14S, no. 12; newsletter by c.g.)
The Semifinals of the Playoffs were against the Zombies led by none other than #67. Recently, the Zombies have given the Pirates all sorts of fits and were the #1-seeded team for the playoffs (the Pirates squeaked in as the #4-seeded team). As you can expect with a playoff game there were 11 skaters present, with Farrell-Richardson-Scooby-McLaughlin manning the defense, and the lines of Wildman-Ralz-Goione and LeMatty-Nicolosi-Farkas playing offense (with Dan DiPierro rotating through the lines). Naturally Harris was in net, but that wasn't as given as you may think: The one person you would figure would never be late for a game (you know the guy who runs everything) somehow thought the game was at 9:00 p.m. instead of the actual 8:00 p.m. start time so a nod of thanks must go out to #67, who had a cellphone and called Harris ten minutes before gametime to inform him of the correct time. In the end everything worked out, and the full team including the goalie took to the rink for what figured to be a tough match.
The line of LeMatty-Farkas-Russ opened the scoring on their first shift when Russ put away a LeMatty feed for the 1-0 lead. Russ would score again in the period (assist to Scooby) to bring the score to 2-0 at the end of the 1st period. Since everyone was hustling, the team was feeling pretty good in-between periods and we seemed to be controlling the play.
In the 2nd, Russ picked-up where he left off by completing the hattrick early on (another assist to LeMatty); on that goal Scott carried the puck around behind the net and threw the puck across the crease to Russ who poked it right past the stunned goalie. Glenn Farkas would add a tally of his own shortly after, when he was taken down in front of the goal crease by a Zombie defender; on his way down, Glenn reached out and poked the puck out of the air giving the Pirates a formidable 4-0 lead. While the Pirates were showing their offensive prowess, the defense was quietly assisting Harris towards a shutout bid. Because of the fine work done at the blueline the Zombies couldn't really muster much of an attack, as any chances they had were quickly cleared away. With 4:00 minutes remaining in the 2nd period the glass at the far end became dislodged and caused a long break while the refs and half the Pirates worked to fix it. Although we had a comfortable 4-0 lead, there was still alot of game left and the fear that this delay could change the game was on everyone's minds. Russ saw to it that this would not be the case when he added his fourth goal of the game quickly after the stoppage. Kevin would finish the period's scoring when he skated in alone and beat the Zombie netminder, giving the Pirates a 6-0 second intermission lead.
Late in the the 3rd period, Russ and Scott LeMatty collided at center ice, but on his next shift Russ recovered and buried his fifth goal of the evening (a Coastal Pirate record). The Zombies never gave up though and provided some real pressure in the 3rd trying to break the goose egg next to their names. On one glorious chance the Zombies were robbed by Harris who had played his usual strong playoff game to this point; on the play a Zombie blasted a shot which Harris blocked, but the rebound came right back to him, but as he tried to lift the puck over Harris, Harris flung his arm upward and deflected the puck safely away to the corner. At the final buzzer the Pirates had dispatched the Zombies by a 7-0 score.
Obviously this game was all about Russ he played like a man possessed and showed great offensive skills (as if we didn't already know about them). Lost in the scoring onslaught though, was the complete domination of a good team culminating in the most quiet of playoff shutouts possible. Hopefully the team will continue to gel as we take on the Jags A for all the glory.
1) RUSS NICOLOSI
His 5-goal effort earned him three new entries on the Legends page.
2) ED SOUTHWORTH
For his strong play all night including an assist and a black eye. Easily Silver Skull worthy.
A playoff shutout. A big deal that shouldn't be overlooked (and thanks for coming).