39W, no. 2; newsletter b.n.)
I know that this is supposed to be a newsletter about the Pirates, but sometimes the newsletter drifts into the “extended Pirate family”...
So I am standing there before the game the other night and I am saying to myself, “Self” (I actually do say that sometimes). Anyway I said, “Self, there sure are a lot of current and former Pirates out there” (I was referring of course to the game that was played prior to ours). I saw Tony and I saw Kevin ... and then I saw Kevin skate up to the blueline do the old backwards spin-a-rama and skate in on the goalie — a deke to the backhand and the goalie was flat on his stomach, then Kevin nonchalantly skated around the prone goalie and flipped the puck into the wide-open net. So before I could say anything Dave Matthews yelled out “I never saw Kevin do that when he played for the Pirates!” Someone pointed out to Dave that, yes, Kevin has in fact done that for the Pirates. “Sure,” Dave responded, “but when he did it for the Pirates he always coughed up the puck for a breakaway the other way.” (In all the excitement, I didn't realize that there was another Pirate on the rink, but Gucci let me know about it later).
So what about our game? I forgot how much I missed Tony. There he was prior to the game flat out accusing every Pirate on the bench of screwing him out of his spot on the team (and the best part is now he doesn't have a venue to respond!). Well after that I assumed Tony would be on his game, trying to stick it to the Pirates. Wait ... did Tony play on Wednesdays last season? Was he filling-in for #67 who took a season off? And did he lose his spot because #67 returned?! No way! Anyway, I braced myself for the onslaught that was sure to come, but instead it was Marty who broke the ice early by skating over the blueline, making a few dekes and then scoring. Pirates 1, Tony's Team 0. But that is not the best of it: Later in the 1st period, Rob took the puck and passed it to Russ who was camped out behind the Big Slick's net; It had the look of a nice give-and-go, but two defenders went with Rob so Russ's only option (SAY IT ISN'T SO TONY!) was ... YOU GUESSED IT! #67 streaking in from the point! And Russ got the puck to him for a quick one-timer and just like that the score was 2-0 (I swear I never saw the puck go in the net, but that is another story). Anyway while all this was going on, the replacement goalie was looking pretty good. Things got dicey at the end of the period as Russ was forced to take a penalty to negate a dangerous scoring opportunity. It turned out to be not much of a disadvantage as most of the play ended-up in the Big Slick zone. At the end of the 1st period, the score remained Pirates 2, Tony's Team 0.
Remember how I said the replacement goalie was looking pretty good? In the final he was called upon to make his toughest save of the night — unfortunately it didn't come from a stick of one of the Slickers, but instead LeMatty won the face-off back (we've seen this before); #67 tried to deflect the puck into the corner, but instead deflected it right between the goalie's legs ... how he got to it I will never know. (And to show you how far Tony has fallen, as everyone regrouped for the next face-off he went over to #67 and said “Hey, that was a great play, but next time let me touch the puck first.”).
I should mention that Mike and Wildman didn't get mentioned enough in last week's newsletter. I won't be making it up to them this week. Actually I would like to mention Gucci and while I am at it Kenny G. And now back to the game ...
Finally it was the Pirates that would score again when LeMatty (who I have already mentioned above) shot the puck and Russ (who also has had adequate references) pounced on the loose puck and scored. Pirates 3, Tony's Team 0. And on a more personal level: #67 1, Tony 0 ... like that will ever happen again.
FOR THE RECORD
Attendance (players): Farrell, Genalo, Gucci, LeMatty, Matthews, Miller, Newcomb, Nicolosi, Maccanico (sub), R. Trochiano (sub). Net: Griffiths.
Scratches: Gesior, Miller.
Scoring: 1st period: 2-0 Pirates: Goals by Maccanico (none); Newcomb (Nicolosi, R. Trochiano). 3rd period: 3-0 Phantoms: Goal by Nicolosi (LeMatty).
date of game: 9.09.09
1) RUSS NICOLOSI
For playing through his headache.
2) BRIAN NEWCOMB
For excellent work on defense, but mostly for writing the most timely newsletter ever. He actually sent this the following day believe it or not!
3) MIKE GRIFFITHS
For the shutout.