Weather Cools but White Hot in Edging Red 11-10
By Redd Fischer
It is “Silver Week” in Japan and this means a few things. First of all, the weather cools as typhoons hit and take the edge off the brutal summer heat. Second, people of all walks of life in Japan take a day or two off and enjoy as much as a full week off. Third, hockey mad Canadians, and people of other nationalities as well, start to dream of the season to come. As a proud Canuck, I find it hard to fathom that the 2010/11 season can rival the one just past. There were breakout seasons for a bevy of promising young NHL stars. There was the spectacle of the Olympic tournament that has rightly been called the greatest tournament ever in terms of raw talent. I remember well the Canada/Russia game and marveling at the skill of both teams and eventually at the awesome combination of violence, skill and naked emotion that drove Canada to a 7-3 thrashing of its long time rival. I remember well the gallant Americans, backs to the wall riding a brilliant Ryan Miller against 19,000 temporarily insane Canadians in Canada Hockey Place, and Zach Parise refusing to quit. I remember the sinking feeling I felt as I saw him bang a rebound past a helpless Roberto Luongo. I remember the insanity in Hobgolins as Sid the Kid banged it in with 7:40 left in OT erasing any doubts that he is the “next one”, at least in Canada. I also remember, or at least have been told, that my dad watched at the Beaver Club in Montreal with his dad in ’72, that I watched with my dad in Toronto in 2002 and then I felt overwhelmingly happy that I had roused my boy at 6 am and taken him to Roppongi against any reasonable parenting standard and celebrated with him in my arms. There was the magical run by Halak and the Habs and finally a superb effort by the Hawks as they awoke the intense passion for hockey that exists in America’s Second City. It was poetic and I could not have envisioned a more perfect ending to a season. We love this game. We love it for the friendships it forms. We love it for the way it brings families and nations together. We love it because it reminds us that we were once kids playing in the street or our basements pretending to be Guy Lafleur, Darryl Sittler, Gil Perrault, Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux. I love it because my kid plays in the park and pretends to be Sid the Kid and Jonathan Toews. It is a great game and it was great to see TCHC back on the ice for the September edition of the Red & White Classic, the last before the AGM and the official kickoff of 2010/11 hockey season.
The game was a fast paced affair given that it was a long weekend and Sunday afternoon can be very tempting indeed in Tokyo. This said, there were only a few last minutes scratches and all but a few seemed to have excuses that checked out. The scoring was opened early when Shawn Montague corralled a loose puck behind the net and caught Tatsu sliding across the crease. Montague used the old off the back and in trick causing linemate Patrick Morris to scream, “What the hell are you do……..Nice shot!” and making it 1-0 Red. Naoto Hamashima got White on the board shortly after this with a nice marker, probably assisted by Simon Greaves who was his usual steady self, quarterbacking White’s attack. A pair of goals from Brent McCain threatened to break this open in favor of a surging Red squad but as they say on Sports Center: Cue the comeback reel!
Guy Roberge went on a one man scoring spree over the next few shifts and netted a natural hat trick for White, a couple of them rockets past a suddenly unsupported Nobu Araki in nets. Only Naoki Kaneko, who snuck in off the point to snipe his 1st of two was able to keep things even at 4s. Shawn Montague put Red back ahead converting a pass from Patty Mo but Hamashima danced through the entire Red squad and rifled one top shelf dislodging a water bottle, a couple of pucks and a few eyes from eye sockets on the Red bench. Red’s player/coach and Reg Dunlop wannabe, Rob Smaal took things into his own hands on the next shift tossing a few White bodies around and cutting Hama down like a suburban Maple sapling as he tried to go outside in a bid to complete his hat trick. Hama was also hindered by the admirable efforts of South Buffalo’s Ed Parsons and his linemates Satoshi Chawanya and Kaneko 2.0, Naoki’s little brother who is starting to look a lot bigger and faster these days. They were paired with Hama most of the night.
