Canadians Show They Mean Business in 2006
To ring in the new year, the Canadians took to the ice in a friendly game against the Monsters. Facing jetlag, lack of exercise, and two regular teammates dressed in the opposing team's uniform, the Canadians came out flying. Two minutes into the game, Stu Kimoto took a pass from long-absent Scott McCaskie, and buried a wrister over the glove-side shoulder of the plastic blue goalie. The following shift, Kimoto was on the giving end, feeding Mike Slaton with a breakaway pass that Slaton converted over the same shoulder as Kimoto's goal. With the first period winding down, Chris Antonelli grabbed a loose puck off of an Aaron Dobrescu forecheck and buried it high over the goalie's other shoulder.
Following a brief intermission that saw the teams trade goalies, the Canadians picked up where they left off. Shortly after the period started, Slaton fed Kimoto with a long breakaway pass that Kimoto converted behind a live goalie for his second goal of the new year. In the face of intense Monsters forechecking, the blue plastic goalie stood strong, allowing the Canadians to continue the barrage. To the delight of the six fans on-hand, Scott McCaskie showed the grit that made him one of the leagues fiercest forecheckers in years-past. Controlling play in the Monsters corner, McCaskie and Kimoto ran a cycle the likes of which hadn't been seem by Canadians faithful in years. McCaskie eventually delivered the puck to veteran defenseman Killer Carlson, who fired it at the net. The shot was deflected by Slaton for a 5-0 Canadians lead.
The lone Monsters bright spot in the period occurred when veteran defenseman Rob Smaal rifled a long wrister over the blocker shoulder of the blue plastic goalie to cut the deficit to 5-1. Asked where the sharpshooting came from, Smaaly replied, "It's this new diet she's got me on; I've lost four kilos since the new year." The momentum was short-lived, however, as Killer Carlson buried a slapshot off a faceoff on the very next shift.
The rest of the game was a seesaw battle that saw the teams trade three goals each. The line of Slaton-Kimoto-McCaskie continued their production, as Slaton converted two goals, and McCaskie was rewarded for showing up with his first goal of the year.
TCHC - 9
Monsters - 4
1) Kimoto - 2 goals, 4 assists
2) Slaton - 4 goals, 2 assists
3) McCaskie - 1 goal, 4 assists
- Several members of the team have proposed a New Years Resolution that the team lose 100 lbs (collectively) prior to April 1. Smaaly, this total can be retroactive to Jan 1 - your 4 kilos count...
- Infrequent skaters Dobrescu and McCaskie have pledged to "come on out a little more often."
- Veteran Canadian (and Monster) Joji Hiratsuka took a nasty spill into the boards in the second period, but emerged unscathed
West’s Whites Whip Past Enduring East
The return of Lanny “the Black Lion” Cooney highlighted the match-up of the Tokyo Canadians' final game of the year. Cooney, after a seven-month hiatus, faced fifty-two shots leading the West to a 11-5 victory.
The East opened the scoring with a great passing play from Brian May, to Chris Antonelli who touched it over to Dave “the French guy from the English speaking area of Quebec” who re-directed the pass past a sprawling Lanny Cooney. Dave scored twice for the East.
West answered when Mike LaRose fired a shot from the right hash marks beating Narushima on the short side. West tallied another when Joji Hiratsuka notched his first of two for the night. East again was quick to answer when James Heather brought the puck over the blue line, moved right in, with all defenders scattering out of the way, wound up and blasted a shot through Cooney.
New Brunswick native Michael Baxter allowed East to go ahead once more with his goal that saw Cooney save the first three shots but was unable to stop the fourth. Hiratsuka’s hustle paid off when he out skated Narushima to a loose puck just inside the East’s blueline, deeking the Japanese netminder to go in unscathed and tie the game at 3 a piece, his second of the evening.
Kimoto, just back from the Kyoto temple tour, helped West’s cause when he fired a shot through the five-hole giving the West the lead 4-3. Kobayashi’s feed to LaRose allowed Mike to score his 2nd of the night and now West was starting to open up the game.
A scary moment in the game happened when Bobby Chung let a howitzer shot go deflecting off veteran d-man Rob Smaal’s ankle. A loud scream was heard throughout the sold out arena at what looked like a shattered bone. Smaal, did finish the game.
