April 30, 2017

Speed gives advantage to Doo and mates

Speed may have won Sunday’s Stanley Stick opener, but determination and hard work will hoist the trophy next week.

That was Colonel’s cautionary assessment even after his swift side romped to a 20-11 win to take command of the two-game finale.

“Any side can still win regardless of what it says on paper,” said the wily veteran.

Fueled by a younger lineup comprised of speedsters like Scooby and Doo complementing the gritty power of Bam Bam and Beelzebub, Colonel and his mates were never in danger of falling behind in the series’ opener.

Doo said it was a team effort that allowed them to dominate their overmatched opponents by transitioning quickly from defence to offence to create odd-man rushes that, more often than not, ended with a goal.

“We gave up rushes, but we would get the ball back and get it up court in a hurry,” said Doo, who was playing only his second game after he was sidelined by a traffic accident in January. “We outran them.”

They also used their skill advantage, said Nouvelle Guy, whose side was often left flatfooted.

“They made the tape-to-tape passes and that made the difference,” said the francophone forward.

It also frustrated Joker, who was powerless to stanch to flow of forwards raining shots his way. A 5-1 run of goals against in the game’s second period pretty much sealed his side’s fate and caused the temperamental shot stopper to hurl his equipment down the court. That just seemed to fire their opponents even more.

“If you can get the other team thinking negatively, that works in your favour,” said Colonel.

That negativity will have to exorcised, said Nouvelle Guy, is his side wants to get back into the series and force a decisive mini game.

“We’ve got to push a little harder. We’ve got to get our legs underneath us.”

And their effort could be aided immensely by the addition of players who were unable to make it to Sunday’s game. One of those is Lak Attack, who can still streak past defenders despite his advancing years.

Colonel said the longer games to 20 goals that are a hallmark of the Stick could work against his speedy side.

“It wears on people,” said Colonel.

Doo admitted it was hard for his side to maintain their pace for the full game.

“Honestly, as the game wore on we got tired,” said the young centreman. “That’s something we’re definitely going to have to watch for next week.”

Posted by jaysuburb at 11:15 PM | Comments (4)

April 23, 2017

Doo's return fires up regular season finale

Doo’s wheeling and dealing up the court and precisions shots sparked his team to an early advantage is Sunday’s final regular season game. But they were unable to sustain that momentum and lost 11-10 in sudden death.

Still, for Doo even the loss felt like a win. That’s because the game was his first since January when he was injured in a traffic accident. A training session last week told him he was ready to play again. Sunday’s game proved he was ready for the intense battles of the two-week Stanley Stick finale that begins next week.

“You just try to acclimatize to the game, make clean plays, work with your teammates and get your vision back for the game,” said Doo. “I think I was able to do all those things today.”

In fact, they allowed his team to build a four-goal lead as Joker struggled in the game’s opening moments. Doo was quick to take advantage, stickhandling his way through bedazzled defenders, dishing pinpoint passes to linemates, charging hard to rebounds.

“We had a good start,” admits Doo.

So much so, after Living Legend banked a soft shot off Joker’s arm from an impossible angle, the veteran netminder threw his gear to the ground in frustration.

That may have been the wakeup call his mates needed. They weren’t going to go quietly.

The Colonel got serious, Bam Bam got belligerent, Ohio got creative and their disadvantage started to disintegrate.

“We just couldn’t finish,” said Doo. “It was a tough game to lose. But from a road hockey perspective, it was a clean game, it was hard-fought. It was a great preview for the Stick.”

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:23 PM | Comments (517)

April 16, 2017

Roadster rue readiness for Stanley Stick

Heading into next Sunday’s regular season finale, many of the roadsters are still searching for their Stanley Stick game face.

A dearth of full-court games and ongoing weather woes that scuttled 10 weeks of the season have players questioning their form for the two-game championship finale.

“I think it’s going to be quite a different Stanley Stick because of the shortage of games,” said Lak Attack, who was on the losing side in both half-court games on Sunday. “Nobody has had a chance to play with everyone. It’s definitely going to be a challenge.”

Sunday’s game was a case in point. Despite perfect weather and a dry court, the Easter holiday and illness kept some key players from the court. That necessitated another half-court game.

“It’s kind of hard because we’ve played so few full court games,” said Scooby. “We don’t know how prepared some of the guys are going to be for the Stick. We don’t know how many subs we’re going to have.”

Some of the roadsters who are eligible for the Stick have only played a handful of regular season games. That could make it tough for them to develop chemistry with their teammates.

“You wonder if guys who haven’t been out in a while whether that will affect chemistry in the Stick,” said Scooby.

Even with a depleted lineup Sunday, the roadsters who did report were determined to get into Stanley Stick form.

“I think you’re just trying to build up your endurance that you can run and gun a bit,” said Lak Attack. “It’s a chance to work on the hands, make good crisp passes, and try to be in the right position for guys to find you.”

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:41 PM | Comments (3)

April 02, 2017

Veteran play leads to sudden death winner

Two of Sunday Morning Road Hockey’s most senior players teamed up for a veteran play that gave their ageing side a 12-11 sudden death victory.

Colonel’s aggressive forechecking deep in the corner produced a loose ball that he was able to chop across the court to Living Legend parked at the top of the crease. He knocked it through the open pads of a surprised Joker.

“It was an ugly veteran play,” said Colonel of the winning goal.

His veteran team, which also included Lak Attack and Kid 2.0, may have been long in the tooth, but they weren’t short on heart. Twice they battled back from deficits to draw even with their younger, more mobile opponents.

Colonel said they never panicked.

“The experience really helps. These guys have been playing a long time so they know the game can go in different directions,” said the senior centreman.

Which is exactly what they did. While their opponents scored in bunches, the veterans chipped away methodically by outrunning and outworking inexperienced defenders.

“We just didn’t keep sustained pressure,” said Scooby. “We just didn’t keep coming at them. We just relied on a couple of bursts of goals.”

Colonel said his side just tried to play responsible defence, and the breaks would happen.

“You’ve just got to keep you head in it, play strong defence and get some chances off that.”

It also didn’t hurt that Kid 2.0 put in another rock-solid effort between the pipes.
“He’s been an incredible goaltender all season,” said Colonel. “He’s just so solid back there and you expect him to pretty much swallow everything up.”

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:33 PM | Comments (6)