Dateline: April 25, 2010, Franklin Park. The Panthers dropped their first match this season 6-1 to the Huskies, so fans could be excused for concern about the rematch. Although the result perhaps did not satisfy, the Panthers' improvement certainly showed.
Coach Schultz started BJ Carmicheal and Gio Gulino on defense, Mike Sliwinski and Anders Lempia up front. The first period quickly devolved into a scrum, the only score coming at 9:26, when a Huskie took the puck in traffic, split the Panther defense, and scored.
Sarah Steadman had a nice one-on-one situation, which she easily broke up. Although the Panthers had some quality chances, they could not find the net and the period ended with the Panthers down 0-1.
Early in the second period, the Huskies stole the Panthers' puck deep in their own zone. Novice defenseman Aleks Gronkowski couldn't get back to defend the breakaway and the Huskies scored to go up by two at 10:28.
Then it was Panthers for a while. Forward Adam Tzaska broke away late in the second, sending the puck through the 5-hole, and getting the Panthers back within one.
The Panthers evened the score at 10:46 in the third when Center Mike Sliwinski scored. The Panthers managed at least five more quality chances in the rest of the third, but couldn't quite find the net. Meanwhile, the Huskies broke away on defenseman Joe Sabatino, pushing their total to three goals.
The match ended with the Huskies up by one.
There was some comedy to lighten the mood for Panthers fans. With two minutes to go, and the Panthers down by one, Coaches Sliwinski and Schultz were screaming at goalie Joseph Schmid to leave the goal, but he either couldn't hear them or refused to budge. Meanwhile, this reporter's five year old asked for $5 "because he was hungry," then returned with a snow-cone and three dollars in change.
The improvement in the Panthers from game 1 was remarkable, and these two likely playoff foes look to brawl in the postseason.
Sports exploits of the amazing Steadman children.