6W, no. 8; newsletter by h.s.)
Last night's game had all the hallmarks of a typical Pirate playoff appearance: a full bench (nine skaters), complete offensive domination, and BB showing up 3:00 minutes prior to gametime.
From the drop of the first puck, we took to the offensive with our starting line of Nick-Brian-Chris compiling a bunch of scoring chances. Just as we seemed unstoppable, Chris who was just swarming around their zone re-injured his bad ankle and had to be assisted off the rink. Still, behind our blueline, the defensive combos of Russ-Roger-Glen gave me time to catch up on my reading as they were all but impenetrable. Although we were winning the offensive battles, their goalie was up to the task and it was almost halfway through the 1st when we got on the board when BB scooped the puck off the right-side boards, saw some daylight and shot one in for the 1-0 lead. Surprisingly, it was almost immediately that the E-Posse capitalized on a turnover to tie things up; Russ was going up ice when his forward progress was hampered by a group of Pirates at center ice and the puck was picked-up by an E-Posse who passed cross-ice to their winger for a blast that beat me high, gloveside. That 1-1 score held until the break.
Although we couldn't capitalize on the powerplay that started the 2nd, Brian Newcomb won a clean faceoff back to Glen who rocketed a shot through a screen (which banged off the crossbar and in) to give us back the lead, 2-1. Again the E-Posse battled back when they took advantage ofloose puck at center and scored (I shoulda had this one).
For the remainder of the 2nd and all of the 3rd, it continued to be Pirates hockey as Roger (with his vintage turnaround slapshot), Nick, BB, Scott and Russ (and just about everyone else) kept pouring shots on net but to no avail.
Regulation ended with a 2-2 tie and we moved into a shootout (Pirate shooters were Wildman, Nick, & Russ). Wildman went first and his shot was stopped off the goalie's blocker, and then the E-Posse's John Fontana (former Pirate) scored to make things 1-0. Again, their goalie frustrated Nick, but the E-Posse's second shooter, Bill (another former Pirate) was also stopped. Russ went in the cleanup spot and their goalie who was great all night ended it by stopping him. The chance for a repeat Championship has to wait for the future.
1) GLEN CHAMBERS
For his score (which should have been the game winner) and some great work on D.
2) BRIAN KLEIMAN
His goal put us up first, and it looked like he was on his way to a few more.
3) ROGER WEISS
In addition to his steely defense, Rog exhibited true Pirate team spirit when he stopped en route to the rink to get Russ' hockey bag so our Captain could make the early game.