12W, no. 4; newsletter by b.n.)
There are few among us that could argue that 2002 ended on a down note. Let's face it, the only thing that dropped more then the Stock Market was the scoring totals for the Coastal Pirates. So with the first game of 2003 for the Wednesday Pirates, no one was taking anything for granted. Sure, our first game in three weeks was against the Misfits (a team we historically beat by as much as 10 points), but with the way things ended in 2002 ... well, you know. The game was surprisingly well-attended considering it was an 11:00 p.m. start.
The offensive line of Goione-Farkas-Allen got the start because according to Chris they had their helmets on. While on D it was Glen Chambers and the recovering Russ Nicolosi. Sure, everyone was looking a little rusty, but when the Misfits were able to stumble their way through a face-off to the left of Harris and bury the puck it was looking like 2002 all over again. Fortunately it didn't stay like that, because opening the scoring for 2003 was #67 when he camped-out to the right of the Misfit goalie and buried a pass from Scott Miller for a powerplay goal. Later in the period, it was the other Miller (Evan) feeding Keith who cranked a shot that caught the upper post and ricocheted off the netting and bounced out (the goal counted, but just to be sure Scott smacked the rebound in too). The 1st ended with the Pirates leading 2-1.
In the 2nd period it was Scotty Miller lighting up the goal light once again; I would like to say it was a beautiful pass from brother Evan that set up the goal, but since it is almost like a full week later I have no recollection of the event. I do, however, remember when Dave picked-up a loose puck along the boards and skated the puck behind the net (that would be the Misfits net not Harris' and how he got so deep into the zone is another story). As Dave skated out from behind the net, he had plenty of targets Evan was camped to the goalies' right while #67 was on the opposite side; Dave scanned his choices and surprised everyone (but mostly the goalie) when he fired the puck on net for the wraparound and picked-up the score. The 2nd ended with the Pirates controlling 4-1.
It must be noted that way back at the start of the season, I minimized the opening season loss to the Geriatrics by saying: End of the World? Hardly. End of the season? Don't bet on it ... Russ returns next week. Of course, Russ did not return the following week. And you guessed it: We lost. He didn't return the week after and once again: We lost. The week after that? No Russ. Another loss.
So even though he might not have been skating at 100% just his presence on the floor was enough to turn the tide of the game. Russ might not have been moving like the wind, but his stickhandling was certainly the best I have seen recently (he was weaving in-and-out of Misfits like they were discarded basketballs falling off the back of a black and green dump truck). So in the 3rd period it was only fitting that wingmate Chris Goione would close out the scoring with a feed to the not-really-rapidly-recovering Russ, who would jump into a tie for third place in the scoring race by netting his first goal of the season and sealing the 5-1 victory.
1) SCOTT MILLER
For excellent passing and nice plays (and a 2-point night).
2) EVAN MILLER
Ditto (same as Scott).
3) KEITH RICHARDSON
For excellent D and puck distribution (and goal to boot).