February 26, 2012

Colonel plays for both teams

Sunday Morning success usually lives and breathes on the play of the goalies. Especially when the same goalie is playing for both teams.

Colonel made some huge glove saves as Sunday's surprise starter that allowed the aging team to forge a courageous comeback against the speedy upstarts, but a miscue on Bam Bam's long shot from the far end of the court nipped it prematurely and gave the youngsters a 10-9 victory.

Tending goal in the modified half court game can be a schizophrenic, lonely existence, says Sunday's saviour, who strapped on the pads after Chico begged off and Twizzler was a surprise no-show for the second week in the past three.

"You're not playing for any particular team, you play for yourself," said the Colonel. "You play to make the best saves you can, you just keep on playing as consistently as you can."

Still, it's hard not to get caught up in the moment, especially when one team has managed to shift the game's momentum to its favour to get back into a game that seemed lost to them. That's what happened Sunday, as the aging veterans stormed their way back from a 9-6 deficit to tie the game with three quick goals, only to ultimately lose it on a long bomb by Bam Bam that handcuffed the goalie.

"You need the goalie to stop the basic ones," said Yak of the role of their shotstopping teammate and opponent. "When that doesn't happen, it changes the nature of the game."

Or even ends it.

"A long one comes it that you think is going to curve a bit or hit sticks, so you're not quite sure what to do," said the Colonel of the game winner that eluded him low to his glove side. " Before you know it, it's behind you."

Stopping even the easiest shot was particularly difficult after Colonel wrenched his knee while making a save midway through the game. That left him unable to flop effectively, creating a free-for-all every time the evil orange plastic ball was at his feet.

"We just tried to get some shots at his feet, get some scrums in the net and create some opportunities," said Bam Bam of the shift in strategy after Colonel's injury.

"We couldn't rely on shoddy coverage in front of the net," said Yak. "We had to get in there and get the ball away from the front of the net."

Posted by jaysuburb at 10:38 PM | Comments (2)

February 19, 2012

Shorthanded sure thing

Yak and Living Legend turned defence into offence early in Sunday's half-court game to spark a 10-8 win over Bam Bam and Weeble.

With Chico as the swing-man extra attacker, Yak and his veteran linemate Living Legend forechecked aggressively to convert consecutive defensive shifts into shorthanded goals. That, said Yak, gave them the cushion they needed to measure their effort the rest of the way.

"At that point, the game is in your hands," said Yak. "You always know as long as you take care of your game and go one for one against the other team, the pressure is going to be all on them."

And their opponents didn't respond well. Playing the odd-man game for only the second time in his career, Bam Bam felt the full force of frustration as his side slipped behind 5-2 at the first break.

"When you fall behind you really start to feel the pressure on you," said the sophomore centerman. "You're squeezing the stick a bit harder."

In fact, only the rapier shot of their swing man kept them in it. As Weeble struggled to finish the passing plays started by his teammate, it was left to the displaced goalkeeper to fire winning shots past his rearguard rival Twizzler.

"It was quite difficult keeping track of who was on my team at any one time," said Chico of his schizophrenic role in Sunday's game. "Fortunately I didn't put one in my own net."

In fact, it was Yak who got confused late in the game, as his failure to clear the ball on a turnover led to a shorthanded marker that put their rivals within striking distance. But it was too little too late.

"I think we waited too long to get a handle on the game," said Bam Bam. "We were able to pull close, but it wasn't enough."

Posted by jaysuburb at 03:46 PM | Comments (2)

February 12, 2012

Bing thing sparks team

Bing led his team to a 15-7 win in Sunday's game. And he wasn't even there for most of it.

The rookie forward's early departure in a tight battle sparked his mates to score four straight goals and roll to a decisive victory.

With the Living Legend still ailing and Lak Attack's stick flailing, the loss of their extra man seemed a recipe for a second period collapse. Instead the suddenly shorthanded squad responded by pressing into the offensive zone and cashing in on the bounces that suddenly came their way.

"A little bit of adversity can really spark a team and that's what happened," said Franz Beckenbauer, who made his first career start in net after the unexpected absence of Twizzler.

The mid-game lineup adjustment may also have caught their opponents off guard, as they seemed to relax.

"When the other team lost their extra guy, I think maybe we took a bit of a back seat thinking things would slow down," said Yak, who returned to action after missing last week's game with a nagging injury.

Instead, Bam Bam and his mates took advantage of some quick-strike plays off face-offs and some fortuitous bounces off Chico's equipment to open up a surprising lead.

"You have to be able to take advantage of the other team being too relaxed out there," said Bam Bam. "It just seems like the teams without a sub take care of the ball better."

And when they faltered, Franz Beckenbauer was able to bail them out with some solid goaltending.

"When you're facing a ringer superstar goalie like Franz, it gets in your psyche a bit," said Yak. "Just looking at that big orange machine it was pretty intimidating and we fell apart."

Posted by jaysuburb at 04:44 PM | Comments (1)

February 05, 2012

Dung in by a Beetle

In his first game of the calendar year, Beetle Boy shone as brightly as the golden sun that brought him out to play in the first place.

The veteran fair-weather roadster scored his team's first three goals, and four of their first five, to fuel an 18-15 victory in which his side never trailed.

Never a stranger to the opportunities that come to his stick, Beetle Boy took full advantage of his opponents' inattention to his presence as an offensive threat to cash in early and often.

"We looked around and we decided we were going to cue on Beckenbauer today," said Chico of his side's early lapse that ultimately paved the way to their demise. "That's how we started to play the game and we paid for it when Beetle Boy got hot."

The early outburst not only buoyed Beetle's confidence, it also sparked his mates.

"It seemed like he was the only one of us ready to play, and once he had the magic stick going we just kept feeding him the passes," said Bam Bam. "It was good that he gave us the lead because the rest of us were slow coming out of the gate."

Seemingly incapable of doing anything wrong in the offensive zone, Beetle Boy played like a bug on a mission, driving hard to the crease, digging for rebounds, spinning off checks with aplomb.

"He's a big body, but he showed some deft hands out there," said Chico of his nemesis.

"It's important to get that confidence," said the veteran winger. "I'm normally not that much of a scorer, but to get out early and contribute to the team was really good for me, it set a good pace."

That momentum rarely relented, although a couple of lulls through the middle part of the game may have made the score closer than it should have been. But timely gaols by Franz Beckenbauer and Holt Renfrew, who returned to the courts after an extended absence to travel to faraway lands, snuffed any hopes of a comeback.

"They hurt," said Chico of those momentum-sucking markers. "The guys had great effort, but we just started to run out of gas because we were constantly playing catch up."

Beetle Boy also took advantage of their man advantage, although the contribution of the Living Legend was minimal as he struggled coming off a week-long illness and played only a handful of shifts to spell tired teammates.

"We were finally able to take advantage of the extra man," said Bam Bam. "We were able to cycle the ball a bit more, tire them out a little bit."

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:51 PM | Comments (2)