May 03, 2010

Unabomber defuses comeback

With his thundering slapshot and withering glower, Unabomber is accustomed to destroying and demoralizing opposition goaltenders.

Sunday he got a taste of life on the receiving end, as he backstopped his side to a two-game sweep of the Stanley Stick championship with a 20-17 win in the finale.

The veteran defenceman was pressed to put on the pads when starting goaltender, Twizzler, checked out due to a family emergency. It was only the second time he'd played net in his road hockey career; his first was only two weeks ago. But he wasn't about to let his team's stranglehold on the championship chalice slip away.

"I just wanted to be able to step up and give us a chance to compete," said Unabomber. "I definitely didn't want to be the goat and have a subpar performance."

He didn't.

A few big saves early, including a larcenous catch with his trapper of a Living Legend shot aimed for the top corner, gave his team the confidence to flood the offensive zone and build a 6-2 advantage.

A lapse in concentration cost his team six straight goals, putting them down 8-6.

"We relaxed a bit and all of a sudden the other side was getting a lot of breakaways, a lot of guys left wide open, a lot of rebounds and unchecked players," said Unabomber. "I think it was just a case of keeping our focus and try to keep working hard."

Which is just what they did, led by the speedy dynamic duo of Scooby and Kid, who wheeled, careened and charged back in front early in the third period.

"I think we had to dig down and try to play the way we did earlier in the game," said Unabomber, whose side trailed three times but never let their deficit go beyond two goals.

That tenacity seemed to wear down the underdogs, who were never able to administer the knock out punch they needed to even the series and send it to a decisive mini-game.

"Every time we got a bit of a lead, we just relaxed enough that they would be able to jump themselves right back in it," said Cowboy Bill, who joined the underdogs after he missed the opening game of the series. "It was tough to keep momentum going when they'd just keep pushing back."

"I think maybe we sat back instead of putting it away when we had the chance," said Gump.

Never more so than late in the game when they took a 16-15 lead and seemed poised to push on to the mini-game. Again they lapsed. And when Kid lifted a back hand over Gump's outstretched pad on a penalty shot awarded after the Colonel gloved the ball in the crease and tried to stuff it safely in his keeper's pads, it was all but over.

"That ended the game for us," said Cowboy Bill. "It sucked the life out of us completely. We came out of that feeling pretty down."

"If I had made the save there, it would have changed the momentum of the game," admitted Gump.

"At that point they were coming back hard and we were just trying to hang on," said Unabomber. "It was so close at that point and that might have been the straw that broke the camel's back."

Putting Unabomber in net changed the complexion of his team; it also changed their game plan.
"We couldn't really match our lines like we did last week," said Scooby. "We were just getting a lot more tired at the end of the game."
"We took away one of our defensemen and threw him in goal," said Unabomber. "It was immense pressure."
But their opponents were unable to take advantage said Cowboy Bill. "That ended up costing us in the end."

Sunday's loss was also Cowboy Bill's last game of his Sunday Morning career as he moves on to a new job and life in a faraway country.
"It's tough to walk away," said the versatile veteran who played every position during his seven year career. "I"m going to miss it for sure."

Scooby, who dominated the first game and contributed to his team's win Sunday with his speed and tenacity on the ball, was awarded the Conn Stick Trophy as the championship series' most valuable player.

The new Wink Award for regular season most valuable player was presented to the Living Legend, the game's sole remaining founding father who finished his 19th season in the league with three goals in Sunday's game.

The 2010 Stanley Stick champions are: Twizzler, Unabomber, Scooby, Scrappy, Kid, Goober, Beetle Boy

Posted by jaysuburb at 11:48 PM | Comments (5)