34S, no. 5; newsletter by h.s.)
Smack dab in the middle of the Sunday season is a three-game stretch where the Pirates face-off against three of the league's best teams: the Rat Pack, Bulldogs, and Bruins. The Pirates were handed their first loss of the season last week against the Rat Pack and the outing vs. the Bulldogs — with four regular-rostered players out — looked to be an uphill battle.
Even with Marty, Charlie, and Joe Baio subbing, the Pirates had only seven skaters and too many left-wingers. The confusion over the lines, however, took a backseat to Tony get hit in the face twice on his first two shifts — both times stopping play as he lay on the ice and both time drawing penalties. When Tony wasn't getting hit in the face, he was skating by me yelling, “I can't play center, we gotta do something about these lines!” That was all the encouragement I needed to call an early timeout. We quickly put together the strategy of three “D” (the two Joes and Gucci), two centers (Marty and Charlie), and three rotating wingers (Tony, Farkas, LeMatty). The game resumed and Marty connected on a Toscano rebound to give the Men In Black the lone goal of the 1st period.
At the break, we talked about how the Bulldog defense was so good (along with the Casey doppelgänger in net) that our next goal would have to be something flukey to beat them — a “Farkas goal.” (More on this later! Stay tuned.)
In the final period, Tony would lift us to 2-0, but a point-blank one-timer by the Bulldogs narrowed it back to a one-goal game, and also ended our Sunday consecutive shutout streak at 162:00-minutes. That was when, as if on queue, our “Farkas goal” came. Charlie fed a beautiful outlet pass up ice that bounded to a breaking Glenn who wristed it, giving us the 3-1 lead. With 8:00-minutes remaining though, the game was far from over. The Bulldogs just kept pouring it on. With 5:00-minutes left they had a powerplay opportunity on an “eblowing” call to Tony, but both the offense and defense did a great job of killing-off the penalty and keeping the puck off the Bulldogs' sticks for the final minutes to give us the win.
Considering the shortened bench and fluid lines, this could have been a disaster, but instead it was one of the strongest “team efforts” (pardon the cliché) that I can remember.
FOR THE RECORD*
Attendance (players): Glenn, Lyden, Toscano, LeMatty, Gucci, Charlie Milo (sub), Marty (sub), Joe Baio (sub). Net: Harris
Scratches: Russ, Mike, Kevin, Tim, Dan (AWOL).
Scoring: 1st period: 1-0 Pirates: Goals by Marty (Toscano); Toscano (none). 3rd period: 3-1 Pirates: Goals by Glenn (Milo).
*The accuracy of these stats are not guaranteed since they have not been reviewed by Brooks.
date of game: 8.03.08
1) THE TEAM
We've only done this a few times in Pirate history, but the eight Pirates present all deserve kudos for this game.
“KRUISING WITH KEV!”
For the next few installments of the newsletter we'll be running a photo scrapbook of Pirate blueliner Kevin McLaughlin's journey to the Sturgis motorcycle Rally. Kevin was good enough to bring his Pirate Harley Championship shirt and photograph himself at landmarks across the U-S-of-A. We just hope he's washing the shirt at some point.