Whalers Fight For Third Place
In the last week of the regular season the Whalers will be fighting to stay in third place against the powerhouse and perfect Gamblers(20-0-0). The Gamblers have pretty much walked through this season without much pushback, routing 90% of their wins en route to a perfect record.
The Whalers will have both the interest of the league to hand the Gamblers their first loss and their personal interest of maintaining 3rd place and the right to play the shorthanded Dead River Rats in the first round of the playoffs.
The Whalers have made their last three games against the Whalers competitive, generally keeping the game close only to fall apart in the third period.
This should still be a win for the Gamblers, but it'll be their toughest competition to date...7-5 win.
Lallier's Spectacular Night Ends Gamblers Bid For Perfection!
The Whaler's Kenny "Save the Best For Last" Lallier was the best player on the ice tonight which is shocking considering he is an Octogenarian. Lallier made 40 saves and shut out the most prolific scoring machine in the existence of Men's League Hockey, The GAMBLERS!
The Gamblers were without their own "Bonnie & Clyde" as Mr. and Mrs. MalcAmmel(Allison Malcolm and Dan Ammel) were both on the gimpy injured list, but their roster was still overwhelmingly stacked.
This was one of the best games I've seen in years, with back and forth action, huge saves at both ends of the ice and a great tempo. The Whalers played a solid team game, focusing on defense and taking advantage of the Gamblers turnovers when needed.
Lallier was dialed in, keeping his team in it in the first as the Whalers were outshot 15-3. He received a little help from the crossbar as Willy "Weeble" Meyer rang it with 8:21 to play in the first. Forward Jay "The Zamboni" Zanleoni layed out to block a shot just a few minutes later(which is unheard of in men's league, but shows the commitment).
The first period ended in a 1-0 tie and it looked like it was only time for the Gamblers would put one past Lallier and the Whale. But the Whalers opened things up in the second frame, outshooting the Gamblers 15-11 and scoring on two of those shots. Lallier showed some heroics in the first minute to keep the game scoreless with a pair of huge saves followed by another diving blocked shot from Zanleoni.
"Jumbo" Joe Gaudet finally broke through with 10:35 to lay in the second after Nicky "Slick Sticky" Hall and Jason "Rugged" Rouillard worked the puck from the near corner to the front of the net and Gaudet jammed home the rebound.
Dillan "Fierce" Pierce made it 2-0 less than a minute later after a Nick "Old" MacDonald turnover at center ice, sending Pierce in all alone to throw a flutter puck high blocker side on Jeremy "The Seed" Seidling. Seidling wasn't bad in this one by any means, stopping 21 of 24 on the night, which is usually a good enough stat-line for any goaltender to get a win, but Lallier was dialed in.
That 2-0 defecit was enough to send the Gambler's Team Captain / GM Willy Meyer into a fit of temporary insanity, picking up a pair of penalties on the same play where he could have easily been awarded 6 or 8 minutes. The Slashing & Checking penalties ruined Meyer's chances for the UVHL Lady Bing award at the end of the season.
The Whalers scored just 48 seconds into the third period on a brilliant play by Zanleoni at the point as he toe-dragged around a Gambler, feathered a pass past another Gambler to AJ "Hambone" Hamel all alone in front. Seidling made a great save but Hamel jammed home his own rebound.
Hamel had another breakaway with just over 11 minutes to play as he went in on Seidling, threw "The Forsberg" on him, but Seidling kicked out a leg and made a nice save.
The Gamblers continued to press, but the Whalers collapsed to protect the lead and Lallier was perfect yet again.
You never see a shutout in Men's League, and you NEVER see a shutout against a team that averages over 8.5 goals per game. Lallier should get a fucking medal, I have a call in to President Obama and he should be arriving in the Upper Valley next week. Rumor has it that Old Spice is making a commercial about him, and Dos Equis has labeled him the new "Most Interesting Man" in the world. Lallier is GOD and deserves the case of beer he automatically won for tonights efforts.
Don't forget to vote for the Long Trail Player of the Week! A case of beer is on the line, eh!