2006 Roller Season

Enigma Eliminates Squirrels

Ben Sumner

8/29/2006

Three seconds remained in the game. With the Squirrels goaltender pulled and an extra skater on the rink, defender Kit Watson took a slap shot from just inside the center line. Through several screens, Enigma’s goaltender saved it – and the game – and the Squirrels lost their first playoff game in two years, 1-0, on Monday.

The game was bound to be low-scoring. The Squirrels and Enigma were one-two in defense, and had similar offensive numbers. They both finished the regular season with 27 points, though the Squirrels won the tiebreaker. The Squirrels clobbered Enigma, 7-1, earlier in the season, but a 2-2 game a couple of weeks ago made it clear that the teams were pretty much even down the stretch. And only a fluky goal would be the difference in a playoff game.

At 13:54 of the second period, a turnover, a shot off the post, a bad bounce, and a knuckler shot went past Squirrels goaltender Bob Sewell, and that was it. The Squirrels managed 21 shots while Enigma posted 19.

Enigma advances to Thursday’s finals against the winner of the 5 Holes-Snipe match, which already had four-times as many goals scored in the first half than the Squirrels-Enigma game.

The Squirrels played without Don Marks, Juan Canchasto and Matt Borlik.

Despite the loss, the Squirrels still gathered – as they usually do – at Barbeque Wings & Beer in Cloverly, showing no shame in a loss after posting a 14-6-1 record, a second-place regular season finish, and the best defense and goaltending in the division. The Squirrels will now turn their attention to ice, where they will attempt to defend their championship in the winter’s C league.

Squirrels Roll into Semifinals

Ben Sumner

8/24/2006

The Squirrels had their best offensive performance of the season Wednesday, eliminating the Bullhawks in the first round of the playoffs with a 13-3 victory.

Phil Van der Vossen got the scoring started and scored again late in the second half to give the Squirrels a ten goal lead which cut the game short.

In between Van der Vossen’s goals, Rob Myers scored three, Tony Richelsen scored two, Jon Magi scored two, and Matt Borlik, Kit Watson, Don Marks and Chi Pham had one apiece.

The Squirrels had a 7-3 lead at the half, then scored six straight in the second period.

The highlight of the game came at 1:27 of the second period when Van der Vossen got the puck with no defenders on him and had plenty of open space, then took it in and scored on what will now be known as the slowest breakaway ever.

The Squirrels outshot the Bullhawks, 25-16. Juan Canchasto missed the game for the Squirrels.

The next game is Monday, August 28, at 8:30 p.m. against Enigma, who eliminated Mors ab Alto earlier in the evening Wednesday.

Playoffs Set in C League

Ben Sumner

8/18/2006

The Squirrels finished in second place in the C division, meaning they will play the Bullhawks on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. for their first playoff game.

In the rest of the C division, Snipe won it after losing only three games all season. Enigma finished in third place. Enigma and the Squirrels both finished with 27 points, but the Squirrels won the tiebreaker with an extra victory. Silver Spring had led the league most of the summer but lost four in a row down the stretch, including two to the Squirrels, and dropped to fourth place.

After starting the year strongly, the 5 Holes finished in fifth place, losing six of their final 8 games. However, they ended the season with a solid 5-0 victory against Silver Spring.

Last season’s runner-ups, the Chupacabras, finished in 6th place with a .500 record. Bullhawks, Mors ab Alto and Storm followed.

For the regular season, the Squirrels once again had the best defense, allowing only 49 goals, despite playing one game without a goaltender and giving up six. Bob Sewell led the league with the best goals-against-average – 2.21. Snipe by far led the league in offense, scoring 143 goals.

Squirrels Wrap Up Regular Season

Ben Sumner

8/16/2006

Tuesday’s regular season finale was meaningless in the standings for Mors ab Alto, but important for the Squirrels because a victory would ensure that they finish no worse than third place going into the playoffs. Tony Richelsen and Ben Sumner combined for 5 goals to lead the Squirrels to a 7-1 victory.

