March 30, 2008

Just Doo it

Doo got it done. Almost.

The neophyte netminder stood tall in only his second career start, giving his team a chance to win a game in which they twice battled back from big deficits. But the burden was too much for his skinny legs to bear as he was beaten by a lightning passing play and then a low screen shot by Kid to succumb, 20-18, in Sunday's marathon match.

For three periods, Doo seemed an unlikely hero, as his team slipped behind by three goals, and then five, 15-10, going into the final quarter. But then he found his glove hand, denying opposing snipers time and again.

"Doo shut the door, and they started to outwork us," said Smith of his side's sudden scoring drought.

"He was huge," said Beetle Boy of his side's slim shotstopper. "He was giving us a rallying point when we were struggling."

With the tide turning, Lak Attack took control, swooping in from the side boards, crashing the crease and sparking his team to a furious six goal comeback that culminated their first lead of the day, 16-15.

"We relied on our core group of players, and after a couple of goals, we had our focus back and we were rolling," said Doo.

"They just started to get to the ball before we did, and they started to get some lucky breaks," said Gump, who battled jet lag most of the game after he arrived home from a two-week vacation in the wee hours before Sunday's game.

After trading the lead, including a showcase play by Scrappy, who undressed the Colonel along the boards before swooping in to lift a shot over Gump, the teams deadlocked at 18 in a struggle neither side seemed capable of winning as exhaustion took its toll.

"It was tough, it was a battle out there," said Smith.

While his mates battled the boards, Doo fought to stay on his game, ignoring the late game pressure.

"I just didn't want to blow it," said the young goalkeeper. "You can't think about your own play, you just have to think about winning the game."

He almost did. Scooby fed a cross-crease pass from the corner to Smith, who ripped the shot past Doo before he could react, and then, moments later, KId fired a low roller through a screen, beating the rookie rearguard low on the stick side.

"I thought Doo played fantastic," said Beetle Boy. "It was a heartbreaker to lose."

"I think they were just impressed to be tied at 18," said Gump.

"It was 18-18 for such a long time, it was just heartbreaking to lose it," said Doo.


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March 23, 2008

Easter lull

When the roadsters decide to take the day off, there's no rest for Billy Idol.

So many players stayed away from Sunday's game, the stalwart backup was forced to strap on the big protective pads for both teams, blocking a deluge of shots in a spirited three-on-three battle.

His gain is the absent roadsters' loss, said the creaseminding curmudgeon. Especially in the critical weeks leading up to the Stanley Stick championship series.

"These guys should be out getting their practice before the Stick," said Idol, who won, and lost, both of Sunday's game, 10-6 and 5-2. "If you're only showing up three times a year, you're gonna look like you only show up three times a year."

And that's not a pretty sight, said Elvis. "You miss a few games, you're gonna be a step behind mentally and physically. It's a pretty competitive, fast-paced game out here and if you miss a few games, you can sure tell when you come back."

Sunday's attendance lull stalled the momentum the season had been gaining from a string of brisk, hard-fought games in recent weeks.

"it's a bit of a letdown, for sure," said Scrappy, who's gearing up for his first Stanley Stick.

"Today is just a big down," said Idol. "It seemed like we had some nice momentum going, we had some nice games."

"These are the critical last few weeks," said Elvis. "The games were more competitive than they've ever been all season, and then you get a dry patch like this; I think a lot of guys take for granted what they have here."

But for the players who persevered, the rewards of their Sunday sacrifice could be reaped in the weeks to come.

"Going down the stretch here to the Stick, it's prime time to be getting into game shape," said Elvis.

"We're still out here getting some exercise, honing our skills," said Scrappy. "We'll see when the Stanley Stick come around who's got their skills together."


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March 16, 2008

Wild threes

Bad things come in threes. So do bad leads.

Sunday, each team squandered a pair of three-goal leads and countless two-goal margins before Doo was able to finally put the adage to rest, scoring on a breakaway to win the game for his side, ironically by three goals, 20-17.

It was the final exclamation point to a seesaw game in which his team had stormed back from a three goal deficit in its earliest moments with six straight goals, then blew their own advantage at least twice.

"It was definitely a momentum game today," said Elvis, as his team of power forwards reclaimed their three goal advantage midway through Sunday's game, only to lose it again at 16-15. "It wasn't uncommon to see three, four, five goals in a row being scored. I guess it was just a matter of time before somebody swung the game in their favor."

Unfortunately, it wasn't his squad, as Billy Idol recovered from his early difficulties to make some huge stops, including a larcenous snag with his trapper that denied Elvis of a sure goal.

"I let three in early, so I knew from then on in I just had to keep my head down and not let in any more bad goals," said Idol.

"It was just one of those games where it was tough to get a lead and hold it," said Paul One. "There was no dying on either side, both teams just kept going no matter what the score was."

But it was the team with the younger, speedier legs of Scooby, Doo and Kid that went the distance.

