Town league action hitting its stride
The Echo Deli in Washington D.C. was run by an Asian family and sold beer to anyone with a pulse. I’m pretty sure if my five-year-old daughter walked in there and put a 12-pack of Milwaukee’s Best on the counter, the only thing the man behind the counter would say is “$9.99, you want bag?”
Good times… sort of.
These days… sorry I got no segue.
At any rate, town league hockey is really coming together these days with teams of all abilities picking up the pace and fans coming out in droves to catch the action.
The liquor store showdown was a prime example of that as the two teams played some of the fastest, and bestest, hockey to date.
The Wine House had a little more going on than Acme with an extra hop in their step building a 2-0 lead midway through the first period.
Jeff Snyder won the puck in his defensive zone and proceeded to pull off a one-man breakout passing the puck off the boards to himself in the neutral zone. He carried the puck past the next Acme defenseman and headed straight to goal faking one way and slipping the backhand past the goalie for a 1-0 Wine House lead.
Snyder broke free again 30 second later taking a pass from Travis Branson to net and this time tweaking his one-on-one move to finish for a 2-0 lead.
After a couple of unsuccessful early chances on net, Acme Liquors broke the seal in the fifth minute of the first period as Will Dujardin took a pass from Bradley Richmond and slipped it past Zach VanDyke to pull Acme back into the game.
The Wine House had the final say in the first as Branson slipped into the slot to score for a 3-1 lead as fans continued to pack the stands.
Poised on the cusp of complete destruction, Acme would battle back once again in the fifth minute of the second period. Thomas Mclean sparked the surge when he swatted a loose puck off their goal line to save a goal and Dujardin and Richmond connected again.
Richmond found Dujardin coming out hot off a line change with a lead pass and Dujardin did the rest. After hitting the pipe on his first try, Dujardin followed on the loose puck to score and pull Acme back within one.
Well aware that a winnable game was possibly slipping away, the Wine House elevated their game to rattle off two more goals in the second period. Fred Sproat carried the puck through traffic off the blue line to fire a shot. Acme goaltender Andrew Winogradow made the initial save but Branson followed on the rebound to score.
Snyder then capped the hat trick with under two minutes left in the second taking a pass from Branson in the slot in scoring to build a 5-2 lead with one period left to play.
Winogradow’s game got better as time wore keeping the Wine House from completely blowing the game out in the third period but Acme struggled once they were on offense. While their wild style and breakneck hustle made the difference in their defensive zone and neutral ice, Acme’s attack broke down once past the blue line and the Wine House held on for the 5-2 win.