The Screaming Squirrels did exactly what they set out to do at the beginning of the season: Win the championship. Despite finishing in third place in the C3-B division, the Squirrels got hot down the stretch, winning 11 of 12, including a 2-1 victory Monday against top-seeded Dog Star.
The game was exactly what everyone thought it would be: Low scoring, rough, and intense. In the first period, Tony Richelsen took the puck from the left side of the neutral zone, brought the goaltender to his knees and tapped in a shot at 8:50 of the first period.
The 1-0 score stood until 5:45 of the third period. The Squirrels took eight minutes in penalties in the third period, and that came back to haunt them as Timothy Deitz scored from the blue line through a screen on Squirrels goaltender Drew Thiemann.
A minute and a half later, Don Marks missed wide on a slap shot, but the rebound went behind the net to Matt Borlik, who passed to Rob Myers, and Myers scored to give the Squirrels the 2-1 advantage.
Dog Star took a very costly penalty with 1:14 remaining, and the Squirrels killed off the rest of the time. As the clock wound down to zero, the ice was a mess of gloves and sticks as a group hug ensued by the Squirrels net.
Thiemann made 26 saves, while the Squirrels put up 19 shots. Myers almost didn’t make it to the game, as he announced late in the day that he might get stuck at work. A few of the Squirrels suffered injuries during the game, including Ben Sumner, Desi Richelsen and Greg Wenograd, but all eventually got back onto the ice.
Marks, Borlik, Wenograd, Myers, Thiemann, Sumner, Phil Van der Vossen, Charles Wolste in, Ed Bager, Chris Long, Adam Hughes, Chi Pham, Sergio Balatan, Brian Jackson and the Richelsen brothers played for the Squirrels. Jon Magi was unable to play.
Unfortunately, the Squirrels will not be playing summer ice together, but intend on regrouping for the winter season. However, the roller team is back, and they will focus on repeating as champions in that league.