Playoffs: Panic 8, Squirrels 3

Playing their third game in four nights, the Screaming Squirrels had more skaters than usual Wednesday, as they took one last shot at getting any satisfaction out of this season. The Panic, however, put the Squirrels out of their misery with an 8-3 victory to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Like Honkey Kong on Tuesday, Panic had a single player who factored into all of their critical scoring. No. 51, David Yermal, had five goals and one assist, almost single-handedly taking down the Squirrels.

The Squirrels, however, struck first, as Sergio Balatan carried the puck deep into the zone and centered directly to Phil Van der Vossen, who flipped the puck between the goaltender’s legs. Yermal scored a few minutes later and the game was tied at 1 after the first period.

In the second period, Yermal took over, scoring three more times and assisting on another as Panic took a 5-1 lead. With six minutes remaining in the game, Van der Vossen caused Panic’s goaltender to misplay the puck, and it went in as the Squirrels cut the lead to 5-2. Yermal answered with another goal, and then Ben Sumner did moments later, frustrating Panic’s goaltender. Panic then scored two more times late in the third period and that was it.

Sumner, Van der Vossen, Balatan, Don Marks, Adam Hughes, Matt Borlik, Greg Wenograd, Chris Long, Juan Canchasto, Chi Pham, and Drew Thiemann played for the Squirrels. Thiemann played defense as the Squirrels used a substitute goaltender.

The Squirrels finished the season 2-18, their worst record ever. They scored only 46 goals while giving up 159. Ben Sumner led the team in total scoring with 21 points including 13 goals. Matt Borlik led the team in assists with 9.

The fall/winter season will begin in mid-September. The Squirrels will be in a new division and will be skating several new players, including roller teammates Rob Myers, Ed Bager and Tony Richelson. Brian Jackson of the Panic is also expected to join the team.