By Michael Garbacz
Game 1: 3 Knots Taphouse Whalers 8, Blues 2
On a makeup slate of Sunday games, the Whalers sure came out and made up for at least a week’s worth of offense on the Blues. In fact, we had ourselves a pair of Old Guy Hat Tricks, between captain Scott Millikin and New York Metzger. Metzger registered a natural hattie in the first and kicked an additional goal plus an assist later; Millikin finished with an eye-popping four goals and two assists for the game. The Blues were never able to find their footing in this one but did manage to stave off a shutout, courtesy of T.R. Hoyt and Matt Yetter, with a little help from James Haley. Brandon Morgan chipped in a pair of helpers for the Whalers; Ryan Parks and Jay Click each also added an assist.
Game 2: Thornton Services Renegades 2, EZ Loan Bruins 2
A hungry ‘Gader squad came in looking to feast on a depleted Killer B’s roster, but would have to settle for a tie. Missing gunners up front, the Smooth Criminal put the team on his back and kept them in it through three periods, providing both scores, unassisted. Meanwhile, Trey Lodge had the hot hand for the Renegades, finding the back of the net twice. Neither team was able to break the deadlock after the second period (in fact, the shots wound up even at 17 apiece), so a shootout was in order. There, the goalies won the day, and every shooter was summarily stoned, sealing the tie. The Onancock Kid and Dustin Aigner each threw in an apple for the ‘Gaders.
Game 3: Delmarva Soil and Concrete Red Wings 4, K&E Marine Capitals 2
Short benches afflicted both red and blue coming into this tilt, but it was the Wings who were able to steal the win. After falling behind 2-0 courtesy of a duet of Sharkey Parks markers, the Red Wings were able to claw their way back into the contest with a goal in the second and then ran away in the third. In fact, the team effort the Wings put forth netted them a “cycle” on the scoresheet—every player registered at least one point. The Huntsman, Justin Wheeler, Ethan Ayer and Michael Garbacz scored; Stapleton and Ayer also added an assist, as did Devon Corbin, Mike McCready, and George Smith. Jack Smith and the Pat Trick picked up a helper apiece in the loss for the Caps.
Game 4: NeuBeam Harambe 5, Blues 4
The Blues made the most of their chances (converting four times on a modest twelve shots), and received contributions from almost everyone, but still lost yet another heartbreaker, as the gorilla squad was able to edge them out by one goal. Preston Shover turned in a “pace yourself” hat trick along with an assist; power forward Jennie Rice and Zach Webb each tickled the twine and added an apple; Robbie Washington and Luke Webb added an assist apiece. Matt Yetter, not to be outdone by his younger counterpart, also recorded a “pace yourself” hat trick; James Haley scored; Cody Williams and the Parksley Original each registered two helpers; McKaley Parks chipped in an apple.
Game 5: 3 Knots Taphouse Whalers 3, Thornton Services Renegades 7
You could say that the Old Guy energy “carriage” reverted back to a pumpkin in this one, as the ‘Gaders ran away with a resounding victory, despite being outshot 24-19. Millikin and New York Metzger were still able to manage a goal and an assist apiece, but it wasn’t enough, as it would seem the Renegades’ shots had eyes for the back of the net. The Onancock Kid put up a two-goal, two-assist affair; Dustin Aigner tickled the twine two times and added an assist; Ben Bundick, CJ Jones, and Trey Lodge each put the biscuit in the basket; Ray Johnson and Cliff Windsor each chipped in assists. Cory Chance scored the Whalers’ other goal; Ryan Parks picked up an assist.
Game 6: EZ Loan Bruins 3, Delmarva Soil and Concrete Red Wings 2
The penultimate tilt of the day went to Bizarro World, as the Killer B’s found themselves hemmed in their own end for vast stretches and managed to register only nine total shots on goal. Meanwhile, the Red Wings’ offense was buzzing, but the lack of discipline in their own end, particularly in the first half of the game, cost them the win. What wasn’t bizarre, of course, was that the Smooth Criminal led his team in weathering the storm, along with a big performance by goalie Alex McCullough. Williams struck twice; Gabe Nock turned in a multipoint game with a goal and an assist; Chris Potter added a helper. For the Wings, the Huntsman picked up a goal and an assist; George Smith scored; Mike McCready added an apple.
Game 7: K&E Marine Capitals 5, Neubeam Harambe 4 (Shootout)
The last game was indeed a controversial and wild one, which saw two Caps goals disallowed, only for them to force a shootout and win it there anyway. The gorilla squad, despite being outshot overall 24-13, made the most of their opportunities, exploding in the second period and carrying heavy momentum into the third. However, they could not cut the knot, and the game found itself in a shootout to settle it. Sharkey Parks converted his shootout attempt and then, not to be outdone, newcomer Chauncey Smith followed up with the shot that won the game. Putting away a game via shootout goal is no mean feat, but that was the cherry on top of a pair of markers in regulation for Smith (not a hat trick by the book, but surely one in our hearts—three cheers for Chauncey!). Brett Morgan also found a pair of goals for the Caps; Sharkey Parks added two assists; the Pat Trick had an apple. For Harambe, Preston Shover led the charge, putting up two goals and an assist; Robbie Washington and Johnny Irvin each put home a goal.
ESSHL Senior League action resumes Sunday, November 17, at 1:30 p.m. at Stapleton Rink in Parksley. Be sure to check out the website at www.esshl.org and find ESSHL on Facebook.