Sumner got the scoring started at 12:07 of the first period with a backhand shot past Mors ab Alto goaltender Ryan Meeks. Sumner tried the same move again on a breakaway a few minutes later but was stopped. At 8:37, Phil Van der Vossen put the Squirrels up 2-0 with a shot in front of the net. At 3:31, Sumner scored his second goal assisted by Richelsen, and then Sumner scored again on the very same shift, also from Richelsen. The Squirrels led 4-0 at the half.

No goals were scored in the first ten minutes of the second half before Rob Myers hit Sumner with a pass in front of the net. Sumner hardly moved as the puck hit his stick, went over Meeks’ left pad and spun like a top past the goal line. Mors ab Alto scored its first goal on a delayed penalty call on the Squirrels with 4:47 to play. About a minute and a half later, Sumner hit Richelsen with a pass on a two-on-one break, and Richelsen shelved it to put the Squirrels up 6-1. Myers scored the final goal with 2:36 to go.

The Squirrels played without Ed Bager, Matt Borlik, Juan Canchasto, and Jeff Ford. Bob Sewell made 8 saves in net, while the Squirrels put up 28 shots.

The first playoff game is expected to be Wednesday, Aug. 23, either at 7:30 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. depending on the result of the Silver Spring-Snipe match.

Squirrels Down Silver Spring

Ben Sumner

8/11/2006

When the Squirrels barely beat Silver Spring last week, they attributed it to Silver Spring having only one substitute. On Thursday, Silver Spring had a full bench, yet the Squirrels skated away with a convincing 4-1 victory.

Kit Watson got the scoring started with a spin-o-rama backhand shot that trickled in at 12:30 of the first period. At 7:07, Desi Richelsen exited the penalty box, skated directly toward the net, got a pass from Don Marks and shot it in to put the Squirrels up 2-0 on the power play. Two minutes later, Rob Myers put the Squirrels up 3-0 on another power play. The Squirrels killed a brief two-man advantage for Silver Spring before one of its players got nailed with a two-minute penalty and a misconduct.

Midway through the second period, Watson scored on a half-rink slapshot to put the Squirrels up 4-0. At 5:47 of the second period, Silver Spring was called for tripping Ed Bager. Glad he got the call, Bager pumped his fist and said ôYes!ö The referee then called him for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, perhaps the most bizarre call the Squirrels have ever taken. Silver Spring broke Bob Sewell’s shutout bid on a power play with 1:35 remaining.

Silver Spring and the Squirrels each had 22 shots on net, 8 in the first period, 14 in the second. Sewell made 21 saves. The Squirrels played without Tony Richelsen, Matt Borlik, Chris Long, and Jeff Ford, who was serving a one-game suspension for his kneeing penalty in Wednesday’s game against Enigma.

The last game of the regular season is Tuesday, at 8:30 p.m. against Mors ab Alto. The Squirrels can still finish in third place with a victory, or if Enigma loses to the Bullhawks on Wednesday.

Baby Balatan Born

Ben Sumner

Sergio Balatan’s wife, Jen, gave birth to a boy, Jacob Joseph Balatan, on Wednesday, Aug. 8, at 7:44 p.m. His father says he will be raised as a scrappy, stay-at-home defenseman.

Squirrels, Enigma Battle to Tie

Ben Sumner

8/10/2006

Two points from moving into a tie for third place with Enigma, the Squirrels didn’t gain any ground Wednesday as the teams skated away with a 2-2 tie. The Squirrels were lucky to even get that.

Neither team scored in the first period, though Enigma had two power plays. Neither team scored in the first 12 minutes of the second period, either, though Enigma had three power plays. But the biggest call came at 7:23 when Jeff Ford got a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for kneeing, a penalty that wouldn’t expire no matter how many times Enigma scored.

Then Ben Sumner drew a high sticking call, sending Enigma defender Eric Rosengarten out of the game, plus giving the Squirrels two minutes of three-on-three hockey during Ford’s major.

The game opened up. Rob Myers had a breakaway. Stopped. Then Jon Magi had one, and put the Squirrels up 1-0 with five minutes to play. Moments later, Don Marks scored what appeared to be a goal to put the Squirrels up 2-0, but it was called back because of a slight crease violation.

