21S, no. 8; newsletter by k.r.)
The Pirates opened the first round of the playoffs against the Pepsi Dewds and, like the contents of a five-day-old open soda can, came out flat. Although the Pirates iced a full 10-man squad and got the desired W for the night, the road to victory was anything but smooth. Keith-Kevin and Scooby-Russ were the defensive pairs and up front were Chris-LeMatty-DiPierro along with the starting line of Ralz-Farkas-Wildman (or rather, the incomparable Wildman). And thank goodness we were backstopped by Harris for this one.
The opening of this game was a foreshadowing for the rest of the contest: Sluggish play would dominate. In fact, between both teams there was so much standing still that at times the rink reminded me of a national forest. But a job needed to be done and Dan would get us going as he knocked one in on a feed/shot from Russ at the 12:20 mark. That lead would be short-lived though, because on the next shift the Dewds would knot things up on a shot that clanged-off multiple crossbars and ended-up on the wrong side of the line. The only other highlight for the Pirates in the 1st period was our early penalty kill; for the Dewds however, the highlight was that they were tied 1-1 with 22:00 minutes to play in a Semifinals match against the No.1-seeded team.
The final period followed the familiar pattern of the 1st period all the way down to the order of goals scored. This time Ralz would find Wildman for his first tally of the evening, again at the midway point of the period. The Dewds had a couple of late rushes, but when they clocked reached :42 seconds they called a time-out in a last ditch effort to regroup. Shortly after the face-off they pulled their keeper (actually, the borrowed goaltender from the Dire Wolves); this proved fruitful as they would even things up with :31 seconds remaining after a defensive breakdown left two players alone in the crease one more player than Harris could handle. And so, with the season on the line, we were headed to overtime.
Thankfully for the Pirates we would not have to wait long into overtime for someone to step up. Only :10 seconds in, Wildman would bull his way to the crease, wait for the goalie to commit, and slide the puck 5-hole and send the Pirates to the Finals. I know that some of you feel that the white jerseys are unlucky, but we have now won two in a row with them and we should wear them in the Championship game. I'd even make the following suggestion (with inspiration from Chris Goione) for the patch if we win it all: In spite of the white.
date of game: 5.15.05
1) JOHN CASSENS
For his heroics :10 seconds into overtime.
After facing only 3 shots in the previous meeting against the Pepsi Dewds, Harris found himself fending-off some quality chances this time around.