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Pig Farming Goalie celebrates his first career Stanley Stick championship after backstopping his team to a resounding 20-7 win in Sunday's series finale. The sophomore shotstopper played only one game in last year's finale, as a forward.

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Stanley Stick Game Two
Sweep victory!

Plan pays off with rout

by Jay Suburb

Paul One was a man with a plan. Sunday, his team turned that recipe into a 20-7 rout, sweeping their high-powered opponents from the Stanley Stick Championship series in two straight games.

With New Guy out of the lineup to service the onerous demands of his exploitative employer, his mates no longer had the luxury of playing with three set lines. Paul One knew his side would be challenged to keep up the tight, cohesive team play they'd executed to take the opener.

"We had good success with the chemistry we had on the lines; we didn't want to mess with that," says the veteran forward. So he devised a scheme to split the odd-man duties between his side's two star players, Kid and Elvis. They stayed with their original linemates, then each played half a shift with the line that had lost New Guy.

"We felt we played really really well as a team and we didn't want to get away from that," says Paul One, who formulated his plan during e-mail strategy sessions in the week between games.

"We wanted to have set lines as much as possible," says Beetle Boy, who's solid two-way play with Kid and Bird earned him some key goals and the Conn Stick trophy as the series' most valuable player. "We really went out of our way to make sure that we got some consistent lines going."

"We kept everyone the same," says Kid, who contributed six goals to his first championship victory. "Me and Elvis split the game evenly, so a lot of the time I played defense with a couple of guys, and then offense with Beetle Boy and Bird. That seemed to work out really well."

"We were able to keep our lines more or less intact for most of the game, so there was no chemistry lost at all," says Elvis. "We knew we had to stick to our gameplan, the same game we played last week."

They tested their plan at a surreptitious practice at a secret court just before Sunday's finale, then honed it during a series of pre-game meetings.

"We were confident in our game strategy that we'd come up with," says Paul One. "We just wanted to stick with that, we didn't panic."

"They obviously were committed to winning more than we were" says Rudy, who didn't score a goal in a losing cause. "They definitely had a game plan. Paul One definitely brought his team together and showed them what it takes to win the Stanley Stick."

The Card Draw
Pig Farming Goalie (G) Ottoman (G)
Kid Colonel
Bird Cowboy Bill
Elvis Bulldog
Paul One Living Legend
Billy Idol Rudy
Beetle Boy Lak Attack
Unabomber Hoops
Gump Nibs
Scratches: Wink (unsanctioned injury) Lobsterboy (exploitative employer), Roach (hangover), New Guy (exploitative employer)

 

The champions' chart to the Stanley Stick trophy started strongly, as they jumped to a quick 5-1 lead. But the wheels almost fell off as a succession of quick goals by Bulldog and the Colonel brought the underdogs to within one, 6-5. It was as close as the game would get.
"That kinda freaked us out," says Beetle Boy, of his side's momentary lapse. "We just went out there and we decided we never wanted to quit, we never wanted to get behind or let them back in it."
"We weren't going to let the game get away from us," said Paul One. "We did not let up. It was a matter of keeping our focus and keep playing hard until the game was done."

The 13-goal margin in the finale was the biggest in Stanley Stick history, a result that surprised the victors almost as much as it humbled the vanquished.
"They definitely had offensive talent, they had a lot of top gunners so it could have gone either way," said Paul One of his overmatched opponents. "The other team seemed to be struggling from the beginning. They didn't believe that they could do it."
"It just seemed like they didn't have any team chemistry," said Elvis. "It was almost like they were defeated before they started the game."
"When you're fighting from behind the whole game, it's tough to keep it going, and eventually they just crawled away from us," said Rudy of his team's sub-par performance. "I think we were playing kinda desperate. Most of our shots were coming from far out. We weren't taking the time to get a good shot."

And when they did get away a good shot, more often then not it was deftly smothered by Pig Farming Goalie, who was determined to make his mark in his first Stanley Stick stint between the pipes after playing one game as a forward in last year's series.
"I feel for last four games of season, I play some of best goaltending of year," said the agrarian goaltender. "When all you have to worry about is one shot that you see from 25 feet, then all you have to worry about is making save and not letting out rebound."
"We know PFG is an amazing goalie, especially if he can see the ball," said Beetle Boy. "We made a concerted effort to really try to limit their chances on him. There wasn't a bad goal on him all day. He made all the right moves."
"Our quality chances just weren't there," said Rudy. "PFG just just doesn't give an inch; you can bang away in front of the net and he'll get his glove in there. He made some fantastic saves on some stuff that should have gone in."

But when it came time to select the winner of the Conn Stick trophy as the series' most valuable player, most of the roadsters said it was hard to overlook the clutch two-way effort of Beetle Boy.
The persistent pest scored key goals in both games that seemed to break the spirit of his high-powered opponents, including a chip shot over a sprawling Ottoman in Sunday's finale that shifted the momentum back to the champions.
"He play complete game," said Pig Farming Goalie of his tenacious teammate. "He was offensive threat and he always solid on defense too, never panic with ball, always took his man. He was excellent representative of our team play."
"I think he elevated his game like we've never seen him before," said Elvis. "He played the best defensive game I've ever seen him play, he was making the plays, getting the goals, finding the corners. He was a different person out there."
"I feel a little more satisfied because I came in knowing I really wanted to make a contribution and really try and play smart and not be a liability," said Beetle Boy.

Unabomber was also honored after the game, as the recipient of the Calder Stick, as the league's rookie of the year. He edged out Hoops and Cowboy Bill.
"He has good size and presence out there," said Pig Farming Goalie of the bearded blaster. "That shot he has is bigtime gamebreaker. One big blast and suddenly he get couple of goals. He gets lots of onetime shots off which are hard to deal with because ball coming hard and fast while you're moving across net."