14S, no. 13; newsletter by c.g.)
How do you sum up a playoff season in which we outscore our two opponents by a combined 8-1 score, and yet lose the Championship? When looked at from that perspective this loss becomes even harder to take.
We entered these playoffs as the fourth seed, with an underachieving team. We knocked off the first seed in dominant fashion fueled by Russ' offensive wizardry, and a quiet but impressive shutout bid by Harris. For the Championship game of the B division, the fourth-seeded Pirates lined-up against the Jaguars A team. But to add further insult to that match-up there were several players on the Jag's bench who definitely were not part of their regular season roster. Now in fairness, we can play with those guys as this game would prove. The problem is that there are seemingly no rules at GoodSports and the teams are left to their own discretion as to who can or can't play in any given game. Even though we could play with the Jaguars (and probably should have beaten them) it does not change the fact that we shouldn't have been playing them in the first place, and I should be typing an essay about another Pirate championship instead of what I will write.
The 1st period opened with the Pirates sporting a nine-man roster with Ralz off partying somewhere on the Jersey Shore and Kevin MIA (Kevin would show midway through the game and provide some solid offensive chances to go with his usual strong defensive play). The defense which proved so stingy a week before began with the trio of Richardson-Scooby-Farrell, while the offensive lines featured the skill line of LeMatty-Russ-Farkas and the grinding line of DiPierro-Wildman-Goione. The skill line pressured early and often as the combination of Russ and LeMatty (which proved so deadly the week before) peppered the Jags' goalie. Harris made an unbelievable butt-end save less than a 1:00 minute into the game to show he too had come to play. The Pirates opened the scoring when #19 deflected a Scooby slapshot to go topshelf for the powerplay goal, and the 1-0 lead.
Believe it or not that goal would hold up until midway through the 2nd period when the Jags would finally find a way to get one past Harris. The Jags tied the game with less than 2:00 minutes remaining in the period, when a Jag player took a hard shot that Harris was able to glove, but could not contain the rebound; the puck came right back to the shooter and he put it up over Harris for the goal. One of our defenseman had an opportunity to clear the rebound, but just couldn't get to it (I am not sure who the defenseman was either Farrell or Richardson but I'm pretty sure Farrell was on the bench at the time. Between those two goals and afterwards, there was a ton of action from both teams with lots of good chances; only superb goaltending kept this from being a high-scoring affair. As the game progressed so did the penalties, as both sides scrapped for an advantage.
While we were on a powerplay in the 3rd period, Farkas got leveled at center ice which should have given us a two-man advantage for close to a 1:00 minute; but when the ensuing tussle had ended, we were left with a 4-on-3 for :17 seconds, then 4-on-4 for 1:40. The Jags kept the pressure up, but the Pirates were able to withstand it and we went to the 5:00 minute overtime tied at 1-1.
the OT neither team was able to score despite some quality chances (and
a short Pirates' powerplay) and so it was off to the shootout.
Their first shooter scored and none of our three were able to, so the Jaguar A won the B Division Title.
As you probably all know, Scooby announced earlier this season that he was hanging-up his skates for good and this Finals was Scooby's last game as a Pirate. I think I speak for the team when I say he will be missed both on and off the ice. (Shortly after gametime, the Pirates retired Scooby's 28 only the second number ever to be retired in Pirates history. Read about his career at the bottom of the Legends page.)
1) ED SOUTHWORTH
In his final game in Pirate black, Scooby assisted on our only goal.
2) CHRIS GOIONE
For his sweet redirection off a slapshot, that gave us the lead for almost two periods.
3) KEITH RICHARDSON
For his strong defensive effort that kept the Jags off their usual offensive-minded game.