The Squirrels started fast, slumped, then ran away in the second half for a 6-3 victory against the Chupacabras, their first win in three weeks.
On his first shift, Ben Sumner got the scoring started by knocking in a turnover in the crease. Less than a minute later, Jeff Ford scored in what seemed at the time could’ve been the beginning of a runaway game.
But the Chupacabras fought back, scoring twice in about a minute and again on the power play to take a 3-2 lead at the half.
In the second half, it was all Squirrels. Matt Borlik scored from the left circle. Rob Myers, returning from an off-ice injury, slammed in a slap shot. Ford scored again and so did Myers.
The Squirrels played two goaltenders – a sub during the first half and Brian Byrne in the second. Byrne was originally supposed to miss the game, but came anyway to the surprise of everyone. Byrne only faced five official shots, all of which turned out to be great saves that kept the Squirrels in the game. The Squirrels took several more penalties in the game than their opponent, especially in the second half, but manag’d to kill them off without a problem.
Andrew Lutzky, on the sub list this season, suited up for the Squirrels. Don Marks returned from his honeymoon, and Ed Bager made it to the game despite a mishap in the thunderstorm along the way. The Squirrels played without Phil Van der Vossen and Kit Watson.
The next game is Tuesday, July 19, at 10:30 against the Fish.
Longtime Squirrels defenseman Don Marks married girlfriend Jen on June 25 and Phil Van der Vossen wed Karla on July 9.
No penalties were called at either wedding, and both couples are doing fine and are enjoying their honeymoons.
The Screaming Squirrels were again haunted by a lopsided number of penalties Tuesday, giving up four power plays – including a two-man advantage – and having none of their own. That made the difference as the 5-Holes won, 4-3.
The Squirrels scored first, as Jeff Ford put in a top-shelf rebound after a flurry around the net. Later in the first period, the Squirrels were called for interference and roughing, and the 5-Holes capitalized and took a 2-1 lead going into the second period. Ford scored again in the second period, and Ed Bager tied the game at 3-3 with several minutes remaining.
With 5:19 to go in the game, Ford appeared to be body-slammed. The referees called a 2-minute holding penalty against the 5-Holes, but the incident horribly frustrated the Squirrels, who ended up getting their second unsportsmanlike conduct call of the game. The first came after another series of questionable non-calls by the referees.
The last time the Squirrels and the 5-Holes met, the 5-Holes had no penalties called, compared to 16 total minutes for the Squirrels.
The Squirrels played without Rob Myers, Don Marks, Wade Marks and Tony Richelsen. Chris Long moved back to defense. The next game is July 14, at 7:30 p.m. against the Chupacabras.
At the end, the game felt more like a loss than a tie, because all the momentum was in the Squirrels’ favor until the closing second of the first period. In the offensive zone, the Squirrels turned the puck over, and the Bullhawks scored with .6 of a second remaining in the period. Then the Bullhawks scored two more in the second period to take the lead, and the Squirrels tied it late to settle for a 4-4 tie against a team they had easily beaten 7-2 back in April.
The game started off promising enough as Ed Bager scored less than a minute into the game. Phil Van der Vossen knocked in a shot in front of the net and Jeff Ford got a centering pass to put the Squirrels up by three.
The Squirrels came out flat in the third period, spent several minutes on the penalty kill and missed several scoring opportunities. During a late power play, Don Marks’s slapshot down the middle deflected off of Ben Sumner’s stick for the game-tying goal. The game ended with a last-second chance for the Squirrels to win it, but the pass to the streaking winger missed by inches. The Squirrels played without Kit Watson, Rob Myers, Chris Long, Matt Borlik, and goaltender Bryan Byrne. The Squirrels used a substitute goaltender whom they played against last week. Juan Canchasto suited up for the Squirrels.
The next game is Thursday, June 23, at 9:30 p.m. against the Hurricanes.
The Roller Squirrels continued their dominance over Mors ab Alto on Tuesday, winning 5-1 for their third consecutive victory.
In the first period, Jeff Ford got the scoring started by deflecting in a Don Marks slapshot. Tony Richelsen scored from the high slot, Marks took the puck coast-to-coast for a goal and Wade Marks put the Squirrels up 4-0 at the half. Chris Wautel, who is sixth in the league in scoring, got the goal for Mors ab Alto, and Matt Borlik finished off the scoring for an even second period. The Squirrels, who skated with a full roster, outshot Mors ab Alto, shots 31-15.
The next game is Tuesday, June 14, at 9:30 against the Bullhawks.