2009-2010 Season Kickoff
Another exciting season of Tokyo Canadians hockey is set to begin. After a trophy case-building season in 2008-09, the club looks to turn the page on its Bangkok and Manila glories and look forward to building on the club’s storied tradition.
The season officially kicked off with the Annual General Meeting at Legend's Sports Bar & Grill on Thursday, October 1.
Selection of the Executive Committee: The new President is Dave Lotocki and the V.P. is Patrick Morris. The treasurer is Jade Leung and surely his days in audit will serve him well. Brent McCain is the Secretary/Internal Communications guy while Joji Hiratsuka will head up International Communications. Cam Knox and Mike Treytiak will spare responsibility for Charity Events/PR while Brent Carlson (with an assist to Dave McKinnon) will manage the website. Satoshi "Koby" Kobayashi will be in charge of the all important fundrasing parites this season and will be counted on to ensure that this year's is even better than last year.
Departures were not as numerous as expected given the economic down turn but sadly we will say good-bye to the following players:
Mike Slaton: Past president, sometime sniper and frequent flyer. Slates will be plying his trade in Washington DC with the Hilton group (I smell some great group rate deals for tournaments). Mike has been an integral part of the club on and off the ice and will be greatly missed. Several leads on hockey teams ensure that he will be in tournament shape and he assures me that he is still hoping to play with us a few times next year and beyond.
Brian May: Stalwart center and silent assassin. Brian will be moving to Dallas to be closer to key clients. Brian's departure leaves a large hole down the middle.
Steve Hawkins: We just learned today that Steve will head back to the US. At least Steve goes out a winner having rallied his troops for a stirring 6-5 victory in his last Red/White game. Given the general aversion to backchecking on our squad, Steve’s defense and his Foligno style circa 1982 helmet will be sorely missed.
Shawn Montague: Shawn arrives in Tokyo from Orlando to work at Disney. There is no truth to the rumor that he has accepted a position as a "dancing mouse." He will actually be working as an engineer and his main responsibility will be reducing the ridiculous wait times at the Tokyo park. Shawn played for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Club Hockey team and graduated as the Club’s all time leading scorer. At 28 years of age, he has dramatically reduced TCHC’s average age.
Hot on Ice
There was a great turnout for the Sunday night Red/White skate at T-baba. The game was a well-attended and well-played affair that went right down to the wire, with Joji's Red men eventually skating to a dramatic 6-5 victory over Meehan and his Pale Riders.
J.O. opened the scoring for Red after a nice rush down the right side by D-man Rob Voisine, but Cam Knox soon responded with a pair for White to put his side up 2-1.
Patty Morris tied things up on a setup from veterans Mike Larose, Brian May and Ryo put Red ahead 3-2 off a feed from Koby. However, White replied with a pair of goals set up by Ome, with Dave and Bobby rippling the mesh to once again leapfrog into the lead.
It wouldn't be a R/W game without a little controversy and that came with White enjoying a 4-3 lead. As Knox skated in all alone on Tatsu with vision of hat tricks dancing in his head, Eddie Shelton, a former Vanguard and the unofficial referee/scorekeeper, blew the play dead, calling it offside for a two-line pass.
Before Knox could lay any lumber on Eddie, we explained that the two-line pass rule was no longer in effect, having been phased out back when Scottie could still see his belt buckle. Knox was awarded a penalty shot—yes, the most exciting play in hockey—and he made no mistake, beating Tatsu like a red-headed stepchild to give Meehan's men a two-goal lead.
But this baby was far from over. Justifying the "C" on his chest, the wily veteran Hiratsuka took matters into his own hands, scoring unassisted to make it a one-goal game. With time winding down, May made Joji look like a GM genius when he scored to tie it off an assist from Ome's buddy.
With defenseman Steve Hawkins rallying the troops on the bench, young Ryo, who had been lurking in the weeds all night, then got the game winner, evoking memories of the thrilling 6-5 final of the '87 Canada Cup. May and Ryo will forever be mentioned alongside Lemieux and Gretzky when Canadian hockey fans look back at great moments in the game's history. Yes, his name is Ryo and he dances on the ice, for all you Duran Duran fans like Mike Treytiak, who still sports the Simon LeBon 'do, and Rubes out there.
The draft, originally scheduled for Saturday, had to be postponed a day when Joji, after a few too many lemon chu-hais, kept insisting he wanted TCHC legend John Richmond with the first pick.
Thanks to Eddie for keeping notes so I was able to get a little detail in ... blame him if you got screwed out of a goal, like Cam almost did.
Le Pemiere Etoile -- Ryo, for sealing the deal for Red
2nd Star -- Rob "The Flying V," who undressed White defenders like they were up on stage at Chi-Chis
3rd Star -- Knox, for getting a hat trick in a losing cause and showing that there's still a place for good, old Canadian grit in this game
Congrats to Diddler for cycling 300 km to raise money for cancer research. I'm sure there will many celebratory beers being hoisted at No. 5 Orange as I write this to ease the pain of those nasty saddle sores.
Stay tuned for any upcoming activities, which have yet to be planned, but make sure to get in shape by September for the trip down to see Rob and Jay in Okinawa.
The annual TCHC Invitational was a resounding success on Sunday. A great day on the golf course was followed by a great night in the bar, and what’s not to like about that?
The big winner on the day was Jade “I’m No Sandbagger” Leung, who not only led his foursome to the team trophy but who also took individual honors with a score of 80.
