(vol. 10W, no. 4; newsletter by b.n.)
For those of you that thought that the Coastal Pirates had hit rock bottom when they fell behind the Geriatrics last week 4-0, you obviously were not at the “Meeting” after the game this week. In an episode that was just a few punches short of being a melee, angry Pirates were uncharacteristically attacking — not the night's opponents — but each other. It all started in the locker room, when players voiced their displeasure with the amount of playing time they got on offense, but by the time the cops arrived it had deteriorated into an explicative-laced verbal barrage that prompted more then one homeowner to call the Wall Township police. But I don't want to dwell on the negatives, so I'll cut to the game.

For those of you that thought that the Pirates were going to build on the impressive 3rd period comeback from the previous week, well, it just didn't work out that way. The Pirates began with Scott “I only played 5:00 minutes the whole game” LeMatty on offense with Allen “Why don't those guys get off the floor?” Snyder and #6-"I only took 2:00-minute shifts”-7. While on “D” it was Russ “I am the Captain, dammit, and I can skate as much as I want” Nicolosi and Glen “Give me a break!” Chambers. As mentioned already, it was hoped that the Pirates would come out flying and put the Phantoms on their heels. Unfortunately, it was the Phantoms who drew first blood with a score off a one-timer from behind the net. The next line of Scotty “I'm not a puck hog” Miller with Glenn “I got screwed on my last shift” Farkas, and Chris “I got screwed on my last shift, too” Goione were on “O,” while Dave “What are you guys complaining about?” Matthews and Roger “I like it when we're shorthanded so I get more playing time” Weiss on defense. The line got a lot of pressure, but was coming up empty. The 1st period ended with the Phantoms leading 1-0.

The 2nd period was a lot like the 2nd period in last week's game — much like the 1st period was a lot like the 1st period in last week's game. Everyone was playing hard and working together, but nothing was going in. Not wanting to wait until the 3rd, Russ decided to step back on “O” much the same way he did the week before, sending #67 back to take his place “D.” This week however, the outcome was not quite the same. On the Phantoms' second goal of the game, #67 had the puck on the far boards just inside the Phantom's blueline when, instead of shooting, he decided to pass it to Glen Chambers who was inside the face-off dot; the puck got away from Glen and the Phantoms pounced on it and worked a breakout pass to the guy Roger calls “Arroyo.” “Arroyo” was able to skate in on the breakaway and put the puck past Harris. So, after two periods, it was 2-0 Phantoms.

Much as it was last week, things finally got going in the 3rd when Scott LeMatty worked a pretty pass to Russ who finally put us on the board and back within one goal. The next goal would go to the Phantoms, however, when #67 dropped to block the puck, but instead deflected it on the stick of another Phantom who cut to the middle and scored. Staring at another two-goal deficit, the Pirates refused to give up. With the Pirates pressing hard, Russ took the puck down the right wing and fed the puck to Allen who picked this night to score a very crucial goal. With the momentum in our favor, Russ took the opportunity to call a time-out. As with last week, the Pirates were playing hard and Scott LeMatty got the bench excited when he skated around a sprawled goalie and backhanded the puck at the wide-open net — the puck looked like it went in from the bench, but Scott confirmed that the puck hit the post and went wide. Scott Miller had a great chance when he stepped around a Phantom at the center face-off circle and skated in all alone, but he pushed the puck a little too far out in front and the Phantom goalie (after a brief amount of indecision) was able to skate out of the crease and break up the breakaway; the puck was still loose though, and Scotty LeMatty swooped-in and tried to sink the puck, but the Phantom goalie was able to cover.

With time running out and the puck in the Phantom end, it looked like the Pirates were done for. The Phantoms recovered the puck and tried to flip it out of the zone and #67 looked like he had it, but instead the puck passed between his thumb and his fingers; horrified that he didn't stop the puck, #67 turned around expecting the worst, but instead he was rewarded with the sight of Scott Miller (who just jumped on the floor for Harris) stepping over the redline and keeping the puck in the zone. The puck ended-up being worked deep once again and covered by the goalie for a face-off. Russ then called in #67 to take the face-off to the left of the goalie; #67 won a bouncing puck back to Russ, who was unable to get a good shot off. With about :35 seconds remaining, another face-off was whistled to the left of the goalie, but this time the puck was won cleanly back to Russ who had time to survey the shot (thanks to Scotty LeMatty tying up his guy); Russ then blasted the shot past the goalie for the tying score. The Phantoms skated hard for the last :30 seconds trying to regain the lead, but the Pirates held on for the 3-3 tie.

According to Harris, “What I said last week goes for this week too.” Harris wouldn't have said that if he had seen the chaos at the meeting after the game.

TIE 3-3


For for the tying goal with :36 remaining.

For a biiiiiiiiiig goal!

For making huge plays all night (and, although he scared Harris a few times, he never scored on him).