By Michael Garbacz
Game 1: K&E Marine Capitals 3, 3 Knots Taphouse Whalers 6
The last day of games in 2019 featured some reversals of fortune, as the mighty Caps found themselves being manhandled by a rebounding Whalers squad. Outshooting the Caps 27-10, there really was no doubt about this one. Leading the way for the guys in green was Bam Morgan, who racked up a hattie and a helper; Derek Hail picked up two goals and two assists; Scott Millikin found the back of the net; New York Metzger and Ryan Parks each added an apple. For the Caps, it was Sharkey Parks who led the offense, garnering a pair of goals plus an assist; the Pat Trick added a goal and an assist; Dalton McDaniel and Jack Smith each threw in a helper.
Game 2: Blues 2, Delmarva Soil and Concrete Red Wings 1
BLUES WIN! BLUES WIN! BLUES WIN! Look out, folks: last week the blueshirts picked up their first point in the standings, this week they found their first win. This ship is turnin’ around! Guy Shover and James Haley notched goals in the first period, and that was all they needed, with Ol’ Plugalong and the defense holding the fort. The Wings did manage to avoid the shutout thanks to a late Ethan Ayer goal, assisted by the Huntsman. TR Hoyt picked up a helper in the win as well.
Game 3: EZ Loan Bruins 4, NeuBeam Harambe 1
This game turned into a chess-like, low event tilt, as the Killer B’s managed only 10 shots on net but made them count. Down a few players and with backup goalie Danny Tweedy in net, the gorilla squad just could not turn the corner this time around. The Smooth Criminal rang up two goals and an assist; Bradley Colona added a goal and an assist; Matt Ayres found the back of the net. Zach Webb staved off a shutout for Harambe with a little help from Robbie Washington.
Game 4: 3 Knots Taphouse Whalers 6, Thornton Services Renegades 5
Unlike the previous contest, this one shot straight up into the stratosphere. With the game featuring a wide-open, back-and-forth style, you probably missed a goal if you blinked. And the folks in green, ironically enough, are suddenly making other squads jealous with their speed and skill. But the ‘Gaders weren’t letting them off the hook easy, taking the lead in the second period and fighting all the way to the end. Trey Lodge registered a natural hat trick, and even though his team lost, he was smilin’ like a butcher’s dog. Ben Bundick and the Onancock Kid each added markers; Dustin Aigner and Josh Hail each picked a pair of apples. For the Whalers, Scott Millikin led the way with a hattie plus a helper (he was smiling like a slightly larger butcher’s dog); Bam Morgan produced two goals and an assist; Derek Hail scored and added an apple; New York Metzger chipped in an assist.
Game 5: Blues 2, K&E Marine Capitals 5
Although the Blues hung with the Caps all game long, coming on especially strong in the third period, they just could not solve goalie Cabe Morgan, and the Pat Trick’s squad sailed away with the win. Luckenbach and Sharkey Parks each recorded two goals and an assist; Keith Hagler tickled the twine; Jenny Hagler and Dalton McDaniel added an assist apiece. Matt Yetter and TR Hoyt finally broke through with goals in the third, courtesy of James Haley, who assisted on both, and the Parksley Original.
Game 6: NeuBeam Harambe 6, Delmarva Soil and Concrete Red Wings 5
This game was a tale of two extremely wild halves. Early on, the gorilla squad was clearly commanding the action, but the Wings were able to escape the first period down only one goal. Then, Harambe went completely off the chain in the first half of the second period, scoring five goals. The Red Wings, however, did not give up, and began chipping away at the lead, slowly bending the game back into their favor. Alas, it was not meant to be, as Harambe held on for the win as the clock struck zero. The frenetic second period featured dueling natural hat tricks from Preston Shover and the Huntsman, although it was unclear as to whether their smiles resembled those of butchers’ dogs. Ethan Ayer tickled the twine twice and threw in an assist. Robbie Washington scored a goal and chipped in two helpers; Caleb Clark rang up a marker and an apple; Luke Webb put the biscuit in the basket; Zach Webb earned an assist.
Game 7: Thornton Services Renegades 3, EZ Loan Bruins 1
The Bruins, facing a short bench, could not tough out a win this time around against a very hungry ‘Gader squad. The Renegades largely controlled play in this one, carefully pouncing on opportunities as they presented themselves, wisely respecting the Smooth Criminal’s ability to bend the contest to his will. Williams did indeed find the back of the net unassisted in the third to prevent the shutout, but it just wasn’t meant to be this time for the Killer B’s. The Onancock Kid led the way for the ‘Gaders, tickling the twine two times; Josh Hail had the other score. Ray Johnson picked up an assist.
ESSHL Senior League action resumes January 5, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. at Stapleton Rink in Parksley. Happy holidays from everyone in the ESSHL family!