Canadians Club Chiba
An undermanned squad of Tokyo Canadians went on the road last Saturday night and picked up a crucial 2 points in Chiba with a hard-fought 9-7 win over a team of locals.
With two lines, two sets of D and Tatsu between the sticks, as they say in soccer, the red-clad Canucks went down 1-0 early against a full squad of smooth-skating youngsters. Before long, however, the boys overcame their car-lag and started to respond, both on the scoresheet and physically.
The line of Cam, Dennis and Patty popped in some nice goals, while the second unit of Koby, Chaw and Ogi held up their end as well. In a sight as rare as a spotted Alaskan wooded tree owl in Hawaii, Koby came back and crossed his own blue line at around the 7-minute mark of the third period, causing gasps on the bench, particularly from ornery veteran Knox.
Red Spanks White Dads
Chris Antonelli scored late in regulation time Sunday at Jingu, giving the Childless Wonders a hard-fought 14-13 win over a team of Dads... or perhaps Duds would have been more appropriate on this night.
Well, maybe that scoreline is flattering the fathers a bit. Come to think of it, young Naoki and his teammates showed a complete lack of respect for their elders, skating to a victory over the Offspringers, perhaps 15-5, or thereabouts. (Whose stupid idea were those teams, anyway?)
Anto did score as the clock wound down, but by then the outcome was in little doubt as the dads were the ones getting spanked on this occasion, bringing shame on their kids who would likely be forced to skip recess the following day to avoid playground beatings.
Naoki dippsy-doodled his way to several scores, Anto tallied at least a pair, Scott Brady was playing like a young Jean Beliveau out there and Jimmer looked like he wanted to make sure White goalie Nobu never would get the chance to reproduce, striding into one of his patented "Duck!" slapshots from the high slot and rippling the mesh.
With thoughts of diaper changes and college tuition — and, in one case, the prospect of being the coolest grandfather cruising Roppongi — running through their heads, the Dads just couldn’t get it going against a team of responsibility-free MoFos. Can't recall for sure who scored for White, but judging by past performances Brian May and Brent McCain would be good bets, and perhaps Meehan chipped in with one or two, as he usually does.
Nobu settled down in the White goal to make a few sparkling saves after a start that can best be described as Troy Gamble-like (before he got contact lenses). Things got so bad at one point that the young Nobster slammed his goalie stick to the ice in frustration, causing a delay in play while he retreated to the locker room to replace the shattered lumber. Part-time tender Dennis Waechter was heard muttering at the ensuing face-off about the brilliance of breaking a hundred dollar goalie stick in an intersquad game.
At the other end of the ice, Tatsu stood on his head to deny the dads. (Who am I kidding... Tatsu played well but Doug Favell could have won this one... at his current age.)
Anyway, thanks to several spares and guests who came out we were able to have a good skate. Several regular TCHC guys were unavailable for various reasons and several others decided not to show up.
There is a game coming up Saturday night, Feb 28, in Chiba. The roster is full for that one but contact Koby if you want to play, or if you decide that you are, in fact, the world's biggest pussy and can no longer play (Diddler... let me know when to post that retirement notice).
Naoki — looked like Ovechkin out there... with better hair and teeth, of course.
Brady — amazing what a bird in the stands will do for a guy’s performance
Dennis — for giving me a ride to the game and back
Patty mo Steals the Show
The first Red-White Winter Classic of 2009 was one for the ages.
Patrick Morris got his year started on a positive note with a hat-trick as he led the Red squad to something like a 9-6 victory Sunday night at Jingu. The game marked one of the largest TCHC turnouts in a long time and the result was hanging in the balance going into the third period before Red poured it on to suck the drama out of the affair.
Morris, a reformed goaltender from the hockey hotbed of Hawaii, had the magic touch on Sunday and it wasn’t long before his teammates were pulling for a hatty for Patty. The new dad did not disappoint.
“I dedicate this to my daughter Sophia,” beamed Morris after the game. “My wrist strength has really increased from changing all those diapers, plus with my wife out of commission I’ve been pulling my Walt Podubny a lot lately, so that’s really helped, too.” Spoken like a true Diddler.
While Morris was the man of hour, other Red players to twinkle the twine were the smooth-skating Mike Larose on a breakaway, newcomers Jade Leung and Brent McCain, young Naoki and wily veteran Kevin Meehan. (Sorry if anyone was forgotten... McCaskie, Cam, Anto, Dan??)
Meehan’s goal was the result of some tenacious puck pursuit by the roly-poly Quebecer. After several swats at the vulcanized rubber disk, Meehan stayed with it and was finally able to slide a low wrister past White goalie Nobu as his dogged persistence paid off.
The boys on the Red bench tried to recall the last time Meehan pounced on something with that much intensity and the only thing that came to mind was an ugly incident last summer at the Canadian BBQ, where Meehan and McCaskie both went after the last cheeseburger.
Brian May, playing without his trusty sidekick Chucky V, who is on a conditioning stint in the West Coast League, got White on the board first after a defensive lapse in the Red zone. May and Chuck have formed a Sedin-like bond on the ice and always seem to know instinctively where the other man is. Come to think of it, Brian’s always in the corners digging out the puck and Chuck’s always camped in the slot waiting for the pass, so maybe it isn’t intuition after all.
The game see-sawed back and forth after May’s opening tally with Red eventually battling back to take a 4-3 lead in the second period. Both goaltenders made some fine saves. Red’s Tatsu stopped a couple of Mike Slaton blasts from the slot and he also made a nice glove save to stone Koby on a penalty shot, the most exciting play in hockey.
The penalty shot was awarded when Red D-man Jade caught Koby from behind on a semi-breakaway and got the hook on him. It was a tough call on the newcomer but the veterans wanted to send a message to the new man that back-checking will not be tolerated on this team ... sets a bad example for other guys.
