Despite an uneven performance, the midget ‘BB’ DDO Pirates held on in the third period, defeating the MRO Devils 4-3 on home ice last Tuesday evening.
The Pirates are distancing themselves from the rest of the pack. After six regular season games, they sit at the top of the standings with 16 points, four more than the second place Sasquatchs.
However, in the last two games, including against the Devils, DDO has developed some bad habits. They’re letting teams back into typically unreachable games. They had a 3-0 lead in the second period of Tuesday’s matchup, eventually winning by one goal.
“The game’s not over when it’s 3-0 and it’s a three period game, it doesn’t matter what league you’re in, NHL or at this level, you can’t let other teams in or let up,” said Pirates assistant coach Phil Lord.
Pirates’ goaltender Mattix Scharf was lights out for two periods, but he couldn’t keep the Devils off the scoreboard in the third period. MRO’s Lionel Kabangu notched his first of two goals on the night just over a minute into the final frame.
A few minutes later, on a power play, Devils’ defenseman Gregory Spunt whacked at a loose puck in the slot. The puck ricocheted awkwardly into the air, taking Scharf by surprise, and closed the gap to 3-2.
“It was a bit of a panic, especially in the third period, so everybody is trying to do too much individual stickhandling instead of making simple plays,” said Lord.
But DDO zapped the Devils’ momentum halfway through the third period. Pirates’ defenseman Ben Perets snuck in behind MRO’s defenders and jumped on a breakaway. Perets buried the puck five-hole as he was being hauled down by Devils’ defenseman Gabriel Lapierre.
Perets goal stood as the eventual game winner, despite a rousing performance from the Devils. It was a slow start for MRO, but head coach Rick Sassano says they really proved themselves in the final 18 minutes of the game.
“The message on the bench was that we had to get our act together, start working hard, win battles, get some shots on net and we’re going to start performing, and that’s exactly what they did in the third period,” said Sassano.
Both teams are back on the ice November 9. The Pirates face the Sasquatchs, while MRO takes on Huntingdon.