Last Night of the Year (Sept 5th) NEW TEAMS: NEW SCHEDULE
30 minute games, bring a dark and light jersey.
Tenative teams (subject to last minute tweaking)
7:00-7:30 1 vs 2
7:30-8:00 3 vs 4
8:00-8:30 1 vs 3
8:30-9:00 2 vs 4
9:00-9:30 1 vs 4
9:30-10:00 2 vs 3
1 2 3 4
Dan Derek Aaron Chris
Doug Dino Dave Joel B
Gord Ian Dan Doiron Joel G.
Jeff Joey John Lee John P.
John W. Nathan Jos Phil
Peter Rod Matt Sean G.
Tom G. Greg Parlee Mike Shaun S.
Tom S. Steve L. Troy Shorty
A vs B - 8:30
(B has won the best-of-three semifinal 2-0)
Quickly, here's what may have happened last week:
The Four Horsemen
Even War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death themselves couldn't have dismantled the Alpines so thoroughly.
A shorthanded Team Bud, playing without a spare, drubbed Team A 22-9, sweeping their best-of-three semifinal. Rod MacBain, Shawn Sullivan, Matt Parker and Joey Duguay rebounded from an early 6-2 deficit, scoring an amazing 20 of the game's final 23 goals.
MacBain led the charge, tallying 15 points (which must be some sort of playoff record), Sullivan chipped in with 13, Parker had 9 and Duguay minded the store while the other three were in the Alpines' end filling the net. Tom Sweet chipped in 6 points in a losing cause.
The win vaults the Buds into the League Final, while relegating the Alpines to the Consolation Final.
Saved by The Bell
Team C staved off elimination with a harrowing 9-8 victory over team Draught.
Fueled by desperation, the Canadians stormed out of the gates, and after Gord Jennings and Sean Gass scored two goals 20 seconds apart midway through the first half, the score stood at 6-1 for Team C. The Draughts then embarked upon a meticulous, game-long comeback, aided greatly by their suddenly highly successful power play, which accounted for half of their goals. The comeback fell short in dramatic fashion, however, as the buzzer sounded with team D enjoying a three-man advantage (with their goalie pulled for an extra man and two Canadians in the box) for the game's final 17 seconds.
Gass and Doug Sanders led the Canadians' balanced attack with 4 points each. Tom Gavin recorded 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) in the losing effort.
The win knots the best-of-three semifinal at one game apiece, with the winner facing Team Bud in the League Final, and the non-winner facing
off in the Consolation Final against Team A.
Notes: Attendance fluctuated by game, but cumulatively was at least 7...Janine acted as scorekeeper/timekeeper/goal judge for the first game.
Thank you, Janine!....A quick search of league records shows that MacBain's output - 6 goals and 9 assists for 15 points - does indeed create two new playoff one-game records: most assists and most points (breaking the previous marks of 8 and 12, respectively, set on August 31, 2005)...Referee Jack Robichaud twisted his kneecap during Round 1 of the Canadians-Draughts slugfest, effectively ending his season. Could this be Tracy Parker's big chance?....This marks the first season in which Shorty will not be participating in the Final.
In brief: Canadians struggle back to force Game 3 showdown: Buds Bounce Alps.
STATS HIGHLIGHTS TO FOLLOW SHORTLY (Circa Aug 12th)
Surely that was our most competitive regular season ever? Out of 24 games this year, there were 4 ties, 8 one-goal games, and 3 games were decided by two goals.
Even more importantly, while there were plenty of penalties this year, there were no incidents like last season (Phil on Matt) or the season before (Shannon-Dwayne). It's natural for everyone to get upset/frustrated/angry at some point during a game, but so far we've been able to stop short of escalating our frustration to the point where we endanger somebody's well-being. Please, let's continue to do this during the playoffs.
As agreed at the pre-season meeting, the playoff semifinal format is now two best-of-three series, based on regular season finish. Team C finished first and will play Team D. Team B finished second and will play Team A.
