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Beetle Boy doesn't let Sunday's driving rainstorm keep him from stepping into a check on Billy Idol. A renowned fair- weather player, the soggy sophomore scored five goals Sunday, to tie his career-best and lead his team to a decisive 20-15 win.

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Week 26
Fairly foul

Fair-weather player scores five in storm

by Jay Suburb

Beetle Boy is tired of being labeled a fair-weather roadster.

Sunday, he scored five goals to match his personal best and lead his team to a decisive 20-15 win. And he did it in a driving rainstorm.

"I've never been playing out here when it's this bad," says the soggy sophomore, who earned his reputation in his rookie season by scurrying under the nearest dry rock whenever the weather threatened.

But in Sunday's relentless deluge, that began early in the first period and seemed to intensify as play progressed, Beetle Boy found the play coming to him. The slippery conditions neutralized the advantage of the game's speedsters, springing him to take advantage of scoring opportunities.

"I'm not a fast player, and a lot of the other guys are really fast on their feet and the rain is kind of the equalizer," says Beetle Boy. "While they're trying to adjust, I can still play my game."

Sunday, that meant staying parked at the edge of the crease as defenders slipped and slid trying to hustle to the backcheck, waiting for passes or lucky rebounds to bounce his way.

"If the ball changes direction, people can't change their direction as well because it's too slippery," says Beetle Boy of his rainy day gameplan. "Their team was really pinching, sending all their guys up, so a lot of times we ended up with two-on-nothing breaks."

But, says Paul One, with his side struggling after jumping to an early 1-0 lead, they had little choice than to try to force the play in the offensive zone.

"When you start pinching in on a day like today, you're toast," says the veteran forward, who found himself caught upcourt, or watching the play from his soggy backside a number of times. "It was brutal out there. You couldn't turn. You'd break towards the end and if the ball went the other way, you're stuck there, you can't turn to come back."

That's when Beetle Boy was only too happy to take advantage. Twice he was left alone at the side of the net to bat home rebounds off the end boards.

"I kept thinking he was gonna pass it, but he kept shooting," says Gump of his nemesis, as he suffered the soaking loss in his first start as a goalie in a month. "They just got a couple of lucky breaks, a couple of flukey shots."

Now, says Beetle Boy, he hopes the roadsters will give him just one more break.

"I enjoy playing in these conditions," says the soaked centerman. "Somebody said once you get a reputation, it sticks. But I think I've proved that I've come out a lot of times this season in the rain."

The Stick Pull (Living Legend)
Gump (G) Lak Attack (G)
Bird Nibs
Billy Idol Kid
Living Legend Roach
Wink Beetle Boy
Elvis Unabomber
Paul One  
Scratches: Slick (legal problems), Cowboy Bill (unsanctioned baseball), Colonel (unsanctioned injury), Giebelhaus (exploitative employer), Ottoman (unsanctioned sex), Lobsterboy (healthy), Pig Farming Goalie (exploitative employer)

 

Beetle Boy's five-goal game was his second such scoring outburst this season. But, he said, he's not about to become a threat to some of the game's prolific stars.
"I don't think the rain hurts me as much as the other guys," said Beetle Boy, of his foul-weather advantage. "It kinda drags the game down to my level."

While the conditions were equally bad for both teams, the slippery footing and diminished visibility made it especially tough to Sunday's losers to sustain any kind of comeback, despite twice closing to within three goals.
"We were so far down, we got stuck," said Paul One. "That's what you gotta do, press the play to score goals. But then you give up the big opportunities going the other way."
"It's tough to play catch-up," said Gump. "When you're so far back, there's only so many goals you can catch up before they're able to score a couple more."
But, said Beetle Boy, his side was also a little more attentive to their checking in the defensive zone, stifling any scoring surge before it could gain momentum.
"You really do have to pay attention to defense," said Beetle Boy. "Luckily we had guys like Unabomber, was was a pretty good presence back there."

Lak Attack was a surprise starter in net, when Lobsterboy was a healthy scratch for the second week in a row. It was the first start of the season for the occasional creaseminder. And the drenching downpour presented unique challenges for both goalies, said netminding rival, Gump.
"It's almost like playing on ice," said the returning rearguard. "The big thing is, when your gear gets wet, it slows you down quite a bit."