21S, no. 9; newsletter by k.r.)
First the Red Sox and now the Coastal Pirates. The “Curse of the White Jerseys” has been broken with a 5-2 victory in the Championship game. Ironically, in a game that was controlled by the Pirates, they would still have to come from behind twice. In a rare moment for a Finals, the Pirates only iced nine skaters as Scooby was AWOL. Also missing from the line-up was high-flying forward Chris Goione (our Selke trophy winner for best defensive forward this past season) who opted not to play because he was still not 100% after suffering an injury in a non-Pirate game — something that could have serious contract-related repercussions; in his place we had Mike — fresh from his racecar accident at the Poconos last week — on the blueline. The “D” rotation was Keith-Mike-Kevin, while up front was Russ, Ralz, Scott L., Glenn, Dan and Wildman.
Although the contest was controlled by the Pirates, they found themselves down early on a questionable goal. With the Pirates shorthanded in the first 2:00 minutes, the Wolves attempted to gain the offensive zone but were turned back at the blueline — everyone except their left winger that is. As they circled back and dumped the puck in, the winger picked it up at the faceoff dot without clearing the zone. Apparently 30-feet offside was a judgment call for the referees because no whistle blew and he was able to bang it off a pair of posts for the 1-0 lead. That deficit was short lived though, as Dan evened the score on a redirection of a Scott LeMatty pass to knot things up 1-1. The Wolves regained the lead midway through the period and it appeared they might take the 2-1 score into the break; but Mike Farrell evened it up after his shot from the right point with just a few minutes remaining before the buzzer. With the teams headed to the locker room, a final 22:00 minutes would decide the outcome of this contest.
As final period started the Pirates began to control the play even more. Wildman would win an offensive zone faceoff back to Keith, who would wrist it high gloveside for what proved to be the game winning goal. That was the first time the Pirates lead during the game and that seemed to take the wind from Wolves' sails. Kevin chipped-in with his own goal to cap off the “defensive-corps hattrick” and Scott LeMatty would add one more to cap the Pirates' four-unanswered goals. The Pirates killed two of three penalties and went 0-for-1 on the powerplay. Sunday's victory was the Pirates tenth title at GoodSports and eleventh in franchise history — seven of those crowns being won by the Sunday crew. Let's keep on winning “In Spite of the White” and always remember: Offense sells tickets, defense wins games. 'Till next season ...
editor's note: And the Conn Smythe trophy for most valuable player in the post-season (as awarded by his teammates) goes to ... Wildman!
date of game: 5.22.05
1) THE TEAM
The Pirates had 5 goals from 5 different players in this Finals game, along with great defense that completely shutdown the opposition in the final 22:00 minutes.