Tournaments - Events
Canadians bring home the Maple Leaf Cup
February 20, 2005 - Singapore
When the Tokyo Canadians called on defenseman Keith McQueen, who now resides in Sydney, Australia, to join the team for the Singapore Tournament, they were lucky enough to have four of Keith's Aussie team-mates also come along for the fun and games. The 'thunder from down under' came up big from the start, scoring 2 of the 3 Tokyo goals in the 3-1 win over the Kuala Lumpur Cobras in the first game of the tourney. The Aussies continued their strong play and goal scoring throughout the tournament.
Sitting in 3rd place after the intial four game preliminary round, the Tokyo Canadians drew the Kuala Lumpur Cobras for the quarter final game. After some bad bounces, and giving up three too many breakaways, the Canadians went down 5-3 to the Cobras, and were knocked out of the race for the Brewerkz Cup.
With the consolation Maple Leaf Cup still within reach, the Canadians (and Aussies) defeated Saudi/Shanghai in the semifinal, and went on to play the Maple Leaf Cup final against the Hong Kong Selects (who picked up some Singapore players to replace the Hong Kong players skating in the Asian division championship).
The final was a fast and hard-hitting game, especially considering it was everyone's seventh game within 48 hours. The Tokyo Canadians continued to out-shoot the competion, as they did in each and every game of the tournament, and won the Maple Leaf Cup with a 3 - 1 victory.
Singapore also marked the rookie tournament appearance of the French Flash, Jean Olivier Caron.
Tokyo Canadians do it for the 6th time in Bangkok
November 6, 2004 – Bangkok, Thailand
The Tokyo Canadians battled their way into the championship game of the 2004 Thailand Ice Hockey Tournament, but took home the second place trophy for the 6th straight tournament in a row.
The Canadians were out-played, but not necessarily out-skated, by the Siberian All-Stars. A mix of youth, Russian "Super League" experience, and a policy of "no smiling or partying until the tournament is over" on the Siberian squad proved to be too much for the aging Canadian night owls.
The Tokyo Canadians now have their minds set on winning a championship, after nearly a two year drought. No better place than the Tokyo Tourney on December 3-5 to try to get back into the winning swing, but which half of the team can go all the way, Red or White?
Canadians Keep Streak Alive in Korea, Drop Final N
When the Tokyo Canadians excepted the invitation to attend the First Annual Seoul Kimchee Cup Tournament in 2003, little did the club realize just how much that weekend of action would set an ominous tone.
That unforgettable trip forged such memories as Vagiant and her posse, Jamie 'Red Head' Heather's 'Barf in the Broncho' and amazing metal detector penalty shot, Hopper and Younger and the missing alarm clocks, Lyle Warbinek's 'SNOWWIS' goalie pads and pre-shootout apology, and, of course, THE BULLDOG.......all earning legendary status in the annals of Tokyo hockey lore.
Unfortunately, the trip concluded with a championship game loss at the hands of the Geckos Glaciers in an exciting shootout finish. The loss set off a 12-month string of second place finishes as the Canadians choked time and time again from Bangkok to Las Vegas to Singapore.
Looking to buck the trend, the Canadians enlisted a bevy of Kimchee Cup veterans along with a nice mixture of youth and speed for the much improved 2004 games.
Regulars Cam 'The Hammer' Knox, Sean Hopkins, Jason 'The Vulture' Young, Satoshi 'Mr. Smooth' Chawanya, Stu Kimoto, Denton Venable, and, of course, Joji 'Never Miss a Trip' Hiratsuka returned to Seoul to avenge 12 months of disappointment. Dave 'Low Talker' Lotocki and Satoshi Kobayashi rounded out the list of Tokyo vets to make the flight to Gimpo.
In an effort to add youth, speed and warm bodies to the club, Minnesota natives Patrick Morris and brothers Mike and Steve Slaton made their inaugural trips with the team. Winger Sean Bennett made the trip as well but the group was still shy of one very important element.....a goalkeeper.
With Tokyo's regular netguards unable to make the trip, Knox reached into his book of numbers - not that one - and rang up St. Norbert College pal Roby 'rent a goalie' Gropp to convince him that early July was the best time to see Asia. While at first apprehensive, Gropp went on to become one of the more controversial features of the games mainly for his futon sized leg pads and a chest protector that made him look more like a bomb defuser in Kosovo.
