Friday, November 18, 2011

1st Place Game

The two teams with the shortest names found themselves vying for first place on Sunday November 13. Nerves, nerves, nerves!! It was going to be one heck of a game. This was Captain Ken's third consecutive trip to the finals and Captain Ron's first foray out of the 3rd place bracket.

Having been shutout by Matty's Team the previous night, Viking Horde tweaked their lines to up their offense. They moved versatile Curt Wells from D to Center and moved Winger Ken Simon to play D with Chara-like defenseman John Durant. Let the game begin!

Puck dropped and immediately Viking Horde took control. Adam Stober made a breakout pass to Curt Well who raced down to the other end and scored on Marco. The next six minutes featured non-stop action between the two teams and both goalies standing on their heads. Save after save, rush after rush, scorekeeper found herself unable to sit down. At just under 4 minutes, Jordan gained control of the puck in Viking Horde's turf. He lifted his to fake a shot and veteran captain Ron went into a sliding block. He ended up taking Jordan out, the ref's arm shot up, and the whistle blew as the Vikings touched the puck. Opportunity for Matty's Team, but definitely an uphill battle for them as Viking Horde's unmatched defense and goaltending fended off any attempts to light the red lamp. Just one second after the power play expired, JD powered a shot off point and scored. JD's protege Kevin Lane was credited with the assist. Just 30 seconds or so later, Curt Wells padded the lead with another goal with help from Ken Simon. The next shift on, Kevin Lane (I think) powered into Matty's Team zone and teed off to shoot but was foiled by a sliding Scotty Parkin. Scotty was called for tripping and Viking Horde found themselves on the power play for the last 22 seconds of the period. The period ended with Viking Horde up a decisive 3-0.

Second period started with Matty's Team on the penalty kill for just over a minute. Fortunately for them, the Vikings were unable to score during the man advantage. At 9:19, Liz Young was given a slashing penalty when she went in hard on her forecheck and her errant stick audibly whacked the back of one of Matty's Team Players' leg. Once again, no one scored on the power play and the score remained at 3-0. At just over 6:30, Kevin Lane had a breakaway opportunity. Scott Parkin went from zero to max velocity almost instantaneously and made a diving play to prevent Kevin from getting a shot off. However, just seconds later, Ike scored a goal (Mark Rinaldi assisted). 4-0.. would Tommy get another shutout? Not so fast -- as usual when Matty's Team is under pressure, Captain Ken is always there to rescue his team. At 5:08, Ken dashed away any hopes of a shutout for Tommy. Jordan Marton and Ron Creamer each got a point on their assists. As the clock started to run down, Viking Horde took control of the game and really didn't give Matty's Team a chance to go beyond the neutral zone. End of the second, Viking Horde up 4-1.

Third period moved fast -- with the clock running continuously it was important for both teams to minimize stoppages and change lines quickly. The period was action packed and exciting and the scorekeeper felt Matty's Team had the advantage. Perhaps it was them being at least 10 years younger on average than the Vikings. At 7:00, JD got called on an interference penalty. Matty's Team worked the power play and on the very last second, Scott Parkin scored a power play goal. At this point, the game elevated to a different level. A 2 goal differential is not insurmountable and it was obvious Matty's Team knew this. At the 2 minute mark, the game went from running time to stop time due to the 2 goal differential. Shot after shot rained in on Tommy but he put a great effort in the last couple minutes. When the buzzer finally sounded at the end of the third, the team in Red, the Viking Horde, spilled onto the ice to celebrate. Winners!

Final Score, 4-2, Viking Horde.

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