25W, no. 11; newsletter by k.r.)
Well I had most of this newsletter written before the game but like the result of many a teenage pregnancy, it was premature. The Pirates did skate in this Championship game with a full roster: Keith, Gucci, Joe and Dave manned the blueline and up front was Russ, Craig, the Bros. Miller, Wildman and Nick. But alas, we still came out on the short end of a 4-3 score.
We jumped-off to a quick lead when Russ fed Nick in the high slot a mere :18 seconds into the contest for the lightning-fast 1-0 lead. The same combo would get on the scoresheet late in the 1st period to give the Pirates back their after the Cutters had knotted things up at the 12:00-minute mark. When the horn sounded to end the 1st the Pirates were up 2-1 and just 22:00 minutes from the Title. Although heading into the break with the lead was key, it should have been 3-1 but for some unexplained reason the refs blew the whistle with the puck on Wildman's stick in the unmanned crease with :15 seconds to go in the 1st period (needless to say the goal didn't count and neither did the fact that the Tile cutters pushed the net of its moorings).
The Tile Cutters tied things up at 2-2 before taking their first lead of the night when they capitalized on powerplay for “too many men on the ice.” With only about 10:00 minutes remaining, Scott Miller tied the game at 3-3 on a feed from Joe Baio. After that all the animals where let out of the barn: Keith would get into an “altercation” with the same Cutter who ran Harris in the 1st period; this time, however, the Cutter had to be escorted from the ice by Commander-in-Chief Scott Baldwin. The result was a game misconduct and the Pirates were awarded a 5:00-minute powerplay (Dave Matthews also got called for an “unsportsmanlike conduct” for his role in trying to separate the players so the teams skated 4-on-4 for 2:00 minutes before the Pirates got the man-advantage). With only :38 seconds remaining on the 4-on-4, the Cutters would score once again to take a 4-3 lead with 5:00 minutes on the clock. The Pirates still had 3:00 minutes of powerplay time though and a “cross-checking” call on the Cutters would give the Pirates a couple of minutes of 5-on-3 hockey; the Cutters rose to the occasion and the Pirates could only muster one shot on net — even more ironic was the Cutters managed three shots of their own. At the final buzzer, the No.2 seed did what it was supposed to do — defeat the No.4 seed. But I think the road there was a bit more difficult than one would expect. The stat of the game: the 21:00 penalty minutes — the most ever called in a Pirate Playoff game and one for the “Legends” page.
It was a sad loss, but all-in-all it was a good season. After starting 0-3, we rattled-off seven straight wins including a Semifinals upset of the No.1-ranked team in overtime. Eight would have been enough, but it was the eighth that was the problem.
Till next season ...
date of game: 5.10.06
Keith Richardson and a Tile Cutter player exchanged words (and a bit more) during the Finals. This is all part of hockey's rich history. Check out the colorful language of Penguins' Kevin Stevens and Brian Trottier to the North Stars' Brian Bellows in this video. (Rated: PG13)
[ click on image to play quicktime movie ]
1) NICK GARGUILO
For his 2-goal effort.
2) SCOTT MILLER
For his game-tying goal that briefly made it 3-3 (his third of the Playoffs).