Then Enigma tied the game on the initial power play as the puck came out of Bob Sewell’s glove and fell into the net. Enigma went up 2-1 less than a minute later on a delayed penalty by the Squirrels.

About 45 seconds later, Sumner drew yet another high sticking penalty, sending another Enigma player to he box for the remainder of the game and giving the Squirrels another shot on the power play. This time, Marks made it count, scoring on a slap shot from the right circle with a minute to play.

The Squirrels outshot Enigma, 22-18, including 16-10 in the second period. The Squirrels played without Matt Borlik, Tony Richelsen, and Kit Watson. The next game is Thursday, at 7:30 p.m. against Silver Spring.

Screaming Squirrels Squash Shorthanded Silver Spring

Ben Sumner

8/3/2006

The Squirrels got a gift Thursday against first-place Silver Spring by having to face only six of its players, including the goaltender. By the time the game was over, Silver Spring had little gas left in the tank and the Squirrels escaped with a 6-4 victory.

The win didn’t come easy, however, as Silver Spring went up 4-2 early in the second half before the Squirrels scored four in a row. Contributing to the difficulty were six minor penalties – two of which overlapped to give Silver Spring two-man advantages.

Silver Spring scored first at 15:31, but Rob Myers’ low slap shot from the top of the left circle tied the game a couple of minutes later. Silver Spring scored on its first two-man advantage at 11:25. About five minutes later, the Squirrels tied the game 2-2 as Jon Magi took a pass from Myers and wristed the puck into the net. Silver Spring scored its second power play goal with 35 seconds remaining in the period to go up 3-2 at the break.

Early in the second period, Silver Spring extended its lead to 4-2, but 30 seconds later, the comeback was on. Juan Canchasto collected Desi Richelsen’s pass and shot the puck in from an awkward angle to cut the score to 4-3. Midway through the period, Don Marks made a pretty move around a defender to tie the game at 4-4 while shorthanded. Kit Watson sunk a long slap shot through several players to put the Squirrels back on top with 4:44 to go. Less than a minute later, Ben Sumner and Jeff Ford argued over which one of them should take a left-side faceoff in the offensive zone. Sumner insisted that Ford take it, and he did, knocking down two players and scoring to put the Squirrels up 6-4 while on their only power play.

Silver Spring had the shot advantage, 28-26, including 17-12 in the first half. Bob Sewell made several great saves down the stretch for the Squirrels. Chi Pham played offense instead of his usual position at defense. Tony Richelsen, Chris Long, Ed Bager, Phil Van der Vossen missed the game for the Squirrels.

The next game is Wednesday, August 9, at 8:30 p.m. against Enigma. The Squirrels also will face Silver Spring again Thursday, August 10, at 7:30 p.m.

Snipe Tops Squirrels, 5-3

Ben Sumner

7/28/2006

The Squirrels’ six-game winning streak came to an end Thursday as Snipe, which has the highest-scoring offense in the league, took advantage of turnovers and scored twice while shorthanded.

Down 1-0 middway through the first period, Desi Richelsen exchanged passes with Chris Long, who scored the Squirrels’ first goal on the power play. With three minutes remaining, Snipe got its first shorthanded goal of the game and led at the half, 2-1.

In the second period, Richelsen hit Matt Borlik with a pass in front of the net, and Borlik tied the game at 2-2. Then Snipe scored three in a row, the second of which came shorthanded. Ben Sumner scored the Squirrels’ third goal on a breakaway with 46 seconds remaining.

Danny Flieshman and Gregory Goldkind, who leads the league in scoring by a substantial margin, had all of Snipe’s points. Snipe outshot the Squirrels, 25-24, including 15-12 in the second half. The Squirrels managed to kill a two-man advantage in the first period. The Squirrels played without Rob Myers, Ed Bager, Chi Pham and Tony Richelsen.

The next game is Thursday, August 3, at 8:30 p.m. against first-place Silver Spring.

No Goalie, No Problem

Ben Sumner

7/19/2006

Unable to get a backup goaltender before the game, the Squirrels still won their sixth in a row Wednesday with a 7-6 victory against the Bullhawks.

