November 30, 2003

Bitter defeat

On the coldest morning of the season, it was Elvis and his mates who were left bitter, as they were unable to overcome their own frustration and an early defecit, on their way to a 25-18 drubbing.

"That's the way it goes when you can't seem to get anything going," says the power forward of his side's inability to convert their scoring chances. "It was hard to generate any offense. There was a lot of opportunities we missed because people were in just too much of a rush to get the ball out of our own end."

And when their passes went awry, or the evil orange plastic ball, hardened by the frosty air, skipped over a teammate's stick, opposing defenders always seemed to be in position to take advantage.

"We defended a lot better than they did," says notorious gameshow gone bad, Wink, whose return to the lineup, after missing last week's game to travel to faraway cities, was made possible by an early-morning flight. "Road hockey is simple; it comes down to who passes the best and who backchecks the hardest."

Sunday, his team did both, transitioning easily from defense to offense with effective passing and a relentless barrage of shots on a beleaguered Ottoman.

"We just went like crazy, kept firing at the net," says Paul One, as his side opened up an 8-2 lead even before the overnight frost melted on the shady end of the court.

"It was good for us to get a few goals early," says Rudy.

That margin only further frustrated their opponents, spiraling them downwards into desperation. They abandoned their already ineffective passing game and as individual players pressed deep into the offensive zone looking for the magic goal that would right their faltering offense, they left their goalie to cope with the consequences. Accusations and anger erupted as everyone blamed everyone else. And the goals on their own net piled up.

"They were kindof a one-man show," says Billy Idol. "When you get those type of guys on a good team, they don't necessarily meld as a team."

"I've seen great teams lose, and I've seen bad teams win," says Wink. "Road hockey is a game of ebb and flow and you never really know where things are going to end up."

"It wasn't a team effort," says Elvis, angrily. "We got outgunned, we played horrible defense."

Posted by jaysuburb at 04:16 PM | Comments (57)

November 27, 2003

Pfg back in sty

Bad news for Pig Farming Goalie's season as recently medical recommendations call for him to refrain from most sports that required 'extensive bending or potential rotating on the knee' for upwards of six months. A despondent PFG told reporters later that the news was unexpected, given his knee's recent improvements.

"I felt I could haf played last weekend, but decided to leave it one more week. Now I being told to leave it entirely. I am not happy at all."

And given that for most of January and March he will be out of the country, it doesn't look likely he would be able to play much anyways, should his knee heal earlier than expected.

"My Annus Horribilus for Hockey" stated PFG.

Posted by at 04:51 PM | Comments (18)

November 23, 2003

Back in black

Making his first regular start of the season on Sunday, Lobsterboy said he needed every edge he could get. But an intimidating all-black wardrobe wasn't enough as he was overwhelmed, 20-9, by a potent offensive barrage that included three of the game's most explosive scorers and a wily veteran to quarterback that offense.

"I have to set the tone," says Lobsterboy of his frightening pallor. "The players have a jump on me, they know each other, they know their moves."

Sunday, in the second consecutive game plagued by wet, slippery conditions, that meant springing the odd man rush behind sputtering defenders who couldn't hustle back fast enough.

"On the wet court, it's nearly impossible for somebody to get back in a hurry," says Paul One, who played one of his strongest games of the season despite a lingering illness that almost kept him out of the lineup. "We were just trying to find an open man. You want to get as many shots as early as possible on (Lobsterboy), you wanna test him."

For Lobsterboy, the exam started early, as his high-powered opponents jumped to a quick 8-2 lead, batting in rebounds and cross-court passes with nary a challenge.

"When you get two, three, four cracks at a shot, eventually it's going to go in," says Paul On

Posted by jaysuburb at 04:34 PM | Comments (12)

November 19, 2003

Wink lumbers to sidelines

In an effort to take some heat off the embattled Beetle Boy, Wink announced Wednesday that he won't be playing in this coming Sunday's game.
The notorious gameshow host gone bad wouldn't confirm why he would be absent, other than to say it had nothing to do with the weather.
He also admitted that he was quite disappointed about missing the contest, since he was finally starting to get some positive press from Jay Suburb, road hockey's intrepid beat reporter.
"Jay hasn't been protraying me as a complete savage of late," said Wink. "I am not an animal. I have animal tendencies, but I am not an animal."

Posted by at 02:50 PM | Comments (13)

November 16, 2003

Slowing down to come back

With his team down 7-2 early in Sunday's game, and struggling to find their footing on the wet, slippery courts, Elvis and his mates weren't about to panic. Instead, they played smarter, battling back methodically to a 21-19 overtime win.

A driving rainstorm that lashed throughout the game rendered the concrete surface of the hockey court as slick as ice, taking the power out of Elvis' drives to the net, and neutralizing the speed and positioning advantage of his linemates, Kid and Bird. So they started passing, long lofts that eluded the outstretched sticks of sliding defenders.

"Days like today, you've gotta pass it around a bit more," says Elvis.

