Squirrels 6, Silver Spring 4

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.