15S, no. 10; newsletter by c.g.)
The Coastal Pirates suited-up for a Sunday Playoff game against the Zombies this past weekend. As is often the case for a playoff game, we sported a full roster, with the exception of the AWOL Jimmy Ferraro (who has since agreed to pay the imported 6-pack fineas levied by S.O.C.). In his place was John's friend Tony, who again showed-up at the rink ready to play. The defense was the foursome of Kevin, Mike, Keith and the aforementioned Tony, while the forward lines consisted of DiPierro-Wildman-Ralz and LeMatty-Russ-#19. In the net for the Zombies was not starter Doug Collimore, but rather the formidable substitute Mike Braun.
Kevin (fresh off his 3rd period hattrick from the week before) blasted an unassisted goal with less than :09 gone in the game the Pirates were out to a smoking start. The Zombies would tie it up by the end of the 1st period, but it looked like it would be a hard-fought game.
The Zombies then took a two-goal lead in the 2nd period when the Pirates struggled to find their groove. The Pirates were playing hard and the feelings on the bench between periods were that we were still in this, but we needed to get on the board quickly.
With a little more than 10:00 minutes to play in the 3rd period, #19 dug a puck out of the corner and fed a rink-wide pass to a wide-open Scott LeMatty for the one-timer goal. And just like that it was a 3-2 game, and the momentum seemed to swing in the Pirates' favor. With time running out, Dan DiPierro (who just a few days earlier had been ill and lost seven pounds) took it upon himself to sit a shift so LeMatty could stay out and try to make something happen; Dan's act of selflessness would net big dividends as LeMatty tipped home the game-tying goal off a slapshot by Kevin with less than 1:00 minute on the clock.
The game ended knotted at 3-3, and the team was off to the shootout. The Pirates shot first, and Kevin was the first to go; he skated in, made a few moves that faked the goalie, but unfortunately couldn't get the handle for the shot at the open net. The Zombies first skater missed wide as Harris challenged him, and took away most of the net. Next up for the Pirates was Russ, who skated in hard and made a move as though he was going to go glove-side, then doubled back, and placed the puck in the gap on the stick-side, for the 1-0 shootout lead. The Zombies second skater came in on Harris and popped the water bottle as he placed the puck in the only place left open by Harris. LeMatty was last up for the Pirates (barring a tie), and he delivered with a deke into a wide-open portion of the net when he faked the goalie. So it was down to one Zombie shooter, and I have to tell you I would not want to have the pressure of the game on my shoulders as Harris often has. Harris was aggressive and charged the shooter, forcing him to shoot it into his chest for the easy save. Game over. And the Pirates were on their way to another Finals this time against the normally A-Division Flyers. It will be a best-of-3, so stay tmed for more Pirate Playoff Hockey.
1) SCOTT LEMATTY
For two goals (and one in the shootout) an awesome playoff game.
2) KEVIN MCLAUGHLIN
For his solid, multiple-point game, with lots of good hustle.
He never gave up and took the win in the shootout.