Game 1 - Clark Physical Therapy 7, Mi Casa 3Due to absences, both teams had substitute goalies. Mark Anderson ventured to Des Moines once again to fill in for Clark. Kaufmann graciously hopped in the net for Mi Casa. The number of absences resulted in a 2-3-2 field once again with Levis and McDougal from Lightning filling in the holes on Clark's bench.
Newcomers Berg and Ladd were gone for Clark but leading attackman Ripchinski was on the field. Shoff was a strong leader in defense as always and Anderson wsa clutch in the net. Despite missing several key guys, Clark's ball movement was superb. Based on this performance, there is no doubt that they will be a formidable opponent to Wellspring next week.
Miska made a triumphant return for Mi Casa by scoring all three goals. My own return was less than glorious, but improved significantly when I switched to defense in the second half. Johnston was as strong as ever and Blay might just be the best all around defender in the league. The pieces are there for a strong run against undefeated Lightning Wear next week. It is just a matter of everybody showing up and working together.
Game 2 - Lightning Wear 14, Wellspring Parable 4This game was in trouble from the start. Both teams were missing a large number of players, resulting in only two players at each position with no substitutes. With everybody exhausted from the first game, only one sub, Jacobs, was able to stick around. The absences for the Young Guns included Zielonko, Nielsen, and Crites - the core scorers. The Brothers Greiss were among those MIA for the Bolts, but leading scorers Bostwick and Ben Couch were present.
Couch and Bostwick kicked the game off with repeated runs through Kurt Sundermann and Dirk Arends to exploit goalie Taylor's rustiness after a month-long absence. Their run-and-gun style of play quickly drove up the score as Taylor tried to relocate his presence in net. The second quarter saw higher confidence from Taylor who demonstrated his ability to make tough saves despite letting in sloppy shots early.
The league's youngest player, Gardner, got on the board before the night was over. But the real story was Dirk Arends ability to score. After switching to attack, Poppa Arends put in a couple for the Young Guns - more than young Benny Arends. Meanwhile, Sam Arends grabbed a hat trick for the Bolts.
Despite the scoreline, the game had an air of pure fun. Both teams seemed relaxed and patient. Only one penalty was called, but that was due to a sloppy check rather than malice. Overall, this game was a nice way to close out the season.
***Next week the intensity should pick up with the playoffs. Players should notify their captains ASAP if they will not make it. Since the playoffs carry more weight, I would prefer to avoid using subs from other teams if at all possible. A couple more experienced players have moved to the metro and contacted me this week. I have invited these players to serve as subs for the next two weeks to prevent potential subterfuge. Hopefully every team will have enough guys for us to play regular lax with a full line.