14W, no. 10; newsletter by b.n.)
Many thanks to my friend John Cassens (a.k.a. Wildman) for stepping-up an authoring last week's newsletter. After last Wednesday's game, Harris declared that if he did not have the newsletter by noon Friday there would be no beer for anyone after the following Wednesday night's game obviously Harris thought that fearing the wrath of my fellow teammates would somehow motivate me to get the newsletter in on semblance of promptness. Like it matters. As it turns out, I was going away the following day and knowing that I would not be able to file the newsletter under Harris' strict deadline, I politely bowed out of my duties. So why was it like Tuesday before the newsletter was published? Oh well, Harris shouldn't complain since Chris finally wrote the newsletter for one of the Sunday games from last month. Anyway, besides Wildman and Chris (who make this newsletter look like it was published early) thanks must also go out to Mike Farrell; he gets the 'attaboy for not showing up for Wednesday's game and allowing us to have a roster of ten skaters.
Our opponents for the night were the Jaguars. As it turns out, the Marlins had a bye on Wednesday and even though there is supposedly a rule that limits the amount of A players on a B team, the Jaguars somehow always get around it. Never before was it so obvious though, then last Wednesday when (with the A players not bothering to come out to the rink), the Jaguars were left with a roster that consisted of four skaters and a goalie.
Before I get to the events of the game, let me just a few words about The Purse. First of all, how can it be that Harris has a fleet of vehicles including a Bell Helicopter, but he carries around the hockey pucks in a bag that looks like it was stolen off the set of the new television show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? And why is it that I take heat for not noticing that someone else left The Purse on the bench? I got enough things to worry about in my life. I can't bear the anguish of being seen carrying that thing around. So instead of warming up with some shots on Harris before the game, the ten Pirate skaters tried to pass the one puck that someone scrounged out of their hockey bag while Harris scurried around the rink looking for The Purse. (In reality, Harris had played the game before ours and had to take all his equipment off and take a piss. Wipe everything down with a clean cotton towel. Take a piss. Spray everything with Lysol. Take a piss. Start putting his pads back on. Take a piss. Take a piss. Well, you get the point.)
As the clock struck 11:00 p.m., the Pirates put Wildman-Chris-Allen on offense with Dave-Russ starting off on D. The Jaguars put out Gucci- Mark Siegal-Mark Andras and the guy whose name escapes me (one of their older defenseman). That was it. I kept waiting for someone else to come out of the locker room, but that was all they had. When the line of #67 and the Miller Bros on O jumped-out with Keith-LeMatty, the Jaguars countered with Gucci, Mark Siegal, Mark Andras and the guy whose name escapes me (one of their older defenseman). You would think that with a constant 5-on-4 advantage, the Pirates would be able to hand it to the Jaguars but you would be wrong. Instead, the Pirates would turn over a puck to Mark Andras who skated in on a breakaway and put the puck past Harris to give the Jaguars the early 1-0 lead. The Pirates have a few skeletons in their closet when it comes to losing the occasional game where there opponents have no business even being in it. Evan was quick to point out the time he was on the Homicide and they were able to beat a fully stocked Pirate team with just five skaters, but surely this game was surely different; after all, the Jaguars had only four skaters! But before the 1st period could end, Harris would have to come up big on another breakaway by Mark Andras as well as one by Gucci. Believe it or not, the Pirates were lucky to only be trailing by one goal as the first buzzer sounded.
As the 2nd period got going, the Pirates had some chances but it was the Jaguars who would put up another two goals (including one on a dubious 4-on-4 powerplay). For whatever reason, not only were the Jaguars shorthanded, but the referees were playing short, with just Bobby handling all aspects of the game (at on point he even had to chase down replacement pucks when the scorekeeper was nowhere to be found). Anyway, with the Pirates staring down the ugly 3-goal deficit, it was Bobby who finally got the Pirates going when he had a rather loud conversation with Russ; after the discussion, Russ came out flying-up the boards and was able to work the puck to Chris, who got it to Wildman for the score. On the same shift, it was Chris who got the puck to Russ who blasted one from the blue line to cut the Jags lead to 3-2 (the Jaguar goalie got some of it, but not enough as the blast was able to squeeze through him and get into the net). It looked like things were finally going the Pirates way as the next line of #67 and the Millers headed-out onto the floor. The Pirates kept things going when #67 took the puck from Keith and drove down the center of the rink; he fired off a shot that the Jaguar goalie was able to stop, but he was unable to cover the rebound in the crease and Evan Miller became Even Miller when he knotted the score at 3-3 by flipping in the loose puck. The last time the Pirates had a 5-on-3 advantage bad things happened; so when Mark Andras was called for a trip the already shorthanded Jaguars found themselves down two skaters. The Pirates took quick advantage by planting three Pirates in the crease. Keith cranked-up a blast from the left point that deflected off somebody in front and landed on the stick of #67 who was able to bury it for the first Pirate lead of the night, 4-3.
The 3rd period saw the Jaguars jump back in it with another goal although Harris continued to make some great saves (including one on his brother Mark Siegal not really who took a pass from Gucci on the side of the net; with Harris sprawled out, Mark had the whole net to shoot at but he was unable to lift the puck over Harris' glove). Perhaps the Jaguars were finally wearing down as Dave heard Mark complain that he was just too tired to lift the puck into the net. Later in the 3rd, it was Allen who picked up another goal to put the Pirates back in front 5-4. With time running out and the Pirates clinging to a one-goal lead, Bobby decided to drop a puck on a crucial face-off inside the Pirates zone before #67 was even in the face-off circle; the puck went back to the point, but it was Chris who would come up big when he pushed the puck around Gucci and skated in all alone for the goal (Chris had so much time that he went through about six moves before he shot the puck past the goalie who was tied-up like a pretzel by that point). But that wasn't the end of it: With just :10 seconds remaining it was Gucci who buried another puck (and completed what he described as the most hattricks ever scored on Harris) to make the game a one-goal nailbiter. With just :9.7 seconds to go in the game, the Jaguars finally started to show their exhaustion, as their defenseman who I can not remember, went to the bench and was unable to continue when the whistle blew to resume play. On the ensuing face-off #67 pushed the puck past Mark Siegal and fought off a serious hook by Mark Andras and was still able to rocket a blast off the crossbar (according to Keith, the puck was in the net). Unfortunately, there was only :02 seconds left as the Pirates suddenly found themselves on a 5-on-2 powerplay (Mark Andras went to the box as the defenseman was still on the bench and done for the night). The whistle finally blew on the Pirates 6-5 victory it wasn't pretty, but it definitely beats the alternatives.
Oh yeah, one final word on The Purse: I don't know what Harris was all worked-up about. It turns out, not only do the Pirates not want to pick it up, but no one else does either it sat on the bench all night last Wednesday before Scotty Baldwin finally recovered it at the end of the night. (I heard he made Bobby carry it to his office though).
1) CHRIS GOIONE
A 3-point outing, including the GWG.
2) ALLEN SNYDER
For netting his fourth goal of the season.
3) EVAN MILLER
For also continuing his scoring streak, with his fourth goal (sixth point) on the season.