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Lobsterboy has reason to smile, after scoring the winning goal in his side's 20-17 victory in a seesaw game in which both sides built and squandered leads.

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Week 31
Lobster's surprise

Goalie jams thumb, scores winner

by Jay Suburb

When the winning goal in Sunday's game rifled into the top corner of the net, the most surprised roadster on the court was Lobsterboy. Not because it had beaten him. But because he scored it.

Lobsterboy, playing as a forward after relinquishing his creaseminding duties to Ottoman halfway through the game, blasted a seeing-eye shot from halfcourt, through a tangle of bodies and over Pig Farming Goalie's shoulder to give his team an 18-17 lead. Moments later, he added an insurance goal, before the Living Legend finished the scoring in a 20-17 win.

"I just shot it as hard as I could," says Lobsterboy of his offensive heroics. "I knew where I wanted to shoot it, and I was surprised that it actually went there. I haven't scored in such a long time, it feels good to know I can still get it on the net."

Indeed, it's been a long time between offensive shifts for the shelled shotstopper. The last time he scored was early last season, when he took a quick run up the courts in his street shoes during a stopover on his way to another commitment. Then, it was his side's first goal. Sunday, he sparked a late-game comeback after his team had squandered an earlier 8-2 lead.

"That goal kinda changed the momentum a bit," says Nibs. "They seemed to get a bit sloppy, but then they got their intensity back at the end of the game."

They also got some lucky bounces. Paul One, Kid and the Living Legend managed to convert a series of broken passes, crazy deflections and odd spins into an unlikely goal. Wink, while trying to steer a rebound off the end board into his goalie's pads, accidentally kicked the evil orange plastic ball past a stunned Pig Farming Goalie.

"Wink's a character player, but that was a big mistake on his part," says Lobsterboy of the freak marker. "Pig Farming Goalie was making some amazing saves, we couldn't get anything by him; but then we got a few lucky goals and that kinda changed the game for us."

But you've got to earn your breaks. And late in the game, says Wink, his side was getting outworked.

"We basically got outworked and outhustled," says the notorious gameshow host gone bad. "They were just running and hustling, and we were getting caught on two-on-ones and three-on-ones."

"The guys weren't coming back, and that kinda lost us the game," says Nibs.

And that gave Lobsterboy the opportunity to discover his newfound offensive skills.

"I haven't played forward in such a long time, it was a joy to go out there," says the shelled slapshooter.

Lobsterboy started Sunday's game between the pipes and made a number of key saves that allowed his side to build an early 8-2 lead. But when he jammed his thumb during a goalmouth scramble late in the second period, he turned the crease over to Ottoman, who was standing by on the sidelines.
The shuffle necessitated another roster move to even the sides, so Gump, who was playing his first game in more than a year, was traded.
That
seemed to spark the underdogs, who roared back from a 10-8 deficit at the break, scoring three straight goals to take their first lead of the game.
"Gump gave the other team a lift," said Lobsterboy. "We got a little too cocky when it was 8-2, and we lost our intensity. They fought back."
"I just wanted to go over there and help them out, get them pumped up," said Gump, of the mid-game move. "I think coming over to the new team brought some feistiness. We stepped it up."
He also brought some much-needed work ethic, said Nibs. "Gump's a hard worker, he's a hard-checking guy, he comes back into his own end and he goes up and he scores some goals."

Gump returned to the courts only two days after arriving from a six month adventure in other countries. Before he left, he was renowned as one of the game's most versatile roadsters who worked hard along the boards, scored with a rapier shot and stopped them with aplomb when called upon to strap on the goalie pads.
Sunday, he served notice that not much has changed. No matter which team he played for, he battled for the evil orange plastic ball, hustled back to cover the odd-man rush and generating scoring opportunities for his linemates. Goals, though, were a little harder to come by.
"I think the hand-eye coordination was definitely something that was lacking," said Gump. "I think I've gotta work on getting better shots, get my head up a little more."
But, he said, the adjustment shouldn't take long, as the game is now more to his liking.
"It's definitely a different game. There's a lot less shooting, a lot less big slapshots from the point and a lot more passing. That's nice, because I have no slapshot as all."

Gump's return comes just in the nick of time, as there are only three more regular season games left before the start of the climactic Stanley Stick championship tournament. To be eligible for the series, a roadster has to have played in three games.

Sunday's game was the warmest since the Fall, and that had the roadsters scrambling to roll over their lines as quickly as possible.
"We've gotta get ready for the warmer weather," said Nibs. "You get tired pretty fast and the other team takes advantage to get to the ball."
"Every new shift, you have quicker legs," said Lobsterboy. "You can strip the ball and stop their plays. That's the key to winning in this game."