And the Austin-Thomas Cup goes to…..
I sure hope you were at the rink on Monday night either participating in, or watching the Championship Game between Team Hummel and Team Mason. Folks, this was a game for the ages. Let’s consider that these two were not just the top two seeds of the regular season, but in their prior two meetings, they had tied, and Team Mason won the second meeting. The matchup for the third time this season was the right way to end the season.
Early in the game, Cullen Baines and Kevin Hummel combined for some fancy passing, quick enough to elude keeper Greg Krypel, and Kevin’s goal gave his team the one goal lead. A quick release from Cullen Baines later in the game, gave Team Hummel a two goal advantage, but both teams knew the game wasn’t going to end like this….Mario Mason scored one for his team (funny how the team namesake’s came to play), cutting the lead in half, and adding pressure and excitement back into the game! With Mark Rizzo recovering from an injury on the bench, Steve Hoeflin wins a faceoff in their offensive zone, drops a pass to Mario, who moves towards the center of the ice, and rips a shot on goal. The shot is deflected, but right to the stick of Steve Hoeflin, who craftily bested EBUG Mondo Normile for the tying goal. One minute and forty four seconds on the clock, this game would come down to the wire. With Rizzo back in goal, a desperate play from Cullen Baines to keep the ball in the zone, a quick pass from Mondo Normile to Kevin Hummel, and a very patient play from Kevin to elude the sprawling Greg Krypel, the winning goal was scored, and Team Hummel was awarded the cup!
This was an amazing broomball game. There were no penalties! Both teams played extremely hard, and both played to win. We were friends before the game; during the game; and after the game. That is what Carolina Broomball is all about!!!
Congratulations to both teams for two excellent seasons, and for one brilliant demonstration of broomball!!!
Shortly after the game concluded, those who were gathered in the Center Ice Tavern, heard the announcement of the 2019 Erinn Abramson Spirit of Carolina Broomball winner: George Beaver!!!
George is THE OLDEST broomball player (likely in the Nation), and has been playing as long as, or longer than, anyone else in the league. George comes to the rink every Monday giving the sport everything he has. He is one of the favorite teammates, is usually at the bar after the games to share in victories and defeats, and never has a bad word to say about anyone on or off the ice. He is very deserving of the Erinn Abramson Spirit of Carolina Broomball Award!!!