Last Steep avenges loss to Brick Oven

Playoff action under way

The key to any postseason run for a hockey team is their goalkeeping, and Last Steep net minder Reed Schaub was spot on in the opening round of town league playoffs last Thursday.
Perhaps it’s the fact that Schaub is busy reeling in his twins that has honed his skills in net or he just gets hot when it counts. Whatever the case, he was near perfect as the Last Steep skated to a 4-1 win over the Brick Oven.
Oh, and one more thing. The playoffs also have a tendency to take on a sense of urgency and while I accused Paul Moscatelli of a seemingly lackluster performance two weeks ago against the very same Brick Oven team, his two goals Thursday night shut me up real fast.
The Last Steep opened the scoring four minutes into the game when Blake Claflin carried the puck into the corner and fed Moscatelli in the slot for the Steep’s first strike.
The Brick Oven threatened two minutes later on a power play, but the aforementioned Schaub stopped a blue line blast from Bill Frame for one of his many stops in the game.
Brick Oven goalie Jay Harris matched Schaub save for save in the opening minutes of the second period as both teams traded off rushes to net.
Another key to postseason success lies with the midlevel players. Players who have honed their skills over the past several seasons of town league play. Players like Last Steep’s Dave Daumit. Daumit’s good for a blast every now and then and with five minutes left in the second period Daumit provided said blast.
Daumit carried the puck into the Brick Oven zone and unleashed his irie with tremendous precision from just inside the blue line through traffic to beat Harris for a 2-0 Last Steep lead.
Things fell apart for the Brick Oven at the end of the second period as a succession of penalties left them playing two men down to open the third period and down two goals.
The Last Steep sent in the A-Team (cue the A-Team television show theme music) of Claflin, Moscatelli and Chris Macarack to send the final dagger into the Brick Oven team and the A team delivered.
After a minute of constant attack looking for seams in front of the Brick Oven net, Claflin took the puck at the point and cranked a high writer on net that caught Harris off balance hitting off his pads and trickling in.
Moscatelli put the finishing touches on his effort seven seconds later winning the face off at center ice and skating straight to net to pick the upper corner stick side for a 4-0 Last Steep lead.
Ben Preston ruined Schaub’s shutout effort with a tremendous one-man effort to net the Brick Oven’s only goal of the game with six minutes left, but the damage was done and the Last Steep held out for the 4-1 win.
Double elimination format keeps hope alive for the Brick Oven, but teams will start dropping off this week as they battle for a spot in the finals scheduled for Thursday, February 25 at Big Mine Ice Arena.

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