News archive

Whiteout in Jingu

2012-05-21

The end of a hockey season is often toughest on the veteran players of a team, for they are the ones who continuously get badgered with questions like “do you have it in you to return for one more?”, “not the way you would’ve liked to end it, eh?” or “such high hopes early on, but to end the season like this must be particular hard on you.’” In fact, Sunday night’s Red & White game was no exception to this rule, as it would be last time (for now) that three TCHC veterans – Rob Smaal, Nobu Araki, and Brent McCain - laced-up the skates this late on a Sunday night for quite some time.  
 
And with a few more healthy scratches than normal, the team was also forced to make some last minute call-ups for Sunday’s  game, including Naoki Kaneko who recently returned from another pro-season in France, Tony Hiratsuka (nephew of veteran Joji), who flew in from Ottawa, Aaron McCain to man the pipes for Red, and up-and-coming hopefuls Brad Morimoto and James Barringer, who’ve now played with the team for a few months.
 
With 11 players aside and not much of a warm-up, the puck was dropped and a fast-paced affair was on. Only a couple minutes into the game, on the first line shift for White, the powered by gritty checking unit of Satoshi Chawanya and Mikhail Komatsu went to work in the Red defensive zone, stripping the puck off a stunned Naoki Kaneko, before shovelling it over to a wide open Shawn Montague who drew first blood on goalie Aaron McCain, now in his 3rd appearance for TCHC. Red continued to lay on the pressure,  with Naoto Hamashima feeding a nice pass over to outbound President, Brent McCain, who was eager to get on the score sheet one last time. Shortly after that, on another defensive lapse by White, Red forward Chris Antonelli spotted a wide open Barringer in front of the  net, who banged home his first of the season to make it a quick 3-0 lead for White.
 
Soon thereafter, with the help of his nephew, Joji Hiratsuka replied to make 3-1 but the score was widened again when Tommy Anderson carried it in all alone and beat Aaron with a solid wrist shot. Following an Antonelli goal from Hamashima, Red realized there was still plenty of time left in the game and started to cycle the puck down low in the White zone. Then, blueliner Rob Smaal, never the  selfish player (even in his final game as a Canadian), slipped a pass across the slot to a waiting Guy Roberge who slotted one past Nobu. Following the next line change, Red again took the puck deep behind the White net where Dan Stevens spotted an open Tony Hiratsuka for his first of the game. 5-3, White.
 
White added a few more by Mikhail, Holt and Antonelli (on a sweet little dipsy-doodle around an unnamed Red defender), before Koby answered for Red, showing no signs of slowing down only 3 days ahead of his 40th birthday. After 3 more Red goals by Roberge, Kaneko and Laurie, Red made it as close a game as it would get, 11-9 with 10 minutes to play. Sensing the pressure, Tommy Anderson took it upon himself to put the game away by scoring 2 goals, the first one knocking Aaron’s water-bottle off the net with a nice top corner wrist shot.
 
Final score was 14-10 for White, in a well-played match by both sides.
Your Allied Pickford 3 stars of the game:
1) Chris Antonelli – A 4-point night and hat-trick for Antonelli had Bruin scouts wondering if this could be the next Brad “the rat” Marchand as Anto was mixing it up all night, and heavily involved in the play for White. 
2)  Tommy Anderson – Single-handedly put the game away, not to mention shutting down a few good chances for Red. Also a 4-pt night for Tommy.
3) Rob Smaal – Playing in his final night, and still looking strong (playing with long-time defensive partner Lotocki), Smaaly held-up the back-end and even got involved on the score sheet. Not a bad farewell, at all.
 
Game Notes:
- Official attendance was 2 (mostly comprising of Hiratsuka family members).
- The next Red & White game will be 22:00 Sunday, June 17th at Jingu.
- Farewell party for Smaal, McKinnon, Araki and McCain 5pm this Saturday @ Legends

TCHC meet PM Harper

2012-03-26

March 26, 2012 was a day TCHC President, Brent McCain, will not soon forget. Brent wrote the following email to the TCHC membership at large.

