The nets were full of pucks as the fall edition of the men’s indoor roller hockey season came to life.
The opening game would set the tone for the rest of the night as Budget Beavers doubled up Elite Marble and Granite by a score of 8-4 on Tuesday.
The 12 goals for the game show this form of hockey will resemble indoor football with goal-heavy final scores. Then again indoor football fields five players per squad while roller hockey will see just four per side.
From the opening face-off, the Beavers were the more offensive team. The players, donned in blue and yellow uniforms, got to loose pucks and made dazzling passes beyond their opponent’s blue line.
Their focused play reaped much fruit as they snagged a ton of goals in the first half. The game’s choppy tempo worked well for the Beavers as they often caught their opponent off-balance.
A key factor for the Beavers was their ability to consistently give Elite goalie Jason Windsor fits with low shots. Jason, not to be confused with young goalie prodigy Dylan Windsor, would be flailing around in the first half as he struggled to get his pads in front of the puck.
Meanwhile Team Elite, in their red and yellow uniforms, looked out of synch on defense. Granted both teams did not have a good game defensively.
However Elite’s defenders, in spite of spirited play from the likes of Patrick Agemian, seemed unwilling to hang back behind the neutral zone resulting in a lot of two on one and breakaway chances.
In the second half things would continue to go well for the Beavers. They seemed to attack at will and were quick to show off the kind of passing and skating skills frequently seen in the NHL.
To their credit Elite was able to change the pace of the game a bit. They focused on holding on to the puck longer and setting up their offense from deep within their zone.
The change in pace would result in good chances on offense for Elite.
Baz Durzi would slot home a goal and big man Jeff Danter would brandish a wicked wrist shot that resulted in an impressive three goal hat-trick.
When it was all said and done however two players would rise to the occasion for the Beavers.
Tim McDonald would slot home four goals on the night. McDonald was comfortable on the rink and often put himself in the right place at the right time.
Meanwhile Jamie Lyon would score a hat-trick of his own. Lyon was a hard mark on the night, often leaving defenders a step or two behind.
Mark Missal would net the other goal for Budget.
In the second game the rest of the four team league would be in action.
Offense would be all the rage as newcomers Cayman Physio would fall just short to Alba High Rollers by a score of 7-6.
The first half saw its fair share of goals but the most outstanding part was how tense and tight play was.
Every foray into the opponent’s zone would be met with plenty of banging along the boards and poke-checking around the blue line and neutral zone.
Ultimately the abundance of goal scorers was too much for the Cayman Physio defense.
Two of their biggest headaches were Kings regular Wolfgang Brocklebank and tennis enthusiast Rob Seward. Both men would be blue of baby blue as they knocked in two goals for the High Rollers.
Ryan MacMillian, Tim Courtis and Jeff Hart would all add a goal.
Cayman Physio would respond with their red monster in Dave Stewart who scored had a hat-trick for Physio.
Pete Holowchuk, Brendon Malice and Paul Peene would add a goal each.
The next set of games are scheduled in two weeks due to the ongoing five-a-side playoffs.
On Tuesday 30 September Cayman Physio play Elite at 7pm before Budget tangles with Alba at 8pm.
Ray Singh, Athletic Director at Kings Sports Centre felt the opening games went well. He said he was especially impressed with the play seen in the opening games.
‘Opening night proved to be a highly successful event with the introduction of puck play into the WestTel Adult Roller Hockey League. We’ve got a great season ahead of us.
‘Tim McDonald, the league leading scorer for the past two seasons, started week 1 off with a whopping four goals. A few hat tricks were also added by Jeff Danter, Dave Stewart and Jamie Lyon.’