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.