4W, no. 8; newsletter by h.s.)
Missing Russ and Scott Miller in the lineup, we still managed to get 10 skaters to the rink at 7pm (thanks to special guest appearances by Tim Ralz, from our Sunday team, and Nick Garguilo, a former Pirate from years back). Although we never trailed, it was another rollercoaster of a game (nice job by alternate-Capt. Glen Chambers on getting our lines set as guys were streaming in late). Rob Armswood got our scoring started when he went up ice and ended up in a crowd at the crease. The Crunch, who featured some new faces in the lineup this time around (and a 7-man bench), answered right back to make things 1-1 at the end of the 1st.
Ralz took advantage of breakaway opportunity (thanks to a great pass from Allen (who had a rock-solid outing) and gave us the temporary leg-up. That was until Eddie Gesior found former-Pirate Steve Polukard for the one-timer to even things at 2-2. Wildman's score late in the period (assist to Ralz) gave us the 3-2 advantage at the end of the 2nd period. We had a brief 2-man advantage at the end of the period, but great hustle by the Crunch nullified any set ups.
In the 3rd, with about 11:10 remaining, the Crunch again challenged deep in our zone and somehow blasted a shot through four Pirates clustered in front to tie things up at 3-3. Just when things were beginning to look a bit like a "shootout" possibility, BB became the playmaker and set up Nick who stormed in for the shot through traffic and the game-winner which, to be technical, glanced off Chris, but he insisted on giving the score to Nick for his great play (we'll give Chris an assist for his participation though!). Ralz leveled a guy with 5 minutes left (not hard enough to merit a penalty) and was called for a penalty. A great kill by us and then super hustle during the last "stop time" two minutes (kudos to BB, Big Jim and Roger!) and we're going to the Semis.
1) TIM HAND
For not only his goal and assist, but also his great effort defensively when he raced back to break up an odd-man rush (of course, he had to plow into me again when doing so).
2) NICK GARGUILO
For his gamewinner and solid D (and almost the assist on a generous pass to Big Jim for the open netter at the end).
3) CHRIS GOIONE
For playing the offensive board in a big way and covering on D.