35W, no. 1; newsletter by b.n.)
I hate to say it, but the Wednesday Night Pirates were bound to lose a game sooner or later. What with going undefeated last season and winning the first pre-season game in thrilling fashion (Pirates scored with about :0.01 seconds left in regulation).
I tried to explain to Mike that you would rather lose the first game of the season rather than the last game of the season, but I don't think he got it. Sure, I would love to win every game, but part of when makes winning so fun is that sometimes you have to overcome adversity to do it — and if the Pirates did start winning every game, it would revive the old chants of “The Pirates should get moved up to the A-division” or “The Pirates have too many 'A' players” .... or “Dave Matthews smells like BenGay” ... well I guess we hear that last chant regardless of whether we win or not, but you get the point.
The Pirates welcomed a new player to the team, Ken Genalo. I guess some last minute roster juggling took place, and Eddie Geisor couldn't return this season. And Ken, if you are reading this, please keep in mind that all of the Wednesday Night newsletters are written by John Cassens, aka “Wildman,” so if you ever happened to read “Ken's second shift in the 1st period went 2:01 instead of 2:00” or if you read “Ken pulled out his briefcase full of moves on the rink tonight and deked through every player on the other team, but he didn't pass the puck to a wide-open Wildman,” or even “Ken smells like BenGay” — you can go right up to Wildman and tell him “Shove it up your freakin' @$$!” (Well for the first two anyway, for the third one you might just bite the bullet and admit, “Oh yeah, I probably do, I was sitting next to Dave in the locker room.”)
But enough about that, so Ken comes to the team (he probably heard great things about the team, how we went undefeated last season, how we went something like 500 minutes on Wednesday and Sunday without getting scored on. Or maybe he was in the market for a hockey-related bobblehead with minor head damage). With all those thoughts in his head, he sits from the bench and watches the Hocky Teem take the opening face-off and work a nice looking give-and-go to score :06 seconds into the game. (It's a good thing that Ken was on the bench, because if he wasn't, I'm sure that Wildman would be blaming Ken for that turn of events. Instead, I will blame Harris.) But enough about that because Sir Stinksalot (aka Mr. Matthews) stepped-up later that shift and drove through some interference along the right boards (no doubt that the BenGay he used before the game gave him that extra slipperyesness he needed to slip past the left defense) and blasted a low line drive to tie things up 1-1.
Gucci scored later in the 1st period, in true “Scott Miller” fashion — he threw the puck on net from the corner and it deflected off a defenseman's skate and hit twine. But that was all the scoring for the Pirates in the period, while the Hokey Teem was able to convert twice more to lead the game 3-2 at the halfway point.
And then there was the final period. There is no doubt that the turning point of the game happened during a scrum that involved Gucci. (Some might argue that the turning point occurred when #67 laced-up his skates: 0 goals, 0 assists, 1 wheel blowout.) Anyway, here is what we have been able to recreate, using reliable sources, please keep in mind that the following are facts. These event are being reported as they actually happened, we will leave the explanation for later: There is no denying the fact that one of the Hocky Teem players tried to drive down the center of the rink to get a shot off on Harris. The “D” converged on the dude and there was an earth-shattering collision — bodies were flying everywhere. Then (and this is according to Gucci, who I have no reason to disbelieve ) the dude clipped Gucci after the play was over. Then things just exploded. Gucci started picking-up bodies and throwing them everywhere. Mike Farrell tried to intervene, but Gucci threw him to the ground like a tired old rag doll. Gucci even took that little dude, #22 from the other team and heaved him up into the bleachers. (Whoops, I think I just deviated from the facts a wee bit, but you get the point. Gucci was not happy.)
Ok, fine, things happen. Gucci has been penalized before, and I am sure he will be again, but what happened next started the real drama. In the mayhem that ensued, Gucci was issued a 4:00-minute penalty — or maybe it was 2:00 minutes for a “rough” and two minutes for a matching minor with the other guy. So Gucci and the other guy go to the box. Then the refs decide that an additional Pirate needs to go to the box to serve Gucci's 2:00 minutes. Fine, I get it. So if Gucci is in the box serving his 2:00 minutes for a “roughing” and Scott Miller is in the box serving his coincidental 2:00-minute minor (and the dude from the other team is also in the box for 2:00 minutes), then it should be a 5-on-4 advantage for the Hocky Teem, right? Wrong! Suddenly it was a 2:00-minute powerplay for the Hocky Teem. What? How can coincidental penalties lead to a powerplay? Ok, so maybe you are saying that Gucci's penalties were not coincidental, that is why both penalties were assessed and that is why the Pirates were down two players. Fine! If that is the case though, then the Hocky Teem should have also have had to serve a penalty and it should have been a 4-on-3.
But it wasn't, it was a full 5-on-3 for 2:00 minutes. (Which means that the Hokey Teem had 4:00 minutes of powerplay time even though they should have only had 2:00 minutes). But wait, there's more! Not only was Gucci issued the 4:00 minutes that was served by Gucci and Scott. He was also assessed the 4:00 minutes in his own penalty. Which means he was personally assessed 6:00 minutes (his 4:00 minute penalty plus the 2:00 minutes served by Scott). And to make matters worse none of those penalties were offset by the 2:00 minutes taken by the Hockey Teem dude. (So in the end, the Hokey Teem ended up with 4:00 additional powerplay minutes). Yeah, the refs really f@#$ed that one up. But the fiasco didn't end there. Ken was called for a trip about a minute into the 5-on-3 (I am forced to say “about” because no one has any idea how long it was because the clock never restarted after play resumed.) In Ken's defense, it was an extremely bad call — the dude was skating backwards and tripped over his own feet (or maybe it was his own stick ... it might actually have been Ken's stick, but I don't think so). Anyway as you can imagine, the refs had a freakin' fiasco on their hands as they tried to sort the clock and everything else. The way the refs blew the earlier calls the Hocky Teem was on course for a full 5-on-3 for 4:00 minutes. Ken's penalty would not start until Scott's ended and Gucci was serving for 4:00 minutes. It ended up being a 3:00 minute 5-on-3 when the Hocky Teem scored and they still had 1:00 minute of powerplay time left. (Auuuggh!)
Anyway the Pirates would score twice in the final period (goals by Baio) and a final tally by Scott Miller (assist from Ken), but it wasn't enough as they fell to the Hocky Teem 6-4.
Author's note: I tried to reach out to Brooks looking for his esteemed opinion on the penalties above, but unfortunately he we was attending open tryouts for Flyers training camp and was unavailable for comment.
FOR THE RECORD
Attendance (players): Scott Miller, Dave, Brian, LeMatty, Mike, Gucci, Wildman, Marty, Ken Genalo, Joe Baio (sub). Net: Harris.
Scoring: 1st period: 3-2 Hocky Teem: Goals by Dave (none); Gucci (none); 3rd period: 6-4 Hocky Teem: Goals by Baio (Newcomb); S. Miller (Ken).
date of game: 9.10.08
1) DAVE MATTHEWS
For the quick tally to knot things up at 1-1 in the opening minute.
2) MIKE FARRELL
For being the first-ever Pirate to play just hours after a root canal.
Kenny G was all smiles after recording his first point with the Coastal Pirates.