Tournaments - Events
Canadians get cold reception in Ulaan Baatar.
While the rest of the Tokyo Canadians were successfully shutting down the Atsugi Naval squad during “Mike Bossy Night” at Tokyo’s Yoyogi Arena, three members of the club were busy participating in the 6th annual UB Cup Tournament in sunny Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia.
Canadians Sean ‘Frozen Toes’ Hopkins, Joji ‘Jifi’ Hiratsuka, and Denton ‘V as in Victory’ Venable, as well as Tokyo resident Dave Henningson, joined Chris Cutting’s Seoul Geckos Glaciers for the Korean ex-pat club’s first trek to the Great White Far North.
Unfortunately, the boys from Japan provided little help as the Seoul squad finished in last place with a measly 1-3 record, which featured a split series with the host Mongolians and a 7-1 loss to eventual champions Beijing.
Hopkins led the way for the Glaciers with a handful of nice goals followed closely behind by linemate ‘Randy’ Andy Monteith. A trio of players added singles, including Henningson, but the crowd saw little to cheer about while watching Hiratsuka and Venable who both combined for
The outdoor tournament, played in balmy -26 degree temperatures, featured a homemade rink complete with primitive slat boards topped off with makeshift chickenwire netting. While the on ice conditions perhaps weren’t exactly ideal for tournament hockey, that didn’t stop certain players from gaining a feeling of nostalgia.
“This place really reminds me of Edmonton,” repeated Hiratsuka for the thirty second time in five days. “The way the sun reflects off the frozen streets, playing outdoor hockey on crappy rinks, the stern faces and unfriendly people on the sidewalks, the dreariness. Did I mention this place reminds me of Edmonton?”
While the Alberta boys Hopkins and Hiratsuka had no major problems acclimatizing themselves to the bitter cold temperatures, the Oklahoma native Venable never fully adjusted to the adverse conditions and even considered pulling another Chiang Mai style knee injury just seconds after the first shift in an effort to avoid finishing the games.
Following a memorable post-tournament dinner hosted by Mongolian Ice Hockey Federation officials, representatives from Beijing presented the financially struggling association with much needed bags of equipment, including an almost new set of goalie gear from the Dubai Mighty Camels, in an effort that was obviously very much appreciated.
Speaking of donated equipment, several players on the Glaciers reported disappearing sticks throughout the games as overzealous children simply lifted them off the bench from the visiting celebs. While Hopkins and Hiratsuka managed to avoid this problem, Venable somehow left Mongolia empty handed.
“Let’s face it, we had some guys on this squad that didn’t step up,” said Monteith. “Even if those kids use the sticks for firewood, as least they’ll finally be put to good use.”
Not such a Great Wall for Canadians to take down
Tokyo Canadians knocked down the great wall of Beijing's ice hockey squad in
an uneven match up. Veteran player and current team el presidente started off the scoring with a perfect feed from Scott McCaskie.
All three lines were in sync with each line notching in a few goals. Sean Hopkins neeted the puck twice, playing left wing and getting tape to tape passes from his center man Scotty. Lindsay, eager to impress the fans on hand added two more for his hat trick. Ogiso playing a solid offensive and defensive game also found the back of the net.
The defense, who did not want to left out of the scoring frenzy stepped up and Eddie Takaya made no mistake by yet another perfect pass from the guy who is number one in your hearts but number ten in your program -Scott McCaskie. Mike Larose and Stu Kimoto also scored with nice passes from Cam Knox. Hiroki Narushima took the win with the final score 10-3.
November 5, 2003
– Bangkok, Thailand Tokyo Canadians cruise to a 8-2 victory over Geneva
The starting line of McCaskie, Hopkins and Lindsay was too much for the shakey d-men of the Geneva team, scoring on their first rush into the offensive zone. Hopper buried the puck in the mesh from a picture perfect pass from Mccaskie to open the scoring. Brent "Don't be a jerk!" Carlson"s slap shot from the middle of the slot gave the favored Tokyo Canadians a 2 goal lead. The Swiss team did not give up and closed within one before the horn went to end the first period. Cam Knox made it his personal mission to drive hard to the net and it paid off as he tallied two for the Tokyo Canadians.
A sight to be seen was the rush up towards the net, like a vulture moving in for a feast, Jason Young who dipped and weaved like a hungry carnavor, made the goalie look like he was done like dinner, as he shoveled the puck into the net. Kobayashi, on the powerplay, saw daylight on the bottom short side and wasted no time to to let his quick release make the red line go on. On a hard forechecking shift, Stu Kimoto stole the puck in the offensive but lost his stick in the process. Alone in front of the net, with no stick, he managed to find Mike Larose who rippled the mesh.
July 6, 2003 – Seoul, Korea
Korea Outshoots Canadians in Final
It took a shootout to determine the champion at the summer tournament in Seoul, Korea. After three periods and a total of 10 goals, the teams headed into a five minute overtime tied 5-5. With no goals in overtime, the Korean Gekkos came out on top in a shootout to make sure the Korean Pot stayed on home turf winning the championship game 6-5. ....
