6W, no. 2; newsletter by b.n.)
Faced with the worst heat yet inside the rink, a shortened 8-man bench and an A-division opponent, we had our hands full last night. I'm pleased to say that we played with tenacity and team spirit that shocked the refs (more than once they told me we were playing amazing) and our rival (in between the 2nd and 3rd, a Howell Star skated to our bench and said the same thing). Unfortunately, by the 3rd period, I think we had pretty much played all our cards.
Here's the recap: It took the Stars most of the 1st period to get on the board. They scored on a rebound for the 1-0 lead the only goal of the 1st period. In the 2nd, the Stars went up 2-0 when they won an offensive-zone face-off (still our weakest link in our playbook) back to Downey who fired one from the point; I might've been able to stop that shot, but a last second deflection by their forward gave them a two-goal lead.
Not too long after, Nick raced up ice from his defensive position (where he was blocking a bunch of shots); he was taken down as he crossed the blueline but got the puck to Wildman who wristed one shortside on John Arena for the 2-1 score we were on the board! We took that momentum into the 2nd break.
At this point, the heat was taking its toll on us and the Stars came out early in the 3rd with a barrage of one-timers and rebounds all of which were finding the twine. They went up 5-1 when Big Jim got a hold of a loose puck at center and muscled one in for our second goal of the night, and the 5-2 score. The Stars kept coming though, and before the final horn gratefully sounded, tallied two more goals. Although the final score doesn't really reflect it, it was a great effort by all (special kudos to Glenn Farkas and Nick for substituting)!
1) JIM CROWLEY
For 2.5 periods Jim was doing it all (even scoring). Unfortunately, one of his daughters wasn't feeling well so Jim had to exit before the finale.
2) JOHN CASSENS
For his first of the season and the spoiler on the shutout.
3) BRIAN KLEIMAN
For lots of work up front, and being a general nuisance to the Stars when they tried the open-ice passes.