September 28, 2008

Wendel's comeback comeuppance

Wendel didn't lose his breakfast. His team wasn't so lucky.

The veteran winger, who's been in semi-retirement for most of the past three seasons, only wanted to survive his first game in almost a year without embarrassing himself. He succeeded, keeping pace with younger, fleet-footed forwards for most of Sunday's pre-season opener. But his team couldn't survive a mid-game swoon that cost them an early lead and, ultimately, a 20-15 decision.

"My goal after three years more or less away from the game was just to reintroduce my body to the concept of the game," said Wendel. "It's been a while and you've got to remember everyone's habits and tendencies and you've got to get a feel for the ebb and flow of the game again."

Early in Sunday's game, it was as if Wendel had never really been away, as he and his mates executed on all cylinders, firing pinpoint passes and then finishing at the net with a deft touch to carry a lead into the second half. But then the long layoff seemed to catch up. Passes went astray, shots on net were swallowed by Billy Idol, including a diving save on the Colonel, who's breakaway backhand was snared by the keeper's big glove. Wendel started to play winded.

"I think it was a general lapse on a lot of things," said Elvis of his side's second-half slide.

Their opponents were quick to exploit, led by Lak Attack's early-season wheeling and dealing.

"Lak turned up his game and the rest of us followed," said Beetle Boy, as his side stormed back to take a 16-11 lead before romping to victory. "Everybody was playing hard."

Meanwhile, Wendel and his mates were flailing.

"It's hard to point at any one thing," said the returning veteran. "Everybody is rusty, everybody's timing is a little off. It takes a while."

But with Lak and his mates having wrested control of the game, and Nibs struggling in his net to do anything about it, the outcome seemed etched.

"We just started getting comfortable with each other," said Beetle Boy.

Something that will come his way in time, said Wendel. "I've got to get my timing back, read people better, get my passing back."

And that's when his opponents will have to work to protect their breakfast.

Sunday's game was the first of three exhibition matches to prepare the roadsters for the upcoming season. That's more than have been scheduled in the previous two seasons.
The longer training camp will hopefully give more of the roadsters a chance to ease the game back into their weekly routine as well as overcome some of the bad weather that has plagued the seasons' early games in recent years.

But still, some roadsters couldn't help but be disappointed in the lack of commitment shown by some of the game's veteran leaders who opted to skip the first week of camp.
"I thought we'd see Wink out on a nice day like today," said feisty forward Elvis of the once stalwart veteran who has become a bit of a phantom at the courts in the past year. "When he wasn't, I was completely distracted."
Also absent were key players like Gump, Cowboy Bill, Paul One and Pig Farming Goalie, while young gunners Scrappy and Doo were reportedly en route, only Scrappy actually made it to the game, just as it was ending.

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:34 PM | Comments (7)

September 12, 2008

Unabomber snuffed for season

Sunday Morning goalies' lives just got easier. And longer.
Unabomber has announced he's taking his fearsome slapshot to Australia for a year. Cricket may never be the same again.
The powerful point man, who's been battling injuries the past two seasons, helped lead his team to a remarkable comeback from the brink of elimination to win last year's Stanley Stick championship by scoring a number of key goals with his patented rapier rips. One of them caved in the protective cage of goaltender Billy Idol's mask, closing his eye with a tremendous purple shiner and sending him to the sidelines. The subsequent goalie switch to offensive dynamo Lak Attack may have been the series' turning point.
Originally a walk-on who found the Sunday Morning game because he lived in the neighborhood, Unabomber quickly established himself as an intimidating force in the defensive zone and a frightening presence at the point. His mighty blasts may have caromed off the end fence as often as they found the net, but they often sent opposing goalies and defenders scattering for their lives. And if one of them happened to get in the way, the sting of his shot could last for weeks.
Even off the court, Unabomber could whither opponents or slacker teammates with his menacing scowl. His desire to win was unrelenting and when angered, he could turn a game on its ear with a glower.
Goalies will get their first taste of the Unabomber-free era on Sept. 28, when the league begins its three-game exhibition season. Whether any of them will celebrate by playing without their usual layers of protective padding remains to be seen.
The regular season begins Oct. 19.

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:38 AM | Comments (3)