36W, no. 10; newsletter by b.n.)
Hmmmmm ... I get the sudden urge to say, “I told you so!”But I am not like that. I am not one to call attention to myself or to disrespect my fellow opponents.
With that said, for the second season in a row, the Pirates found themselves up against the Cannibals for the Championship (in the “A” Division no less!). It was like Déjà voodoo all over again as the familiar opponent stepped on to the floor. (I did notice that they had a different goalie than last season, but many of the noted Pirate killers were still in the lineup: Rockhill, Villa, Sean, Farkas.) The Pirate were sporting their “Power D” line-up as all the big guns on defense were there: Gucci, Kevin, Mike and Joe, as well as the more or less standard lines of Kenny-Marty-Miller and Nicolosi-LeMatty-Newcomb up front. Missing for the night was Dave Matthews (who apparently was deep undercover on some covert CIA operation) and Wildman (rumor has it that he was having his brain case enlarged to allow the installation of a pair of Pentium™ chips).
Before we get started, I would just like to say how much I hate it when a player gets hurt during the game: Everybody crowds around him ... the clock stops ... the guy gets up ... falls back down ... and then he is carried off the rink by his teammates while the opponents scoop up his gloves and stick and whatever paraphernalia is scattered across the rink and deliver it back to his bench ... and then the dude is out playing his next shift! Brooks was notorious for that: He'd go in to the corner, fall and then scream (sometimes he would scream and then fall) and before you had a chance to call 911, he would be back on the rink. So when #67 went down after taking a shot from Rockhill that somehow missed his pad but didn't miss the corner of his knee, I thought to myself: “Oh no, here we go again.” Well, actually, that was not what I was thinking. It was more like: “Holy Crap that hurt!” (Needless to say #67 was back, but not for his next shift though, so that makes it okay.)
The 1st period saw the Cannibals climb to a 2-1 (on a powerplay goal) after we had drawn first blood on a Scott Miller shot. The Pirates would tie it on a goal by Russ and then reclaim the lead on a goal by Marty. But then, as seemed to happen all night, the Cannibals answered back to knot it at 3-3. The buzzer sounded, and the Championship looked to be determined in the final 22:00 minutes.
In the final period, the Pirates would once again climb ahead on a goal from LeMatty, but the Cannibals came right back on the next shift again. When #67 scored to make it 5-4 with around 5:00-minutes remaining, I was thinking this has to be it — but it wasn't. The Cannibals scored again to make it 5-5 and send the game to overtime.
Did I mention Tony was on the Cannibals? Hmmm, guess I forgot. Anyway, he apparently read last week's newsletter and sent Harris a response to my “careful what you wish for” comment. His rebuttal later took the form of last Sunday's newsletter. It begins, “What a load of shit to put up on the bulletin board to get the blood flowing. Using a fellow Coastal Pirate like that is wrong, inappropriate, nay, BUSH LEAGUE! #67 misquoted and twisted my words around to make me look like an asshole.”
[ read Tony's full response / click here ]
[ read Tony's latest rebuttal / click here ]
Now we return to the the nail biter of a Championship game, where the teams had played two-thirds of the way into the overtime period with no winner ... After taking a timeout with about a 1:00-minute left in overtime, Russ drew up the plan he wanted. The face-off was in the Cannibals zone to the goalie's right ... the puck was dropped and (if you blinked you missed it!) BOOM! Russ took the feed from the face-off and beat the goalie for the gamewinner! And Tony, I hate to say this ... it's really against my nature ... i've been fighting the urge the whole newsletter, but I can't hold back any longer ... “I told you so!” (Sorry, I couldn't help myself.)
FOR THE RECORD
Attendance (players): LeMatty, Newcomb, Nicolosi, Genalo, Maccanico, S. Miller, Gucci, Farrell (sub), McLaughlin (sub), Baio (sub). Net: Harris
Scratches: Cassens, Gesior, Matthews (n/q)
Scoring: 1st period: 3-3 tie: Goals by S. Miller (Maccanico); Nicolosi (Farrell), PPG; Maccanico (none); 3rd period: 5-5 tie: Goals by LeMatty (Nicolosi); Newcomb (Nicolosi). Overtime: 1-0 Pirates: Goal by Nicolosi (Newcomb).
date of game: 2.18.09
FIRST “A” TITLE FOR WEDNESDAY CREW
The Pirates rebounded from an 0-2 start this season to rattle off five straight wins (7 of the last 8 if you count the Playoffs) en route to claiming the No.2-seed in the “A” division. After a dominant 7-2 Semifinals win vs. Buckshot (what some critics have called the best “team game” in Pirate history), the Pirates faced the No.1-ranked Cannibals in rematch for the Championship. 46:00-minutes later the Pirates were the proud parents of the Franchise's 23rd Title.
[ view celebration pics / click here ]
1) RUSS NICOLOSI
He shoots, he scores!
(With 1:00-minute remaining in o.t. to give the Pirates the Championship.)
2) SCOTT LEMATTY
For his goal and for making Tony's life miserable by shadowing him all night.
3) BRIAN NEWCOMB
For his goal and his big face-offs, including the overtime one that led to the gamewinner. (note: Brian would have been second star, but he fell a slot due to “sportmanship unbecoming to a Pirate” by antagonizing Tony so much.)
AND THE WINNERS ARE ...
In the wake of the victory the polls opened on the voting for the season's trophies. Check out the winners, including the Conn Smythe for Playoff MVP.
[ trophies / click here ]