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Beetle Boy battles in close quarters with Wink and Gump in a game in which space on the sidelines was at a premium, as each team employed two full lines plus a spare. The feisty forward emerged from a crowd to tip home the winning goal in his side's 25-20 victory

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Week 30
Crowd management

Creating combinations key to win

by Jay Suburb

Beetle Boy emerged from a crowd of defenders to tip home a cross-court pass from Bulldog and seal his team's 25-20 win in Sunday's game.

It was the third time the dangerous duo had teamed up to cash in a scoring opportunity. And in a game where both teams had to constantly roll lines, finding effective combinations became the key to putting balls into the net.

"We had certain combinations that seemed to work well together," says Unabomber of his mindful mates. "There's certain guys who just seem to play well together and there's certain combinations that just seem to click."

"Certain players go well together," says New Guy, who overcame a late-game swoon to earn his second straight victory between the pipes. "If you get a whole line of shooters, you're not gonna get much. You've gotta have someone who can carry the ball out of your own end consistently, you've got to have a shooter and you've got to have a passer."

Of course, it didn't hurt when one of the combinations his team was able to throw onto the court included road hockey's speediest playmaker and one of its most prolific scorers, Lak Attack and the Kid. With precision passing and relentless ball pursuit, they sparked their side to an early lead.

"We were able to get some great passing, especially with Lak Attack and Kid finding each other in the open spots," says Unabomber.

"It was just tough to contain them," says Billy Idol.

"We stunk as a team early on," says Wink, as his side struggled to create lines with the right balance of defensive sensibility and offensive capability. "It's really hard with so many guys to get any rhythm and to find some lines that will work."

"It's confusing out there," says Paul One. "You've got different combinations, you're staring around looking to see who you're playing with and who you're playing against; you spend half your time trying to figure out what's going on."

By the time his side did, they were down by as many as six goals. And while they were able to close the gap late in the game, the defecit was just too deep.

"We came back, but we were just too far behind," says Billy Idol.

"Everytime we got real close, they got a couple of timely goals and it felt like we were going back uphill again," says Paul One. "We just let them get too far ahead and we couldn't catch them."

"We just didn't have quite enough," says Wink.

"I think getting that big lead early, we still had enough to hang in there," says Unabomber.

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

 

Sunday's surplus of players was the biggest turnout since Week Nine, when there were enough roadsters to comprise four teams. Only two weeks ago, barely enough players showed up to even start a game.
And while the crowded sideline kept the pace lively, as teams turned over a constant supply of rested roadsters, not everyone was happy.
"You end up sitting off too long," said Billy Idol. "Some guys are taking shorter shifts, and some guys are taking longer shifts; it's really tough to get momentum going."
"You're sitting for a long time, and then you feel like you should be out there for a long time, so you start taking long shifts and it's just a bad combination," said Wink.
"It's tough, because sometimes you're sitting off for two shifts," said Unabomber. "It's hard to get into the flow."
But no matter how many roadsters are waiting to get into the game, their job is the same, said Paul One. "It always comes down to the same thing, play solid defense, play good offense and score more goals. You've got to win your shift."

The sidelines would have been even more crowded, but Rudy left the game early after he ran head-on into the elbow of Roach, as they jockied for position near the net. The speedy sophomore walked off the court under his own steam, but clearly shaken.
"It was a major blow because Rudy is such a hard working guy," said Unabomber of his tireless teammate, who was eventually driven by his nemesis to the local emergency ward for a checkup. "He really keeps the energy up out there."
"Rudy getting hurt sort of threw everybody off," said Billy Idol.

Bulldog's play to set up Beetle Boy's game winner capped a triumphant comeback for the feisty forward, who played only his fourth game of the season, and the first since returning from his pursuit of educational opportunities in a faraway city.
"You know when Bulldog shows up, he's going to give a good solid performance," said Paul One. "It's what you expect of him."
"He brings a lot to the table," said Unabomber.
"He's got a lot of flash and dash out there," said Wink. "You've really got to keep an eye on him."