The TCHC took a step into the limelight and did itself very proud. The call came through around 11 am from Chad and Paul Thoppil that Prime Minister Harper would indeed like to meet with us. I sent an e-mail and after a string of about 250 e-mails and phone calls we had the PM's personalized TCHC jersey ready and a time to meet him. 

A group of about 15 TCHC members were able to make it to see the PM who graciously greeted us and listened to my speech about what TCHC has done and will be doing in Tohoku. He then chatted with us all for about five minutes and seemed a little upset that the hockey talk needed to be cut short. My only regret is that one of the guys who does the most in Tohoku, Joji Hiratsuka, arrived about three minutes after the doors closed and could not get security to let him pass. 

The evening event on the same day was an even bigger success with the TCHC and the Tohoku Free Blades announcing their partnership in conjunction with Nadia, USF and Xebio. There was an even bigger crowd than for the PM with about 25 TCHC members in uniform and mingling with our partners. This partnership will bring relief efforts to the affected Tohoku region using sport to reach out to children. I rely on the TCHC executive to keep this thing going, not only in 2012 but also as a legacy partnership for our Hockey Club. 

The thing that struck me the most was the support of the entire team yesterday and last night. This was a team effort from top to bottom and I cannot remember a time when I was more proud to be a part of a hockey team. 

New Year's Cup Final Game

2012-02-24

 

TCHC Takes the New Year’s Cup
By: Redd Fischer
 
It has often been said in hockey that the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back of the jersey. You have to sacrifice what you want sometimes on the ice to win games. For example, you need to take a hit to get the puck up or block a shot when you would much rather keep your bones in one piece. Sometimes you have to give up a night on the town on Friday night to play a late game at Baba and that is where we start this one. Seven hearty souls made the trek up for the 11:30 pm start to meet with the Tokyo Egoists for what would ultimately be the deciding game in this tournament. Last year, the Egoists took advantage of a badly undisciplined TCHC side and Kaku Sato torched the boys for 5 goals in the 2nd half of the game as the Egoists earned a 9-5 win and tournament honors. The sparsely populated TCHC dressing room took an emotional hit as the Egoists showed up with 2 full lines and a fresh faced Kaku.
 
The game was surprisingly fast paced given the lack of players and our boys in Red really took it to the Egoists early and often. Shawn Montague cut off a clearing attempt about 3 minutes in and rifled a low shot towards the net. Brent McCain re-directed it past Eisuke Shimizu and the boys were off and running. Tommy Anderson, who logged about 57 minutes on defense, then found McCain on the wing. McCain slipped past Satoshi Chawanya and buried a second. Montague then started to run rough shod all over a beleaguered Egoists defense. He scored a natural hat trick and the score was 5-0 with a few to go in the first frame. Kaku got the Egoists on the board with a sick solo effort and Chris Antonelli, playing for the Egoists in this tourney, rifled a shot past Nobu Araki to get it back to 5-2.
 
The second period was more of the same with Montague and Guy Roberge doing most of the damage. They both recorded 3 more goals each and were driving the Egoists crazy. Satoshi Kobayashi chipped in a goal and a bunch of helpers. Rob Smaal and Kevin Holt played solid D and kept Kaku at bay pretty much the whole night. The guy nobody could stop was Antonelli. He completed his hat trick and then something strange happened. Anto blocked a shot and was sprung for a break away. The defense was caught pinching and McCain was the last winger. He actually back checked and almost had Anto, although the referee’s arm was up for what was a blatant hook. Anto battled through it and deked Nobu going low glove side for his 4th. If you do not believe 2 or 3 things in this last sequence, you are not alone. The truth is that Anto had his 4th.
 
The game however was out of hand for the Egoists with 15-5 being the final score. The boxscore looked something like this. For those who played, feel free to correct it as I lost count eventually.
 

