April 19, 2015

Depleted rosters take toll in Stick opener

Untimely injuries and poorly timed travel put the roadsters in a precarious predicament on Sunday.

Even as the spotlight shone brightly on the opening of the climactic Stanley Stick championship series, it was a dark day for road hockey.

Barely enough players filled out the lineups for both sides, staggering players, leaving them gasping for air. It was clear from the opening face off, the team best able to manage its energy would prevail. In the end it was the young speedsters Doo and Bam Bam, anchored by the wily veteran Living Legend who hung on for a 20-15 victory.

The fleet-footed youngsters took the game to their opponents right from the get-go, jumping aggressively into the offensive zone to create scoring opportunities. Six times in a row they converted, half of them by the Living Legend.

"We played well as a team right from the start," said Doo. "When you have that chemistry that can really give you the advantage in a three-on-three game."

"It didn't start the way we wanted," said Lak Attack, who was the goalie victimized by those six straight goals.

A subsequent change of netminders changed the timbre of the game.

Radar, making only his third start since being called up, declared the pace was just too intense and volunteered to take over in net.

But he wasn't just taking shelter between the pipes. He owned his new role, making a number of key saves as his team broke through on the scoreboard. In fact, they outscored the game's winners 15-14 the rest of the marathon three-hour game.

"It changed the tempo of the game," said Lak Attack of the roster shakeup. "Once we changed the goalie we were persistent and we were able to make it a game."

More than once they were able to shake the confidence of the leaders, shatter their poise and create mistakes.

"When they got their legs we had to weather a storm or two," said Doo. "There were a lot of garbage goals but I don't think we lost our heads."

Twice the underdogs were able to creep to within four goals. But they couldn't break through.

Still, the signs are there for a strong effort in next week's finale.

"We have lots of hope," said Lak Attack.

The leaders will have to be at the top of their game to sweep, said Doo.

"We know we have to put our noses to the grindstone right from the beginning," he said. "Hopefully our chemistry will carry over."

Joker was AWOL once again, and Eight Ball was a surprise scratch. Their absence was compounded by injuries to Yak, who aggravated a tender knee during last Sunday's regular season finale, and Bing, who sported a brace all week to nurse a jammed wrist.
The depleted lineups exacted a toll on the usual frenetic pace and tripwire intensity of the championship.
"It's totally different," said Colonel of the lack of spares to spell off tired players. "We depend on each other to play, so it really does affect the play."
"There's lots of odd-man rushes," said Lak Attack.
"it would have been better to have more guys," said Doo. "But both teams brought the Stick intensity."
Players on the injured list for Sunday's opener will be eligible for the finale, with a placement card pull to disperse them if necessary.

Posted by jaysuburb at April 19, 2015 08:56 PM

I just realized I forgot to get the bottle of bubbly. If anybody can stop at a beer & wine store on their way in and pick up a cheap bottle of Baby Duck or something, that would be awesome. Otherwise, it will be 7Up.

Posted by: Living Legend at April 26, 2015 09:40 AM

We are currently sitting in kamonos being serviced by beautiful Japanese maidens. We will be enjoying our late night onsens while making MVP predictions. (Both evan and I chose the same player). Best of luck tomorrow and we are excited to read the results. Game on gentlemen... Thankful to be in Japan.

Posted by: Holt at April 26, 2015 02:45 AM

Suddenly more goalies than you can shake a stick at. Should be interesting.

Posted by: The Colonel at April 25, 2015 09:09 PM

I'm not a twitter guy but I received word they are in Japan and thus safe.

Posted by: Doo at April 25, 2015 07:08 PM

Check the Twitter link.

Posted by: Jay Suburb at April 25, 2015 05:21 PM

No serial killer Legend. But there was a crazy redhead. Looking forward to tomorrow. Btw, has anyone received word if our two world travellers are still alive and well after yesterday's earthquake in Nepal? Do they have a blog going or even a facebook page?

Posted by: joker at April 25, 2015 03:05 PM

Hey guys, I will be there for final game tomorrow. can't finish the game without the 8 ball. No scratches this week. Cheers and see you tomorrow.

Posted by: 8 Ball at April 25, 2015 06:19 AM

Geez, and here we thought Joker had fallen prey to a Tinder serial killer...

Posted by: Living Legend at April 21, 2015 10:40 PM

It will be awesome if you come out on Sunday for the final game joker!

Colonel-feeling 100% better! The wheezing is going away, so it will be a hard fought battle come this Sunday-I will be ready!

FYI- despite some of the challenges last Sunday, it was a fun game!

See you all Sunday!

Posted by: lakattack at April 21, 2015 09:20 AM

Sincere apologies boys. I could have been better with the communication but little league hass taken over my life in the last 3 weeks. As luck would have it, I can make Sundays Stanley stick final In whatever capacity required. See you Sunday.

Posted by: joker at April 21, 2015 06:40 AM

May 3rd finally? That would mean two more players!

Posted by: funtohavespares at April 21, 2015 06:15 AM

Note to the other side: be ready to play hard Sunday because you're in for a hell of a fight. We're not going away easy and we know we've found the recipe for success.

Posted by: The Colonel at April 20, 2015 11:44 AM