Your Mother in Law 2, Renegades of Puck 1

Renegades of Puck’s anemic offense continues to struggle, extending their losing streak to five games, as they drop the nightcap to Your Mother in Law, 2-1

FALL 2023 - WEEK 9RENEGADES OF PUCKYOUR MOTHER IN LAW

Aaron Froats

10/20/20236 min read

The Renegades of Puck were part of seven one-goal games in the 2023 Summer season. The team went 5-1-1 in those games with three of them, two wins and a loss, actually being tie games decided via shootout. In the seven games, the team only outscored their opponents 18-16. Outside of those seven games, the Renegades went 1-2-0, outscoring opponents 15-12. Headscratcher? The first game of the season was a 10-1 blowout of the Woollies. Take that game off the schedule and the black and yellow went 5-3-1 while only scoring 23 goals in the nine games, dropping their goals per game from 3.5 to 2.5 in one shot.

Why is this relevant? Fast forward to this season. The Renegades entered Week 9 with a record of 3-5-0 with 20 goals scored all season. The math checks out: 2.5 goals per game. The difference comes down to goaltending. Through eight games last season, the goaltending for Renegades of Puck allowed only 17 goals: an impressive 2.13 GAA clip. With that kind of netminding, the name of the game was keep the score low and simply outscore the opponent by one. Unfortunately, the opponents in the Fall season have improved over last season, and the goaltending has come down to earth somewhat. Instead of allowing a paltry 17 goals through eight games, Renegades goaltending – held by Aaron Froats all season this season (he was added to the roster in Week 5 in the Summer season), has allowed 30 goals, or an increase of over 1.5 goals a game.

Again, why is this relevant? Enter Your Mother in Law as the opponent for the Renegades in Week 9. No stranger to lack of offense, YMIL had dropped their previous three games, scoring only two goals in one of the games and being shutout in the other two. Their aim was the same as the Renegades: keep the scoring to a minimum on both sides of the ice and take advantage of any goals they could muster. The first period looked to be right on line with the agenda for both teams.

Your Mother in Law utilized captain Jessie Lapid as a forward and defenseman for the contest, instead of his usual spot in the crease, calling on Christian Mansfield to man the pipes. Mansfield had made his season debut in net the game prior, winning in OT as a substitute tendy for the Woollies, 5-4. He showed early on that his debut helped him get warm and hone in on his angles as he fended off an early attack from the away team. The Renegades looked poised to score on several rebound attempts, but were not rewarded in the first. Goaltender Froats, looking to put the team on his back and carry them out of the losing streak, was equally impressive. Early on, he was met with a slapshot through traffic from the point fired on by Bryan Schraldi. The sizzling puck likely would have went high as it screamed by Froats’s mask, but he snared it out of the air with his catcher. Later in the period, a turnover out front gave Schraldi another opportunity, this time from point-blank range; however, Froats was able to seal off the five-hole to keep the scoresheet empty.

The end of the first period would see our lone penalty call of the game. With 24 seconds left in the frame, substitute forward Rob Kotulak attempted to make a play on a puck leaving the offensive zone. Diving for the puck, it had been retrieved by forward Annie Roach at the last minute, leading to Kotulak upending her in the process for the tripping call. On the ensuing offensive zone faceoff, Lapid won the puck back to a waiting Schraldi on the point, who sent another puck through traffic, this one heading to the five-hole. A big save by Froats kept the score even and moved the game into intermission.

The Renegades would lock down the Mother in Law offense to kill off the remainder of the powerplay to begin the second. The away squad turned up the pressure and appeared to have hit their stride in the period. The puck was in the home team’s zone for the better part of the period, controlling the puck well inside the blue line, peppering Mansfield for 15 shots. While the Renegades were displaying great puck movement, YMIL took advantage of a triaged Renegades defense. With Dustin Poole exiting the team, and Brandon Adams and Tom Buysse out for the game as well, captain Charlie Saunier was the only mainstay for the defensive core. That may have aided to the assignment cross-up, but nevertheless, Jessie Lapid took the puck from his own zone and took off up the ice. In the process, the defense was unable to hinder his path or disarm him, as he crossed the blue line all alone. Froats was square to the shot and was able to get a piece, but the puck managed to find the back of the net for the first goal of the game. The tenacity on the other end finally paid off for the white sweaters though, as the rebound game came to fruition on a Chris Brady putback on a fourth chance to knot the game up at one. The game was speeding by with very few whistles and the goaltending for both teams allowed for the low-scoring offenses to be viable.

The gritty fight from both teams would lead to a clogged up neutral zone for the bulk of the final stanza, with neither team getting much going in terms of offense. Halfway through the period, forwards Bryce Levet and Kyle Woodall saw themselves on a 2-on-1 approaching Mansfield. Exercising patience, Levet waited long enough to get the defender to make a move and fed Woodall for the one-timer. Mansfield made a huge push with his left foot and met the shot with his right pad, shutting down the opportunity. With both teams on multiple game losing streaks, and aware that whistles were not being blown, tension began to rise between the clubs as the clock waned. An apparent trip on Kotaluk in the offensive zone was not called, as well as roughing call against Roach on the other side. This only heightened matters.

With just over two and a half minutes left to play, the Renegades were looking to move the puck out of their own zone. Saunier circled behind his net to make a play up the near boards, only to have the puck intercepted by Schiraldi and deflect it out front to Froats’s right. In an attempt to make the first move on it, Froats dove to cover the puck. Simultaneously, forward Keith Truppi poked at the free biscuit and it slid under the diving goaltender to take the lead, 2-1. Saunier, seemingly taking blame for the goal, called timeout and could be seen apologizing to Froats for the turnover. The Renegades would not quit though. Out of the timeout, the puck was pushed to the offensive zone and the team began to cycle once again. While openings were not available, the away squad continued to look for an opportunity to tie the game. The puck was shot back out of the zone by the Mother in Law defense, causing the Renegades to recoil for another attack. As the clock ran down to 90 seconds, and his team wound back up to enter the zone, Froats left the ice for the extra attacker. This is where the tension would finally boil over. What appeared to be a missed infraction, taking forward Jon Bellucci off his skates, had both the on-ice personnel and the bench of the Renegades barking at the lone official. It cannot be confirmed that this shifted the focus of the team, but the result was the same as the away team would be unable to convert with the extra attacker, dropping the contest, 2-1.

The loss would be the Renegades’ fifth in a row, dropping them to seventh in the standings. Unfortunately, they will close out the season on Thursday visiting the formidable Puck Buddies, who trounced them 6-3 in Week 5 to start the losing streak. The boys in black and yellow will be looking for a different outcome this meeting to end the streak and gain momentum entering the playoffs. Your Mother in Law ended their losing streak with last night’s win, despite scoring three or less goals for the seventh time this season. They will host the red-hot Woollies in the last game of the regular season, who have won three straight after their OT win last night.