Tenacious D 4, Renegades of Puck 3

A shorthanded Tenacious D team gets help from Zach Dunne to win the round one preview

SUMMER 2023 - WEEK 10TENACIOUS DRENEGADES OF PUCK

Aaron Froats

7/28/20234 min read

With the Classics and Your Mother in Law teams needing a shootout earlier in the night to decide their game, Tenacious D was locked into the sixth and final seed in the Championship Bracket before play even began. The team came out like they were still playing to move up in the standings.

As time ticked down to Tenacious D taking the ice, captain Caleb McKenney looked around a relatively bare locker room. Taking advantage of sub eligibility for the last game of the regular season, McKenney called on Zach Dunne to play in his third game of the night -- helping secure a point while in net for Your Mother in Law in the first game, and assisting in the Norse clinching the top seed over Puck Buddies in game two. Dunne would show no signs of fatigue and definitely left a mark on the game.

Starting out, however, it was the Renegades of Puck coming out strong. Bouncing back after a controversial loss to Puck Buddies the week before, where their opponent fielded a sub who has since been deemed ineligible for next season, the home team tilted the ice in their favor off of the opening draw. The addition of Dunne to the Tenacious lineup meant the defensive core of the Renegades had to remain disciplined, especially after a late scratch to Dustin Poole left them suiting on three on the back line. The D-core would prove up to the challenge, keeping the puck in the offensive zone early on, leading to a scramble in front of the crease. Chris Brady netted his fourth of the year giving his team the early lead. That lead would be short-lived, however, as an odd-man rush down the near boards by the Tenacious D defense led to a snipe shot high glove-side on goaltending Aaron Froats, who was only able to catch a piece on the way to the back of the net. First frame came to an end with a tie score at one.

Second saw Tenacious D turning up the transition game and speed to level out the ice. Not even a minute into the new period, Zach Dunne scored his first of two goals as a sub for the away team by beating Froats on a low shot to his left from the near side hashmarks. A penalty to Kris Martel a few minutes later due to an inadvertent high stick gave Tenacious D the first power play of the game who looked to take control of the game. The Renegades were able to kill the penalty with relative ease though, using the momentum to tie the score moments after Martel left the box. Ben Brinton scored in his second straight game at the 6:25 mark into the stanza, with assists from Kyle Woodall and Bryce Levet. The home team kept the throttle down and 72 seconds later took the lead when Brady put home his second of the game, changing the score to 3-2. Brinton and Zack McCann would assist on that goal, in addition to Brady's first earlier in the contest, demonstrating the fierce chemistry of that line.

The excitement for the Renegades would not last long unfortunately, when a play on the far boards in the defensive end left forward Skip McFarland in pain down on the ice clutching his right shoulder. The teams remained quiet and concerned as McFarland was helped to his feet and off the ice. Reports after the game state that his shoulder is sore, as well as the bicep area, but he is expected to return for the first round of the playoffs next week.

The home squad carried a one-goal lead headed into the third. The Renegades were determined to put their opponent away, but it appeared the line shuffling due to the McFarland injury began to take its toll and fatigue began to set in. Halfway through the frame, Dunne slammed home his second of the night on a breakaway, deking Froats out of his pads to even up the score. It looked like Froats was going to have to do extra service again this game after the shootout earlier in the night minding the Classics' net, but the game took a turn late. Scooting up the far side through the neutral zone, Levet attempted to close off the Tenacious skater along the boards. What appeared to be a solid defensive play saw the nearby referee put his hand up, ultimately calling Levet for slashing with only 48 seconds left on the clock. Captain Charlie Saunier called timeout to give his team a moment to talk over the ensuing faceoff.

Chris Brady won the faceoff in the defensive zone and the Renegades of Puck were poised to clear and watch the clock wind down to overtime. However, a key hold at the blue line saw the puck dumped back into the corner around the end boards. As the Tenacious D forward corralled the puck and took it behind the net, he fired it to the high slot. The resulting wrist shot was fired through bodies that tickled the twine for the powerplay goal, which would prove to be the game winner.

A rematch is on the docket between these two teams as they face off next week in round one: The Renegades of Puck with 13 points on the season, by virtue of dropping their last two regular season outings, will be looking to exact revenge as they host Tenacious D again as the home team and the 3-seed. Tenacious D finished with an even 5-5 record, closing out the summer session with two victories, to claim the 6-seed. They will meet at 10:30pm on Thursday night.