Alright, so normally a split would bring feelings of blahness to me (is that a word?) but right now, I am elated. Our Sioux, who got crushed on Friday night in a humbling 5-1 defeat decided to show up for a period of hockey and topple the Mavericks of Mankato 4-3, earning a split on the weekend and showing signs that they are ready to play hockey.
Friday night's game was forgettable, to say the least. The Sioux scored first, but Mankato answered quickly and went on to rout the Sioux. Walski again looked shaky and it became obvious the team still was not clicking. Saturday night changed all that, I hope.
Jason Wiley got things started for the Mavericks, taking a pass from Andy Sackrison and beating Brad Eidsness just 1:31 into the game. The Sioux outshot the Mavs 15-9 in that period, but went 0-3 on the powerplay. The Mavs struck again in the 2nd period, scoring at 9:31 on the powerplay. It sounds like Eidsness was hung out to dry as Bruess was wide open on the goal. At this point, I did say that it was time to hit the panic button. The Sioux were just not clicking. Trying to do one too many things in the offensive zone. One pass too many, one stickhandling move too many. Trying to be too cute. Didn't help that at this point, they were 1-30 on the powerplay for the season.
But the Sioux finally got going. At 9:11 of the third, Kozek netted a pretty goal just as a Sioux PP expired. One minute nine seconds later, Duncan got his first of the season, also on the powerplay. And four minutes, twenty-two seconds later, Ryan Martens scored, again on the powerplay, to give the Sioux a lead. Yes, you are reading that right. The Sioux had the lead!
But 36 seconds later, Bruess scored his second goal of the night to tie it at 3. At this point, I was content with the Sioux just taking a point off of Mankato. And it didn't look like they would even be able to do that. Duncan got a hooking call at 1:20 of the third period to give the Mavs a powerplay. It looked not good. But VandeVelde, who has been quiet this year, scored a short hander with 9 seconds left, giving the Sioux the lead, and eventual victory!
The panic button is still on, folks. Eidsness didn't exactly play spectacular. And it took nearly 50 mintues for the offense to get going. But there is solace in all this. The team might finally be clicking. I said it during the game. Crash the net! Get the garbage goals! Stop dinking around! And they finally did.
Good job Sioux, good game.