August 15, 2013

Bombs away

Chico paused as he pulled off his shoulder pads and chest protector after Wednesday's midsummer scrimmage, wondering if he'd ever have to put them on again.

No, the veteran shotstopper isn't leaving the game.

But the arch nemesis of all goalkeepers is.

Unabomber took to the rain-slicked court for the last time for at least a couple of years. A rare presence in the lineup last season as he pursued educational opportunities, that chase will be taking him to another city beginning in September.

And just like his explosive slapshot, he went out with a bang. Six of them in fact, bullet drives that sizzled into the net even before the keeper could twitch a muscle. He added another with a deft deke as well as set up his teammates with some pinpoint passes.

The effort wasn't enough to keep his side from dropping a 15-9 decision in the annual evening pre-pre-season exhibition.

"I think sometimes you come out for one game and you run on adrenaline for a bit," said Unabomber of his unique achievement.

Far from the game's fastest player, Unabomber menaced opposing goaltenders with his rapier shot that often sent defenders scurrying out of the way to save their shins, calves and even the upper reaches of their bodies. Sometimes even the well-protected shotstoppers were felled, as occurred in the decisive game of the 2008 Stanley Stick championships series, when a Unabomber slapper crushed Billy Idol's mask and face, turning the series' momentum and eventual outcome.

"That was a hard thing to see actually," recalled Unabomber.

Goaltenders feared and respected Unabomber's shot said Chico. But they also valued his ability to be able to turn a game around on a dime with a timely goal.

"It's good to have him on your team, rather than have him shooting against you," said the netminder, who took the loss.

Unabomber refuses to call his departure a retirement. The game, he said, has given him too much to walk away from it forever.

"I think it's the ritual of it all," said Unabomber. "It's been a lot of years and it ramps up towards the Stick, and when you get to the Stick it all makes sense. That's what it's all about."

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:43 PM | Comments (884)

August 07, 2013

Midsummer scrimmage could be Unabomber's last

Unabomber's first game in a while may be his last game for a while. But, he insists, he's not retiring.

The fearsome slapshooter has signed on for a two-year gig in Calgary, the road hockey equivalent of the KHL.

Unabomber says he'll likely be back, "We're leaving it open to return."

So next Wednesday's annual mid-summer scrimmage is likely to be Unabomber's swan song, but not his farewell aria. He missed all of last season as his time was consumed by higher educational pursuits.

The midsummer scrimmage, scheduled for 7 p.m., Aug. 14, is a sort of pre-pre-season opportunity for the roadsters to loosen their legs and assess their conditioning in advance of the opening of training camp in early October.

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:58 PM | Comments (3)