Miguel Beaudry Makes The Save, RG Flath Makes The Play The Bats Will Play Another Day
(Austin, TX) - While the Bats 22-11-1 record since January 1st is the focal point to the team's second half turn around and playoff birth, their 5-4 win on November 17th might have been what kept the last bit of hope alive that the team could turn their season around in the first place.
Austin hosted the Odessa Jackalopes at Chaparral Ice Arena looking to stop a losing streak that had reached seven games. As both teams traded goals, and the tension continued to rise in Chaparral, and it looked like the Bats were about to lose for the eighth straight time as the final minute ticked away on the third period with the Austin trailing 4-3. Refusing to go away quietly, Austin's Jamie Thompson scored the tying goal with eight seconds left in regulation. The Bats and Jacks skated through overtime and needed a shootout to decide the victor. At the end of the five rounds both teams had scored two shootout goals each and headed to sudden death. It took another eight rounds as both goalies dazzled the crowd with save after save until the Bats Jason Tessier scored his second goal of the shootout to seal the impressive win for Austin.
Saturday night at Chaparral Ice Arena, the Bats and Jackalopes dropped the puck again in game two of their opening round playoff series with the Ice Bats down 1-0 and needing a victory to keep their season alive. The Bats came flying out of the gate with physical play and found the scoreboard first when Brendan Cook scored his first goal of the playoffs. Odessa tied the game at 1-1 just before the end of the first period. Both teams traded goals in the second as well with the Jacks jumping up 2-1 before Mike Bartlett setup Ted Vandermeer on a two-on-one to tie the game at 2-2. The third period was down to the wire, but it was going to be overtime where one team would pull out the win. 2:10 into the first overtime John Ronan found RG Flath all alone in front of the Jacks net to tap home the game winner. The Bats completed what turned out to be their most emotional victory of the season thus far...and it was over the Odessa Jackalopes again.
Now the teams will play a decisive game three Thursday in Odessa.
The Ice Bats have not won a game in the Ector County Coliseum this year. Their most recent defeat was their 4-1, game one loss on Monday. Both teams have to travel overnight from Austin for Thursday's game. The winner of game three will advance to the Conference Quarterfinals (second round) to face top seeded Laredo. If Austin can advance they will play game one on Saturday, March 29th.
The Ice Bats are the AA Affiliate for the NHL's Minnesota Wild and the AHL's Houston Aeros (AAA). The team is currently playing its 12th season in Austin. Single game tickets and mini-plans are available by calling 512-927-7825 or visiting icebats.com.
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Central Hockey League Stories from March 27, 2008
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