Editor’s note: This is part one of a nine-part series about Gut Rot’s victory on March 26, 2017.

Gut Rot went into Sunday’s game in a very Gut Rot way – not caring so much about winning.  Or scoring.  Or hockey.  They went into the game caring about fun.

(Also, it was a 5pm game, so they almost certainly went into it… already pretty drunk.)

However, once they hit the court, something happened. This tight-knit family of misfit drinking buddies turned into… a hockey team? A formidable opponent. They hustled up and down the court, making clean passes, getting open, backchecking. The Riots did not know what hit them. At the first whistle the Riots called a time out to check if Gut Rot was actually just 15 cloned Gabes in matching green shirts, but this turned out to not be the case. (We are still developing that technology.) It was Gut Rot. And they came to play some hockey.

In addition to all this great passing and hustling, Gut Rot got a stellar performance from the free agent goalie they borrowed. (Rot did the right thing and borrowed a free agent goalie rather than getting a ringer from another team, unlike Fresh Kills and the Demons did this week. Boo.) In a word: Newman. This guy was steadfast throughout, turning aside shot after Riots shot, and he topped it all off by not giving up a single goal in the shootout, helping the team to victory.

Newman (FILE PHOTO)

Captain Perko decided to have others do the scoring this week, so he commanded Gilligan and Scotty into action. Each of them notched one in regulation, sending the game into OT at 2-2. Morgen almost ended it in OT, but sources tell me that her +/- remained even on the day.

Yup, this one was going to shootout.

Before we get to the shootout, let’s talk about some Rotters who were suspiciously absent for the triumph…

Gut Rot utilized Newman this week because their full-time goalie Ed abandoned his new team in favor of going and getting married. What?!  Ed, listen up – Gut Rot IS your spouse now. The sooner you accept that, the better off you’ll be more your life will spiral out of control.

And Captain Diane…..where were you?!  Rumor has it that she traveled to some far corner of the world in order to visit a sorcerer, in the hopes of using black magic to secure a Gut Rot win. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Bill T. continued his absence as well, fueling suspicions that he is the leader of a prominent right-wing militia in Texas.

Each of you missed Gut Rot winning for the first time ever on opening day, and the first time Gut Rot has ever been at the top of their division. Shame on you both.

However, the most important thing you missed came in the shootout…

The Riots’ first shot/goal was called off because shooter pulled the ball backwards. Then Mark from Gut Rot took a hard ripper high and hit the goalie on the shoulder. The next Riots shooter was easily stopped by Newman. Then it was Liza’s turn.

When asked about the shootout-winning goal, Captain Perko had this to say: “Veteran Gut Rotter Liza stepped up to the plate with such sprezzatura you’d think she didn’t care at all – but you’d be dead fucking wrong, as her slow approach and impeccable shot tore through the opposing goalie like a musket shot. Truly a sight to see.”

The one and only.

And that was that. Arms flew up, gloves soared through the air, cheers echoed throughout Tompkins Square Park. Rotters embraced the mighty Liza, and each other, in a chaotic fit of pure victory.

Will Gut Rot have this type of continued success throughout the season? That remains to be seen.

But they’ll always have opening day.