AUSTIN, Texas (AP)- The Pond Hockey Club. With things returning to normalcy after Hurricane Harvey left its indelible mark on Texas, the Bros, too, looked to regain semblance of last season’s championship-winning play before the playoffs begin next week. The Boys in Black faced off against a streaky Mean Eyed Cat (MEC) team for the first time since over 80 minutes of penalties and three suspensions were handed out the last time these two teams played one another. The 9:50pm puck drop made it easy for left coast fans to watch the game on their respective television cable networks and streaming devices.
The Bros set the tone early that winning was the only option as the Bros regained hometown hero Ross “Broxing Day” Tagtow from his brief tenure aiding those in need post-Harvey, and starting goalie Chris “We Can’t Afford (Your Depression Anymore, Bro)” Luscombe, who looked to build confidence leading into the playoffs. Kevin “Don’t Remind Bro” Gifford scored first for the second consecutive game to give the Bros an early 1-0 lead. Just 68 seconds later, Kyle “Bro Homes” McIntosh sent MEC goalie Collin Klopfenstein’s water bottle in the stratosphere with a shortside wrist shot. McIntosh‘s goal reminded all the young hockey fans out there to eat their vegetables if they want to go top corns when they grow up. The MEC had two prime scoring opportunities late in the first period, but Luscombe dominated the arc and controlled his rebounds with skill.
Referees were relieved that despite the physicality, the game was proceeding relatively well with both teams maintaining on-ice decorum. On his first shift in the second period, Chris “Afterglow Bro” Beard continued his dominating second-half surge this season with a beautiful power crossover put-away to give the Bros a commanding 3-0 lead. Travis “I Wanna Sweat Bro” Considine again played his role as a high octane, trash talking, strutting Booboo to Beard’s Yogi.
A sloppy power play later in the second gave the MEC several scoring opportunities, but Luscombe again continued to track the puck well and absorbed rebounds so well that he’s teaming up with Bounty to make the ultimate in quilted picker uppers. Whether your dog’s paws are muddy, your kid spills the juice, you spill a beer, or your best friend from college gets vomit on your porcelain, Bounty has you covered. Four out of five goalies choose Bounty. When the Bros have a tough job and need help cleaning up the crease, they reach for Luscombe. Unfortunately for opponents and unlike Bounty, he’s not available in stores (sorry ladies).
On the ensuing power play, however, the Bros struck gold. Nick “Bro Jerks” Leggett set up his brother Noah “Bro Birds (Rest in Pieces)” Leggett who fired a one timer toward the net. The Deflection Machine Never Breaks known as Scott “The Gun Song (Bro Trigger Version)” Van Pelt deflected the clap bomb for a bar down stunner. The goal reached the top play of the day on the left coast’s late night SportsCenter.
The Bros played and managed the third period for clock management. Despite Gifford‘s controversial no goal, the Bros managed to hold off several late surges from the MEC. Bert “Goodbro Love” Bischof managed the boards well in the neutral zone and Steve “Bro Can Play The Piano” Czerniak stepped up and had his best game in the Bro kit as he carried the puck with poise and confidence into the offensive zone with regularity. Jay “Bros (Rest In Bigger Pieces)” Wood dutifully fulfilled his obligation as he transitioned to playing center. Excellent defense from the Leggett Bros, Tagtow, and the shot blocking machine that is captain Andrew “Burning Bro” Feigenbaum held MEC to one late game goal as the Bros cruised off onto the desert highway with a 4-1 victory.
Van Pelt took home the team’s first star of the game with his preposterous deflection goal, and Luscombe earned second star honors for his outstanding efforts between the pipes. BHL On-Ice reporter Kathryn Tappen caught up with Van Pelt after the game to discuss his tenure with the Bros after his recent announcement of taking long-term paternity leave in anticipation of his first born son later this month. “Well Kat, we’re just really excited about the baby. We splurged and got the 3D ultrasound and the kid’s expected to go high in the A League draft in early October. Silky mitts, great edge work. Natural talent. He gets none of it from me. But in all honesty, Elizabeth- my wife, me, the Boys- we’re all looking forward to his player development. The Bros are a really forward-thinking team, very culturally progressive. Most teams only offer up a two game paternity leave package, but the Boys are giving me as much time as I need, so I’ll be taking next season off and am going to use that time to teach my son how to pick corners while Elizabeth and I pick his hockey development prep-pre-preschool school.”
The Bros enter the playoffs as the #4 seed and face the Snipez at 9:50pm next Wednesday at the Barn.
-For just the second time all season, the Bros had a full bench.
BY THE NUMBERS
-11 goals the past two games for the Bros;
-1 goal allowed by the Bros in the past two games.