Squirrels 4, 5-Holes 3

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.