The way Columbine acted in the third period against Mullen on Jan. 23, one might have thought Dee Snider delivered the pep talk.
Down by two goals, getting pushed around and playing reactionary hockey, the Rebels skated out at The Edge Ice Arena as if to say, “We’re not going to take it.”
Trent Edwards scored a power-play goal 59 seconds into the third period as the Rebels jumped back into the fray with a spirited blend of attack and hustle.
Then the Mustangs scored and the Rebels lost the plot. While Mullen (AKA: Colorado Academy) won 3-1, the Rebels won the get-angry-and-get-sent-off-the-ice part of the contest 3-0.
“Everybody got a little hot-headed, that was the problem,” Rebels defenseman Joe Frechette said. “We just need to play like we did in the third period, minus all the penalties. We didn’t play with any heart in the first and second periods.”
The frustration was clear for Columbine, which allowed a power-play goal and a shorthanded goal to drop its fifth straight and dip to 3-9-1 (0-5 Foothills League). The Rebels outshot the Mustangs 31-18 but the lack of great scoring opportunities seemed to finally bubble over in the final minutes.
Doug Collins got the first shower when he drew a 2-minute minor for cross-checking. Collins gave his thoughts on the subject and got slapped with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and – after more chatting – a game misconduct.
Steve Streeter went the same way three minutes later with a holding penalty, unsportsmanlike conduct and a game misconduct for slamming the door to the penalty box.
Kellen Patrick, who assisted on Edwards’ goal, capped the trifecta when he retaliated on two Mullen players for a hard check aimed at Columbine goalie Michael McCraig. Patrick knocked down the perpetrator (cross-checking minor) and then leveled Mullen’s John De Spain after the two exchanged pleasantries.
“It’s tough to play an offensive game when you lose your second and third defensemen,” Columbine coach Jeff Marten said.
The Rebels might have run away with the game had they cashed a few of the six power-play opportunities they had in the second period. Columbine outshot Mullen 11-5 in the period but gave up a shorthanded goal to Colton Viggles with 46 seconds remaining.
“We didn’t wear them down enough, apparently,” Marten said. “We outshot them. So, we’re getting shots (but) that’s the thing, you never understand why they don’t go in.”