February 28, 2016

No lead safe enough in wild game

A pair of seeing-eye goals by the Living Legend bookended a game that swayed on wide swings of momentum.

To set the table for Legend’s game-winning chip shot over Joker’s shoulder, his team twice battled back from deficits of four and three goals. They also gave away leads of their own.

“It was a back and forth battle all day today,” said Lak Attack, who was on the short end of the 17-16 final score.

Both teams showed resilience as they refused to succumb when the game’s momentum turned against them.

“It can be demoralizing,” said Cleveland, whose side battled back from 8-4 and 14-11 deficits. “If you keep pushing, stay at an even keel and hopefully the bounces start going your way.”

It also helps if the goalies are struggling.

Both Joker and Twizzler seemed to be fighting the ball at times, giving up easy goals before shutting the door for stretches at a time. Five quick unanswered goals that erased his side’s early four-goal advantage almost sent Joker on a self-imposed exile to the sidelines.

“Joker is a good goalie, so you’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities,” said Cleveland.

“They scored some quick goals and that was really a letdown for our team,” said Lak Attack.

At the other end, Twizzler seemed to be slightly hobbled for a stretch after he overextended his hip to make a brilliant toe save.

With little to choose between the sides, the decisive goal may have been as much a product of desire than a talent advantage.

“It comes down to who wants it,” said Lak Attack. “You might be working hard but the bounces have to come your way.”

“You just keep your head down and put the ball on the net,” said Cleveland.

Posted by jaysuburb at 05:45 PM | Comments (9)

February 24, 2016

Stanley Stick dates announced

An infusion of skilled new players, a burgeoning rank of solid goaltenders and spring-like weather should add up to an exciting stretch run of the season.

The Stanley Stick is less than two months away. The coveted chalice will be contested in a two-game series April 17 and 24.

The Stanley Stick championship series is the only time of the season when teams carry over from one week to the next. To be eligible to play in the finale, players must have appeared in at least three regular season games.

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:04 PM | Comments (3)

February 21, 2016

Shots swing momentum back to winners

With a lineup comprised of three rookies and two players returning to action after extended injury breaks, Doo and his mates could have folded their tents after a 7-1 run that cost them their early 4-1 lead in Sunday’s game.

Instead, they answered with a streak of their own and powered to a 15-11 win.

“We had a lot of energy, we had a lot of skill,” said Doo, who made his return to the court after an extended absence because of a hip injury.

But they didn’t have a lot of game action in their legs.

In fact, only Living Legend has been a regular starter.

Cleveland, Ohio and Beelzebub are rookies, still wet behind the ears. Between the pipes, Twizzler made his first regular season start after being sidelined all season with a knee injury he suffered in the summer scrimmage that required surgery.

Still, they were able to use their fresh legs to run circles around their veteran opponents and find gaps in Joker’s goaltending armour.

But veterans don’t become senior players without learning a thing or two. As the grizzled defenders started to clog the passing lanes and stifle the speedsters’ superior playmaking, they were able to generate their own scoring chances on counter attacks.

“You have to be sound positionally,” said Lak Attack of his side’s mid-game surge. “You might be down, but if you work hard you’re going to get your chances.”

They did.

“They had a lot of veterans who knew how to clog things up,” said Doo. “They started shutting us down, they got in all the lanes.”

They also started to find the net, reversing their early deficit to an 8-5 advantage.

With the wheels threatening to come off, Doo and his mates went back to basics. They peppered shots at Joker.

“We realized we just had to start shooting,” said Doo.

The effort paid off quickly and handsomely. Doo regained his scoring touch. Beelzebub drove hard to the net, Living Legend found the top corners. They reclained their lead and never looked back.

“We had to put our heads down and go to the net,” said Doo. “Then the momentum swung back.”

“They just wanted it a bit more,” said Lak Attack. “We had some breakdowns at key moments.”

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:18 PM | Comments (2)

February 07, 2016

Rookies run roughshod in 15-7 rout

The road hockey careers of Coach, Cleveland and Ohio totals less than 10 games. Combined.

Sunday they teamed up with the league’s most senior player in a 15-7 rout of their overwhelmed opponents.

The offensive chemistry of the new foundlings was apparent right from the opening face off. They passed the evil orange plastic ball with authority. They executed dizzying give-and-goes that left defenders spinning on their flat feet.

Only some remarkable saves by Lak Attack prevented the game from getting out of hand in its earliest moments.

“They were just way too skilled,” said the beleaguered backstop. “They were moving their feet more than us, they were playing as a unit.”

That unit got a big assist from the longtime hockey history between Cleveland and Ohio. But Sunday was the first time they’d both played on the same side at the road hockey courts.

“It’s almost like the chemistry was there between them even before they started playing the game,” said Colonel, who spent portions of the game just watching the dizzying playmaking of his opponents. “They were making bang bang passes, lots of nifty little moves.”

Supported capably by Coach and Living Legend, who chipped in a pair of goals of his own, the upstarts opened the lead to as many as seven goals before the determined underdogs started to claw their way back. But they couldn’t get any closer than 10-7 before surrendering five straight down the stretch.

“We got a couple of opportunistic goals but at the end of the day they were the better team,” said Colonel.

Which was good news for Joker, who was coming off a dismal performance in last Sunday’s soaker where he gave up 10 goals in a six-minute span. Or maybe it was six goals in a 10-minute span.

“The odd-man rushes and the passing were just unbelievable,” said the jocular netminder. “It makes it a little more comfortable for me back there.”

And very uncomfortable for defenders who just couldn’t keep pace.

“The only way to stop them is by taking their space away,” said Colonel.

The theory may have been sound, said Lak Attack, but the execution was lacking.

“We had a lack of defence today for sure.”

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:03 PM | Comments (14)