I'm not going to be around email for 10 days, so here's the schedule for the first week. I can't imagine anyone having a question for me at this point, but your captains have your team contact list (which includes spares). Joel also has one and his cell is 333-9694.
Wednesday, August 1:
7:00 - D vs C
8:30 - B vs A
Good luck to all.
Here's what may have happened last week:
Out of the Cellar
Dave Watson tucked home a John Water's pass late in the second half, snapping a lengthy 6-6 deadlock and vaulting the Alpines past team Draught into third-place in league standings.
The game pitted the hard-working defense-first approach of the Draughts vs the scoring machine that is the Alpines' Steve Lavoie. As it turned out, both were fairly effective, with Team D getting the low-scoring game they wanted and Lavoie breaking free on occasion to tally 4 goals (along with 2 assists and 3 penalties).
After a looping Sandy Lindsay shot knotted the game at 6, neither team could find the back of the net for a stretch of almost fifteen minutes, before Watson, lurking unmarked behind the Draughts' net, performed his game-winning magic.
"I resent that remark. I wasn't 'lurking'," Watson said after the game. "I was being stealthy."
The victory gives Team A a record of 2-9-1, one point ahead of the Draughts, who finish at 1-9-2.
One Game, Two Comebacks
Shawn Sullivan banged home his 6th goal of the game with 45 seconds remaining, pulling Team Bud into a 13-13 tie with the Canadians.
Team C, which trailed 8-3 at halftime, exploded out of the gates in the second half, eventually taking a 13-11 lead into the game's final 5 minutes. The Buds mounted a late rally of their own, scoring the game's
final two goals.
Sullivan had 8 points, matching the output of the Canadian's Gord Jennings, who collected 4 goals and 4 assists. Jennings output, gave him 3rd place in league scoring, outpointing Team B's Rod MacBain, who garnered 4 assists (including one on the equalizer). The two were tied going into the game.
"If you write down anything I say right now, I'll roundhouse kick you," Jennings said afterward, still somewhat miffed about being assessed
The win caps an undefeated season for Team C at 9-0-3, while the Buds finish with a stellar 8-2-2 record, with all four of their non-wins coming against Team C.
Notes: Attendance dropped precipitously, from a record-high of 7 last week to 3 this week: Celia, Steve Hill, and a guy named Mike...The league announced that ticket prices will not be increased for the playoffs....Team C's 21 points is a league record, surpassing the 18 amassed by Team Alpine in 2006....Matt Parker's two-season reign as goal-scoring leader came to an end, as Lavoie led the league with a record 45 goals. Parker finished 5th with 28 goals, but he would like to remind everyone that he's playing without his appendix, for God's sake!....Perhaps surprisingly, Matt did lead all defencemen in goals and points (43)...The most penalized player was Doug Sanders with 10....Guy Savoie led all rookies in goals (18), assists (14) and points (32)...Yvon Collette led all goalies with an 8.73 GAA and .854 save %...Peter MacLennan had an astounding 62 blocks, 25 higher than Sanders, who was second in the category...The Alpines' two victories this year were in their first (May 9) and last (July 25) games of the season....For the first time ever, Tom Gavin has won the Gavin scoring race, besting Phil 31-23...Parker's appendix finished out of the top 10 in its Sussex league, but still managed 15 goals before its season was cut short because of a tonsillectomy....Even with those 15 goals, Parker wouldn't have beaten Lavoie.
C vs D - 7:00 pm
A vs B - 8:30 pm
Here's what may have happened last week:
In a game dominated by two substitute goalies, Team Bud pulled out a tightly-contested 7-6 triumph over Team Draught. The Bud's Steve LeBlanc slightly outduelled his Draught's counterpart Paul Carr in the win, improving his lifetime YJCMHL record to 5-0.
The contest was a defensive struggle for most of the night, with Team B holding a meager 3-1 lead at halftime. Play opened up somewhat midway through the second half, which was to the Draught's benefit, as they used a furious three-goal rally to tie the game at 5. The comeback was destined to fall short however, with Bud forwards Shawn Sullivan and Jeff Duff banging home goals soon thereafter. After a late Phil Gavin goal made the score 7-6, LeBlanc shut the door the rest of the way, finishing with 54 saves.
