32S, no. 9; newsletter by h.s.)
For the first time in as long as I can remember, neither Pirates squad is going to the Finals. The Wednesday team lost a shot at a repeat after being bounced 6-5 by the Phantoms, while the St. Pats — who beat us in the Championship last season — ended our Sunday season at the Semis. Adding to the coincidences of these two leagues was that both times the No.1-ranked team was also bounced in the Semis, leaving a nice path to the Title for the surviving high seed.
The Pirates had nine men in attendance, but it's fair to say the team was plagued by injury: Wildman was scratched due to a fractured ankle bone (Joe Baio subbed), and Russ played — although admittedly not at 100% — through a leg injury he also suffered in last regular-season game. (Actually we did end-up with ten players eventually after Gucci decided he'd had enough of Pai Gow and decided to join us.)
For the first 15:00 minutes it's fair to say we gave the St. Pats a scare. Although we weren't producing much offense (except a memorable Charlie Milo slapshot in the opening minute), we weren't yielding any goals either. With 5:00 minutes remaining in the 1st period, the St. Pats capitalized off a bobbled clearing passing and rocketed a shot in for the 1-0 lead. By the time the buzzer sounded, they had doubled that for the 2-0 score at the break.
In the final period the Pirates would cut that lead in half and it appeared a Miracle might be in the making. On the play, Charlie worked the puck to Gucci who launched a shot that bounced in off the goalie to make it a 2-1 game. We had a couple of great opportunities down low to knot things up, but after that things took a turn for the worse. The slide began after Bobby Currao upended Scott LeMatty in full view of ref Victor (we can excuse Scott Baldwin for not making the call because he 's legally blind). We never seemed to get our rhythm back after that, while the St. Pats poured it on by scoring four unanswered goals. Maybe we were hoping they would have spent the day at the parade in Belmar ... or maybe that was the reason they played so well.
date of game: 3.02.08