16S, no. 6; newsletter by c.g.)
Another Sunday, another Pirate loss. Technically that is true, but it wasn't just another loss this time there was something different about the game. This time the Pirates were very much in the game, and were able to keep things close with a strong effort. The defense was a combination of #19-Richardson, Russ-McLaughlin. The forwards consisted of the lines of LeMatty-Wildman-Ferraro, and DiPierro-Farkas-Ralz.
Both teams battled hard through the 1st, and while the Blackhawks had more chances, the Pirates defense was playing strongly. Harris made the big saves when he had to, and kept the game scoreless through the first intermission. Offensively, the Pirates were getting some chances, but could not finish. All-in-all a solid 1st period to come away tied.
The Blackhawks would be the first on the board midway through the 2nd period when they capitalized on clearing pass and skated around Russ for the backhander and the 1-0 lead. The Pirates battled back however, and applied some pressure of their own failing only to get the puck in the net. The game got physical when a Pirate player (who requested anonymity) mixed it up with a Hawk after getting whacked behind the play; both players continued their debate long after going to their boxes. As the 2nd period wound down, the Blackhawks were awarded a powerplay that would carry over into the 3rd period.
The Blackhawks converted that powerplay opportunity when a Hawk made a perfect pass through the crease to a waiting player alone on the other side of the net. From there the game started to get a little ugly, as the elbows and bumping picked up. Midway through the period, Jimmy Ferraro made a nice rush which most thought was a Pirates goal, but the goal was waved off by Downey who was filling-in as ref; adding to the confusion, however, was the fact the other ref had skated over to our bench to ask the number of the guy who scored. The outcome was that the goal was disallowed and Jimmy was even unsure whether the puck was in. Ralz would be the recipient of a heavy cross check late in the game when he headed down the ice on breakaway; the hit sent him to the locker room and the opposing Hawk to the box for 2:00 minutes (though it seemed more deliberate than the punishment would indicate and the blood and mark on Tim's forehead substantiates that fact).
In the end the Blackhawks were able to hold onto their slim lead and take the 2-0 win. Overall, however, it was a well-played effort for the Pirates and one we can hopefully build on four our rematch against the Bruins next.
1) TIM HAND
For contemplating revenge, but opting for Coors Light instead.
2) DAN DIPIERRO
For some tenacious playing especially the way he was tying the Hawks up on the face-offs.
For allowing just one even-strength goal against a formidable opponent.