By GENE HART
WINGS Play-by-Play Announcer
The odd-man or box lacrosse’s version of the hockey power-play (where one team enjoys a one-man advantage as the result of an opposition penalty) has proven to be a more devastating weapon than any ever exhibited on Spectrum ice by the Rangers, Bruins, or Flyers.
Only an extraordinary defensive performance or a conversely inept offensive attack prevents odd-man from culminating in a goal. Such is the edge afforded the offense…particularly when Coach Bob Allan sends pointman John Grant, cornermen Larry Lloyd and Brian Robinson, and creasemen Terry Lloyd and Zeny Lipinski out of the floor against the box-zone set up by the four defenders in fron of the enemy net.
But look again. Do the Wings really have a five-against-four advantage? Not if you’ve observed closely during the season for Allan has literally been attacking three not five against four! Why would he kiss away a manpower advantage? Sounds silly! But not when you analyze the talents of his Terrific Trio—Robinson, Larry Lloyd, and “Tree” Grant.
In my short tenure as Wings’ broadcaster in this premier box lacrosse season, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no more overpowering unit on attack than the Terrific Trio in the League.
Each is rangy, Grant and Lloyd well over six feet, and each has an explosive shot which, one-on-one against any goaler from within 25 feet, is an overmatch.
Grant’s exceptional backhand pass puts tremendous pressure on the front pair of the defensive zone, and Grant’s flexibility enables him to threaten that twosome with three options: passes left or right or that straight-on shot. Constantly moving and guessing eventually puts the defense out of position. Then with the open alley, one of the Terrific Trio gets THE shot which results in the goal judge doing his thing!
While Lipinski and Terry Lloyd do contain the back pair on the zone defense keeping them “honest,” they’ll rarely be directly involved in the play. They don’t attempt too much screening (blocking the goaler’s view) since the movement at the top of the zone gives the Wings’ [sic] exceptionally high percentage shots not needing the screen. And seldom do Zeny and Terry get rebounds since wide-shots have such velocity that the ricochet speed is too great for reaction control, and shots right on net either go in the goal or in the goaler.
Thus, Allan has, for all intents and purposes, said to the Griffins, Tomahawks, Quebecois, Arrows, and Stinger. “My three are better than your four.” So far no one has proved him wrong.
So have some compassion for the defense of a penalized box lacrosse team. The chances of their coming out of a penalty unscathed are like those in a Russian Roulette game with bullets in every chamber. Especially if the bullets are marked Brian Robinson, Larry Lloyd, and John Grant. ZZZZZZing! Wings Score!