8S, no. 9; newsletter by c.g.)
Going into Sunday night's game against Team Micro, the Pirates were sporting a non-distinct 4-4 record, and had just faced the Micro two weeks earlier, losing that one 7-2. With those facts in mind, and knowing this is the playoffs, there could be only one logical outcome ...
The 1st period started late after a 7- or 8-shot shootout between the Flukes and the Blizzard, with the Flukes FINALLY triumphing. When the puck was dropped the Micro looked to capitalize quickly, and kept the puck and the pressure in our defensive zone for a good portion of their first shift. As luck would have it though, the line of Farkas-LeMatty-DiPierro, would eventually get the puck up the ice, and after a shot by LeMatty -- that the goalie initially saved -- both Dan and Glenn were whacking away at it in the crease until Glenn finally batted it in out of the air. As quickly as that, the fortunes had turned. The Micro weren't about to lay down so easily at that point, and kept the pressure on as only brilliant play by Harris and the defense kept the MIcro off the board. As the period approached the halfway point Scooby would go into the far corner with a Micro player and would be taken down by an errant high stick. The offending player left Scooby bloodied, and the Micro was left shorthanded for 4:00 minutes. Once again the line of LeMatty-Farkas-DiPierro went to work and turned the powerplay into a 2-0 lead when Scott buried one (assist to Farkas). The next Pirate goal was again on the powerplay when Farkas buried his second of the night. At the end of 1st, the score was 3-0 Pirates, having twice scored with the man advantage.
The 2nd period saw a lot of great hockey action, as the Pirates played to keep the pressure on, while trying not to allow the Micro to get back in the game. The hustle of the 1st period never waned however, and the defensive corps of Roger, Russ and Scooby (back after sitting maybe one shift), kept turning away each Micro advance. Somewhere near the midpoint of the 2nd the Micro finally got on the board, when a Team Micro shot deflected off the shaft of Scooby's stick and past Harris for the goal. The 2nd period ended with the Micro trailing by two, 3-1, but definitely in the game.
Bringing a two goal lead into the 3rd was good, but with a team as potent as the Micro, everyone knew the next goal was huge. John "Wildman" Cassens would see to it that the Micro were going home empty-handed on this night, as he buried a feed in the slot from Ralz for the 4-1 lead -- but John wasn't done; shortly after that Chris would pressure the Micro into a mistake -- forcing a turnover deep in their own zone -- and after an errant shot, John picked-up the rebound for the goal and the 5-1 lead. The Micro kinda lost motivation after that point, and just played out the remaining time. The final score was 5-1, on to the championship.
Enough cannot be said for the team effort that was put forth on Sunday evening. The Pirates got to every loose puck, buried the chances they were given, and all around outhustled Team Micro. Harris stood on his head once again cementing his "playoff goalie" reputation. A great effort that puts us in line for a tough but winnable game against the Flukes next week.
1) JOHN CASSENS
For his "two goals in a span of about 1:00 minute to seal the "W" and, from another teammate, "lots of hustle, buried two goals that drove the stake through the heart of any comeback attempt."
2) GLENN FARKAS
For his 3-pt night. as one teammate said "his first goal was NHL caliber with the swatting of the puck out of mid-air" and, from another teammate, "two goals when they counted."
For "excellent 'tending. Kept us in the game until we started to put the puck in the net and then also made some great saves late in the 3rd" and, from another teammate, he "played phenomenally last night to keep a very potent offense to one goal" and "Kept us in the game when are chances early weren't going in, and they were all over us at that stretch."