The new season of Johnnys Red Liners did introduce several new players traded during the offseason by upper management. Both offense and defense were shored up. These Hyanny Presidents last saw success in 1977 but admirably have kept their team together. At there last meetup, the Liners beat the Presidents 7-5. This matchup would be another close affair.
The first period had several new skaters getting acclimated to the new team and the speed of the game after a summer break. Both teams had scoring chances but neither to find the back of the net. New defense, Fifty Spence, got back into the groove with his partner, Double D, and made several key defensive stops. Matty shared center duty with Bradley. MO was teammated with his old teammate, Easy E. Both teams would be awarded power plays but neither could capitalize on them. The first period ended with both teams at naught.
The second period would be the exact opposite of the first as both teams would create a scoring explosion. Toe would start it early in the period after freezing the Hyanny’s goalie and wristing it over the right shoulder. Seconds later, Pauley would take it in solo and wristed it at the netminder. The blocked shot sat just behind the goalie where Pauley came around and poked it in. But Hyannys would respond with 3 goals of their own off several sustained scoring changes. Bradley would tie up the score with five minutes left in the period off a loose rebound in the slot that be popped it just past the sprawled goalie. Tempers began to flare up more as one of the Bantam Presidents, Paul Coffey, was trying to use his newly found knowledge of checking and trying to elbow and crosscheck every player that skated past him. The period would again end with the teams tied.
Toe quickly pulled the Liners ahead after Bradley crashed the net and left the puck in front of the empty net for Toe who easily slid it in. But minutes laters, the Presidents answered with a tying goal as they also swarmed the net. Both sides again had powerplay from overlapping penalties but could not score. It appeared that the game would end in a tie and move on to penalty shots. But captain Toe decided to pull the Liners netminder, Jimbo, with 6 seconds left to play and a faceoff deep in the offensive zone. After winning control of the puck, Jimmie fired a wrister from the point that rebounded to a waiting Bradley at the far post who shot it behind the Presidents goalie as the buzzer rang. Continuing with bantam tradition, the Liners celebrated the last second winning goal in front of the Presidents bench but took the their heckles in stride.
It was quite the inauguration for the three new skaters on this new version of the Johnny’s Red Liners. We hope the competition, camaraderie, and locker room levity will make Red Liner on and off ice events enjoyable for them and their friends. These Liners remain undefeated but in third place in the north section of C2. They face off against JD Law on this Sunday, Sept 27 at 9:50, JIH West.