November 25, 2012

Singing praise for the unsung heroes

As Scooby pulled the goalie mask down over his face, he warned his teammates to lower their expectations for Sunday's game. After all, he'd never before stepped between the pipes, and the equipment he was wearing was at least two sizes too big.

But the most surprised were his opponents, who were stymied by the emergency backup time and again as the offensive dynamo turned emergency netminder made a number of key saves to lead his team to a resounding 15-4 win in Sunday's game.

At the other end, Colonel, who usually ends up being pressed into shotstopping service at least once every season, struggled mightily against opposing shooters and his own disappointment.

With Chico still to see action this season as he recovers from a tweaked knee and travels to faraway lands, Twzzler absent and Gump a continuing no-show, the season's first six weeks have been a patchwork of half court games and unfamiliar goaltenders. It's a wearying trend, said Yak.

"If you can't rely on the goalies, then you're just never really going to believe there's going to be game," said the sophomore sniper. "It hits your motivation."

"It's a big investment of your Sunday morning," said Beckenbauer. "You want to be able to expect you're going to have a full set of goalies and you're going to have a couple of good squads to give you good bang for the buck."

The biggest bang Sunday was the resounding clang of the evil orange plastic ball hitting the wire fencing at the back of Colonel's net. After jumping to a quick start, the wheels fell off his team's bus when Bam Bam tried a sliding backcheck to thwart a solo breakaway. He was never same after he hobbled his knee.

At the other end, Scooby oveercame his initial jitters to make some solid stops, using his size advantage to loom over oncoming shooters and guard more of the goal.

"It seems like no matter who you slide in there, they end up having a pretty good day in net," said Beckenbauer. "It's always challenging beating whoever is playing in net."

Scooby's solid performance made some of his mates reflective over the league's treatment of their most precious resource.

"We've got to develop a little more resilience to let the goalies take the odd week off," said Yak. "The goalies are the true unsung heroes. If they don't show up, then there's no game. You've gotta love them."

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:04 PM | Comments (5)

November 18, 2012

Lak thwarts attack

Maybe it was fitting; the first regular season game in which two goalies dressed became a battle between the ballstoppers.

Anxious to get back into action despite being hobbled by a bad back, Lak Attack came off the sidelines to strap on the big leg pads and lead his team to a gutsy 15-12 comeback victory.

The versatile veteran made a number of key saves that allowed his team to blast their way back from a 12-9 deficit with six straight goals. But none was bigger than the pad save that kept the score tied at 12. His mates scored on the transition and never looked back.

"It's one of those heartbreakers," said Bam Bam of the decisive play. "We had the opportunity to score and they turned it around and scored on us."

With his team playing at a manpower disadvantage, Lak Attack came up big time and again to hold down the back end, allowing his mates to forge an early lead.

But Bam Bam and his mates were resolute, battling back to tie and then eventually take the lead. They didn't take control, however, thanks to Lak Attack's goaltending.

"I think we thought the extra man would help us out," said Bam Bam. "But when you're playing against a hot goalie, sometimes the frustration level gets really high. You're trying too hard, you grip the stick too tight. It just wasn't our game today."

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:25 PM | Comments (3)

November 11, 2012

Deked and confused

On a day dedicated to remembering, Sunday's game was decided by forgetfulness.

A bunch of roadsters forgot to show up.

Franz Beckenbauer forgot where his net was.

And Bam Bam forgot that his team was on defence.

Beckenbauer and Bam Bam were both caught horribly out of position on the goal that gave Bing and his mate Velma the 10-9 win in another half-court game. The roadsters have yet to play a full-court game this regular season.

"I don't know if I just lost the net," said Beckenbauer who was surprised the shot beat him. "I was pretty far out of the net."

Meanwhile, Bam Bam was pretty far behind the play, caught out by his own mistaken assumption that his team had claimed possession.

"I was jumping up to take advantage," said Bam Bam, who could only watch the goal that ended the game from afar. "You've really got to be cognizant on the defensive end."

Being aware who has the ball on offence and who is defending is especially critical for the goalies, said Beckenbaeur. He also admitted to moments of confusion.

"A couple of times I was caught sleeping, thinking the wrong team was on offence."

Indeed, the half court game can be schizophrenic at times, as possessions change on a dime, and the players who were protecting their goalie one moment are bearing down for a shot on net the next.

"You're on everybody's team and nobody's team at the same time," said Beckenbauer. "You just try to save the shots as they come and support the defensive team as best you can."

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:11 PM | Comments (2)

November 04, 2012

A pass too far

The Living Legend fired pinpoint passes and Yak finished with lightning shots that eluded Twizzler's glove hand to power their way to a decisive 10-2 win in Sunday's game.

With attendance still suffering through injuries, vacations and unexplained absences, the roadsters who did brave the persistent drizzle steeled themselves for another exhausting half-court showdown in which accurate passing is quickly rewarded with odd-man breaks.

That was the edge the Legend and Yak played as they worked the give-and-go to gain territorial advantage and generate scoring chances on Twizzler, the sole guardian of the goal for the third straight week.

"When you're playing in a game like that, it's all about the passing," said Yak, who didn't let a sore hand slow him down as he beat Twizzler on the glove side time and again. "When you're playing with the Living Legend the ball just kind of appears on your stick."

For Giebelhaus and Bing, preventing the pass was an exercise if frustration.

"They had magic on their sticks," said Giebelhaus of their wheeling and dealing opponents. "Every time the ball came near, it just stuck to them."

Establishing a successful passing game not only creates opportunities, it also opens up the court for spectacular solo rushes as defenders move up court to prevent plays from developing.

"You can't be afraid to carry the ball," said Yak. "There's a lot of space out there and you have to try to commit to the stick handle."

That can be particularly effective against flat-footed defenders. Which is exactly how Giebelhaus labelled himself in his first start of the season.

"I thought I was in a lot better shape," said the veteran. "But when you're playing without a break out there, you've just got to keep going and going."

Posted by jaysuburb at 05:09 PM | Comments (2)