November 27, 2011

Whole-hearted effort

Sometimes a half game is better than no game at all.

A driving rain storm that didn't let up until moments before game time and a flood that swamped one end of the court in four inches of water didn't deter the hardiest of the roadsters Sunday.

All seven of them.

Not enough for a full game, but certainly a quorum for the half-court game, devised last season for just such occasions. While not as competitive as the usual weekly showdowns, it keeps the players sharp and the goalie on his toes.

"It can be difficult to figure out where the offence and defence is at times," says Lak Attack, who strapped on the pads after he missed last week's game. "You might make a great save off one guy and then your defenders are coming back at you the next moment. You have to be sharp and stay alert."

The format also demands some unique strategy, says Franz Beckenbauer.

"You try to frustrate the other team as much as you can," says the shifty sophomore. "You essentially need to set up a rover at the far end to collect those dump out. It's a real different game out there."

The constant changes of possession that has players switching from offence to defence as the ball is moved up court can be confusing, especially for the goalie.

"You have to when to cover it up and when not to," says Lak Attack.

"Sometimes you have to remind (the goalie) to cover the ball, but when you're on offence you just try to keep getting balls on him," says Franz Beckenbauer.

And while some roadsters may complain the half-court game is half-baked, it's more important it go on.

"The game is always alive," says Lak Attack. "Rain or shine or snow or whatever it's going to be, it's always a good collective effort."

"We have to keep reminding ourselves of that," says Franz Beckenbauer.

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:49 PM | Comments (4)

November 20, 2011

Shorthanded goals salt away victory

There may not have been enough salt to de-ice the slicked court to Colonel's liking on Sunday, but his team lacked the pepper to overcome the game's first shorthanded goal en route to a decisive 20-10 loss.

With the cold weather and slippery conditions keeping most of the roadsters inside warm and dry, the teams played a modified game in which the sides alternated shorthanded shifts with the Living Legend as the swing man. That meant the team best able to withstand the power play shifts would like prevail.

Through the first period, the teams played according to script, each capitalizing on their man advantage shifts. But a defensive miscue and some lazy backchecking caught up with the Colonel and his mates, Yak and Living Legend as Franz Beckenbauer scored the first shorthanded goal of the game, giving his side the advantage into their power play shift.

"You're going goal for goal, goal for goal, but when you give one up like that you feel like you've got to get two back," said Yak. "It's a bit of a letdown."

"You feel like you're down a serve and you want to get that back as quickly as possible," said the Colonel.

Trying to swing the momentum back their way, the Colonel's side stalled, throwing the frozen orange ball around the perimeter, trying to catch their undermanned opponents out of position or tire them out from the chase. The strategy backfired, as their younger foes maintained their defensive discipline.

"It never felt like we had a man advantage," said the Colonel. "It felt like we played even strength and dow a man most of the time."

Fleet-footed Franz Beckenbauer and Holt Renfrew also played an effective transition game, taking the game to their slower, more cautious opponents.

"When you're playing short in that kind of game, you can surprise the other team by committing hard to the ball," said Yak. "They did a way better job of that."

The icy conditions presented a challenge to the players and especially the goaltenders, who also had to control the hard, bouncing orange plastic ball.
"You just want to be soft on the ball so there isn't a rebound," said Chico. "You try to absorb it as it comes in and as a goalie that's a serious adjustment to make."
The players also had to adjust, ternderfooting it across the slicked surface.
"You've just got to watch your step and you've got to make sure you don't commit when you shouldn't," said Yak. "You've got to be a little more careful, play a space game, cover the zone a bit better."
"You run a little slower," said the Colonel. "Even the people who already run slow will run a little slower. You're just apprehensive all over the place."

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:38 PM | Comments (2)

November 13, 2011

Red-faced mistake costs Colonel and mates

Giebelhaus may have been sporting a shiner, but it was the Colonel who had egg on his face after the revived veteran stripped the feisty forward and scored the goal that sparked his side to a 15-12 win in Sunday's game.

With the Colonel trying to take advantage of Giebelhaus' lumbering gait by deking his way out of the defensive zone, the slow-motion forward reached in to steal the ball then ripped a shot past a bewildered Twizzler to restore his side's advantage late in the game. It was that kind of commitment to strong checking that forged his team's victory said his line mate Bam Bam.

"We had some good defence that lead to strong counterattacks," said the speedy sophomore.

It also allowed his team to shake off three surefire goals that rang off the post and crossbar.

"If the guys were putting the ball off the crossbar and off the post, you know you're getting your chances," said Chico, who had to overcome a painful rifle shot off his toe to earn the victory. "You've just got to stay focused on the next goal in front of you rather than worrying about the goal you could have had behind you."

"You just have to brush those plays off," said Bam Bam of the missed markers. "If you keep working hard, you know the goals are going to come."

After fighting to take their first lead of the game midway through, the Colonel and his mates just seemed to run our of steam, struggling to maintain the backcheck, giving up repeated odd-man rushes.

"We went for our chances, but it hurt us in the end," said the Colonel. "The other team was taking it us in the second half of the game."

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:10 PM | Comments (5)