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Lak Attack ended his training camp holdout and led his team to a convincing 15-10 victory in Sunday's season opener, perhaps sending a message to the Kid that he'll not easily relinquish his status as the game's most dominant, exciting player.

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Week 1
Lak on the attack

Scoring star starts season strong

by Jay Suburb

If the Kid wants to establish himself as Sunday Morning Road Hockey's premier player, he's going to have to do more than just strap on the goal pads once in awhile, says its reigning star, Lak Attack.

The speedy sniper returned Sunday from his training camp holdout to lead his team to a decisive 15-10 victory in the first regular season game of the League's 11th season.

Ironically, the recipient of Lak's offensive attack was his upstart rival, who selflessly agreed to strap on the pads after regular rearguard, Lobsterboy, was a late scratch.

For Lak Attack, it was a return to the same form that earned him last season's Conn Stick trophy, as the most valuable player in the playoffs, despite the one-game headstart of most of his teammates and defenders.

"The conditions were just the way I like them," says Lak Attack. "It was a quick, fast game, our team played well, our timing was quite good. They just couldn't keep up."

And, he says, he owes his speedy start, at least in part, to the Kid, who served notice of his own intentions to challenge as the game's scoring star in last week's road hockey press.

"After I read that last article about the Kid, it was quite easy to come back in. It gives me a bit of motivation."

But some roadsters say the Kid's quick decision to step between the pipes so the game could go on may be a sign that he's ready to accept the mantle of leadership that has been missing from his formative career, and prevented him from seriously challenging Lak Attack as the game's superstar.

"I think the Kid showed a lot of character today by strapping on the pads without any great argument," says the Living Legend. "I think he may be sending a message that he's maturing a bit. Lak might have a bit of a challenge on his hands."

Nonsense, says fellow founding father, Wink. "The Kid is a punk, and he can't carry Lak's stick, shoes or any other piece of his paraphernalia."

The notorious gameshow host gone bad, who was witness to some of Lak Attack's more dazzling moves Sunday, as he repeatedly danced around flat-footed defenders, says the scoring star is a complete player who can single-handedly control a game and steer it's outcome.

"He's intimidating, and you just hope he's on your team," says Wink. "He's the one guy out there who you think, 'O my god, it's Lak, we better get two or three guys over here to check him.' He's unstoppable. He's the most dominant player in the history of the game."

And while Lak Attack admits he can't go on forever, he says the Kid still has a way to go to claim his own piece of road hockey history.

"He's nipping at my heels, but he's not getting any closer than that," says Lak Attack. "He's following in my footsteps, so you can see who the leader is here."


In an interview on Sunday Morning Road Hockey's new live post-game hot stove panel, The Hot Seat, Lak Attack said he's not afraid of any challenge to his court supremacy.
"I've already taken out one challenger, Hollywood," said the chrome-domed sniper of his one-time rival, who's been reduced to a part-time player. "They seem to talk a lot, but they don't seem to produce a lot."

The formative feud between Lak Attack and his challenger, The Kid, added a spark to what could otherwise have been a disappointing season opener, as only nine roadsters reported for the first face-off of the League's 11th season.
"I think it's great for the game," said the Living Legend, one of the game's founding fathers. "It's great for the fans, it's great for the rest of the players. It'll raise everybody's game a little bit higher. I think the Kid sent a message today, but Lak is not going to let his title as the game's top player go too easily."

While Lak Attack seemed to barely miss a step after the long off-season, another Sunday Morning star who returned to action from his training camp holdout, the Colonel, looked a little less at home on the hardtop. Time and again he was frustrated as his scoring opportunities bounced harmlessly into the big leather pads of rookie netminder, Ottoman. And by the game's second intermission, he'd discarded his shirt and he was panting heavily on the sidelines.
"It was pretty hot out there," said the Bird. "I think a lot of guys were pretty tired by the end, they were really dogging it."

Despite playing in last week's training camp scrimmage, and all summer in the afternoon league, the Bird also struggled Sunday. But for one unlikely, and unbelievable, midair swat over a stunned Kid, he was repeatedly stymied by the junior shotstopper.
"I shot it at him everytime," said the feathered forward, who was unable to convert many of his opportunities in close.

At the other end, Ottoman was a surprise starter after comeback creaseminder Turk unexpectedly scratched. The rookie rearguard played solidly and seemed to gain confidence as the game progressed. It was his first start after a one-game walk-on tryout late last season.
"I think it's good to see we've got some new goaltending blood coming out," said the Living Legend of the netminding newcomer. "It's a tough position, it's a thankless position. Anyone who's got the guts to strap on the pads is aces in my book."

Other roadsters who failed to honor the official opening of another road hockey season included Hollywood, Guy Called Mike, Philderama, the Whirling Dervish, Lumberjack, Southpark, Giebelhaus and Gump. But the roadsters who did play didn't let the poor turnout discourage their optimism for the coming season.
"The turnout so far hasn't been great," said the Living Legend, usually the voice of road hockey doom and gloom. "But I think that will improve as the season progresses."