9S, no. 5; newsletter by c.g.)
It was a special night for the Pirates Sunday, as Harris unveiled the new Back to Back Championship T-shirts and, as an added bonus, the Coastal Pirates koozies. After a week off the Coastal Pirates looked to continue their quest for an unprecedented (for us anyway) third straight Championship Season. Through the first third of the season the Pirates stood at a respectable .500 (2-2), and a win last night would be important to stay with the leaders.
The Line of Tim-Wildman-Goione started the game, and quickly put the Pirates ahead, as Tim won a faceoff to Goione for a quick turnaround shot that surprised the goalie for the 1-0 lead. The lead would be short-lived, however, as the Bad Boys came right back with two unanswered goals to take a 2-1 lead midway through the 1st. The forward combo of Farkas-Ferraro-DiPierro were working the puck hard, and Jimmy Ferraro would get the score back even with a blast from the left circle to knot the game at 2-2. Once again, however, the Bad Boys would answer back and take a 3-2 lead at the first intermission. Somewhere in the middle of the period Russ skated onto the rink, and the defense, which consisted of Scooby-Roger and LeMatty-Russ really started to click after a slow start.
The intensity picked up in the 2nd, as the game became increasingly more physical. Down by one goal, the Pirates were determined to take control and started to really pressure the Bad Boys. Russ picked up an errant Bad Boys pass deep in our zone and fed a breaking Wildman, who waited just inside their blueline for his late-arriving wingers to get to the net; having no real passing lane, Wildman turned and fired a shot that snuck past the goalie for the 3-3 tie. It was obvious the momentum had swung as the Pirates just took it to the Bad Boys through the 2nd. Our defensive corps was playing well and anything that did get past them, Harris smothered. Russ would get in the goal column midway through the 2nd as Tim (who was phenomenal on face-offs last night) drew one back to Russ, and he unloaded a blistering backhand (that Bure would have been proud of) to the farside upper corner for the go ahead goal, 4-3. To prove that Tim was not JUST about faceoffs, he broke in alone on the Bad Boys goalie late in the period and fired a low shot; the goalie was able to make the save, but he couldn't stop the raging Bull following the play, as LeMatty buried the rebound to put the Pirates up 5-3 at the end of two periods.
The 3rd period was a mixed bag as, at times, we dominated the play and, at other times, we watched. The Bad Boys added a goal early to pull within one but could get no closer as Harris just got in the zone, and turned away numerous point-blank shots. As the period was drawing to a close, Wildman was called on a questionable penalty when he headed up ice while racing for the puck. The Pirates did a good job of killing off that one, and with time running down Jimmy Ferraro put a loose puck in the net to put the game away. Overall, a well-played game against a good team. A lot of hustle from everyone, and some outstanding goaltending secured a win.
1) TIM HAND
For his 3 assists including 2 from the face-off circle. He's the best quick-draw artist this side of Joe Nieuwendyk.
2) JIMMY FERRARO
His 2 goals bring him to 7 on the season and a team-leading average of 2 points per game.
3) RUSS NICOLOSI
and CHRIS GOIONE
They both had 2 point nights (a goal and an assist for each). Chris showed exceptional hustle both ways and quick hands, while Russ had solid defensive play (and an ESPN-highlight-type backhand goal to boot).