The Squirrels started the game by using three forwards and two defensemen, resulting in a high-scoring first half. The Bullhawks scored first a minute into the game, but the Squirrels answered with three in a row. Rob Myers took a pass from Ben Sumner to tie the game, 1-1, at 14:30. A few minutes later, Myers again took a pass from Sumner to put the Squirrels up, 2-1. Chi Pham scored two minutes later to go up 3-1, and then the Bullhawks got a couple to tie the game at 3-3.

With four minutes to go in the period, Kit Watson went five-hole on the goaltender to give the Squirrels the lead again at 4-3, but the Bullhawks tied it again two minutes later. 4-4. With ten seconds to go in the period, Sumner intercepted a pass and scored on a breakaway, and the Squirrels went into the half with a 5-4 lead.

The Squirrels changed their strategy in the second half, leading to less scoring on both ends but enough to save the game. Phil Van der Vossen and Desmond Richelsen split time blocking shots in front of the net as the Squirrels played with two forwards and two defensemen. The Bullhawks tied the game, 5-5, three minutes into the second period, then Watson sank a half-rink shot at 12:42 to regain the lead, 6-5. The Bullhawks tied the game, 6-6, at 10:21, but that was their final goal. At 5:48, Watson took a pass off the boards from Sumner and skated all the way in and flipped in the game-winner. 7-6. The Squirrels killed off the rest of the period, including a two-minute minor on Myers at the end of the period.

The Squirrels outshot the Bullhawks, 24-6. Since the Squirrels didn’t have a goaltender, the Bullhawks only got shot credit for those that went in. The Squirrels are a lifetime 5-0-2 against the Bullhawks. This game marked the first time the Squirrels played a roller game without a goaltender.

The Squirrels played without Don Marks, Juan Canchasto, Matt Borlik, goaltender Bob Sewell, Jeff Ford, and captain Ed Bager, who will miss the remainder of the regular season with a hand injury. Bager intends to return for the playoffs.

The next game is Thursday, July 27, at 8:30 p.m. against Snipe.

With Three on Bench, Squirrels Still Prevail

Ben Sumner

7/12/2006

The Squirrels continued their dominance over the Chupacabras on Wednesday, winning 4-3 despite playing with only seven skaters. Desi Richelsen, Chi Pham and Rob Myers played defense, while Jeff Ford, Ed Bager, Ben Sumner and Chris Long split the offensive duties.

Six minutes into the game, the Chupacabras struck first, but Ford netted his 19th of the season and the first period ended with a 1-1 score.

Less than two minutes into the second period, the Chupacabras regained the lead. Then Ford collected a centering pass from Sumner and scored his 20th. Myers gave the Squirrels the lead later in the period, and Bager whacked in a puck for the much-needed insurance goal on a power play with three minutes remaining. The Chupacabras scored with 22 seconds to go, but the Squirrels held on to win.

The Squirrels outshot the Chupacabras 29-18, including 17 in the second period. The Squirrels lead the all-time series with eight wins, one loss and one tie in three seasons.

The Squirrels played without Bob Sewell, Don Marks, Tony Richelsen, Kit Watson, Phil Van der Vossen, Matt Borlik, Jon Magi and Juan Canchasto. The Squirrels used a substitute goaltender.

The next game is Wednesday, July 19 at 8:30 p.m. against the Bullhawks.

Squirrels Battle Back, Beat 5-Holes

Ben Sumner

6/28/2006

So far this season, all of the Squirrels’ victories came by three or more goals, and several of those wins were blowouts. On Wednesday, the Squirrels finally won a game by a competitive margin, and against a very good team which had shut them out earlier in the season — The 5 Holes. The 4-3 victory turned out to be an instant classic and a huge gut-check for the Squirrels, who are crawling their way back up the standings after four early-season losses.

The 5 Holes got the scoring started a little more than two minutes into the game as Matt Ray fought off Ben Sumner and wristed the puck past Squirrels goaltender Bob Sewell. A little more than six minutes later, The 5 Holes intercepted an airborne puck in front of the net and Chris Wautel tapped it in for a 2-0 lead. With two minutes to go in the period, Jeff Ford netted his 17th of the season, and the teams went into the break with a 2-1 score.

