Force down Artesians in Olympia

Force down Artesians in Olympia

1.28.19

The Force rolled into Olympia to face the Oly Town Artesians in a game that couldn't decide the fate of the playoffs, however, a good result wasn't going to hurt.  Looking to rebound after the home loss to the Stars Reserves and without key pieces like Matt Eronemo (suspension), Kevin Flavin (ankle) and Bennett Bugbee (unavailable), it was going to be a challenge that the team was just going to have to rise to meet.

They rose to the challenge and added some flare that wowed the crowd as well.

In the first quarter the Force started strong and GK Jorge Dominguez had the first shot of the game as well as the first save.  Despite the positive start, Oly Town scored first and took the lead.  Four unanswered goals from the Force would ultimately set the tone for the rest of the game as Jaisen Zurfluh and captain David Meherg eached scored sandwiched between two goals from Colin Ralston.  Meherg's goal was a bit of brilliance as he turned quickly on the defender and falling over and off balance still struck the ball into the far post.  Ralston did his own bit of magic by slamming a shot into the net a half a second before the buzzer went off to end the first quarter.

In the second quarter the teams went back and forth with the majority of the possession and chances going to the Force but the only goal of the period came through Meherg who found himself perfectly positioned as usual for a pass from Sammartino and it was 5-1 at the half.

In the second half the Force slowed things down a bit with the 4 goal lead with Alex Hernandez getting on the board on a pass from Izzy DeLuna followed by Greg Wolfe getting a smashing strike on an assist from Leo Hernandez.  The Artesians would then get a goal back before the Force would go a man down on foul accumulation.  Oly Town would eventually score on that power play but not before Joe Sammartino, doing his best Kevin Flavin impression, scored short handed for the Force.  At the end of the 3rd quarter it was Force 8, Artesians 3.

The final quarter was adventurous to say the least.  The Artesians would score 3 goals in the first 2 minutes and 10 seconds to bring the game to within 2 before the Force defense tightened back up and the offense stoked the coals once more.  Alex Hernandez scored from Colin Ralston.  Hernandez then turned in the pass of the game on a ball that everyone thought he would shoot, he calmly slid it all the way through the box past 4 Oly Town defenders to where Zurfluh stood waiting patiently.  Then Bundy scored a Bundy goal.  It was exactly how you would picture it.  He got a challenge in on a defender and the ball rolled into the box.  With that work ethic and fearlessness driving him he stepped into a challenge with both the Artesian GK and defender.  The resulting collision rebounded off Bundy and calmly bounced into the net.  Big Mike Bryant would come in to close things out for the Force giving up one goal at the end with 6 saves to go with it.  Greg Wolfe would add a final goal for the Force and a second to his tally to finish things off.

Wolfe was named White Claw Man of the Match for his overall effort on both ends of the ball.  In addition to his two goals, Wolfe was a constant thorn in the Artesian attack.  He never got beat on the night and ended the game with 8 steals and 5 blocked shots to go along with the two goals.

Goals: Ralston, Meher, Zurfluh, Wolfe, A. Hernandez - 2. Sammartino, Bundy - 1

Assists: Dominguez, Bundy, Lopez, Sammartino, DeLuna, L. Hernandez, Ralston, A. Hernandez - 1