18W, no. 14; newsletter by b.n.)
If the season ended today, you would have to admit that it was one hell of a season. Well come to think of it, the regular season did come to an end, but that was a couple of weeks ago now. Going into the final game, the Pirates were on the verge of an undefeated season. Unfortunately, the Pirates' opponents for the night picked-up a pair of non-roster players to fill out their bench. As luck would have it, one of those non-rostered players (former Pirate Rob Armswood) picked-up a pair of goals on Harris. That two-goal differential turned out to be the difference in a game that would snap our unbeaten 11-0-2 streak. One can only wonder what would have happened if they were forced to play the game with only players on their roster; of course one can only wonder what would have happened if the Sunday Pirates did not play their last game of the regular season with players that were not on their roster. (editor's note: the final game of the Sunday season, the Pirates faced the #67-manned team of the Zombies, but due to a shortened bench added Red Star Rob Guimaraes who netted a 4-point night. And, I believe, we are now going to get a little editorial from our beloved #67 about that particular strategy.) As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by that “editor's note”: You just can't have it both ways — if you're happy that the Sunday Pirates made the playoffs then you cannot be upset that the Wednesday Pirates lost their bid for an undefeated season. If you are, then you are a hypocrite!
Sure the Pirates led 1-0 in the 1st period, and sure this team seemed destined for the victory when they still held a 2-1 lead with just seconds remaining in the 2nd period. And that's when the tide started to turn; the Hocky Teem was able to turn a face-off in the Pirate zone into a rebound goal with a fraction of a second left in the period, tying things up 2-2 at the second buzzer — literally at the second buzzer. In the 3rd, the Hocky Teem would add two more tallies, and this was one game that the Pirates were unable to conjure up a way of tying or winning.
Some final thoughts on the Regular season: After the game, some people were quick to dish out the “spin” such as we would rather lose the final game of the regular season then fail in the playoffs. Of course there is no guarantee that a loss in the final game will necessarily assure a victory in the first game of the playoffs (just ask the members of the Zombies on Sunday nights). Some would argue that the loss would break the momentum that was generated throughout the regular season and the Pirates would find it hard to recover; others would argue that the loss would motivate the Pirates to work harder after they perhaps became a little too comfortable and better to find that out in the regular season then in the playoffs. But alas, only time will tell what the results will be. But one thing is certain: After Russ rearranged his entire travel schedule so he could participate in the first round playoff game, don't expect him to go easy on the Phantoms who decided that they “had to” postpone the first round playoff game.
1) EVAN MILLER
For initially giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead, and breaking double-digits with a 10-point season.
2) BRIAN NEWCOMB
For scoring the first and last goal of the Pirates Wednesday night season — pretty cool trivia, eh?