Playing with only three regular defensemen, the Screaming Squirrels on Tuesday bid farewell to Hockey North America by losing in the playoffs to the Cobras, 3-2, in Wheaton.
Once again, the Squirrels outshot the Cobras, this time 23-20, and controlled the zone much of the time but had a hard time finishing. Down 1-0 after the first, the Squirrels had several power plays, including two two-man advantages, but couldn’t put the game away.
Phil Van der Vossen got the Squirrels on the board in the second period by putting in a rebound on a shot by Desmond Richelson. Later, on the power-play, Don Marks passed out front to Sergio Balatan, who top-shelved the puck to put the Squirrels up 2-1.
Midway through the third, the Squirrels turned the puck over at the blueline and the Cobras sent a floater through a screen to tie the game. After that, the Squirrels failed to score on power plays, breakaways and a penalty shot, and the game went into overtime. Needing a victory instead of a tie to move on to the finals, the Squirrels turned the puck over at the blue line again halfway through overtime, and the Cobras’ shot sailed in to end the game.
The Squirrels played without Matt Borlik, Chi Pham, Jon Magi, Charles Wolstein, and Juan Canchasto. Forward Adam Hughes played defense to make the lines even.
The Squirrels finished the season 8-13-1. Don Marks led the team in scoring with 19 points. Wade Marks led the team in goals with 11, and Don Marks and Balatan led the team in assists with 10 each.
The first game of the new Laurel season is Monday, 10:15 p.m. against former roller rival Honkey Kong.