October 21, 2018

Roadsters adapt to depleted rosters

The roadsters are nothing if not resourceful.

With the gate to courts seemingly awol for good, they were able to adapt a discarded election sign to keep the ball in play.

And with fewer players than required to convene a proper game Sunday, they came up with an adaptation that kept the action going.

It’s all about getting a good run in, said Doo, which will pay off as the season unfolds.

“These games are really valuable once we get some big games going,” he said. “We’re getting lots of touches on the ball, getting our skills back.”

“We’re running a lot,” said Scooby.

With five players plus a goalie, the roadsters opted for a rolling game of two-on-two half-court that shifted in a rested player whenever a team scored.

The fluid line combinations kept everyone on their toes, Doo said.

“The game changes really quickly, so you’ve got to be really aware of what the other team is up to.”

That was especially true for Kid in net, who faced a dizzying array of passing combinations that had him spinning at the top of the crease.

“There’s lots more space, lots more shots and the goalie starts making bad plays,” Doo said, adding players can afford to get more creative with one less defenceman to tie them up or knock down a pass.

“With half court, there’s not as many consequences,” he said. “If you make a mistake, it’s not going to wind up in the back of the net right away.”

And while the depleted numbers might seem discouraging as the new season gets its legs, Scooby said it’s encouraging a core group comprises those numbers.

“We have a base of people,” he said. “We can build from that.”

Posted by jaysuburb at 10:03 PM | Comments (7)

October 14, 2018

Roadsters defy doubters to launch 27th year

The rumours of Sunday Morning Road Hockey’s demise were greatly exaggerated.

Seven roadsters sent a strong message of solidarity and fortitude Sunday when the league’s 27th year opened with a spirited half-court game in perfect conditions.

There were doubts, though, before the game.

After the debacle of last spring’s truncated Stanley Stick championship series that scattered the roadsters into a summer of uncertainty about the league’s future, followed by a summer scrimmage that attracted but three players, Scooby said he was feeling pessimistic.

Doo said the lack of buzz surrounding opening day, which this year bypassed the traditional two-week training camp that normally allows roadsters to ease back into game shape, gave him pause.

“Nobody was sure if we’d have enough players for a game,” he said.

But the roadsters were buoyed by the unexpected return of Beckenbauer, who missed all of last season because of educational commitments.

The lanky centreman said he needed to get back to the courts.

“It felt like my identity had been stripped away from me,” he said of his hiatus.

And while Beckenbauer’s timing might have been slightly off, he was still able to lead his side to a pair of victories, 5-1 and 5-4.

Doo said the score was secondary. More important was the message the game sends to roadsters still doubting the league can overcome last spring’s Stanley Stick of discontent.

“The game goes on because people decide that morning they want to come,” he said. “They want to see the guys. That’s the spirit of road hockey.”

Scooby said Sunday’s turnout proves the commitment of the league’s core players remains undiminished.

“There is a group of guys here who will be coming out week to week,” he said. “You get some other faces out and we’ll be fine.”

Beckenbauer said he’s optimistic that will happen, as roadsters learn the game is still on.

“It’s infectious,” he said. “It’s just like Ebola and it just spreads through the whole crew.”

Posted by jaysuburb at 09:37 PM | Comments (2)