Naoki, taking the lead from Smaaly and suddenly enrergized Kevin “the Kid” Holt, fired a home run pass to McCain who beat Tatsu to complete his trick. Montague got in on the fun notching his 3rd to make it 7-5 Red. Minnesotan speedster Tommy Anderson was all over the place with playing partner Satoshi Kobayashi and finally broke through with a nice effort to get it to 7-6. Silent assassin Dan Stevens also finally broke through for White to tie things up and you started to get the feeling that things were going to come down to the wire.
Lining up to Tatsu’s right, Montague beat his man clean on the draw, McCain one-timed it and found net low glove side. 8-7 Red. Rob Smaal then picked off a pass and sent the puck to Cheektawaga’s own Chucky V felt his Spidey Senses tingling and sure enough spun and found Mark Didcott wide open behind the defense. He barreled in on Tatsu but was turned away with a beautiful sliding save. Mike LaRose swatted at the rebound and got a few more shots off during the exchange but the one goal lead held. White moved big Russian Mihail Komatsu from the point to forward and dropped the always reliable Dave “Nike Sucks” McKinnon back on the point. The move panned out well as Mack played solid D, Mihail drove Red’s D-men crazy with his dogged forechecking and eventually led to Mack tying the game at 8s with a nice one timer of a cross ice pass from Scott “Don’t Call me Tom” Collins .
Hamashima and Anderson scored quickly as White took its 1st lead of the game, 10-8, into the final 10 minutes. Naoki came in off the point to score a lovely goal and get Red close. The Legend’s Sports Bar Turning Point of the night came next. With Masuhiro Miyazaki on the boards and nowhere to go, he fired a desperation wrister from the hash mark. Red sticks swung at it, may have tipped it and lo and behold it found the back of the net for an 11-9 bulge. Patty Mo got a late goal and Red threw an extra attacker over the boards but the game ended with Kevin Holt scooping an icing attempt off the goal line and firing a Hail Mary down the ice as the buzzer sounded. Make the final 11-10 White in a thriller.
Your Allied Pickfords 3 Stars:
Naoto Hamashima - White: Skates aflash and storming the crease like a bumblebee as Stompin’ Tom would say, Naoto was a handful that Red was at pains to stop.
Guy Roberge – White: His 3 goals early kept White in it while Red threatened to blow it open
3M Line Redux – Red: Out goes McDonald and in comes Morris. 8 goals for this line split 4 for McCain, 3 for Montague and 1 and 4-5 helpers for Patty Mo.
Sometimes you gotta take a beating
By Redd Fischer
The July edition of the Red & White game took place just as the weather really started to heat up in Tokyo. With temperatures well into 30s and no escape from the blistering heat in this megalopolis, the boys were anxious to lace them up and beat the heat at Jingu. This edition of the R&W made me think of the American film classic Goodfellas. In the opening sequence, Ray Liotta’s character explains that, for as long as he could remember, all he ever wanted was to be a gangster. This, of course, meant that he would occasionally run afoul of the law and his rather stern and corporal punishment minded Irish father. Young Henry Hill explains that, to pursue your dreams, one sometimes has to take a beating. Most of the TCHC guys grew up playing hockey and dreaming of playing on the big stage one day. To play hockey, at any level, you have to accept that every now and then you will have to take a beating and Team Red was getting life lessons all over the place last weekend.
It all started with Team Red’s injured leader for the night, Brent McCain. McCain arrived at the rink with a heavy head and a penitent soul. He also arrived with what has been described as an upper body injury that had him as a game time decision. There are conflicting reports as to the nature of the injury and the circumstances under which it occurred but management made the call and McCain suited up for better or, in this case, worse. Special guest referee, Chuck Vincent, resplendent in his orange jump suit dropped the puck as usual at 10:10 local time and the first 20 minutes proved to be pretty good hockey. Naoto Hamashima led Team Red out with Patty Morris and Chris Antonelli and they battled the Kaneko brothers and Omi to a respectable draw in the first frame.
