Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 3, 3rd Place Playoff Game: Strange Brew vs All Finnish

Shuley Cup 2010 started with these two teams playing each other where All Finnish dominated with a strong 4-1 finish. Both teams looked ready to go, but were missing some of their key offensive players. All Finnish's Captain Paul was hit hard with the flu and knocked flat off his feet by a fever of 103 and offense generator Mike Kunelius had to miss the playoff game due to prior obligations. On Strange Brew's team, Ike Montes, the hard shooting center, who started off the tournament ill, had to sit this game out due to a groin pull. With both teams missing their key offensive players, it would be an interesting game to watch.

Similar to their first meeting, All Finnish made the first dent when Tony found the net with help from Dave Finocchio. Not to be left behind, Strange Brew responded over a minute later with Jon Gais tapping it in with some help from defensive superstar John Durant. The first period moved at a good pace with the puck constantly changing directions. 1-1.

In the second, Tony again added another point all by himself it seemed seconds after the puck drop. How would Strange Brew respond? Not sure if this was a panic moment or not, but Captain Ron Swinnich used his patented backhanded flip move to throw the puck from his defensive end to just shy of the far blue line. Mark Rinaldi caught sight of this, turned the jets on and scored a beauty of a goal on Billy Lanzetta. Perhaps Mark needed a rest after this feat because 4 minutes later, I looked over and he was sitting beside me in the penalty box. Hello, Mark! No harm done with this penalty. It was a good kill and kept scorekeeper Emma (Strange Brew alum) on her toes. A few minutes later, Tony got a hat trick as he scored. Nick Mantia assisted on this goal. Not to be outdone by All Finnish, Strange Brew's Kevin Donahue took a slapper from point and scored moments later. 3-3. Boy was this exciting!! Seriously -- both benches were cheering like crazy, the fans were going wild, and the game looked like it could go either way. As the second period wound to a close, Jon Gais found the net again with a great pass from Liz Young with a play started by Mark Rinaldi. End of second period, 4-3, Strange Brew.

Third period started off with a Strange Brew penalty for cross-checking by Scott Parkin. They successfully killed this and managed to keep All Finnish at bay. With only a 1 goal lead, Strange Brew tried to drum up more offense, while All Finnish tried to also generate more offense with bolder plays. With just over 2 minutes to go, David Kenney was put in the box for a slashing call. Seconds after the penalty ended, Tommy Walsh scored a goal with an assist from Scott Parkin. With 25 seconds left in the period, the pace was fast and furious, but Strange Brew was able to emerge victorious.

Strange Brew garnered their first win of the tournament and 3rd place title. All Finnish played a valiant game and will be awarded with first round pick in the 2011 Shuley Cup Draft.

Best wishes to Paul and Ike who were unable to play due to illness and injury.

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