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Tigers take a bite out of Grizzlies

by Chuck Smock

The Douglas Tigers defeated a pesky Galena Grizzlies squad, 3-2, Wednesday at the DHS field, beginning a tough, late-season stretch that will feature five playoff contenders in the final six games.

With the victory, Phil Sheridan saw his varsity head coaching record improve to 2-0.

“Galena was a tough team; it was a well-played game by both sides,” said Sheridan, who also coached the Douglas junior varsity to a 4-1 win over the Grizzlies. “The races are so close in the divisions, the level of play is really comparable.”

The win solidified Douglas’ playoff chances as the Tigers (8-3-1) are in second place in Division II, one point ahead of Reno (7-2-3). The defeat was bitter for the Grizzlies, however, who saw their playoff hopes dim with a loss that left them with a 2-6-3 record and in fifth place in Division I.

“I wasn’t pleased with the result of the game, but I was pleased with the way Galena played today,” said Grizzly coach Frank Rosa. “We can still qualify for zone, but out of our final three games, we need at least two wins and a tie.”

Douglas had the lead for nearly all of the game, but could never quite put Galena out of contention.

The only goal of the first half came in the 10th minute when Rex Belshaw converted a penalty kick for a 1-0 Tiger lead. Dylan Sheridan had earned the penalty when he was hauled down inside the box.

Douglas increased its lead to 2-0 early in the second half on a score by T.J. Plummer off an assist by Robby Honer.

Galena cut the lead to 2-1 a few minutes later on a score by Kevin Hill following a pass from Nate Howell.

The Tigers gained some breathing room when Dylan Sheridan scored unassisted in the 67th minute to make it 3-1, but the Grizzlies quickly cut back into the Douglas lead on a goal by Mike Weiland.

Galena couldn’t equalize before the final whistle, though, leaving Douglas just five points behind first-place South Tahoe (9-0-3) in the Division II standings.

Douglas plays at Reed on today at 1 p.m. before meeting the first-place Vikings next Wednesday at home.