3W, no. 9; newsletter by h.s.)
A re-match of the last year's championship last year began with some good omens: both Big Jim Crowley and a recently-stitched Dave Matthews (donning a full cage) were back behind the blueline for us. On the opening face-off Russ went end-to-end, but couldn't beat the goalie he did fish the rebound from behind the net, though, and fed Allen Snyder in front for a beautiful one-timer in the opening sixty seconds. Not too long after, Jim Crowley's quick release from the top of the face-off circle gave us a quick 2-0 lead. Some serious action at both ends followed, but the only other score was a Jags shot that deflected off a Pirate forward and found its way into our net.
The highlight of the 2nd period was Glen Chambers' imitation of Scott Stevens leveling Eric Lindros, when Glen had an awesome open-ice hit on a Jag sniper at center ice.
For the first 5:00 minutes of the 3rd, our defensive game seemed to turn into a defenseless one, as we allowed the Jags free reign in our zone. As the period progressed, though, we gained confidence, and great hustle by Chris and Scott and some key face-off wins by Glen kept the Jags at bay. Dave Matthews discarded his full cage late in the contest and his style of play turned even more aggressive as he, Big Jim, Roger & Russ combined on D to clear the pucks (and Jags!) from our crease. The Jags were on the verge of pulling their goalie for the extra skater, but were called on an interference when one of their forwards intentionally embellished a Big Jim hit and blindsided me. Brian N. nearly added an open-netter, but after retrieving the puck from his knees he shot just wide. Still, somehow, the seconds ticked-off and surprise, surprise we're going back to the Finals!
1) JIM CROWLEY
For the GWG. Nice job!
2) ALLEN SNYDER
For finding the perfect game to get the scoring touch.
3) GLEN CHAMBERS
For great hustle and terrific backchecking.