20S, no. 10; newsletter by c.g.)
The Coastal Pirates had a chance at a “first” this past weekend when they had the opportunity to win three Championships in a row. Unfortunately this milestone will remain unreached as the Pirates lost 4-2 against the Rink Rats. The Pirates were minus Captain Russ Nicolosi, but Mike Farrell (who qualified for playoff action by subbing four times during the regular season) added to an already-strong defense, and allowed Scooby to move forward for the evening. The defensive units consisted of Farrell-Richardson and McLaughlin-Currao, while up front were Ralz-DiPierro-Farkas and #19-LeMatty-Scooby. These teams had met once during the regular season and the result was a 2-2 tie. The Rink Rats had gone on to win the Western division and claim the no. 1 seed, while the Pirates took the no. 2 spot. The Rats effectively had a first-round playoff bye when the no. 4-seed couldn't field a team in their Semifinals game, while the Pirates edged the Bruins after a shootout to advance to this Finals.
For a Championship, this had little of that do-or-die emotion to it. Neither team played particularly well, and both just seemed to be hanging around waiting for the other to do something; it was not a poorly played game, but it seemed to lack urgency from both sides. The Pirates Rats' goalie Doug Collimore, injured a couple of weeks back while subbing for the Pirates, suited-up and played the first 3:00 minutes, but was relieved soon after by Casey LeCompte. The Rats scored first off a multiple rebound in front to take the 1-0 lead (#67, who was credited for that Rink Rats' goal because he had the last touch, admitted this bounced off his leg before entering the Pirate net). After surviving a powerplay later in the period, the Pirates were finally able to answer back when Kevin beat Casey five-hole with a quick shot from outside of the circle. At the buzzer the two teams remained tied 1-1 and the final 22:00 minutes would decide the Champion.
In the final period the Rats again reclaimed the lead and it with 6:00 minutes to play it looked as though they would be able to hold it. That's when once-again Kevin moved up ice and fired a blast that curled into the net (Casey said after the game he never saw a puck curve like that before). With the score tied 2-2 it was anyone's game. For a moment it seemed the ThreePeat was within reach when Kevin at the 3:00-minute mark blasted another long shot and the rebound went to Farkas alone in front — but there would be no storybook ending this time, as Casey made the save and the game remained tied. Then with just under 1:48 minutes to go, the Rats regained the lead again when Rob Armswood shot one past Harris from just inside the blueline. The Rats would go on to ice a meaningless emptynetter and the Pirates made a final press with the extra skater, but the ThreePeat was out of reach. Congratulations to the Rink Rats for breaking the streak ... we'll need to start a new streak next season.
In their first Title appearance of 2005, the Pirates settled for the second-place Cup (above). With just 1:48 on the clock in the final period, hopes of a ThreePeat were still much alive.
1) KEVIN MCLAUGHLIN
For both of the Pirate goals of the night.