29W, no. 11; newsletter by everyone)
We could talk about how the Pirates shook the monkey-of-their-backs that was the Geriatrics and avenged last season's loss in the Semifinals. We could talk about how Craig scored his fifth goal of these Playoffs in the opening :32 seconds to give the Pirates the early lead. We could talk about how Brooks, after taking a “good penalty” with 8:00-minutes remaining, stormed out of the box and tallied the insurance goal that sucked the life out of a Gerry comeback. We could talk about Doug Collimore's rags-to-riches story of being cut by the Sunday Chiefs and then, after being picked-up on waivers by the Pirates, backstopped us to the Title. But talking about any of those things would diminish the bigger story: The fact that #67 assisted on a goal and finally got on the scoresheet — narrowly missing the scoring title by 28 points.
It was a great effort, one that showcased the Pirates as a team. A team that was able to shut down Rapp and “the guy in the Devils jersey.” Although the Pirates never trailed in this Finals game, the word on the bench was a one-goal lead wasn't enough — especially after last season when Rapp netted two in the final 100 seconds. After our third goal at about the 6:00-minute mark, the Pirates hugged in front of a stunned John Arena (who had played spectacularly) in an uncharacteristic NHL-type celebration.
In the spirit of this great team game, there was a lively, well-attended post-game “meeting.” Special guests included Bobby Currao, Priya and some unidentified blonde who was with Evan. Dave brought smokes, Gucci bought pizza, and Brian brought his liver. All was well with the world.
But now let's break from newsletter tradition and post the lively commentary that occurred via email the day after the Pirates won their 16th Championship. (note: some have been edited for grammar, but they appear, essentially, in the order they were sent.)
From Craig: I vote for Brooks, Doug and Farrell as Skulls.
From Dave: Hat's Off to Craig and my Silver Skull nomination for a Great opening goal ... that set the tone right from the get go and put the Gerrys back on their heels right away.
From Wildman: I am not sure if Doug faced a lot of shots, we only broke down a few times defensively (but then again I wasn't counting), but he made some great saves including a set of saves with multiple Gerrys in the crease. If those few times went in, no new shirts for the Pirates. Doug gets my vote. Great game.
From Chris: It really was a great win last night. I said it to a few people after the game, but for me personally this was the most satisfying win, since probably the first Championship we won. There were many times over the past year where I contemplated throwing in the towel all together, and wondered if I would ever get back to playing hockey. Being injured really sucks. I have to agree with John, Doug played a hell of a game last night and without his timely saves things could have been a lot different today. It was a great effort by all, and it was amazing to be a part of the team again. My three stars: 1) Doug: Bailed me out on several occasions. 2) Craig: For getting the scoring started on the opening shift. 3) Newcomb: For the hustle, and “pass” that sealed the victory.
From Dave: I couldn't agree more Chris — it was a really great win. However, I do disagree with your Silver Skull picks. Yes, Doug should be on top of the list. And Craig is always an offensive force to be dealt with anytime we play. But Newcomb? Ya got to be kidding — that pass was pure luck. Come on, we all know he only plays for the free beer. in fact, it's been rumored that his agent actually had that built into his ten-year contract. I believe it's call the “50 Gallon Clause.” Anyway, I'm giving the third star to Wildman for great hustle and being a part of what seemed to be every play. If you still feel Brian is getting shorted let's chip in and buy him a six-pack of the ol' Blue Ribbon (he'll appreciate it more).
From Brian: There's the newsletter.
From Doug: Guys. Thanks for the kind words. But, it was a total team effort. In retrospect, this was probably the most fun I have had playing hockey in 12 years. I appreciate the effort all of you put forth in front of me and, except for a couple let downs in the season, we could have gone undefeated. We didn't have the best players in the league, but we did know how to play together and work hard to win. Now you must keep it going in front of Harris. Remember you must do everything backwards as he is a lefty!!!!! Thanks again and good luck next season.
From Wildman: Lets not get crazy here with that #3 pick. Priya says I should learn how to score. Gucci ordering Pizza for the “meeting” is a minimum for a third star. And most of all let's patent the recipe for the two Coors Light and one Pabst in the Stanley Cup — best beer I've tasted ever.
From Doug: 1) Farrell: Awesome defense night in and night out. 2) Brooks: For outstanding O and words of wisdom for the goalie. 3) Harris: For letting me play on a great team!!!
date of game: 5.23.07
Doug Collimore (front row middle, in the painfully unPiratelike jersey) is surrounded by the Wednesday team. After this picture, Mike Farrell donated his now-defunct #21 jersey to the “Hav-A-Tampa” charity drive.
1) DOUG COLLIMORE
He may have taken the Semifinals off, but there's no doubt Doug showed-up for the Finals. He surrendered just one goal and deservedly drank first from The Cup.
2) CRAIG SUDOL
For scoring in all three Playoff games, including a tally on his first shift in The Championship game.
3) BOB BROOKS
For the game-winning, title winning goal.
HM) REST OF THE CREW
What makes this effort even more sweet is that the “original 10” rostered guys where in attendance for all three rounds of the Playoffs — so all of you deserve “Honorable Mention Silver Skulls.” It's great to have the depth to get subs, but it's nice to know that we can get the job done when everyone shows.