If you could only ignore the first 20 minutes and the Crossfire wish they could, last night’s playoff game against the Assault was a close, hard fought game.
Unfortunately for the Crossfire, the first period counted and it lost them the game.
“We were obviously not ready to play,” coach Pat Gibbs said.
“Everyone, from our goalie to our runners just wasn’t ready.”
The Assault started the game scoring almost at will as the Crossfire struggled to put their game together.
Ten goals later for the Assault, with the Crossfire only netting two, the period was over and the team retreated to the dressing room.
Whatever talk Gibbs gave them in the dressing room worked, as the Crossfire came out in the second ready to play, with James Teer taking over goaltending duties from Bob Mills.
“Get rid of that first period and everybody who showed up played their asses off,” Gibbs said.
Just over a minute into the second, the Crossfire scored their third goal of the game, which started a back and forth between the two teams.
The Assault posted a couple goals soon after, to which the Crossfire responded with a goal of their own.
The period continued to ping pong, ending at 6-15 for the Assault as the Crossfire found their feet, but couldn’t rack up enough goals to gain any ground.
The third promised to be a difficult affair, as the Crossfire were down nine against a very strong Assault.
Despite the hole, the Crossfire pushed as hard through the third as in the second, impressing Gibbs with their perseverance.
Despite a hard push, the Crossfire had problems gaining ground, with Drew Davies continuing a streak of ringing the ball of the posts.
At the half way point in the period, the Crossfire started to get some traction with Devin Whalen contributing to a run of three unanswered goals.
The Assault, however, had the last word with one minute left, leaving the score at 17-9 for the Assault.
The game was a step up from their first game of the series and Gibbs hopes to grow and get better.
The next game is in P.G. however, and last time they were there, the Crossfire could only scrounge up 11 runners, which put too much pressure on the few players they had, causing an uneven game.
The Crossfire are now down 2-0 in the five-game series and in the next game, in P.G. on July 2, they will be fighting to stay alive.
On the other side of the playoffs, the fourth ranked Devils beat the top-ranked Bandits, 14-13 in their first game of the series.