9S, no. 1; newsletter by c.g.)
What a difference a week can make. Just seven short days before, the Coastal Pirates were sipping champagne from the victors' cup, and this week they were fighting to keep their heads above water early.
The new season kicked off on an ominous note as the Champion A-Divsion Jaguars, faced-off against the B-Division Champion Pirates. How long would these two titans of the rollerhockey world have to battle to determine the ultimate bragging rights? Turns out not too long at all, as :08 seconds into the game the Jaguars scored. As quick as that 1-0, and a stunned Roger muttering repeatedly from the bench "eight seconds, eight sec ..." Unfortunately, things wouldn't get any better quickly as the Jaguars added two more during the 1st to jump out to a whopping 3-0 lead. Then with the period winding to a close and the Jags on a powerplay Jimmy Ferraro broke through with his first of the new season for a shorthanded, unassisted goal. After one period it was 3-1 Jags. Overall, a strange 1st period as the Jags jumped out to a quick lead that was as much the result of sloppy defensive play on our part, as offensive wizadry on theirs.
The 2nd period started out much as the 1st ended with The Jags netting a goal, and a couple of lapses on the Pirates part, but you could sense things starting to change; the Jags started to back off a little just as the Pirates were starting to come around. With the score steadied at 4-1, and the Coastal Pirates on the powerplay, Chris drew a Jags defender towards him, and passed to a wide open Wildman in the slot, who buried the opportunity for a powerplay goal. The defense was also starting to really pick it up, with Russ laying a shoulder on a few Jags getting greedy in our zone, and Scott LeMatty (relegated back to defense by Dan Pomphery's departure) started to find his rhythm. Offensively, the chances were there also as the Jags were leaving Pirates' players wide open in the middle of the ice. Harris made a few key saves late in the period to preserve the 4-2 score.
Momentum had definitely swung entering the 3rd as the loose pucks were now starting to be had by Pirates players, and the lead that had looked insurmountable early, had now been cut in half and our offense was pressing. The line of DiPierro-Farkas-Ferraro were starting to open things up, but couldn't bury their chances past an ever-stingy Jags goalie. Midway through the third, Chris stripped a Jags player at the Pirates' blueline and carried the puck into the offensive zone; he fed a streaking Ralz in the slot, who stuffed the puck under the Jags goalie to pull us within one goal. Unfortunately, on their next rush up ice the Jags would score and once again pulled ahead by two, 5-3. As the 3rd period wound down, the Jags would add an emptynetter making the loss look more lopsided than it actually was.
Overall, a weird game to assess: A couple of uncharacteristic lapses lead to some early Jaguar opportunities, but the team bounced back to get this thing close. The hustle was good, as everyone kept their heads in the game and picked up their play as the game wore on. It's only the first game of the season, but I have a feeling if we meet them again, things will be a little different.
1) CHRIS GOIONE
For the great plays to set up Tim's and John's goals and for his passingand his great passing sets up 2 goals.
For a little shaky start then came up big as the game wore on and to Harris and the Goal Post for stopping 50+ shotsand they should have blown us out 14 to-3if not for the stops.
3) SCOTT LeMATTY
For his strong game and for volunteering to play D against those guys.