Kansas City Chief!
by Than Acuff
I loves me the Kansas City Chief at the Last Steep. That sandwich will turn your day around right quick. Kind of like the way the Last Steep turned their game around, nailing Alpine Lumber for five goals for a 5-2 win.
The game opened up as even as could be with both teams testing each other looking for scoring chances but getting shut down. Lucas Mullen, new to the position in net this season, is quickly learning the ropes between the pipes as he came up with numerous borderline brilliant saves for Alpine Lumber in the early stages of the game.
Alpine Lumber built off of the work of their goaltender to turn the tide in their favor midway through the first period, surging into the Last Steep zone for extended periods of time. While they set up several quality chances on net, Roan Perschke proved equally adept in goal as he made a handful of stops and then one-upped Mullen when he shut down a point-blank shot with a neck save. That’s right, when an opponent looked to roof Perschke in close, Perschke actually pinched the puck between his neck and shoulder to make the stop.
Minutes later Alpine threatened again but big hustle from Will Nunez broke up the attack with a savvy backcheck to keep the teams locked in a 0-0 tie.
But pressure leads to opportunities and opportunities lead to goals and Alpine Lumber finally broke the seal in the final moments of the first period as Mark Cram set up Ethan Carroll with a pass and Carroll scored for a 1-0 Alpine Lumber lead.
The Last Steep wasted little time responding 90 seconds into the second period as Shane McGuinness weaved his way up the ice and around the Alpine Lumber zone to set up Dennis Magetti on the weak side for a goal. One minute later Last Steep looked to take the lead during a power play opportunity but the chance backfired as Alpine Lumber caught them cheating in off the blue line and countered up the boards with impressive voracity. Jake Laramie battled hard to keep the attack alive and pushed the puck into the slot. Henrik Fursling tipped the puck across the face of the goal and Betsy Welsh punched it home for a 2-1 Alpine Lumber lead.
Will Dujardin remedied the situation for the Last Steep in the fourth minute as he corralled a loose puck and spun on his skates to fire a shot past an unsuspecting Mullen to tie it up 2-2.
The game got noticeably looser toward the end of the second period as the two teams traded off numerous attacks making use of the wide-open ice, leaving the officials swiveling in their skates trying to keep up.
While Alpine Lumber’s effort proved heroic through the first two periods, the Last Steep ultimately found their groove in the third period to break the game open. They took a 3-2 lead 30 seconds into the third when McGuinness set up Dujardin for a no angle, dangle goal.
A short stint of kick puck then opened up between the two teams as skaters made use of their skate blades to move the puck around but once the circus-play finished, the Last Steep struck again. McGuinness spends most of each game looking to set up his teammates but this time decided to skate the length of the ice to do the damage on his own. Although, none of it would have been possible had it not been for the Magetti’s masterful skate work to stay onside during the play.
The final strike from the Last Steep came in the final minute of the game as Shai Ovadia, who spent the entire game working up and down the ice, finally earned his just reward, stripping the puck off an Alpine Lumber player at the blue line and slipping it past Mullen into the low corner to finish off the 5-2 win.