Team White broke it open as Omi dangled through the neutral zone and across the kill zone between the circles buying himself just enough time to rip a laser top shelf over the shoulder of a screened Tatsu. 1-0 White. Omi added a couple more before Patty Mo scooped up a beautiful pass from Hamashima and got things to 4-1 White. The bleeding was stopped only briefly however as White’s second line got cranked up. Guy Roberge got a goal finishing a pretty 2 on 1 effort from Guillaume Desgranges. Bobby Chung and Denny Waechter cycled through the lines and created havoc eventually resulting in a another goal and very quickly it was 6-1 White.
Red looked dead but they dug deep and found some life. McCain gingerly lifted one towards the net that Satoshi Chawanya deftly tipped over a sprawled Nobu Araki. Shawn Montague and Riel Ford then broke in and Montague banged in a rebound to make it 6-3. Wes Browne started to move the puck well and create some offense for the Red siders. Montague was the beneficiary as he banged in his second of the night. Browne and inspirational leaders Jim Heather and Rob Smaal started to pace the bench and rally the troops. It was 6-4 and Red had the momentum. It was at this stage that Jimmer upped the ante a bit and started to take the body. Dave “Lowtalkin” Lotocki also started to throw the body a bit and eventually had the Kaneko brothers a bit tied up. Jimmer then delivered a crushing blow to Guillaume Desgranges that had the surprised Frenchman down like one of Les Bleus after a red card challenge. Desgranges got up dusted himself off and looked for revenge and it was coming.
The Legends Sports Bar turning point came about 3 minutes after the big hit. Montague sprung McCain on a breakaway and it looked like Red would get to within one. McCain faked forehand, jammed the brakes and had Nobu sliding the wrong way. Nobu did a spinorama and gloved the puck in front of a stunned McCain. Monatgue and Riel hit posts and were stopped on breakways as well on this night as Nobu held the fort long enough for his mates to get going again.
Roberge and Desgranges teamed up for one to get it to 7-4. Omi added a couple more highlight reels. Tommy Anderson, Koby, Simon Greaves and Brent “Killer” Carlson shut down most everything Red tried and Nobu added a few more circus stops to kill Red morale. Latecomer Joji Hiratsuka took a nice pass from Omi and wired one top shelf continuing his hot play from the Manila tournament. Denny Waechter added a late goal to add insult to injury. Hamashima may have gotten one too for Red but by this time most people’s thoughts had drifted to the burgers and wings at Zest and a long weekend Monday Giants game at Tokyo Dome. Make the final 12-5 White.
Your Allied Pickfords 3 Stars
1st Star – Nobu Araki – White – Made several circus stops especially when Red seemed to be finding its mojo.
2nd Star – Omi – White – Highlight reel goals all over the place. I lost count at 4.
3rd Star – Riel Ford - Red– This is a sort of Masterton Award for dedication to the game. Riel suffered through a 5 hour drive in from Nagano, played a decent game and sprung for a few beers after the game.
Tatsu Shines in Red but White Prevails
By Redd Fischer
Still sunburned from the TCHC golf tourney and more than a little stunned after watching the Bruins collapse at Legend’s on Saturday, the boys took to the ice at Jingu for the May edition of the TCHC Red & White Game. Local Bruins/Red Sox/Celtics/Pats diehard, Chris Antonelli, chose to suit up and wear his vintage Bobby Orr #4 shirt in a show of solidarity. This prompted catcalls from all over the dressing room including one particularly damaging barb suggesting that Anto should use that jersey to remind his team how many games you need to win a series. In truth, the Bruins collapse was historic but this writer suggests it is minor karmic payback for the 2004 Red Sox dream run. It was just a little stomach punch to remind all Boston sports fans to enjoy their current run of great teams because they, the Sports Gods, are a fickle bunch and they choose winners and losers on their own terms.
