Week of February 23 (Game 1) – In a battle of the top two teams in the league, this game lived up to the hype as a closely contested battle between heavyweights. In a back and forth contest, Gang Green quickly jumped out to a two goal lead early, maintained their composure during a comeback by Black Hole, to finally pull out a victory late in the game with a 3 – 2 win.
In the first period, with the pace and play being dictated by Gang Green, they made the most of their scoring opportunities. Three and a half minutes into the period, a seemingly harmless shot from the point by Cappy appeared to be tied up but the whistle was never blown as Cooch made a heads up play to crash the net and control the loose ball for a goal. A minute and a half later, after some passing between John Carey and Pat Pirone, the ball found its way onto the stick of Mike Surette at the point, who’s partially screened shot through bodies out front beat the goalie. Needing a momentum swing back, Jason Carrien did what he did routinely in the winter 2018 season and jumped up into the offense with a rush taking a pass from Matt Farrell to beat the goalie top shelf on a partial breakaway, making this a one goal game.
After a scoreless back and forth second period in which each team had their scoring chances, both goalies and the defense shut down the other team. In the third period, with five minutes to play, Matt made a heads up play to break through and managed to get a shot off that beat the goalie and tied up this game. However, late in the game, Black Hole took a costly penalty away from the play and it came back to be the difference. On the ensuing power play with just under three minutes left in the game, the passing of Dominic Defrancisco and Ray Nickerson found Cappy open at the point and his shot through a screen froze the goalie resulting in the game winning goal. With the win, Gang Green moved into sole possession of first place undefeated in their last four games.
Week of February 23 (Game 2) – For the first time all season, Mixed Nuts had a full roster for a game rather than playing short-handed, and the results were evident as they played one of their most complete games to win going away from the Rhinos by the score of 5 – 2.
Mixed Nuts jumped out to an early lead as Jamie Kehoe scored from the point unassisted only two and a half minutes in. That was followed less than three minutes later after some passing between Tim Hickey and Tony Bono found Mauro Colucciello alone on the right circle, who turned and fired on net to beat the goalie. With just under two minutes left in the period, the Rhinos got back into this game as Jason Glista scored his first goal of the season set up by Steve Medeiros.
During the second period, in a back and forth pace, both teams generated some prime scoring chances. Three minutes in saw Mauro score his second goal off the passing of Matty Iannello and Tim. The game was momentarily stopped to hand Mauro the game ball recognizing him beating that pink stick bag challenge in record setting fashion. With two and a half minutes to play in the period, the Rhinos made this a one goal game once again as John Kelleher converted the rebound of shots by Chris Ducharme and Steve Medeiros.
In the third period, with both teams crashing the net for scoring chances, just over three minutes in, Tim was able to somehow score from behind the side of the net after Dave Costa’s shot on net that somehow snuck in past the goalie. How? We still don’t know. With their goalie pulled, the Rhinos were pressing when a heads up chip out of the zone by Mauro sent Tim off to the races (no one was catching him) for an easy tap in open net goal.
This win (and full roster) could be the turning point for Mixed Nuts season, once again becoming one of the top teams in the league. Time will tell but they look ready to go on a winning streak.
Trash Can Talk
We’re always looking for fresh new ideas and the PUTA is no exception.
This week we wanted to try something new and add a “Moral of the story”segment to this week’s forum after each storyline… so you have officially “Drank, Eaten, Won and Worn” a fresh new idea.. Now you can add “Read” one to the list
Stood Up to Cancer
This week’s top Forum News Story has to be the breaking news that Ray Nickerson was spreading pre-game last week.
Congratulations to Ray and the good news about beating his latest bout with cancer. Ray's cancer just needed a good ole fashion "Nickerson Slashing" to show his radiated cancer who's "The Real Boss" inside his body is.
With Ray's new cancer free diagnosis.., we can now work on his universal death threats for assist points (or lack of).
Moral of the story: When life hands you a life threaten diagnosis.., you fight for your life.., and when Ray gives you a pass (you bury it!).., and if Ray’s open, (you better pass it!).., and most importantly if Ray gets a point (you better record it!)
From all of us; Congratulations Ray.., you stood up to caner and won!
We can only hope that Mike Nazcas' recent trip to NYC was an enjoyable one.., because while he was gone his "Shutdown Defense" was noticeably absent and his defensive leadership absentee resulted in a 3-2 loss and fall from 1st place for Black Hole.
We can only hope that you at least chanted a few “Yankees Suck” while hanging out in Times Square… and you had the balls to wear Bruins Swag to the (2) Rangers games you attended.
Moral of the story: Don’t let your teammates suffer losses at the hands of family vacations. Schedule your family fun time for the offseason and/or days other then Saturday’s between 5:00-7:00PM.
My Brother’s Keeper
One again Mauro Colucciello had to clean up after his brother mess after John’s failed attempt at his “Pink Stick Bag Challenge”. Mauro shattered his challenge in record time.
