Budget in credit to halt Rollers

Tuesday night should be a prime
evening for local roller hockey.

Kings Sports Centre hosts the sixth
week of play in the 10-week WestTel Adult Roller Hockey League.

The WestTel arena sees all four
league teams do battle. At 8pm the Barracudas hope to snag their first win
against the Cayman Destination Management Services Islanders before the Budget
Beavers and MEPCO High Rollers face off at 9pm.

The premier match-up of the night
is unbeaten Budget taking on scuffling defending champions MEPCO. Both are
coming off decent showings last Tuesday.

Budget came back from another early
deficit to double up the Barracudas 14-7. To no surprise captain Mark Missal
(three goals and one assist) and dynamo forward Tim McDonald (five goals) had
stellar showings for the Beavers.

For the Barracudas, Reilly Novak
led the way with three goals while Jason Windsor gave plenty of support with
two goals and an assist.

MEPCO meanwhile showed the early
season rust is falling off as it skated by the Islanders 8-5. Eric Mildenberger
had a sparkling game with three goals and an assist while Captain Darryl Hather
led by example with two assists and a goal.

CDMS countered with strong games
from Ben Rivard (two goals) and Pete Holowchuk (two assists and a goal).

Going into Tuesday’s encounter both
teams clearly have no trouble scoring. Budget (league-best 57 goals) and MEPCO
(second with 42 goals) are getting scores up and down their rosters.

The real keys to victory and the
inside track to the regular season title are defense and goal-tending. For the
Beavers they are steadied by defense-minded guys Martin Wilson, Joe Jewitt and
Rob Leadbetter. Behind them is Ryan Vanderwal, one of the league’s best
goalies.

Statistics back up their
production. Wilson
has 10 assists, Jewitt has four assists and 10 goals, Leadbetter has six
assists and five goals and Vanderwal has a 78.5 save percentage.

The High Rollers counter with
stalwarts Chris Creighton (four goals, one assist), Doug Steele (four goals) and
Jeff Hart (three goals, one assist). All protect goalie John Cowan, who
currently sports the best save percentage (80.7).

Budget’s fast start and its
match-up with the defending champs might have some effect on the team’s psyche.
As captain Mark Missal states, the team already has its sights on an unbeaten
year.

“At this point, even though it’s
pretty early, I’m happy to be undefeated,” Missal said. “But I like stirring up
controversy so I’ll go ahead and say my goal as captain will be to try and go
undefeated this year.

“If we can play our game, keep
scoring goals and Ryan continues to play solid in goal then I think we can run
the table.”

In the other game CDMS hope to keep
pace with the frontrunners after last week’s loss. In spite of the defeat the
club has aspects in their favour.

For starters the Islanders have
kept games close. Steadying the backline has been sportsmen Brendon Malice and
Patrick Bourque (who, in spite of his size, tends to get his opponents quite
peeved).

In addition CDMS has seen lots of
production from newbie Ben Rivard with nine goals and an assist and experienced
scorer Pete Holowchuk (eight goals and assists).

Behind Fareed Hosein and Mark
Thompson the Barracudas don’t quit and the result should be Nigel Windsor
should see plenty of action in net.

Luckily for the Islanders Windsor,
a middle-aged man, has used his experience to hold his own with a 71.2 save
percentage.

League matches continue every
Tuesday night for the next four weeks with the regular season finale on May 4.

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