This edition of the R&W was to be the fastest paced and lowest scoring affair of the year. Red lined up its big line of Ryo, Chuck Vincent and Scott Collins to start and took the play immediately to White. On only the second shift of the game, newly minted TCHC member Simon Greaves picked off an errant clearing attempt and blasted a slapper past a surprised Nobu Araki to put Red up 1-0. This may have been the high point for the Red siders.
With wily veteran coaches, Jim Heather and Rob Small on the bench strategizing, Team White opted to run 2 centers between 3 sets of wings. A quick note here: Jake Smaal stole the show at the “Legends Golf Tourney after party” by showing up his dad with an impressive show of stick work and an uncanny ability to impress the ladies. It may not be too long before the Smaals become the Howes of TCHC with Jake and Rob patrolling the blue line at Jingu. Satoshi Chawanya was paired with Jimmy Yasuki, a callup from an LA farm team. JO Caron was centering the line and with some aggressive forechecking, he was able to wrest the puck from the Red defense and slide it to Chaw who made no mistake in tying the score. Next shift out for this threesome, it was Yasuki’s turn to bag his first in TCHC colors converting a lovely pass from Minnesotan speedster Tommy Anderson. Naoki Kaneko almost made it 3-1 on a cross ice one timer but Tatsu slid across nimbly and with a Halakian kick of the leg he robbed the youngster. The thud of the pad and Naoki’s anguished cry could be heard clear across the rink.
The second pair of wings for Team White were Guillaume Desgranges, also newly admitted to the club, and Veep Patty Morris. They were their usual gritty selves and gave the formidable Red defense (Greaves, Nick Bigwood, Dave Lotocki and Brent Carlson) fits. Their tenacity finally paid off when Desgranges picked up a rebound and made it 3-1 White.
Red’s Mihail Tomatsu finally stopped the bleeding corralling a rebound off another White turnover, this time on an errant clearing pass by Brent McCain and brought the Reds back to 3-2. It was almost 3-3 as Ryo burst in off the wing. He deked glove side but the puck rolled off his stick in into the corner. He followed the rebound and spotted Antonelli streaking to the net. Anto blazed a shot for the top shelf but Nobu flashed his glove and kept the 2 goal bulge for White.
The stop turned the tide as Kaneko converted two quick goals, one a beautiful one timer set up by Desgranges and the other a converted breakaway after being sprung by Bruce McDonald. This made it 5-2 and a possible blowout loomed but Tatsu would not let it happen. He stoned Naoki 2 more times from in close and stopped several others as White started to impose its will. As so often happens, when a team has chances but does not convert a blow out can turn into an upset. Tomatsu bagged his 2nd of the night on a harmless looking play. After Joji Hiratsuka had been stopped on a breakaway by Nobu and the puck turned back up ice. Again White could not clear and again Mihail was the beneficiary. 5-3 White.
Desgranges and Satoshi Kobayashi traded goals and it was 6-4. Naoki completed the hat trick to make it 7-4 and just when you thought Red would fold, Antonelli channeled the ghost of Cam Neely and roofed his first of the night to make it only a two goal game. His celebration was reminiscent of Marc Savard’s OT winner in Round 2 and about as meaningful given the final result.
Team White put the finishing touches on the win as Tommy Anderson danced through a bunch of players and found McCain at the side of the net for a tap in as the buzzer sounded.
Make the final 8-5 White.
Your Allied Pickfords 3 Stars
Guillaume Desgranges - White: Scored 2 and set up 2 and was generally a pain in the rear end for Red’s defense.
Takeshi Tatsumoto – Red: Stoned a red hot Kaneko 2-3 times and kept his team in it until late goals burst it open. A few bounces here and there and Tatsu may well have stolen this game outright
Bruce McDonald – White: Bruce is leaving us so he gets the syonara 3rd star. Bruce has been on the squad only a little over a year and in Tokyo about 2 but has been moved to sunny Singapore where he has accepted an Asia Pacific regional role with Merck (pharmaceuticals). Bruce’s cheery disposition will be missed although I am sure many a D-Man will be happy to see his big frame removed from the front of the net. We wish Bruce well and look forward to maybe suiting up with him in tournaments near Singapore since they still do not have a rink.
