12S, no. 1; newsletter by c.g.)
The Coastal Pirates opened the Winter Season with a game against longtime rivals Jaguars B/A. Because the Jaguars A had just finished the game prior to ours, they seemed to have more than the usual allotment of their A-team in attendance. These contests are always highly competitive, and usually tightly played; this week's game would prove to be no exception.
The Pirates began the night with 10 skaters, missing only Jimmy Ferraro (who at last report was off to the hospital to await the arrival of his second child who the Pirates have tentatively-signed to a contract in 2033 when he's eligible). Defensively the Pirates went with the combinations of Russ-Farrell and Weiss-Scooby, while on the offensive side the line combos of LeMatty-Farkas-DiPierro, split time with the line of Ralz-Goione-Wildman.
The game started off at a torrid pace, with both teams pressing to get on the board quickly. About 1:00 minute into the game, Wildman sprung Goione on a breakaway, but with the Jaguar goalie coming out to play the puck, Goione had no where to shoot (and worse, nowhere to skate) and ended-up going end-over-end, head first into the post; a little dazed, Goione skated off to sit while his linemates finished their shift. On the next shift LeMatty would find a wide-open DiPierro from behind the net, and Dan one-timed it for a pretty goal and the Pirates were on the board with the 1-0 lead. The 1st period had plenty of other drama in store for the Pirates as, after one particular shift, Captain Russ pulled-up a little lame. As he skated to the bench he indicated that he had tweaked a groin muscle and looked to be in a lot of pain. To add insult to injury (literally), the Pirates lined-up for a face-off deep in their own end with about :10 seconds remaining in the period; somehow the Jaguar center got a shot off from the face-off that snuck past Harris top shelf as time expired, to tie the game at 1-1 going into the first break.
The 2nd period saw the Jaguars take an early penalty and the Pirates lined-up for their first powerplay of the evening. In what has to be a record for goals scored quickly on the powerplay, the Pirates converted less than :05 seconds into their one-man advantage to regain the lead, 2-1 (the quick goal was due to the work of Scott LeMatty, who streaked down the left side carrying the puck deep into the Jaguars' zone, and then sent a pass into the slot for a charging Glenn Farkas who one-timed it into the far-side of the net). The Jaguars would charge right back however, as Jaguars A/B/Titan/Shark/Gun-for-Hire Guglielmelli broke in and fired a shot just wide, but then picked-up his own rebound off the boards and put it in to knot the game at 2-2. The 2nd period saw some outstanding defensive play by the Pirates and Jags as neither team could get a whole lot going offensively.
The 3rd period scoring opened-up with a blast by last-season's Norris Trophy winner, Mike Farrell, to take the 3-2 lead; on the play, Goione corralled a pass from Wildman and broke hard down the left side while Farrell called to Goione for the pass back across to the far point where he was waiting alone and fired a rocket for the score. The Jaguars would immediately answer back on the next shift when #18 (who I am convinced is allergic to his defensive zone, just kidding), received a long pass and was able to get around the brave, but ultimately gimpy Russ, for the tying score. Russ would redeem himself quickly though, when he took a perfect pass from Glenn Farkas and wristed the go-ahead goal, 4-3. As the period wound down the Jaguars pulled their goalie for the extra attacker and made several good shots trying to draw the score even once more. Harris (who had played his usual steady game) made an outstanding save with less than :30 seconds remaining to seal the victory; on that play, Harris had gone down on his side preventing a quick Jaguar flurry when the puck found it's way onto one of their player's sticks from pointblank range the Jaguar player had at least half the gaping net staring at him and fired what should have been a sure goal, but Harris was up to the task and stabbed into the air with his glovehand to swat the puck and take away any lingering hope of a Jaguar tie.
Overall, a solid team effort by all lines certainly, a satisfying start to the new season.
1) DAN DiPIERRO
For his great hustle, and a nice goal to get the game started.
2) GLENN FARKAS
For his powerplay goal, and a 2-point evening.
3) RUSS NICOLOSI
For playing in obvious pain and, of course, his GWG.