Despite the obvious added weight, this didn't keep RoboGropp (TM) from becoming one of the best rushing defensemen in the tournament.
Boys from the
In an an attempt to accomodate the Tokyo Canadians' recurrent MVPs of the Asian Hockey Tour, Jason Young (29) and Cam Knox (29), the team conceded to entering into the youngest, 25 and older division of the Gamblers Cup in Las Vegas. Spearheaded by alumni star Gary "I'm sure he has at least a couple more moves comin' " Cox, the Canadians brought in some really old friends from Junior and for the gifted few, PRO days to take a run at the cup.
Now Chicago based CFO, Cox was quick to figure and a little slower to dismiss as a factor, that the squad on average was about half way through its 37th year of life. That's older than Detroit, but the experience of 30 plus years of hockey per player would clearly prove a factor. Seems the opening game's opponent was duly impressed as their final words, "how'd we lose to these old guys" was music to ears.
The one thing the Gamblers Cup provided which the Tokyo Canadians are not used to was a light hockey schedule . No four games in one day, seven in 36 hours marathons. "This is VEGAS, we're servin' breakfast, and we're not just here for the hockey!", insisted Jason Young, who brought his father Gary, nicknamed "DH" for his assistance on the Pai Gow tables, and grandfather "Gramps", down to see him play after a 5 year sabbatical. With only 4 teams in the division a round robin format would see the top two teams after 3 games meet in a rematch in the final.
Game 1: "How'd we lose to these... old guys" Tokyo 6, Minnesota 4
Game 2: Tokyo steals a 3-3 tie in an "
end to in our own end battle"
Game 3: A lopsided affair sees Tokyo advance to final undefeated in round robin
Final: Tokyo extends streak to four
"How'd we lose to these... old guys" Tokyo 6, Minnesota 4 Gamblers Cup, Las Vegas
Three goal shifts are the limit on Sunday nights in Tokyo, but come welcome on Fridays in Vegas against a team you expect may just hand your hat to you in the end. Jay Johnson and Joe "Freddie" Frederick did just that to lead the way to a commanding Tokyo Canadians lead which in the end proved insurmountable for the hustling team from Minnesota. Gary Cox had a stellar performance reunited with his old partner Al Gagliardi and lived up to the "Vladimir the Rushin' Defenseman" Cox moniker, bestowed upon him in his Moose Jaw days, for the ability to beat 3 forecheckers and wheel back to beat them again, and again.
Goaltender Darren Chalus, doped up on imodium, played a solid game, while holding back repeat inclinations to hurl, fighting off the flu.
Tokyo steals a 3-3 tie in an
end to in our own end battle Gamblers Cup, Las Vegas
Jay Johnson, once again had a multiple goal shift scoring twice to give Tokyo a 2-1 lead early in the second period. Spending most of their time, with no time, the Canadians were fortunate to have the lead given the few scoring chances they were able to drum up.
Another fast paced game with only two lines against their three plus, the New Hampshire team rallied for two unanswered goals into the third. Down 3-2 with not a lot left on the clock, Jason Young set up the tying goal using his "predictable to us", but to them "signature under the stick, had ya going the other way" move. Tim Zacharias moved in on Younger's soft saucer pass feed to make no mistake on a deke to the stick side.
Chalus once again stood out seeing more rubber than... ah... well if you come to Bangkok, it'll be clear. Player of the game honours could have only been dealt to him.
A lopsided affair sees Tokyo advance to final undefeated in round robin Gamblers Cup, Las Vegas
Having missed the first two games with food poisoning, Sean Hopkins rejoined the squad on a gatorade filled stomach to combine with his longtime linemates, Dave Lindsay and Joji Hiratsuka, finding the website in the opening shift, against the team from Colorado. Notorious for coming out of the gates with jump in their step, the trio recounted memories of scoring on the first shift in 4 consecutive games in Singapore. This one burned only 23 seconds off the clock... "no where near the record", sited its holder Dave Lindsay.
Scottie McCaskie, was the fourth forward to wheel through, and with the "Pong" line, where he eventually "turned a trick" in grand "McCracken style", once firing an out of nowhere wrist shot high over the short side shoulder, relocating the waterbottle to its new home. Scottie's parents also made the trip down to see if he still had his magic, and on this day it was clear. Dave "Cousin Eddie Griswald" Lindsay potted a couple of his own on sneaky backhand shots, making the goalie look like he was one step behind. Another family man, Dave had his entire crew in from Arizona for an exclusive vacation through several local hockey rinks, riding a mini-bus with a crew of unshowered, foul-mouthed hockey guys, and also stopped in for a visit at the hospital. The weekend's activities made their Christmas trip to Bora Bora seem boring. Gary Cox, who decided to leave his army of kids at home, buried a nice wrist shot after going end to end, using only 26 moves before rifling one over the keepers mitt.
