7S, no. 9; newsletter by h.s.)
Playoff Last time we played Team Micro was the first game of the season -- it was a 7-3 rout (you may remember that that game featured the famous "120-second, 3-goal Micro barrage" against us). This time though we had some secret weapons: namely, Dan, Scott, Tim, Wildman, Chris, Russ, Roger, Glenn, and Scooby. Every Pirate played 45:00 minutes of playoff-brand hockey last night -- even Lord Stanley would have been proud.
Here's the recap: We battled early and had great wheels. Chris, Wildman and Ralz were owning the offensive boards; Scott LeMatty was taking a punishment up front by being the usual distraction in front of the net; and Dan and Glenn Farkas were buzzing all over the right-hand side of the ice. Not to long into the 1st, Russ fired a slapshot on net and the rebound was scooped-up by Dan DiPierro who banged it in for the 1-0 lead. Meanwhile, Russ-Roger-Scooby were doing the 3-man rotation on the blueline and the Micro were not having too much luck on getting deep on us without a battle (unfortunately one of the battles had their guy skating over my hand, but that's a different story). Finally an errant bounce found Rappaport (that's the #97 Scott was warning me about!) and he deked me out of my skates and tied things up 1-1. It looked liked the period might end like that but with less than a minute remaining, Chris and Scott were battling with the entire Team Micro in the crease -- next thing (with Chris laying prone on the ice and still swatting), the ref whistled the Pirate goal by Scott (assist to Chris). It was 2-1 Pirates at the first buzzer.
During the 2nd, the Micro didn't seem worried about trailing -- at first. Not until Scooby chucked a shot down the center from mid-ice and Chris swatted it past the goalie for the 3-1 lead. Then Ralz got the puck to #99 for the score and that goal gave us a 4-1 lead. We had a couple of scares in the 2nd, but the Micro couldn't find any more net and the period ended with our 3-goal lead in tact.
In the 3rd the Micro tried to turn it on, but we were first to every puck and their goalie was forced to freeze the puck time and time again and was using up pressure clock. As the 5:00 minute mark approached, the Micro had a couple of good hustles down ice (my head made a good block on one), but the only goal of the 3rd was Roger's center ice blast -- top shelf -- through the sea of humanity in front of the Micro net ... and we're headed back to the Finals!
1) DAN DiPIERRO
He came into the playoffs like he has been playing morning noon and night. Big hustle and the momentum-swinging goal. Played a heads up game with great passing and Defense" and, from another Pirate "the best game I have seen him play.
2) CHRIS GOIONE
For being able to move the puck forward 100 percent of the time and for some nice passes to Scott and he played a heads up game with great passing and Defense.
For great goaltending and incredible saves and also another brilliant playoff game, when it counted.