Bad Finish, Siklenka's Hat Trick Downs Atlantic City 5-2
Thursday, March 14, 2002
By David W. Unkle
SJSports Staff Writer
Boardwalk Bullies head Coach Mike Haviland summed it up best after the game in saying: Really good start...I think we had a lot of grade A chances...I don't think we finished them...we made major mistakes...and they were glaring individual mistakes. Fresh off of their come-from-behind 5-4 overtime victory against the Toledo Storm, the Boardwalk Bullies picked up where they left off on Sunday. The first period was owned by Atlantic City as they came out strong firing 20 shots on Renegades' goalie Ratislav Stana in the opening period who, despite Atlantic City's early firepower, kept Richmond in the game, down 1-0 going into the second period. The evening's scoring started when the Bullies' Luke Curtin gained control of the puck following a scrum along the near side boards and sent it into the slot for Tyler Johnston. Taking the pass on his backhand, Johnston spun around and fired a nasty shot on net which was tipped past Renegades' goalie Ratislav Stana by Jerry Keefe for his eight goal of the season.
Two different teams came out of the tunnel to start the second period as Richmond evened the score on the first of three by Mike Siklenka while on the power play at 2:09. The Bullies quickly responded but forward Luke Curtin was stopped on a great glove side save by Stana and the score remained knotted 1-1. After that, most of the offensive action belonged to the Renegades. An uncontrolled rebound in the Bullies' defensive end put Richmond up to stay. The Bullies' Scott Sterling kick save on Aaron Fox's slap shot went right to Siklenka who easily nailed home his second of the game and 12th of the season. Richmond missed the chance to go up by two when Jerry Gernander was stopped by Stirling on a point blank shot at 16:08. Unlike the first period where the Bullies controlled the tempo of the game, it was Richmond who knocked Atlantic City off of the puck during the middle period. Atlantic City (6-15-2 when trailing after two periods) did not have much to look forward to against a Richmond team that was 14-0-2 when up after two periods of play.
Richmond came out looking for their fifth straight win on the road and broke the game open on Scott Lewis' shot from Stirling's right which seemed to catch the Atlantic City goalie off guard. The Boardwalk Bullies narrowed the score to 4-2 on Scott Matzka's 14th of the season at 5:36 but quickly lost the momentum as Siklenka notched his third of the night forty seconds later putting Richmond up 4-2. Atlantic City had multiple chances to score in the last ten minutes but acrobatic saves by Stana kept the score 4-2. Richmond's Brian Goudie's empty netter at 19:42 made the final 5-2.
I thought the second period was one of our worst of the year...we didn't give the effort...you can't give a team that's fighting for their life a breath and we did. We better turn this thing around or we will be the one's gasping for air...you gotta play sixty minutes and we only played forty minutes tonight. We have to go back and prepare to play sixty minutes said Haviland as Atlantic City prepares for its playoff push this weekend five points behind second place Charlotte.