"Kid can't make those little cuts, and Elvis can't power towards the net, you've got to get a lot of two-on-ones and three-on-ones," says Ottoman, who got the win despite playing with the lingering effects of the flu that caused him to miss last week's game. "It's a different type of game."

But it took them a little while to find it. Led by the seeing-eye shots of Nibs, who scored on his first three shots in his first game of the season, and a pair of knucklers by the Living Legend, the underdogs jumped to a surprising 7-2 lead. With little speed anywhere in their lineup, the slippery conditions were more of an annoyance to them than a disadvantage.

"The wet worked in our favor," says Billy Idol. "Today there was far more of a passing game, making one-timers, not a lot of fancyboy plays."

"You get a lot of guys coasting and sliding in, and you get those loopy shots that come from all over," says Ottoman of his side's early struggle.

Unable to beat 'em, Elvis and the Kid decided to join 'em. Instead of speeding up the boards and cutting hard towards the net, they fed the evil orange plastic ball back to their powerful pointman, Wink, who rifled passes toward the net, where Kid or Bird waited behind skidding defenders to one-time it past a sprawling Lak Attack or knock home a dribbling rebound.

"It's tougher getting back," says Billy Idol of his side's inability to counter the odd-man passing plays. "It's easy to run forward, but you can't just stop and turn and get back."

"It was a pretty casual effort," says Elvis of the defensive deficiencies that allowed his side to take their first lead late in the game, 17-16. "Nobody was running too hard."

And while a pair of late goals by Cowboy Bill sparked the underdogs to the brink of pulling off the upset, Elvis and his mates were confident they'd found the winning formula.

"We knew it was our game," says Elvis.

"We knew we were in it," says Ottoman.

"They just picked up their game," says Billy Idol.

Posted by jaysuburb at 04:27 PM | Comments (10)

November 10, 2003

Roadsters prefer scoreboard to clock: poll

Last Sunday's 19-19 tie may have been one of the most competitive, exciting games in recent Sunday Morning history, but most roadsters aren't happy with the time constriction that denied the match a proper victor, according to early results in this week's roadhockey.net online poll.

Seventy percent of the roadsters polled so far say they prefer the traditional way of determining a game's winner, the first team to reach 20 goals, with a two-goal margin over their opponent. Sunday's game was cut short of that usual decision when Lak Attack announced he would have to leave his team's netminding duties so he could service the onerous demands of his exploitative employer.

"I don't know how many people are happy with the game ending in a tie," says Paul One, who's side was clinging to a narrow 19-18 lead, before Rudy tied it up with 30 seconds remaining to Lak Attack's imposed deadline. "That was a bit of a heartbreak, a couple of more minutes and I think we probably would have won it."

But knowing the clock was ticking may have given him impetus to gamble for the tying goal, says Rudy. "I knew we only had time for one more chance, and I had to keep myself open for it."

It definitely changed the way the teams played in the game's waning moments. Having fought back from an early 5-1 defecit to steal an 18-16 lead, Rudy and his mates seemed content to rag the evil orange plastic ball and trap their opponents on every upcourt rush.

"It was just a matter of time," says Rudy of his side's late-game stalling. "We weren't too worried."

But as the clock ran out, Paul One and his mates began playing with increasing desperation, penetrating the trap with aggressive forechecking, flooding the offensive zone to leave their goaltender, Gump, to his own defense.

"It seemed like we were playing out of more fear than them," says One. "We just kinda picked up the pace, we were running a bit more."

"We knew the clock was running," says New Guy. "We had to bear down and try to get what we could, try to get a couple to even the game up."

They did just that, and more, as Elvis scored twice and assisted on another to regain the lead they'd held for most of the game, 19-18, and setting the stage for Rudy's last-minute heroics.

"It was a great game, back and forth all day long," says Rudy. "You couldn't really chose between the two teams."

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:54 PM | Comments (13)

November 09, 2003

Rudy faces fear

Sunday's 19-19 tie, in a rare time-controlled game necessitated by Lak Attack's departure from his team's net to service the onerous demand of his exploitative employer, may have left some of the roadsters grumbling about their sisters. But for Rudy, it was a triumph.

With the clock running down, the speedy winger knew he had nothing to lose by floating in the offensive zone, waiting for a scoring chance to come his way. When a clearing pass ended up on his stick, he made no mistake, lofting his shot over a sprawling Gump, lifting his team to the hard-fought draw and putting the final exclamation point to his first regular season game since he was felled by a devastating facial injury late last season.

"I don't think I'd be cherry-picking like that in a game that was going to come down to goals." says Rudy, who also opened his side's scoring and added a few more in-between. "I knew we only had time for one more chance, and I had to keep myself open for it."

Indeed, Sunday's game represented one more chance for Rudy, whose career hung in the balance last Spring after reconstructive surgery to his face, shattered when he ran into Roach's errant elbow. Taking to the court for the first time without protective headgear, he admitted to some anxiety before the game.

"Yeah, I was just a little worried about my head," says Rudy, who did play a regular shift during the Stanley Stick Championship series while wearing a helmet and full face shield.

