On Thursday night at 10:15 PM, CIRIUS Fitness Ice Hockey hit the rink for the seventh game of the Fall 2014 season. In what has been the most challenging regular season yet, CIRIUS stepped into Thursday's game knowing it was an opportunity to start turning their season around. After winning their first game in overtime, the team had lost five straight, dumping them into the bottom of their division.
Putting their record aside, CIRIUS realized they would have to take it one game at a time. Thursday night, Jay Moye started in goal after missing Game 6. Eric Fischer, George Fischer, Ryan Nolan, and Rob Susca tended the blue line. The team rolled two lines of four forwards - George Noble / Chris Johnson / Ken Cassidy / Mike Pavlou and Dave Keelen / Joe Cirincione / Kevin Tormey / Victor Masino.
From the drop of the puck in the opening period, the team skated with a lot of energy. Scoring chances came and went until they struck on their first goal. A goal purely facilitated by teamwork; Joe Cirincione banged in a loose puck after the defense kept it in the zone while Dave Keelen and Vic Masino were fighting in front of the net.
At the end of the first period CIRIUS kept their lead. The game was tied up in the second and stayed that way into the third period. Historically, CIRIUS and Stihl have had several high-scoring affairs but this game was the complete opposite. Jay Moye played solid in net and kept his team in the game, giving them an opportunity to get a much-needed win.
The third period was more of the same. The two teams traded scoring chances but none were successful. As time grew thin in the third period, CIRIUS kept their offensive shifts shorter in an attempt to wear down their opponent. It worked, to some extent, but the score remained tied as the third period buzzer sounded.
Heading into Overtime, the team kept their strategy the same but tightened up defensively while focusing on getting pucks on net. The five minute extra period ticked away and the score was still tied. Into the shootout they went...
First up for CIRIUS, Vic Masino skated in toward the opposing goalie and ripped a shot right by him. Nothing fancy here, just a pure goal scorer's goal. It put his team up 1-0, giving them the momentum. Stihl's best skater was up next. Moye skated out to challenge and drifted back into his net as the shooter came down the ice. The shooter made a series of head fakes and took his shot. Moye stoned him and turned the puck aside into the corner. It was a tremendous save at the perfect time.
Next up for CIRIUS was George Noble. He skated down the ice and blasted a wrist shot over the goalie on his glove side. As the puck hit the back of the net, the bench erupted. Noble had just given his goaltender the chance to win the game with one final save.
Moye settled in as the second opposing shooter came casually down the ice. Stick handling and drifting right, the shooter then took his shot which was kicked away by Moye's left leg pad. CIRIUS emptied their bench to greet their goalie in celebration.
Jay Moye's GAA in this game was one of his best in a CIRIUS Fitness uniform. But it was his rock-solid performance in the shootout that stole the show. The team hit the locker room fully aware that their next game would come up very quick and they would need to pick up another win this coming Sunday night.
2015 PLAYER STATS
2 – Chris Johnson
4 - George Fischer
5 – Joe Cirincione “A”
13 – Rob Susca "A"
19 – Brendan Keelen “C”
20 – Keith Meyers
21 – Dave Keelen
27 – Mike Pavlou
31 – Jay Moye - G
35 - Andrew Rammairone - G
42 – Eric Fischer
50 – Will Hanley “A”
52 – Scott Dinella
82 – Ryan Nolan
88 - Mike Nill
98 – George Noble