Lak Attack steps into the goalie gear, substituting for the absent Pig Farming Goalie. Little did he know he's be stepping into a snake pit of disappearing defencemen and rapacious rebounds.


Week 20
Lak-ing defense

Goalie abandoned by disappearing defenders

by Jay Suburb

Lak Attack just wanted to save the game. He didn't bargain that he'd be expected to do it all by himself.

Even for the steady superstar, guarding the net without any defensive help proved too tall an order, as his good intentions were overwhelmed, 20-8. It was the most lopsided score in a game since a 20-4 blowout in Week 12.

And it wasn't the result Lak Attack had in mind when he stepped into the big leg pads, averting a potential crease crisis, after Pig Farming Goalie had announced his tender knees needed a little more rest.

"You just try to look at it as a challenge," says the versatile veteran, of his shotstopping sojourn. "I just wanted to see what I could do."

Apparently, so did his teammates.

Time and again they stood flat-footed, bemusedly watching their courageous creaseminder flail against interminable torrents of breakaways and odd-man rushes.

"The guys struggled a little," says Lak Attack, of his disappearing defenders. "We got caught a few times covering just one guy."

Or sometimes none at all.

"We weren't watching where their players were," says Giebelhaus. "We were just rotating to the exact opposite of where we were supposed to be going. We just weren't thinking."

Or reacting to their opponent's up-tempo game, led by the Kid's speedy stabs deep into the defensive zone.

"Kid always plays a mobile game," says Beetle Boy, of his fleet-footed linemate. "We just made sure we ran around with him, forecheck a lot, move the ball and shoot a lot."

"It was our lack of knowing where to go," says Giebelhaus. "We were sending two guys to check the Kid, which meant he could do a quick little pass to whoever was open. Or we'd stand there, guard the guy who was open and let the Kid walk in."

"After a while, you just kinda have to laugh at it," says Lak Attack, of the resultant barrage that had his side down by eight goals at the end of the second period.

It would get a whole lot worse.

"The number of two-on-ones and breakaways was incredible," says Beetle Boy, who even found himself in alone against the goalie, unchallenged by any defenders.

"It was pretty rough," says Lak Attack, of his ill-fated adventure between the pipes. "We just gave them too many breaks."

"Lak Attack did exactly what we needed a goalie to do, but we didn't do our part," says Giebelhaus.

The lopsided result in Sunday's game wasn't indicative of the teams' lineups, said many of the roadsters.
"The teams were much more evenly matched," said Beetle Boy. "It was just that initial first part of the game when we took that big lead."
"The score doesn't really indicate how we played," said Lak Attack. "We put a lot of pressure on them, but we were taking some bad angle shots."
Each side comprised a competitive balance of fleet forwards and big shooters
. In fact, a brief flurry by the underdogs late in the game threatened to ignite an unlikely comeback.
But that may have been more a lapse by the leaders, said Beetle Boy, as his team struggled to maintain its focus with such a magnificent margin.
"You get sloppy, you just don't try as hard, you start goofing around and not taking the game as seriously," said the fair-weather forward, who played his first game in three weeks, despite a heavy overcast.

The huge imbalance on the score sheet may have played a role in a loud, ugly confrontation between the Giebelhaus and the Hired Gun, halfway through the game.
With his team struggling on the score sheet, Giebelhaus tried to instigate some offense by repeatedly poking at the evil orange plastic ball whenever it rolled around the feet of the opposing goalie, Ottoman, or peeked from his equipment. The Gun took exception and charged his netminder's tormentor, setting off a spirited shouting match.
"We had a little fracas, we got it out of our systems and we got on with the game," said Giebelhaus, who later made a peace overture to his assailant. "Sometimes someone else takes offense."
"Sometimes you need something to charge up your team," said Lak Attack, of the war of words that erupted behind the opposite net. "You've gotta try to create a little passion in the guys."

Sunday's game was the first in more than a month for the Hired Gun. But other veteran roadsters were conspicuous by their absence.
Paul One hasn't played since his former co-commuter, Lobsterboy, announced his semi-retirement due to domestic demands.
And since the two players also share familial ties, some roadsters have speculated the ultimatum that scuttled the shelled shotstopper's season may also have snared Paul One.
Guy Called Mike also missed Sunday's game, his second in a row, after suffering a freak parking accident more than two weeks ago.

A hastily-organized consolation game that changed the teams in an effort to create a more competitive experience was called before its conclusion when a rainstorm sent the roadsters scurrying for shelter. Rather than risk injury to the already-tired players, it was decided to leave the make-up match unfinished.