Two and a half minutes into the second period, Rob Myers tied the game with a shot in front of the net. On the very next shift, Ford gave the Squirrels the lead with a low shot through a screen past 5-Holes goaltender Brandon Miller. At 9:27 of the second period, Ford sent a perfect cross-rink pass to Sumner, who effortlessly tapped in the puck to put the Squirrels up 4-2. The 5 Holes cut the lead to 4-3 with 8:21 remaining, but the Squirrels held on for the victory.

The Squirrels played without Matt Borlik, Phil Van der Vossen, Don Marks, Chi Pham and Juan Canchasto. The Squirrels outshot The 5 Holes, 20-17.

The next game is Wednesday, July 12, at 8:30 p.m. against the Chupacabras.

Second Period Onslaught Lifts Squirrels

Ben Sumner

6/21/2006

In a rematch of last season’s finalists, the Squirrels and Chupacabras were at each other’s throats Wednesday, battling to a 1-1 tie in the first period before the Squirrels scored five in the second period for a 6-2 victory.

The Chupacabras got the scoring started at 3:32 of the first period, while giving Squirrels goaltender Bob Sewell several more tough shots to deal with along the way. Then Kit Watson finally put the Squirrels on the board a minute and a half later with a burst of speed through the zone.

A minute into the second period, defenseman Chi Pham took a beautiful slap shot from the right point, which deflected off of Ed Bager and into the net to give the Squirrels the advantage. Another minute later, Tony Richelsen — playing his first game of the season after sitting out ten games with a hand injury — scored unassisted, and was careful not to high-five anyone afterward.

The Chupacabras cut the score to 3-2 a couple of minutes later, but then Pham took another slap shot from nearly the same spot at the point. This time, the puck went in without being deflected.

Jeff Ford scored his team-leading 16th goal middway through the second period, and Ben Sumner added his 10th of the season with three minutes to play.

In his fourth season as a Squirrel, Watson finally got called for a penalty, a holding infraction with two minutes to play in the game against one of the best players on the Chupacabras roster. Little was lost, however, as the other player also got a penalty — for roughing.

The shots on goal were dead even, as both teams took 12 in the first period and 9 in the second. The Squirrels played without Juan Canchasto. Phil Van der Vossen left the game early with an injury.

The next game is Wednesday, June 28, at 8:30 p.m. against The 5 Holes.

Ford Scores Five, Again

Ben Sumner

6/15/2006

Playing the winless Storm for the third time this season, the Squirrels had every reason to believe that they would easily win again Thursday, but the game remained scoreless for the first 7:30. Then Jeff Ford — one of the top goal scorers in the league — took over, netting three in a row while leading the Squirrels to an 8-0 romp.

After Ford’s natural hat trick, Ben Sumner scored two in a row, both assisted by Ed Bager, and the Squirrels had a 5-0 lead after the first period. In the second period, Ford scored two more, forcing a running clock with 13:30 remaining in the game. Chris Long got the final goal with about six minutes remaining.

Aside from the scoring, the game featured five misconducts, two on the Squirrels and three on Storm.

Bob Sewell made 10 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Squirrels posted 23 shots on net. Don Marks, Matt Borlik, Juan Canchasto, Kit Watson and Tony Richelsen missed the game for the Squirrels.

The next game is Wednesday, June 21, at 8:30 p.m. against the Chupacabras, the team the Squirrels beat in the championship game last season.

Squirrels Solve Enigma

Ben Sumner

6/6/2006

Playing their first game ever against Enigma on Tuesday, the Squirrels managed a 2-1 lead by the half before blowing open the game for a 7-2 victory.

Wearing the taboo jersey no. 99 (because it was the spare one that the Squirrels ordered), Juan Canchasto felt added pressure to put up some points, and did. With a few nifty moves to fake out the goaltender, Canchasto got the scoring started two minutes into the first period. Enigma tied the game five minutes later, but with 24 seconds remaining in the period, Ed Bager scored on a backhand shot to give the Squirrels the lead again.

