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Paul One battles New Guy and Billy Idol to control the evil orange plastic ball in front of Pig Farming Goalie. The ageless veteran scored eight goals, including a natural hat-trick in the first period, to lead his team to a decisive 25-18 win in Sunday's game.

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Week 21
One for the ages

Ageless veteran scores eight to lead team

by Jay Suburb

For Paul One, it must have seemed like old times. He drove to the hockey courts with his longtime co-commuter, Lobsterboy, for the first time in more than two months. Then he drove to the net, scoring eight goals to lead his team to a decisive 25-18 win in Sunday's game.

"Paul One set the tone," says Lobsterboy of his venerable teammate. "He showed everyone that he wanted to win, it rubs off on the other players."

Starting the game on a line with fellow founding fathers, Wink and the Living Legend, Paul One set a furious pace from his first shift, forechecking with fierce determination, driving hard to the open court, pouncing on any rebound. Single-handedly he pulled his side back from an early 2-0 deficit, scoring a natural hat-trick in the first period.

"Definitely bounces were going my way," says Paul One of his best offensive performance of the season. "The ball ends up on your stick at the right time, people are making nice passes to you, it's always a good combination."

"He stepped up his game," says Lobsterboy. "He scored key goals and that kept up the momentum for the whole game. We knew we were going to win from the beginning."

"He's a dominant player," says Wink of his motivated mate. "He can play in that Lak/Kid style and dominate in both ends. I mean, he's one of the best athletes out here."

"He'll bury it when he gets the chance," says New Guy.

That chance came when the day dawned dry, says Paul One, who's confidence suffers as much as his traction whenever the court is slicked by rain or winter snow.

"It was a perfect day," says the senior speedster. "You don't have to worry about making a cut, or stopping and turning in the other direction, it takes that worry about falling right out of the game."

Time and again, Paul One beat younger defenders to the corners or eluded their halfhearted checks as he drove to the crease. Underestimating the veteran's newfound speed and zeal in ideal conditions may have been their undoing, says New Guy. "I thought we'd do well running them around with our younger legs. But it didn't turn out that way."

"The veterans know how to play," says Lobsterboy. "They know the key moves to make."

"I think experience certainly counts for something," says Paul One. "It's a quick game out there and when there's some rookie players out there, I don't know if they've adjusted to the pace yet."

The Stick Pull (Noel)
Pig Farming Goalie(G) Lobsterboy(G)
Bird Wink
Nibs Paul One
New Guy Living Legend
Lak Attack Kid
Noel (yet to be named) Rudy
Elvis Cowboy Bill
Billy Idol Unabomber
Scratches: Slick (legal problems), Gump (substance abuse), Colonel (unsanctioned injury), Giebelhaus (exploitative employer), Ottoman (unsanctioned sex), Beetle Boy (exploitative employer)

 

Paul One's prolific performance may have been at least partly inspired by the return of his longtime CO-commuter, Lobsterboy.
Starting his first game in more than two months, the shelled shotstopper overcame early jitters that cost his team a quick 2-0 deficit to dominate his end of the court as if he'd never left.
"From that first shift onwards, he just built more and more confidence for our side," said Paul One of the creaseminding crustacean. "We felt really confident with him back there, taking care of business."
And for Lobsterboy, that meant covering every loose ball that rolled anywhere near his net
, controlling the game's pace, giving his mates a chance to regroup and frustrating his opponents.
"That's kinda frustrating when he roams," said New Guy. "We didn't get a lot of shots on him. Our star players just weren't able to make things happen."
"Some of the new guys have got to know they won't have an easy walk into my zone," said Lobsterboy of his wandering ways. "If they get too close, they're going to suffer the consequences."
The veteran netminder said he knew he had to reestablish his game quickly, as much for his own confidence as to fluster opposing forwards.
"Whenever you come back, everyone is looking to get the easy goal on you and wants to humiliate you for missing so many games," said Lobsterboy, who's last start was in Week 10. "I just wanted to make some key saves, keep the game to a low score and set the tone as well."

The reunion of Paul One and Lobsterboy may also have been a rallying point for their teammates, who played with a single-minded purpose and playmaking cohesion unmatched by their disorganized opponents.
"I think we were more together as a unit," said Wink. "It was a total team effort."
"The guys were backchecking and forechecking," said Lobsterboy. "They saved the goalie when he was in trouble."
Which wasn't very often, as the upstart opponents sniped at each other more than they sniped shots at the net.
"Our team chase ball and not make plays," said Pig Farming Goalie, who lost his first game in three weeks. "We just not play together, and when you're not playing together, it's difficult because it's three individuals against whole team."
"You feel like maybe you have to do everything on your own," said New Guy. "You wind up coughing it up and it turns around to a two-on-one going the other way when you're trying to hard on your own."

Nibs was a late addition to his team, after he had to scramble to find a way to get to the game because his car had been stolen the night before. And, he admitted later, the distraction may have limited his effectiveness, as he struggled all day to unleash his patented point blasts, reaching the back of the net only once.