“It feels like I finally understand why kids used to crowd around the two kids beating the crap out of each other in the hallway.”— Me (last night)
Last night was a tighter match that we’ve usually had with the Shreveport Mudbugs in the past. We started off with the first goal within minute one! It gave the team a positive outlook and I believe allowed us to play a little more true to the potential our team has. They haven’t quite gelled yet, but with a few shifts in the lineup and a little fresh meat brought in, we’re getting much closer than we were at the beginning of the season.
The refs were a bone of contention among the fans on both sides as it appeared they were either watching another game or just plain not watching at all. There were points where our goalie-in-net, Josh Langford #35 was having to nearly hand the refs some of the calls, which is beyond ridiculous. Things we all saw right in front of us that weren’t called included: a stick to the back of one of the Ice Wolves’ head by a Mudbug (completely on purpose), a few tussles when the puck wasn’t anywhere near the people involved, a few very clear incidents of slashing, an incident where one of the Mudbugs got completely nutted, and various technical items.
A few things were called, not the least of which being the first hockey fight I’ve ever seen in person! Zach Frisk #26 (F) decided to take matters into his own hands given how much of a pain in the rear Dawson Sciarrino #15 (F) of the Mudbugs had been during the whole of the game to that point, and quite effectively beat the shit out of him. Refs surrounded the pair and other players watched as the two scuffled it out on ice until Frisk took Sciarrino down and kept right on going. Both teams took penalties for it, Frisk with an extra one for continuing to throw punches after he had Sciarrino on the ice. From section C there were cheers and murmurs of agreement that Sciarrino had it coming.
There is definitely room for improvement in our team, not the least of which was a goal scored on Langford because he’d drifted away from the net for the puck and failed to get back in time. Much of the rest of the first and second period were spent with yells from seat section C telling him to get back in his net and stay there. It was honestly anxiety-inducing each time he left after that and truly, I think he could benefit from not drifting so far out of the net, though he appears to have tightened up his game a lot since the start of the season, so definite progress. He has talent, as all his saves last night showed very clearly, he just needs to learn how far out he can drift and when he should stay in net instead.
There were times when the Mudbugs were just yanking our chains and we were allowing it, failing at making an operative decision to stop the back and forth passes their lines, set up seemingly just to fuck with us. Even a decision to block one person of their completely-in-sync line would have given us a tiny advantage but we failed to do any such thing time and again.
Overall, I see a team that holds hope but needs to truly gel before we’ll become the cohesive presence we are capable of being.
The game ended 6-3, Mudbugs, and even though we didn’t win, there was definitely improvement over the first game on home ice I went to a few weeks ago.
Tonight is the second night benefiting ABQStrides and I will once more be proudly wearing my bright pink lipstick as it’s one of the few pink things I own. NM Ice Wolves will be raffling off the pink specialty jerseys and you can bet your sweet behind, I’ll be right there bidding. I have a special aim for #20 and #43 and hubby wants #35 or #26!