By Michael Garbacz
Game 1: NeuBeam Harambe 0, Thornton Services Renegades 5
The gorilla squad found itself on the business end of a goose egg to start the day, thanks to the surging ‘Gaders. With their eyes on first place, the Renegades have been ramping up their efforts of late, demonstrated here by the final score and shot total (25-12). Ray Johnson danced a shutout jig in net; Dustin Aigner enjoyed a 4-point effort with two goals and two assists; the Onancock Kid twice tickled the twine; La Boca put up a goal and an assist; Ben Bundick chipped in a pair of apples; Cliff Windsor added a helper.
Game 2: EZ Loan Bruins 5, Blues 3
The Killer B’s found themselves without the services of the Smooth Criminal, not to mention several other players today. Alas, their short bench was more than matched by their opponent’s, who had barely scrounged up enough bodies to play. The Bruins were able to outlast the Blues courtesy of younger legs, but the blueshirts gave it everything they had. Bradley Colona led the way with a hat trick, and he was smilin’ like the Cheshire cat. Gabe Nock picked up a goal and an assist; Pat Christman put the biscuit in the basket. For the Blues, TR Hoyt, Cody Williams, and Matt Yetter all recorded a goal and an assist, a nice little bit of synchronicity for them to build upon.
Game 3: K&E Marine Capitals 5, 3 Knots Taphouse Whalers 0
The Caps set out to mirror the performance of the ‘Gaders in the first tilt, and unfortunately for the Whalers, the skeleton crew available couldn’t put up much resistance. Triple-emergency backup goalie Scott Millikin did his best to fend off a Caps squad licking its chops, but the goal crease is the loneliest place on the court. Cabe Morgan, meanwhile, was able to hand out a goose egg from his perch. The Pat Trick put up a goal and three assists; Sharkey Parks netted the hattie, and was smilin’ like a butcher’s dog; Jenny Hagler made a deposit at the bank of the goal; Jack Smith recorded a pair of helpers; Scott Bono registered one.
Game 4: Delmarva Soil and Concrete Red Wings 3, Thornton Services Renegades 2
Hands down, the best affair of the day was this one, as the Wings looked to cool off the hummin’ ‘Gaders. Somehow, they managed to do it, too. This game was action all the way down, featuring a total of 49 shots (27-22 Renegades), crazy bounces, last-minute poke-checks, great saves, game-changing turnovers, you name it. The ‘Gaders jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the midpoint, but the Red Wings just kept chipping away, capping off the comeback with a dramatic breakaway goal off the stick of Ethan Ayer in the third. Ayer finished with a goal and an assist; the Huntsman produced two goals and an apple; Michael Garbacz rang up a pair of assists. For the Renegades, the Onancock Kid and Dustin Aigner each found the back of the net on unassisted tallies.
Game 5: NeuBeam Harambe 5, EZ Loan Bruins 2
Bouncing back from its first game, the gorilla squad managed to pull together and sail past the Smooth Criminal-less Killer B’s. Although the Bruins struck first, Harambe just kept getting stronger as the game wore on, putting an exclamation point on the third period by pounding home three goals on 12 shots. Preston Shover led the charge with two goals and an assist; Robbie Washington sank a pair of battleships; Josh Taylor found the back of the net; Luke Webb, Johnnie Irvin, Caleb Clark, and Danny Tweedy each recorded an assist. For the Bruins, Matt Ayres and Gabe Nock were the goal scorers; Chris “Buckets” Potter chimed in with an assist.
Game 6: Blues 3, K&E Marine Capitals 10
And here’s where it gets ugly, folks. The depleted Blues squad ran into an immovable object. Though they managed not to get shut out, they also let Ol’ Plugalong face a soul-crushing 36 shots. (That is a lot of shots.) The Pat Trick largely deferred to his teammates in this tilt, nonetheless recording a goal and an assist; Jack Smith and Sharkey Parks each recorded hatties, with Parks tacking on an assist; Keith Hagler produced a goal and two assists; Chauncey Smith matched her coach’s output with a goal and an assist; Scott Bono added a helper. For the Blues, TR Hoyt recorded a duo of markers; Matt Yetter scored one and assisted on another; local hero Dean Dedicatoria pitched in with an apple.
Game 7: Delmarva Soil and Concrete Red Wings 1, 3 Knots Taphouse Whalers 0 (forfeit)
And here was the saddest result of them all. After their first game, several of the few Whalers who showed ended up walking the plank. Without enough bodies to legally proceed, the guys in green were forced to wave the white flag.
ESSHL Senior League action resumes with the annual All-Star game and skills competition, Sunday March 1 at 1:30 p.m. at Stapleton Rink in Parksley. Come check out the league’s top talents battle it out for fun! Also, check out ESSHL at www.esshl.org, and find the league on Facebook.