14S, no. 2; newsletter by c.g.)
The Coastal Pirates settled into a dogfight this past Sunday as they matched their arch rivals, Team Micro. Team Micro was sporting a slightly different roster by adding both Bob Currao and that other guy who refs and runs the league to their already-potent roster. The Coastal Pirates iced the full contingent of 11 skaters for the first time this season with Russ being the swingman through the forward lines.
The Pirates jumped to an early lead as Dan DiPierro picked up a Glenn Farkas rebound in the slot and put it on net past Micro Goalie Steve Carr. Throughout a strong, fast-paced 1st period the chances abounded at each end with only each team's goalie thwarting the advances. The Pirates would strike again with less than :30 seconds remaining in the 1st period when Wildman feathered a pass through the crease to a wide-open Mike Farrell for the easy lay up and 2-0 Pirate lead.
The Micro came roaring back in the 2nd period though, scoring five goals including three unanswered tallies. Micro's first goal came on a breakaway just :30 seconds into the period and the added another on the next shift to tie things up at 2-2. The Pirates then found themselves shorthanded when Scott LeMatty playing his usual physical game went to the box; while shorthanded, however, Dan DiPierro netted his second of the night as he crashed the net and banged home Russ' rebound. The 3-2 Pirate lead (and the momentum) was short-lived, however, as the Micro netted their own PPG to knot things up at 3-3. Micro proceeded to pretty much control play at both ends as they added another pair to close out the period with a 5-3 lead.
Still trailing by two goals with 10:00 minutes to play in the game and not wanting to let this game slip away without a fight, the Pirates (and Russ in particular) turned it up a notch and staged an improbable comeback. First the newest Pirate, Kevin, hit Russ on a breakaway, to make the score 5-4. Just a 1:00 minute later on the same shift Russ carried the puck into the corner and hit Goione coming through the slot; Goione hit the crossbar and the rebound came back to him with his second effort the puck bounced into the air off a Micro defenseman and came down on the goalie's back and into the net for tying goal, 5-5. With less than 5:00 minutes remaining, the Micro broke down ice and tried to stuff the puck shortside; the shot was blocked but the rebound squirted-out to a Micro at the crease who backhanded the puck over a sprawling Harris for the 6-5 Micro lead. With less than 2:00 minutes to play the Micro received a penalty and the Pirates sent their powerplay unit out; Harris stayed in the net, since they were now free to ice the puck for the rest of the game due to the penalty (it turned out he had to make a late save as the Micro made a good rush). With just over a 1:00 minute to play the Pirates made a last push and controlled the puck in the Micro zone. Farrell pinching deep on the left side took a shot that was harmlessly blocked by a Micro defenseman, but his clearing attempt ricocheted off one of his teammates and landed right in front of the goalie where Russ was waiting unmolested; Russ waited for the puck to settle down before backhanding home the tying goal. Team Micro again got close in the remaining seconds, but there was no way Harris was gonna let one by him, and the Pirates went home with a good tie.
Next up the Blackhawks during a late afternoon matinee.
1) DAN DIPIERRO
For two big goals early in the game and good hustle throughout.
2) RUSS NICOLOSI
For a 4-point outing. (Hey, didn't we just say that last week?!)
3) MIKE FARRELL
For his usual solid defense and adding an offensive boost (against the right goalie this game) with a goal and an assist.