"They mounted a pretty good comeback at the end there," Leblanc said with a smile. "But I had a perfect record to maintain."
The win gives the second-place Buds a 7-2-1 record, keeping their first-place aspirations alive. With two games left in the regular season, they need to win both their games and hope the Canadians lose their last two. The Draughts remain in 3rd place at 1-7-2.
Hubbard Helps Canadians Outscore Alpines
Gord Jennings (7 points) and Nathan Leech (6 points) made sure that no comeback was needed, leading Team C to a 15-11 slugfest over team Alpine.
In each of their last three games, Team C needed a complete second-half turnaround to avoid a loss. No such dramatics were necessary on this night, as they jumped out to an early 3-0 and led for the entire game, keeping their unbeaten record intact.
Also factoring in on the scoresheet was Troy "Old Mother" Hubbard, who tallied his first goal of the season (and his first since August 30, 2006). "Pal, it's been so long, my celebratory dance is seriously out of date," said Hubbard, while doing the Robot across the gym floor.
Despite the relatively high score, both goalies were solid, with both Yvon Collette and Kenny Colwell making numerous point-blank saves.
Kevin "Shorty" Short and Steve Lavoie had 6 points each in the losing effort.
The win improves the Canadians' record to 8-0-2, while the Alpines
fall to 1-8-1.
Notes: The 7-6 win was the lowest scoring game of the year...Attendance dropped 50% to 3 (the week previous, it was a stunning all-time high of six:
Celia, Tracy, Jodie, Janine, Steve Hill and Joel's female friend)...No, not that Joel. Joel Bustard....Just slightly past mid-season, the All-Star votes have been tabulated. Voting was done by secret ballot, but I'm sure you can work them out. 6 guys tied with one vote apiece: Aaron, Matt, Shorty, Joel B., Steve Hill and Tom Gavin....Sandy may want to chat with Celia about that last one...Jennings now has 10 goals and 13 points over his last two games.
He hasn't scored like this since prom night '77...The benchmark for best team record was set by last year's Alpines at 9-3-0...Phil is now 6 points behind Tom in the race for most points by a Gavin...Guy Savoie holds the rookie scoring lead with 24 points.
In Rod We Trust
Chalk one up to the Stickhandling Scotsman.
Team B captain Rod MacBain carved up a Tom-Gavinless team Draught defense, amassing 9 points while leading the Buds to a 12-8 victory. On numerous occasions, MacBain's stickhandling prowess left defenders flailing in his wake, as his team jumped out to an 8-2 lead. The Draughts rallied somewhat in the second half, scoring four unanswered to make the score 8-6, but they got no closer.
"In Scotland, our sports involve throwing logs, hammers, and sometimes rocks," MacBain said afterward. "Crivvens! Compared to that, ball
hockey is easy, help ma boab."
The win solidifies the Buds' hold on second place, with a record of 5-2-0. The Draughts, meanwhile, saw their 2-game unbeaten streak snapped, dropping their record to 1-5-1, one point ahead of the fourth-place Alpines.
C is for Comeback
Doug Sanders pounded home the game-winning goal with 0.3 seconds left on the clock, lifting Team C to a pulse-pounding come-from-behind 11-10 victory over team Alpine. Sanders' goal came 30 seconds after the Canadians tied the game with goaltender Yvon Collette on the bench in favour of an extra attacker.
The thrilling final minutes overshadowed the performance of Alpine forward Joel Goudreau's life. His 3 goals and 3 assists had staked his team to a 10-7 lead with a dozen minutes left. Goudreau's, who had just returned from triple-A Shippagan for what team officials called a conditioning stint, may have just cemented his position on the team for the rest of the year. "I even brought the team t-shirts," Goudreau said. "I do it all."
The game was not without controversy. With ten minutes remaining, Steve Lavoie, the league's second-leading scorer, argued a penalty call a little too vehemently, prompting referee Jack Robichaud to evict him from the game.
