The AC flora boys B team welcomed the Hammond Skyhawks on Saturday, March 16, 2019, at 11 am for a rematch of last weekend’s away game. The game began under partly sunny skies with a breezy wind chill in the 50s. The large homefield crowd enjoyed a second victory in as many games against the Skyhawks. Playing eight-minute quarters, the B-team boys began strong, winning the initial face off and warding off a pair of Hammond shots, after which Hammond was called for a minute penalty on a slash with a minute and a half left in the quarter. The Falcons capitalized on the man-up advantage, with Robert Hodges scoring an unassisted goal (1-0). Hammond was called for an illegal stick that resulted in a three-minute unreleasable penalty at the turn of the first quarter. After Hammond was called for a second penalty, Flora took the 2-men up advantage to score four goals before the half, including an assist from Wright Gibson to Owen Barker and subsequent unassisted goals by Wright Gibson, Bo Morris, and Tilden Atkins, to go up 5-0. Despite strong defensive play by the Falcons, the Skyhawks were able to score their first goal with 3:30 to go in the half (5-1). In the subsequent play, Flora won the faceoff, eventually leading to a Charlie McCabe assist to Owen Barker (6-1). After great defense by Gardiner Bankhead that saved a possible Skyhawk goal in the dwindling seconds of the half, the Falcons took their commanding lead to end the half 6-1.
The Skyhawks turned up the pressure offensively to begin the third quarter with a quick goal (6-2), and despite good defense by goalie Ben Holmes and defender Alexander Koutrakos, the Skyhawks scored again (6-3) midway through the third before a scary moment as the refs stopped play when Falcon defender Zayne McCormick went down with an apparent twisted knee. He was helped off the field by the trainers and did not return to play. Flora maintained possession when the game resumed, and Bo Morris powered through having his jersey held and scored another goal (7-3). The quarter ended with Hammond notching a goal with about a minute to go in the third (7-4).
Despite winning the face off to start the fourth quarter, the Falcons allowed a quick Hammond goal (7-5), after which time was called to tend to a Hammond player who caught a hard Falcon shot with his stomach. With three minutes left, the Falcons scored their final goal on an assist from Robert Hodges to Zach Owens (8-5) at the crease, where the latter gracefully tiptoed to maintain his balance to avoid a crease violation. Hammond was able to add a final goal to the ledger (8-6), and although being man-down in the final minute and a half of the game on a slashing penalty, the Falcons held off the Skyhawks through persistent defensive play, taking home the victory (8-6).
The B-team plays its next game away at Clover on Monday, March 18, 2019, before returning home for its final three games.