Taurus 1, 2078, m249
Undeniable team chemistry shines through for the Moles as they overwhelmed the Cosmonauts and defeated them 3-0.
Li and Campbell snagged the first goal of the game at 3:54 into first period when some great offensive maneuvering by Li allowed her to slip the puck past the Cosmonaut defenders to find Campbell open at the left corner. The opportunity was golden, and Campbell efficiently converted the pass into a neat backhand high into the net.
Miller was conspicuously absent from the team benches today despite being cleared to play. While inconclusive, rumours have emerged that the 34-year-old Korolevian has returned to his home-settlement with little warning or explanation.
“He’s been unhappy with the way ISMO organizes the the exhibitions and rounds for a while now,” says an acquaintance of Miller who chose to remain anonymous.
Team morale was low for the Cosmonauts today as they struggled to rally past the abrupt departure of their forward.
“We knew Miller didn’t the decisions Seulovik was making about the exhibition rounds. Especially they way he handled the Phantoms and Sands,” says Cosmonaut captain, Anna Fedin, “but this isn’t like him, and we’ll try to pull through this together.”
Other teammates were not so charitable, “Look, Miller was deadweight. All you have to do is look at his scoring record.”
The Moles were quick to take advantage of the Cosmonaut’s team tension.
Third period opened with a concerted effort by the Cosmonauts to get on the offensive, but their plays were sluggish and lacked the focus and energy needed to get past the Moles defenders.
The second goal by the Moles was claimed by Moles forward Laura Hall. 2 minutes into third period, Hall gained control of the puck after intercepting an airborne puck. The Cosmonaut defenders were caught unprepared as Hall barreled towards the net and sniped it over Hansen’s shoulder.
Cosmonaut forwards attempted to turn the tides in third period with Novak and Fedin setting plays multiple times. But the setups were fruitless as Okeke was right on top of them every time, and not a single play was converted to a goal.
Cosmonaut fans groaned as 13 minutes into third period, Okeke flicked a cross-ice pass to Mattila who snapped it into the left corner as it Hansen made an unsuccessful grab at the puck. With 2 minutes left in the game, the Moles focused on keeping the Cosmonauts at bay as the timer ran down to a 3-0 win for the Moles.
“Obviously the Cosmonauts were hurting today, and we respect that they came out and played their best,” says Moles captain, Janice Campbell of today’s game.
The Cosmonauts still have enough players to participate in the exhibition rounds but the future seems uncertain as they try to sort out their team dynamics.
With today's victory, the Moles grab the lead with a 3-1 standing overall. They will be up against the Wildcards next week at Marineris, while the Cosmonauts will be meeting Khimik in Europa.