With the win, Team C runs its first-place record to 6-0-1, while the hard-luck Alpines fall to 1-6-0, with three of their losses being by a single goal.
Notes: Attendance rose 100% to 2 - Tracy Parker (Quinn) and Steve Hill (Hill)...Lavoie's ejection was the first in league history...Guy Savoie leads all rookies in points with 18...In the race for highest-scoring Gavin, Tom surprisingly holds a one point edge over Phil. Phil is the two-time defending winner in this category, with a career point total of 70 compared to his older brother's 63....Trivia question: MacBain's nine points gives him 93 for his career, moving him past Tom Sweet (90) for 5th place all-time. Who are the four people ahead of him, all with 100 points or more?....Goudreau's 6 points have prompted many to call for tighter steroid regulations in the YCM. Goudreau appears to have bulked up to 165 lbs and has lost most of his hair (head and pit) since the season began...Tom Gavin was absent because he was attending a high-school prom. This is the 33rd consecutive year he has attended a prom.
Wednesday, June 20:
7:00 - Draughts vs Buds
8:30 - Canadians vs Alpines
Here's what may have happened last week:
Team C alright now; In fact, it's a Gass!
Sean Gass would rather not know beforehand what position he'll be playing. His play so far indicates that it doesn't matter.
Gass, bounced around between forward and defence all season long, tallied 6 points (2 goals and 4 assists) as a winger, leading the Canadians to a 13-6 victory over a depleted Team Bud. "Maybe next week, I'll let Yvon play out," Gass quipped after the game. "After all, I couldn't possibly be as bad as Shawn Sullivan."
Team C defenceman Doug Sanders dominated when he was on the floor, allowing his team to generate numerous quality scoring chances, forcing Bud's goaltender Glen Doucette to deal with a whopping 93 shots. Doucette made numerous glorious saves, keeping his team in the game until halfway through the second period. It was at this point, with the score deadlocked at five, that the Buds - missing 3 regulars - started to tire, getting outscored 8-1 over the last 20 minutes.
The win keeps the Canadians in sole possession of first place, with a record of 5-0-1. Team B remains in second place with a 4-2-0 record, with both losses coming at the hands of team C.
Draughts get Satisfaction, first victory
It seems now that they've been started up, team D just might not stop.
With their second late comeback in as many weeks (the first garnered them a tie), team D defeated Team Alpine 10-9, recording their first victory of the season.
The Alpines, despite being outshot by a wide margin, held the lead for virtually the entire game thanks to some stellar goaltending from Kenny Colwell and a 7-point performance from Steve Lavoie. Still, the Draughts hung tough, never falling behind by more than two goals. Then, with under ten minutes to play, a duo with over 95 years of collective ball hockey experience struck. Grizzled veterans John Duplessis and Tom Gavin combined on the game's final two goals, and team D held on for the win, killing off a late penalty.
"If we give this kind of effort from week to week, I think we'll be alright," said Duplessis, while drinking a beer.
The win moves the Draughts into third place, with a record of 1-4-1, one point ahead of the Alpines, who sit at 1-5-0.
Notes: Attendance dropped to a season low of one - Steve "I'm retired"
Hill....For the 6th consecutive week, Joel G.'s girlfriend didn't attend....Gord Jennings, tied for second in league scoring, couldn't make the game because he was attending the last high school dance of the year...Quote of the year so far: After being whistled for a penalty, Peter MacLennan was trying vehemently to convince Jack that he was innocent when Doug Sanders said "Get in the box, Peter. You're wearing a bandana, not a halo."....Matt Parker's appendix is currently tied for third in scoring in a league in Sussex...In their 10-9 win, the Draughts only led once.
The Late Joey Duguay
Some say he was busy polishing off a KFC Mega Meal in the parking lot. Some swear he was still eating a double cheeseburger when he entered the building. Others claim he lost track of time trying to get his hair just right in the dressing room. But the one thing everyone can agree on is that the turning point of the game was the moment the sizeable and well-coiffed Joey Duguay actually stepped foot onto the gym floor.
