Dateline: April 10, 2010, Niles. Coming off a disappointing 6-1 opening match loss to the Huskies, Coach Artie Schultz’s Squirt Panthers were looking to rebound today against the Niles Rangers. Although their game showed great improvement and signs that the team is coming together, the effort was ultimately not enough to notch the Panthers’ first win.
Schultz started Sarah Steadman (17) and Adam Tzaska (16) on defense, with a front line of Anders Lempia (2), Danny Schultz (9) and Ryan Macri (8). Things started off well enough when the Panthers drew a penalty and a powerplay opportunity at 8:45. Notwithstanding a 10 minute delay as the officials got the penalty on the scoreboard, the Rangers killed the penalty. Seconds later, however, forward Adam Ihmoud (6) scored and things looked promising for the Panthers. The Rangers ultimately retaliated twice, including a wraparound goal on goalie Joe Schmid in the waning seconds of the first period, and the score was 1-2 in favor of the Rangers. The score should have been 2-2 but for a goal waived off by the referee who appeared to be asleep.
Rangers scored again a few minutes into the second frame, giving them a two-goal lead. Then, midway through the second, Panthers rallied. Forward Gio Gulino (5) scored on some nice passing by the Panthers, and forward Sammy Holy scored seconds later on a nice centering pass from a teammate. That knotted the game at 3-3. Schmid held the score with a beautiful save with 4:50 left in the period, and things looked solid.
It was then momentum took a turn in Rangers’ favor as the period went wild. Aleks Gronkowski (11) was called for roughing, and the Rangers went on the powerplay. Despite Carmichael’s best short-handed attempts to score, Rangers earned the point with 2:52 in the frame, then scored another with only 1:12 to play. Ihmoud scored his second goal on a beautiful re-direct from line-mate Carmichael with 59 seconds to play, but 9 seconds later the Rangers scored right back on an odd-man rush with a shot that slotted the puck between Schmid’s pad and the pole. The period ended with the Panthers down 4-6.
“We played better today,” said Coach Schultz. “Good first period. Good second period. Some bad luck. But the team is coming together. It won’t be long before we notch a win. We have one goal.”
Sports exploits of the amazing Steadman children.