In concert with deflationary pricing trends in Japan, Joji Hiratsuka, aka Jifi is now offering discounts for his Saturday morning breakaway clinics. "Tough to continue to command top dollar when you're on tape missing 127 breakaways in a row", conceded the Tokyo Canadians veteran. Jifi notched a handful of assists, but with energy expended, firing off the aging afterburners, he couldn't find the handle to get a good shot away, when in all alone. Apparently having the same problem in Roppongi. (picture shown is Jifi's last recorded goal on a breakaway, circa 1997)
The "Peg" line had to contain themselves a little in the latter part of the game after ruthlessly filling the net to the point where the tournament organizers refused to put them on the clock. Setting up several tic-tac-toe plays made it clear that these boys had played some hockey. Tim "related only by marriage to Vladimir" Zacharias pulled player of the game awards with his 4 goal performance. Barry Hedgecock stepped up to get one in a late game effort. Seems being late was in the cards for Barry. "Sometimes it's tough to get used to the time change from Winnipeg" cited Vladimir, as Barry went 4 for 4 on being late for the team bus. To be fair, it was Barry's first time having to deal with the tricky time zone thing.
And the rematch was on. Still wearing their jerseys from the days they all played college together (which evidently wasn't that long ago), the team from Minnesota was looking for a little redemption. The Tokyo Canadians did well to skate with the younger speedy team, not just because the rink was small, but because they had a chance to break their recent three time streak of going all the way to the final, only to meet with elusive finishing power.
Minnesota got on the board twice in the first period, but stood astounded, again as Tokyo regained the lead 3-2 in the second with the "Peg" line stepping up with impressive playmaking. Both Joe Frederick and Jay Johnson had everyone shaking their heads with their offensive displays.
Just when the proven second period team needed to become a third period team, Tokyo succumbed to the pressures of the shortened bench on the other side. Final score Minnesota 5, Tokyo 3. As the tournament organizers handed out the gold and silver medals, the sound of beer cans opening echoed from the Tokyo blueline. In traditional post game ritual, the team retreated to the dressing room to have a few while dissecting what had just happened. At this rink however, retreat took us to our "white trash trailer" dressing rooms outside the rink. A nice touch.
In an attempt to live up to the accolades of the "National" of Global Television in Canada as one of the world's best expat ice hockey teams, the Tokyo Canadians look forward to Seoul, Korea in July 2004... to stop the bleeding.
Hong Kong Selects their own Ref and win the Brewer
Tokyo came out flying in their first shift of the first period of the championship game, scoring early when Kimoto rifled in a pass from Knox with only 00:45 seconds run off of the clock. When Scott (J) Lackey took a questionable interference penalty, the tides seemed to switch.
Another penalty had Tokyo playing two-on-four, and Hong Kong capitalized on the ensuing powerplay. Hong Kong scored again on the next powerplay, but Scott McCaskie's steal and perfect pass to Dave Lindsay knotted the game at 2 apiece before the buzzer sounded to end the first period.
More penalties came in the 2nd frame, and that was all that the ref needed to do to keep the Tokyo Canadians from winning the game. The rash of penalties called on Tokyo allowed the Selects to have powerplays for nearly half of the game. There was a glimmer of hope in the final minutes of the game when Dobrescu was struck in the face, thinking the Canadians would actually play even, but the ref "did not see it" even though blood was dripping from Dobre's nose. Hong Kong's final goal was another powerplay.
Even though the Hong Kong-based ref only saw the Tokyo penalties, the Hong Kong Selects played an excellent game, scored some beautiful goals, and go home as the 2004 Singapore Invitational Ice Hockey Tournament Champions. The Tokyo Canadians had to settle for Runner-Up medals, instead of bringing home the Brewerkz Cup.
Semi Final: Farangs flail as Tokyo advances
Game 4: KL no contest for the Canadians
Game 3: Canadians bury Eurotrash
Game 2: Tokyo downs Dhahran Saad Falcons as defense steps up
Game 1: Dubai hands Tokyo first loss in Singapore Tourney
A noon start for the semi-final game against the Bangkok Flying Farangs from Bangkok allowed the Tokyo Canadians a bit of time to sleep off the effects of Four-Game-Friday.
