21W, no. 8; newsletter by b.n.)
Going into the final game of the regular season, the Coastal Pirates were sporting a horrendous 1-5-1 record. Amazingly enough, they still had a shot to make the playoffs — all they had to do was pull off a win against the league newcomers Pine Acres. Forget for a moment that the Pine Acres spanked the Pirates 7-1 in their last meeting. Forget for the moment that the Pine Acres were 6-1 going into the game, with their only loss coming against the “A” division Red Stars. To be honest, none of that really mattered; all the mattered was the game at hand. Much like football, on any given night any team can beat any other team (well, maybe the Geriatrics aren't pulling out a win against the Blackhawks, but you get the picture). With that attitude in mind, and coming off a hard-fought game the week before, the Pirates stepped onto the floor with some newfound confidence.
Did I mention Kevin McLaughlin? No, I didn't. That's because I haven't mentioned anyone. Well, that's not really the reason I haven't mentioned him. Rumor had it that even though the Pirates shower him with accolades; pamper him with Pirate merchandise; and all-around worship him like some sort of blueline god; he has more allegiance to the Tile Cutters then to the Coastal Pirates. Because if rumors are to be believed, then Kevin was not on the floor because he feared a Pirate win would knock the Tile Cutters out of the playoffs. But, then again, maybe it has something to do with the fact that both the Pirates and TC's are in the same division and players are only supposed to play on one team in each division. Hmmm, that's probably something to think about. Anyway, so even without Kevin and Keith (who is still injured, but plans on making his comeback just in time for the consolation games), the Pirates skated with confidence. No Jimmy Ferraro? Who cares! No Mike Farrell? Who cares! Well, to be honest, there was a couple people who cared — apparently Mike was interested in playing, but we had a full roster. Unfortunately, that full roster didn't translate into a full team for the night as we had at least two open positions on the bench with Wildman and Roger both being MIA.
With all that, the Pirates were hanging tough through the 1st period. The Pine Acres picked-up a goal, but that was it as the Pirates played disciplined hockey and made it to the intermission trailing only 1-0. And speaking of Mike Farrell, who could forget the time Harris took his Hummer to Mike to have a water leak fixed; for whatever reason, Mike's crack staff fixed the water leak, but in the process cut Harris' brake lines — a mistake that could have been deadly (“could of” if the Hummer could accelerate past 15-20 miles per hour). Anyway, Mike wasn't in the building, but his spirit clearly was. The Pirates were alerted between periods that there was a glass that had popped-out and that there would be a short delay while they fixed it. That should have been the tip off immediately that something was up. I have yet to see the glass repaired after a “short delay.” Usually it goes something like this: 10-15 guys stand around staring at the glass, trying to use their combined psychic powers to levitate the glass; after about five minutes of this, someone usually walks to the far end of the rink and returns with a ladder; then the same guy walks to the front desk and returns with a small tool box; after opening the toolbox, the guy realizes that the cordless drill is not in the box; this is followed by a fifteen minute search for the yellow Ryobi; then, after it finally is located, the guy goes to use it and ... you guessed it — the battery is dead. So if anyone tells you they've seen a pane a glass replaced in GoodSports in less than 45:00 minutes, they're lying. So what has any of this got to do with Mike Farrell? Well, after notifying our bench that the glass was being repaired, the refs whipped-out the duct tape and proceeded to tape the crap out of glass and at that point you could not help but think of Mike.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, the extended delay between periods seemed to work to the Pine Acres advantage as the Pirates could not sustain the style of play that they maintained in the 1st period. After the score was 3-0, the Pirates began to take more chances, and the Pine Acres were able to capitalize on the mistakes and put the game away. Russ was able to end the shutout in the final 1:00 minute, but any shot at the playoffs lay on the ice like broken brake lines. Freakin' Kevin.
date of game: 4.27.05