Classics 5, Renegades of Puck 2

Classics face off against their old captain and netminder Aaron Froats and cruise to a 5-2 victory

FALL 2023 - WEEK 2CLASSICSRENEGADES OF PUCK

Aaron Froats

9/1/20234 min read

Week 2 of the Fall 2023 Season saw the Classics face off against the Renegades of Puck for the first and only time this season after two bouts in the Summer season required more than regulation time to produce an outcome. Both of those games went to the Renegades of Puck, but this time the ice would look a little different, with goaltender Aaron Froats now donning the black and yellow instead of the teal which covered his chest pads last season.

After a small delay to start the game, the Renegades took to the offensive early, keeping the puck bottled down in the Classics end for the better part of the first three minutes. The Classics would have their chances though. Almost midway through the frame, the Classics were setting up behind the net when Steve Morris attempted to slam home a wraparound to Froats’s right. Froats was able to make the initial save, but the puck caromed off to his left to a waiting Paul Lasalandra for the first goal of the game. It didn’t take long for the next goal. A scramble out front not even two minutes later had Froats flailing out of position, as it looked like he was still not settled into the crease for the game. An awkward save attempt on a shot along the ice squeaked through five-hole to give the away team a two-goal advantage. The Renegades appeared to have taken a gut punch and were beginning to play off their back foot. Froats didn’t help the situation with a lackadaisical move to his right post with Josh Brainard in the corner left a yawning area calling for a shot. Brainard took the sharp angle shot at the opening and pocketed his first of the year, moving the Classics out to a 3-0 lead.

Adding to the difficult climb back were a pair of penalties committed by the home squad towards the end of the opening period. First, Kris Martel was sent to the box for a tripping call with four minutes left on the clock. The Classics tried to keep their foot on the proverbial throat, maintaining possession in the zone for a solid 45 seconds to start the powerplay. The Renegades would see some life though, as a flurry in front of netminder Omar Soliman while shorthanded led to a flurry of chances, with a final rebound attempt finding the back of the net on a putback by Chris Brady. The black and yellow were clawing back, but a high sticking call on TJ Nielson off a neutral zone faceoff but them back on the penalty kill with 40 seconds to play. The Classics could not convert before the intermission, holding a 3-1 lead.

The home team would fight off the remainder of the Nielson minor, and in the second period, the ice leveled out with the Classics finding their opponent able to slow down the transition game and produce a few scoring chances. Froats settled in and made a couple big saves, including on a breakaway attempt by Lasalandra, which the goalie was able to stymie with his left shoulder, as well as a glove snare around a body parked on top of his crease on a screened shot from the point. However, the Classics applied the pressure again and were rewarded. A pair of point-blank saves by Froats were not enough with the teal and white crashing the net as the clock ticked down to less than five minutes remaining in the second. Ultimately, Lasalandra put away the loose puck for his second of the game to extend the lead back to three.

Third period had the makings of a strong finish. The Classics scored their fifth of the game when Lasalandra found the net on a shot that Froats had lined up, but the puck had eyes deflecting off two sticks on the way, leaving the goalie out of position to make the stop and completing the hat trick for Lasalandra. The Renegades bounced back shortly thereafter when Kyle Woodall broke out on a 2-on-1 with Jon Bellucci. Woodall kept the puck to the outside with the defenseman cutting off a potential pass to Bellucci, turning his hand over as he got to the hashmarks and sniping the corner over Soliman’s glove hand, cutting the lead back to three. Tempers then began to flare. Lasalandra met a brick wall personified by Brandon Adams in the Renegades zone, despite having a significant size advantage, and lost possession of the puck. Adams was entitled to his spot on the ice per rule and made a good defensive play, but Lasalandra felt otherwise. As the play turned back the other way, Adams headed towards the bench for a change. Lasalandra skated up to Adams and extended his arms for a full cross-check to the back of an unaware Adams, dumping him to the ice. The home team was barking at both the Classics forward, as well as the referees looking for a major penalty. However, while it seemed more violent than it was, the minor penalty was the correct call, giving the Renegades a chance to jump back into the game. Unfortunately, they would not capitalize, despite a remarkable shot by Jon Bellucci which looked to have beaten Soliman, but rang off the far post.

The Classics would finally take one off the Renegades with the 5-2 victory, giving them their first win of the season after their shootout loss to Your Mother in Law last week. The Classics will wear their away white sweaters for the next two weeks in back-to-back showdowns with Tenacious D. The Renegades of Puck will look to bounce back on September 7, as they face the Woollies. The two teams have faced each other twice, with the Renegades taking both games by a combined 17-2. The Woollies have grown stronger in recent games, carrying a 1-1 record into Week 3 on the backs of a 4-3 win over Tenacious D this week. The loss for Aaron Froats ends his winning streak of three where he hadn’t allowed more than a single goal in those games.