Canada Takes on the World....And Loses
By Redd Fischer
On a day when Canada’s Under-18 National Team was dispatched to the relegation round after losses to Switzerland, Sweden and a 5-0 drubbing by the US, TCHC held its 1st “Canada versus the World” game of the year. Sadly for the Canadian side, national pride was not served. Canuck hockey fans on TCHC will have to satisfy themselves with Olympic Gold this year because the ROW (Rest of World) came to play.
Officially neutral referee Rob Smaal dropped the puck on what promised to be a spirited clash Sunday night. Smaaly was on the IR after he sustained a lower body injury in a warm up game at Muse on Saturday. The lower body injury was complicated by concussion-like symptoms (headache, nausea and vomiting) thought to be related to medication.
To start, Dave McKinnon was centering Cam Knox and Brent McCain for Canada while Naoki Kaneko lined up with the pride of Cheektowaga, NY, Chuck Vincent and newly recruited Minnestotan speedster Tommy Anderson. James Heather and Dave Lotocki were on the blue line for Team Canada and Mihail Tomatsu and Satoshi Kobayashi for Team ROW.
ROW opened things up about 10 minutes into the game with big British defenseman Nick Bigwood stepping up off the point and finishing off a beautiful rush by beating Vancouver’s best, Nobu Araki, high. Team Canada missed a glorious chance to tie things up on the ensuing shift when Cammer was sprung for a breakaway by McKinnon. Tatsu was on his game for Team ROW on this night and stood up the hard charging native of Comox, BC. Things went back and forth for a while after that with Team ROW’s big line buzzing and threatening but unable to open up the early lead they wanted to take the crowd out of the game. The Canadians finally got on the board when McCain converted a pretty no look pass from McKinnon. A couple of Cam Knox breakaways later, the score was still 1-1 as Tatsu held the fort for ROW.
Naoki got the ROW back up 2-1 but Canada came storming back with two goals from Wes Browne, one of them an outstanding solo wrap around effort. Browne and cagey vet Brent “Killer” Carlson made a great defensive pair with Browne roaming and dishing and Carlson providing steady defense and the occasional well timed pinch. McCain again was the beneficiary of a McKinnon pass and Canada was up 4-2. This was very definitely the high water mark for the Canucks.
ROW started rolling all three lines. Patty Morris led his line out with Guillaume Desgranges, some energy and a bit of anger and they drove the Canadian defense crazy with the forecheck. Patty banged in a couple, one of them the result of a beautiful rush by Desgranges. The Kaneko line hit paydirt as well with some fantastic passing. With the score 4-4 they took over for 2-3 shifts and by the time the dust had cleared Naoki had one more and Anderson was converting a pretty tic-tac-toe (Naoki to Chuck V to Naoki to Chuck V to Anderson to the back of the net) for his second of 3 on the night. The score was 7-4 when Nick Bigwood struck again off the point as his partner Kevin Holt played steady defense.
Somewhere in this blitz, Chris Antonelli got fired up and scored two highlight reel goals. On the first of the two, Anto danced through a pair of defensemen before niftily sliding it under Nobu who was starting to tire after his squad gave up about 75 shots. Anto let out a fist pump and skated by the Canadian bench for effect as he celebrated. At this stage it was a truckers dream, “10-4 good buddy”, for Team ROW but the fist pump and the subsequent shushing motion after Anto’s second gem got Canada back into things.
