26S, no. 2; newsletter by h.s.)
Because most of Pirates were busy playing hockey over the Fourth of July weekend, they decided to make some fireworks on the ice as they won back-to-back games on consecutive nights. Even over the protests of playing on a holiday weekend, the Pirates fielded a full-squad — everyone that is except for Kevin who blamed “too many beers and too much sun” for his absence. (For those of you keeping track, Kevin promptly paid his fine the following night when he subbed for the Wednesday team). Actually the Pirates played the first 10:00 minutes with only eight skaters as Gucci was busy running around the outer perimeter of the rink trying to find a dark jersey and mumbling about how it was Debbie's fault that he didn't have his Pirate sweater.
After “mercying” the Jags in Week 1, the first shift of this game began on an ominous note when the Kings set-up low and put a short-side, top-shelf shot in for the quick 1-0 lead. That would be the last time the Kings found the twin though, as the Pirates shut them out for the next 42:30 minutes. Wildman, playing what seemed like on three lines along with special teams, scored the first goal unassisted to knot things up 1-1. Bob Brooks kept his consecutive game goal-scoring streak alive at two when he followed-up at the 8:00 minute mark to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead (assist to Glenn Farkas). Scooby, who got the opportunity to move up front once Gucci donned a red jersey about two sizes too small, one-timed a pass from Russ in the closing minutes of the 1st period for the commanding 3-1 lead.
Although the Pirates weren't able to convert on their lone powerplay opportunity in the 1st period, they were able to kill-off a trio of penalties — two of them thanks to the play of Bob Brooks. (During a post-game interview, Brooks figured he “pretty much lost his chances at the Lady Byng” after his “boarding” and “roughing” minors.)
Even more memorable than Brooks' sportsmanlike performance was Gucci's “Bermuda Triangle” shot. With 3:00 minutes remaining, Gucci wound-up for one of his patented low blasts from just outside the face-off circle. After rifling his shot on net, the puck vanished en route to the net. The refs stopped play in an effort to find the biscuit, but even a full cavity search of the Kings' goalie didn't yield the rubber. After a futile 5:00-minute search and rescue effort, play finally resumed — with a new puck. Word of Gucci's shot spread like wildfire and it was certain to go into the annals of the unexplained much the same way the five U.S. Navy torpedo bombers vanished off Florida in 1945 did ... that is, until the goalie found it in his skate when he got undressed.
date of game: 7.02.06
This slightly bizarre, slightly confusing graphic appeared on page A1 of The Star-Ledger on June 23, 2006. It validates the “hockey stick” graphic, part of a paper ordered by Congress that showed warming in the last few decades of the 20th century was unprecedented.
1) JOHN CASSENS
For an Energizer Bunny-type effort, that yielded a goal, and some great play in the corners.
2) ED SOUTHWORTH
For his Shaquille O'Neal slam-dunk goal.
3) JOE BAIO
For closing down the Kings anytime they came over the blueline.