December 21, 2015

Joker overcomes mid-game swoon

Joker bent, but he didn’t break.

The sophomore shotstopper weathered a difficult second period to make some big saves late in Sunday’s game and lead his team to a 15-10 win.

Early on, it had seemed the rout was on. Sparked by the Living Legend’s two quick goals to open the scoring in his first game in three weeks, Joker’s mates built up a 5-1 lead at the game’s first break.

There was talk of a trade to better balance the sides.

But rookie winger Beelzebub, playing in only his second game, found his legs, power forward Bam Bam found his energy and point man Wink rediscovered his slapshot to wrest momentum from the leaders through much of the middle frame.

Joker wasn’t equal to the task, whiffing some easy shots, conceding juicy rebounds.

“I did struggle,” said the embattled crease minder. “Bam Bam and Beelzebub started to connect. They were getting a lot of one-timers, a lot of plays from behind the net and I just wasn’t fast enough.”

Bam Bam said his side regained their confidence after a pep talk from their own veteran goalie, Lak Attack.

“We started to look for the open guy right away,” said the veteran speedster. “We found some chemistry.”

By the time the ripples in the puddles formed by a mid-game squall settled, the underdogs had narrowed the margin to a slim two goals.

“We just had to keep working,” said Doo of his side’s reality check.

Which is exactly what they did.

Living Legend battled hard in the corners. Nouvelle Guy drove to the net, Doo dazzled defenders. And, most importantly, Joker came up with some big saves as his mates pressured in the offensive zone.

“If he doesn’t make a couple of big saves, our confidence could have been sapped away,” said Doo. “Joker is a good goalie and that’s what good goalies do; they shake off the bad goals and let us get back into our game and finish them off.”

Still, the Legend’s two seeing-eye goals that ended the game came as a relief to his side’s goalie.

“I was sweating,” said Joker.

“We’ve been here long enough that you see a couple of plays go against you, and that can snowball into six quick ones and you’ve lost the game,” said Doo.

Sunday's game was the last of 2015, as the roadsters take a one-week hiatus to celebrate the holidays with Colonel at his family bunker. Play resumes Jan. 3 with the annual Shrimp Ring Bowl, the highlight of Sunday Morning Road Hockey's social calendar.

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