22W, no. 1; newsletter by b.n.)
Jimmy Ferraro, late of the Coastal Pirates for just one game, suddenly became the target of elimination. An offensive sensation, some thought that the records that #27 set would live forever. Much like Hank Aaron's 755 homeruns are destined to eventually fall to the onslaught of steriods and Barry Bonds, Jimmy can't expect his records to stand for all eternity ... but you would think they would last more then a game or two. Then there is #67. There was a rumor that he once scored 18 goals in a Sunday league playing for another team — the same season he scored two for the Coastal Pirates. How is that possible? I don't know, but while we are on the subject of #67, one could not help but notice that he was voted, Norris Trophy winner for the last Wednesday season; formerly the realm of defensive superstars like Keith Richardson, Mike Farrell and Kevin McLaughlin (all multiple winners), winning the Norris is a great honor. However, a careful reading of the results is in order before you jump to any conclusions: What does it mean when #67 is awarded the Norris trophy? Well, it probably explains why the Pirates only managed one win last season.
But enough of the history lesson. A new summer season has dawned at GoodSports USA and, thanks to Evan Miller, the Pirates season began on a Monday (so we could celebrate the “2nd Semi-Annual Pirate-Bar A Happy Hour”). Our opponents for the night were the NY Times. It was somewhat confusing because I only saw one person wearing a “Times” jersey, whereas the rest of their squad was clad in Hokey Teem sweaters. The Wednesday team was also sporting a somewhat revised lineup: New to the roster, was none other then Darren Gugglielmelli — known as “Gucci” to both friend and foe alike (he is also known as “Gooch” and depending on what team he is playing for he is known by many other names, but since this is a family newsletter, we won't go into that). As the rumor goes, Gucci has been looking to join the Pirates for a number of seasons, but the Executive Council has consistently rejected his application. According to one well-placed source, Harris got so fed up with Gucci scoring all those hattricks on him that he finally dissolved the Council, signed Gucci to the roster, and then declared himself the “First Emperor of the New Empire” ... wait, that wasn't Harris, that was Senator Palpatine. I'm sorry, the two look so much alike that I get them confused sometimes. That is one story, but the truth is more likely that the Pirates couldn't get anyone to play with them this season. Geez, I think we even put Bob Currao on the Sunday team. Anyway, enough of the new season and new players, let's get to the game!
Did I mention #67? Oh yeah, I guess I already did, but more on him later. The first goal of the season was scored on a nice passing play as Scott LeMatty (subbing once-again for the Wednesday crew) broke in the left wing and tried to get the pass off to #67 who was breaking to the net; the pass was behind him and instead it was Evan Miller who swooped-in and one-timed it for the score. Shortly afterwards it was LeMatty breaking down the right wing, again feeding #67 who cranked a one-timer that beat the goalie. I must admit that if I were #67 I would have been feeling pretty happy after putting that first goal in; after all, I think he only scored one goal all last season (which, I believe, was in the first game against the Pine Acres). Perhaps that goal was good for his confidence — after all, something has to explain what transpired next. After taking a pass from Wildman, #67 stepped around the right defensman and flipped the puck over the goalie's left shoulder for his second goal of the 1st period. The Pirate onslaught continued as #67 chased a puck into the far corner of the NY Times' zone and passed it back to Kevin, who flat out blasted a shot to register the Pirate's fourth goal of the new season. And then it was Mr. Generous, Scott LeMatty, who found himself behind the net and once again passed it out in front to #67 who again beat the goalie shortside for his third goal of the period — and his first hattrick since they moved the Geriatrics to the “C” division). With all the excitement in the 1st period, you would be forgiven if you had lost track of our opponents who had compiled three tallies of their own to make it a 5-3 game at the buzzer.
In between periods, the chatter began to start: First it was Kevin, wondering aloud what the record was for most goals in a game by a Pirate (the answer was six, held by Jimmy Ferraro). Then it became a chant: “Get #67 the puck! Let's get him the record.” #67 just laughed it off, knowing full well that he was probably done for the night. But then the strangest thing happened as the final period began: Taking another pass from Wildman, #67 found himself standing in front of the net with the puck to his right; he pulled off a spin-a-rama backhand and fired the puck on the net. The whistle blew and the Times players were yelling at their goalie, “You got it” and “It's under you”; #67 had no idea where the puck was but as he skated around the back of the net he could see a puck hidden under the loose netting and he yelled to one of the refs, “Hey the puck is in the net!”; the ref responded that he saw it and that it was, in fact, a goal; meanwhile, everyone else on the rink was oblivious to this conversation as #67 skated to the center faceoff circle while everyone else tried to figure out which side of the goalie the faceoff who be on. Finally, everyone realized it was a goal and play resumed at center ice. At this point — after scoring his fourth goal of the night — #67 began to succumb to the chants and he actually believed he might be able to pull it off. And for this he apologizes. It was almost like he was taken by the Dark Side. Nothing mattered but the goals. Did he see Scott LeMatty take a pass from Evan for a score? Nope. What he did see however, was someone go offsides when Kevin tried to skate the puck over the blueline (a play that Kevin had already yelled to #67 that he was going to drop the puck to him). Did he see any of the great saves by Harris? Nope. But he did see one of his own shots clang off the post after he took a great headman pass from Gucci. Did he even notice that Bobby Currao had jumped over the boards and was now playing for the Pirates? Nope. If they didn't pass the puck to #67, they didn't exist. If there is a Dark Side, #67 was certainly consumed by it when, once again, it was the unselfish Scott LeMatty who fed the puck to #67 just over the blueline; #67 mishandled the puck slightly, but he was able to dive and flip the puck up into the upper corner of the net for his mind boggling fifth goal of the night. With the record tying goal just one away, #67 took on the personality of a crazed beaver! Someone said he would have chewed off the leg of the referee in order to get that next goal. Perhaps the best defensive play of the night for the NY Times was not made by one of their players, but rather by #67 when he tried to steal the puck from Scott LeMatty who at the time had an open shot on net. Whoops. Fortunately for all of humanity, #67 was able to step back from the brink of the Dark Side after that play, realizing that without his teammates, he would be nowhere. After a short self-imposed exile on the bench, #67 returned to close out the game.
And Jimmy? His records are safe ... for now.
date of game: 5.23.05
1) BRIAN NEWCOMB
For his 5-goal, 6-point evening. One for the “Legends” page” — twice!
2) SCOTT LEMATTY
For his 5-point effort (Scott's performed that feat once before).
3) EVAN MILLER
For the first tally of the new season and hosting a great Pirate happy hour at Bar A.