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News Deck - The Howie Report

After extensive contract negotiations, the Mighty Pirates organization is extremely pleased to welcome back Howie for another season of insightful, amusing, and extremely addictive commentary! Yes, Howie tells it like it is!

You'll find links to each and every Howie Report right here after each game.

The "Howie-Les" Report (Semi-Final Edition)
2016-04-04: Mighty Pirates 4 vs. Dirty Pucks 7

Game Sheet

News Deck - The Howie Report The mood was great in the Pirates (2-0-0) dressing room before the game. Confident, but not overly so. Even with the freezing temperature that made getting dressed a tad unpleasant. (NOTE: Lesser sports websites would have written something about their "nads being unpleasant"... but, we'll never go there!)

Once his own Nuts were warm enough ("Nuts" is the nickname he gives his pens... yes, "pens", not "penis"... sheesh, you guys have dirtier minds than the Dirty Pucks!), Captain Mola dished out the forward lines: Mutch between Leggett and himself; M. Sager centring D. Turner and Phillips; and, Gallivan with J. Sager and Lella.

On defense, a remarkable set of: Besant and L. Klein; Jezioranski and Kwinter; and, Rosenberg and Sousa.

It didn't take long for the Pirates to strike and gain the early momentum. Under two minutes into the game, Gallivan couldn't jam home J. Sager's pass from behind the net. But Sager the Younger did jam home the rebound.

On their next shift, Gallivan crossed the blueline and neatly fed Lella in the upper slot. His booming slapshot was stopped, but the juicy rebound was for J. Sager's tasting, and the Pirates had a 2-0 lead on a gorgeous forehand-backhand deke. Easy peasy, eh? *Cough*

A late first period penalty saw the Dirty Pucks get on the board, cutting your heroes' lead in half as their impressive, healthy lineup, featuring all of their top stars, showed off their talents. The Pirates simply couldn't clear the zone; but, it was a power play after all, and surely the Pirates would get back to Pirate Brand Hockey® and shut this team down. A team they hadn't lost to all season long. Right?

But, it was too late. The momentum shifted. For good. All of a sudden, the Pirates were getting hemmed in their own zone, unable to clear again... this time at full strength. And so, the Dirty Pucks would tie the score early in the middle frame.

Just minutes later, the Dirty Pucks would take their only penalty of the game. However, the momentum did not shift. Missed breakout passes, poor execution, and bouncy ice did not help the Pirates' cause, and the Dirty Ones would score a short-handed goal to take a 2-3 lead! Really?! To make matters even worse, an unassisted goal from Benninger #74 (who would eventually have a hat-trick on the night) doubled that lead.

Sadly, watching from the stands due to a full bench, T. Turner looked on in agony as the Pirates gave the puck away in the neutral zone time and time again.

Regardless, a goal mouth scramble after a big blast from Rosenberg, and rebound attempt from Gallivan, saw J. Sager pick up a hat-trick of his own as the Bucs were back within one goal by the time the third period had begun.

You would have thought that would have opened the floodgates as in barnburners of the past between these teams; but, unfortunately, it wouldn't give your heroes the spark they needed. There quite simply was no fight. Three more third period goals from the Dirty Pucks, including an empty-netter, had the score at 3-7... and, a late goal, with the extra attacker, from J. Sager, his record-breaking fourth goal in a single playoff game, did little but delay the inevitable heartbreak of a playoff exit.

One game... many mistakes... the Pirates would not get the job done. The puck magically hopping over Besant's stick as the Pirates tried to score their second goal with the extra attacker was a nice touch from the hockey gods, epitomizing how things went for the boys in carbon and goldenrod.

Bonne chance to the Dirty Pucks who take on Exposed for The True North Cup next Monday. You deserve your shot.

For the Pirates... time to dream it all up again.

True North Hockey CanadaGood Guys, Great Game!