Cape Cod Bluefins Beat the Dashers
Bluefins outlast Dashers 5-2 in Final regular season game.
Playing in their last regular season game and perhaps their last game at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center this season, the Cape Cod Bluefins wanted to give the home crowd a lasting impression of their inaugural season in the Federal Hockey League.
Apparently that meant showing the crowd of 400 plus spectators how tough they have become as before the first puck was even dropped, defenseman Steve Kelley dropped the gloves with Danville forward Chris Affinati. It was an evenly matched fight and after both players went to the penalty box it was time to play some hockey.
At 1:16 the Bluefins got on the board first when team captain, Kevin McCready scored his team leading 25th goal of the season after taking a feed from AJ Tesoriero and Brad Surdam. However, just 12 seconds later Ray Tremblay put his 13th of the season past Bluefin goalie, Chris Testa. At the end of one period the score was tied at 1 and the Bluefins held the edge in shots 13-12.
At 4:20 of the second period the Fin’s rookie sensation, Surdam took an AJ Tesoriero pass on a 3 on 1 break and sniped it to the top corner over the shoulder of Dashers goalie Breton Lindoff. Surdam’s 23rd goal of the season was also assisted by Testa who made a great save before Tesoriero picked up the puck and raced the length of the ice and dished it to Surdam. It was 2-1 Cape Cod and things began to get testy.
Several skirmishes broke out and a few minor roughing penalties were called. Included was a wrestling match in front of the Bluefins bench which drew the attention of the fans as well as the Fins bench and coach Mike Nugnes who was particularly vocal towards the officials and the opposing player involved in the tussle. At 7:53 Danville’s Ryan Stern scored on the power play to even the score at 2.
The rest of the period continued to be action packed and full of rough stuff. The fans were thoroughly involved and entertained. In fact, several fans got into a shouting match with Danville player James Brooks as he skated off the ice at the end of the period. The third period was set to be a good one.
The Fins didn’t waste too much time as Surdam scored his second of the game at 3:34. The goal was assisted once again by Tesoriero - his third of the night- and 6’6” defenseman Richard Dart. For Surdam it was his 24th on the season and the big power forward was all over the ice having the type of game that helped him to be named to the all-rookie team in the FHL.
With 10:38 left to go in the third period the game was stopped as one of the Danville players lost what was first thought to be a contact lens and as several players from both teams took to the ice to help look for the object, it was discovered that it wasn’t a contact at all that was lost but the player’s tooth. After a 5 minute delay, play resumed. The tooth was never found.
At 15:05 the Bluefins Derek Scanlon scored what may have been the prettiest goal a Bluefin scored all season. After taking a Steve Kelley pass he raced down the left side faked a slap shot and when the Dasher defenseman tensed up, used his tremendous speed to get around him. As he did, he unleashed a wicked wrist shot that beat Lindoff just below the cross bar in down into the goal.
For Scanlon, it was just his 5th goal of the season but it all but put the Dashers away. Player/Assistant coach Dan Gordon sealed the deal for the Bluefins when he lifted a length of the ice shot into the empty Danville net which had been vacated in order for them to have an extra attacker. Final shots on goal were 38-34 in favor of the Bluefins.
The Bluefins begin their 3 out of 5 first round playoff matchup vs the New Jersey Outlaws on Friday March 9th & 10th at The Capitol One Ice Vault in Wayne, NJ. They will then, most likely return to the Hyannis Youth & Community Center on March 14th & 15th (if necessary). Game dates and times are subject to change. For info on playoff games, see www.capecodbluefins.comor check the Cape Cod Bluefins on Facebook or call 508-280-6699.
Contributed by Tim Lus.