32W, no. 10; newsletter by h.s.)
This game should've been the Finals. It had all the ingredients of a Finals game: It pitted the No.1 & No.2 seeds from the A-division for the final meeting of the Winter '08 season. Ironically, it was the Consolation game since both teams had gotten upset in the Semis. So this game had more the feel of the All-Star Game rather than a Stanley Cup game, as teams as teams were stressing slick moves and great shots and not so much defense per se.
Even with Gucci out (Dan DiPierro subbed), the Pirates had a full crew for this final Monday night outing. Up front were Russ, LeMatty, DiPierro, Brooks and The Miller Bros., while manning the blueline was Dave, Kevin, Mike and #67. An interesting sidenote was that team manager Dave (aka #67's son) was in attendance for this late 10pm game; I was surprised to see Dave up so late on a school night and then Brian explained that Dave didn't actually get permission to go — he had just quietly sat in the backseat of Brian's truck listening to his iPod and only spoke up after arriving at the rink — and thereby scaring the living the hell out of his dad.
The Hocky Teem took a quick 1-0 lead, but Kevin fired a laser to knots things up. When the smoke cleared in the 1st period, the goalfest had begun: it was Pirates 4, Hocky Teem 3. Brooks had tallied twice and seemed destined to get his landmark-tying hattrick. (editor's note: he was denied by a quick glove late in the final period.) The other goal was a nice faceoff circle wrister by ol' #30, Dave Matthews.
Unfortunately the one-goal lead evaporated within the first :90 seconds of the final period. Although I'll take the blame for letting them by me, it was Brooks who actually caused the goals by antagonizing Schueleter at center ice; first he banged on his nice, new aluminum stick and then he kept “tapping” him on the head at every faceoff. Brian decided that Brooks might submit to some peer pressure to focus on winning the actual faceoff if he scored, so Brian effortlessly won the draw and flipped the puck in. He then turned to me, apologized, and said “Blame Brooks.” Needless to say, Brian's strategy had no effect on Bob.
Dan DiPierro's resilience up front would finally pay dividends when he tied the game up 5-5. Fittingly, it was Kevin (who had scored the first of the night) who ended the night's scoring with another blast — this time from the opposite side. But still it wasn't enough and the Pirates lost the Championship, er Consolation game.
date of game: 2.18.08
1) KEVIN MCLAUGHLIN
For his 2 blasts (and a nice block late in the game).
2) DAVE MATTHEWS
For his tally and the Cohibas.
3) DAN DIPIERRO
He subs, he scores!