(vol. 8S, no. 5; newsletter by h.s.)
Everything was looking up for the Costal Pirates yesterday: We had nine skaters dressing; the championship t-shirts and fleece were in; Chris wasn't hacking-up a lung like he was on Wednesday; Jimmy was making a guest appearance (kudos to Glenn Farkas for giving me a cellphone call to let me know he'd need a sub); and Wildman's slapshot was looking sharp -- just ask the unpadded part of my thigh. So, we faced-off for our fifth game against the expansion team "Generals." This game would determine if we'd be above or below the .500 mark.

Here's the recap: Never has our passing been so "on." The puck seemed to have eyes as Russ was finding all the forwards with precision passes, and then the wings were feeding each other and the slot. Pretty much all of the action was in the Generals' zone (strong work on the boards by Ralz, Wildman and Dan D.). The first goal of the game came when Scooby fired a slapshot from the blueline and Chris -- providing some traffic in front -- got a stick on the puck for the 1-0 lead. Chris stayed in the "zone" as he assisted on Wildman's goal shortly after (a backhander over the sprawling goalie) for the 2-0 Pirate lead. Unfortunately, I let in a soft goal from John Fontana at the end of the 1st to enable the Generals to escape the period 2-1. Roger will claim this was similar to a goal I let in on Wednesday night, but I don't know what the hell he is talking about.

Good end-to-end action in the 2nd, but the persistent pressure of the Pirate forwards proved too much for the Generals; Scott LeMatty found Jimmy twice during the period for goals #3 and #4 and gave us a comfortable 4-1 lead at the second break. It looked as though we might even make that a 4-goal lead during a powerplay when we had a flurry of shots on net, but couldn't score.

The Generals generated some chances in the 3rd, but the defensive trio of Roger-Scooby-Russ were up to the challenge. We had a couple of penalties to kill off, but one of the highlights of the 3rd was a delayed penalty against the Generals which we succeeded in keeping the puck in play for about :45 seconds with the extra skater (when I came off) before a General "touch" -- another example of our solid puckwork. But the game ended on a slight downer when -- with :10 remaining -- an errant board pass found a General forward; although he was shut down all night, this time he made a nice move as the clock wound down and put a high, back-hand shot into the net for their second goal of the evening. But hey, we're over .500 and we maintained our title as best-dressed and best-merchandised team at the rink.

WON 4-2


For his guest appearance that earned him a 2-goal evening.

For generating opportunities all night long for his linemates (as nominated by Jimmy at the "meeting" afterwards).

For 2 points in the 1st period. It looked like Chris was going to end up with a 12-point night the way he was working the puck.