The Stick Pull (Bulldog)
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."