April 28, 2014

Champions defy disadvantages to sweep

With the road hockey gods seemingly aligned against them, Colonel knew his team would have to strike quickly if it hoped to complete a sweep of the Stanley Stick championship series.

They did just that.

Beckenbauer scored on his side's first shot and the champions never looked back en route to a 20-9 win in Sunday's decisive game.

The apparent bad mojo for the favourites started even before Sunday's game, when scoring sensation, Holt, who led his side in goals in last week's series' opener, announced he'd be unavailable for the finale. The potential for problems was then compounded when veteran sniper Doo, who had missed much of the regular season, was ruled eligible for the championship and gifted to the underdogs.

"We wanted to go out quick and build from there," said Colonel, who won his second straight Stanley Stick. "You don't want to give the other team any momentum."

The strategy worked. The champions scored three times before the underdogs were able to reply.

And while the advantage never got as large as last week's 12-0 chasm that buried the underdogs, playing from behind for a second consecutive week took derailed their gameplan, said Bam Bam

"We wanted to take advantage of a quick start, but they got those first few goals on us and we had to fight back from behind," said the feisty forward. "That takes a toll on you."

The under-manned favourites didn't let their disadvantage get them off their game.

"We just kept to our game, kept it simple and boxed them out," said Lak Attack. "We were patient and that was key."

Also critical was the outstanding two-way play of Beckenbauer, who contributed a handful of goals and was a defensive stalwart every shift. That earned him the Conn Stick award as the series' most valuable player.

"It was because of him we got that quick lead," said Lak Attack. "He really stepped it up."

"He's smothering in the defensive end, he was able to hit the corners, he has a hard shot," said Colonel. "He deserved the MVP."

Beckenbauer's germanic gamesmanship also neutralized any boost the underdogs might have received from the injection of Doo into their lineup. While the wiry winger was his side's leading scorer, he wasn't the difference-maker some expected.

"Doo brings a lot of skill and gave them a little more mobility and offensive talent," said Lak Attack.

But Doo wasn't the answer to some of the underdog's problems that plagued them in the series opener.

"The one thing you hope for is you can find some sort of chemistry," said Bam Bam. "We dug in deep and tried to battle as much as we could, but nothing clicked."

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:49 PM | Comments (2)

April 21, 2014

Rout fails to rouse confidence

His team just won Sunday's Stanley Stick opener 20-5, but Lak Attack wasn't yet putting the champagne on ice.

That's because after nearly three hours of road hockey, the veteran centreman knew his side had been in a battle.

"It felt like it was a 20-18 game," said Lak Attack. "We carried the play, but they made it tough."

Indeed, the line score told only part of the game's story.

With a strong lineup of skilled players and big bodies, Lak Attack and his mates scored the game's first 12 goals before their opponents could answer. The barrage chased starting goalie Chico, who showed some rust from his extended absence from the crease this season as he pursued educational opportunities and familial responsibilities.

The displaced keeper went on to score three of his side's goals, but that contribution wasn't about to sway their fate.

"The score line isn't flattering for our team," said Bam Bam. "But we can take comfort that we did some things right and the bounces went their way."

Despite their insurmountable advantage, Lak Attack said his team wasn't about to take the margin for granted.

"You never know, the other team can always make a big comeback," said the versatile veteran. "We still felt like it was a one-goal game. We just made every shift count."

And they'll need to continue that kind of attention to detail this Sunday in the series' second leg if they're to clinch the silver chalice and avoid a decisive mini-game.

"The next game won't be the same," said Lak Attack. "Next week you'll see a much closer game."

That's the plan, said Bam Bam.

"We just have to be confident to get to the mini game," said the feisty forward. "That's all that matters."

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:58 PM | Comments (6)

April 14, 2014

Stanley Stick roster released

The list of eligible players for Sunday's Stanley Stick opener has been released. If all the players report, each team will have two complete lines, plus a goaltender. That could be crucial in the often long and gruelling matches that have become a touchstone of the annual year-end tournament that culminates the road hockey season.
The Stanley Stick is the only time in the season when teams carry over from one week to the next.
This year's Stanley Stick roster also features a wealth of goalies, with no fewer than four available to strap on the pads.

Eligible players:

Colonel
Lak Attack
Living Legend
Bam Bam
Beckenbauer
Holt
Weeble
Yak
Bing
Doo
Nouvelle Guy
Joker
Twizzler
Chico

Posted by jaysuburb at 05:52 AM | Comments (4)

April 05, 2014

Yak attack snuffs comeback

Yak's laser shot to the top corner over Twizzler's shoulder was the difference in a tight 15-14 sudden-death victory Sunday.

The rapier blast snuffed a valiant comeback by the day's underdogs, who overcame a manpower disadvantage and a four-goal deficit late in the game to force it to a decisive goal.

"It's scary when you're up four goals and they start creeping back," said Yak of his determined opponents. "They were showing a lot of heart and we were showing a lot of fatigue."

In fact, both teams were weary as a dry court for the first time in weeks gave the roadsters a chance to air out their legs without fear of slipping and tumbling to the hard concrete.

"It's a game-changer when the courts are dry," said Colonel. "It brings out the best in all the players."

But even his side's best couldn't keep swing the game to their favour early on.

After giving up the game's first goal to Living Legend, who returned to action after missing the past two weeks, Colonel and his mates struggled to get on track. Only the precision accuracy and quick release of the new guy's sizzling shots that resulted in a bushel of goals for the late-season call-up kept them in it.

"He's got a good shot," said Yak of the Joker recruit. "It's accurate and low to the corner. He knows where to shoot."

Playing from behind most of the day takes its toll, said Colonel, whose side finally took their first lead of the game at the second break, 10-9. But they couldn't hold it.

Lak Attack said his side let their manpower advantage lull them into complacency.

"I think we just let off the gas pedal too much," said the veteran centerman. "The guys kind of slowed down. We took it for granted and they just chipped away little by little."

Yak said his side started reeling as they let their lead slip away.

"When they score a lot of goals in a row, you start to doubt your own ability to score," said the veteran speedster. "It's important to get one in and get your confidence again."

Which is just what he did.

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:59 PM | Comments (3)