Ryan Susca’s Hat-trick, Jay Moye’s Outstanding Third Period, and Eric Fischer’s Game-Winner Caps An Epic Comeback Win For CIRIUS Fitness
On Tuesday night, CIRIUS Fitness Ice Hockey clashed with Stihl for their second meeting of the summer season. In their first contest, Stihl had come back to score three goals late in the third period to force OT. The game was eventually decided by a ten round shootout during which Brendan Keelen, Eric Fischer, and Joe Cirincione scored to give CIRIUS the victory. Yet, the suspense on Tuesday night was perhaps even greater…
Missing Mike Nill and Chris Johnson (and with Ryan Nolan (foot) still recovering from injury), CIRIUS had only eight skaters on the ice. Joe Cirincione, Mike Pavlou, Ryan Susca, Keith Meyers, and Dave Keelen made up the offense and Will Hanley, Rob Susca, and Eric Fischer played defense. Jay Moye started his sixth straight game in goal.
The first period was tough for CIRIUS. While being down 1-0, Will Hanley’s shot from the left point deflected of Joe Cirincione’s knee and into the net to tie the game. Stihl took the lead back with two consecutive goals. Then, with 1.2 seconds remaining, there was miscommunication behind the CIRIUS net and Stihl struck again taking a 4-1 lead into the second period.
During the break, CIRIUS team members stressed the importance of getting pucks on net and playing better positional hockey. The second period was far better as the teams traded goals. Will Hanley sent another puck toward the goal which was tipped by Ryan Susca before going into the net. A 5-2 deficit seemed like a daunting task to overcome heading into the third and final period. The team again discussed the game strategy. “Shoot the puck and crash the net…cycle it down low, tire them out…gotta get to every loose puck”. It was not going to be easy, but a win in this game would mean a commanding lead in the division and a 5-1 record on the season. They went to work.
The spark they needed came from an all-around brilliant play to set up their third goal. On a heavy forecheck, Cirincione forced the opposing defenseman to play the puck off the glass. Keith Meyers kept the puck in the zone, gloved it down and slid it over to Mike Pavlou. He made a slight to draw the defender to him and then slipped the puck between his legs directly back to Cirincione who was camped out in front of the net to bang it in for the goal.
The team did not stop there. With Jay Moye making some critical saves in net and now being only down two goals, CIRIUS had captured the momentum. The fourth goal stemmed from a perfect faceoff win by Mike Pavlou. He won the draw directly to Ryan Susca who blasted a shot past Stihl’s goalie to bring CIRIUS within one. Late in the third period, the team continued their full court press and intense forecheck on the opposition. Rob Susca passed the puck over to Eric Fischer along the blue line. Fischer’s shot was heading toward the goalie when Ryan Susca snapped his stick down to deflect the puck down onto the ice and through the goalie’s legs for the game-tying goal with under five minutes left in the game.
With the game tied and the clock ticking away, CIRIUS earned another offensive zone faceoff. Keeping his streak alive, Pavlou won another clutch draw sending the puck around to his teammates. They cycled until the puck was eventually spit out to Eric Fischer who skated in from the point and let a shot go from the right faceoff circle – puck goes in, and CIRIUS has their first and only lead necessary to win this game!
The team battled through the last two minutes and managed to keep the puck out of their zone for the majority of the final 60 seconds. A truly epic comeback after being down three goals after both the first and second periods. Four goals and an outstanding shutout third period by Jay Moye led to this surge of momentum and the fifth victory of the season. With only eight guys on the bench, the defense stepped up to assist the offense as those three players accounted for the game-winning goal and four crucial assists.
CIRIUS Fitness now has some time to enjoy the win and the upcoming 4th of July holiday weekend. They will return to the ice on Sunday, July 13th to play against the only team that has topped them this season. They will be ready to go, that much is certain.
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