"Maybe at the end of the game, they have a bit more gas in the tanks than the old guys," said Idol. "We had some speed."

"They had pretty good fire power on their team," said Paul One.

And more than a little ball luck.

"It was just a matter of a couple of bounces going this way or that way, that was the difference," said Elvis.

"It's so close and if your goaltender lets in a couple of lousy goals, that sucks the life out of you," said Paul One.


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March 09, 2008

No maas for PFG

For Pig Farming Goalie, the day went from bad to worse to "no maas."

Already disappointed by the poor turnout in perfect playing conditions, and feeling the pressure from a season about to be truncated by impending fatherhood, the fiery shotstopper stormed off the court when his side of spry speedsters were no match for the passing and playmaking of their veteran opposition, who romped to a 10-3 rout in Sunday's first of two games.

The agrarian goaltender's sudden departure left both sides reeling.

"Obviously he was a little upset," said Elvis. "He's a pretty competitive guy, and for him to get blown out like that pretty quickly, he's gonna react."

"We shut him down, we made him quit, we made him say 'no maas, no maas,'" said Lak Attack, who earned the victory despite taking his position between the pipes with a hodgepodge of protective equipment when most of the other regular goalies failed to show.

With a number of roadsters apparently caught off guard by the change to Daylight Saving Time, Sunday's match was a showdown between the Mystery Machine lineup of Scooby, Doo and Scrappy against a roster of oldsters who relied on pinpoint passing and hard-nosed forechecking to stake an early advantage.

"The veterans really know how to position themselves well, press the forecheck hard," said LakAttack. "It shows you the young guys still have something to learn from the old guys."

"I think we had the advantage of experience and chemistry, because obviously we've been playing together for a long time," said Elvis.

The late addition of Kid hastened the youngsters' demise, who continued to struggle in the offensive zone despite the addition of Nibs' powerful point shot.


Coming off last week's marathon barnburner, Sunday's poor turnout was especially discouraging.
"I don't think disappointing is a strong enough word," said Pig Farming Goalie, before his day went completely awry. "You're ready to go but there's not enough guys and you're sitting there thinking what is this game going to be like. It's hard to get up for a game when you realize it's not going to be much of a game."
"It's frustrating because you get that great momentum going," said Smith. It's almost as if the guys just want the desert, they don't want to put in the hard work."
"it takes the wind out of the sails a little bit, " said Cowboy Bill.
But Sunday's slump may have been little more than a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances, as a number of players seemed oblivious to the switch to Daylight Saving Time.
"I don't know if you can take it too seriously," said Elvis of the lackluster attendance. "You just have to look at it as more of a fun day."

The youngsters atoned for their dismal performance in Sunday's opener by taking advantage of their speed and stamina to run circles around depleted defenders. With a virtually identical lineup, plus the addition of Cowboy Bill's defensive prowess, they stormed to an easy 15-6 win in the consolation mini game.

The two-game Stanley Stick will open May 4 and conclude the following week, May 11. Players who are unavailable for the first game, will be placed on teams for the finale.

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March 02, 2008

Idol smiles

The biggest smile at the end of Sunday's game belonged to Billy Idol.

Snakebit in every one of his starts between the pipes so far this season, his side finally prevailed, eking out a 23-21 nailbiter in triple overtime. It was his first win. And it wasn't easy.

After digging themselves into an early 6-1 hole, his mates battled back furiously to take a five-goal lead of their own, 16-11. With their opponents' veterans struggling in the furious pace, they seemed on their way. But then the young snipers, Scooby and Doo, took control.

Wheeling and dealing from the corners, pressing the play with determined forechecking, they shifted the game's momentum in their favor.

"As a goalie, seeing those guys streak in from the center line has got to be one of the scariest things," said Billy Idol. "You know they're going to pick a corner, you know they're really fast, and they pass really well."

Well enough to put Billy Idol's squad on the precipice. But they weren't going to tip over easily.

"Near the end, it seemed like we were gassing out while the other guys were coming on," said Elvis. "We were pretty lucky to be able to turn it around."

"We were really trying, and the goals came from hard work," said Beetle Boy, of his side's desperate attempts to seal the victory. "Nothing really tipped the scales one way or the other."

"There were a lot of momentum shifts in this game," said Elvis. I think both teams wanted it pretty badly."

Battling for every loose ball, charging the net for every loose rebound, three times they evened the game in extra time.

"Our team never gave up," said Idol.

"It just seemed like a real grudge match," said Elvis. "Each team was fighting for one point at a time, goal for goal."

Nobody more so that his side's goalie.

"I think we were due for that," said Idol, relishing his first win of the season. "I was tickled pink because I won one finally."


The Commissioner's Office is considering two possible scenarios for the two-game Stanley Stick Championship Series. One would begin the finale on April 27, with the conclusion the following week, May 4. The second option would follow the same timetable as last year, starting the series on May 4, concluding May 11, which also happens to be Mother's Day.

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