28W, no. 11; newsletter by h.s.)
We sometimes forget what it sounds like to “outsiders” when we play crazily-named teams like Green Eggs & Ham or the Tile Cutters. Of those, the one that gets the most laughs from the casual reader of the Pirate website is the Geriatrics. We know them as a team that has become somewhat of a powerhouse of late (aka Seth). To the “outsider” though, the Geriatrics are a bunch of eighty-somethings pushing walkers around and trying to play hockey. In other words, it's bad enough to have them appear on our schedule, but when we lose to them I tend to get a lot of crap from people who read our site.
Let's go back one week, when the Pirates cemented their B-division fate with an impressive 5-0 victory against the Phantoms. The Pirates were supposed to win that game, but that innocent victory on the final day of the season leapfrogged us over the Bottom Feeders, who then became the No.1-ranked C-division team. Not only did two-points end up separating all four B-division rivals, but ironically the C-division Feeders (who compete for the Championship this week) beat the Pirates during the regular season too. Making matters somewhat more bizarre, all the B-division teams beat us during the season except the No.1-ranked Gerrys who lost only one game all year — to us! Throw into the proverbial saucepan the fact that the Gerrys “stole” a Title from us in final 2:30-minutes last season and, as Emeril would say, “Bam!”— you got the makings of a good game.
Ten players were on-hand for our Semifinals fiesta against the Gerrys. Up front we had Craig-Wildman-S. Miller on the first line, and E. Miller-Brooks-Anthony on the second line. Manning the blueline was Gucci-Dave and Mike-#67. Our only regular-roster absentee was Scooby who was recovering from post-“Polar Bear Plunge” trauma.
No one was really sure what to expect in this contest. Sure it was Playoff hockey, but the last time these two squads met the game only lasted 27:23 — that's when we scored our tenth goal and got the 10-2 “Mercy” win, the quickest in Pirate history. We did suspect that the first outing was not representative of the Gerry team that had gone 6-1-3 and won the division. That said, the Gerrys — or rather Seth (who for all intent-and-purpose is the Gerrys) scored on a quick, low shot in the opening shift for the 1-0 lead. They added another about five minutes later when a forward tapped in the rebound of another Seth shot that I'm fairly sure left a tattoo of puck manufacturer in my thigh. Although the Pirates were skating with them, it seemed rare we penetrated their defensive corps to get quality shots and the 2-0 lead seemed insurmountable. But if there's something the Pirates do well, it's being the underdog ... and as the minutes clicked by the Men In Black clawed their way back into the game. In the waning minutes of the 1st period, Scott Miller (assist to Farrell) cut the Gerry lead in half and the Pirates were reinvigorated. Shortly after, Wildman knotted things up 2-2 (assist to Scott Miller). Before the buzzer sounded, the Gerrys were on their heels — literally — as Seth was trying to freeze the puck and pull out Tony's stick to prevent yet another last-second goal.
During the final 22:00-minutes, the Gerrys capitalized on back-to-back defensive-zone face-offs; each time they were able to pull the puck to their point and fire top-shelf through the crowd. At 4-2, the Gerrys had regained a comfortable lead. Not even a minute after their fourth goal, however, the hot hands of Scott Miller (assist to #67) narrowed the gap to 4-3 and the Pirates were back in it. With 5:00-minutes remaining, my glove hand (that had been “on” for the first 40:00-minutes) betrayed me on a shot from above the blueline; the sinking shot gave the Gerrys their two-goal lead back. The 5-3 score looked to be the deal-breaker, but during “stop time” Brooks (assist to Tony) broke his silence and made it a one-goal game. In an effort to slow things down a bit earlier, we had used our lone time-out after the fourth Gerry goal, so at 5-4 with only :50 seconds remaining the Pirates were scrambling to write their Cinderella story. That's when Stephen King decided to make it a horror ending instead: I had skated off to give us the extra player, but on the ensuing face-off the Pirates had lined-up seven guys by mistake. Brian, Evan and I excitedly yelled to Scott (the closest player to the bench) to come off and he did ... but then he went back on again. (In Scott's defense, he swears he heard someone telling him to get back on the ice because we had too few men.) The ref quickly called the “Too Many Men” penalty and the Pirates lost the man-advantage. The Gerrys got a holding penalty just a few clicks later, so the Pirates had the extra skater again and Mike did manage to blast a final shot through the mass of humanity ... but it banged-off the post.
So, although the Pirates came up just a little shy, we were once-again able to add a colorful chapter to our history. The End.
date of game: 2.28.07
editor's note: The tradition of unusually-successful Pirate post-game “meetings” following losses continued. Anthony was on-hand to supply a light for Dave's stogies and even Bobby Currao stopped by to console us. A few lucky Pirates claimed to make a Tammi sighting as well.
1) SCOTT MILLER
For his 3-point night. His 2 goals and an assist led his line that was responsible for three of the four Pirate tallies.
2) JOHN CASSENS
For his goal.