Mikey’s survives attack from the Eldo at Big Mine

Playoffs start Thursday, February 11

Just when the Eldo started to peak, they lost key player Paul O’Connor. Fortunately, team owner Ted Bosler had a trick up his sleeve pulling Milo Wynne off of the injured reserves for the final game of the regular season and a potential post-season rally.


While Wynne appeared still hampered from an ankle injury suffered weeks ago, he insisted that his return to the rink was not premature and definitely not the result of pressure from the front office.
“I just saw a witch doctor, that’s all you need to know,” said Wynne before the game.
Wynne’s presence on the ice proved disruptive at first for the Eldo as they struggled to find their rhythm against the first place Mikey’s Pizza squad in town league action Tuesday night at Big Mine Ice Arena.
Chris Tanis opened the scoring with one of his classic end-to-end runs with the backhand finish for Mikey’s first goal.
A minute later, continued confusion by the Eldo defense gave up the puck to Charles Gano in front of their net and Gano slipped the puck past Eldo goalie Justin Murphy for a 2-0 Mikey’s Pizza lead.
After a futile power play by the Eldo, Wynne finally took effect on the ice battling behind Mikey’s net for the puck and feeding Guy Cuilla in front for the stuff.
But Tanis responded 10 seconds later with a shot off a face off in the Eldo zone that Murphy never saw giving Mikey’s Pizza a 3-1 lead at the end of one.
But as the Eldo fans started filling in, the Eldo’s team cup of confidence started filling up. They took control of the game’s momentum slowly but surely and after 10 minutes of domination, scored when Cuilla blasted a shot from just inside the blue line off goalie Mike Preston’s pads that trickled over the line.
The Eldo then peaked led by the work of their mid level players scrapping after loose pucks to keep the game in front of Mikey’s net.
Sure, they’ve got Cuilla as their go to guy for the quick, fluid strikes but it’s the work of players like Hank Deroche, Pete Curvin, Matt Cahir and John Hickey that complete the picture. If those guys are working hard, the team follows suit and that’s just what happened as the Eldo scored with a minute left in the second period.
Deroche stepped into the quagmire of swinging sticks in front of the Mikey’s Pizza net to push the puck back to Bill Thompson in the high slot. Thompson settled the puck and picked the upper corner with a wrist shot sending the teams into the third period tied 3-3.
Now Mikey’s Pizza already had first place locked up so a loss would have been no big deal heading into the playoffs but having perhaps learned from the Colts, i.e. laying off the final games of the regular season only to lose in the Super Bowl, they switched gears one last time.
While Tanis had been relatively silent since the first period, enough was enough and he struck once again to complete his hat trick for the night putting Mikey’s Pizza back on top 4-3.
After Cuilla was denied an end-to-end run by Preston, he returned to tie the game one last time blasting a slap shot mid-stride off a pass from Steve Melenick with less than three minutes left in the game.
An untimely penalty left the Eldo playing a man down the final two minutes of the game and Mikey’s Pizza took advantage of the situation as Gano dished a pass to Tom Schaeffer off a face off in the Eldo zone. Schaeffer wasted no time firing a first time slap shot through traffic that Murphy never even saw for the game-winning goal.

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