In the second period, Canchasto scored his second goal from behind the net as the puck bounced off of a defender and went in. Enigma cut the score to 4-2 with a power play goal, but it was all Squirrels after that. Jon Magi, Ben Sumner, Kit Watson and Desi Richelsen contributed to the five-goal second period.

The Squirrels put up 23 shots on net. Enigma, the only team so far to beat first place Silver Spring, had 10 shots against Squirrels goaltender Bob Sewell.

The Squirrels played without Tony Richelsen, Don Marks, Matt Borlik, Rob Myers, and Jeff Ford.

The next game is Thursday, June 15, at 8:30 p.m. against Storm, a team still winless in the division.

Silver Spring Downs Squirrels

Ben Sumner

5/30/2006

Playing their first game ever against the one-time B-league team Silver Spring on Tuesday, the Squirrels got their shots but fell convincingly, 4-1.

Silver Spring started off strong in the first period, putting up 18 shots and scoring three times. The Squirrels only put up nine shots in the first frame. Silver Spring increased their lead with a power play goal off of a face off late in the second period. With five seconds remaining, Kit Watson finally put the Squirrels on the board to spoil Silver Spring goaltender Bill Coluzzi’s shutout bid. The Squirrels outshot Silver Spring 14-6 in the second period, but Coluzzi made several quality saves.

The Squirrels played without Don Marks, Matt Borlik and Phil Van der Vossen, who had an incident with his cat wetting his equipment.

The next game is Tuesday, June 6, at 8:30 p.m. against Enigma, another team the Squirrels haven’t played yet, but the only one to beat Silver Spring this season.

Ford Folds Five

Ben Sumner

5/25/2006

The Squirrels found their offense Wednesday, winning 8-1 and avenging an early-season loss to Mors ab Alto. Jeff Ford scored five goals and added an assist, while Ben Sumner notched two and assisted on four of Ford’s goals.

The Squirrels didn’t start out well, however, as Mors ab Alto scored in the first minute of play. Sumner tied the game a few minutes later by taking the puck around the net and shooting far-side as Ford tied up the defender in the middle. The score stood for eight more minutes before Ford got his first and second of the game, giving the Squirrels a 3-1 lead at the half.

Three minutes into the second period, Ford scored his third of the game, then his fourth six minutes later. Finally, the Squirrels’ second line got in on the action as Ed Bager hit in his third of the season. With three and a half minutes to play, the Squirrels had a face-off in the offensive zone. Ford skated over to Sumner and said, “Try to [win the face off] more to the left.” Sumner won the dual, to the left, and Ford immediately shot the puck and scored his fifth goal. Sumner scored on a breakaway with 30 seconds remaining.

The Squirrels only played with two full lines, something that concerned them going into the game. Don Marks, Kit Watson, Juan Canchasto, Rob Myers and Matt Borlik missed the game. Mors ab Alto played without their starting goaltender, Ryan Meeks, and instead used the Bullhawks’ Guile Ghambir, who made 30 saves. The Squirrels held Mors ab Alto to seven shots.

The next game is Tuesday, May 30, at 8:30 p.m. against Silver Spring.

Notes: No penalties were called in the game, something that hasn’t happened in a Squirrels game in years… Tony Richelsen got his cast taken off, but is still recovering… At 4-3, the Squirrels once again have a winning record, but still have more losses than four other teams in the nine-team division.

News and Notes

Ben Sumner

5/22/2006

While there’s plenty of hard-hitting C-league hockey in Laurel during the week and on Sundays, a far different competition of sorts goes on after the game. It’s called: updating your team’s web site. While the Screaming Squirrels for years have been complimented for their design and speedy updating, other teams don’t do such a bad job themselves. Here’s a few teams the Squirrels know about. You may even see a few of them on the Panic and Vipers rosters.

(Note: Websites were removed because they are now broken links)

In other news, the Squirrels will look to avenge an early-season loss to Mors ab Alto on Wednesday… Happy birthday to roller defenseman Kit Watson, who turns 27 today… Rob Myers had a surprise 30th birthday party over the weekend, which was spoiled my Watson leaving the restaurant to feed the meter.

