O’Connor records first shutout
Paul O’Connor, arguably one of the best hockey players in town, anchors town league hockey team the Eldo and is one of several reasons why they are having a successful season thus far.
So when O’Connor announced last week that he wanted to try a game playing in net, reports circulated that team “owner” (i.e., sponsor) Ted Bosler was a bit concerned—especially considering that the decision made by O’Connor and Eldo goalie Tom Brother came on the heels of the teams’ first loss of the season.
But Bosler’s rumored concerns were quickly laid to rest as O’Connor recorded a shutout in his first game as goalie, as the Eldo skated to a 6-0 win over the Alpengardener on Thursday, January 31.
The Eldo found the net in the first 10 seconds of the game when Milo Wynne won the opening face-off and fed the puck to Kurt Olson going to goal for the 1-0 lead.
The Alpengardener held off the Eldo attack for the next nine minutes of the period, with Alpengardener goalie Jay Harris coming up with a number of saves.
Wynne’s hustle spearheaded the Eldo passing attack all period long; he finally broke free with two minutes left in the opening period to blast a wrist-shot off the post and in for a 2-0 Eldo lead.
Wynne capped his phenomenal one-man show with his third point of the period in the closing seconds of the first period. After chasing down a loose puck, Wynne found Pete Curvin alone in the high slot with a pinpoint pass. Curvin settled the puck and stuffed it in the upper corner to put the Eldo up 3-0 at the end of the first period.
Stout fore-checking from the Eldo held Alpengardener players Mike Lauerman and Joe Erickson at bay all game long while Wynne continued his personal assault on the Alpengardener.
Wynne, who turns 44 this week, was skating like a 19-year-old that night and had plenty of juice left after his first-period performance.
Wynne scored his second goal of the night three minutes into the second period, picking the upper triangle with a wrist-shot.
He completed the hat trick five minutes later, scoring on an assist from Hank Deroche to give the Eldo a 5-0 lead.
Guy Cuilla broke loose in the final minute of the second period to score the Eldo’s sixth and final goal of the game.
O’Connor stepped up in net to shut off a breakaway and deny a slapshot through traffic in the third period to preserve his shutout and return the Eldo to its winning ways.