29S, no. 12; newsletter by h.s.)
With 5:00 minutes until gametime, #67's son Dave (aka #32) told me we weren't going to win. Considering he was wearing a 2007 Pirates championship t-shirt, I wasn't sure how to take this prophecy. Seeing I was puzzled he said, “You're going to lose because Tony's not here.” Ahhh, he had a point: Although we had assembled a full-crew, Tony was conspicuously absent. But then, as if on cue, Tony came running in ... and Dave left to break the bad news to the Chiefs.
After claiming the Division title and breezing through the Semifinals, the Coastal Pirates were on the brink of winning back-to-back Titles. Although the Pirates had beaten the No.2-seeded Chiefs twice during the regular season, neither win was decisive — the last outing decided in overtime. Adding to the storyline was that the Pirate roster was without Kevin (who was riding his hog in the Rockies) and Dan DiPierro (one of the heroes of round one). Their absences, however, left room for Captain Russ and Mike to come aboard for the big game.
Up front the Farkas Bros. were paired with Scott LeMatty, while Brooks centered Anthony and Tim. On the blueline we had Gucci-Russ and Mike-Wildman. Although the Pirates had won their previous two Finals appearances (Sunday and Wednesday), this was the first post-season for Russ and myself since coming off the DL.
Both teams came out gunning in the 1st period, but neither team could get on the scoreboard. Finally at the 15:40-mark the Pirates broke the silence by scoring twice on consecutive shifts. The goals, coming a minute apart, were Ralz (assist Farrell) and Anthony (assist Brooks). The Pirates 2-0 lead was short lived however, as the Chiefs cut the lead in half a few minutes later. Shortly after that the Chiefs' Ribera thought he tied things up ... but was mistaken. (At the post-game “meeting,” Ribera said it was as if we used Jedi mind-control on the refs, but I think it was the spirit of former-Chief goalie Doug Collimore haunting the team that cut him.) Late in the period, Anthony tallied his second (assist Brooks), followed by Gucci (unassisted). Gucci's goal game with just over a minute remaining in the period and the Chiefs quickly called a timeout. It wasn't clear if the timeout was to prepare a last-minute scoring drive or to stop the bleeding. The Chiefs did threaten late, but the Pirates went to the break with the comfortable (but always-dangerous) three-goal lead.
The Chiefs would get the next goal to close the gap to two, but any hope of a comeback was quelled on back-to-back tallies by Brooks (assists Gucci and Anthony). Brooks' second goal at the 8:20-mark of the final period gave the Pirates their biggest lead of the night at 6-2. Their was plenty of action in our zone for the last half period, but great defense, outstanding hustle by the forwards, and some unselfish captaining by Russ was taking precious minutes of the clock. The Chiefs would score one last time, but the Pirates weren't going to be denied their “Sweet 16” Championship. The win continued the Pirates post-game streak (combining Wednesdays and Sundays) to a record seven straight wins.
date of game: 6.24.07
SPRING 2007 CHAMPS!
The team proudly poses with Lord Stanley's Cup. The win gave Bobby Farkas (back row, second from left) the highest winning Finals percentage in the history of the franchise — he has won 100% of the Championships he's played in for the Pirates.
1) TIM HAND
For the first goal of the night (he finished the post-season with 3 goals and 4 points)
2) MIKE FARRELL
For answering the Pirate call to sub and playing a strong game on the blueline.
3) ANTHONY TOSCANO
He shows, he scores! (Twice.)
BETTER LATE ...
Although the Cup was nowhere to be found after the game, the trophy was presented a few days later with the team named engraved on the base.