November 30, 2014

Fearless roadsters frozen out

Sometimes it's just too cold. Even for the roadsters.

Confronted with the prospect of slapping around a frozen evil orange plastic ball on concrete that had been chilled and slicked to tundra by a nasty northern wind, many of the game's heartiest players decided early, and frequently, to stay inside. Where it's warm.

A Friday night rainstorm was followed by a cold snap that froze the moisture on the concrete into jagged crags of ice and snow.

Colonel was the first to beg off, followed by founding father Living Legend.

When those seasoned veterans decide it's too cold and too slippery, it's serious business. Both players have weathered some of the fiercest weather over the years, including blizzards and monsoons, to ensure the game goes on.

Others quickly saw the folly of playing in the frigid conditions.Yak, Scooby, Lak Attack and Joker joined the ranks huddled for warmth in their homes.

Somewhere in Hawaii, Beckenbauer is smiling.

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November 23, 2014

Doo gets it done

Doo didn't give up on the ball.

His team didn't give up on Sunday's game.

The diminutive speedster corralled the evil orange plastic ball at the edge of the crease to Joker's stick side and squibbed a backhand between the keeper's pad and goalpost for a sudden death 15-14 win.

It seemed an unlikely result for a side that had trailed by as many as seven goals.

But Doo and his mates kept working, creating the breaks that started to pay off on the scoreboard.

"We stuck with it," said Doo. "We turned it into a playoff game. We grinded it out. We were hungry."

No one was more famished than the speedy centreman who's played a key role in previous monster comebacks. A spectacular goal Doo scored characterized his determination to steal the win. Swooping down the left side of the court he cradled a pinpoint saucer pass from the Living Legend and somehow managed to go forehand to backhand as he crashed over a sprawling Joker and tuck it into the corner of the net.

The jaw-dropping goal filled Doo's mates with confidence and belief in themselves.

"I knew we had it in us to come back," said Doo.

"They battled hard," said Colonel of his side's fearsome foes. "They battled to the end and everybody chipped in."

Especially Lak Attack, who strapped on the goalie pads when Twizzler was an unexpected scratch.

The versatile veteran had a shaky start but became impenetrable as his teammates started finding success at the opposite end of the court.

"When Lak started making the saves he did, we really felt the belief we could do it," said Doo.

Lak's smothering saves frustrated his opponents.

"It was like we hit him every time," said Colonel. "That means he was making great moves, making great saves."

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November 16, 2014

Joker gets the last laugh

Joker got the last laugh.

The sophomore shotstopper bounced back from a lacklustre effort last week to backstop his team to a 15-9 win in Sunday's game.

Time and again Joker came up big when his team needed him to, repelling odd man rushes and smothering the ball at every opportunity.

With supreme confidence in their back end, Joker's teammates were able to exert a strong forechecking game that created scoring opportunities aplenty. With defenders jumping up into the offensive zone with impunity, Twizzler was defenceless.

"They put a lot of good forechecking pressure on us," said Yak, as his team found themselves at a 5-1 disadvantage at the game's first break. "We coughed the ball up and that made our passes weaker. They took advantage of it."

"You get offensive chances when your goalie makes a really big save," said Doo.

Snipers like Doo, Holt and Lak Attack were quick to make their opponents pay for their mistakes.

"You just have to capitalize on your chances," said Doo.

The relentless counterattack wore down Beckenbauer and beleaguered mates.

"It was just a mental game to try to get it under control," he said.

And whenever they did show signs of wresting momentum, Joker came up with a big save to snuff it out.

"I thought we had some good pressure, but he was always there to stop us," said Beckenbauer.

"If he hadn't been making some showstopper saves, it would have been a different game," said Yak.

"He was motivated, and I think he delivered," said Doo.

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November 09, 2014

Veterans spark underdogs' win

The wily old guys came to play Sunday.

Living Legend scored five times and Lak Attack played an excellent two-way game to lead their undermanned squad to a dominating 15-7 win.

With two ageing veterans in their lineup and one less spare player to spell off tired teammates. the underdogs knew they'd have to strike quick to gain the advantage.

But once ahead, they never relented.

"I think we had a bit of chemistry," said Eight Ball.

Taking the early lead also boosted their confidence, said Beckenbauer.

"Getting out in front was a huge advantage for us psychologically and physically," said the Teutonic centreman. "It gives you a lot of confidence and you're not chasing the game so much."

They also managed their shifts wisely, changing on the fly and ensuring a tired player didn't stay on long enough to get caught up court.

"We were rotating pretty fast," said Eight Ball.

"They just kept rolling," said Bam Bam.

Those fresh legs allowed the underdogs to spread their scoring. Every player scored multiple times.

"It was a good team effort," said Eight Ball.

And when the play headed the opposite way, everyone showed a strong commitment to hustling back to defend.

"We had pretty good defensive awareness," said Beckenbauer.

That frustrated their opponents.

Late in the game, as their deficit grew, Bam Bam and his mates left a player parked deep behind their opponent's defenders hoping to convert quick transitions to comeback goals. It didn't work. Instead the underdogs sprung a series of odd-man rushes that sealed their victory.

"We got to a point where we just wanted to shake it up a bit," said Bam Bam.
"We just settled down and stuck to our gameplan," said Eight Ball.

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November 02, 2014

Slippery court saps confidence

A slippery court and lack of team speed proved too much for Holt and his mates to overcome, as they dropped a 15-8 loss in Sunday's game.

In fact, the score would have been a lot worse were it not for the goaltending heroics of Twizzler, who, time and again was called upon to make multiple saves in quick succession as his defenders struggled to find purchase on the rain-slicked court.

Holt and the normally agile Yak both went down hard. The latter even cut his elbow on one of his tumbles.

That seemed to hurt their confidence at both ends of the court, said Holt.

"You second guess yourself," said the sneaky sniper. "If you're scared, you just have no advantage."

Especially when your opponents are led by the fleet feet of Lak Attack and Beckenbauer, two of the most tireless players in the league.

"They're fast," said Holt. "They're just great athletes."

That team speed allowed the up-tempo teammates to command the middle of the court.

"You don't want to be running around too much," said Lak Attack. "You want to play very positional, make good outlet passes and be in the open for the other guys."

More often than not, those outlet passes generated odd-man rushes in the offensive zone. Enough of those, and the result is inevitable, said Lak Attack.

"You wait for your chances, but you've also got to create opportunities," said the veteran speedster. "When you can pressure them and take the ball away, you turn it into an odd-man rush."

The tsunami of scoring chances mounted as the defenders tired in the first game of these season with no substitute players to spell tired legs.

"They always seemed to have one more guy in the offensive and defensive zones," said Holt. "We just got tired."

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