Monday, 30 April 2012


Meet the CAHL Div 5 League Champions; the House League Heroes

This is a big post full of photos to celebrate the year. Most photos were taken by Chris Chitaroni, Brenna, and Jorden Guth, and a few from me off the bench.

This year was the best so far, and possibly ever for this team. We assembled a team in a league as strangers, essentially an expansion team with no structure. Several frustrating seasons passed and we got hammered and finished bottom of the barrel for 3 or 4 seasons straight. We had a team full of skilled players, but we couldn't match the chemistry and experience of the other teams. It goes to show you how important it is for everyone on a team to on the same page at every moment. 

We finished the 2011-12 winter season in first place with a record of 13w-3L-6t, ahead of second place by 11 points. We were the least penalized and finished second in goals for and goals against. We tied the very first game of the season, then preceded to lose the next three. We made a small change to lineup and all of a sudden people started to read each other. We went undefeated for the next 18 games. Mind you, there were some very close calls (hence the 6 ties, double the amount of ties of every other team), ands yours truly tied the final game of the season up with 40 seconds left on the clock to keep the streak going.

We ended up losing the first game of the round robin playoffs 3-0. Our first reality check in a long time. Players from both teams said "see you in the finals" in the handshake line. We went on to win the rest of our games in hard fought battles and made it to the semi finals. I shot with 50 seconds left and Brad tipped it in to give us the decisive goal to win 2-1 and go on to the finals. We DID end up playing the team that hand us our asses. We fought, and we fought damn hard. Everything we had in the tank was spent. Mike B was the game's hero and got us the go ahead goal with 4 minutes left. We ended up getting a penalty and finished the game killing it with their net empty. Mike B again came up big by diving and knocking the puck out of our zone while they tried to make their final stand. Time ran out, we won 3-2. We did it. It was an amazing feeling.

Nothing quite like when I was younger. When I was 12-16yrs old I was on winning teams, from 17-21yrs old I was always on last place teams. Combine that with several losing seasons with my men's team, that's a lot of losing. A LOT. This felt great and I could sense the relief and excitement in everyone else. We pulled it off. A team of strangers got together, had a good time and managed to get to know each other well enough to win it all. Everyone was instrumental to the team's success. I think at this point it's safe to say the guys know each other, and that is cool. Because now we can relax and be like the other teams.

Everyone really came through big. What an awesome experience that most people after the age of 22 will never experience again for the rest of their lives.

Thumbs up for rec hockey!

Marc Boudreau made this stainless steel beauty a few years back. I brought it out as a gag in case we won. It turned out to be less of a gag and more awesome than anything. Half shots of Strongbow was the celebration.

Here Seamas, gets his time to cherish the cup.

I am overjoyed

Stephane was suspended for the playoffs for fighting, but like a true team player and friend, he came to the game and coached

Allen gets his .5 shot

well deserved Benny

Seamas #8, winger, rugby player and father of two. Faster than you think, is tough as nails, and cannot be stopped

Justin German #11, defence from Saskatoon, Sask. Smooth skater and unpredictably good hands

Kyle Tanaka #9, centre from Toronto, super fast water bug, strong as an ox, and has a boomer of a shot. Kyle finished second overall in regular season scoring.

Rich Redmond #19 defence, you can bet I will stop at nothing to win. I hate losing
A move I stole from Kyle. Only time it worked and Chris happened to snap a pic. Back drag between the legs and around the defender.

Pascal #13 winger. Pas was a spare most of the season, but played like every game was his last. Quite possibly the smallest and roughest of the team

Chris Riopelle #89 center, very soft and calm hands, with moves to spare

Allen Kim #2 winger, also from Toronto and may well be a carbon copy of Kyle. Very smooth pony with lots of power

Seb #21 defence from Montreal. A true Quebecer, knows the game, is flashy, solid, and likes a good schmauzel. 

Ben Kaufmann #6 defence from Kenora, ON. Ben is my blue line partner. He is like a freight train, made of cast iron and has an equally hard to stop shot

Kyle wheeling

Justin sends a delivery

Kyle can always be found in the action at both ends of the ice

if I were that guy, I would step aside from Ben shooting

Mike Somerville #29, goalie from Toronto. Mike teaches his own goaltending school and is a true goalie. He is a total nerd and unlike anyone else you will meet. Only goalies can be so interesting of people it seems. Special breed. Mike has been around and his experience, quick reflexes and structured style carried us game after game, especially in the playoffs. Just don't talk to him about Tim Thomas or Hasek.

Mike B #88 winger. Affectionately known as Mikey. Mad wheels and great two way player. Emerged as our top scorer and hero of the playoffs.

Here Mikey flies by some defenders

Pas levelled this guy. Full contact hitting is not allowed per say, but the refs let a certain amount go by when the tempo is up and the action is mutual. Pas is so small, he often seems to get away with checking people. He was trampling people in the playoffs

Another win in the books. We never took them for granted

 One more game of experience for Mike S

men's league div 5 and everyone was playing for keeps. This isn't beer league crap

Allen evades a check as he usually does and comes out with the puck

Mike S big stop in the playoffs. Key saves game after game. Came up biggest when we needed him the most back there

This was after the buzzer went on the championship game

Stephane #92 winger, unbelievable hands and shot. Very heads up player. Can score and set 'em up too

Mike B pots one

Rio lines up

I made fun of Ben for scoring his first of the season with like 3 games left in the season. I grabbed the puck as a joke. Then he scored 2 more the next game. Then he came through big time in the playoffs with a few more. CLUTCH

Seb with a hockey player's face

Master mouth on the team

Quiet and calm

playoff hero

no more fighting!

We sure have come a long way from this haven't we? Here I am first season with jerseys lent from the league

and for my amusement (don't be afraid to enjoy this yourself) John (remember him?) faking a knee injury ON A BREAKAWAY. Good riddance.

1 comment:

  1. "Only goalies can be so interesting of people it seems. Special breed." I think you mean "Goalies are the only sane ones because they wear the correct amount of gear. A smart breed." ;-)

    Mike S