October 25, 2009

Roadsters reject indoor move

A pitch to move Sunday Morning Road Hockey indoors isn't gaining any traction even as the roadsters continue to struggle with the sandpaper-like surface of the refurbished outdoor courts.

Sunday, in the first official rain game of the season, the roadsters experienced the flipside of the new tacky surface which has created drag on players sticks causing passes to skip harmlessly over sticks and shots peter out even before they reach the goalies; the rough concrete isn't more grippy when it's wet, as a number of players took tumbles on damp patches.

But that hasn't deterred their resolve to change the way they play the game rather than change the game some have been playing for almost 20 years.

"You've got to play a different style now," said veteran forward Lak Attack. "A lot of the softer passes that normally get through onto the tape of another player aren't going to happen; you've got to put a little more oomph on each pass."

"I think defensively you've just got to be a little more aware that passes aren't necessarily going to go tape to tape," said seasoned centerman Cowboy Bill. "You have to put yourself into position to consider the bounce and to be able to take advantage of those situations."

Both stalwarts rejected outright a suggestion made by the Colonel earlier in the week to explore indoor options for the venerable weekly game. A polished gym floor would give the roadsters an ideal smooth surface to exploit their skills as well as keep them warm and dry in the cold, wet wintery months ahead.

"It would be a faster game, a more skilled game," said the outspoken forward who's tilted against the game's traditions before when he's questioned the leadership of the founding fathers. "I think it would make for a more competitive game and for most people, a little more fun."

But the unknown variables of the playing surface and weather conditions are an integral part of the fun, said Cowboy Bill. "The venue is completely a part of the game. That's why we come out here, it's outdoors, it's a chance to get outside and run around."

"I think we all thrive on the different elements we face each week," said Lak Attack. "It would change the game and I don't think it would be for the better."

Some players suggest all the teeth-gnashing over the new surface is much ado about nothing as they struggle to find their game legs in the season's early-going.

"I think if we get a few good balls, (the surface) doesn't affect the game as much," said Scrappy, whose speedy play up and down the wings has barely missed a beat.

If anything, the bouncing balls and missed plays have brought the game back to the goalies and slower, more methodical lunch bucket players.

"I think for some of the players who rely more on their passing ability and quick moves are struggling more than the players who bang and crash," said the Colonel, who admitted to growing frustration on the bouncy surface.

For the second week in a row, Twizzler recorded a road hockey shutout by holding opposing shooter below ten goals in his side's 15-8 win. It was also the second time in three weeks a game ended with the winning team scoring less than the usual 20 goals.

"Both teams are playing on it," said Cowboy Bill. "It's not like you go one way and it's rough and you go the other way it's smooth. It's the same both ways."

And some players are starting to adjust.

"They're starting to get some of the nice passes going, but it requires a bit more hand-eye coordination," said Lak Attack. "I think over time this will make us all better players."

The inability of his teammates to adapt to the tacky concrete spoiled the return to the crease of ER in his first start in more than two years. The emergency backup keeper made several spectacular saves to keep his team in the game early, allowing them the opportunity to find their legs and tighten the score to a more respectable six-goal margin.

Posted by jaysuburb at October 25, 2009 05:27 PM

And bringing an extra body.

I'm not sure Doo is coming either, though, I think he has some highly infectious and deadly disease.

Posted by: Velma at November 1, 2009 09:19 AM

I don't think Scrappy is the only one.

HOWEVER... I will be there.

Posted by: Velma at November 1, 2009 09:15 AM

urgh!...2:52...just got home...hockey is really iffy, extra hour or not.

Posted by: kid at November 1, 2009 02:53 AM

Clocks get set back early Sunday morning at 2AM ... don't arrive 1 hour too early or it will be a looonnnnngggggggggg warm up.

Posted by: The Colonel at October 30, 2009 07:12 PM

Geez Velma, one player says he may show up hung over if he shows up at all and already you're panicking we may not have enough for a game? Have faith, brother.

Posted by: Living Legend at October 29, 2009 08:02 PM

So, are we going to have enough for a legitimate game?

Posted by: Velma at October 29, 2009 03:05 PM

I think it's fair to say that this week you can expect me to be either absent or still snockered from the night before.

My pity goes out to my teammates if I should show up this Sunday.

Posted by: Scrappy at October 29, 2009 12:24 PM

LOVED this week's video - especially the captions. Excellent work by the media.

Posted by: The Colonel at October 25, 2009 07:53 PM