Tuscato never gives Fatty’s a chance in title game
rec league correspondent
BRECKENRIDGE ” Tuscato smoked Fatty’s on Tuesday night, running away with the Adult A League hockey championship, 7-1, at Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge.
Just five minutes into the rematch of last season’s final, goals by Martin Kennedy and Radek Kravnikovic had given Tuscato all it would need to secure the victory.
“They beat us last year by getting into our heads early,” Tuscato captain Kraig Hamady said after the game. “They’re a team that skates very hard and starts strong. We reversed that tonight, and I think we got into their heads by not letting them into ours.”
With the score 2-0 early in the second period, a potential turning point in the game was prevented by Tuscato goalie Rob Berger. After Fatty’s was pinned in its own end for what seemed like minutes, Darin Smith broke in alone at the other end.
Berger was up to the task, though, and snared Smith’s high shot to keep the two-goal cushion.
Almost immediately, Tuscato surged with more momentum. Andy Heyne stormed down the right wing boards, curled toward the Fatty’s goal and rang a wrong-footed wrister off the far post and into the net behind goalie Nick Montgomery.
Winners of three consecutive titles, Fatty’s desperately tried to stop the bleeding, but was forced into trying difficult things all night. The defending champs took shots from anywhere they could, and long, hail-mary passes that didn’t connect resulted in multiple icing calls.
Fatty’s defenseman Karl Johnson lunged to swat away a pass across his own crease, and the puck wound up on the stick of Geoff Palmer, who raced up ice under pressure. His flip pass over a plethora of opposing sticks found its way toward an open teammate who swatted at air as the puck hadn’t yet landed.
“We were on our heels the whole game,” said Palmer. “It’s disappointing, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”
The best sequence for Fatty’s came midway through the second period when Jeff Grabham blistered a slapper from the top of the circle, which was padded aside by Berger. The Tuscato netminder then rejected another slapshot from scoring range by Eric Westerhoff.
With two Fatty’s players in the penalty box at the end of the second, Micheal Uhlehla snapped home a 5-on-3 backbreaker. Just 8 seconds remained in the period, and the power-play goal gave Tuscato a commanding 4-0 lead.
Smith gave Fatty’s a glimmer of hope halfway through the third by stickhandling through the Tuscato defense and beating Berger with a quick shot to cut the deficit to 4-1.
The comeback never materialized, though, as Fatty’s found itself in more penalty trouble and yet another 5-on-3 disadvantage. Tuscato wasted little time in converting when Heyne tipped home Adam Sorenson’s low slapper from the point for a 5-1 stranglehold on the game.
Kravnikovic tapped home an easy goal on a beautiful pass across the slot from Heyne to make it 6-1, then Kennedy tacked on the seventh goal by roofing the puck from point-blank range with four minutes to play. With the outcome iced for Tuscato, the remaining minutes ticked away toward celebration.
“It’s definitely satisfying,” said Josh Forsher of Tuscato. “We’re all pretty happy right now.”
Matthew Duffy covers rec sports for the Summit Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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