7W, no. 8; newsletter by b.n.)
They say "Absence makes the heart grow stronger (or is it fonder?)," so based on our lack of playoff success last season, the Pirates went into the first round of the playoffs looking to return to the success that seemed commonplace in seasons past. Instead, our hearts just got stronger. I know I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but one would hope that the top scorers for the season, who combined for a total of 26 points for the regular season, could have stepped up when the team needed it most and produced. Well, it didn't happen. (At least Nick and Scott have a good excuse -- it's hard to score when you are not at the game).
Now for the recap: Didn't we just play these guys? Sure enough, the first round of the playoffs found us playing against our old rivals, the Jags B. We beat them earlier in season, but as most of us remember, lost to them last week 6-2.
The 1st period opened with the line of Russ, Tim Ralz and Chris G on offense while Crowley and Glennnnnnnnnnnnnnn opened up on 'D'. Right off the opening face-off, the puck worked its way back to Crowley who took off! He worked his way up the far boards and headed for the net, but the Jags B stepped up however and were able to turn back Big Jim. The second line of BB, #67 and Wildman had some trouble getting on the floor and were called for a too many men on the ice penalty to give the Jags B the early powerplay. That same line had some chances on the next shift but, neither #67 or BB could lift the puck over the sprawled Jags B goalie. The 1st period ended with the score tied at 0-0.
For the 2nd period, the "penalty fest" began when Roger was called for an even-up minor penalty. Shortly thereafter, #67 was called for a trip off aface-off to give the Jags a powerplay. The Pirates where able to kill offthat penalty and as #67 jumped back on the floor -- he counted his ownplayers -- just to be sure after the earlier incident. As it turns out, Harris too was counting players and began yelling for Scott ("The Jags have too many guys, count guys!"). Scott took that as a hint and counted the JagsB -- who had too many men, and the Pirates got a shot at the powerplay. As it turned out though, powerplays are not always to our advantage. According to Roger, he had the puck in our end in the far corner and he tried to get the puck up the rink but unfortunately, the puck did not go where he intended it, but instead dropped in front of Harris. As it was pointed-out to me, we were on the powerplay and Harris looked to move the puck, but unfortunately his breakout pass was intercepted and the Jags B were suddenly up 1-0. Our strong play continued though, with the first line working the puck to Chris in front of the net who had chances with some one-timers. Roger would find himself in the Box one more time before the period was out (according to Bob, a slash is a slash whether you hit someone or not). Our 'D' withstood the challenge and the 2nd period ended with us trailing 1-0.
The 3rd period began uneventfully enough, but the Jags B went on the powerplay again when one of their players was "pulled down" behind our net by Glen C. They then took the puck down the far boards, crossed the blueline, cut to center (a move that we saw often during the night) and fired a shot that beat Harris over his right shoulder for the PPG. Down 2-0, no one was discouraged, least of all BB who took a pass from an unknown Pirate (the scorekeeper wrote 40 -- my guess is that it was Wildman -- whoever it is, please let Harris know) and beat the goalie low for the score. The period saw other penalties called with yet another "Too Many Men" penalty called on the Jags B. The most exciting penalty of the period came with less then 2:00 minutes to play when, according to BB, his stick was being held by the Jag B player known as Guch (or Gucci .. Or Gugglieiaono .. whatever ...). Anyway BB apparently pulled his stick out of Gucci's grip, but in doing so he must have clipped Gucci in the face, because Gucci was PISSED. He chased BB to the center of the rink and gave him a crosscheck to the face before the refs could get him into the penalty box. With the late powerplay, the Pirates pressed in the Jags B end, but could not come up with the tying goal. Roger made the play of the night on 'D' when he picked a puck out of midair with his stick on a puck that was heading for an empty net, but that was little consolation for getting knocked out of the playoffs in the first round for the second season in a row.
(see number 2)
2) BRIAN KLEIMAN
For his goal (note: bb was dropped from the #1 Silver Skull position for leaving a full, untouched, opened bottle of Guinness when he left).
3) JIM CROWLEY
For some serious play on both sides of the blueline (note: big jim was dropped from being the #2 Silver Skull for bringing only 1 of the twins -- and thus contributing to our inability of not being able to score more than 1 goal).