Brent Carlson, recalled to the West after spending the past 2 months in a Thai jungle, returned to the defensive line adding some offensive arsenal as well. Carlson netted 2 goals in the Red’s victory. A goal worthy of an honorable mention was Yamamoto’s 1st goal of the year from another nice pass from the fast skating Kobayashi. Koby assisted on 4 goals for the night.
3 Stars (picked by HeatJam Productions)
#1 Lanny Cooney – 52 shots (5 goals)
#2 Mike LaRose – 3 goals 2 assists
#3 Joji Hiratsuka – 2 goals 2 assists
Brian May continued his point a game streak with a nice, individual effort in a losing cause for the East.
Satoshi Chawanya, the oldest player on the Tokyo Canadians, fired a goal past Narushima, showing that his the ageless wonder.
Satoshi Kobayashi playing alongside ex-Vanguard teammate Larose, assisted on 4 goals and was a threat in the offensive zone all night.
Stu Kimoto added to his goal totals by scoring twice and adding a couple of assists. When Knox returns to action, you can be sure Kimoto will continue adding points.
Mike LaRose carded a hat-trick last night giving him the 1st star honours.
Joji Hiratsuka, who has been in a scoring slump as of late, scored twice and added an assist and is definitely worthy of having in your fantasy pool. If you don’t have him, activate him now.
Cam Knox missed last night’s game with the stomach flu. Consider him day-to-day.
Scott McCaskie is still bothered by his bad knee. Doctors advised him to stay off that knee and if he insists on proposing again, to go down on the other one.
Furious Red Comeback Sets Stage for Thai
With only ninety minutes of hockey remaining before hitting the road, the skaters of Team Red came out flat on Sunday night, prompting concern from both Thai-bound players and their counterparts in White. From the initial face-off, White pressured Red, sending several scoring opportunities at goaltender Hiroki Narushima. Newcomers Chuck and Brian May applied a heavy forecheck, resulting in several defensive zone turnovers by Red. Despite Narushima's acrobatics in repelling White's barrage, White jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Brian May and Jason Young.
After a quick team huddle, to regroup, veteran Mike Larose madeWhite take notice of his return from the Injured Reserve List. Playing with one good eye, and another that felt like a bad contact lens was in it, Larose single-handedly turned the momentum back into Red's favor. Taking a pass from longtime linemate Scott McCaskie, a surprising presence in the lineup after Friday's absence, Larose walked in alone and picked the top corner over Dennis Waechter's glove. A few moments later, Larose showed Waechter that his blocker side could also be beaten, rippling the top corner with another picturesque blast. Of greater significance than Larose's second goal of the night was an injury suffered by McCaskie. After spending a year rehabbing a knee injury suffered while digging for a loose puck in the 2004 Thai Tourney, McCaskie tweaked his knee on the scoring play and was relegated to coaching duties.
What ensued was a see-saw battle that saw both teams throwing their full arsenals at Narushima and Waechter. The goaltenders were equal to the task, turning away one scoring opportunity after another. Red was the first to capitalize on a defensive zone breakdown, as Cam Knox and Stu Kimoto cycled the puck down low. Knox eventually spotted Mike Slaton sneaking into the slot, and Slaton buried over Waechter's glove, for a 3-2 Red lead. White was quick to answer, with goals by the French Canadian Connection J.O. Caron and Dennis for a 4-3 lead. Joji Hiratsuka answered for Red, tying the game after sneaking a puck past the helpless Waechter.
All the while, goaltender Narushima was solid, using his glove, blocker, both feet, and even his head to turn away White's shots. To support Narushima, a cast of solid D-men: veterans Killer Carlson, James Heather, Ken Takagi, and rookie Mike Doris fought to keep White off the scoreboard. Carlson, Heather, and Doris sacrificed their bodies for the good of the team, diving or stepping up to block numerous shots, and clearing the physical White forwards from the front of the net. Takagi was solid on the breakout, quickly transitioning rebounds and loose pucks into odd-man rushes the other way.
Despite Red's defensive efforts, White managed to recapture the lead as Chuck buried a rebound for a 5-4 lead. Red was quick to tie the game, as Slaton again capitalized by banging home a rebound off pressure created by Knox and Kimoto.
