AUSTIN, Texas (AP)- The Pond Hockey Club. As the polarizing political climate continues to more deeply divide this country, fans of hockey were able to find comfort as they rejoiced at the first puck drop of the 2017-2018 NHL season last night. Much like the NHL, the Barn B1 Fall/Winter 2017 season kicked off last night without a kneel and without protest. Your reigning back-to-back champions faced off against Burt’s Reynolds (BR) in the first game of the season in a rematch of the Summer 2017 championship game last week in which the Bros won in sudden death overtime with a Fabian “Rockin’ Around (with You, Bro)” Figi top corn, bar down wrist shot. Figi and the Bros looked to extend their six-game winning streak last night.
The Bros spent part of the off-season rebuilding after losing the familiar faces of Bert Bischof, Kyle McIntosh, Kevin Gifford, and Scott Van Pelt to waivers, long-term injured reserve (LTIR), and extended paternity leave. The front office found fresh blood as they drafted Michelle “Brodown” Stock, Seth “Hometown Bro Blues” Johnson, and the dynamic father and son duo of Brian “The Wild Bro, Forever” and Cam “Anything that’s Rock ‘N’ Bro” Cunnigham. The Cunninghams become the second familial pair in Bros history.
The BR set the tone early as Parker Stewart scored on their first shot of the season. The lead was short-lived as Cunningham the Elder punished the puck off a Chris “Stranger Bro In The Night” Beard pass to score his first goal in the Star and Cannon sweater. With the memory of losing the championship still fresn in their minds, BR quickly found twine to regain the lead;they held the marginal 2-1 lead into the second period until Beard scored from the far side to tie the game on a play set up by Steve “Fooled Again (Bros Don’t Like It)” Czerniak and Jay “Mystery Bro” Wood. Wood and Czerniak bulldogged their way to the net all night, continuously helping the Bros dish the soft serve to the net.
With the Bros and BR deadlocked 2-2, the BR again edged ahead before Nick “Luna Bro” Leggett found captain Andrew “American Bro” Feigenbaum in the slot. Feigenbaum one-timed the pass to the far side into the back of the basket to even the score at 3-3 at the end of the second period of play.
The white-hot Figi put the Bros on top on the first shift of the final period with a beautiful Van Peltian deflection off a pass set up by Wood and Johnson (no, folks, that is not a typo. For all you phallic phans out there, the Bros finally have a Wood ANDa Johnson). Outstanding defensive efforts from Ross “Listen To Her Heart, Bro” Tagtow and phenomenal rush defense from Stock helped shut down BR. Noah “Here Comes My Bro” Leggett did a great job of shutting down BR in the neutral zone to hold off any odd-man rushes.
A bizarre series of events led to goalie Chris “Don’t Bro Me Like That’ Luscombe flopping around like a fish out of water along the goal line between the pipes to stop anything, everything, and everyone from getting into the net, and he kept the Bros in the hunt for victory. Cunningham the Younger helped eat minutes on a late penalty kill with three excellent pass rushes to push the BR into desperation mode. Travis “Learning To Bro” Considine got really excited about the Ray’s Trash Kiss Cam last night, puckering up to anyone who came close enough to try and lock cages with him. It looked as awkward as it was to write about. When he wasn’t trying to lock lips or acting vituperative, Considine was serving rubber to the Leggetts and generating scoring opportunities.
Unlike the last week’s championship game, the regulation tie in regular season ends up going to a shootout format. Luscombe denied all three attempts, giving Figi the platform to finish off BR. Just like last week’s championship game, Figi buried the puck near-side top shef, and the Bros skated off with their first win of the season, and a franchise record seventh straight win.
For her outstanding defense, which included no fewer than 13 blocked shots, Michelle Stock took home the team’s first star of the game. Figi earned second star honors for his two goal performance. BHL correspondent Kelly Nash spoke with Stock after the game. “Kelly, I felt pretty good out there. We looked OK, we’ve got some adjustments to make and we’ll make them. Really excited to be on this team playing with these guys and showing the rest of the league that the Bros are still the team to beat.”
The Bros look to go 2-0 next week against the Golden Thrashers at 9:50pm at the Barn.
BY THE NUMBERS
.90- Luscombe’s save percentage;
7- straight wins for the Bros;
2- straight wins against Burners decided by…
…1- goal, and both scored by Figi.
RIP TOM PETTY. “REAL LOVE IS A MAN’S SALVATION.”- Straight Into Darkness by Tom Petty.