5S, no. 9; newsletter by h.s.)
Last night we had a chance to avenge a sub-par regular season (3-5) and prove once again that we are a Playoff Team.
The pace was quick and the scoring began with a Blizzard breakaway goal for the for the 1-0 lead; before the Blizzard could ride any momentum though, Russ answered back when he picked up the puck at our end and weaved up the right boards to tie things up at 1-1 and this was all in the first shift! The Blizzard would regain their lead when they fired a shot through a field of men just above the face-off circle (the slapshot would have been better handled if i wasn't flat on my back after slipping on the so-called Arena residue that's what the refs called the mystery moisture seeping up in the crease that was leftover from John Arena after the sweaty shootout preceeding our game). Fortunately, it was not too long until Wildman would even things up when he netted his first of the night (assist to Chris and Ralz). We would carry that 2-2 score into the 1st break.
Compared to the 1st period's 4 goals, the 2nd period was not quite the Scorefest: The only puck to hit the twine would again be by Wildman (assist to Chris), but that would give us the lead, 3-2, for the first time.
The 3rd period would see even more Pirate offensive pressure (if not for some great Blizzard goaltending, this game could have been a rout). During one play we had what seemed a half-dozen shots flying on net with their goalie leaping from side-to-side; it was on this play that Ralz would finally get a loose puck in front and shuffle it off to Wildman who patiently placed the puck high for the 4-2 lead and his hattrick. With about 6:00 left and staring at elimination, a Blizzard winger broke out and at full-stride and placed a slapshot shortside to get them within one goal, 4-3. But it would be Ralz (aka Tim) who would crush any chance of Blizzard comeback when he did a Sony Playstation Spin-a-Rama move at the side of their net which fooled their goaltender and gave us back the two-goal lead, 5-3. And that would do it WE'RE HEADED BACK TO THE FINALS! A fanatastic effort one of our most solid outings (both up and back). We'll have a chance next week to do what no other Pirate team has even done: Repeat championships in consecutive seasons. Let's get'em!
1) JOHN CASSENS
He becomes the 7th Pirate to ever score a hattrick.
2) TIM HAND
For his 3-point night, and also for critical insurance goal late in the 3rd.
3) CHRIS GOIONE
For his role on the Wildman-Ralz-Goione line which netted four of the five goals.