31W, no. 7; newsletter by h.s.)
For the second time this season the Pirates scored six goals, but this game was an example of some great defensive play to effectively shut a team down. The Pirates, for the first time in ages, had a full ten-man crew. Russ took advantage of the manpower and mixed-up the lines on both sides of the blueline — and his new combinations would prove effective: Our forward lines were Nick-Brooks-Scott Miller and Russ centering LeMatty and Evan; on defense we had Gucci-Mike and (bizarrely) Wildman-#67.
The opening shift of 1st period showcased the potent combination of Nick and Brooks as they quickly scored to give the Pirates the early 1-0 lead. Scott Miller had a great play soon after when he shuffled a beautiful touch-pass over to Brooks on the doorstep to give the team a 2-0 lead. The Pirates unfortunately got into some penalty trouble after that as we took three straight penalties. First, LeMatty went to the box for a high-stick that leveled a forward, and then Nick was called for a goalie interference penalty. On Nick's play, the goalie (who was actively retaliating on Nick's shins) escaped without any penalty — our Captain took offense to this and let the refs know, which resulted in a two-man advantage for the Hocky Teem as Brian Schleuter whistled Russ for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Hocky Teem capitalized on the 5-on-3 when they put in a rebound just passed my outreached glove. Our lead, however, was cut in half only temporarily as the Pirates went on their own powerplay immediately and Evan (assist LeMatty) made it a 3-1 game.
The final period was all Pirates as we netted three unanswered goals by Brooks (assist Nick), Evan (assist LeMatty), and Nick (assist Brooks). More amazing then the dominance up front however, was the stellar defense. Although a combo like Gucci-Farrell are expected to shutdown most opponents, the Wildman-Newcomb duo was tenacious as they blocked shots, hustled into corners and generally made themselves an on-ice nuisance (to the other team). Our great play on the blueline couldn't have been timed better as I was nearly immobile for the last 7:00-minutes due to my “loose skate” (which I discovered after the game had, in fact, broken off the chasis) ... so I want to thank everyone for keeping the shot tally down.
date of game: 10.31.07
The win, our second in-a-row, improved the Pirates to a 3-4 record going into the last week of the season. Although the Red Stars and Gerrys have secured the first two seeds, our final game this Monday vs. the Phantoms is critical to determining our Playoff position — or lack thereof — as three teams are vying for the two remaining spots.
1) BRIAN NEWCOMB
For great “D.”
2) JOHN CASSENS
For great “D.”
3) DARREN GUGGLIELMELLI
For great “D.” (but mainly for remembering to grab the puck bag).
Craig Sudol is out for the remainder of the season (including Playoffs) as he's undergoing some non-hockey-related surgery. Craig hopes to be in subbing-ready condition for the Winter games.