The Stick Pull (Gump)
Scratches: Beetle Boy (exploitative employer), Lobsterboy (healthy), Slick (legal problems), Ottoman (unsanctioned sex), Elvis (traveling), Giebelhaus (exploitative employer)
Whenever Nibs get the ball, it's never a surprise to the roadsters
that he'll pull his stick back up over his shoulders to unleash his blistering
blast. That he keeps scoring with it, is.
"What you have to do with Nibs, you have to challenge him at the point so he can't get his shot off," said the Colonel, who connected on nine shots of his own in Sunday's game. "It's like if the ball gets to a certain velocity, it goes in. And Nibs can reach that velocity."
"He's got sort of a seeing-eye shot," said New Guy.
"When ball get turned over so quick, you can't let goaltenders get set," said Pig Farming Goalie, of his nemesis' renowned quick release. "They seem to understand that faster ball is harder ball for goalie to stop."
But, said Nibs, there's little mystery to his success.
"You've got to be quick," said the sharpshooting sophomore. "If I just stay there and wait for a shot, the defense is gonna come on me."
Nibs' contribution to his side's victory overshadowed the Colonel's
heroic performance for the losing side. Playing his first game in three
weeks, he took control halfway through the game to single-handedly lead
his team from the wilderness of a six-goal disadvantage.
"When you get down 12-6, it's too much," said the feisty forward, who caught fire after a spirited confrontation with arch-rival, Lak Attack, along the boards. "You've gotta work hard and get it back fast. You've gotta try to get it all back in one shift. If you do, you have a chance."
He did almost just that; the comeback took three shifts.
"It was definitely tough," said New Guy, of his opponent's outburst. "Colonel just kept popping goal after goal. For two or three shifts we tried to stop the hemorrhaging, but we just couldn't do it."
But they couldn't maintain that momentum. And, said Billy Idol, their reliance on the Colonel's individual effort may have been their undoing.
"I think Colonel threw off the other team," said the rocking rebounder. "He came out all fired up but he was just playing for himself, and you can't have a team with just one guy."
Sunday's win was especially tasty for the victors, as it came in the
eighth Shrimp Ring Bowl, the roadsters' annual celebration of the first
game of a new year.
"It's always big to get a little chunk of shrimp when you deserve a chunk of shrimp," said fellow founding father Wink. "Being a veteran, I understand the history of the Shrimp Ring, that it's one of the great games of the road hockey year."
"The win tastes as good as the shrimp did," said Paul One, another veteran of every Shrimp Ring Bowl.
"That was a huge win for us," said Billy Idol, a winner in his second Shrimp Ring showdown. "This team today had a lot of character, we had a lot of good players."
"It was nice," said New Guy, who scored the game winner after joining the game midway through the second period.