7W, no. 3; newsletter by h.s.)
Lots of familiar faces graced the locker room last night -- Big Jim was there along w/ the kids (the proverbial "Kate Smiths" of the Coastal Pirates, if you will); Allen was back in Pirate colors last night as well as Scott (who i suppose couldn't get Yanks tickets that night); and even BB showed up a comfortable 4:00 minutes before gametime. Even with the noteable absences of Russ (who, rumour has it, was in Germany picking up another BMW) and Dave (still on the DL from the other week) we had a full-roster -- Glenn Farkas even showed-up to help us outsince I was anticipating the usual shortened-bench for a 7pm start.
Here's the recap: we played hard and there was lots of pressure at both ends. The Phantoms looked fast and after a few attempts, made a great centering pass from the corner to an open man on the doorstep for the 1-0 lead. Up front, BB, Glenn F. and Chris had great wheels and even with some challenging shots that tied-up the Phantoms young goaltender, we couldn't captilize and the 1st ended 1-0. The 2nd showcased a couple of awesome Pirate opportunities -- Wildman (who joined the lineup late in the 1st) was in position a few times and was catching their "D" flat-footed and Chris was doing a great job of getting to the net. Bri and Allen were doing a well on face-offs and Big Jim and Glen Chambers were keeping the pucks in the zone while Roger and Nick a were pressing-up to create some chances.
The most memorable play of the 2nd, though, was a clearing pass toward our zone which had Roger and a Phantom racing neck-and-neck; reading the play in a Patrick Roy-like moment (the "Game 2" Stanley Cup Patrick Roy, that is), I raced way out for the puck and then I thought Roger would get it. Of course, Rog thought i was getting it -- well, the Phantom guy got it and passed to his teammate standing wide open right in front of the net; amazingly, he shot wide (to his own teammate's chants of "you couldn't hit a soccer goal!"). So, it remained a 1-goal game deep into the 2nd when a Phantom broke across our blueline, Big Jim & Glen C. broke the play up well, but an errant bounce found its way right on to the tape of the big freakin' guy on the Phantoms who blasted a shot topshelf for the 2-0 lead.
In an effort to shake things up for the 3rd, we moved Nick up front and Bri back to his defensive position; on the first shift of this noble experiment, Nick couldn't get a touch on the puck (which seemed to be staying as far away from his right-wing position as possible) and then Bri's debut on defense saw a puck kinda mysteriously roll between his skates deep in our zone to (surprise) a Phantom, who shot in slow motion and beat me beneath my pad. The Phantoms scored one other in the 3rd on their "patented" play of working the corners and passing to the "trailor." Still, after we went down 4-0 we played agressively -- oftentimes w/ 4 guys down ice -- and really worked the puck. Big Jim had an explosion of offensive late in the 3rd, banging his way up the boards (on both ends) and getting a couple a quality slapshots; Glen Chambers had a terrific blast in the 2nd; and BB had his classic "doopsy-doodle" move which pulled the goalie down and out, but this time he ran out of real estate (and, as was pointed-out at the meeting later, we failed to yell "shoot the puck, BB!," so that may have contributed to the snafu on that play as well). All-in-all, a classic example of a final score not really reflecting the effort. and, of course, special thanks to the Jim Crowley-cheering section, featuring Amanda, Kristen and Lauren!
1) JIM CROWLEY
For a strong effort combined w/ shots on net. And, of course, his spirited play on the boards.
2) ALLEN SNYDER
For coming back from the DL and having a good first night back in the face-off circle and centering his line.
3) GLENN FARKAS
For true team spirit not only on the ice, but also for hanging around to make sure we had enough guys for the early game. He started the game for us and then after our 10th man accounted for took his leave so as not to mess up the rotation.