Moral of the story: Mauro's challenge wasn't a challenge at all.., it was task to clean up after his brother’s failure and to help repair the “Colucciello” family name and more importantly the challenge was easy enough to win back the $40 the League Director lost on Cooch's failure.
There's another Black Vulcan success story that has quietly gone under the radar.
The BIG Man.., Mike Surette is tied for the lead in goals scored by a defenseman with 4.., and all 4 coming off his Vulcan Black Stick. If Mike keeps up this pace we’ll have to throw his name on the voting ballot for the “Mike Hollingsworth” MVD Award.
Moral of the story: Vulcan Sticks turn average players into goal scoring machines.
With all the resent “Over-30 Pink Slips” that were sent out.., the league had to make a few adjustments to a couple of rosters to try and rebalance a few wobbly tires.
First: Tony Bono was moved from Coach’s Corner to Mixed Nuts to replace a couple of lost defenseman… We asked Tony for a quote regarding his mid-season trade but he declined our request and walked away humming the theme song from “The Jefferson’s”
Second: Coach’s Corner signs unrestricted free agent rookie Nick Doherty to add some additional speed, fire-power and more importantly.., youth. Nick’s resume includes a couple of D2 Championships with the Wolfpack and his sponsor Mike Surette.
We asked Coach’s Corner Captain Dan Broderick for his thoughts on losing a proven veteran like Tony for an unproven rookie in Nick and Dan said; “Anytime you can trade a 50 year old veteran for a 30 year rookie with speed and a scoring touch.., I’ll take that any day of the week and twice on Sunday’s.., but if this kid's shots starting hitting the glass instead of the net.., then he better wear two pairs of underwear to prevent splinters from the bench”
Moral of the story: Nick you’re coming into a league that uses various algorithms to balance the teams across the board.., you don’t have try to impress the League Director anymore. You already have one foot in the door.., now it’s time to play your game, add some value to your team, and help Coach’s Corner make a run for a playoff spot.
Jim Barber is still consulting his attorney in regards to a possible defamation of character lawsuit against league director Bill Abcunas for his mockery of the Player of the week photo and more importantly touching Jim's Vulcan stick and contaminating it with his Bad Mojo.
If you don't believe in Bad Mojo.., here's proof. After defiling Jim's stick;
Jim went on to play his worse game of his season
Had another goal streak came to an end
He got a penalty (which is even more proof that Billy is a jinx)
Most importantly.., his team lost
Moral of the story: Touch the Vulcan again and Jim will file a restraining order that will ban the League Director from coming within 20-feet of Jim's Award Winning Stick
Last week we saw two goals that shouldn't have gone in.., go in!
First was John Colucciello and his mystery goal that somehow wasn't tied up by Black Hole Goaltender Jeff Deharo.., when everyone on Black Hole thought Jeff had it tied up.., but the referee was yelling "LOOSE!!" and the next thing we knew Cooch was burying a crappy goal that left Black Hole players scratching their heads.
Then it was Rhino Captain John Kelleher's turn to bury an ugly goal. From behind the net John threw the ball towards Sean Roach's short-side (that apparently wasn't short enough) as Kelleher's (shot or pass) snuck through and trickled softly into the goal.
Moral of the story: Don't stop playing until you hear the whistle (and no Pat Pirone that is not an invitation to dig at a goalie until you hear the whistle).., and second there is no such thing as a "Bad shot".., just ask Nick Romano who has about 300 bad shots or impossible angle goals on his way to the 700-Club.
The Hockeytown dek surface is full of squares.., some are yellowish, dark gray, red and blue.., but we wanted to let Chris Ducharme know that we typically use the "Blue Squares" for face offs.
We saw you line up at the gray square while Matty Iannello was 3-Squares (over and up) at the blue square waiting for you to figure out the error of your ways.
Moral of the story: League Reporters, Team Moles and Dime Droppers are always watching for PUTA Forum material.
Tim Hickey is the latest player to be lumped into the “Empty Net Goal” Villain Category as chants of “Boooo’s” and “Jimmy Jr” came jeering from Scoreboards Pub as they watched Timmy put the final nail in the coffin.
We asked Timmy if he had any regrets about scoring the ENG and he said; “Look Man, Dave Costa had the opportunity to bury the empty netter first.., and he didn’t have the guts to pull the trigger.., that came back to almost burn us.., so when I had the chance to put the game out of reach.., I took it”
Moral of the story: Don’t pull your goalie if you don't like giving up ENG's.., because for the guy scoring one, they are incredibly enticing and easy points for the season stats and more importantly the "All-Time Career Stats".
According to Toronto; “Empty Net Goals are good goals!!”
Black Hole Goaltender JeffDeharo must have been watching Disney's Frozen with the kids before hockey last week.., because for 2-out-of-3 goals last week that's what he was "Frozen"
Jeff didn't even move a muscle and the only reason everyone knew it went in was because of the "THUD" on the inside padding of the net.
Moral of the story: Instead of watching Frozen with the kids.., put on Miracle and watch Herb Brooks’ speech. Herb never blamed his players for screening his goalie.
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