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With his team's back against the wall, Elvis crashes Billy Idol into the wall. The speedy forward's tough checking along the boards and in the corners was instrumental in his team's heroic 26-24 comeback victory Sunday.

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Week 2
Against the wall

Facing defeat, team forges miracle comeback

by Jay Suburb

Even with his team's backs against the wall, Wink never lost faith.

Down 24-19 after four straight soft goals early in the final period, it seemed only a matter of time before his team gave up the winner. But seven unanswered goals later, it was Wink and his mates who were celebrating. Their shocking overtime victory, 26-24, was the biggest comeback from match point in Sunday Morning Road Hockey history.

"When we were down, I think we showed a lot of gumption," says the notorious gameshow host gone bad of his side's unlikely win. "No one quit on our team. It was a case of our team having more character."

"According to the score, we were out of it," says Paul One. "But according to our play, we didn't feel we were that far off."

But with only one goal separating them from an early afternoon off, the underdogs started chipping their way to victory, one goal at a time.

"We got one goal, and we kinda went, 'holy smokes, we can come back and make this interesting,'" says Wink. "Then we got two goals and we started to think, 'holy smokes, we're really gonna scare them before they beat us.' And then, when we got three goals, we started to believe we could win this thing."

"We got a goal, and the rest of us just started to believe," says Giebelhaus. "From then on, it was just a matter of going all out, get another goal, get another goal."

And as their lead dwindled, the leaders panicked.

"Nobody did anything, I couldn't believe it," says Lobsterboy of his side's remarkable collapse. "How many times was our defense leaving one of their players open all the time, how many times were they giving up breakaways. It was a shooting gallery."

Like animals on the hunt, the underdogs smelled blood. Elvis crashed the boards and battled in the corners. Lak Attack weaved easily through the flat-footed defense.

"We started beating them to the ball in their own end of the court," says Paul One. "They just didn't hustle anymore, and relied on Lobsterboy to bail them out."

"We just had to chase the ball, prove we wanted the ball more," says Giebelhaus.

"They just basically got cocky and thought it was only a matter of time before they finished us off," says Wink. "Their guys just didn't have the wherewithal to fight with us."

"The guys just put their game on cruise near the end," says Lobsterboy. "They thought they were going to win and that was it. They forgot to play with heart."

 

For the second straight week, Elvis scored the game winner, lifting a loose ball from a scramble over a sprawled Lobsterboy, and setting off a wild celebration with his teammates.
"Guys like Elvis and Lak really stepped it up," said Wink, of his side's offensive leaders.
"When we had Elvis and Lak on together, we could have put anybody out with those two and it would have worked well," said Paul One.
"Elvis played an amazing game," said Lobsterboy. "He never gives up."

The underdogs' seven-goal run to victory was the most dramatic in a game that featured wild shifts of momentum for both teams. In fact, they had squandered a lead of their own after dominating the first two periods, and then another two-goal advantage later in the game.
"Road hockey is a game of ebb and flow, and our ebb was flowing," said Wink.
"The other team seemed to be scoring in bunches," said Paul One. "It would be close, and then they would get three or four goals in a row and we'd have to fight our way back in it."
"From the beginning, we had no flow to our game," said Lobsterboy.
That may have been due to the surplus of players that gave each team more than two lines. Combinations never got the opportunity to gel as players scrambled on and off the courts at varying intervals. The team that best coped with rolling over their players prevailed, said Giebelhaus.
"We had some trouble early getting some lines together, and I think towards the end we got that straightened out."
"People were trying to show off instead of working together," said Lobsterboy. "I saw four or five plays where our team was dipsy-doodling in front of the net trying to make the perfect play instead of just scoring the goals."

Sunday's game was punctuated by a couple of scary moments: a stick swinging battle between Giebelhaus and the Colonel, and a high screaming shot off the stick of Lak Attack that caught Paul One square in the face, dropping him to the concrete in a pool of blood.
Cooler heads prevailed in the former, and in the latter, Paul One cooled his newly crooked nose before returning to play for his next shift.