20W, no. 3; newsletter by k.r.)
If Sunday's game did not prove that positional play will win games then last night's contest against the Ducks should. Both the Ducks and the Pirates went into this one undefeated and when it was over, only the the Pirates where left as such. The 4-1 victory was produced by strong team play and, for the most part, this was a methodical victory: We were tight on defense and relentless on the offense. Wearing the traditional “home black” uniforms, the forwards consisted of The Bros. Miller centered by Wildman, and Chris between Scott LeMatty (subbing for an injured Jimmy) and Craig. The blueliners were Keith, Dave, Mike and Russ (subbing for a scratched #67).
The 1st period started off fast for the Ducks: They would get out to a quick 1-0 lead on the second shift of the game after executing a nice one-timer off a 2-on-1. After that, the Pirates buckled down. Soon after, Keith would draw a tripping penalty giving the Pirates their first powerplay of the night; Craig Sudol would make the Ducks pay when he buried a great pass out from the corner by Mike Farrell (kudos to Mike for playing real well when he felt real sick). The Pirates kept coming and add to that some strong play in the net by Harris, and they were able to score two more unanswered goals before the first buzzer. First, Evan scored from his brother's pass after an errant goalie clearing attempt, then Chris (with a great pass from Scott LeMatty) would add the final goal of the period, giving the Pirates a 3-1 lead at the break.
The final period became a battle of goaltending and defense. With their two-goal lead and playing against a team with only one sub, the Pirates were more concerned with keeping the puck out of their own net. The Ducks had some opportunities, but all were turned away as Harris would make save after save. Numerous blocked shots by virtually every Pirate stymied the Ducks. Keith would pokecheck a crossing pass away from the crease and Russ would continually step-up at the blueline to prevent them from staging an attack. Mike would later get his third goal of the young season (Scott LeMatty getting his second helper of the game), and that provided the only scoring of the final 22:00 minutes. Yet another deliberate victory for the Pirates. Merry Christmas to all.
1) MIKE FARRELL
For playing sick and still adding a couple of points to his stats.
2) CHRIS GOIONE
For a great goal, but also for good hustle all over the ice.
3) DAVE MATTHEWS
For his tenacious “D” (including a great blocked shot late in the game) and for being the only person — ever — to bring up the Toltecs at the post-game meeting.