World War Z
[ by Than Acuff ]
It bordered on cruel and unusual punishment when Kochevar’s pummeled the Eldo 12-3 in town league hockey action Thursday night. But, hey, if you’re not playing at 100 percent all of the time whether you’re on the field, court or ice, you’re doing yourself, your opponent and the sport a disservice (hard to believe “disservice” is correct).
On another note, I was smacked in the face by the way-back machine that night as well. Not only was there a gaggle of former Titans and Wolfpack players on the ice, and officiating, but also Carl Spetzler’s kid Jacob, who is now an adult, was playing. Carl taught here back when the school was K-8 and in the current town hall and cop shop/KBUT buildings and I was a school bus driver. Before you start, no Otto did not like to get blottoed and school bus driver is the best ski job in the valley.
Now, I will stand by what I said last week: town league hockey is where it’s at these days. And, yes, conditions are “firm” up at the resort but I stumbled across an instructional video from Kili Weibel of the Swiss Snow Demo Team that is worth checking out. I can give you the abridged version though. Tune your skis, body position like a goalkeeper (I think he means soccer), outside ski should be the boss from the beginning of the turn to the end of the turn, upper and lower body separation, don’t panic and float like a dolphin.
“Stay relaxed and do your movements like a dolphin. Jump out of the water and in, going easy.”
Say what now? Dolphin? Hey Kili, how about you Weibel out of my way, I got some guy screaming down International at me in a Nuggets jersey with a backpack on and NO chance of stopping or turning.
I will also give you the abridged version of Switzerland: neutrality, alphorns, chocolate, Ricola, watches and caches of Nazi gold.
And, in that same vein, here’s my abridged version of the hockey game. Kochevar’s started out hot, cooled off into a brief stint of complacency, the Eldo pulled within two but Kochevar’s then scored seven consecutive goals over a 19-minute stretch to win 12-3.
It was bound to be a tough game for the Eldo despite a strong showing of fan support. For one, they only had two subs. Secondly, Kochevar’s had plenty of subs, most of whom are in their 20s. And C, Kochevar’s had the upper hand in net as well with Eric DiMarco standing between the pipes.
Sam Reaman opened the scoring in the second minute when his shot trickled through Eldo goalie Lucas McMullen’s pads.
Joe Hayes turned on the afterburners to skate the length of the ice for the Eldo and tie the game almost immediately but Kochevar’s responded with four more goals that period. Reaman struck again as he opened himself up for a wrister upper 90. Two minutes later Reaman skated into the zone and dropped the puck to Sam Evans, who also picked the upper 90. Reaman played the set-up man once again as he dropped the puck to Isaac Long and Long slipped his shot low and just inside the post and then Austin Noel and Evans connected in the final seconds of the first period to build a 5-1 Kochevar’s lead.
Alex Albers shared some thoughts with his Eldo teammates between periods and the team refocused on “running their plays” and came out in the second period more organized and determined to chip away at the Kochevar’s lead.
Career Eldo player William Muller bulldozed through the Kochevar’s zone to stuff the puck past DiMarco and then assisted Albers 90 seconds later to pull within two of Kochevar’s but the comeback surge soon dissipated. Oliver Houseman woke his Kochevar’s teammates up crashing into players and the boards to win the puck and the team responded to Houseman’s hustle by firing off four more goals. Connor Mog started the new surge rattling the puck off the post and in, Noel scored his second of the night, Evans netted his third and then Spetzler scored in the final 15 seconds for a 9-3 Kochevar’s lead.
Exhausted and down by six goals, the Eldo went into damage control with Jeff Duke providing plenty of defense and Lucas McMullen gaining momentum in net with numerous saves but Noel scored yet another and Jake Sunter finished it off with two goals of his own for the 12-3 Kochevar’s win.
Now, get out on the hill and float like a dolphin. I DARE YOU!