Eldo follows up with upset over Talk
Upset was in the air at Big Mine Ice Arena Tuesday night as the seventh seeded Bacchanale handed the number two team the Last Steep a 9-5 beating and the fourth ranked Eldo squad sent the previously unbeaten Talk of the Town team packing with an 8-5 win.
There is something different about town league playoffs. With a single elimination format, every team steps it up for a shot at the title. Some players may even step it up a little too far.
For instance, Last Steep skater Milosadik Wishecudski changed his diet completely for the playoffs.
Prior to the game, Wishecudski placed a container of yellow liquid down next to his spot at the end of the bench.
When asked about it he responded, “It’s the Shatkins Diet, you recycle your own fluids.”
Unfortunately for the Last Steep, nothing, including a Shatkins Diet, was going to stop the Bacchanale that night.
They won just one game all season, apparently holding back until the post season when it really counts. Their trio of young guns, Willy Coburn, Jeffery Snyder and Nathan Lacy, led the charge for the Bacchanale Tuesday night having a hand in six of the Bacchanale’s nine goals.
In addition, the Bacchanale had a clear and coherent defensive strategy in place. The Last Steep has a couple players that spend a lot of time “dangling” in the neutral zone looking for breakaways.
The ploy worked most of the regular season but the Bacchanale made sure they had a man watching for said “danglers” all game long and stayed with them.
After a frantic opening three minutes dominated by the Bacchanale, Nate Welch put the Last Steep on the scoreboard first bum rushing the near post from the boards to stuff the puck past Bacchanale goalie Shawn Harrington.
Forty seconds later, Adam Chater tied it up when a shot flew wide of the Last Steep net and bounced back in front. Chater charged in on the weak side to beat everyone to the loose puck and score.
Harrington and Steep goalie Reed Schaub spent the next three minutes shutting down breakaways with brilliant saves until Wishecudski picked the upper triangle with a wrist shot for a 2-1 Last Steep lead.
The Bacchanale came back to score two in a row before the first period was over. Coburn carried the puck into the offensive zone and when a traffic jam formed in front of the Steep net, he slipped a low shot through traffic to beat Schaub.
A solo effort from Lacy helped hold off the Last Steep offense in the 10th minute of the first period. After skating out to block one of Brian Murphy’s classic blue line blasts, he retreated to net and dove to block a centering pass to a wide open Steep player in the slot.
Chater capitalized on another loose puck situation in the final minute of the period as the Bacchanale took a 3-2 lead into the second period.
Two minutes into the second period, the Bacchanale added to their lead when Coburn fed Clif Dimon for a goal and rumblings of an upset were building. But thanks to the effort of Molly Frame and Tom Consentino, the Last Steep held off the inevitable, at least for a little while. Frame followed on a rebound and kept poking at the loose puck keeping it alive until Consentino came in and punched it home to cut the Bacchanale lead down to one.
The young guns then struck again as Lacy scored with a wrist shot from the point. One minute later, Chater fed Tom Collins on the far post for an easy stuff and the Bacchanale was now sitting on a three-goal lead with four minutes left in the second period.
Once again, murmurs of an upset started circulating and once again the Last Steep shut them up. The Bacchanale eased off the throttle for a short stretch pulling back on defense, and the Last Steep made them pay.
Murphy scored at the end of the second period and Brigid Piccaro scored at the start of the third period to pull the Last Steep back to within one with plenty of time left.
The Bacchanale returned to what got them the lead, pure hustle and desire. Dimon chased down a loose puck drawing a penalty and a face off in the Last Steep’s defensive zone. The Bacchanale won the ensuing face off and Snyder slipped into the slot to score.
Coburn battled for a puck on the boards to feed Lacy in front to rebuild their three-goal lead, and Snyder finished the Last Steep off for good scoring on a breakaway to cap the 9-5 win.