Leung, who honed his game while living in the golf hotbed of Arizona, not only dominated the field, but he did it with a mixed bag of clubs to make the feat even more impressive. If anyone is willing to go out for beers with him, Jade will provide free golf tips. The team of Jade, Low, Slates and Brent Mc took team honors at 5-over, one stroke ahead of runnersup Jamie D, Cam, Nobu and Scottie. Special mention to Jamie, who honed his game on the berry-picking fields of Saskatchewan and shot an 82 on Sunday, the lowest round he’s ever shot in Japan.
In other awards, Sam was closest to the pin on par-3 No. 7, about 10 feet from the hole. Since he didn’t want to reward himself with a 5,000 yen gift certificate to Legends, the award went to Rob Smaal, who was edged by Slammin’ Sammy by the width of a golf ball … and, really, what’s a ball between friends? The certificate was thrown into the pot to help cover the bill.
The “Better Late Than Never Award” went to Cam Knox, who, despite operating on about 20 minutes’ sleep, missing the morning train out to Tsukuba, and showing up at the course as Scottie was in his backswing on the first tee, shot the lowest round of his life with an 88. No Stu, I’m not making this up … it’s a wonder that Scottie and Nobu didn’t have the best rounds of their lives as well, playing in that “miracle” foursome.
After the clubs were safely stored away until next time, it was off to Legends for a typical TCHC celebration that went long into the night. Joining the hackers were a few young guys, like Ben, Taiyo, Jake and Priya (OK, she’s not a guy … but she sure is into basketball). Their attendance brought the average age of the shindig down to a respectable 38.9 years … until Rubes and Diddler showed up and it popped up again higher than a Mike T drive (you know, the ones that go about 200 ft straight up and 12 ft ahead).
Special thanks to Lowtalkin’ Dave for organizing a great day out, Terry at Kasumigaura Kokusai for accommodating our group and giving us 50% off green fees, and Mike T for providing the hardware (or hard plastic, at least).
Canadians Crowned Kings of Siam
On Sunday night, we had what could be our last Red-White outing for a few months.
Even though it was Golden Week, we managed to get 10-12 team members out and Ogi called out some friends/spares to give us 10 skates aside, so thanks to all who were able to make it out.
Much like the previous Red/White tilt, this one started out with Red jumping out to a quick lead. Guy and Chuck were working well together and one little whipper-snapper in an orange jersey had us asking "Naoki who?" The Harrison Bros, Dennis and Tim Laurie were also looking good in the early going and pretty soon it was 4-0.
But, once again, the lead would not last as White battled back with Patty Mo and Mike Larose leading the charge, complemented by the crusty old Killer on D and the hard-working trio of Ogi, Dan and Chaw-dog up front.
I believe the final score was something like 10-8 White, but a good time was had by all and nobody got hurt.
The Tokyo Canadians won the 2nd Annual City of Angels Cup in Bangkok, Thailand in mid-March, giving the club a morale-boosting championship title. Congratulations to the over-35 TCHC squad for adding another piece of hardware to the team's recently less-than-overflowing trophy case.
The club started off with a 9-1 win over the Rusty Blades before dropping a 3-2 loss to the Bangkok Flying Farangs in the round-robin portion of the six team tournament. The Quarter Final game saw the Tokyo pucksters skate away with a 3-2 victory against long time foe, Singapore, before beating Beijing 3-1 in the Semi Finals. The Canadians dug down deep and got their revenge downing the host Flying Farangs 4-1 in the Final.
First Star - The team's sponsored 'daughter' Lek, friend Art, and the other HDC kids who came out and cheered for the team.
Second Star - Robert "the Roc" Voisine. Who scored some pretty sweet goals that basically got him the MVP and Best Defenseman awards, but, more more importantly, played a huge factor in the Canadians winning the championship.
Third Star(s) -Everyone else
—Chawanya for his winning goal in the dying minutes of a hard fought come-back against Singapore in the Quarter Finals and for his patented roofer which sealed the game in the Final.
—Neil Westcott, the Don of the Macau Mafia, for the laser-like slapshot goal that got us going in Game 3, for the beauty set-up on the Chaw-Dog winner in the Quarter Finals, and for overall great defence. Also for bringing Larry and Matt to BKK and playing with the Canadians.
—Macau (Singapore) Matt who got a clutch goal against Beijing in the Semi Finals, and played solid the whole tourney.
—Young Jade Leung. Some spectacular puck handling, a hat-trick in the opener and solid defence throughout while playing with a slight concussion on Saturday.
—Patrick Morris, as always, solid on the wing digging, whacking, and scoring some sweet goals.
Dennis 'the Menace' Waechter for providing us with some spectacular hightlight reel plays.
—Larry from Macau who was injured on Day 1 but, despite a bum knee, came back and provided much needed extra legs to help the Canadians win the tournament.
—Steven 'the Hawk' Hawkins was a wall of D, led some nice rushes and was a calm anchor when things got rough in our defensive zone.
—Scotty McCracken. What can be said. One bad knee. One big heart. Provided leadership on and off the ice leading the troops to the win.
—Goalkeeper Nobuuuuuuu Araki. First tournament. Championship. End of story.
White Tops Red
Team White squeaked out a hard-fought 8-7 win Sunday, March 15 at the monthly Red-White tussle at Jingu. In a game that could have gone either way, a few key moments stand out:
—There was Tatsu, manning the White net at the time, seemingly down and out, sprawling on the ice like an dead octopus at Joe Louis, only to reach back and rob Mitsui call-up Kei Matsuura with a rapier-like glove save. Matsuura had a yawning cage staring him in the face, and he appeared to experience a little premature ejubilation as he sent the disc netward, only to be robbed blind by the man between the pipes.