November 27, 2006

Storm warning

Cowboy Bill has a message for the roadsters who didn't fight through Sunday's snowstorm, scuttling a game for the first time this season:

"We've all played through lousy weather before, it's not a big deal," said the veteran journeyman, who was one of only four roadsters who braved frigid temperatures, flying snow, and frozen roads in hopes the game would go on. "I think everyone is just starting to soften up, they're keeping their panties on at home."

"I figured everybody would be out today," said a disappointed Gump, recalling some heroic efforts of the past, when a work gang of roadsters would toil with shovels and scrapers to ensure players' perseverance to make it to the courts was rewarded. "This would have been a lot of fun today, it's better than playing in the rain."

But not by much. With almost a foot of heavy wet snow on the courts, and only two shovels between the four players, only the most cockeyed optimists clung doggedly to the notion of an opening face off.

"You've just got to show up," said Gump. "You've got to look at it that if it's raining, once you get wet, you're not going to get any wetter. And with the snow like today, as soon as you're white, you're not going to get any whiter."

And so far this season, the roadsters have been getting very wet, and cold. Only one game, the season's second, has been played in dry conditions. The rest have been plagued by driving rainstorms and Sunday, for the first time in almost two years, snow. The relentless weather may be taking its toll on the formerly indefatigueable players.

"It's discouraging," said Cowboy Bill.

"It's hard going in every week having crap weather," said Gump. "Nobody likes to play in bad weather."

But, said Cowboy, those who do persevere will likely be rewarded.

"It's really gonna show off in the Spring, when the guys who have been coming out are gonna be in that much better game shape. They're gonna be that much more comfortable playing with each other."

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:11 PM | Comments (11)

November 20, 2006

Cowboy's win more than blind luck

Cowboy Bill's first road hockey win as a goalie was just a blur. Literally.

The neophyte netminder, who was pressed into service when none of the usual starters dared to defy Sunday's stormy conditions, played more than half the game without his glasses after they were smashed by a hard rising shot that screamed off his facemask, popping a lens from the frame. With no backup on the bench ready to step in, Cowboy and his teammates squinted out a 20-15 win.

"I was worried that I might be a little shakier," said Cowboy. "But the team had been playing some good defense, I didn't have to make too many big saves."

In fact, after squandering an early lead to slip behind their youthful opponents, 11-10, just before Cowboy went blind, the accident may have been the wakeup call his team needed.

"They were all over us, and running away with it," said Bird. "We were tired and we were dying, and that break gave us a chance to regroup and get back in it."

Playing in front of their newly-blinded goalie also forced them to work harder in the defensive zone, limiting shots from the point and forcing streaking forwards to shoot it high into Cowboy's shoulders, from where he had little trouble smothering rebounds.

"At that point I really had to be careful of my positioning," said Cowboy. "I had to make myself as big as possible. I couldn't rely on any reaction saves because I knew my depth perception was off."

Taking care of business in the defensive zone quickly paid dividends at the other end of the court, as Wink, Kid and Bird charged ahead, taking a 17-12 lead before faltering briefly to let their opponents get two within two, 17-15.

"We were getting our chances before, but they just weren't going in," said Bird. "We knew we just had to keep doing what we were doing, and we'd be able to finish it off."

They scored three straight goals to clinch the win.

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:36 PM | Comments (6)

November 15, 2006

Rain washes away grime, but not game

It didn’t matter on Sunday that the skies opened up and washed the court away. Not even God can’t stop the heart, which is displayed on a weekly basis at Sunday Morning Road Hockey.

“If it was up to me, I’d play in this weather every week”, said a soaked Gump. “I got to sleep-in an extra 15 minutes, 'cause I didn’t need to shower…kill two birds with one stone”.

Hats off to the courageous 8 who showed up on that drizzled morning. The stick pull, for the first time in a while, was relatively fair. On one end, it was Kid, Lak’s Kid #3 (aka Jason), Billy Idol, and Gump and on the other was Cowboy Bill, Bird, Nibs and Lak between the pipes.

The game finished at 20-18 for the Kid’s, and could easily be described as the game of the year, so far, said Gump.

Posted by jaysuburb at 01:39 PM | Comments (3)

November 06, 2006

Frosty freezes out foes

The chill is finally over for Frosty.

The rookie rearguard registered his first win in his Sunday Morning career Sunday, leading his undermanned team to an upset 15-11 victory over a side stacked with speedsters and an extra player to spell off tired teammates.

For the neophyte netminder, the win was affirmation that he'd finally made the adjustment from the afternoon game. For his team, it was the reward for hard work and determination.

Facing a lineup featuring fleet-footed give-and-go specialists Kid and Bones, and without a substitute to spell off his weary defensemen, Frosty knew his first taste of victory would be a tall order. But perseverance paid off, his defenders delivered.

"We knew we just had to work really hard, grind the boards, get in there, get all those loose balls," said the cool creaseminder.

"Going against a team with Bones and Kid, plus they've got the sub, you're a bit of an underdog," said Bird, of his team's formidable challenge. "We knew we were going to have to play some good defense and capitalize on our chances when we got them."

They did just that. Another rookie, Smith, crashed the boards and owned the corners, creating opportunities for Lak Attack, who swooped through center court, and Bird, who patrolled the crease seeking loose rebounds and sloppy clearing attempts.

"We got a lot of garbage goals," said Frosty. "We had a lot of bounces go our way. It was just a good effort overall."

And when they were pushed back deep into the defensive zone, Frosty and his oversized equipment loomed large.

"He held us in there," said Bird of his side's shotstopper. "When you're down a man, goaltending is probably the most important. We know we're going to be tired and we're not going to be able to get back defensively all the time."

"I know I've got to be there, in case they make one little mistake," said Frosty. "I've got to be able to save their asses, basically."

Which is what he did, time and again, allowing his team to forge a lead they never relinquished, pulling away in the final frame when their fores expected them to fade.

"We thought they'd tire out as the game went on," said Cowboy Bill of his diehard rivals, who scored four straight goals in the final period to win the game, going away. "You'd think they'd run out of gas, but they pushing and pushing, and we never responded."

"We were really putting in a good effort today," said Frosty. "We dug down in the last period and we were able to win it."

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:42 PM | Comments (1)