takes a tumble after being checked by Billy Idol. But the hobbled
veteran would get the last fall on his opponents, scoring four times,
including the game winner.
CLICK ON THE PHOTO
TO SEE THIS WEEK'S ALBUM (REQUIRES FLASH PLUG-IN)
by the 'haus
Limping roadster scores four
by Jay Suburb
Giebelhaus just didn't want to embarrass himself. But
it was his opponents who were red-faced after the limping veteran scored
four times, including the game winner, to lead his side to a comeback
15-13 win in Sunday's pre-season opener.
The loitering forward was a human pylon for most of his
shifts, regularly getting caught ten steps behind the flow of play as
he hobbled around in circles like an old man. But on the small road
hockey courts it didn't take long for the play to find its way back
towards him, and suddenly being out of position meant being in the right
place at the right time.
"I was just trying to plug away and contribute in
any way I could," says Giebelhaus, who's comeback from knee surgery
more than 18 months ago received a setback on the eve of training camp,
when he fell off his mountain bike and onto the jumbled joint. "Sometimes
that meant not being able to come back and defend and just wait for
Unable to help his mates in the defensive zone, Giebelhaus
took on the role of forechecker. That's just what he was doing when
he unwittingly scored his fourth goal of the game, a career high. Standing
just to the side of the net, a clearing pass caromed off his shin pads
past a stunned Lobsterboy. It wasn't pretty, but it won his team the
"I just got a lucky bounce off the shinpads and straight
into the net," says Giebelhaus. "I was just trying to slow
the other guys down on their breakouts."
"That's what hurt the most," says Elvis, who's
wayward pass cost his team the game. "He just seemed to be tripping
in the right spots, tumbling over the right people and he was getting
those lucky bounces off his body."
"He just kinda stood there and we served up some
nice stuff to him," says Beetle Boy of his side's inability to
exploit Giebelhaus' immobility. "I think we took him for granted,
and we thought we could pass through him or get around him anytime we
But, says Giebelhaus, that's exactly what he wanted to
"The biggest part is to try not to make the big mistake,
make the bad pass or leave the big guy open who scores that goal,"
says the veteran forward. "I was trying not to do just what ended
up happening to them."
Giebelhaus' four goals were the most he's scored in a single game
in his long and checkered career.
"It's incredible, I hope I can keep that up," he said after
the game, shaking his head in disbelief.
But to repeat the feat, he'll have to stay healthy. And that's been his
One of the few remaining roadsters to have played in Sunday Morning's
formative seasons at the old tennis courts, his playing time languished
when the league moved to the hockey courts because of the onerous demands
of his exploitative employer. But even then, he was hobbled by injuries,
especially chronic knee problems.
When he finally went under the knife more than 18 months ago, his recovery
was set back by poor rehabilitation. And then, two weeks ago, as he was
working himself into shape for the coming road hockey season, he fell
from his mountain bike.
"I was hoping to come off the Summer really healthy," said Giebelhaus.
"But then injuring myself just before the season, I was feeling pretty
bad out there. I had absolutely no mobility."
Despite being beaten by Giebelhaus' fluke game winner, Lobsterboy
was upbeat about his team's effort.
"Compared to last year, the guys are in much better shape,"
said the veteran goaltender. "The game was fast, it was quite intense
out there, but we should have won."
Some of that speed and intensity may have been the result of extensive
conditioning programs many of the roadsters followed through the off-season.
The Living Legend said he accompanied Giebelhaus on many of his training
rides. The Kid and Bird continued their pursuit of the evil orange plastic
ball in the afternoon league, which didn't take the Summer off. Elvis
and Pig Farming Goalie also played in off-season leagues.
But that didn't mean the roadsters weren't without challenges.
"There's just a complete lack of defense," said Lobsterboy.
"Nobody has a clue what they're doing."
"I'm not in bad physical condition, but I find between pipes waiting
for ball to be very tiring," said Pig Farming Goalie, who returned
to the nets after a brief, one-game stint on offense in last year's Stanley
Stick Championship series. "That's what make me most tired, the mental
drain. I was rusty out there, make many mistakes."
"Everything's off when you come back,"said Beetle Boy, who admitted
to a Summer of sloth. "The guys have to worry more about timing,
getting their passes off and playing like a team."
"You've got to feel out the other players again," said Elvis.
Notorious gameshow host gone bad, Wink, missed Sunday's game, and
with the fellow founding father contemplating retirement, it may have
been the first of the post-Wink era. His absence had an impact, said the
"It's a lot less vocal out there without him," said Beetle Boy
of the veteran defender, who often barked defensive instructions to his
malingering mates. "Wink did tend to stay back and coordinate defense
and keep teams honest out there. For the first couple of weeks, you're
gonna see a lot less defense and a lot more offense."
"What Wink does is he tells you where the ball is, he yells at the
players to play back," said Lobsterboy. "I think it will be
high scoring this year."
"We missed his shot out there today," said Elvis. "Playing
with him is always nice because he's usually there for the big onetimer
from the point, and playing against him you're usually trying to get out
of the way of his shot."