But from his first shift, he battled in the corners, drove hard to the net, and splayed himself in front of shots. On his first shot on net, he scored.

"Rudy was playing his usual game, the game I would expect him to play," says Elvis, who scored a pair of goals late in the game to give his side a short-lived 19-18 lead. "I wasn't surprised to see him step back in there. He's definitely a force to be reckoned with."

"He's somebody you have to watch out for a be a little careful," says Paul One. "You expect nothing less of him to come out and have a big game."

"He's just a fearless player, his skills certainly haven't diminished," says New Guy of his rebounding rival. "The competitive nature of the game takes over and you forget about your injuries, you forget about how you're feeling and you just play to win."

Or at least to tie.

Posted by jaysuburb at 04:47 PM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2003

Ottoman too sick for streak?

Ottoman won Sunday's game on the scoreboard, but he may have been beaten by the flu.

"It'll be a gametime decision," says the fevered shotstopper of his status for Sunday's game. "If there are two available puckstoppers, I'd gladly sit it out."

Ottoman played strongly Sunday, recording his first win of the season despite being slowed by the bug. After the game, he collapsed in a sweating heap, not moving for several minutes. And while he was able to gather his strength to remove his array of goaltender's armor, he didn't play in the consolation mini-game.

After a shakey pre-season, Ottoman has emerged as one of the early season's pleasant surprises. He seems to have overcome his tendency for slow starts that plagued him through his sophomore season, often digging his team into a deep defecit and motivating malcontent muttering amongst his mates.

"We all know how deflating it can be to have a couple of soft ones go in," says Elvis.

"It's important to have confidence in your goalie," says Billy Idol.

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:01 PM | Comments (1)

November 04, 2003

Pig Farmer will wallow soon

Pig Farming Goalie has begun a full rehabilitation program on his injured knee, and he says he could be back between the pipes sooner rather than later.

That's a much more optimistic prognosis than initial fears that he'd completely torn his ACL while playing soccer, on the eve of training camp, possibly sidelining him for the entire season. But doctors confirmed late last week he'd suffered only a grade II sprain. Severe swelling had prevented an earlier diagnosis.

"It feel good," says PFG. " I pretty sure it not torn; was able to do too much on it this week for ACL to be gone."

The good news for the agrarian goaltender's jumbled joint is bad news for Sunday Morning Road Hockey's snipers, who've been feasting on opposing netminders in the season's early days. Sunday, Kid scored 14 goals.

"Kid and Lak better make good use of time. I'll be shutting door soon," says the barn-slopping shotstopper, who declined to commit to a timeline for his return. ""We'll do rehab, and see how well knee bend, and go from there."

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2003

Linemates trigger young gun

The Kid and Lak Attack may be two of the quickest, most skilled roadsters on the court, but it was only when they moved the game's lumbering giant, Wink, into the offensive zone early in Sunday's game that they were able to unleash their full goal-scoring fury. The carnage wasn't pretty; Kid scored 14 goals, and his linemates added as many assists, leading their powerhouse team to a 20-10 win.

With their checking line doing anything but, as they spotted diminutive Bird four straight goals, and Kid and Lak Attack wheeling and dealing but failing to find any finish, it seemed another shocking upset might be in the cards. But then the speedsters shuffled Wink to the front of the deck.

"We seemed to be playing well, but we just weren't burying the chances," says Lak Attack, of his side's struggles early in Sunday's game. "We put Wink up, and that made a big difference. The big fella has really good positioning out there, and that was really able to help the Kid out."

So much so he became a one-man goal-scoring machine, sneaking in behind a distracted defense to break in alone on a beleaguered Ottoman.

"Their speed killed us," says Beetle Boy, who was caught flat-footed a number of times. "They could transition, they could come in really fast, and that left Kid and Lak Attack really wide open."

"They're such a fast line, we didn't really have a chance," says Billy Idol. "You've really gotta be on the ball defensively, and it just felt like we were doing a lot of running today."

And that was exactly their plan, says Wink. By moving deeper into the offensive zone, he was able to open more court for his freewheeling linemates, who could cycle around, confusing a bewildered defense.

"It's fun to play with those guys," says Wink of his marvelous mates. "You get to take way more chances, you get to be way more creative."

"The big line was truly impressive," says Wendel. "They just shaked, rattled and rolled. They can run and they can circle and they can spin and dance with the best of them. They made a lot of good things happen. They owned the court."

"I think the most important thing is when they make their passes, they bolt to the open area," says Unabomber. "That gives the guy receiving the ball more options."

When that receiver is the Kid, with his deft deking and uncanny knack for finding the top corners of the net, too many options usually results in too many goals.

"When I play with the Kid, I can just sorta sit back and feed him the ball," says Lak Attack. "He's got great hands, and he'll just bury it."

"I don't think we were ever in jeopardy," says Wink. "We knew the firepower we had."

"They just overwhelmed us," says Beetle Boy.

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:58 PM | Comments (3)