Wow.. can't believe Day 1 is over already. It's been a fun year of prepping for the tourney.
This year for Shuley Cup Swag we gave away some neat items. Hopefully you've all received your pint glass, koozie, and rally towel.
Game 1: A rematch of last year's finals, it was team Eisenberg Uncertainty Principal vs. Viking Horde: EUP with its explosive power versus the mature but every year growing younger team of Vikings. The game started at a good pace with the puck spending time in both ends. Newbie Kevin Lane lit up the lamp at 8:21 in the first for this year's first goal of the weekend. Mr. Ike Montes, the website centerfold, received honors for the assist. The rest of the period played out with some chances for both teams but ultimately the period ended 1-0 with the Viking Horde up by a goal.
Period 2 started with a bang with a goal just 14 seconds in by a falling Julian Chu. Another Shuley Cup newbie, Curt Wells, notched his first assist of the tournament. Mid-way through the period, there were fireworks with a scuffle in front of goalie Tommy Walsh which resulted in a double minor for Mike Kunelius. During the double minor the Vikings had 2 almost goals which were waved off. Something about a kicking motion. While on the power play, veteran JD got sent to the box for his holding antics. This put both teams at an even 4-on-4 for about a minute. Both teams worked the system well with a man down. Then Mike flew over the boards for the brief power play and exploded into action. He went in hard on the forecheck and created multiple opportunities for EUP, but the combined forces of Viking Horde's defense and goal tending kept the pucks out of the net... Until 2:16 of the period, when the puck landed in the other net. A combo play between Mark Rinaldi and Ike Montes showed off their chemistry. Goal #1 of the tournament for Ike Montes. End of 2 periods, Viking Horde 3-0.
Final period -- as expected, Viking Horde changed their style to a more defensive NJ Devils style of playing. On the flip side, EUP made some tweaks to boost their offense. It was a fun third period to watch. VH systematically cleared the puck from their zone then EUP would regroup and break out. A lot of good saves this period for Tommy Walsh as EUP let loose shots from every angle. In the middle of the 3rd period, Liz Young had a great play to keep the puck in her possession (and in the zone) and then she passed it off to Kevin Lane who finished it off. As the minutes ran down, EUP continued to pressure on in front of Tommy but was unable to pull it off. With less than 20 seconds, a blocked shot became an opportunity for VH Adam Stober who skated down with speed on a breakaway. Goalie Billy Lanzetta stonewalled him with a beautiful save. The clock then ran down to its final seconds for an outcome of 4-0, Viking Horde. First career Shuley Cup shutout for goalie Tommy Walsh.