First off, this writer would like to thank Donny Juan for transportation after the game. Without it, there would be no writeup tonight.
The Red Liners came out at the start of the Winter 2012-2013 season with new vigor as the CGHA has expanded
into two teams, a competitive level team at Johnny’s Ice House, and a recreational team at the North Shore Ice Arena. With several new players on the Red Liners, they tried to face the opponents with a new level of play. However, there first test one against one of the best teams in the C3 division, the Immortals. In classic Red Liners-style, the game would swing back and forth and only be decided in the waning seconds of the game.
The first period would be all Red Liners. They came out quickly by scoring within the first 4 minutes after Dan-Man tried to score from the side of the Immortals’ net. With the puck lying right in front of their netminder, Jack poked it through the five hole. Eight minutes later, Sobo fired a wrist shot from the left point which was then deflected by Teddy and into the Immortals’ net. Toto would ice the end of the first period would a puck-on-the-ice shot just past the opponent’s goalie.
But the Immortals would swing back and take advantage of the Red Liners difficulty of breaking out of their own defensive zone. The boys in red were not connecting with their passes, dumping the puck into empty parts of the ice, and turning over the puck at either blue line. With a dwindling offensive pressure, the Immortals charged back with quick break out and finally got on the scoreboard halfway through the second period. They came within 1 goal of the Red Liners just 2 minutes later. Multiple penalties by the Red Liners that were drawn because of difficulty clearing out pucks would continue to interrupt any organized offensive threats against the Immortals. The Immortals would tie it up with a powerplay goal a few minutes before the end of the second period.
The third period would decide the winner. The Immortals has a second period powerplay continuing into the third period and took advantage of it by taking the lead after just 48 seconds. Most of the period would showcase the Red Liners trying to mount more offensive pressure with quick line changing and more pucks at the opponent’s net. Pete would score an improbable goal to tie it up by just throwing a bouncing puck at the Immortals’ net that bounced through the five hole. The remaining half of the period would have both sides try to break the tie. But a questionable penalty by Bleecher would put the Immortals on the powerplay in the waning seconds. In an unexpected turn of events, a wide shot on the Red Liners’ net was blocked but then tip back just inside the net with only 6 seconds left in the game.
The loss was a heartbreaker for this new incarnation of the Red Liners. But there were 4 new players and cohesion had not formed yet in the various lines. Kudos go out to the Red Liners goalie, Dr. Nick, for standing on his head several times and coming out from the net to block angles on shots. He definitely upped his game after tonight’s performance. Finally, the Immortals will likely be on the top teams in the division. The Red Liners almost tied them with a new crew. This will hopefully foretell good things for the team in the future.