NEW YORK (IFP) _ The New York Islanders beat the Rangers 4-3 in a shootout Thursday, snapping their five-game losing streak and allowing them to finally leave the out-of-commission cruise ship they had been living on for the last week.
"It's a relief, that's for sure," said center John Tavares, who had two goals, including the shootout winner. "I had been trapped in a 10'x10' stateroom with no hot water or electricity. So to get this win here is very satisfying."
The Norwegian SandShark, stranded at sea after an engine fire, had been drifting aimlessly in the Atlantic Ocean for days. The ship had drifted about 90 miles from its departure position off Freeport, Long Island and towards Bayonne, New Jersey thanks to strong winter currents. The fire caused widespread power outages and passengers had extremely limited access to bathrooms, food and water.
"The boat was really starting to stink. Bad," said Islanders captain Mark Streit. "But we worked hard, played our game and now we can finally go home. It feels good."
Each Islander has a different tale of inconvenience and frustration from the derelict vessel. Defenseman Andrew MacDonald had to sleep on his stateroom's balcony because of a persistent case of nausea due to seasickness. Young center Casey Cizikas fought a debilitating fear of the dark by burning books at night that were brought on board by teammate Matt Moulson. And goalie Evgeni Nabokov stayed in shape by running on deck and chasing frightened passengers with a sharpened ax handle.
"It was disgusting. Feces on the walls, people going crazy, eating each other, turning into animals," said a visibly relieved Nabokov. "I saw things I will never forget. It was inhuman. But I'm glad we got the win."
Without power to the stabilizers, the ship would often list from side to side without warning, adding another element of danger to the people on board.
"We almost lost Cappy a few times," winger Matt Martin said of coach Jack Capuano. "Dude is so lean now, he almost fell right off the boat and into the water every time it moved. Eventually, we tied a firehose around his waist and he slept outside on a lounge chair."
Streit said that his newly-free teammates were most looking forward to hot showers, Chipotle burritos and keeping their momentum up for Saturday's home game against New Jersey.
The Islanders slump started with a 3-0 loss to the Devils Feb. 3. Why they kept returning to the floating, lame, dangerous and potentially toxic cruise ship after every game was unclear. Also unknown at this time is why forward Kyle Okposo was not listed on the passenger manifest.
This is a parody. Nobody really tried to eat anyone. As far as I know.