Bat Cave to Even Series
By Jason Cohen, ITC Staff Writer
Ladies and gentleman,
we have a series. Not that there was ever any doubt.
In a mirror image
of the previous night's contest, the San Antonio Iguanas
stormed into Austin Saturday and took Game Two of the
Central Hockey League first round tilt, 5-2.
a lot more intelligent game tonight," Iguanas coach
Chris Stewart said. "This is the best series you're
going to see in the first round of the playoffs. To
think it would be over after two games, it's not that
way. Now it's a best-of-three."
As with Friday's
opener, an early lead allowed one team to control the
tempo while a five-on-three opportunity closed the door
for good. The Iguanas were already the stronger-looking
squad when they scored twice during the same four-on-four,
starting with Jonathan DuBois's textbook deflection
of Mark DeSantis' shot from the high slot at 13:09 of
the first period.
Dubois also won
the draw that began the play. He got the better of Austin
faceoff men Brett Seguin and Kelly Smart all night,
in addition to being his usual agitating self.
this game," Dubois said. "The first goal gave
us momentum, and we kept working from that."
a real good game," Bats captain Jeff Greenlaw said.
"They took it to us. They really took it to us.
Greg Gatto made
it 2-0 at 14:18, staying with the puck around the slot
as Austin turned it over, then regained it, then turned
it over. Finally, Gatto wheeled to the right post, brought
Bats goaltender Dan McIntyre down with a first shot
and converted his own rebound for the unassisted score.
In the second
period, the Iguanas had 69 seconds of five-on-three
and used it well, with Scott Green tallying early in
the advantage at 8:00 of the period. That left plenty
of time for Ken Richardson to make it 4-0 before the
rest of the power play expired, converting backdoor
off an assist from Henry Kuster.
The game ended
with the obligatory rough stuff, including a brawl that
led to San Antonio's fifth goal and a game misconduct
for Iggies defenseman Jeff Parrott. But the showman
of the evening was Austin coach Brent Hughes, who was
on young referee David Banfield all night long. Banfield
let a lot more go than Gord Dwyer had on Friday, though
both teams ended up with five PP opportunities.
received an unsportsmanlike condcut penalty at 3:14
of the third period.
the apple cart right there" the fiery coach said.
He began throwing water bottles onto the ice, five in
all, then accepted his game misconduct and exit with
all the triumphant defiance you'd expect of a former
NHL grinder. The crowd went nuts as Hughes raised his
arms to pump them up. The players took something from
the display as well.
good to see Hughesy yell at somebody else other than
you," Dan Price cracked.
a third-period goal, but the "STP Fuel Line"
was kept under control. "They're playing us pretty
hard, which is to be expected in tight checking games
like this," Price said. "It's tough to get
it going. We just gotta find that rhythm again."
better of them," Hughes said. "They didn't
turn in the effort or emotion."
Head cooler -
and wallet possibly a bit lighter - after a postgame
meeting with CHL director of officials Leon Stickle,
Hughes said he did not receive the unsportsmanlike for
jawing, but rather, for sending Eric Labelle out in
place of McIntyre for an offensive zone faceoff. With
more than three minutes left in the game, Hughes felt
Banfield didn't realize the situation, and penalized
him for trying to make a late substitution on the draw.
5373 fans were
on hand for the first hockey at the Travis County Expo
Center since February 17th. Game Three is March 29th
in Austin, with Game Four on the 30th in San Antonio.
in place of Bryan McMullen, who missed the game completely
due to illness. Emergency back-up Rob Galatiuk wore
McMullen's #35, with a strip of white tape covering
the name. He would not have been allowed to play unless
McIntyre was injured.
on the Austin roster is an interesting bit of gamesmanship
- he appeared in 26 games for San Antonio this season
before being waived February 7, and could be useful
to the Ice Bats simply as a scout. Galatiuk did not
sign with any other team after that, making him a free
agent. The Iguanas actually listed him as their own
emergency netminder without consulting him, only to
be told by the CHL that he was not available.
Brent Belecki stopped 37 shots, with the most serious
of that action coming from Austin's desperate third-period
play. Darryl McArthur was the other scorer for the Bats.