13S, no. 6; newsletter by c.g.)
The Sunday Pirates again challenged their newest rivals, as the Zombies laced-up across from them for the second time this season. The Zombies as you remember are the defending Sunday Night champs, having dispatched with us in last season's Finals. This has become one of the best rivalries we have, and these are games I personally look forward to; both teams are evenly matched and contests often are decided by which teams goalie is more on during that particular game. We beat them earlier in the season, so I am confdent their was a modicum of revenge on their minds as we skated warmups.
For this game, the Pirates suited-up with a grand total of ... six skaters. I'm not going to get into the virtues of emailing Harris (I am not even sure who did or who didn't, and I am sure for everyone who could not be in attendance there was probably good reason); I just can't help but wonder if the outcome may have been different had we been able to suit up just a few more guys. As it turned out, the Pirates played a pretty good game (with special thanks to Kevin McLaughlin, a Dire Wolf, who was allowed to sub in at D for the bench-depleted Pirates).
The Zombies scored with the passing of each period and, before you knew it, it was 1-0 at the end of the 1st and 2-0 at the end of 2nd, and so on. The Pirates had a bunch of sure chances, but couldn't get any to go. As I type this I can think of a handful of opportunities that should have been golden except for a great Collimore save, or a well-timed defenseman's stick to thwart the effort. The Zombies goals on the other hand were effective, while not particularly awe-inspiring. One went off the post and in and another was poked out from under a covering Harris' glove. Not to take anything away (because they converted their opportunities) but I believe we had more, and better chances.
The Pirates would not be shutout, though; Wildman skating on the back end of a lengthy penalty kill, blocked a shot at the Pirates blueline and somehow found the energy to break in alone on Collimore for a shorthanded goal to spoil the shutout bid with about 2:45 remaining in the 3rd. Keith almost made things interesting with under a 1:00 minute to play as Jimmy setup a perfect one-timer as he creeped into the slot; but, alas it was not meant to be as the puck sailed wide and our chances of the improbable comeback slipped away. The clock ran out as the Zombies claimed victory with a 3-1 score, setting up what will hopefully be the rubber match in the Playoffs.