ANTS TAKE ON SURGE IN PRESEASON AIHL ACTIONOctober 10th 2009, Zrink - Glastonbury, CT
The Ants went into the weekend with big asperations and the New Jersey Surge wanted to show that they were a team to be taken seriously. The Minor Ants were up first and the pre season action was underway. Goaltender Kyle Cox was making his first start in a Fireant uniform. The minors controlled the early action and took a 2-0 lead. The Surge fought back and cut the lead in half on a rebound goal. The Ants tallied one more goal before halftime and the Ants rolling. After the break the Ants suffered their first injury of the pre-season when Kyle Cox went down with a knee injury after making a save. Back-up Mike Berry went in and quickly gave up a power play goal to the Surge. The rebound goal gave the Surge some life and the action was end to end. The Ants scored a controverial goal about halfway through the period and took a two goal lead. That lead would soon evaporate as the Ants were forced back on their heels and the Surge scored two quick goals. The game seemed to be heading to overtime when with 17 seconds, a deflected shot eluded the Ant goaltender and settled into the net. The game ended with the Ants smarting from their first defeat of the pre-season. They went into the locker room and licked their wounds. Surge win 5-4.
The second game had a similar feel with the Ants controlling the early action. The Surge capitalized on a Ants penalty to score a powerplay goal and take a 1-0 lead. The action went back and forth but neither team could put away another goal. The first half ended 1-0. Goaltender Brian Miltz came in and shut down the Surge attack. He would not let in one goal and the Ant offense came alive and scored three times. The minors salvaged a split of the two games and showed that even with many new players, they were ready to mold into a team to be comptetative in the Northeast division.
The pros took to the rink next and they were eager to show that last years playoff run was no fluke. The two teams traded goals and neither team was able to claim a distict advantage. The game seemed like it was going to be one where whomever had the last punch would be the winner. Fortunately it was the Ants who were able to have the last punch and came away with a hard fought 5-4 victory. Jason Kalish played well in net for the Ants.
The final game of the night had Brian Miltz defending the net again for the Ants. The Ants fell back on their heels but followed the bend but don't break philosophy. The Ants withstood one Surge attack after another but eventually the visitors scored a pair of goals and the Ants went into the locker room with a 2-0 hole to climb out of. The Ants adjusted their strategy and they took the attack to the Surge end. The Ants were able to score three unanswered goals in quick sucession to take the lead. They had to withstand several Surge attacks but the Ant defense anchored by Miltz held strong and the final horn sounded with the Ants pulling out a pro sweep.
The Ants took three out of four on the day, but a lot of work remains to be done before the season opener on November 7 and 8th.
The Ants would like to thank the New Jersey Surge for coming up for the pre season action and wish them well on the upcoming season.