CORAZZI’S CORNER: SECOND SEMESTER RECAP PART I

Chris Corazzi after his injury against Michigan State

Dear fellow fans, admirers, devotees, those who idolize me, and aficionados:

I apologize for my lack of reporting on the Illinois Roller Hockey Team this
semester. While I would like to say I have a legitimate reason for not taking the time
to captivate the imaginations of all those who wish to read my vivid and inspiring
articles, I must say I simply have not made the time thus far. However, now that I
have a broken neck, I have a new appreciation for life and realize that I need to
make the most of my time here, and therefore have a renewed enthusiasm toward
fulfilling my lifelong dream as the guy who writes crappy recaps for Illinois Roller
Hockey. So, without further ado, I will begin recapping the season that was (and
will be), starting with our first regular season weekend of 2nd semester.

The Fighting Illini began the second half of their season against Saint Charles
Community College, a team they had beaten once already earlier in the season.
However, according to a fellow Great Plains Referee, (keep in mind we certainly
have the best officiating in the NCRHA and have the upmost respect for our fellow
GPCIHL officials; let’s take a moment to pause and give thanks to these hard-
working men) a SCCC player was heard saying that, “Oh, we knew Illinois was
terrible so we didn’t really think we’d have to try and beat them. They’re really not a
good team.” So, the Fighting Illini knew the Cougars had something to prove this
time around, but it didn’t help much with their on-rink play.

Saint Charles started the game with a crisp break out that lead to a 3-2 and
great quality scoring chance not even a minute into the game. Unfortunately for
Illinois, this was going to be a reoccurring theme. Throughout most of the first
period, the Cougars could set up and break out of their zone at will while Illinois
struggled to get any quality scoring chances. Nearing the end of the 1st, the Cougars
would net the first goal of the game and Illinois would start the second trailing by
one.

Thankfully for the Fighting Illini, there is a one Russell Feathers manning the
blue line. Feathers was a burly and intimidating stand-out defenseman from the
Cornel Big Red, and with his presence looming over the opposition, it was only a
matter of time before his offensive prowess was simply too much for the opposition.
Most unfortunately for the Cougars, Feathers was ready to unleash a rage of power
that would simply leave them helpless (with the help of Ben Brandsen, of course).
Brandsen was powering his way down low in the offensive zone when he couldn’t
help but notice a towering Feathers streaking in from the point. With a tape-to-tape
pass, Feathers caught the puck in stride and ripped a thunderous slap shot toward
the Cougar net. The look of shear dread on the goalie’s face would even make angels
cry, and the puck ricocheted in through his 5-hole at least 14 MPH, leaving
everybody on the rink searching for answers as to why this was Feathers’ first goal
of the season. After a first pump that said only could’ve said, “Now you’re my

b*#$%,” Russell lined up as if scoring was more familiar to him than the derivative
of X2. The Cougars, somehow seemingly unfazed by the monstrous display of
authority by Feathers, scored just 16 seconds later to take the lead, and added one
more to go up 3-1 heading into the third.

Illinois had no answer for the Cougars however and after the short
intermission, the SCCC scored again to start the third. While the game seemed to be
slipping out of reach for the Illini, Adam Corazzi found himself on a 1 on 1 with a
Cougar defenseman and had a plan of his own. After coming in on the hapless
defenseman from the middle of the slot, he cut over to the left and fired a shot low to
the right, catching the goalie off his angle and the tender could only wince in pain as
he watched the puck slid past him along the ground. A snipe of this ungodly nature
was a pick-me-up for Illinois, but still Saint Charles seemed to control play. DeGrado
continued to come up big, making numerous saves on odd man breaks and denying
the Cougars at point-blank range time and time again. The stellar play of DeGrado
would then set the stage for an Illini comeback of epic proportions. With two
minutes left in the game, DeGrado hustled off the bench for an extra attacker. After a
shot on goal led to an ensuing faceoff, the situation seemed bleak as the Illini hadn’t
one but a couple face-offs all game. However, you can throw all stats out the window
when the game is on the line, and a big face-off win by Justin Acton allowed Zack
Wand to rip a shot on goal from the point. Acton had moved to the back door, and
when the goalie failed to catch the puck, Acton picked the puck seemingly right out
of the netminder’s mitten to make the game interesting. Illinois again pulled the
goalie, and with just under 20 seconds left, SCCC had a chance to clear the zone but
temptation of an empty net seemed to be too much for the Cougars. With their
mouths salivating, Saint Charles tried to skate the puck out of their own zone for a
better chance to pad stats. CJ O’Neil would be in the high slot, and get his stick on the
puck however, and flicked the loose puck into the net knuckle-puck style to tie the
game at 4 in simply a bizarre turn of events. “That was the garbbest goal” was all
O’Neil had to say as he lined up for the ensuing faceoff simply laughing at how his
team could be outplayed so badly, yet here his heroics allowed Illinois to steal a
point.


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