Paul One led his teams to a pair of losses Sunday, and his opponents aren't shy about where to place the blame.


Week 10
One goes 0 for 2

Aging veteran coughs up two losses

by Jay Suburb

It's bad enough when Paul One coughs up the ball. Sunday, his teams coughed up a pair of losses, a 20-9 blowout, and a 10-8 consolation squeaker.

The senior centerman, who's one of the oldest players on the court, has had his difficulties this season, sending clearing passes straight onto the stick of opposing forecheckers, costing his team goals. And games.

The roadsters are starting to pay attention.

"I've got to attribute a lot of my success to always playing against Paul One," says Elvis, who's only lost once in the season's first ten weeks. "It seems like whenever he's on the court, I'm scoring all the time."

"You just know when Paul One is out there, you're due to lose," says Wink, who was paired with the geriatric goalscorer in Sunday's second game. "He's involved in a lot of hilight reel goals, it's just that he's on the wrong end of the hilight."

Most of One's lapses have been mental, an opposing forward left alone to sneak into the slot and get a scoring chance, a clearing pass that bounces off the heel of his stick and straight to a forechecker waiting to pounce.

"He maybe a bit thick in the head," says Pig Farming Goalie, who's been victimized this season by more than a few of those errant passes. "He have too much going on in head all the time when he have ball. He have to just sort of be automatic."

And opposing forwards are quick to cash in.

"You know the breakdown is there, you've just got to force it," says Chief, a veteran of the ice game who made his road hockey debut Sunday. "With One, you just have to get him looking one and go to the other."

But if One is losing his edge, his enthusiasm for the game remains as sharp as ever.

"You just know it's bad luck," says the veteran forward, who's age is exceeded by only one other player, the Living Legend. "You know it's going to happen. That's just the way road hockey is."

Sunday's lopsided opener surprised nobody, as the pre-game stick pull paired two of the league's offensive stars, Lak Attack and Elvis, bolstered by the ice game pedigree of road rookie, Chief.
After spotting the underdogs a quick two-goal lead, the scoring machine kicked into gear to roar ahead 12-3 before faltering briefly on their way to a 20-9 rout.
"Getting the right matchups out there was a big part of it," said Elvis, who centered a line with Chief and notorious gameshow host gone bad, Wink. "I think we just got our heads into the game and did what we had to do."
"I think both our lines worked well," said Wink. "We kinda spread things around and made sure we got lots of chances."
"We couldn't score," said Lobsterboy of his team's opening game woes. "We had one offensive line that just wasn't connecting, and the second line couldn't score at all."

After a new stick pull changed the mix of the team's, Sunday's consolation game was much closer. Winners from the opener wanted to establish streaks, while the losers wanted redemption.
"You just try to change your attitude," said Lobsterboy, after his chance to salvage the day fell a couple of goals short in a 10-8 loss. "In the second game you wanna try to make some good saves so the other team will at least respect you the next time you play."
"You just gotta come back next week and play," said Paul One. "You know at some point you're going to put together a losing streak and you know you're going to have winning streaks as well."

The bright low sun helped melt the thin layer of frost that had settled on the concrete courts overnight but it also created visibility problems for both teams.
"When guys were passing the ball back, you just couldn't see at all," said Wink. "It was scary."
"With all that glare, that was tough going," said Chief.
Especially for the goalies, said Pig Farming Goalie. "I couldn't see anything. I make a couple of no-seeing-eye blind saves, ball come out of sunlight and hit my pad

Chief made his Sunday Morning Road Hockey debut, after a long and distinguished career in the ice game, and the challenges of the concrete were immediately apparent.
"You've got to be a little more tight with the stickhandling, " said the speedy forward. "You've got to make your passes and you've got to think a little quicker; it keeps the intensity up."