Tampa Bay Times - October 13th, 2017

Discussion in 'VHA - Virtual Hockey Association' started by StamkosFan, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. StamkosFan

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    Trevor Van Riemsdyk Emerges a Shootout Hero Again
    Tampa earns their second victory of the year after another lengthy shootout

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    For the second game in a row, Trevor Van Riemsdyk has scored the winning goal for the Bolts in the 13th round of the shootout. Tampa's second game felt like déjà vu, as they outshot the Toronto Maple Leafs 42-24. Both netminders were spectacular, with Lehner and Smith both allowing only one goal and posting remarkable save percentages.

    Tampa came out flying, with the team looking fast and out for blood. Less than a minute into the first period, Antoine Vermette and Derek Stepan crafted a tic-tac-toe play that concluded with Vermette burying the puck in the back of the net. Toronto netminder Mike Smith was duped by quick passes and was unable to get back across the crease to stop the puck.

    "Derek and I have formed some great chemistry; we do our best to make things happen. He's very smart and he always knows where his man is to pass to," said Vermette.

    After the speedy second line grabbed the lead for the Bolts, the refs realized that something had to be done and reached for their whistles. The Leafs were given four consecutive powerplays, much to the chagrin of the Lightning. On the last of those, a Tripping minor to Nic Dowd, GM Lindsay was spotted in a suite screaming, "I'm blind, I'm deaf, I get to be the ref!"

    Referee Mark Cibak offered an explanation of the excessive calls after the game. "There's new penalties this year: Breathing, Skating...and, of course, Existing. We're cracking down on that last one, gotta cut back on it."

    Therefore, with 35 seconds remaining in the first, Toronto defenseman Johnny Boychuk jumped into the rush and scooped the puck out of the corner. It was tossed back to James Van Riemsdyk, who fired it home near side. The snipe tied the game at 1, and despite the Bolts leading in shots by a wide margin, the teams remained at a stalemate until the shootout.

    "We're getting plenty of shots; we just need to score. We came close a lot of times, but closeness only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and my broken relationship with my parents :(" said Tampa winger Mats Zuccarello.

    And so the shootout rolled around; both teams unleashed their full bag of tricks, yet continued to come upjust short. The shootout dragged on tediously just as it had in Tampa's first game, and the Air Canada Centre began to play Jeopardy music over the loudspeakers. Trevor Van Riemsdyk hopped off the bench with a determined look plastered on his face, and tapped his stick on the ice. A hush fell over the crowd as they sensed that the deciding moment was nigh.

    The Lightning defenseman took long strides down the ice, guiding the puck over to the left faceoff dot. He glanced down, and then snapped a wrist shot to the opposite side of the net. Netminder Mike Smith's reaction was delayed, and the red light flashed from the glass behind. Trevor Van Riemsdyk had potted his second shootout winner. Euphoria spread like wildfire across the Tampa bench as they rushed the defenseman, raising their sticks triumphantly above their heads.

    And so, regardless of how they got there, Tampa currently sits atop their conference. The Lightning had hoped for a solid start, and a pair of wins may be a sign of things to come. If they can begin to capitalize on more of their opportunities, they will rank among the most dangerous teams in the league.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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