Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Altitude Painting squeaks past Clark’s Market

It’s your attitude, not your aptitude that determines your altitude

by Than Acuff

Before we get into this week’s coverage—no I’m not going political—I’d like to give a big Sports Barrel shout out to Kristi Miller. I got called out in the North Face lift line Friday with the classic, “You should have been there.” Turns out Kristi scored her first goal of her town league career 14 seconds into the Last Steep’s game Thursday night so while I did miss it, I’m more than happy to give it some press.

At least I didn’t miss the showdown between Altitude Painting and Clark’s Market Wednesday as a scoreless first period soon developed into a quality game of hockey as Altitude Painting edged out a 3-2 win over Clark’s Market.

Before the game even started you knew it was going to be quality with Roan Perschke and Shawn Harrington in net for each team.

Back-and-forth is the only way to describe what transpired through the first period. Clark’s Market would charge up ice led by Dakota Wiggins and then Altitude Painting would counterattack with Drew Grigsby carrying the puck up ice and Bill Frame following in his wake, taking his place at the blue line to help keep the puck in the attacking zone.

Altitude set up shop for a while midway through the first period peppering the slot with passes and shots but Perschke made the necessary saves and Jack Weise was in the right spot at the right time to sweep the puck off the line to stem the Altitude tide.

A quick pass up ice found Alex Banas breaking free but Harrington proved equally tough between the pipes and denied Banas, leaving the two teams scoreless after one.

In the opening minute of the second period Wiggins looked to spark some offense for Clark’s as he cut through the Altitude Painting players like a Dead Head sprinting through parked cars at the sound of a tank filling balloons, yet his efforts still failed to bear fruit as his shots repeatedly flew wide or over the Altitude net.

It wasn’t until the seventh minute of the second period that the five fans in attendance were treated to a goal when Joe Erickson dropped a no-look pass to Billy Morgan on the wing and Morgan fired on frame through traffic and past Perschke for a 1-0 Altitude lead.

Junior Silva came close to tying the game up as he fired a low-wrister from the blue line bound for glory but the mass of humans in front of the net proved impenetrable, leaving Silva’s shot bouncing hopelessly between players’ skates and sticks.

Clark’s Market finally found the right mix of brute force and finesse in the third period as they pressed high and hard into Altitude’s zone. Banas found some daylight around the face-off circle but when the door shut on a shot at net, he dropped the puck to Carter Brock for a blue line blast past Harrington, tying the game 1-1.

Both teams traded off surges for the next three minutes and when Clark’s Market struggled to get the puck out of their zone, Altitude pounced when Erickson found John Chandler in the high slot with a pass and Chandler punched the puck through for a 2-1 Altitude lead.

Two minutes later, Altitude added to their lead when a tip by Morgan popped up over Perschke’s shoulder and bounced over the line for a 3-1 Altitude lead.

Clark’s put in one last-ditch effort in the waning minutes of the game and pulled to within one as Brock struck again, but time ran out on Clark’s as Altitude’s defense and goalie helped finish the game off for the 3-2 Altitude Painting win.

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