"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 12/22/02

By Jason Cohen

SAN ANGELO

To quote Outlaws owner Dick Moore, San Angelo beat Austin in every aspect of the game Saturday, sending them home with their tails between their legs.

The Bats had hoped to make Moore eat those words, which referred to San Angelo's 5-2 win December 9. Instead, Paul Vincent's Texas-sized hat trick -four goals instead of three - and strong play from goaltender Jean-Ian Filiatrault dashed Austin's hopes for a perfect weekend, as the Outlaws triumphed, 6-2.

"We had a few guys who cheated the other guys tonight," Ice Bats assistant coach Ken McRae said. "Some of them left a little early for Christmas, I guess."

San Angelo led 5-0 until Brett Seguin got Austin on the scoreboard at the tail end of the second period.

"I don't know, I guess we just figured we could show up, slap on the gear and win," Bats winger Ryan Anderson said. "If we don't work hard we're not going to win games. These guys play good in their own building. We know that."

The Bats are winless at San Angelo Coliseum in three tries, and have been outscored at "The Hideout" 14-4 since the third period of a shootout loss November 29.

Austin (20-7-1, 41 points) remains the top team in the Central Hockey League, but San Angelo (14-13-0, 28 points) can claim temporary superiority in the Southeast Division, having knocked off second-place San Antonio and Austin on successive nights.

The Bats outshot the Outlaws 35-27, but LaFilitrault, a three-time Central Hockey League Goalie of the Year for Oklahoma City who joined the team on Friday, rarely allowed a rebound. Another new addition, journeyman Chris Peach, chipped in three assists.

Austin's defense allowed an unusual amount of real estate around goaltender Dan McIntyre, who got the start due to Bryan McMullen's achey neck. Goals by Robin Bouchard and Vincent gave San Angelo a 2-0 lead after the first period, a margin that generally doesn't faze the Austin offense.

But when Cori Moffat erased a strong Bats cycle early in the second period with a hit on Bobby Brown, Vincent struck again on a behind-the-net feed from Peach, with both Austin defensemen out of sync.

Tyler Quiring made it 4-0 at 10.47 of the second, converting a post-to-post pass top-shelf after a completely exposed McIntyre committed early.

Vincent finished a pretty breakaway with a spring-loaded backhand at 13:59 of the second. He got #4 at 12:49 of the third.

"When he's on his game, Vincent is one of the top three or four forwards in the league," McRae said.

Tab Lardner had the other Austin goal, a power-play tally at 3:38 of the final period.

McRae filled in behind the bench for Austin head coach Brent Hughes, who rushed home to Canada Saturday morning because of a family matter.


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