Player
G
A
PTS
TOI
PIM
Plus/Minus
Montague
6
4
10
55:58
0
12
Roberge
3
6
9
54:54
0
10
Anderson
1
8
9
68:43
0
13
McCain
4
3
7
55:50
0
10
Kobayashi
1
5
6
56:00
0
10
Smaal
0
5
5
58:02
0
10
Holt
0
5
5
65:34
0
13
Hama
0
2
2
22:34
0
3

 
How did Hama only get 22:34 of ice? He was busy attending his Tokyo league game at Higashi Fushimi and still managed to convince his wife to drive with him to Baba to help his buddies out. He had no idea that the game was out of hand, and for this selfless effort he gets my Miller Lite Man Up Award.
 
Make the final 15-6 and chalk up another tourney victory for TCHC. In the end the 4-3 win over Mitsui in Game 1 turned out to be the Gold Medal Game as Mitsui ends up 2nd, Egoists 3rd, NTT 4th and College Circle 5th.
 
Your Allied Pickford’s 3 Stars:
 
1st Star: Naoto Hamashima – Showing up on Friday at 11:30 is a tough sell. Convincing your wife to come with you as you clean up a blow out is a sell of biblical proportions. He had no idea it would be a blow out but he had his buddies’ back anyway.
 
2nd Star: Shawn Montague – Absolutely torched them in the 2nd en route to a Sam Gagner/Darryl Sittler-esque night
 
3rd Star: Tommy Anderson – They did not score one when he was on and he matched Kaku step for step when it mattered.

Maple Leaf Ball 2012

2012-02-17

 

 


Nadia and TCHC Recognized at Maple Leaf Ball

 

 
The 2012 Maple Leaf Ball was held at the Grand Hyatt Roppongi last Friday and several members of TCHC were on hand to support this gala to support the Tohoku region. A reception was held prior to the event with Canadian sparkling wine and a selection of Canadian beers including Moosehead Lager. The Maple Leaf Ball is an annual event sponsored by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan and this year’s event was dedicated to highlighting the various ways Canadians have supported and are supporting the economic and infrastructural recovery in Tohoku.
 
CCCJ President Wilf Wakely addressed the 350 attendees and thanked several groups for their contributions. A video montage highlighted the outstanding work being done by the Nadia group which is led by TCHC stalwarts Joji Hiratsuka and Guy Roberge. Mr. Wakely also made reference to TCHC and its participation in multiple relief efforts beginning in the days after the triple disaster of March 11th. He asked all TCHC members in the audience to stand and be recognized for the club’s community service this past year. Joining Guy and Joji on this night were Scott McCaskie and TCHC president Brent McCain.

The evening was a big success and showed just how much Canadians have been doing on the ground to help in the recovery efforts of the Tohoku region and TCHC was proud to have played a part in these efforts and in the Maple Leaf Ball.

New Year's Cup - Game #2

2012-01-29

 

New Years Cup 2012 – Game #2 Roundup
By: Redd Fischer
 
It is the All-Star break and as such is time to reflect on the first 50 or so games and the state of the NHL in general. The NHL has never been faster or better and as I listened to Gary Bettman’s State of the Union address, I had to admit that, even though his demeanor is cold and a bit condescending, he has presided over a very good run. What has Bettman done? His expansions have mostly worked and where they have not, he has acted to rectify the situation. Phoenix and Florida are on shaky financial ground but their teams are pretty good and the fans are coming back. The league needs to straighten out Charles Wang and his hopeless Islanders but otherwise the business side is not bad. Like it or not he has made the Canadian teams much stronger. The strong Loonie has a lot to do with that but he also made sure that those teams were covered in any case. He has re-expanded to Canada and may do so again. He has succeeded in bringing the NHL to the Sun Belt. Cup championships in Anaheim, Carolina and Tampa are proof that it can work. Every major sports league has its financial train wrecks and the NHL has a couple in Phoenix, Long Island and Columbus but Nashville and Florida are hanging in there and selling out stadia. The Preds, you could argue, are a model franchise with stable management and a consistently competitive team. Competitive balance means that all 82 games are meaningful. The difference between the 4th seed and 12th in both conferences is pretty thin and each year we see a low seed knock off a high seed and make an inspiring run. The All-Star weekend itself leaves me a bit cold. I saw the shoot out competition and it has gone from the ridiculous to the sublime with props and goalies who are not even trying to stop the puck. All in all it has been an interesting first half and while I fear my beloved Habs will miss the playoff dance this year, I still am looking forward to the stretch run and what should be another great playoff.
 
