A last minute roster change had Coach Matts concerned as one of the league’s leading goal tenders, Herman “the Hermanator” Thalen, who was listed as day to day was scratched just 12 hours before the contest. With Herman as a scratch, the Thunderbird Black’s called up AP Goalie Owen Lee in his first appearance in this league. “We’ve got a lot of confidence in this kid, he’s young but learns fast and stays focused when he straps the pads on”, says Coach Matts in a pre-game interview.
The action started off fast as the newly introduced music system, manned by Riley Pontello seemed to motivate the players. The first 8 minutes and 59 seconds were scoreless, and time on attack was even on both sides until the Sanabria, Kidd combo netted the first goal for the White at exactly 9:00 in the first. David Sanabria danced through the slot and dumped a pass to Jaden Kidd standing on the door step to move the Thunderbird White’s ahead 1-0.
The second goal and first of three for Brad “seriously, where’s the sun?” Larson as he went end to end and hit the 6 hole on Hubert Nunes who had made 7 saves to this point in the contest. Two minutes later and one shift after their first goal, the Sanabria, Kidd duo hit pay dirt again, only this time it was Kidd dishing to Sanabria who slapped home the rock at 13:20 in the first.
You could almost hear Owen Lee close the door on his net following the second goal as the nerves were gone and adrenaline and focus took over. An outstanding performance in his first appearance with 17 saves.
Early in the 2nd, “the big little man” Joshua Cheng was in the right place at the right time as he fired his first, and game tying goal into the net with an assist going to #22 Carson Nisbeth. With a taste of the net, #22 Nisbeth netted his own after an outstanding pass from #6 Sutton Shelly with 5:16 remaining in the 3rd . White over Black 3-2.
The wheels fell off White late in the 3rd, as their defence tired and the back-checking was hard to find. Hubert Nunes was put to work, but had little help late in the game, specifically against Brad “legs” Larson, as the chewed up ice, double shifts, and hard work through two and a half periods seemed not to slow him down as he netted 2 un-assisted goals late in the 3rd and only 30 seconds apart to tally his first hat trick in his STMHA career.