January 28, 2018

New players persevere in downpour

The addition of two new roadsters energized the roadsters on a day that could have been a washout. Literally.

For the fourth week in a row the roadsters were able to play a complete game. Sunday, it was in a driving downpour that flooded the court and soaked everyone’s feet.

“It was a bigger win for us having everyone come out to play,” said Lak Attack, whose team battle back from an early deficit to ride the momentum of five straight goals to a 10-9 victory.

The comeback was largely sparked by one of two new Velma disciples who made their Sunday Morning debut. Their resilience and determination to gut it out despite the deteriorating conditions was motivating to their teammates.

No more so when Lak Attack struggled early on with his glove hand and five-hole, putting his team behind 5-2 at the first break.

“These guys kept the pressure on and that helped me settle in until we got the lead,” said the veteran goaltender.

Scooby said his side knew without a spare player, they had to strike quickly and often to build a lead they could try to ride out to victory.

“We definitely got lucky early,” said the speedster.

But that luck didn’t hold, as Doo and Velma started to buzz the net and find holes around Joker.

“The guys realized they had to step it up,” said Lak Attack.

The deplorable conditions that even forced the roadsters to switch courts midway through the game, may also have had a role in the game’s turnaround.

“Wet conditions like this really change the game,” said Lak Attack.

Despite the loss, Scooby said he was encouraged by the addition of two new players.

“It will definitely take them a few games to adjust,” said Scooby. “When it’s your first game, you may not know where to go for the ball.”

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January 21, 2018

Winners full-measure after half-court warmup

A rocky transition from the half-court to a full-court game slowed Sunday’s winners, but it didn’t derail them en route to a 10-9 win.

With Lak Attack and Colonel dispatched to fetch the second set of goalie gear after Kid was a surprise scratch, Sunday’s game started as a half-court battle with Joker minding the crease for both teams. When the absent players returned, the score was reset to zero as they were distributed to the underdogs.

The fresh legs seemed to spark them, as they jumped to a quick lead and seemed to have their skilled opponents on the ropes.

“In the full-court game, you’re playing more of a north-south game and I think that played into our style a bit better,” said Cowboy Bill.

“They took it to us early on,” said Doo. “You can get a little lazy in the half-court game and I think that slipped into our game early on.”

In fact, it almost sunk them.

With Cleveland hustling after every loose ball, and Colonel firing from the point, Cowboy Bill and Velma were able to scrap for rebounds and loose balls to generate scoring chances on a befuddled Joker.

But the skill and fleet feet of Scooby and Doo, along with the power forward abilities of Nouvelle Guy and garbage retrieval of Living Legend ensured the hole didn’t get too deep.

“They had skill on their side,” said Cowboy Bill. “We just had to really scrap for whatever we got.”

Those opportunities diminished as the game wore on.

Once the underdogs decoded the riddle of Lak Attack, the goals hit with regularity.
But Sunday’s losers weren’t about to cast blame.

“We’re always confident that Lak Attack is going to give us a good game,” said Cowboy Bill.

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January 14, 2018

By the dawn's early glare

A year ago the road hockey courts were so encrusted with snow and ice, even a heroic effort of chopping and shoveling couldn’t reignite the season for nine weeks.

Sunday, a dazzling blast of sunshine that pierced the fog forced the roadsters to move from their regular venue to the neighbouring court as glare off the damp concrete blinded the goalies. But the game went on as usual.

Maybe not such great news for fellow founding father Living Legend.

Recovering from a miserable cold, the veteran declared himself barely fit to play, let alone roam the court without respite as there were no substitutes available to either team. Still, his feisty teammates, Lak Attack and Scooby, were resolute and gave their crackerjack opponents all they could handle in a 12-7 loss.

They also didn’t use their shorthanded situation as an excuse.

“Moral victories are for losers,” Lak Attack said. “Even though we lost, it was nice to play hard right to the end and come close — but close isn’t enough.”

Doo said his side, also hobbled by a hip injury to Colonel that restricted his mobility, had to be at the top of its game to exploit the underdogs’ weakness.

“We knew Legend would be cheating to the inside of the defensive zone, or if he did make a rush he’d be slow getting back,” Doo said. “We just had to be aware and we had some really good passing today.”

Lak Attack conceded his side struggled early to adjust to the Legend’s struggles to keep up and be engaged in the play. But as they found their comfort level, goals — including three by their belamed linemate started to happen. At one point they were within three goals of tying the game.

“We kinda figured it out towards the end,” Lak Attack said. “We played a bit more positionally and we all came on.”

Doo said his side had to just ride out the storm by retaining its faith in goaltender Kid.

“I don’t think we ever panicked,” he said. “It always helps when your goaltender is playing well. They got a few goals, but we knew it was hard work by the other team and not Kid letting us down.”

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:16 PM | Comments (5)

January 07, 2018

Velma cold after return from Iceland

Velma came a long way to play Sunday’s Shrimp Ring Bowl. His performance suggests he’s still got a long way to go.

The veteran roadster returned to the road hockey courts from a two-year hiatus in Iceland. The timing of his comeback was no coincidence; he said the festive shrimp in tangy cocktail sauce that heralds the first game at the courts of the new year was a welcome respite from fermented shark meat and other local “delicacies” he endured during his sojourn.

But while his snack may have been tasty, his game was anything but.

Velma had trouble finding the net even as his team romped to a 15-8 win. He struggled to get his shot within three feet of the cage and he laboured defensively.

“Shooting was a challenge for sure,” Velma said of his road hockey reprise. “I was slow. Everyone was running circles around me.”

That set up a number of odd-man rushes for the opposition. But for most of the game they failed to take advantage until Scooby and Ohio were finally able to generate some chemistry.

By then it was too late.

Early on, it was the speedsters like Doo and Cleveland who were best able to negotiate the slippery conditions created by a steady rain shower. Not by outrunning defenders or dazzling them with footwork, but by taking advantage of wacky bounces and unexpected deflections.

“There was goals going in off people’s butts, sticks and chests,” said Doo. “It was a total blast.”

Not so much for the goaltenders though.

Lak Attack said he tried to adjust his game by minimizing his movement.

“Sometimes the best thing to do is just sit tight in your crease and stay within your game,” said the versatile veteran who stepped between the pipes when Joker was an unexpected scratch. “Hopefully the ball will hit you if you’re in the right position.”
Unless, of course, it’s being shot by Velma.

“I didn’t think I hit it once the entire game,” he said.

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