Canadians capture Chiang Mai Cup
Cam Knox and Mike LaRose scored on the first shift of the final game giving the Canadians an early jump on their Swiss opponents helping the Tokyo Canadians to capture the 2002 Chiang Mai Cup with a 4-1 win over EHC Afflotern.
Later in the first half (tournament format, not a football typo), Satoshi Chawanya, who earlier in the day visited a bookstore and reviewed Great Forechecking Plays of the 20th Century, made a great forechecking play in front of the Swiss goalie causing the puck to squirt loose to future hall of famer (Tokyo's that is) John Richmond who had an open net and made no mistake giving the Canadians a 3-0 lead. The Canadians then got into penalty trouble again but the Swiss could only capitalize with one power play goal. Pulling out all the stops, the Swiss pulled their goalie for an extra skater but could not sustain any pressure.
As the game came to a close, Winnipeg native Gary Cox calmly carried the puck out of the Canadian end to centre ice and hit the bull's eye with his last shot of the game. The Winnipegger must have done some curling in his younger days. Dead centre. Game over. For more tournament scores and summaries, go here.
Semi-final Game: Tokyo 3 Finland 2 (Leijonat IHC) (Overtime)
Lindsay's Hatrick Sends Canadians to Finals
(Chiang Mai, Thailand) November 2, 2002 - In the semi-final game of the 2002 Chevron Cup, the Canadians scored early on a the first of three goals by Dave Lindsay but Finland got one right back when the Canadians could not clear the puck form their own zone.
Finland then took the lead late in the first half of the first period. The boys from Tokyo continued to press the Finns throughout but ran into penalty trouble. The continued pressure finally paid off with Lindsay netting his second of the night and tying the game at two. Coaching strategyplayed a role as the Canadians shortened their bench in the second half of the game in an attempt to produce more offense. The strategy helped but the Canadians could not score again sending the game with both teams ending tied at two at the end of regulation time.
At the halfway point in overtime, Leijonat IHC got caught on a bad line change and Dave Lindsay ended up with a partial breakaway. The Finn goalie got a piece of Lindsay's shot but the puck ended up trickling through the keeper's pads completing the hatrick and providing the winning goal.
Earlier Tournament Games
Game 1 - Canadians 2 EHC Afflotern 2
In the first game of the Chevron Cup, the Tokyo Canadians came from behind to tie the team from Switzerland 2-2. The Canadians had trouble adjusting to the bad ice and small rink according to Brent "Killer" Carlson who went on to say the team tried too much pretty stuff. Must have something to do with the new stylish uniforms.
Switzerland's second goal came from a two on one with the Canadians' Narishima having no chance on the one timer. Stu Kimoto scored the first Canadians goal from a scramble in front. Denton Venable was injured on the play as the agressive play of Switzerland's defense caused Venable to hyper-extend his knee who may be out for the tourney and on the massage table. John Richmond, in from Canada, stepped up to fill the hole on the front line. Gary Cox then tied the game on a picture goal. James Heather and John Richmond obviously wanting to catch up on missed time since Richmond left Tokyo, spent time in the penalty box together discussing the sights of Thailand as the team killed off the penalties.
Game 2 - Canadians 3 Singapore 0
Mike Larose gave the Canadians the lead and Dave Lindsay and Jason Young added empty netters.
Game 3 - Canadians 6 Thai National Team 0
Cam Knox led the way with two goals while Stu Kimoto, Gary Cox, Scott McCaskie and Brent Carlson tallied one each. Joji Hiratsuka skating far too fast for his skates, blew out three rivets in his skates and could not finish the game. Carlson moved up to the vacated left wing spot and scored a goal and added an assist on one shift. Carlson came close to adding another but missed a wide open net. The team used this game to finally find their form while battling the choppy ice conditions.
Game 4 - Canadians 5 Dubai Mighty Camels 0
The first line produced goals as Gary Cox, Cam Knox and Mike LaRose notched one each with Dave Lindsay and Scott McCaskie notching the others. McCaskie's goal was a disputed goal as it was a tip in on a rare low shot by Rob Smaal who claims it was his first ever goal. Obviously Smaal did not buy the beer the night before as McCaskie's linemates clearly indicated it was tipped. Next game up is the first game of the elimination round against Kuala Lumpur at 10:00 a.m.
Game 5 - Kuala Lumpur 2 Canadians 7
The Canadians, who have taken a page out of Team Canada's book and finally starting to come together as a team when it counts, won on two goals each from Scott McCaskie and Jason Young. Other goalscorers were Dave Lindsay, Stu Kimoto and Joji "Rivets" Hiratsuka. The Canadians finally let in some goals after playing shut out hockey for 3 games. The team will rest for a few hours then play the semi final and final games later in the day.
