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Great Plains Collegiate Inline Hockey League

Magic Win 1st Annual Illini Invitational

Day 1 Recap: Magic start strong with a 2-0 record on Day 1

GPCIHL  October 13th, 2010 at 4:35PM  October 18th, 2010 2:50PM

HOMER GLEN, IL -- The first annual Illini Invitational hosted by the University Of Illinois Roller Hockey Club ( has drawn to a close and the STLCC Magic have emerged as champions.

With a diminished squad of 9 skaters and 2 goalies, the Magic were without the assistance of first-year man Josh Bryson, newly-appointed alternate captain Justin Harvey, and wily veteran Ryan Dauernheim for the tournament, not to mention first year man and backup goaltender Brandon Oberndorfer. Nevertheless, the Magic turned in 6 straight victories to begin what is sure to be an exciting season full of snipes, dangles, and great saves.

The team had been chomping at the bit to play games against someone other than SLU, who they had been scrimmaging weekly for almost a month. The tournament presented an opportunity to do so and the Magic showed that they were more than happy to rise to the occasion. 

Day 1 Recap

The Magic left St. Louis early – about 5:45AM on Saturday -- and began the long drive to Homer Glen in the Chicago Suburbs for the tournament. 

The first game, a high noon match up between STLCC and Southern Illinois-Carbondale, got off to a rough start.  The Magic, groggy after a long road trip and ill-adjusted to the unfamiliar playing surface, spotted the Salukis a goal lead after an early defensive lapse lead to a shot that slipped by goaltender Patrick Woodling.  However, after shaking out the cobwebs and allowing their legs to wake up a bit, the team never looked back, capturing their first tournament win 6-1.
"We had good intensity," said brick wall goalie and tournament MVP Patrick Woodling. "It's good that a young squad is able to develop chemistry so quickly."
The second game was a bit of a thriller.  Having no record from which to scout, the Magic weren't ready to face the never-say-die playing style of the Lewis University Flyers. The Magic, propelled by a goalscoring frenzy of the dynamic duo of Sophomores Eric Dauernheim and Bryan Lowe, would glide their way to a 6-2 lead. By the third period, a 4 goal cushion seemed to put the game out of reach. But lax play by the Magic (and/or the debauchery of the night before) allowed the Flyers to creep back into the game.
One by one, goals started finding the net behind ‘tender Alex Cole until late in the third period when the Flyers notched their 6th and game-tying goal, seemingly solving the Magic with under a minute to go.  
"We got a little bit too cocky after we had the 4 goal lead," remarked Captain Jared Miklasz, "We can't let teams back into games like that."
Smelling an ugly tie to an inferior team, the top scorer of the tournament, Eric Dauernheim would have none of it.  With just 6 seconds left, a tape-to-tape pass from who else -- Bryan Lowe -- found  found the chippy power-forward’s stick on a breakaway. The ensuing one-on-none chance isn’t necessarily a game clincher, as even the pros bury only 1 of every 3 penalty shots, but put so eloquently and in a way that only Bryan Lowe can, Eric “doesn’t miss those.” Dauernheim buried the chance top shelf with just a few ticks remaining on the clock.
The Magic scraped by the feisty Flyers with under 10 seconds to go, on the power of  a 79-from-76 tally.  Get used to seeing that on the scoresheet, folks.  It happened enough times over the weekend that many of the opposing teams are surely still having nightmares about them.
A 2-0 record after day 1 of the tournament had iced the first place spot on their side of the bracket, but an 8am game vs. DePaul and three more games loomed the next day.
Stay Tuned for the Day 2 Recap an Tournament Notebook coming soon!!


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