24W, no. 6; newsletter by b.n.)
Where have been a number of changes during the past few months at GoodSports USA. It all began with the switch from three periods to two halves. Because we used to play three, 15:00-minute periods, this move cost the players a 1:00 minute of playing time, but the bonus was that tie games now went to a 3:00-minute overtime. At the same time, the “Powers That Be” did away with icing, which meant that there was a lot more dumping of the puck. The next big change was the floor, which went from a nice smooth sportcourt (or reasonable facsimile) to a weird floor with holes in it. Lots of holes. Tiny little holes. The kind of little holes that act like a giant cheese grater to the bottom of your hockey stick and your wheels ... and even your skin if you are unlucky enough to slide across it with exposed flesh. But the “Powers That Be” swear that the floor is a marked improvement — maybe because they'll be selling you new hockey sticks and wheels after you shred them unmercifully over the course of the season.
And what does any of this have to do with anything? Well, besides the changes that I mentioned above, there seemed to be one more change in the rules that slipped by unnoticed. What is it you ask? Well let me tell you. It's this little thing called the “Mercy Rule.” It used to be there had to be a ten-goal differential before the scoreboard would be shut off. Scores such as 10-0 or 12-2 or even 19-9 would send the scoreboard into the dreaded double zero. Ouch. Unless you are playing the Geriatrics, you don't want to see those double zeroes mocking you. The one thing that all hockey players can agree on is there is not anything more embarrassing then having the scoreboard shut-off. Unfortunately for the Wednesday Pirates, they recently discovered that the point differential is no longer ten, but is now in fact eight! So while they were lulling the Lumberjacks into a false sense of security (it was planned all a long to let them score nine goals and then storm back with ten straight goals) somebody went and turned the damn scoreboard off. What?! One minute the score was 7-0 Lumberjacks and the next .... you guessed it ... it was 0-0. The realization was so deflating that the Pirates could not bring themselves to score the ten goals that they agreed upon in the pre-game meeting. In fact, only Russ could bring himself to score a wraparound goal with just seconds remaining, which technically might have given us the win since the scoreboard was 0-0 at the time.
date of game: 1.09.06