Other White goals were scored by Young Kevin, Koby, Ogi, Frank, and Jonathan Livingston Hiratsuka, whose new strategy seems to be to linger at the center red line and wait for an outlet pass. Joji got a beauty from one of the White D-men last night and skated in alone, coolly slap-chipping the puck over a stunned Tatsu. With the hard-working May and Jimmer pulling out all the stops down the stretch, White was able to get one back late, but it was an all too familiar case of too little, too late.
Patty Morris -- 3 goals and possibly an assist or two ... who else could it be?
Tatsu -- some sparkling glove saves in the Red net
Jimmer -- refusing to give up until the final whistle and inspiring his team with his “old-time hockey” work ethic
Hit of the Night:
Smaal leveling Slato at the blueline while simultaneously carrying the puck and dipsy-doodling through Team White. Actually it was more a case of incidental contact ... he zigged when Smaaly zagged, and well, you saw the result. Both guys were able to quickly bounce back and shake off the incident, in true hockey form. In the immortal words of Tone Loc: “That’s what happens when bodies start slappin.”
As mentioned earlier, a great turnout on Sunday. For once, the team didn’t have to go to the spares list and we had a good, competitive skate, so let’s try and keep up that level of participation. Only one Guy said he’d show up and didn’t but he will remain sans nom (that’s French for “nameless”). Dennis and J.O. were both late scratches due to flu-like symptoms.
Bummer of the Night:
Contrary to earlier media reports, TCHC veteran Mike Rublack did not don the zebra stripes and drop the puck for the boys. Rubes, whose aversion to strapping on the blades is puzzling to many members of the club, has maintained his status as one of the team’s most popular players, even though he hasn’t been seen on the ice since the Clinton Administration was making politics fun again.
Prior to the game, TCHC President Mike Slaton introduced himself to some of the new players -- Nick, Jade, Brent Mc, Steven, Dan -- and had them say a few words. “I was wondering who those guys were,” mused Slaton.
Nov.Red / White Game
With Denny manning the pipes on a bad knee Sunday night last at Jingu, his Red-clad teammates rallied around him to put on a dominating performance, outskating the dirty White boys something like 9-5.
The turnout was good, with 12 Red skaters facing off against 13 for White, but more than half of the guys who showed up were off the spare list. Scott "Don\\\'t Call Me Marcia" Brady also made his season debut, albeit in a losing cause. Several guys who committed to play were no-shows, but with old veterans like Kevin Meehan, Killer Carlson, Chaw-dog and Mike Larose out there, the game had a nostalgic feel to it.
When the teams were split up, on paper White looked like a winner. But as any cheesy sportswriter will tell ya, the game ain\\\'t played on paper. When the puck was dropped, Brian May, Chuckie V, Young Jeff and the rest of the White boys were no match for the blend of youth and experience iced by the Red men. The speedy Naoki put on some of his trademark bursts of speed to tally a few.
BTW, if anyone has seen Steve Chianese\\\'s jockstrap, please return it to him ... he lost it somewhere near the blueline when Naoki slipped the disc between his legs and then beat Tatsumoto like a red-headed stepchild.
Dennis gets first star for dragging his sorry ass out there and backstopping his team to victory on a bad wheel .. not to mention some of the pre-game abuse he took from the crusty veteran Killer Carlson.
Other stars go to Ogi and Smaaly, for doing their part to bring some young blood into the ranks of the TCHC. Word in the dressing room was that Ogi recently became a dad and, at 8:30 pm on Monday evening, lead-footed D-man Smaal did the same.
Congratulations also go to Patrick and Miki Morris on the arrival of their daughter, Sophia. That\\\'s five new TCHC babies in two months with El Presidente and the First Lady are due before the end of the year.
Young waves Good-bye to Tokyo
Meiji Jingu Skate Rink, SENDAGAYA -- In an emotional night at Meiji Jingu, the Tokyo Canadians sent longtime defensive stalwart Jason Young home ... a loser, unfortunately.
Young had a chance to tie the hard-fought Red-White contest when he was awarded a late penalty shot for being an overall good guy. However, Tatsumoto in the White net stonewalled Younger as he skated in on goal with all the intensity of Inge Hammarstrom on Valium. Still, as No. 4 Red exited the ice for the final time, it was hard to find a dry eye in the house, but that may have had more to do with Jiffy's garlic breath.
Team Red, comprised mostly of guys playing in BKK later this month, fell 8-6 to the White team, led by pesky president Mike Slaton. For the White men, Chucky V got his usual array of garbage goals, putting in another Gary Doernhoffer-like performance as Brian May did all the heavy-lifting on the line once again. Jenny Craig poster-boy Kevin Meehan also twinkled the twine, ripping a low slap shot past the Cat from the left faceoff circle late in the game.
While the Cat ended up taking the loss, he did use his lightning-quick glove hand to shut up Slaton--who was at his Esa Tikkanen-like yappy best--on more than one occasion. The Red scoring load was carried by the line of Naoki, Jeff and Cam, a former TCHC star who was reduced to B.J. McDonald "Fire Hydrant" status playing between the two speedy wingers.
There was one ugly incident when the ever-ornery Killer "Ulf" Carlson rammed Chuck into the boards from behind. After milking the incident by lying on the ice for several minutes, Vincent finally got up when he realized we were not, in fact, playing soccer. Chuck is a lover, not a fighter, as he reminded us at Zest after the game.
1st star: Younger, for making it out with a severe hangover and for all he's done for the team over the years.
2nd star: Chuck, not for anything he did on the ice but for the nasty stories he told after the game.
3rd star: Meehan, whose Chi-Chi Rodriquez-like post-scoring antics earned a bounty on his head from Red throwback Killer Carlson.