Canada’s Denny Waechter hopped the boards and stepped into the first player he saw who happened to be Kevin Holt. As Denny proclaimed innocence and Smaaly gave a stern fatherly warning, slick centreman Dan Stevens of Kingston, Ontario picked up the puck and moved in only to be turned away by Tatsu. But the momentum was starting to turn and eventually Denny got one to make things interesting. Jimmer and Lowtalkin’ Dave were blasting from the point and, while Jimmer was barely kept off the board, Canadian captain Lotocki sniped from the slot to give the boys life at 10-7. This return to the scoresheet also placated Lowtalker’s hurt feelings after he watched his beloved Leafs miss the playoff dance for the 6th straight year including the lockout. Ed Parsons of Niagara Falls, Ontario, for this game anyway, corralled a neutral ice turnover and fired it in the direction of JO Caron who made like Mario Lemieux in the Salt Lake gold medal game and let it slide through to a better positioned winger, in this case Edmonton’s own Joji Hiratsuka. Joji took a step or two in and made no mistake as he beat Tatsu high cutting the lead to only two goals.
The line of JO Caron, Scott Collins and Joji kept the pressure on but could not get any closer on the night. The legs of Anderson and Naoki were too much and they got a quick one followed by Patty Mo’s 3rd of the night and it was 12-8. Garbage time saw Canada get one last cheapie but the game was well out of hand by then. ROW was too strong on this night and make the final 12-9.
Your Allied Pickfords 3 Stars
1st Star: Tatsu (ROW): Stopped Cammer on 5 breakaways and made a slew of other great saves to give ROW the time it needed to get rolling offensively.
2nd Star: Cam Knox (Canada): Never once gave up or stopped skating even though the breaks were not going his way. No slamming of sticks and not even a harsh word. Just kept going, smiling and hoping for better. Still created space for his linemates and was a force.
3rd Star: Tommy Anderson (ROW): Skated like hell all game and played all 200 feet of ice much to the surprise and chagrin of the Canadian forwards. In on 2-3 goals and generally created havoc for Team Canada.
By Redd Fischer
The March version of the Red and White game was held this past week and saw a few old friends come back to Jingu as TCHC prepares for its upcoming title defense in the Bangkok tournament.
After a brief absence, Cam Knox returned to lead Team Red in this tune up game. Cammer was paired with Chuck Vincent, who returned to the line up after a groin injury, and Omi who has returned from his successful stint in the NCAA. British imports Simon Greaves and Nick Bigwood rounded out line one which had a big first shift cycling and skating well in all three zones. They were matched against the 3M line of Shawn Montague, Brent McCain and Bruce McDonald who had Jim Heather and Brent Carlson on the point for the White siders. It was Red who struck first when Chuck V neatly re-directed a pass from Cammer into the top shelf about 5 minutes into the game, finishing off a very pretty play. It seemed that Team Red Player/Coach Rob Smaal had the boys going in the right direction.
Team White re-grouped quickly, however, and seemed to pick up the pace a bit as they cycled 3 full lines. Dan Stevens was centering his line and, with Dennis Waechter and Satoshi Chawanya digging around the net, Chaw was able to bang one home to tie things up. Shawn Montague, who was a playmaker more than a sniper on this night, then set up McDonald on the doorstep where he always seems to be and big Bruce got White up 2-1. On the very next shift for the 3M Line, Montague struck again when he spotted McCain with a step on Mihail at the blue line. The converted goal made it 3-1 White.
Red started to press with returning vet Mike Baxter converting another Knox pass off the point to get things to 3-2 but Team White seemed to have a little defensive chemistry, or mojo if you will, on this night. Joji Hiratsuka, newcomer Wes Browne, Chris Antonelli and Young Kevin Holt were very solid on the back end. Two defensive gems were turned in that seemed to galvanize the troops and start the reaction that really turned the tide. The first was a fantastic back check by Guillaume Desgranges who dove to break up a potentially dangerous Patty Morris/Mike LaRose 2 on 1. The second was one of those bouncing dump ins that drive coaches crazy. The puck skittled through Nobu Araki’s pads and started to the goal line. Only an alert Kevin Holt prevented further damage picking the puck off the goal line and clearing it from harm’s way.