With the score tied at 5, Red would get the boost it needed as McCaskie returned to action, possibly motivated by the game at hand, possibly wanting to impress the pink-clad woman in the second row. In either case, McCaskie showed the resolve that made him one of the top players in the league when healthy by scooping up a loose puck and burying it past Waechter. Jason Young was quick to respond, burying the tying goal with only 13 minutes remaining on the clock, and notching his first hat-trick since coming off the South Beach Diet. Despite the setback and the tie game, Red continued to chip away at the White defense. After generating numerous shots on goal, the puck finally found itself on James Heather's stick with only one man in front of him. Heather ripped a quick snapshot that beat Waechter, but hit the cross bar and settled in the crease. Standing alone beside the net, Slaton tapped it home for the game winner.
Final score: Red 7 - White 6.
3 - Larose (2 goals, 2 assists, while injured)
2 - Young (3 goals, 2 assists)
1 - Narushima (47 saves)
Local Boys Take the President Fishing
The call came at 9am, “We are at the golf course at Ukelelee,” was the comment made by Tokyo Canadian president Jason Young. Confused on his exact location, Knox confirmed their whereabouts and they would be arriving in 20 minutes. After a quick tour of master fisherman Bob’s new 3500 sq. foot house, nestled among the first growth rain forest of Vancouver Island, we made our way to the boat moored at Weigh West in Tofino.
Enroute to the marina, Cam and Jason, looking like the locals on Welfare Wednesday, waited patiently for the liquor store to open. “I know they can see us out here!” commented Cam as he wanted to get to the boat and out on the water.
As they were buying the necessities, Mike Bebault and I gathered up the survival suits, packed the cooler with ice and waited for Bob to give us the thumbs up to go. “We will have the gear in the water in about an hour boys!” Bob instructed. “We are going about nine (nautical) miles offshore, to a place called C & B.” Apparently C & B is named after the ledges of rock on the ocean floor that represent the male genitalia.
Once out to the shaft of the C, we dropped our lines and right away there was a double header with Jay getting first dibs on the rod. “Keep the tip up…if it wants to go…let it go!” Bob instructed. “Its like sex…its all about feel!”, one of Bob’s favorite ways to describe reeling in a salmon. Like a seasoned veteran, Jay brought the fish to the boat only to have to let it go because it was a wild Coho. A nice fish too, maybe 12lbs but according to Canadian Fisheries laws, only hatchery Coho can be caught in the open waters off of Vancouver Island.
The day was a little foggy and an 8 foot swell kept Cam a little worried about nausea. Mike, a local to the area and an avid surfer, was stoked on the swell, well….until his birthday buzz wore off and he ended up feeding the fish with his own chum. But the sun did come out and the fish were biting, especially after Bob changed up the gear to get more ‘Mojo’ onboard.
Bob’s technique worked and soon Cam landed a 22 lb Spring salmon. The rule on the boat was everyone was given a turn in rotation so if you lost the battle with your fish, or if you catch a wild Coho, then that was your turn. Everyone on board was able a few turns on the rod and the overall catch was seven salmon (6 Spring averaged 20 lbs and 1 14 lb Coho) the biggest was 33 lbs brought in by Bob.
We fished for about 5 hours long and we headed back to port at about 5 o’clock. The fish were weighed and cleaned, the boat scrubbed and then it was off to the Long Beach Golf Course for 9 holes on a very difficult track, especially when your legs are still rocking to the rhythm of the ocean swell.
Anyone interested in fishing with Bob please feel free to contact him at email@example.com or call Weigh West in Tofino (250) 725-3277.
The Tokyo Canadians Hockey Club
The Tokyo Canadians Hockey Club have raised 300,000 yen for a Tsunami Disaster Fund which has been donated to the Red Cross Thailand in support of their tsunami relief efforts. Thank you to all of the players, and friends of the team, that were kind enough to make donations.
The Tokyo Canadians are proud to add this donation to the contributions raised by the Bangkok Flying Farangs Hockey Club, through their charity fundraising "Canada vs. The World Hockey Match" held on January 16. For more about the charity hockey match, see the articles on the NHL's website (www.nhl.com).