Monday, August 19, 2019

Last Steep edges out barnburner over Kochevar’s in town league

More points scored Monday night than Super Bowl

by Than Acuff

Or as a friend called it, the Super Bore.

Twenty-three goals were scored Monday night in town league hockey action, including a 7-6 throw-down between The Last Steep and Kochevar’s. Well worth the price of admission, which is free.

Amateur adult sports are really where the action is.

Just prior to the puck dropping for the game between The Last Steep and Kochevar’s, things appeared slanted well in favor of Kochevar’s. Not only do they have a solid roster of players, but they also had a full bench while The Last Steep had just two subs and eventually three. But The Last Steep did have the X factor in their goalie—Roan Perschke.

Kochevar’s went immediately to work, scoring in the first two minutes of the game as Ben Reaman slotted a pass up ice to Guy Cuilla and Cuilla scored.

Continued pressure from Kochevar’s defensemen, led by Matt Cahir, helped continue to turn the screws on The Last Steep but they withheld the initial pressure and found success at the other end when Dennis Magetti set Shai Ovadia loose with a pass and Ovadia finished to tie it up 1-1 a minute later.

Four minutes later Kochevar’s took the lead back as Ryan Maddux circled around the net to find a seam and score, only to have The Last Steep respond a minute later as Shane McGuinness found the five-hole.

Kochevar’s then started to build a little gap as John Hickey scored off a rebound to retake the lead. Megan Paden unleashed a blistering shot for The Last Steep, pushed just wide by Kochevar’s goalie Lucas McManus.

Kochevar’s tacked on a fourth goal early in the second period when Reaman and Maddux connected for a two-man attack with Maddux firing the initial shot and Reaman scoring off the rebound. Yet, once again, The Last Steep responded as Ovadia blasted a slapshot from the high slot to light the lamp, Will Nunez and Phil Dujardin tightened the straps on defense and then McGuinness set up Paden for a goal, tying up the game once again.

Notched in a 5-5 tie, heading into the third, the game could go either way. Sure, Kochevar’s bench was deep, but The Last Steep possessed the heart and hustle that would make team owner/player Sean Hartigan proud. Plus, Perschke looked to be just warming up in net and continued to turn away shots right, left and center while his team clogged the slot and swept the puck clear of danger.

McGuinness then ramped it up for The Last Steep on the first face-off of the third period, taking the puck from center ice to net and scoring for The Last Steep’s first lead of the game. Nunez added to that lead with four minutes left in the game but with a minute left, Maddux struck again, roofing his shot to pull Kochevar’s back to within one.

Kochevar’s called a timeout, pulled their goalie and had the puck in The Last Steep zone for the final 45 seconds of the game but couldn’t find the final touch to tie it up and fell 7-6.

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