10W, no. 7; newsletter by b.n.)
When did this newsletter deteriorate from the good-natured rehash of the previous game's outcome into the mean spirited antagonistic blame fest that it has suddenly become? Some would say that it has been brewing for a while, others would say it has just recently started, while still others would say it is Chris' fault (oh no, here we go again). Things probably hit rock bottom last Sunday when I found myself fillin- in on a rare Sunday night appearance. I tried to get out of writing the newsletter, but it just didn't work out that way. Perhaps that was why the newsletter was especially virulent; then again, perhaps not. An honorable man would take this time to apologize to players like Tim for kicking him when he was down, but hey, that's really not my style and since I don't plan to be driving through Marlboro anytime soon, I should be OK. I was also thinking about apologizing to Harris but believe it or not, he told me to write that. That leaves Wildman. Oh well, he can just stick it (whoops, couldn't help it, that one just slipped out).
On to the important stuff:
Our second game against the Phantoms this season started out with both sides feeling each other out. The line of Farkas-LeMatty-Allen started on O, while Russ and Chambers held down the duties on D. The 1st period was a hard-fought affair, which obviously foreshadowed the events of later in the night. When Allen drew a penalty late in the 1st, it was Glen Chambers who fired a shot from the right point which rebounded off the goalie and allowed Glenn Farkas to fire home the puck for the 1-0 lead.
Things got ugly in the 2nd. Let's face it, the Phantoms include a couple players that like to play a physical game, so when Dave Matthews stood one of their players up at the blueline, it was surprising when Dave was the one called for the penalty. Later in the period, LeMatty was called for a 2:00 minute highsticking call, while his victim was called for a 5:00 minute "intent to injure" for the retaliation. On the ensuing 4-on-4 play, Farkas took yet another high-sticking call and suddenly we were down to a 4-on-3 penalty-killing situation. Before Scotty's penalty expired, it was #67 who did not come up with the face-off which was won cleanly back to the point; the ensuing blast from the blueline was a rocket that got past Harris high glove-side for the score to tie things up at 1-1. The second line of the Brothers Miller and #67 on O were not immune from the violence; on one particular play, #67 was chasing the puck
into the boards when the guy Roger calls Arroyo flattened him. With his helmet knocked into the next time zone, #67 was upset that there was not a call (Russ' favorite Ref tried to say that #67 had his head down and the Phantom was just playing the puck, but that is bullsh-t). Things got even worse when the refs didn't make calls on the same kind of plays that Roger was whistled for earlier.
The 3rd period saw The Brothers Miller make the Night of the Name game complete when Miller (Scott) took a pass from #67 and then fed Miller (Evan) for the go-ahead goal. (Get it? Glenn from Glen on the first goal and then Miller from Miller. No? Nevermind.) It really looked like the Pirates were going to pull out their second win of the season when the Phantoms called a timeout with just under 5:00 minutes remaining ... but, you know, things happen. The Phantoms were able to take advantage of the fact that the Pirates suddenly collapsed into an umbrella around Harris and they were able to pass the puck around and with the Pirates chasing them they worked the puck down to their right wing who was wide open on the door step for the deflection and the tying goal. Things could have got worse, but Harris made some great saves to close out the game, including one where he was laying on his stomach and reached up to pull a puck out of the air with his glove (or perhaps the Phantom just shot it right into the glove ... guess it kind of depends how you look at it). So compared to all the ties that we have had recently when we have come from behind late to tie it up, this tie was not quite as gratifying. When you include the image of Dave getting helped off the rink after yet another bogus non-call, you couldn't help having an empty feeling afterwards.
1) DAVE MATTHEWS
For toughing out a physical game, but mostly for bringing the Doritos to the meeting.
2) GLEN CHAMBERS
For his strong game defensively (and offensively).
For preserving the tie in the final moments and for inciting Brian to alienate himself from all his teammates.