(vol. 20W, no. 1; newsletter by b.n.)
Somewhere in the deep depths of cold dark space there lies a small planet that revolves around a long dead sun. On this drearily cold inhospitable planet there lives a small colony of beings whose ancestors can be traced back to the first inhabitants of the universe. For being such beings of antiquity, one would think that they mastered all of the sciences and harnessed the invisible power of the universe itself: Grand cities covering entire planets ... their incredible craft can bend space itself in order to make travel to distant galaxies instantaneous ... incredible storehouses of knowledge that cover everything that you could ever possibly want to know about anything ... it was all once within their grasp. But then something happened. Once you have mastered the ability to learn everything there is to know — built everything possible that can be built — what else is there to do? If every thought that someone comes up with was already thought up a million years ago on a planet in a distant galaxy, what's the use in thinking it? So instead of living out the twilight of their existence on the labors of the trillions of beings that came before them, they have settled on a frozen ball of methane — their grand society of carefully constructed government has deteriorated small bands of beings, constantly bickering amongst themselves. But I digress. Who cares about frozen methane when the Wednesday Coastal Pirates have a new season to celebrate the start of? And not just any season, but for the first time since the Big Bang itself, the Wednesday Coastal Pirates opened the season on December 8, 2004 by raising their second consecutive Western-Division Championship banner to the rafters of GoodSports (well, they haven't actually allowed us to raise the banner, but hey, they are selling the bobbleheads in the pro-shop so there is still hope).

The Pirates took the floor with a roster that was identical to season's past, with Craig, Jimmy, Chris, Wildman, Scott and Evan on offense while Russ, Keith, #67 were on “D.” Dave Matthews was apparently still on tour so Mike Farrell filled-in for him. The opponents on opening night were the Jaguars, who in past seasons were a dynasty, but much like the inhabitants of that distant frozen planet have in recent years fallen on hard times (just last season, the Pirates steamrolled the Jags twice on their way to the Championship). But, what's in the past is behind you, so they say, and the Jags were sporting some new faces on their roster. The Pirates took the early lead when Craig Sudol circled behind the net with the puck and was able to bank it off the side of the net and feed Mike Farrell who swooped down and became the leading scorer for the Wednesday Coastal Pirates. The Pirates would cling to that lead until late in the 1st period when, facing an extreme Jaguar press, the Pirates were unable to get the puck out of the zone; Wildman had a great chance to get the puck out, but since the puck was at his feet he would have been forced to lift his left leg off the floor (and considering that his right leg was still broken and unable to support any weight, it was probably unfair to expect Wildman to come up with the puck). In any event, the Jags were able to pick up the loose puck and bury it to tie things up 1-1 to close-out the scoring in the 1st period.

Somehow in the final period, the Jags were able to recover some of their long lost glory when one of their players took the puck down the left wing and stickhandled his way through just about everyone in black (the funny thing was, he seemed to be constantly losing the puck, yet it somehow always ended up on his tape); he finally found himself in front of Harris with plenty of time to pick his spot and cherrypicked an area high, stickside for the 2-1 lead. The Jags would carry that lead for most of the period until, with about 1:15 remaining in the game, the Pirates pulled Harris for the extra skater; with just :33 seconds on the clock, the Pirates were able to swat the stick of one of the Jags on “D” who was trying to clear the puck and the puck came to Keith (who had just stepped on earlier as the sixth skater); Keith fed the puck to Jimmy who fired it on net. From where I was sitting I heard the familiar “clank” of the puck hitting the net — It wasn't the familiar “clang” of puck hitting to post, nor was it the “twang” of the puck hitting the crossbar; no, since it was definitely a “clank” that I heard, I knew the puck had in fact hit the inside of the rear crossbar and ricocheted out. There was only minor arguing from the the Jags as both the refs called the play a goal (even Evan and Scott Miller were adamant that the puck had in fact hit the net). It would have been nice to ask Jimmy what he thought of the shot, but he said he didn't see the shot go in because he was twirling away from the net after he fired it ... hmmm sounds like something you would hear on the witness stand. Anyway, the goal counted and the game was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation.

The teams were set for a 2:00 minute overtime (plus an additional minute if no one scored in those first 2:00 minutes). Other than some arguing over a faceoff deep in the Jags zone, there was not much to talk about, so I won't.

TIE 2-2


For his last minute (or last second) effort that secured the tie for the Pirates.

For a pretty goal to get things started.

For some great blueline play and assisting on the GTG (that's game-tying goal, by the way).