In a highly anticipated 9 o’clock Tuesday night intramural hockey match up, team Slow Dump in the Corner, sitting at an 0-4 record, looked to gain some confidence before heading into the playoffs. Despite the hard fought comeback effort on May 2nd, they would come up just short to the well-established 3-1 Top Cheddar team.
While athletes do not typically have fan bases in intramural sports, that was not the case between these two teams, as a crowd of 60 students yelled at the top of their lungs in support of their friends. “We have a little friendly rivalry against these guys, so it’s always a game we look forward to on the IM calendar,” said Top Cheddar Junior, Griffin Olson. “A lot of our friends show up, and it’s fun feeding off the energy of the crowd.” This energy would be needed for a struggling Slow Dump in the Corner team who has not matched up well in its division thus far.
In a veteran showing, senior forward Charlie Sheppard began his hat trick performance with a quick goal in the first period, giving Slow Dump in the Corner a 1-0 lead. Sheppard skated through 2 defenders and put the puck in the top shelf, stick-side of the netkeeper, as the crowd electrified.
However, Top Cheddar senior Charlie Cohn would answer right back with a power play goal, scored after an excellent display of spacing and controlled passing by the Top Cheddar first line. “We knew we needed that power play goal to get our guys’ energy and mindsets in the right place,” Cohn said after the game. “That goal we gave up first woke us up, and we needed a quick response.” This goal would spark Top Cheddar’s offense, as Junior Evan Phillips scored another power play goal shortly after, and Sophomore Ben Cope would put one in with 3 minutes remaining in the first period.
With a 3-1 mark on the scoreboard after a high action first period, pace would slow down and tremendous goal tending performances would take over until the 5 minute mark of period 2 when Top Cheddar Junior, Gunnar Solberg squeezed a goal in between the legs of the Slow Dump in the Corner goalie. Heading into the second intermission, it appeared the game was over. Yet, third period action would draw exhilaration amongst the crowd and present a come back opportunity.
Top Cheddar’s energy seemed to slow down in the third, and Slow Dump in the Corner jumped on this opportunity. Sheppard would reappear in a game-changing performance, scoring 2 quick goals in the middle of the period to make it a 1-point game.
The first goal would come from an error by a Top Cheddar forward, as he dumped the puck in front of his own net to Sheppard, who was at the right place at the right time. This goal got the Slow Dump in the Corner fan base reinvested in the game, and back to their feet yelling in support.
Sheppard’s second goal stands out as the highlight of the match up. The forward skated gracefully around and through defenders the full length of the ice into a nice stick deke on Top Cheddar’s goaltender, making a last minute comeback possible. With each move he made, more fans would rise to their feet in anticipated excitement. The energy of the crowd became electrifying in the tense last minutes of the game.
Slow Dump in the Corner would place 3 shots on goal, as they pulled their goaltender to have a 6 on 5 offensive advantage over Top Cheddar. With great defensive containment and a few tremendous last minute saves, Top Cheddar held off Slow Dump in the Corner with the 4-3 victory.
They now head into the first round of the playoffs with a 3 game win streak and tied for 2nd place in the University of Denver Intramural hockey league. Slow Dump in the Corner will look to turn around their luck for the first round of the playoffs, where they will play an undefeated Puck Buddies team.