Up to that point, a fast-paced, wide-open game saw the Alpines and Buds trade some picturesque goals before the Alpines started to impose their will, relentlessly pressing an undermanned Team B defense, and taking an 8-4 lead. Enter Duguay stage right to not only stabilize a tiring "D", but to score on two of his first three shots, bringing his team to within one goal at half-time.
"I waited until everyone was tired out and made my entrance at the appropriate time," Duguay said afterward.
The high-flying pace diminished considerably in the second half, with team Bud eventually taking the lead and holding on for a tight 12-11 win.
"I was able to show off my mad stickhandling skills until he showed up," said Alpine forward Joel Goudreau. "After that, there was just less space out there."
The win moves the Buds into sole possession of second place with a
2-1 record. The Alpines fall to 1-2.
Leech Has a Ball in Team C Victory
After hitting numerous goalposts in the past two weeks, Team C forward Nathan Leech was justifiably frustrated. But, during his team's lop-sided 15-7 win over the Draughts on Wednesday, Leech found a way to rid himself of all that frustration.
Every time team D threatened to climb back into the game, Leech and linemate Mike Connor quickly answered back, shifting the momentum back to their side. After such a goal midway through the second half, an exuberant Leech broke out a move rarely seen outside of a Michael Jackson video - the Crotch Grab.
"I was so pumped after that goal, I was just feeling nuts," Leech explained afterward.
Team C defenceman Doug "Colonel" Sanders had a monster night himself, playing his usual stellar defence and setting up chance after chance with sublime passes. Sanders recorded at least 6 assists, taking over the league lead in that department.
Sanders, the league's elder statesman, when asked about Leech's celebration, jokingly said: "I was going to copy him, but I pulled my groin a while back and didn't want to risk it."
The Canadians record now stands at an unblemished 3-0, while the Draughts fell to 0-3.
Notes: Paid attendance was 2 - Celia and Steve "I'm still going to show up and watch the games" Hill.....Tom Gavin, sick of being typecast as a can openerer, has made a conscious effort to use more elbows and high-sticks this season....Duguay and Guy Savoie lead all rookies with 7 points....All three games involving team B have been decided by one goal...Team C is the first team in league history to start 3-0... Sanders leads the league in penalties... Shocking most everybody, Gord Jennings, who once even managed to get a penalty during one of our weekly pickup games, has not been whistled down once...Kevin Short returned after a one-week, rash-related layoff.
Bronze Medal Game: A team salvages a bronze after a Prime Minister's Trophy winning season.
Gold Medal Game: Overtime victory by the upstart Canadians over a devastated B-Team.
Playoffs Week 3:
In ball hockey:
The collision between Teams C and D lived up to it's slugfest billing: The last two times these teams met they had tied and by the end of regulation that remained true. Playing without perennial scoring threat Rod McBain the Draught ran the Canadians to the limit and then some. But Cinderella begins with a "C" and that means Canadians will meet the Buds in the final.
The Alpine Redemption came in the form of a 17-16 overtime goal-fest over previously undefeated Buds. Scoring statistics burned for a combined 60 points in a match that saw three separate stats keepers develop Car-Pool Tunnel Syndrome (whoops! Sorry ... That's a potentially fatal condition native to Boston's Big Dig project.... But I digress).
Players of the week: hard to call any one person they were really excellent, hard fought games that saw everyone contributing.
Troy Hubbard: 2 goals and a baby (?? Assumed based on his rapid departure)
Steve Hill: He stayed for overtime and actually tried.
Sandy Lindsay: 3 goals, 3 assists
Tom Sweet: 3 goals, 4 assists
John Price: 4 goals, 3 assists
John Duplessis: 2 goals, 4 assists
Aaron Parker: 5 goals, 1 assist while picking up the slack for Rod McBain
Nathan Leech: 3 goals in leading the Canadians to the Finals
Well done all around guys! See you next week!
