Sports exploits of the amazing Steadman children.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Sarah Leads Team Steadman to Conquer the Next Frontier: Hockey
Dateline: April 4, 2009, Franklin Park, Illinois. Having donned her new #4 jersey, gripped her stick, and bitten her mouthguard, Sarah Steadman took the ice today launching the Steadman sports dynasty in a new direction. Sarah took up ice hockey only 10 months before, but skated today's game as the starting right defenseman for the Franklin Park Panthers Gold Mite Team 1.
The first period began quickly, with Sarah stealing the puck immediately after the faceoff. Several minutes of scrimmage ensued before goalie Sammie Schultz made her first of many saves. Forward Maggie Vanermen had a steal as well, all before the first line change.
With 9:13 to play in the first, Niles player 55 shoveled in the Rangers' first goal. The Rangers second goal came on a breakaway with about 7:00 to play in the first.
The Panthers then began to show spunk. Maggie Vanermen slammed an obstinate Rangers player into the wall, and Sammie Schultz made another save. Sarah Steadman, playing for the only time during the match on the second line, cleared the zone.
The Rangers team showed advanced skill, repeatedly holding the puck in the Panthers' end, and centering the puck for shot after shot on goal.
Michael, the Panthers #28, began to take control of the Panthers' offense with a breakaway with 1:11 to go in the first period. This began a series of end-to-end breakaways, with Michael #28 going back and forth with the Rangers forwards, Sammie Schultz making save-after-save, and Sarah Steadman pounding the Rangers forward into the wall.
The first period ended with the Panthers down 2-0.
The second period opened quickly, Sarah mixing it up on defense. But a Panther made an errant pass, leading to an easy goal from in front of the crease with 9:47 to play and Rangers up 3-0.
Michael #28 then broke away from the resulting faceoff, caught a nice pick from Maggie Vanermen, centered the puck and charged. He made a nice shot on the goal, but it was blocked by the Rangers' goalie.
From there on, Number 28 spent the rest of the match charging around on both ends, 2-on-1, 3-on-1.
The funniest moment of the match happened mid-second period when a rookie Panther broke with the puck in the wrong direction, ultimately leading to a save by Sammie Shultz when the Rangers got the puck back. Sarah Steadman had several good blocks in the second.
Ultimately, Rangers # 82 scored on Sammie Schultz with a shot to the upper left corner of the goal, then showed his (lack of) class with some showboat moves -- looking like he had just won the Cup rather than scored on a novice team in the first game of the season. Rangers up 4-0 with 5:27 to play.
The second period saw Sarah make her first shot on goal, then to have her stick lifted by the Rangers defense for the first time on the rebound. Sarah did manage to force Rangers to change several shots and made several more blocks, while Sammie Schultz made several more saves but Rangers scored several more times.
In the third period, the story was the Panthers' #28, Michael, who finally broke away and scored with 6:16 left to play. Within seconds, he had another breakaway but was tripped on the finish spinning headfirst into the net. Inexplicably Michael was penalized for having been tripped, and sent to the box for one minute. Rangers scored again on the resulting power play.
Sammie continued to save shot after shot, but the match was over. Rangers Rangers 6, Panthers 1.
After the match, Sarah Steadman was talking about her jersey number and newfound skills. "I love defense. I loved it when I played football too. But that's all behind me for now. I've put away number 6. Roku is dead. Now I'm number 4. Call me 'Shi'." She said. But to this reporter, with respect, she shall be "Shi-san." "My friend Maggie is number 8, so she should be Hachi-san. Treat her with respect."