comes to a denouement , the Bros looked to power through a four game losing streak against a late-season slumping Snipez squad. Players checked in with one another with genuine concern to make sure friends and family are safe after Hurricane Harvey decimated many parts of our beloved state. Bro Ross “Waddlin Around Bro” Tagtow missed the game because he was sent out as part of the disaster response. In all seriousness, Harvey really put a hurtin’ on Texas. The folks in Austin are safe, but please consider donating time, money, or supplies to a number of different charitable organizations to help those affected. As in life, the show must go on, and hockey heals hearts. The distinct crisp, dry smell of the ice, the clacking of pucks against sticks, the serrated swishing noise of steel blades cutting the ice; hockey has the ability to help us put life on pause, even if for a little while.
The Bros and Snipez hit the ice with only winning in mind. The teams went back and forth early, but the Bros struck first when Kevin “Fishfight Bro” Gifford scored on a beautiful feed from Chris “Get Down Bro” Beard. The goal would ultimately be the first of Gifford’s hattrick on the night, and the first of four points for Beard. Not to be shown up, on the next shift, Fabian “Hold Me Tight Bro” Figi quarterbacked his line to a goal by setting up Kyle “Love You So Bro” McIntosh who sent a shifty and deceptive pass to Steve “Got It Made Bro” Czerniak who, much as in life, quietly buried the puck into the back of the net to give the Bros a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period of play.
For all you hockey historians out there, the last time these two teams faced off against one another, the Bros held a 2-0 lead and ultimately lost 3-2. It was also the first loss of the four game skid. With taste for victory on their tongues, the Bros savagely upped their intensity in the second period. With a little help from his Bros Noah” Am I The Bro” Leggett and McIntosh, Gifford scored his second of the game less than two minutes into the frame off an unbelievable no-look behind-the-back pass from McIntosh. The defensive vice that Noah, his brother Nick “Take Me Back Bro” Leggett, Jay “Pig Pig Bro Bro” Wood and captain Andrew “Shake Real Low Bro” Feigenbaum used to hold the Snipez in helped the Bros backup goaltender Josh “BimBro’s Theme” Mantooth dominate between the pipes. Beard later added yet another signature shorthanded goal with an assist from Gifford, and McIntosh scored with assistance from Noah and Figi to give the Bros a commanding 5-0 lead entering the third and final period.
Gifford got his hattrick with an assist from Travis “Little Bro In The Woods” early on and the rulebook dictated that the clock would run continuously until the Snipez could narrow the gap. With Considine playing like a man possessed, and with Mantooth holding to hopes of his first career shutout in the Austin beer leagues, the Snipez never had a chance. Considine scored off a Beard and Czerniak setup to put the Bros ahead by a touchdown and extra point for good and the Bros cruised to a 7-0 victory.
On The Fly host Jamie Hersch chatted with the Bros’ first star of the game, Kevin Gifford about the team’s dominating performance. “Jamie, this is just Bros Hockey. We’ve been down and out the past few weeks, but nights like tonight show who we really are as a team and what we’re capable of when we play a team game. Team win. Deener (Considine) played his best game of the year, Beard was on fire, Mac (McIntosh) was back to playing that Harlem Globetrotter puck wizardry game of his- and Mantooth was seeing beachballs all night. Just a great win. Figi and Steve were always where you needed them to be. Can’t say enough about these guys tonight.”
Mantooth took home the team’s second star for the shutout and the Bros wish him the best in Chaparral B1 championship tonight. The Bros face a surging Mean Eyed Cat squad in the regular season finale next week at the Barn.
Tagtow was a healthy scratch- we wish him the best in Houston as he provides emergency EMT services to those in needs. He’s our hero.
Scott Van Pelt was a healthy scratch because he probably spent the evening eating charcuterie plates, which are really just adult lunchables if you think about it.
Bert Bischof was a game time healthy scratch. He was punching out as the Bros were punching in.
Chris Luscombe was mesmerized by those Pure Michigan ads, got all spiral-eyed, and ended up in the Mitten.
BY THE NUMBERS
47- Most shots by the Bros in a single game.
24- Shots allowed, a season low.
7- Tied for largest margin of victory in Bros history (hockey historians- it ties the 9-2 championship win against MEC in Fall 2016).
4- Number of points each for…
…3- Bros (Gifford, Beard, McIntosh).