(vol. 11W, no. 2; newsletter by b.n.)
The monkeys were rampant on Tuesday night.

iven recent history, the Geriatrics have certainly been a monkey on the backs of the Pirates. From a team that the Pirates would consistently beat, the Geriatrics suddenly became a team that would not lose to the Pirates. That streak continued into early last season when the Pirates rallied from a 4 -1 deficit to salvage the first of what would become five ties through the season. While the Pirates were dealing with their collective monkey, #67 had been struggling with a monkey of his own — #67 had not scored a goal in so long that, according to Harris, if he didn't score against the Gerrys he would set the record for the most games by a Coastal Pirate forward without scoring a goal.

So given the above, the Pirates went into the second game of the season taking nothing for granted. Starting with the opening shift, the Pirates sent the message that they would not be carrying any monkeys home with them. The opening line of Ferraro-Chris-Wildman on “O” and Chambers-Russ on “D” set the early pace when they kept the play in the Gerry end from the outset. Before 1:00 minute had expired, it was Jimmy feeding Russ at the blueline who blasted one past DePip for the first goal of the night. The Pirates would continue to roll later in the 1st, when Russ fed Chris at the blueline and Chris found himself skating in all alone on DePip; with all the time in the world, Chris fired the puck low on DePip's left side for the next goal of the night and the 2-0 lead. The second “O” line of Farkas-Miller Bros. and Roger-Keith on “D,” would be the next to get on the board when Scott Miller picked-up a goal on a feed from Farkas for the 3-0 score.

Before we recap the rest of the scoring, it should be noted that the reactions to last week's newsletter can be broken down into 2 groups: Either you loved it or you hated it. And if you wanted to put those groups into two different vehicles (say to head off to McCann's for a beer), you would have to rent a bus to transport those that hated it, while the remainder could hop on a motorcycle. Someone pointed out that it was the first newsletter that #67 was not even mentioned. Well, there is a reason for that — #67 hasn't done much lately. So when Russ passed a puck to Chris who pushed it up the near boards, the entire rink held their breath as #67 picked up the puck; skating like the “Player Formerly Referred to as TPOC,” #67 skated around the Gerry “D” and broke in on DePip. #67 was able to pull DePip out of the net and then wristed a shot to the farside for his first goal in what seems like a millennium. A collective cheer from the Pirates bench erupted as #67 skated back to center ice. Even Harris skated from his crease to celebrate when #67 finally shed his monkey. It was enough to bring a tear to my eye as I remember the scene. The 1st period ended with a commanding 4-0 Pirate lead.

According to Russ, it was the passing game that set the game apart from other recent Pirate efforts. The 2nd period highlighted that when the Pirates took over right where they left off. First it was Glen Chambers picking up a puck and passing it to his defensive linemate Russ, who skated it up to the blueline and blasted a low shot that DePip never saw (thanks to a screen by his own defenseman) for the 5-0 score. Later in the period —and with the Pirates at a tail-end of a powerplay — the Pirates put on a passing clinic as they worked the puck around the box and blasted shots from the point and picked-up the rebounds to work the puck even more. Finally, it was Jimmy and Wildman who got the puck to Russ who CRANKED a shot from just inside the blueline that went top corner to give Russ his 3rd goal of the night and the 6-0 lead. During the period, #67 was rotated to the second “O” line and when Glenn Farkas out-muscled a Geriatric behind the net, it was #67 who swooped-in on the loose puck for what should have been an easy wraparound; unfortunately, #67 couldn't uncork the shot. But as Depip dropped to block the post, #67 was able to somehow get the puck past him for his second goal of the night and a 7-0 score. The evening wasn't totally rosey for the Pirates, however, when after a face-off to the right of Depip, the Geriatrics were able to push the puck up to their captain Steve-O; Steve went one-on-one with Roger, but everytime Roger swatted the puck away it would deflect off a skate or the boards and somehow end up back on the stick of Steve-O. This continued all the way down to the goal line where Steve-O made a behind the back pass to Ed Probst who was standing all alone to the right of the crease; Harris had no chance on the play as Ed buried the puck easily to close out the period 7 - 1.

When you have a six-goal lead, it is easy to laugh about the missed opportunities that in a much closer game could make the difference between winning and losing. Scott Miller had a golden chance to add to the scoring when he picked-up a rebound to the left of the net and literally had the whole net to shoot at. Considering Scott's penchant for scoring from the most impossible angles, those who witnessed the event would have considered it a “gimmie”; instead of burying the puck, however, Scott shot the puck into DePip's pads — it doesn't sound so bad, but DePip was so far out of the net that he was totally surprised when the puck came to him. Later in the period, it was #67 who was pleading with his linemates to feed him the puck so he could pick up his hattrick. Evan Miller quickly obliged when he fed the puck to #67 who was camped-out in front of the crease. With his eyes as big as saucer plates, #67 tried to fire the one-timer, but instead he fanned on it (Evan was quick to yell out as he skated past the stunned #67: “There it was.”). Still, later in the 3rd, it was Jimmy Ferraro who found himself camped-out to DePip's right. On Ferraro's right was a wide-open Chris who had a wide-open net to shoot at; instead of passing, though, Ferraro waited for DePip to make a move, while DePip himself was waiting for Ferraro to make a move. The waiting seemed to go on forever — neither one of them moved (hey did someone just order a pizza?). By the time Ferraro realized that DePip wasn't going to make a move, the Gerry defense had come over to take away the pass to Chris. Finally with no other option, Ferraro tried to squeeze the puck between DePip and the post, but DePip won the standoff as he was able to come up with the save.

The scoring continued in the 3rd when Glenn Farkas crashed the boards in the Gerry end, forcing the Gerry defense to fire it around the boards behind the net; #67 saw the clearing attempt coming and picked-off the puck and took it to the front where he fired for his third goal of the night. That wasn't it for the night's scoring (but it is for me). The Pirates would add another goal by Wildman (assist to Jimmy) and Jimmy (also unassisted) for the final 10-1 score. At the meeting after the game, the parking lot looked like the Safari of Great Adventure as the monkeys that were set loose earlier in the evening were busy jumping on cars and ripping every windshield wiper, side mirror and antenna that they could find off the parked cars. Oh, wait a second, that wasn't the monkeys — that was Wildman.

WON 10-1


For becoming a card-carrying member of the “Hattrick Club.”

Another 3-goal outing for the Cap'n.

For putting the cabash on what few rushes the Gerry's were able to stage.