13S, no. 9; newsletter by c.g.)
If you were only to look at the final score of this past Sunday's Playoff game between the Coastal Pirates and the Blizzard, you could make the assumption that it was a lopsided affair, and was probably over early. Naturally with that type of intro, you realize that that was not the case. So then what really happened?
Well for starters you would have to go back a little ways, and look to a player who is not even on the Sunday team, and what role in our playoff game he had. More clearly, Brian Newcomb was taking heat over the past week, because he:
A) Supplied a substitute goalie for a game, who had an off night.
B) His Sunday night team failed to beat a Jaguar team the week prior forcing us to meet the No. 1-seeded Blizzard in round one of the playoffs instead of the Finals (assuming we could have gotten that far).
Now personally I subscribe to the theory that if you want to call yourself the best, you must be able to beat anyone on any day so the Oliver Stone like conspiracy theory involving Newcomb really holds little water for me (but it makes the story a little better so I included it).
So that is how we got there, but what happened between the first whistle and the final 5-1 score? Well Keep reading because there was a bunch of stuff. First and foremost, Sunday marked the return of Scott LeMatty (long missing due to a hamstring injury suffered early in the season). Scott wasn't sure he was up to the offensive skating role, so elected to man the blueline with Keith Richardson (subbing for Mike Farrell), Scooby and Roger. The Forward lines were made up of Russ-Wildman-Goione, and DiPierro-Ferraro-Farkas; however by game's end, two of the 10 skaters mentioned would be out of the lineup with injuries.
The 1st period had good end-to-end action with the Blizzard getting on the board first when a point shot deflected out of the air past Harris for the 1-0 lead.
The 2nd period saw a repeat as the Blizzard once again would put one past Harris, who was playing well, but couldn't stop them all. The team as a whole was playing well and created quite a few chances that were only turned away by some strong play from the Blizzard goalie.
the start of the 3rd period Scott Lematty's injured hamstring was acting-up,
forcing him to the sidelines. Shortly after, Russ went down with what appears
to be dehydration. But the Pirates drew to within one when Jimmy Ferraro
converted a Roger-fed rebound which to cut the lead in half, 2-1. Down to
only eight skaters, Roger moved to forward, leaving Keith and Scooby to
finish the game as the lone tandem on defense. With just 5:00 minutes remaining,
and after killing off an important penalty, the wheels fell off the cart;
on one shift, the Blizzard scored three goals and turned what had been a
pretty good effort into a laugher.
So you see there were a lot of factors that went into the defeat, and it was a much more competitive game then the score would indicate. Considering the injuries, vacations, suspensions, and cloak-and-dagger forces outside our control, it wasn't a bad season. Of course you never like to end the season on a losing note, but anytime you make the playoffs, every team but one's will end that way. And there is always next season.