This is where the line of Dave “Nike Sucks & Adidas Blows” McKinnon, Scott Collins and Desgranges took over for a few shifts. This was the energy line for Team White on Sunday. Desgranges is a scrappy newcomer from Angers, France who has a surprising nose for the net. McKinnon and Collins are well known energy guys who contribute offensively and are responsible in their own end. They created all kinds of confusion in Team Red’s zone with McKinnon and Desgranges both eventually getting their rewards to put White up 5-2.
A defensive lapse by Team Red allowed McCain to get a cheapie and make it 6-2. This was followed by a couple of controversial goals. Chuck V was hog tied by an unidentified White defender as he cut across the blue line but the refs looked the other way as Wes Browne scooped up the loose puck and burst up the ice as Red’s forwards got caught down a man. Browne beat a path to the net and tucked one in high on the short side making it 7-2 White. The second iffy goal came a few minutes later as Cam Knox re-directed a pass from Omi in Maradona-stlye past a sprawled Nobu. The play was reviewed by a local kid’s i-Phone and it was determined that there was “reasonable doubt that there was explicit intent or a desire to commit a possible voluntary or potentially involuntary kicking motion” and so Cammer, thanks to NHL Rule 23 sub-section 2.iii, was awarded his first of the night setting the Jingu crowd alight for their returning hero.
The solid defense for Team White allowed the guys to take a few chances up front but the big turning point came as Denny Waechter stepped into Cammer knocking the big guy down. You could see the White bench liven up after that. Denny accepted the congratulations of player/coach Brent Carlson and asked who we liked in the Olympics this year and if Gretzky still has enough to compete at the international level. It is possible that Cammer did not get the worst of this one. After this, Montague again set up McCain and McDonald to make things 9-3. Just when you thought Denny would walk off with the Legend’s Sports Bar Highlight of the Night (patent pending), Chaw stepped in. He caught the Red defense heading up the ice a step too quick, stripped the puck and danced through two men before snapping one by an unsupported Tatsu, who saw an awful lot of rubber on this night.
This was as bad as it got for Red, however. Patty Morris, Rosey and Frank Harrison stepped it up and got White scrambling with a few “never say die shifts” for which Patty Mo lines are well known. Tim Laurie played a few shifts in anger after taking 5000 yen off Patty Mo for the over/under on the game. They were a bit snakebit on this night however but their dogged efforts helped soften up a tiring Nobu, brilliant as he was on this night. Omi finally broke though and got a pair of goals to make things interesting. McKinnon got one back to make it 11-5. Chuck V got his 2nd of the night when Red’s player/coach and Reg Dunlop sound-alike, Rob Smaal, audaciously pulled Tatsu while down 6 with 5 to go. It almost worked with the Red siders blitzing and Bigwood and Greaves forcing things, Koby (and his great shiner) on as the extra attacker and the big line of Cammer, Omi and Chuck V pounding away. They got it as close as 12-7. They almost made it 12-8 as Chuck won a clean draw right on to Cammer’s stick. Cammer let a laser go but Nobu flashed his glove and darn near took the Legend’s Sports Bar Highlight of the Night from Chaw. That was as much as a valiant Team Red could muster in the end. Make the final 12-7 for Team White.
Your Allied Pickford’s 3 Stars
1st Star: Nobu Araki (White): He was solid in nets in front of a good defense. He made several circus saves and notably robbed Cam Knox late in the game to keep his team from going into a total panic as Team Red was pounding away with the extra attacker.
2nd Star: Satoshi Chawanya (White): He had a highlight reel goal to put things away for team White. He was also responsible in his own end and stirred things up with Stevens and Waechter to make things tough for Red’s big lines.
3rd Star: Joji Hiratsuka (White): He arrived late and White had 3 lines set. Joji agreed to play defense preferring not to unsettle the emerging chemistry. He was not on the ice for any of Red’s goals which is not bad for a converted forward. With Chris Antonelli, Kevin Holt and Wes Browne holding things steady, the forwards were able to push a little.