--Road Trip - The Second Page

The Tisdale Trojans are even for wins and loses and are about the middle of the standings among the competitive "AAA" hockey league in which they play. The Yorkton Mallers have had a fair season so far and were going into tonight's games the favourites. Besides they were playing at home and had not had the travel that has a tendency to leave a team a little flat.

Their first encounter with each other in the exhibition season seemed like a distant memory so tonight they would be testing each other for the first time this year in a "real" game that counted.

The first ten minutes of the first period dragged along as each team tentatively tried each other out. The play flowed back and forth ineffectually as the Trojans had some problems getting their plays to click the Mallers looked like they were....well simply a little confused.

Both teams are remarkably similar in size and capabilities with both captains, Tanner Glass of Yorkton and Ryan Patterson of Tisdale being similar centres, play makers and team leaders. The goalies Senft for Tisdale and Zaba for
Yorkton are both tall well positioned players. Zaba has a
remarkable glove catching hand and Senft is a positional
stand-up goalie who keeps the odds in his favour by being where he is suppose to be.

Tisdale's defense and the Mallers defense looked pretty much the same, playing a similar style of play in this game and both sometimes getting caught on breaking plays. But, unlike the Saskatoon Contacts the Mallers seemed disorganised and lacked the prearranged plays that made the Contacts so effective in the Trojan's loss to them this week. The Trojans by the middle of the first period were starting to play confidently and their well oiled power play and penalty killing plays were working as they began to control the game.

Not until half way through the first was there a penalty then two more and Tisdale had the Maller's number.
The first goal of the game was a patented Trojan power play goal as seen below right.
Things evened up after that first goal as the Mallers began to sort out their play taking the puck into the Trojan's end more often. The second period was much more even then a breaking play saw an unassisted goal slide in (below left) to make it two nothing and near the end of the second Tisdale made that three to nothing.
When the fans headed off to coffee at the end of the second it was still not a lost game, the Mallers were playing hard and Zaba was performing better than his defenseman in keeping the puck out of the net. The Third period did not go well for either team and after a series of penalties the young assistant coach for the Mallers was asked to leave the bench. Showing remarkable restraint and superior diplomacy Coach Darryl Mann of the Trojans though less than enthusiastic about the course of events on the ice was able avoid sanctions.
Mid way through the penalty laden third period Tisdale dribbled in goal number four (below left) the goalie seemed to have been asleep and the Maller defense had allowed a lone Trojan and take the puck and nudge it into goal. The Maller's spirit was gone and a few minutes later the Trojans made it five to nothing (below right). Though the penalties were huge in number in the first part of the third after goal five there was a short while with penalties every few seconds of play. The frustration of the Yorkton players was brutal and the Trojans reacted to the lack of discipline with similar unkindness.
The fight below was one of the only two as the game dragged ominously toward a conclusion. Tisdale scored goal number six and the Mallers ended Senft's shut out with a feeble goal. Mercifully the last three minutes of play passed and the Trojans left the arena winners of a less than pretty triumph over the hapless Mallers.