Early in the first period against lovejoy, the Leopards were on the prowl. As the puck squirted free in front of the Attack net, Grayson Clarke, Attack senior defender, read the play and delivered a well timed body check to neutralize the threat. The series of pictures below is a great example of how a clean body check delivered at the right time can change the outcome of the contest. This should also serve as a reminder to all players to skate with their heads up and be aware of their surroundings.
Midway through the second period a hungry Arlington/Midlothian squad was on the ATTACK! The score was deadlocked at one and a streaking Justin Ely aimed to break that tie. As Ely delivered a laser from the top of the crease, John Ruble slipped in behind the preoccupied Wildcat defense trolling for a rebound. Catching the redirect, Ruble brought the puck off the end boards, in behind the goalie and softly floated the puck through the crease, toward the back of the net. A hard charging Ely began the goal celebration instead of further belaboring the point by slamming home the biscuit which was now lodged in the goaltenders snow mound on the far post, as he thought the strike was already a tally. So, you make the call! The referees on ice waived off the critical go ahead, momentum building point. Had this been reviewed by Toronto, would it have given A/M the momentum to steal the game? Is the puck over the goal line, or simply an optical illusion, hovering midair above the red? YOU MAKE THE CALL!
Attack Hockey was in full swing Sunday night as the home squad faced off for the fourth time against the perennial powerhouse, Keller hockey program. Although the Attack was clearly outsized, they have pulled forward to be even in skill set, matching the boys in blue stride for stride and even outsmarting them with positional play at times. Despite losing by wide margins in the prior three attempts, it is clear that the gaps have been closed and it is anyone’s game at this point in the season.
Keller would strike first midway through the opening period with a laser from the high slot. A back and forth game would be evened up with moments left in the first as Justin Ely would score on a heads up pass play from Blake Colburn. The second period would result in only one tally and it would belong to Beau Rehonic unassisted. Beau would collect the puck from the Attack zone and using his wheels, streaked down the far left side ultimately exploiting a weakness in the Keller netminders post position. (The epic rush can be seen fully with both the agony and elation captured on the picture page.) Austin Koppmann would close out the period with a perfect save percentage and with that, Keller would find themselves in the unusual position of being the trailer.
With their defensive unit pinching in, Keller was able to control the offensive play, and proceeded to pull out all the stops in the third. An unfortunate screen shot would find its way to the back of the Attack net and at 7:08 in the third, despite making the first three saves, Koppmann was not able to keep out a lingering rebound. Despite the two quick Keller goals, the Attack would not give up and Taylor Bowman would pull the contest back to even after a Johnny Loggins feed. Keller shortened their bench working their ringers to the max and the move ultimately paid off as they tallied to regain the lead with 5:30 remaining. Despite having their chances (a goalpost and sailing a wrister just over the cross bar) and controlling the offensive zone in the final minute, the even up goal remained elusive and the Attack dropped a close one.
Arlington-Midlothian will be back on the practice rink Monday night and be looking to build on the schemes that took Keller to the brink as the Attack prepare to drive the same pressure to Plano Senior on Sunday January 31st.