"Slap Shot" meets "A Season on the Brink" in this twisted tale of minor league hockey in the place with more pro teams than any place in North America: TEXAS!

Bat Droppings 12/10/02

By Jason Cohen


San Angelo bruiser Roger Maxwell gave the Ice Bats a chance to take over the game early. Austin gave the Outlaws too many chances to win it.

Second-period goals by Jarret Metz and Paul Vincent broke open a 2-1 contest, and the 'Laws hung on behind goaltender Clint Owen to take down Austin 5-2.

The Bats were up 1-0 on a tally by Brett Seguin when Maxwell, who'd been dive-bombed by Austin's Bryan McMullen after his illegal hit in Saturday's tilt between these same teams, bumped McMullen for a goaltender interference penalty at 8:44 of the first. Austin was unable to convert.

Four minutes later, Maxwell cross-checked Bats defenseman Dominic Periard, then roughed him after the initial call. But San Angelo's Jason Abel was the only player who scored during the double-minor, skating in shorthanded on McMullen while Periard tied up with Kori Davison to make it 1-1 at 14:13.

"You don't excel on the power play every time, but we could have been up 2-0, 3-0 right off the hop," Ice Bats coach Brent Hughes said.

At 18:21 of the first period, Maxwell planted himself in the Austin crease and tipped in a pass out of the corner. Then he pumped both fists and kneed McMullen in the chest.

"That's the way I play," Maxwell said. "I'm a physical guy. I want everyone out there thinking about me so the other guys on my line can produce. Some nights guys get the better of you, but tonight I had the last laugh, I scored on him and we won."

San Angelo took a 3-1 lead at 5:15 of the second on Metz's power-play goal.

Vincent and Daniel Chaput worked a "Sportscenter"-worthy give-and-go to make it 4-1 at 8:45 of the second.

The Bats outshot the Outlaws 38-29, but the offense couldn't catch a break, and never earned a steady stretch of dominance. Dan Price had his goal-scoring streak stopped at seven games, while Bobby Brown has not found the net in nine.

"I think Owen got to us more than Maxwell did," Hughes said. "We were frustrated at not being able to score. Defensively we had a few breakdowns, but I thought we battled hard. I wasn't upset with our play at all."

The Bats were without forward Jeff Greenlaw, and their injured captain's fire was noticeably absent. The Outlaws also had a void, as head coach Eddie Johnstone watched the game from high up in the stands, an unusual decision that left assistant Brent Scott to man the bench.

Ian Larocque scored the second Austin goal at 7:05 of the third.

Site designed by Rusty/CMW Consulting ©2002 Content ©2002 Jason Cohen