The Panthers had quite a bit more of a fight on Tuesday night in 1 of 2 Semi-Final tilts on Tuesday night, beating Mahoney’s Leafs 3-1 at the BIP. A Mahoney’s Leafs team equipped with a lot more firepower gave a spirited effort, after losing to the Panthers a combined 20-4 in the regular season.
The first period was odd-man rush central as both teams raced up and down the ice, leading to power plays for both teams in the first. The Panthers would cash in first with a tip out front by Fast Drew from Tater on the PP. Two posts by the Panthers, and some sustained pressure gave the Leafs goalie all he could handle. A sold out barn of 9 people were on their feet the whole game.
The second began with more of the same, as the Panthers kept plugging and forechecking down low. The second goal of the game would come on a nice keep in by Tater for his second apple of the game, with Bon finishing the pass off the D-man’s stick out front. Mahoney’s would cash in on a nice 1 on 1 goal by one of their “late season” pickups. I mean, really really late season. With some renewed life, the Panthers got hemmed in for a few shifts before finally the Drew-Drew-Matty line finished the period out with a strong shift.
The third started out with Mahoney’s taking the play to the Panthers, but couldn’t break through Newy as some great saves and stingy backchecking by some Panther veterans kept the lead. Philly would cash in on a great play by Matty from behind the net. Once again, the Drew-Drew-Matty were the most effective line at generating scoring opportunities, while the Bon-Petey and Mikey-Jay line pairings locked it down in the neutral zone. Duran, the Panther workhorse all season was creating chances on both ends of the ice. As they have done all season, the Dog Pound locked it down as for the 6th time this season, the Panthers held their opponent to one goal or less, and for the 11th time, two goals or less, including both playoff games. A total team effort.
MVP jacket went to Tater as his veteran presence really showed up in the post season, with two apples and hard play.
The Panthers meet perennial rival Bill’s Auto for the Championship next week at 9:10PM at the BIP! Needless to say, I don’t think Noonan will be lending Bon his gloves for that matchup.
EDITOR’S NOTE – Our previous goalie (3 seasons, 0 playoff wins) didn’t like that I used “quite a bit” twice in the first two sentences. I fixed it.