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Notorious gameshow host gone bad, Wink, ends his retirement to return to his familiar role, clearing rebounds from his team's defensive zone.

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Week 1
Back to defend

Wink's retirement lasts only one game

by Jay Suburb

Wink's retirement lasted only one game. But the return of his commanding presence in his team's defensive zone couldn't save his mates from making critical mental errors that cost them a hard-fought 21-19 overtime loss in Sunday's regular season opener.

Despite missing last week's training camp to consider his future in the game he helped build, when the evil orange plastic ball dropped to begin Sunday Morning Road Hockey's twelfth season, Wink was planted in his usual position, defending the far side of the center line.

Afterall, it's where he's most comfortable, says the notorious gameshow host gone bad. "I don't care about scoring. I just care about coming out and playing."

And his goalie was glad for the help.

"He is steady like a rock," says Pig Farming Goalie. "He never panic, he's always thinking. It was important to have him back."

Even Wink's opponents welcomed his return.

"He's usually just loud, but he's not scary," says Billy Idol, who was a surprise starter between the pipes, after Lobsterboy injured his toe in a "domestic incident" on the eve of the opener.

"It would have been a sad moment for the veterans of the game had Wink stayed retired," says fellow founding father, the Living Legend. "We've come up through the game together and to be left as the only founding father out there on my own, it would have been tough."

Wink's comeback started with a bang, as he blasted the season's first goal, a knee-high sizzler that eluded Billy Idol's outstretched leg pad.

"You've gotta know if you give him room, and give him time, he'll wind up and he's got a great shot," says the bleach-blonde ballstopper.

But Wink's one-week flirtation with Sunday morning sloth eventually took its toll, as he coughed up the ball to aggressive forechecking and lead passes bounced harmlessly past their targets.

"I think skipping training camp really hurt me," says the belligerent backchecker. "I was having trouble making passes, we had trouble getting the ball out of our own zone."

"The guys who decide not to come out for the beginning of the season, they're gonna feel it, they're gonna be a step behind," says the Living Legend. "The days when players could walk onto the court in December and be the best player are gone."

"It's a mistake to miss training camp," says Paul One, who also admits to suffering in his first game of the season. "It's everything, it's your timing, it's remembering where you should go, what you should do and where the ball should go."

Or where it shouldn't. And in a close, seesaw game already in overtime after three late lead swaps, it shouldn't go to the stick of an opposing forward cruising through the slot.

But that's just where a sloppy clearing attempt ended up. With Pig Farming Goalie out of position after a mad scramble at the edge of his crease, Elvis scored the game-winner into a wide open net.

 

Elvis' game-winner was especially sweet for the speedy sniper, after he gave up last week's winning goal when his clearing pass from the side of his own net bounced off Giebelhaus and past a stunned Lobsterboy.
"That was nice vindication for Elvis, because he was the goat last week," said sophomore shotstopper, Billy Idol.
"We just capitalized on the other team's mistakes," said Elvis. "It's better than losing the game."

Billy Idol hadn't expected to strap on the goalie pads when he arrived at the road hockey courts for Sunday's regular season opener. But with Lobsterboy nursing an injured toe, he took the new assignment in stride.
"I felt good out there," said the surprise starter. "I'm into the game as soon as the ball drops, I just kinda have to will my body up."
"He stood in there when we needed him," said the Living Legend of his side's unexpected stopper. "We've seen him play before, we know he's a standup guy, he has a knack for getting in front of the ball."

At the other end of the courts, Pig Farming Goalie made spectacular saves on Lak Attack and twice robbed the Living Legend of sure goals with his lightning glove. But mental lapses in the middle of the game cost his side the momentum they had built into a two-goal lead.
"It was very tough game," said the agrarian goaltender. "It was like Chernobyl, I melt down right in middle. I leave bigger holes between legs than Eastern Front in World War II."
"We put unbelievable pressure on PFG," said Billy Idol of his rival.
"It was just the bounce of the ball," said Paul One. "It ends up on somebody else's stick and they were able to pop two quick ones."

Unlike past season openers, which were often sloppy, lazy affairs as the roadsters continued to work off their Summer sloth, Sunday's game was a taunt thriller in which the teams traded the lead a number of times, and neither was able to gain an advantage greater than two goals.
"It was a pretty tight game the whole way," said Elvis. "I think the intensity is always there, there's always the sense of competition."
"That's what we come out for, those type of games," said Paul One. "You just didn't know who was going to win until that final goal. That's the way it should be."
"We're right back into it," said Billy Idol. "Today was like a good grudge match."