The much needed rest paid off early when Cam Knox knocked in a rebound to take a 1-0 lead in the first shift of the game. The Tokyo team stuck to their game plan and took it to the Bangkok squad, hammering them 11-1 in the semi-final match-up, bettering themselves from their previous tie with the Farangs in Bangkok, November 2003.
Arron "Bulldog" Dobrescu showed off his skills, scoring 4 goals to help his team advance to the finals. Hide (Eddie) Takaya, Sean Hopkins, Dave Lindsay, James Heather and Jason Young all added 1 of their own in the victory. Knox had 2 and Todd Bengert earned the win.
Kuala Lumpur Cobras tried to play the spoiler and send the Tokyo Canadians to the consolation round by upsetting the tired boys from Tokyo, who were playing their fourth game in 17 hours. Canadians’ newest member and Canadian TV-star, Arron Dobrescu, had 4 goals in the lopsided 11-1 victory. Sean Hopkins and Cam Knox had 2 of their own while Dave Lindsay, James Heather, Jason Young all tallied one each. Goaltender Todd Bengert, had an assist and took the victory.
The win placed the Tokyo Canadians in first place after the round-robin action, and set the stage for a semi-final match against the Bangkok Flying Farangs at noon on Saturday.
Canadians bury Eurostars' trash Brewerkz Cup, Singapore
Billed as the matchup of the tournament, and a rematch of last year's final in Bangkok, Tokyo faced the home squad of the Finns (who live in Singapore), skating for the Singapore Brewerkz Eurostars . With a capacity crowd at hand in the Fuji Ice Palace, captain Mike LaRose was the first one to put the Canadians on the board with a great shot over the glove hand side of the Finnish goal keeper. Sean Hopkins, playing with LaRose was a key player as again he fed the team's skipper and Tokyo was up 2-0.
A rough and chippy game was exciting to watch as the Eurostars best player Salo tried to get something going for his squad. Goaltender Troy McPhee was up to the task on every shot, blanking the Finns 4-0. Eddie Takaya tipped in a shot by Scott Lackey, and Cam Knox put the icing on the cake with an excellent play with 6 seconds left in the game. Tempers were flaring up as the buzzer ended.
Tokyo Downs Dhahran Saad Falcons as Defense Steps Up Brewerkz Cup, Singapore
When the Canadians took to the ice in the second game, hopes looked good for the team from Saudi Arabia, as they just watched the tournament favorites lose their first game to their middle eastern counterparts. Tokyo was firing on all cylinders as 7 skaters took part in the scoring action. ‘Low Talkin’ Dave Lotocki hammered in 3 goals from the point, and also assisted on a few others.
The Canadians came out flying, after waking up and shaking off the cobwebs and jet lag. Cam Knox opened the scoring with a wrap-around goal, his first of two. Kimoto, playing along side Knox also had a hat-trick of his own, while McCaskie buried two. But it was the defense who were firing in goals in the shortened offensive end with James "I made it" Heather, Scott Lackey and Arron Dobrescu all netting one each. Troy McPhee faced 12 shots and only allowed 1 goal taking the win 13-1.
Although 13 goals got by the Falcons goalkeeper, he did an amazing job of stopping another 50-plus shots that the Canadians unloaded on net. The constant shelling took it’s toll on the keeper, with him barely having enough energy to get to his feet late in the 2nd period. The Tokyo snipers eased up at the point, and the Falcon keeper was able to avoid going into cardiac arrest (although he appeared to be close).
There were many excuses heard when Tokyo took its first loss of the 2004 Singapore Brewerkz Cup tournament, losing 3-1 to the Dubai Mighty Camels. Whether it being the late arrival of 3/4 of the team members who arrived at 2:00AM and had to be up at 5:00 for the first of four games on Friday, or if the 60% size rink had something to do with it. Cam Knox fed Stu Kimoto in the slot and Kimoto one timed the pass past the Dubai tender to go up 1-0. Dubai, who was playing in their 3rd game of the tourney were quick to counter and tied up the game in the dying seconds of the 1st period.
Tokyo failed to score any more and took the first loss as a learning experience. "It was the best thing that could have happened to us." commented Jason Young, as the team reflected and learned something from the first game.