Squirrels End Losing Streak

Ben Sumner

5/18/2006

Though the Squirrels defeated the winless Bullhawks on Wednesday, 4-1, they were left to wonder why they made it so difficult for themselves. The referees called the penalties evenly, but Squirrels blew several odd-man advantages with penalties and took three ten-minute misconducts, leaving them to shuffle the forward lines for much of the game.

Juan Canchasto scored shorthanded to get the scoring started, but that was all for the first period. In the second period, Rob Myers, playing offense, scored a power-play goal with a slap shot from the left circle to put the Squirrels up 2-0. Later in the period, Don Marks – playing his first game of the season – floated a shot from the point, which deflected off of a defender and went past Bullhawks goaltender Guile Ghambir.

With 1:24 remaining in the period, the Bullhawks got a shorthanded goal to cut the Squirrels’ lead to 3-1. Then, with 23 seconds remaining, Myers took the puck hard to the net, crashed it, and scored.

Bob Sewell made 14 saves in net for the Squirrels, who played without Matt Borlik. The Squirrels skated with three full lines. Jeff Ford returned wearing a face mask after getting six stitches from a high stick last week. The Squirrels wore their new mesh roller jersies, instantly feeling a difference in the weight and temperature. For the record, Ed Bager took a shot using his backhand for the first time ever.

The next game is Wednesday, May 24, at 8:30 p.m. against Mors ab Alto.

Quote of the game: “I took one in the ass for the team.” — Ed Bager

Squirrels Drop Third Straight

Ben Sumner

5/12/2006

The Squirrels dug themselves into a hole Thursday, giving up four goals in the first period before losing 5-4 against Snipe. The loss was the first time in at least four years that the Squirrels’ roller team lost three in a row. Matt Borlik played in net for Bob Sewell, who missed the game with a family emergency.

Juan Canchasto played his first game of the season, making his mark with two goals, including the Squirrels’ first to cut Snipe’s lead to 3-1 in the first period. Snipe scored again, going into the half with a 4-1 lead.

The Squirrels turned up the intensity in the second period. Jeff Ford scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season, but Snipe struck back with their second power play goal of the game to go up 5-2. Later in the period, Ben Sumner reached behind him for a loose puck in front of the net and banked it in off the goaltender. Moments later, Canchasto scored a similar goal out front to cut Snipe’s lead to 5-4.

With about four minutes remaining in the game, Rob Myers scored what appeared to be the tying goal, but the referees blew the play dead and called coincidental minors against a Snipe player and Ford, whose lip was bleeding from a high stick.

The Squirrels got a power play with two minutes remaining, pulled Borlik, but couldn’t get a decent shot on net.

The Squirrels played without Sewell, Phil Van der Vossen, Don Marks, Kit Watson and Tony Richelsen. With Borlik in net, the Squirrels played Chris Long on defense most of the game, and Myers on offense.

The next game is Wednesday, May 17, at 8:30 p.m. against the Bullhawks.

5-Holes Shut Out Squirrels

Ben Sumner

5/11/2006

Just four games into the roller season, the Screaming Squirrels are already off to their worst start in years. Longtime rival The 5 Holes out-hustled and simply out-hockeyed the Squirrels Wednesday, winning 4-0. The Squirrels are now 2-2 on the year as The 5 Holes remained undefeated.

Goaltender Brandon Miller made 16 saves for The 5 Holes, as the Squirrels gave up 27 shots and three first-period goals.

With the Hurricanes out of the C Division, the Squirrels and 5-Holes now have the most intense rivalry, split in the all-time series at 5-5-1.

The Squirrels played without defensemen Don Marks, Kit Watson, Tony Richelsen, and Juan Canchasto, who is expected to rejoin the team soon.

The next game is Thursday, May 11, at 8:30 p.m. against Snipe.

Mors’ Goaltending Stops Squirrels

Ben Sumner

5/4/2006

The Squirrels got a reality check Wednesday. After easily winning their first two games, they again dominated the zone most of the game, but fell 3-1 as Mors Ab Alto goaltender Ryan Meeks made 23 saves.