Playoffs Week 2:
Good games! Congrats to Buds for securing a spot in the Gold Medal game! I think everyone is shocked by the valley of the Alpines but I guess this goes to show that the teams were fairly balanced after all.
Canadians and Draught will duke it out (literally) in next week's early game for the right to beat the Buds in the gold medal game. Hold your breath... This one's going to be a scorcher! The last two games between these dark horses ended in draws. The immovable object of Yvon Collette will be colliding with the irresistible force of Steve Lavoie.
Players of the week in no particular order (it was too hard to pick individuals):
Steve Lavoie: 6 goals 2 assists in valiant but vain effort
John Price: 5 assists in vain effort (they won be he is sooooooo vain he probably thinks this email's about him)
Yvon Collette: Collette-In-Da-Net withstood 88 slings and arrows of this season's most potent offense (other than whoever it was cutting the cheese last night)
John Duplessis: 3 goals, 2 assists is hard to ignore
Peter MacLellan: 1 pretty goal (penalty shot), 3 assists and 378 shots blocked
Rod McBain: 4 goals, 3 assists to lead the stunning relegation of the Alpines to "also-rans"
Those words hit home like a Gord Jennings elbow.
7:00 - Canadians vs the Draughts, with the winner going to the Final
8:30 - Alpines vs the Buds, with the winner going to the Copperhead Pub to have a beer with the loser
Mike's comments summed up last week's games nicely, so I'll just clean out my Inbox this week.
Here are some questions people sent that I never got around to answering:
Q. What NHL team would you compare this year's Alpines to?
A. Hmmmm....I would have to go with the Detroit Red Wings. Great regular season success followed by an early playoff exit, many players of advanced age, Tom Gavin playing and starting to look like Chris Chelios,
Q. Since Sandy now seems to have a girlfriend, what is the deal with Joel?
A. I received 22 emails asking some variation of this question. I asked Joel directly. His response: "To fill the void created when Sandy left, I started hanging out more with my new friends Pat, Drew, Morgan and Dana."
Q. Who is this Alice and why does she hit things with her purse?
A. Ahhh, you've been listening to Gord. I'm not sure who Alice is or if she has "that new car smell".
Q. Who gets your vote as the Surprise Player of the Year?
A. 18 emails on this topic. However, most of your suggestions were from the negative perspective. We'll discuss those at the year-end party.
Here, though I'd like to dwell upon the POSITIVE surprises. Several of you mentioned Ian K. as being better than you expected. However, I would like to mention that Ian actually was a pillar on the team that won the championship last year, so to me he doesn't count as a surprise. One person suggested Gord. To that I would like to say that we veterans know that Gord CAN play hockey, even if most times he chooses not to. So, I guess my vote would be split between Steve Lavoie and Shawn Sullivan.
Q. Why does Yvon take off a piece of equipment after each goal scored against him?
A. He's part exhibitionist. Just be happy he stopped wearing the tassels.
Q. Any suggestions for goal of the year?
A. I know there have been a lot of slick passing plays this season, but from an "individual effort" standpoint, it doesn't get any better than Rod's "race to the ball, walk out of the corner while stickhandling around two Alpine defenders and then roof it over the sprawling goaltender" goal last week. (I know when Rod reads this, he'll immediately think: "Which
Stay tuned for the 2006 season news...
as for last season..it was a difficult 1st season for team Bud, they were able to put it all together in the Bronze medal game, and pull out a win over team Draught, who incidently was a team that dominated in their first 2 playoff games. Unfortunately for team Draught, they could not bring forward the momentum that helped them win their first 2 playoff games...
As for the Gold Medal game, team Canadian faced their arched rival team Alpine in what was a gruling battle between the 2 teams. Within the the first few moments, team Alpine took a 1-0 lead and continued their mastery of team Canadians by increasing their odds of winning by asserting that leadt to 3-1. However, team Canadian was able to tighten up their offense and defensive play, which finally helped them prevail and take the gold medal game away from team the Alpines...
All in all, it was a fun league and the fans are hopeful that it will be brought forth in the years to come...