The FIHL celebrated Christmas with a Family Skate on Saturday, December 19 at TBSA followed by matchups between the Sand Sharks and Aces in game one and the Sting Rays and Minute Men in the nightcap. The Family skate was well attended and many gifts were raffled off! Our Best Santa was Coach Komarek of the Aces, our best Elf was Taylor Cowan, Sister of the Aces D-Man Chris Cowan, and our best sweater was Camella Frontiero, team manager for the Minute Men! A good time by all!!
In the first game, the Sand Sharks and Aces played a tight game that saw the undefeated Sand Sharks come out on top 4-3 in their lowest scoring affair of the season. The Sharks took a 2-0 lead on their first two shots on net, starting the FIHL debut of Connor Sheridan out on a sour note. The quick goals by Anderson Libby and Dave Beaudin made it look like another typical night at the office was enroute for the Sharks, but the Aces had other plans. Josiah Martinez cut that lead to one goal with 11:00 left in the period before Christopher Maybury gave the Sand Sharks a 3-1 lead on a short-handed goal with 1:05 left in the first period. The Aces scored the only goal of the second period when Gavin Frost netted one to cut the Shark’s lead to 3-2. In the third, the Sand Sharks went ahead 4-2 on a goal by Griffin Kirkham with 17:46 left in the third period, but the Aces cut that lead to one goal yet again when Martinez scored his second goal of the game on a power play with 5:43 remaining in regulation. Both teams battled in the remaining minutes of the game, but the Sand Sharks held on for the 4-3 win. Shots on goal were Sand Sharks 52, Aces 50.
The second game was a high-scoring battle that saw the Sting Rays defeat the Minute Men 11-9. The Minute Men got on the board first with a goal by George Brkljacic with 16:34 left in the first period. The Sting Rays answered a minute later on a goal by Richard Poweska. Less than a minute later, the Minute Men took the lead on a goal by Robert Scire, but the Sting Rays raced back with goals by Madisen Natter and Alicea McDonald to take a 3-2 lead with 13:34 left in the period. The Minute Men then called a time out to try and stop the volley, but almost immediately, the Sting Rays went up 4-2 on another goal by Poweska with 9:30 left in the period. The Minute Men stormed back on goals by Joey Saroukas and Side Show Bob to tie it at 4-4 with 7:53 left in the first period. The Sting Rays took a 7-4 lead on goals by Chandler Odell, Kane Eanes, and Erik LaFlamme with 3:52 left in the period. The Minute Men closed out the scoring in the first period when Alex Noti netted one with 1:55 left. No one knew how this one would end after a 7-5 FIRST Period!! The Sting Rays took a 9-5 lead early in the second period on goals by Odell and A. McDonald (their second goals of the night). The Minute Men fought back with two goals by Side Show Bob (assisted by Brkljacic) for the hat trick to cut the Sting Rays’ lead to 9-7. Not to be out done, the Sting Rays’ Odell added a power play goal with 6:08 left in the second period for a hat trick of his own. The Minute Men’s Wyatt Frontiero closed out the scoring in the second period on a goal with 3:12 on the clock to cut the Sting Rays’ lead to 10-8. The Sting Rays and Minute Men traded goals in the third period (Sting Rays’ Eanes and Minute Men’s Frontiero) for the 11-9 final tally. The Sting Rays’ Odell had three assists to go along with his hat trick, and LaFlamme had one goal and three assists. The Minute Men’s Frontiero had two goals and four assists. Shots on goal were Sting Rays 41, Minute Men 44