October 30, 2006

Stormy comeback blows itself out

Bird and his teammates were almost blown away on Sunday, first by a windswept rainstorm, then by a ferocious comeback by their resilient opponents. But, just as the storm blew itself out, so did the feisty foes, who never scored again after battling back from an 11-4 deficit to tie the game at 14.

"We really died off in the third period there," said the flighty forward, who scored the last of six unanswered goals to snatch victory for his team. "They were working harder than us, they were just playing better."

Which wasn't the game was supposed to go. Led by speedy scoring duo of the Kid and Lak Attack, and anchored by Unabomber's fearsome blasts from the point, Bird and his powerful mates seemed to have the game in hand early.

"It seemed like the game was out of hand early on," said Unabomber. "There were complaints about the stick pull."

But then complacency creeped in.

With their passing game struggling, the underdogs started shooting. And they started finding a lot of holes in emergency backup goaltender, Billy Idol, who may have been more than a little rusty after he missed most of last season due to the onerous demands of his exploitative employer.

"He struggled for a little while there," said Bird of his side's confounded creaseminder. "He made us all a little nervous."

"We were taking it easy, just taking (the lead) for granted," said Unabomber.

And their overmatched opponents were quick to take advantage, riding a 7-1 scoring run in the third period to eventually tie the game 14-14.

"We didn't give up, that's the main thing," said Wink of his side's courageous comeback. "It's such a small court so many things can happen. It's all about chemistry, guys playing well together and sometimes the most talented guys don't play well together so you always think you've got a chance."

But just as quickly as they were able to capitalize on their confidence, their scoring prowess petered out. Billy Idol became impenetrable, while at the other end, the once formidable Frosty seemed to melt.

"The tide turned," said Unabomber. "I think at the end we just kept peppering Frosty with shots and it just became too much for him to handle."

"On a day like today, you've just got to take a lot of shots," said Bird. "It's really slippery out there, you've just got to make sure you get your shots and take advantage of your opportunities."

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:28 PM | Comments (3)

October 23, 2006

Goalie passes time test

Pig Farming Goalie read the clock wrong, but it was his opponents who ran out of time, and legs, in Sunday's game, as the veteran shotstopper overcame a crisis of confidence to hang on for a 20-15 win.

With his side seemingly in control from the opening faceoff and nursing a lead they'd never relinquish, the agrarian goaltender suddenly found himself fighting the evil orange plastic ball. Fuke bounces eluded his glove hand, crazy deflections bounced off his leg pads into the net, and his side's 14-13 lead seemed in peril.

Thinking the game would end at 15, PFG battled to regain his focus to retain their his side's slim edge, stabbing at shots with renewed confidence, reaching across the crease with his big goal stick to prevent the sure-fire tying goal. But an earlier decision by the roadsters had pushed the game's limit to 20; the newly-invigorated goalie became almost unbeatable the rest of the way.

"I thought we were going to win game pretty quickly," said Pig Farming Goalie of his scoreclock miscue. "We didn't have the flow of the game very well, i think because I thought we were playing to 15."

Aware that their goalie was suddenly struggling, Pig Farming Goalie's teammates rallied to his defense.

"You just try to pick up a few sticks in front, play a better defensive game," said Elvis. "PFG is always an emotional player, he's gonna make some big saves and he's gonna give you hell when you don't come back."

Not wanting to catch the wrath of their creaseminder, defenders flooded the zone, tying up sticks, batting rebounds up the court.

"You talk to your players and hope they come back to play a bit of defense as well," said Pig Farming Goalie. "It was fast game, lots of back and forth, ball was being turned over so many times."

With the added time cushion and the renewed commitment of defense by his mates, the pig-slopping shotstopper was able to regain his focus.

"When everybody is giving it that much, it only takes that one bad goal to really change the tide of the game and get some momentum going," said Gump.

"You just have to relax," said PFG.

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:18 PM | Comments (6)

October 16, 2006

Soggy start

Billy Idol scored five goals to lead his team to a 15-6 rout in Sunday's season opener and wash away the bad memories from his lost season last year.

It was an encouraging start for the veteran forward, who missed most of the last campaign due to the onerous demands of his exploitive employer. And it was an optimistic beginning for the rest of the roadsters, who slid and sloshed their way through a driving rainstorm to launch the league's 16th season.

"The fact we have a sub for each team on a day like today, this shows the true heart, the lifeblood, of road hockey," said Gump, who recorded the win.

"It's pretty encouraging," said Beetle Boy, who made his first appearance at the courts after he missed both pre-season games. "We have two full lines, great goaltending, subs; I think it's a good start to the season even though the weather was bad."

For a time, it looked like the game might not happen at all. Only moments before the evil orange plastic ball was scheduled to be dropped, a few stalwart roadsters huddled in the relative shelter of a nearby alcove, trying to stay dry. But then a pair of new recruits, Ali and Frosty, checked in.

For Beetle Boy and his vanquished mates, the elation of that opening faceoff quickly turned to despair. A pair of quick goals by fellow founding father, the Living Legend, put them in a hole that only seemed to get larger even as it filled with water from the deluge.

"We weren't playing good defense, and we needed to because they had the snipers, especially guys like Kid who can move in the rain," said Beetle Boy. "When it's pouring rain, everybody is slipping around, it makes things more difficult."

Not if players adjust, said Gump, something his team seemed more capable to accomplish.

"You just gotta slow it down," said the veteran shotstopper. "You can't be moving across the court too much. If you try to cheat out there, you're gonna get caught."

But even as his mates celebrated the easy win, their floundering foes couldn't help but smile wanly in the wet.

"You just gotta try and get out here and play hard," said Beetle Boy. "They it just becomes about trying to have some fun, trying to get your touch back, trying to just play for yourself."

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:22 PM | Comments (7)

October 02, 2006

Speedsters off to quick start

The Kid and Scooby picked up right where they left off last season, running circles around their opponents, slowed by summer sloth, feeding each other pinpoint passes, scoring in spades to lead their team to a 15-7 win in Sunday's pre-season opener at the road hockey courts.

Scooby was especially quick, not burdened at all by the weight of new hockey gloves he finally acquired in the off-season.

"They look like they're ready to go already," said their linemate, and prime beneficiary of their passing prowess, Bird. "It's kind of disturbing."

The young speedsters took control of the game early, overcoming the jitters of their surprise starting goalie, Nibs, who strapped on the pads despite a nagging toe injury that was aggravated by the heavy leather leg pads.

"They were awesome," said Lak Attack, who took over the goaltending duties when Nibs couldn't continue after the first period. "The way they were passing, they seem to be able to read each other really well and finish well."

They had to. Without any substitutes to allow them to rest their weary legs, Scooby and the Kid had to maximize their opportunities while minimizing their energy expenditure.

"That's the scary part," said Lak Attack. "The fact that they've already found their rhythm, that tells you they're only going to get better."

And that will make it that much harder for the players who shirked the opening game to catch up.

"Today is more about condition and trying to get your timing and rhythm," said Bird, who scored the game's first two goals. "You can find some chemistry with your linemates pretty quickly because the numbers are so low."

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:15 PM | Comments (10)