By Michael Garbacz
Game 1: NeuBeam Harambe 2, K&E Marine Capitals 9
The cold finally reared its ugly head, but the ESSHL action stayed hot, at least for the Caps. They went out and filled the net against a gorilla squad missing half their troop. The Pat Trick posted an eye-popping Mirror Hattie Plus, registering three goals and four assists; Sharkey Parks put up two goals and two assists; Keith Hagler tickled the twine twice and threw an apple on top; Chauncey Smith also made a pair of deposits at the bank of the net; Dalton McDaniel recorded a pair of helpers; Scott Bono and Jack Smith each picked up an assist. Zach Webb single-handedly staved off a shutout with a pair of markers of his own with a little help from Danny Tweedy.
Game 2: Thornton Services Renegades 3, EZ Loan Bruins 1
Things were a lot less spicy in the second tilt, but it made for a much better game as the ‘Gaders put together a three-period effort to outlast the mighty Killer B’s, themselves suffering a short bench. Josh Hail, Trey Lodge, and La Boca spread the wealth for the Renegades, each potting a pickled pepper; Dustin Aigner added a helper. The Smooth Criminal made sure no goalie dance of joy was to be had on the other end, with a little help from Gabe Nock.
Game 3: 3 Knots Taphouse Whalers 1, Delmarva Soil and Concrete Red Wings 4
After a brutal set of previous games, the Wings proved their mettle, stepped up and won a huge contest against the resurgent Whalers. Despite being outshot 23-14, the Wings forced their opponents to the outside, limiting quality chances severely and then counterattacking to great effect. The Huntsman led the way for the Wings, putting up a goal and two assists; Ethan Ayer rang up a pair of markers; Justin Wheeler put the biscuit in the basket; Mike McCready and Devon Corbin picked up apples. Brandon Morgan rained on Brad Ford’s shutout parade with an unassisted goal for the Whalers.
Game 4: Blues 2, NeuBeam Harambe 1
Arguably the best game of the day featured this tense, taught affair between the gorilla squad and blueshirts. This low-event game was a real nail-biter, and each team traded a goal over the first two periods, heading tied into the final frame. There, the Blues just took over, outshooting Harambe 7-2 and notching the game-sealing goal. Don’t sleep on the Blues, folks! Matt Yetter and TR Hoyt notched the blueshirts’ scores, with Cody Williams and James Haley picking up assists. Once again it was Zach Webb putting the team on his back, keeping them alive, and ruining Ol’ Plugalong’s shutout bid with an unassisted goal.
Game 5: K&E Marine Capitals 3, Thornton Services Renegades 4
The argument for best game of the day is not so settled, folks, as the ‘Gaders edged the mighty Caps in a thrilling, playoff-like contest. The Renegades knocked off the Bruins and Capitals in the same day; that is serious business. The ‘Gader squad threw everything save for Aunt Tilly’s chifforobe at Capitals, and it worked; they dominated in shots 22-9. But the Caps kept it very interesting, always just an inch away from the equalizer. Sharkey Parks figured in on every Capitals’ goal with two assists and one of his own; the Pat Trick and Scott Bono each put one beyond the line. For the Renegades, Trey Lodge rang up a marker and an apple; Ben Bundick put up two helpers; Josh Hail, La Boca, and the Onancock Kid each produced a goal; Cliff Windsor added an assist.
Game 6: EZ Loan Bruins 9, 3 Knots Taphouse Whalers 8
This game was bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S. When the Whalers started to pull away with this one, the Smooth Criminal threw down a tack strip. He filled the net to the tune of an eye watering double hattie, and added an assist for that certain je ne sais quoi. Brandon Morgan and Derek Hail did their best to keep up, with the former burying five goals and the latter adding two plus three assists. Bradley Colona registered two goals and two assists for the Bruins; Gabe Nock chipped in an apple dumpling; Chris Potter potted a particularly peculiar pepper and also had an assist; Matt Ayers chimed in with a helper. For the Whalers, Cory Chance contributed a goal and two assists; Ryan Parks, Jay Click, and Trevor Bundick each added a helper.]
Game 7: Blues 1, Delmarva Soil and Concrete Red Wings 3
The day’s slate of games ended on a decidedly more down-to-earth affair, as the Wings continued their “parry and thrust” game against a resurgent Blues team. Kevin Cornwell scored on a magnificent point blast to prevent the shutout for the blueshirts, with a little help from TR Hoyt. On the other end, the Huntsman produced yet another three-point effort with a goal and two assists; Ethan Ayer put home a goal and an assist; Mike McCready buried one; Wes Stapleton and Michael Garbacz each chipped in a helper.
ESSHL Senior League action resumes Sunday, February 2 at 1:30 p.m. at Stapleton Rink in Parksley. Check it out at www.esshl.org, and find ESSHL on Facebook.