It wasn’t the result they were looking for, but it was the result they need. Boosted by the return of a few players and a rowdy crowd of 2, Reptar on Ice skated to a 4-4 tie against Hurricanes last night.
The first shot of the game resulted in a goal for Hurricanes and it was clear Reptar was in for a battle. The deficit would be erased just minutes later by Greg Stofman. Neither goal was pretty but it didn’t matter, both teams were on the board and both were looking for a win despite the fact that a tie would put them both in the playoffs.
Play went back and forth as chances were created on each side in droves. But it stayed tied for the remainder of the first. Reptar carried a slight advantage in play, but they couldn’t make it count and Hurricanes did not go away.
At the beginning of the second, Reptar finally did make it count. It was Stofman again. This time he got free in the slot with a chance to walk in 1 on 1 with the goalie. But yet again Hurricanes would fight back and grab the equalizer. Hurricanes had made it clear: it was a battle and it wasn’t going to be decided until the final whistle.
So they began the third tied at 2-2. That would not last. Matt “Moose” Merenich scored on the first shift of the period and Reptar was in control. And this time instead of letting Hurricanes hit back, Reptar added to their lead (with a bit of luck). A long breakout pass found Jon Casali and he streaked in on a breakaway. He made a nice move but hit the post. The puck came back of the post, hit off the back of the sprawled goalie and trickled in. It was 4-2 Reptar with about 8 minutes left.
Hurricanes weren’t done yet though. They responded quickly to bring it back to a one goal. And then minutes later, out of nowhere they tied it. Hurricanes picked up the puck in the neutral zone and tried to break into the zone. Reptar’s defense was ready, so the Hurricanes player crossed the blue line and ripped a slap shot on net. Screened by his own defense, goaltender Billy Stacy could do nothing to stop it from going top shelf. The two goal lead has been erased and it was tied with 2 minutes left.
Neither team was interested in playing it safe and assuring themselves a playoff spot. Both teams wanted the win. The final 2 minutes were highlighted by one chance. With about 5 seconds left Stofman got the puck in the slot and tried to recreate his second goal. He made a move and got the shot off but the goalie denied him as the buzzer sounded.
So while the result and season (2-0-3) was slightly disappointing, that can be forgotten now that they have reached the playoffs. The league was deeper than ever this year and this is sure to be the most competitive playoffs yet. Normally Reptar has cruised to victory but they are in for a change this year. The three other playoffs teams are Christ Crew, Hurricanes, and Don’t Toews Me Bro. Reptar has tied all 3 this season, so they have their work cut out for them. Playoff matchups should be announced soon and we will bring a preview when that happens.