(vol. 12W, no. 8; newsletter by b.n.)
When the Pirates started arriving at the rink for the 8:00 game against the Knighthawks, they were well-aware (thanks to an email earlier in the day from Harris) that if the Geriatrics won their game, the Pirates would have to pull-off a victory in their game to make the playoffs. The Hockey Gods must have set the schedule because as the Pirates walked into the rink, they saw the familiar white, yellow and black of the Geriatrics skating around the rink. The game was 3–3 in the 3rd before the Geriatrics put in two goals to make the score 5–3 late in the game. As the Pirates headed into the locker rooms to prepare for their own game, they went in with the determination that they would have to win to make the playoffs. A funny thing happened when they emerged dressed for battle: Somehow the Misfits had tied the game at 5-5. With a tie not helping the Geriatrics playoff chances, the Gerrys pulled their goalie to go for the win. Luck was not with the “old” team though, as the Misfits were able to hit the empty net from the far blueline to end the game and seal the fate of the Gerrys.

Obviously now the Pirates were ripe for a letdown. With the previous game icing the Pirates a play off spot, who would be surprised if the Pirates relaxed a little and didn’t bring their “A” game? Well apparently, their were nine Pirates who (well actually eight — we’ll explain about Roger later) would not fall in to the trap of complacency.

As everyone who reads this newsletter knows, the Knighthawks are made up of an amalgamation of various players from various teams. Notable players include former Pirates Nick Gargulio and Rob Armswood. (Another former Pirate was BB but he was nowhere to be seen in this game). The Pirates started the game with Chris G and the Miller Bros. on offense, while Roger and Glen Chambers were on “D.” Allen and #67 were on the bench while Russ and Keith were still in the locker room. The lines on “O” were juggled around before it was Allen working a pass to Evan who would get the Pirates out to an early 1–0 lead. Later in the 1st period, the puck was worked into the zone by the Pirates; Chris pushed the puck over to Russ who was in the near corner and Russ than hit Keith who had slid down into the crease for the score and the 2-0 lead. Still later in the period, it was Scotty Miller who picked-up a loose puck and scored, giving us the 3-0 lead.

There is an old adage in sports that goes something like “those who can’t do, teach ...” The corollary in hockey should be “those who can’t play, ref ...” Let’s face it, how many times do hockey players hear it from the ref? If they have a shot that goes wide of the net – as they skate back into their zone, a voice comes up from behind them, “how could you miss that?” And that isn’t the little voice in the back of their head – it’s the ref skating up behind them giving them crap. Ref’s are always quick to let you know when you blow a play or miss the easy chip in. The last time we played the Knighthawks, Scott Baldwin petitioned before the game for a mention in the newsletter. Somehow (and I really can’t imagine how it happened) his name was left out of the newsletter. Scott Baldwin accosted the writer of the newsletter before the game letting him know that he had read the previous newsletter and was not happy being referred to as “our second favorite ref.” So without a doubt, the play of the game was when Harris came out of his net to play a puck. Not only did Harris come out, but he came WAY out. By the time he got to the puck, he was above the face-off circle along the far boards. Harris threw the puck behind his net, but it was the speedy Nick Gargulio who got to the puck first. The Pirate “D” slid down to take away the wraparound, but Nick hit Scott Baldwin who was all-alone in front of the vacated net; Scott Baldwin shot the puck and shortly thereafter the whistle blew. #67 was so certain that the puck had gone in the net that he headed towards the center face-off circle after coming off the bench for the line change. Somehow though, Scott Baldwin had managed to miss the net and the face-off turned out to be to Harris’s left. Yes, it is apparently true: “Those who can’t do, ref.”

In the 2nd period, it was Russ who would pick up the puck and bury it to put the Pirates up 4–0. Then is was Keith who hit Scotty Miller on a great headman pass; Scotty skated into the zone with two Knighthawks climbing all over him but somehow he was able to work his stick free and fire the puck past the surprised goalie to give us the 5-0 lead. Later in the 2nd period it was #67 who picked-up a puck inside the Knighthawks zone; #67 worked a pass around a defender by banking a pass off the boards to Russ who then one-timed the pass to Chris who was breaking to the goal — Chris one-timed the puck out of the air for the score. After the 2nd period it was Pirates 6–0.

The Pirates continued the roll into the 3rd when Scotty Miller fed his brother to make it 7–0. Then it was Chris G pushing the puck up to #67 who drew the defenseman to him as he crossed the blueline; #67 then pushed the puck to Russ who skated in on a breakaway. Russ converted easily and the score was now 8–0. At this point the Knighthawks were barely chasing the puck, but the Pirates were unable to take any more advantage of it. The Knighthawks would add some late goals, including a zero-degree angle shot by Rob Armswood that I am still uncertain as to how it made it into the net. Roger would overshadow a fine defensive night by himself, Keith and Glen Chambers, when he let Nick Gargulio turn him inside out (and inside out again) and skate in all alone on Harris to score with a mere 2.5 seconds remaining in the game.

WON 8-3


The scoring touch has returned!

For “for blowing the shutout.”

For stepping up on “D.”