Greetings, sports fans, and welcome to the 2012-13 season of Thirds Hockey! Key retirements in the offseason gave management some space under the salary cap to sign a number of promising young players, so it was a heavily revamped team that took the ice for Saturday’s opener at the Jack. The boys kicked the season off in style, coming from behind to defeat the Martlets of Westminster 4-3.
Taking the ice in vintage-looking striped uniforms, the visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period. Both goals came with Richie Riegel in the penalty box, where he was clearly feeling shame. Having bent a bit in the early going, though, the Bears refused to break, holding the visitors scoreless through the remainder of the period. The second period featured consistent pressure on the Westminster goalie, but nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. After some inspirational words from Head Coach “Minnesota Mike” Bjurlin, the boys returned to the ice ready to take charge. They quickly found their shot, as Dandy Danny Ives, ’15, fired the puck out of a scrum for the first goal of the season. The Bears were just getting started, as the pride of Calgary, Alberta, and de facto captain Eric “Stampede” Smith ’14 fired a nifty backhander past the stunned Martlet netminder to tie the score. The Bears kept the pressure on, and finally broke through as newcomer Charlie “Chuckles” Erdmann '16 put the good guys ahead. After some back and forth play, Erdmann lit the lamp again, scoring what turned out to be a needed insurance goal. Westy managed to score a third goal with just over a minute left, but their fate was sealed. Kudos to netminders Roy Faigenbaum '14 and Andrew Koudjis '16 for their terrific performances on short notice. A tip of the cap as well to new blue-liners Hunter Reynolds, Matt Spaniol, and Brian Donovan. On Wednesday, the boys will take to the big ice of Rink 1 to host the Lions of Kent School.