“God Bless town league and all that it stands for”
Mikey’s Pizza handed the Eldo an 8-1 drubbing Tuesday night to open the 2010 Town League hockey season at Big Mine Ice Arena.
It was a grudge match 10 months in the making as the Eldo defeated Mikey’s Pizza last year in the Town League championship game.
Opening night was close to everything one could ask for, aside from the temperatures, which were balmy compared to typical Town League temps. Icetro and Eldo player Pete Curvin laid out a fresh layer for the game on the Zamboni, finishing his work with sage words as he put the final touches on his job.
“God Bless Town League and all that it stands for,” said Curvin.
Mikey’s Pizza came out of the opening face-off fired up, holding the puck in the Eldo zone and firing shots. They broke the seal four minutes in when Charles Gano fed Chris Tanis with a pass out of the neutral zone. Tanis took two strides and ripped one to beat Eldo goalie Justin Murphy for the 1-0 lead.
One-man wrecking-ball Billy Rankin tied the game four minutes later, barreling through the neutral zone to fire a shot through traffic and score.
Both Murphy and Mike Preston came up with big saves in close, but Gano and Tanis connected again to give Mikey’s Pizza a 2-1 lead after one period of play.
Tanis finished his hat trick early in the game, blasting a slapshot from the point to put Mikey’s up 3-1 in the opening minute of the second period.
The Eldo struggled to transition the puck out of their zone, causing numerous bottlenecks at the blue line. The times they did get through, Preston was there in net for Mikey’s, pulling off several brilliant saves.
Tom Schaeffer added another goal in the fifth minute of the second period as Mikey’s carried a comfortable 4-1 lead into the third period.
The Eldo picked up the intensity in the third period with players diving at the blue line to keep the puck in Mikey’s zone, but the effort proved fruitless.
Meanwhile, Mikey’s offense continued to gain steam as they exploited the Eldo defense, cheating in with numerous odd man rushes.
Gano netted two more in the third period, Brigid Piccaro broke free for a goal and Mikey Larsen capped the third period offensive onslaught, scoring on a rebound as Mikey’s Pizza skated to an easy 8-1 win.
Catch Town League action every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 and 8:45 p.m. at Big Mine Ice Arena.