33S, no. 9; newsletter by r.n.)
From the BlackBerry™ of Captain Russ ...
The growing rivalry between St. Pats and The Coastal Pirates added a classic volume on Sunday Night Hockey as the Pirates gutted out a 7-6 OT victory.
The Pirates jumped out to an early lead on a goal when I jumped the play from my “D” position and stole an outlet attempt and cut to the goal, Tim set a nice screen and everything was looking rosy when the wrist shot hit the net. The goal seemed to awaken the competitive spirits in both teams and the ensuing hockey was fast-paced and rugged. It was by no means a dirty game. It was more that most every face-off and loose puck was contested which resulted in some banging from time-to-time. We were playing two short with Dan and Craig mysteriously missing. Thankfully, Kevin showed up and we moved to a six forward, three defense rotation. Tony scored off a feed from Joe, Tim scored off one from Glenn to highlight a tied first period. I believe we carried the play in the first period, but the St.Pats goalie made some great stops to keep us at bay. One thing was apparent in this game and is a lesson for future seasons, don't take penalties against St. Pats. They scored relatively quickly and made it look easy on two powerplays.
St. Pats opened the final period with a number of terrific plays, including one of the powerplay goals. We were now facing a 5-3 deficit and the rink was looking a bit tilted at this point. We called a timeout and decided to make a few radical line changes. The karma from the changes of the new forward line of myself, Tony and Scott with Joe and Gucci on “D” paid quick dividends. The newly inspired play was started when Joe made a few Kovalev-like moves and finished expertly. We then tied it on one of our prettier goals of the season. This is how I remember the highlight goal: Joe carried the puck into the zone down the right side and went behind the net. He hit Gucci back up at the left point when he had no clear shot. The puck was bouncing and the big man expertly settled the puck. I was covering for Joe at the right point when Gucci backhanded a pass along the red line. Scott instinctively broke from the left boards and I hit him in stride at the blueline. Scott quickly snapped a shot that Tony tipped out of mid-air and beyond the lunging goaltender.
The new line of Tim-Glenn-Charlie locked down the opponents on their remaining shifts and showed true team spirit by sticking to their role as the checking line. Late in the period, I failed to knock a bouncing puck clear of the zone and a St. Pats player quickly deposited it in the net. Joe bailed me out when he went coast-to-coast and scored on what appeared to be a phantom shot. As Joe maneuvered through center ice and then split the defense, the puck appeared to roll off his stick. The St. Pats' “D” did everything they could, including pulling down Joe, to prevent him from scoring. It looked from my vantage point that the melee in front distracted the goalkeeper and the puck slid in under him untouched to tie the game with :32 seconds remaining in regulation.
I decided to make a quick change in OT and place Tony back on his original line. After a few tense moments in our end, the puck came free up the left side. Tony blazed up the wing and unloaded a blast from inside the Blue Line that basically blew threw the tender and trickled high above his shoulder and into the net for the victory.
A great game by both teams. Kudos to Kevin for his quick response, Harris for solid keeping, Tim-Glenn-Charlie for playing their roles to perfection late in the game and the stars (Tony and Joe) were the stars as usual. One more to go!
FOR THE RECORD*
Attendance (players): Russ, Ralz, LeMatty, Anthony, Glenn, Gucci, Kevin, Joe, Charlie. Net: Harris
Scratches: Dan (AWOL), Craig (AWOL)
Scoring: 1st period: 3-2 Pirates: Goals by Russ (none); Tony (Joe); Ralz (Glenn); 3rd period: 6-6: Goals by Joe (none); Tony (LeMatty, Russ); Joe (none); OT: Goal by Tony (none)
*The accuracy of these stats are not guaranteed since they have not been reviewed by Brooks.
date of game: 6.08.08
1) JOE LYDEN
For his two goals — including the game-tying one with :32 seconds remaining. (Tony's recollection is he scored that with both hands behind his back.)
2) ANTHONY TOSCANO
For the hat. (Hey, didn't he get a Skull last week for the same reason?)
3) KEVIN MCLAUGHLIN
For putting down his icy cold beer, turning-off the Celtics game, and coming to sub at the last minute.