With a Saturday night game, the new season of the Heartland Red Liners began with a light bench. Only eleven players were suited up to skate against the previous season’s champions.
For the first period, only three defensemen were used including Melissa in her first game. The more pressure was placed on two centers with 3 pairs of wings. But the shorter D bench began to tire out the players and made it more difficult for them to control and clear pucks out of their zone especially against the 3-4 above average Blade players. After one period, the Liners were already done 4-0.
Before the second period started, the lines were switched up to 2 defensive pairs, 2 wing pairs, and 3 centers. Even with the change up, the forwards had trouble with sustained offense but the D seemed to be getting their second wind and fighting against the Blades better. Only one goal was given up in this period.
The lines were continued in the third period, but the wingers were becoming tired. This allowed the Blades to gain control of the points and generate sustained offensive threats. The Liners did give up two goals by allowing uncovered opponents sitting at the back door who easily popped in loose pucks. Three more goals were scored.
A tough start to the Heartland’s second season against the former champions. Upper management has a better idea of the caliber of players on the top team and will try to match it up appropriately with FTs and subs if necessary. They next play at 9:20pm on Monday, April 21st.