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Pig Farming Goalie stops Nibs in close early in Sunday's 20-17 loss. The Cossack creaseminder also had his hands full with his own teammates, as a handful of shots bounced off their legs and sticks to create scoring opportunities for prowling opponents.

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Week 13
Friend or foe

Goalie battles teammates as well as opponents

by Jay Suburb

Pig Farming Goalie can be excused, if, at times during his side's 20-17 loss Sunday, he felt like a one-man team. As many goals were beating him off the legs and sticks of his own teammates as were being netted by their opponents.

"Lots of shots I not set for because I not know where it's going," says the agrarian goaltender of the bad bounces that cost his team the game they had once led, 15-12. "What can you do, you have no time to react. You feel like you have to play against everybody out there."

At least two of those inopportune bounces were off Bird, including a seeing-eye back pass off the stick of Lak Attack that he managed to kick past his own goalie. Usually he's scoring the fluke goals for his team.

"Usually there's one team or the other that seems to get the right bounces," says Beetle Boy of the good fortune that propelled his team to their comeback win. "It seemed today those chances were working for us."

"We gave up a couple of fluky goals, and I think that killed us," says Wink. "It was hard for us to set up, the ball was jumping a little bit."

That's because the evil orange plastic ball was frozen by the frigid morning air and the icy court had been strewn rock salt to make it playable.

"The rock salt is always a hard game," says Wink, who's never won on the salted concrete. "You're worried about (the ball) jumping over a stick, or the next time you're ready for a jump and then it doesn't jump."

"It was weird conditions," says Beetle Boy. "Because of the ice and the rock salt, the ball hits that and can go careening off and wreck a pass or affect a shot."

"Playing on a slippery surface like that, if you just stand still then you're an easy target," says Guy Called Mike, who seemed particularly cautious in only his third game of the season. "It's a big factor because some of the players who like to wheel and deal out there end up getting caught and coughing up the ball."

Leaving Pig Farming Goalie to fend for himself.

"Last five goals, I not know where it's going to come from," says the sophomore shotstopper. "It feel like sometime all team against me."

The Stick Pull (Bulldog)
Gump (G) Pig Farming Goalie(G)
Lak Attack Wink
Nibs Bird
Beetle Boy Kid
Billy Idol Bulldog
Living Legend Giebelhaus
  Guy Called Mike
Scratches: Paul One (healthy), Lobsterboy (healthy),
Colonel (traveling), Slick (legal problems), Ottoman (unsanctioned sex), Elvis (traveling), New Guy (spouse's decision)

 

As Pig Farming Goalie struggled against opposition forwards and his own teammates, at the other end of the court, Gump conquered his fear to step back between the pipes after being felled in last week's game by a devastating shot to his groin.
But opposition shooters were quick to test his resolve.
"We were shooting right at him," said renowned slapshooter, Wink. "We were hoping to get him riled up, but it's just really hard to hit such a small target."
Gump was unfazed. His lightning glove hand and zeal to chase down loose rebounds gave his team the confidence to head back up the slippery court to press in the offensive zone.
"He was almost like a fourth offensive player on the court," said Beetle Boy of his courageous creaseminder. "A lot of times he'd save it, grab it and then move it up to one of the forwards. That transition made all the difference."
"We knew he was gonna bounce back from that game," said Lak Attack of his courageous creaseminder. "I think he was our MVP today."
An honor Wink was quick to concede. "Gumper came up big for them. He made some big saves and as much as you wanna look at what we did wrong, you've got to look at what Gumper did right."

An icy overnight fog made footing treacherous on the slick concrete court and, despite the liberal application of rock salt, the team that was best able to adjust its style of play to the conditions prevailed.
"It was just about positioning," said Lak Attack, who abandoned his usual freewheeling for give-and-go passing plays to lead his side to their comeback victory. "You had to be patient, just take your time and not over-commit."
"You try to play it a little more conservatively," said Beetle Boy. "You can't rely on being able to pinpoint, turn around, fire and get a guy going the other way."
Meanwhile, their opponents struggled.
"It just slows me down," said Guy Called Mike. "At the end we just kinda lost our momentum."
"We just ran out of gas," said Wink.
"I keep yelling we have wide open guy, but player with ball sit and wait and wait and then shoot. By that time open player is covered by another player," said Pig Farming Goalie, of his side's inability to make the conditions work for them.

Sunday's winning goal was scored by the Living Legend, who almost didn't start the game as he continues to suffer the lingering effects of a shoulder injury sustained earlier in the season and then aggravated two weeks ago.
"The great thing about that was everybody on our team scored goals, everybody contributed," said Beetle Boy. "Usually you end up relying on somebody like Lak Attack to score the majority of your goals to get you through, but today everyone was coming through with the offense."