TCHC suited up for a game against a depleted NTT squad on Sunday night and this one turned out to be a blowout. The first 5 minutes were actually quite close and you had the impression that the boys were in for a fight. But it was not to be. McGill grads Tim Laurie and Dave McKinnon were paired with the quiet but always dangerous Dan Stevens and they struck first with McKinnon burying a pretty 3-way passing play followed by Laurie sniping as Mack returned the favor. Tommy Anderson got on the board finishing off some nice forechecking work with Patty Morris and burying his first of the night clanging it with authority in off the post as goal scorers do. Fred Sanford sucked it up and played defense on this night and he was very solid in the effort. Late in the first he made a nice play to keep a clearing attempt in and then made a very smart play firing it low at the net. Satoshi Kobayashi snagged the rebound and found a wide open Dennis Waechter who banged in his first of 3, yes 3, on the night. Another nice play by a D-man at the point, this time Dave Lotocki, resulted in Morris finding himself all alone in front. His quick shot went in off Brent McCain’s skate which is just as well because McCain could not have hit water if tossed out of a boat on this night. So ended the 1st period with our boys in Red up 5-0.
 
Laurie and Mack were back at it early in the 2nd frame and the former Redmen combined to get Laurie his 2nd of the night. Guy Roberge was also back on defense in this game but it did not stop him from racking up 3 assists one of which coming as he pinched, made 2-3 nice moves and found McCain in the slot. McCain fired and was stoned but Shawn Montague picked up the rebound and slid it home for a 7-0 lead. NTT then got on the board as TCHC were found guilty of waving at an NTT D-man who went though 3 forwards in the neutral zone, split the D and rifled a shot past Tatsu. It was a clear case of the boys letting bad habits creep in on what was otherwise a “stats night”. Kevin Holt then led a rush and found Koby streaking. Koby hit Waechter with a beautiful pass and Denny banked in his 2nd of the night. Patty Mo and McCain connected for 2 bang bang goals for the Flyin’ Hawaiian. Dan Stevens rounded out the 2nd period finishing off a Guy Roberge lead pass to make it 11-1 after 2.
 
Tommy Anderson was flying on this night as usual and the Minnesotan whirling dervish combined with Montague to harass the NTT defense and Morris was sprung to again ring one in off the post for his 2nd of the night. Denny completed his hat trick and McCain finally scored with his stick after being sprung by Montague on a breakaway and this rounded out the scoring.
 
TCHC ran its record to a perfect 2-0 and carries a +14 goal differential into its 3rd game against College Circle before its final tourney game against last year’s champion, Tokyo Egoists. Make the final 14-1 TCHC.
 
Your Allied Pickford’s Three Stars
 
1st Star - Dennis Waechter – Throwing the body and patrolling the wing, Denny notched his first hat trick in official TCHC competition.
 
2nd Star – Patty Morris – Patty Mo was the straw that stirred the drink on the McCain/Montague/Morris line and wound up with 2 G and 3 A on the night.
 
3rd Star – Fred Sanford – Fred agreed to play defense after Rob Smaal was a last minute scratch due to flu like symptoms. He filled in admirably and was willing “to go where I am needed”. Resplendent in his new #4 Jean Beliveau jersey, he looked more like a mature Bobby Orr in gathering 2 more assists to go with his beauty goal in G1 of the tourney.


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INSIDE THE TCHC UPCOMING EVENTS:

R&W scrimmage:

Sep 18 (SUN) @ Jingu skate rink  www.meijijingugaien.jp/english/ice-skating.html 

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