Thursday, May 15, 2008

AMHL Wednesday Championship: "Should I Stay or Should I Go"

Wednesday May 7, 2008

“Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

“I forgot my shin pads and had to go home to get them,” said Shark forward Richie Perkins after the first period.

Perkie didn’t miss any goals because his Sharks couldn’t beat Sabre netminder Steve Scansaroli, and the Black (and Pink) Swordsmen couldn’t put the puck past Shark backstop and 2010 Olympic hopeful (more on that in a future posting) Kate Fallon.

Now, three minutes into the second period, the Sabres—skating right to left across your streaming imagination—have finally figured out Fallon’s flaw: She can’t clone herself. Randy “Pop the” Corke knocks home a rebound (assists from son Jonathon and Scott Jacobsen). 1–0 Sabres.

A minute later, though, Fallon flops on her side, stacking the pads to thwart a shot from Paul Anastas.

Not to be out-done, Scans flashes some left-handed leather, robbing Dalton Gustafson.

But Scansaroli can’t stop Dave Mello. Nobody can. Mello, a super lawyer and a budding superstar even at his advanced age, finds uncontested space in the slot. With 4:11 left in the second period, the crafty veteran negotiates the puck inside the post, low stick side. 1–1.

With :27 remaining in the second, Rich Yamartino shoots on Scans, and then Gustafson roofs the rebound to give the Sharks a 2–1 lead.

In the third minute of the third period, Anastas gets an assist from fan favorite Steve “Whoa Nellie” Antonelli (who loves e-mail from his fans, by the way) and ties the game with his twentieth goal of the season.

The game is opening up, and Scans is tiring. The puck is about halfway between him and Iberville’s (Quebec) enfant chéri, Chris Garrison.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?” Scansaroli wonders.

Scans stays in his crease. Garrison, whose soaring statistics—37G, 22A—have endeared him to les Québécois, guides the puck past the bushed backstop. The Sharks—and their three fans on hand this morning and countless dozens listening on CBC Radio—enjoy a 3–2 lead!

But this is the AMHL. Goals galore every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. And with 13:45 remaining, the Sabres figure they have plenty of time to score at least one goal, at least get this game to OT.

Kate Fallon is ready. And so are her teammates. Mello dives head first to break up one play. And when Fallon isn’t stopping pucks herself, she’s watching her teammates attack “’Roli the Goalie.”

Tired as he is, Scans keeps his team in the game with several big saves, and the score is still 3–2 Sharks with :55 on the clock.

“Time out!” yell the Sabres.

Scans stays on the bench and watches time tick away. It has been a great season…the 2.50GAA, the shutout, the donuts he ignored…but will this campaign end in defeat?

His teammate Paul d’Entremont, whose twenty-four goals led all Sabres, controls the puck inside the opponent’s blue line. He winds up as the final seconds bleed from the clock…he shoots…it’s blocked. It’s over.

“Should I Stay or Should I Go?” you may ask yourself.

Stay…for the Three Stars, sponsored by the Clash, as voted upon by the media:

3. Steve Scansaroli
2. Chris Garrison
1. Kate Fallon

Honorable mention:

Fathers and sons who play for the same team
The American Intellectual Property Law Association
The Olympic spirit
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