2001 World Ice Hockey 5's
The Tokyo Canadians entered the World 5's tournament in Kuala Lumpur on May 15-18, 2002 determined to have a better showing than in the November, 2001 Thailand tournament. The team was composed of international tournament veterans Joji "Jifi" Hirastuka, Jason "MVP" Young, and "Drummer" Dave Lindsay - all fresh from their Division 2 win with the Kansaheeb Buds in Dubai - and other Tokyo stars like Mike "Guy" La Rose, Sean Hopkins, Dennis Waechter, and Koichi Ogiso. Helping out from Osaka was Prince Edward Island goalie extraordinaire Troy McPhee. Also, playing for their first time in a Tokyo Canadians jersey were French Canadian Rico Roy, also from Osaka, and Northwest Territories star Dennis Reid who traveled all the way from Doha, Qatar.
After overcoming initial set-backs (equipment and the teams' sticks left on the runway in KL), the Canadians headed straight to the rink to kick-off the tournament against New Delhi. The small Kuala Lumpur ice surface, skating 4-on-4, and recovering from the in-flight beverage service, was challenging for the Canadians, but they soon adapted and went on to give New Delhi a 10-2 spanking in their first game.
Game 2 was a match up with the young and fiery Taiwan Typhoon. The Canadians had to resort to a more physical game to try to tie up Taiwan's two speedy 25-year-old wingers, but drew a series of penalties as a result. In short The Force was not with the Canadians on the ice (oddly enough, the night before, Yoda had neither a problem with The Force nor with tying up a 25-year-old - without drawing a penalty; he did). Taiwan took advantage with a couple of power play goals; they did. Down 3-2 late in the game, the Canadians had a glorious opportunity to turn the game around on a Jason Young wrap-around with Dennis Reid shoveling at the rebound, but the Taiwan goalie somehow managed to stop the puck on the goal line. Taiwan went on to win 5-2.
In game 3, the Canadians overpowered team Cathay Pacific, from Hong Kong, by a score of 4-1. Sean Hopkins dominated, scoring a hat trick. It seemed that Sean's strategy to attend business meetings in KL instead of bar-hopping with the boys, and avoiding the Thai hot and sour soup, was starting to pay off for the big centreman.
Game 4 was a battle to the end against tournament host, the Kuala Lumpur Cobras. It seemed that all 250,000 'anticipated tournament spectators' turned out for this match-up. Some stellar goalkeeping by Troy McPhee, despite missing the warm-up due to heavy KL traffic, and timely goal scoring by "Ogi" Ogiso, helped the Canadians to skate away 2-1 victors.
After the preliminary 4-game round-robin, the Tokyo Canadians' 3 and 1 record put them tied with the Hong Kong All-Stars for third place out of the ten team International Division. Since Hong Kong had a slightly better goals against average, the Canadians were seeded 4th, and matched up against undefeated 1st place Team Finland for the semi-final playoff game.
The goalie for Team Finland, having only given up three goals in four games, was sharp against the Canadian snipers. Although the Finn's were somewhat distracted by the Canadians' offering of free vodka in the penalty box, and chants of Finnish profanity learned the night before, the men from Suomi-land stayed steady and sent the mighty Tokyo Canadians packing early, back to their fragrant smelling equipment room in the neighboring hotel, with a final score of 1-0.
The Tokyo Canadians' solid defenseman, Jason Young, who is familiar with receiving the Most Valuable Defenseman award (Thailand 2001 and Dubai 2002), was not only awarded with a Team Canada jersey for being the referee's favorite on the ice (and for "giving something back to the game"), but also got to wear home three stitches in his upper lip, had a swollen nose, and a banged up ankle. Jay, thanks for making the Tokyo Canadians really look like a hockey team on the flight back to Tokyo.
Although the boys didn't bring home any hardware from KL, the entire team is fired up for the next tournament in Thailand in late October, 2002. All teams can be assured there will be a strong showing from the Tokyo Canadians on and off the ice in Chang Mai lest autumn. The boys will be sure to enjoy some of the tourist fun that Thailand provides. From fly fishing to deep sea fishing to lounging around the pool and just wandering the fresh fish markets, are just some of the extra curricular activities at one of the most popular sports tournaments in South East Asia.
2001 Chevron Cup, BKK
Some say that change is good. If that's the case, then the 2001 Chevron Cup will be remembered as the best Thailand tournament ever....except by the Tokyo Canadians
The seventh version of the Thailand Charity Ice Hockey Tournament, hosted by the Bangkok Flying Farang Hockey Club, featured not only a new local but also two first year teams in the championship game, the Seoul Glaciers and Team USA. Games were held at the Bully Sky Rink, inside the confusing Kad Suan Kaew mall, in Chiang Mai, Thailand with all proceeds from the four-day event going to Father Joe Maier's Human Development Foundation in Bangkok.
Unfortunately for the Canadians, the boys from Tokyo were unable to put together a single win going 0-2-1, the worst performance by the Canadians in team history. Only nine skaters made the trip including two goalies. Rob Voisine and Dave Murphy were last minute no-shows which had an obvious impact on the teams production. But on a positive note, defenseman Jason Young took home MVP defensive honours.