December 13, 2009

Slipping away

A five minute power play midway through Sunday's game proved to be auspicious for Lak Attack and his teammates. But for all the wrong reasons.
When the Living Legend went to the sidelines to tend to another matter for five minutes, it was a glorious opportunity for the veteran speedster and his young mates, Scrappy, Velma and Louise to fight their way back into a game they'd been trailing all day. Instead, they gave up a pair of goals, sealing their fate in a 20-12 loss.
"It was an indication of our play," said Lak Attack of his side's soured opportunity. "If two guys can beat us then we didn't have any business being in the game."
"I think it really crushed their motivation," said Doo, who scored one of the shorthanded goals as he and Kid managed to still run circles around flatfooted defenders despite being outmanned. "It made the other team realize they really didn't know what they were doing the entire game."
Not that anyone could make much sense of slapdash, haphazard plays in the slippery snowy conditions. A week of icy weather and a skiff of snow that continued to fall through the game rendered traction perilous. Roadsters slipped and slid and scrambled frantically every time the play changed direction.
"It's hugely frustrating," said Doo. "You can't get any speed going."
That meant players had to pay attention to where on the court they were positioned so they could make plays, and stop the other team from making them, said Lak Attack, something his side couldn't accomplish.
"We were always out of position," said the veteran centerman. "You want to be in the proper position between the goalie and the shooter and try to make sure the offense doesn't get a step on you. We needed to play better positionally."
Doo and his mates were only too eager to exploit those positional opportunities, as they bolted to a 7-1 lead and never looked back. Even hitting a startling number of goalposts and missing the open net on numerous occasions didn't deter them.
"The score was a bit closer than it deserved to be," said Lak Attack. "They missed a lot of open nets, hit posts."
That may have been due to the precarious footing, said Doo, as shooters struggled to keep their balance on the snow and ice when leaning into their shots.
"You have to look for the patches of ice and then you play really tentatively around them," said Doo. "It makes offense hard."
And defense even harder, as forwards were able to get to open court with only a few strides or slides with defenders struggling to change their direction.
"You can't move your feet," said Doo. "You can't work your legs, so you have to use your stick."

Posted by jaysuburb at 06:50 PM | Comments (10)

December 06, 2009

SPECIAL REPORT: Cold presents new challenges

Baby it's cold outside.
And for the roadsters, that's means making some fine adjustments to their game to account for the effect the wintery temperatures have on the evil orange plastic ball. Like getting out of the way.
"That ball stings you a little more when it hits you in the legs," said Cowboy Bill, whose side struggled Sunday as they never recovered from a 7-1 deficit en route to a 16-15 defeat in a timed game. "Defensively you play a little more tentatively as far as getting in front of shots, especially from the big guys."
As the plastic gets cold and hard, it also gets bouncier, making it harder for players to control.
"You're not sure it's going to end up on your stick as often as it might because it doesn't have any absorption," said Cowboy Bill.
"You've got to have a little softer touch when you're taking passes," said Velma, who made some key saves early in Sunday's game to win his first career start in net. "You've got to have a bit more of a spongy stick and cradle it a bit more when you're making a pass."
"It moves a little faster," said the Colonel, who bounced back from a knee injury suffered last week. "You don't get the same sort of cushioning on the surface, but that means you can move it around a bit more on the surface."
Glaring into the cold winter sun also presents a new challenge to goalies at the west end of the court.
"The goaltender is not going to be able to see the balls," said the Colonel. "Whoever is shooting that way will be taking lots of shots, just throw the ball at the net and hope it goes in."
But most of the roadsters welcome the cold, bright days of December. Especially after the gloom and rain of November.
"The sun is out, it's not raining," said Cowboy Bill.
"I love to play in the cold when it's dry," said the Colonel. "You never really overheat, you can keep going for great portions of the game, you can run hard. These are some of the most ideal conditions."

This season's holiday break will be brief. Which likely comes as welcome news for the roadsters, many of whom were frustrated and discouraged when snow and ice storms scuttled almost a month's worth of action in late December of last year and early January.
Sunday Morning Road Hockey will take a one week holiday hiatus with no game scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 27. Play will resume the following week, Jan. 3, with the annual Shrimp Ring Bowl, the league's traditional celebration of the new year.

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:59 PM | Comments (5)