Playoffs: Squirrels 13, Bullhawks 3

The Squirrels had their best offensive performance of the season Wednesday, eliminating the Bullhawks in the first round of the playoffs with a 13-3 victory.

Phil Van der Vossen got the scoring started and scored again late in the second half to give the Squirrels a ten goal lead which cut the game short.

In between Van der Vossen’s goals, Rob Myers scored three, Tony Richelsen scored two, Jon Magi scored two, and Matt Borlik, Kit Watson, Don Marks and Chi Pham had one apiece.

The Squirrels had a 7-3 lead at the half, then scored six straight in the second period.

The highlight of the game came at 1:27 of the second period when Van der Vossen got the puck with no defenders on him and had plenty of open space, then took it in and scored on what will now be known as the slowest breakaway ever.

The Squirrels outshot the Bullhawks, 25-16. Juan Canchasto missed the game for the Squirrels.

The next game is Monday, August 28, at 8:30 p.m. against Enigma, who eliminated Mors ab Alto earlier in the evening Wednesday.

Squirrels 7, Bullhawks 6

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.

Squirrels 4, Bullhawks 1


Though the Squirrels defeated the winless Bullhawks on Wednesday, 4-1, they were left to wonder why they made it so difficult for themselves. The referees called the penalties evenly, but Squirrels blew several odd-man advantages with penalties and took three ten-minute misconducts, leaving them to shuffle the forward lines for much of the game.

Juan Canchasto scored shorthanded to get the scoring started, but that was all for the first period. In the second period, Rob Myers, playing offense, scored a power-play goal with a slap shot from the left circle to put the Squirrels up 2-0. Later in the period, Don Marks – playing his first game of the season – floated a shot from the point, which deflected off of a defender and went past Bullhawks goaltender Guile Ghambir.

With 1:24 remaining in the period, the Bullhawks got a shorthanded goal to cut the Squirrels’ lead to 3-1. Then, with 23 seconds remaining, Myers took the puck hard to the net, crashed it, and scored.

Bob Sewell made 14 saves in net for the Squirrels, who played without Matt Borlik. The Squirrels skated with three full lines. Jeff Ford returned wearing a face mask after getting six stitches from a high stick last week. The Squirrels wore their new mesh roller jerseys, instantly feeling a difference in the weight and temperature. For the record, Ed Bager took a shot using his backhand for the first time ever.

The next game is Wednesday, May 24, at 8:30 p.m. against Mors ab Alto.

Quote of the game: “I took one in the ass for the team.” — Ed Bager

Squirrels 2, Bullhawks 2

Playing against a much improved Bullhawks team, the Squirrels struck first Tuesday, but had to battle back and kill a late penalty to settle for a 2-2 tie.

Don Marks scored through a screen in the first period to put the Squirrels ahead. In the second period, the Bullhawks scored on a delayed penalty, and then again 34 seconds later to take the lead. Then Jeff Ford scored off of the goaltender’s shoulder to tie the game at two. The Squirrels killed off a four-minute penalty with less than five minutes remaining, saving the tie.

Ford’s goal was his 20th of the season, a team record.

Two games remain, both against the top two teams in the league. The next game is Tuesday, August 9, at 9:30 against the first-place Hurricanes.

Squirrels 4, Bullhawks 4

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.