little support from his teammates, Ottoman was helpless to withstand
the offensive barrage unleashed upon him in the biggest blowout
of the season, 20-4.
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Rainstorm floods net with goals
by Jay Suburb
For Ottoman, it was tossup as to what was more discouraging;
the deluge of rain falling from the sky, or the flood of goals filling
the net behind him.
The rookie goaltender has won only once since the season
opener. But Sunday his losing woes plumbed new depths, as his teammates
abandoned him, bounces eluded him, and the evil orange plastic ball
got past him 20 times, to his side's four.
"I came out prepared for the game, and I just fell
apart," says Ottoman. "It was just a bad game."
Indeed. Combined with two additional losses in consolation
games, 10-2 and 10-3, Ottoman was beaten a record 40 times, the worst
single-day drubbing in Sunday Morning Road Hockey history.
But Ottoman's teammates weren't blaming him. Despite the
offensive talents of Lak Attack and Guy Called Mike, and a spirited
effort by Elvis, who was a surprise starter after suffering a weekend-long
bout with food poisoning, they were just never able to get on track.
"It was an all-around team effort of horrible,"
says notorious gameshow host gone bad, Wink, who was too despondent
to play in the second make-up match. "We had trouble getting the
ball out of our own end, we had trouble getting guys to come back to
our own end, and when we did have chances, we'd screw up two-on-ones."
"It just didn't happen for us from the drop of the
ball," says the Hired Gun. "It's disappointing to see the
lack of effort out there. I think a lot of players took the game for
And their opponents were quick to take advantage. The
Kid swooped and deked unchecked, his speed undeterred by the slippery
conditions, while Bird, New Guy and the Living Legend were quick to
convert every opportunity that came to their sticks.
"Our team was very mobile, we had good positioning
and good defense," says Pig Farming Goalie, who regained his winning
ways after suffering his first career loss two weeks ago. "I think
everybody played very, very hard, but the ball bounced all the time
But that was little consolation to Ottoman, whose forehead
was stained blue by the end of the game from the sopping pads behind
his goalie mask.
"They were getting goals sneaking through the five-hole,
over the glove, under the glove, everywhere."
Despite the lopsided score, after the game Ottoman was optimistic
he'd soon be able to turn his season around.
"You've just gotta keep coming out, keep trying," said the beleaguered
ballstopper. "As soon as you come out for a new game, you play it
like it's a new game, you start over again. Everyone starts at zero and
you go from there."
At the other end of the court, the rout presented unique challenges
for Pig Farming Goalie, who had to stay sharp despite his side's dominance.
"You always have to be ready for the ball to come to you, always,
regardless of what the score is," said the lanky Latvian, who returned
to action after missing last week's game, reportedly to nurse a hangover.
"You've got to stay focussed and thinking about kicking the crap
out of the other team as much as possible."
Sunday's tilted tilt was a marked contrast to last week's quadruple-overtime
thriller. In fact, in Sunday Morning Road Hockey's eleven seasons, such
routs have been rare, as teams are quickly corrected to temper any blatant
imbalances of talent.
But Sunday's slaughter caught everyone by surprise.
"It wasn't like you could foresee this game was going to be a rout,"
said Wink. "The teams weren't really lopsided. It was simply a bad
combination of guys and players having bad days."
"The score was lopsided, but the shots weren't," said Pig Farming
Any hope for a comeback was further dampened by the difficult conditions,
as a driving rain and wind storm rendered the courts slow and slippery
and made it especially difficult for finesse players to find their pace.
"I think weather neutralized Lak Attack a little," said Pig
Farming Goalie. "It was difficult for him to pass on the wet surface."
"It's disheartening," said the Hired Gun. "You make a decision
to come out on a Sunday morning when it's just pouring rain and the wind
is howling and then no-one tries hard."
But the conditions weren't an excuse, said Wink. "They were the same
"You know everyone has just gotta play through it," said Ottoman.
For the second consecutive week, Lobsterboy was a surprise late scratch.
But this time he was joined by one of his most vocal critics, Paul One.
And again, alcohol was the culprit.
While the shelled shotstopper announced he was fit and ready to play after
another Saturday night of boozy revelry, he said his car was out of commission,
and so was his designated driver. Paul One, he said, had been at the same
party and had apparently overindulged.
But when an alternate ride had been hastily arranged, Lobsterboy failed
to live up to his pledge by leaving his phone unanswered.
For their fellow veterans, this latest insult just added to the injury
left by Lobsterboy's shocking shirk last week.
"Those guys aren't key players anymore," said Wink. "If
Lobsterboy would rather not come, if he'd rather be a lush and lying at
home in a pool of his own vomit, then that's fine."
"It's really sad that alcohol has affected the game once again,"
said the Hired Gun, who's reportedly missed a few games through his career
to nurse hangovers of his own. "One day there's gonna be no more
founding fathers left. We'll be counting on these new guys to carry on
and they need some leadership. You need guys like Paul One and Lobsterboy,
as veterans, to come out and show them the way."
Or at least show them they're worthy of their billing, said Ottoman.
"You read and hear all about the heroics and everything Lobsterboy's
gone through, and you come out here, you wanna see it," said the
rookie rearguard. "You start to wonder if it's all just stories,
or whether he's actually gonna come out and perform."