The shots just wouldn’t fall for the Squirrels, and Mors took the lead in the first period with a 2-on-1 break.

Rob Myers tied the game with a goal late in the first period. Midway through the second period, the Squirrels got two unlucky bounces in a 15-second span. In front of the net, the puck bounced over the defender’s stick, and Mors hit it in to regain the lead. On the next shift, a shot from the point deflected in through a screen.

Despite a desperate flurry in the final moments, Meeks saved the day for Mors Ab Alto, who only put up 13 shots in the game.

Don Marks and Tony Richelsen missed the game for the Squirrels. In other news, Juan Canchasto will be returning in place of Tony, who is out at least four weeks with an injury.

The next game is Wednesday, May 10, at 8:30 against the 5 Holes. The Squirrels then play on Thursday, May 11, at 8:30 against Snipe.

Fewer Shots, Same Result

Ben Sumner

4/25/2006

There was a big difference between the Squirrels’ 11-1 victory Tuesday and their 8-1 win against Storm last week. Forty-one shots to be exact. The Squirrels only needed 22 to force the mercy rule with 6:10 remaining in the game.

Jeff Ford, Chris Long, Phil Van der Vossen, Ed Bager, Kit Watson, Rob Myers, and Desi Richelsen each had a goal, while Ben Sumner and Matt Borlik had a pair each. Chi Pham had three assists.

Bob Sewell made eight saves in net. The Squirrels played without Don Marks and Tony Richelsen, who is out with an undisclosed upper-body injury he suffered in an Atlantic City tournament over the weekend with the Vipers.

The next game is Wednesday, May 3 at 8:30 against Mors ab Alto.

Shots Aplenty in Season Opener

Ben Sumner

4/19/2006

In the first game of the 2006 roller season, the Screaming Squirrels posted 63 shots on net – 25 more than their previous high – en route to an 8-1 victory against Storm on Tuesday.

Despite the lopsided shots, the game went more than nine minutes without any goals. That’s when Ben Sumner found himself on the breakaway and scored the first goal of the season for the Squirrels. Less than a minute later, Phil Van der Vossen redirected Desi Richelsen’s point shot to put the Squirrels up by two. Then, Jeff Ford — the Squirrels’ leading goal scorer last season — made a nifty move around the defenders and shelved the first of this three.

Storm cut the Squirrels’ lead to 3-1 late in the first period as Rob Myers lost the puck deep in the zone, allowing Storm to score short-handed. Myers was forgiven by his teammates, however, because he scored the championship-clinching goal a couple of weeks ago in the ice league, the most important goal in the Squirrels’ five-year history. Storm’s goal hardly mattered, however, as Chi Pham slapped in a long shot during a late-period power play, and the Squirrels entered the half with a 4-1 lead.

In the second period, Ford took over, scoring two more times and picking up an assist. Ed Bager finally got a shot to fall after Storm’s goaltender made numerous saves against him. Jon Magi, playing his first roller game for the Squirrels in more than a year, found himself one-on-one with the goaltender to put the Squirrels up by seven and force the running clock with 4:41 to play.

Storm substitute goaltender Bill Coluzzi made 55 saves in net, while Bob Sewell faced eight shots total. The Squirrels played without Don Marks, Tony Richelsen, and Matt Borlik.

The next game is Tuesday, April 25, at 8:30 p.m., also against Storm.

Roller Schedule Posted

Ben Sumner

4/12/2006

The 2006 weeknight roller schedule has been posted, and the Squirrels will find themselves facing both new and familiar faces. The Chupacabras, last year’s runner-ups, will return to the C division, as will the 5-Holes, who started hot last year before the Squirrels knocked them out of the playoffs. The Bullhawks and Mors ab Alto will also return. Silver Spring, who played a level higher last year, will test their strength in the C division. New teams include Enigma, Snipe, and Storm. The Hurricanes – the Squirrels’ fiercest rivals during the last three seasons – will have their work cut out for them in the B-2 division.

In ice news, the league provided the Squirrels with 2005-2006 championship pucks for their victory last week against Dog Star.