P.R.E.A.T. earns three points in battle of Monday league titans
Popcorn Resistance Education And Training sophomore David Hovet came into Monday night’s game against league rival and 2018 Half Brothers Broomball League championship game opponent Brett’s Classy Ladies with one piece of advice for his fellow P.R.E.A.T. mates:
“Let’s get organized.”
In a game that will be studied, cited, and recited for years to come, those words held fast as the defending champions P.R.E.A.T. narrowly defeated B’sCLs 3-2 under the Town Square Arena lights in a rematch of last year’s slushfest classic.
From the get, it appeared that P.R.E.A.T. would hold control over the Classy Ladies with relative ease. Within minutes, 2018 All-Monday League center Hovet came across the right side, lifting and tapping the broomball to himself mid-air, then smashing home an early goal past B’sCLs tender Brett Gilbraith, the keeper’s first allowed goal of the season.
Relieved, P.R.E.A.T. went on the defensive to protect their lead from a dangerous B’sCLs offensive line known for fine passing and unpredictable attacks from goalie-forward Gilbraith. P.R.E.A.T. held for the majority of the first half, which featured key disruptions from Becca Perry and pesky short-handed shots on goal by freshman Sarah Boese, but the Classy Ladies remained a persistent threat. The front line of Sawyer Rosendahl, Donny Kristjanson, and Marcus Bergstrom mercilessly peppered the P.R.E.A.T. cage, hitting almost as many pipes as they did shots on goal.
Probability proved a faithful mistress. B’sCLs’ bombardment at last broke through when Kristjanson went five-hole just before half, re-curling the toes of the P.R.E.A.T. faithful and rejuvenating the spirits of Brett and Ladies alike as the two teams ended the half with one goal apiece.
That, P.R.E.A.T. captain Bosco de Gama would later reveal, was when Popcorn Resistance Education And Training decided to get organized.
“We were battling hard that first half, and to have the Classy Ladies tie it up and erase our lead was certainly a blow,” de Gama explained. “Our blitzkrieg attacks that first half were successful, but Brett’s Ladies started to catch on. We knew a change in tactics was needed. Whatever it was going to take, we had to be methodical. We ditched the frenzied German offense for a more disciplined scheme. It’s based on battle plans from the Crimean War.”
What P.R.E.A.T. left its locker room with in focus, the Classy Ladies matched in grit. Gilbraith began the second half with a vengeance, stopping heavy shots from Hovet and da Gama with athletic crease play that harkened back to the days of a young Nate Ziegelmann. Gilbraith would also initiate several scoring chances with ice-lengthed slapshots that consistently set up immediate rebounding opportunities.
Still, P.R.E.A.T. pushed on. Hovet scored his second goal of the game in traffic. Power forward Soy Boy Rosendahl answered promptly with a heady play and slick stickwork to tie the game at 2-2. Many in the stands wondered if the stalemate would persist and a shootout would be needed. With 3:11 left on the on clock, Hovet answered those questions. In a furious race for a loose ball, Hovet outreached a sprawling Gilbraith and slithered one past his drooped shoulder.
The last three minutes featured thunderous boomshots from the trigger-happy Gilbraith, who gambled repeatedly after pulling himself as the extra attacker. P.R.E.A.T. activated defensive mode once again, hanging on by a thread and halting all subsequent B’sCLs shots. In the end, the defending champions reigned supreme 3-2 in the instant classic.
“Hit the deck!”
P.R.E.A.T. defensman Becca Perry, just before B'sCLs' Brett Gilbraith wound up for a lengthy slapshot
“Hit the deck!”
Brett's Classy Ladies' Donny Kristjanson, just before B'sCLs' Brett Gilbraith wound up for a lengthy slapshot
“I tell you what, that was a real hard-fought battle out there tonight. A heavy battle. We were down a couple of key members, not to mention Ivar who has yet to show up for a game or practice. That’s another story. But Boese and Perry were absolute warriors out there. I’m not sure what was higher, their level of compete or their level of battle. But both had heavy levels of each. Speaking of heavy, let’s give some credit to the heavy play of Brett in goal. He’s such an active backstop for them and man does he have a heavy shot. Really heavy. I’m not sure how many pounds his shot weighs, but it’s significant. Their forwards buy into the culture of net-front presence that Brett has developed and it shows. We were able to counter their net-front with our own heavy culture. We battled and competed to adequate levels tonight, with just the right amount of weight in our shots. That’s heavy P.R.E.A.T. Broomball. I’ll just reiterate that I presume what I said made sense. I don’t actually know what any of it means. Excuse me though, I have to go sauce chiclets and chirp unsuspecting beauties before next week’s tilly.”
P.R.E.A.T. captain Bosco de Gama, on his team's hard-fought victory:
Broken Kneecap Award - Sarah Boese
Yard Sale Award - Taylor Reynolds
Unsung Hero Award - Ivar the Boneless