10W, no. 3; newsletter by b.n.)
There used to be a time when a game against the Geriatrics was a Gimmie, but those times seem to be ancient history. Now when the Geriatrics play the Coastal Pirates, it's the Geriatrics that strut into the rink expecting victory. Last night it was like Old Timers' Day all the old Gerrys came to rink looking to play when they heard the night's opponents was the formerly-fearsome Coastal Pirates.
For the first time this season, the Pirates were playing with a full roster of ten skaters: Chris returned from some personal obligations, while Russ returned after totaling his Beemer. The night got started with the Miller Bros and #67 on O, while Russ and Chambers were back on D. There were some chances early, and the first shift ended with a pretty give-and-go between Russ and #67, with #67 taking a shot and Russ almost swatting the rebound in the goal out of mid-air. The next set of lines consisted of Farkas-Allen-Goione on O, while LeMatty and Roger were playing D. The pressure was continued, but part-time Pirate goalie Doug Collimore was up to the challenge.
The controversy started early when the Geriatrics "iced" the puck and Harris stepped out to play it; the bench started screaming icing! and Harris let the puck go by at the last second. Unfortunately, the icing was waived-off and Russ voiced his displeasure immediately. The 1st period also saw the return of TPOC. On a face-off to the left of Harris, TPOC swatted at the puck and it deflected of Geriatric Bill Notley and skidded ever-so-slowly into the net. Things went downhill from there. The Gerrys would manage a goal off a rebound, followed by another from a breakaway (resulting from a costly bounce off an errant Pirate skate in the neutral zone). Meanwhile, the Pirates had a lot of chances, but nothing was getting past Collimore. Score at the end of the 1st: 3-0.
The 2nd was more of the same. All the Pirates could manage were a number of posts including ones by Roger, #67 and Russ (a blast! from the blueline). LeMatty also had a great chance when he was standing in front of the crease and swatted a pass out of the air, but once again Collimore was there for the kick-out save. The final insult of the period came when the Pirates were called for icing on a play that was ironically similar to the non-icing call in the 1st period; the similarity was not lost on Russ who let the refs have an earful. With the Geriatrics controlling the puck after the ensuing face-off, they were able to put the puck into the net off a redirection (this time off an errant Pirate stick) and take the commanding 4-0 lead going into the 3rd period.
Russ, being the Captain, took it upon himself to make some changes at the start of the 3rd. Swapping positions with #67, Russ looked to ignite an offense that while playing hard had nothing to show for it. The change paid dividends almost immediately when everyone saw Russ giving his all and each Pirate raised their game accordingly. At about the 12:00-minute mark, Farkas finally found a way to put the puck in the net when he took a pass from Roger and rippled the twine. The momentum would continue when Scott Miller worked a puck through a mass of players in front of the net for the goal, and suddenly the Pirates were back in it. And don't think the Gerry's didn't realize it they took the opportunity to call a time-out and try to regroup. While the offense was stepping-up with the addition of Russ, it must be noted that the D was struggling with the addition of #67. Now don't get me wrong, nobody loves #67 more then I do (and perhaps TPOC), but it must be stated that #67 was looking a little uncomfortable playing on the left D position. On one occasion, #67 tried to keep a puck in with his stick, but the puck deflected off his skate and escaped the zone. On another instance, #67 tried to stop a puck in the air, but instead of knocking the puck down to his stick, the puck deflected off his palm and once again escaped the zone. Then there was the time he was on the right point and tried to fire a puck on net; unfortunately, the puck was blocked by one of the Gerrys and that led to a two-on-none breakaway fortunately, Harris made a great save to keep the Pirates in it.
Later in the period, the FAG line brought a new definition to the term crashing the net. Chris was skating hard to the net and tried to go through Collimore before it was over, Chris, Collimore and the net were strewn out everywhere; not to be outdone, Drew (the Gerry) decided to tackle Farkas to add two more bodies to the floor. Finally, #67 got comfortable on defense when he gave up trying to control the puck and, instead he just kicked it in the offensive zone; the next time the Gerry's tried to clear it out, Glen Chambers stepped-up and kept it in. Then, with the puck sitting just inches from the red line, #67 skated across the rink and skated the loose puck to the near boards; Scott Miller called for the puck and #67 hit him right on the tape and then Miller fed his brother who was able to beat Collimore for the score. As the game was winding down and the Pirates trailing 4-3, Russ yelled instructions to Harris that he was to come off at 1:30. Someone on the bench turned to Russ and said, We won't have to pull Harris. With time winding down, the Pirates were playing all out. Contrary to his earlier play, #67 finally stepped up and kept the puck in at the blueline. Swatting a puck out of the air, diving to knock a puck off a Gerry's stick, #67 was finally able to work the puck back deep into the zone where it eventually ended-up on the stick of Scott Miller who hit Russ for the one-timer and the tying goal! With just 1:01 left the Pirates had dug themselves out of the hole.
The last 1:00-minute was hard fought with the Pirates pushing for the win, while the Geriatrics were just trying to survive. A final face-off in the Gerry end added to the last-second excitement when the puck was won back to Russ, but it was bouncing and Russ was unable to get a quality shot off as time expired. As Harris said after the game, there are good ties and there are bad ties and that was definitely one of the good ones.
1) RUSS NICOLOSI
For stepping up and kicking the team in the ass and for leading his line and the comeback.
2) BRIAN NEWCOMB
For his last-minute heroics on defense and assisting on some huge, late goals.
3) GLENN FARKAS
For his goal (that started it all) and making multiple opportunities happen.