Blades Fight Back to Win in OT
By L. Hayes
The Blades took on the Westchester Wildcats for our first game of the season, and it was a good one, hard fought, through three periods, and into overtime. We had a full bench, with Sue, Sarah, Danielle, Kim, Carol Anne, Karyn, Alyssa, Kelly, and Nina up front, and Deb, Meredith, Laura, Marina and me rotating on D. Dawn was in the net, and Steph was coaching on the bench.
We came out with energy and verve, powered by that almost indefinable joie de vivre that comes when you’re back on the ice with your favorite team! There was plenty of passing, lots of good looks, and maybe most important, a determination to follow up and keep digging.
The first period was scoreless, which highlights some great work from the D. Deb and Meredith harmonized beautifully, with Deb sending a pass behind the net that Meredith converted to a nice break out play. Marina did a great job picking up pucks high in the defensive zone, including a very nice pass up to speedy Sarah, who swooped down to grab it then ran it up ice on the boards, just like one of Deb’s drills!
Kim was doing great work on the breakout, staying high up in our zone and watching for her chance to take the puck over the line and up the boards. The most discordant note by far came from what seemed to be a fire alarm going off at the end of the period – turns out that’s just what the buzzer in our new rink sounds like!
The real fire started in the 2nd . Sue scored the first goal of the season, after a lot of good effort around the net – shots and rebounds and chases to the puck for second, third and fourth chances.
Hard work was the theme of the game. Danielle was like a terrier, digging the puck out with great determination then running with it. Carol Anne managed to pop up in the right place along the boards time after time, to stop or divert a puck. Nina, celebrating the start of her 10th season with the Blades, had some good passes from the neutral zone, tapping over to Kelly who was using her Gretzsky-like sixth sense to figure out where the puck would be by the time she got there. Laura and Marina were great at maintaining strong positions as they moved back from the neutral zone toward our net. And Laura made a solid pass up to Kelly, who brought it up and got it to Alyssa, for a shot and a goal!
Westchester finally scored, and then scored again to tie it on one of the weirdest bad-luck goals we’ve seen in a while – a wobbly shot from a faceoff in our end that popped up and over Dawn’s stick!
By the 3rd period, it was a real horserace. The teams were so closely matched that a single play could change the course of the game.
We had our first power play, when Alyssa was hooked, and our first penalty, on Meredith. At this point the Wildcats were up 3-2, but they made a costly error; they let Alyssa get control of the puck. Alyssa drove through traffic for a short-handed goal to tie the game, helped by Karyn who was planted solidly in front of the net holding open the door!
The final minutes ticked past in a blur, as both sides tried to score the go-ahead goal. Westchester almost broke through, with a player barreling down to follow up on a puck near the crease, but Dawn made a brilliant save, popping out of the net like a cobra from a basket to strike the play dead!
With the game tied, we went into overtime, and the quick pace made it feel like the 1st period all over again. Four minutes down, Karyn got a cross ice pass and took off like a race horse up the ice, all the way to the net for a shot. Danielle swooped in for the rebound, shot and scored! Her first goal as a Blade was the winner in our first game of the season!
We’ve got a rematch against Westchester tonight, and if we play the same way we did in the first game, it’s going to be great, no matter what the score!