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New Year's Cup Game #4

2011-03-04

 

New Year’s Cup Game #4 Roundup
By: Redd Fischer
 
Another short bench and another slow start in this one for our boys in red but this time the script played out a little differently than it did in the previous two games thanks to a 5 goal outburst in the 2nd period and some unselfish play on the blue line. The boys showed up Friday night and realized that, while there were 2 full lines of skaters, there were no pure defensemen available, Kevin Holt being out with a shoulder, Dave Lotocki being out with paternity leave and a bunch of guys unavailable for duty. Finding one player on a team that can play defense and forward is tough enough but finding 3 on game night was a challenge for interim coach Brent McCain. So it was with great relief that Mihail Komatsu, South Buffalo’s own Ed Parsons and the always versatile Satoshi Kobayashi agreed to patrol the blue line. They were quite good on this night and the Yokohama club lining up opposite was no slouch having played the 1st place Egoists tough and enjoying some very young and fast legs. As referenced earlier Yokohama got out to a quick lead on two great goals, both of which were of the “fast break to speeding wing to roof daddy variety”. Once again TCHC got behind but this night was going to be different.
 
How did we know it would be different? Scotty McCaskie was in the line up. TCHC is unbeaten in the last 2 years with him in the line up. That’s right. They are 1-0 since early 2009 when the big man shows up and plies his trade. Skating on a line with player/coach McCain and former Georgia Tech Yellow jacket, Shawn Montague, big Scotty was flying from the outset and was in a feisty mood to boot. With the score 2-0 Yokohama, Scotty found Shawn Montague at the blue line. Montague put a ridiculous shoulder drop on the D man, who may still be looking for his jock, and buried it to cut the lead. 30 seconds later the boys were at it again as Montague created a turnover on the forecheck and centered the pass to McCaskie who found McCain wide open at the side of the net and just like that it was tied at 2s.
 
Yokohama broke back with a beautiful tip in from the point. Nobu Araki was furious at himself (or possibly the lack of defense) but in truth, he had no chance on this one. With 32 seconds left in the first, McCaskie got a turnover deep and fed McCain behind the net. He turned and found Montague alone in front and, with a “bang-bang” one timer, it was 3-3. The bench was animated between periods and with good reason. Dan Stevens poured his line over the boards looking to continue the consistent play that they have exhibited in this tournament. Regular linemates Frank Harrison and Guy Roberge were out on this night but Stevens was still able to find some chemistry with Flying Frenchman Guillaume Desgranges. 1:40 into the second frame, they hooked up and it was 4-3 and TCHC would never look back. McCain got his 2nd of the night as Koby pinched well and created a break. McCain waited out the goalie and slid it in on the back hand. 2 more for McCain and one more for Montague made it 8-4. Just before the break, Ed Parsons picked off a centering pass and hit McCain in full stride. The old player/coach blew a tire, passed long to Montague hoping that younger legs could complete the break and was rewarded when Montague banked his 3rd of the night in off a flustered Yokohama tender.
 
The 3rd period started off poorly and it seemed TCHC was counting down the seconds. Fortunately, Desgranges and Denny Waechter had a little gas left in the tank. Waechter blocked a shot at the blue line and followed up the rebound to spring Desgranges on a semi-breakaway. Desgranges and Stevens got whacks at the rebound and eventually Desgranges got his 2nd of the night to make it 10-4 and end any hope of a Yokohama comeback. McCain got his 5th of the night off a pretty pass from Montague making it 11-4. Yokohama got a couple of late goals but the matter had already been decided.
 
Our boys in red went to 2-1-1 for the tournament finishing in 2nd place. The tie against All Knights loomed very large in the end. Make the final 11-6 for the boys in red.
 
Your Allied Pickfords 3 Stars
 
1st Star – The Defense - Parsons, Koby and Mihail get the first star for manning up and playing defense. Parsons objected on the grounds that he never really learned to skate backwards but they all employed the time honored tradition of icing the puck when in trouble and with Stevens and Montague winning about 95% of the face-offs this proved to be a great strategy.
 
2nd Star – Brent McCain – 5 goals and 2 assists but more importantly played in all 4 games and only whined about the refs once, for which he is very sorry.
 
3rd Star – Scott McCaskie - McCaskie gets the 3rd star for showing up, scoring 5 points and taking over 5th in tournament scoring in only one game but a strong case could be made for Montague who was great again tonight.  
 
 

New Years Cup Scoring Leaders
Player
GP
G
A
PTS
PIM
McCain
4
9
5
14
0
Montague
2
3
5
8
0
Roberge
3
2
5
7
2
Greaves
3
4
3
7
0
Stevens
4
2
4
6
2
McCaskie
1
1
4
5
0
Desgranges
3
3
1
4
0
Parsons
4
1
2
3
0
Harrison
2
2
0
2
0
Anderson
1
1
1
2
0
Morris
2
1
1
2
0
Lotocki
1
0
2
2
0
Waechter
3
0
2
2
0
Komatsu
3
1
1
2
2
Holt
3
0
1
1
0
Smaal
3
0
1
1
0
Carlson
1
0
1
1
0
Fleck
1
0
1
1
2

 

New Year's Cup Game #3

2011-02-11

 

TCHC – New Year’s Cup Game 3 Round Up
By: Redd Fischer
 
Playing a hockey game at 11 pm on a Friday night in Tokyo requires some special personal attributes. Firstly, one must have discipline to be able to eschew the millions of temptations that this city has on offer on any given weekend. Secondly, one must be creative because selling the idea of a hockey game to your better half on a Friday is a tricky proposition at the best of times. Thirdly, one must have stamina because for several of our fathers/over 35 set, a late game involves starting times that are later than the time one usually turns in. Ten hale and hearty members of TCHC demonstrated these abilities in spades on Friday night as TCHC took on the Tokyo League’s All Knights in a tournament clash at Takadanobaba.
 
Things started off well for our boys in red with some slick passing and tough forechecking. Newcomer, and former Moose Jaw Warrior/Saskatchewan Huskie, Chad Fleck got his first point in TCHC colors as he barreled down the wing and fended off the All Knights defense long enough to rip a pass towards the net. Flying Frenchman Guillaume Desgranges was crashing the net and re-directed the pass in for an early 1-0 lead. It was short lived however as an end to end rush resulted in the tying goal and a very bad bounce off the ensuing faceoff left Nobu Araki helpless as the All Knights made it 2-1. TCHC got things back to all square before the end of the 1st period when Guy Roberge corralled a Dan Stevens head man pass and spotted Brent McCain going to the net. Roberge made a beautiful and hard tape to tape pass which McCain one timed past All Knights goalie Takeshi Tatsumoto.
 
Another bad shift resulted in a 2 goal outburst from the All Knights and just like that TCHC was down 4-2. The All Knights got caught on an atrocious line change however and Simon Greaves wound up with the puck. He hit McCain in stride and he went in uncontested from the TCHC blue line and beat Tatsu for his second of the night. Greaves was at it again later in the second following up a Roberge drive to the net and depositing the rebound for a 4-4 tie. Our boys in red had an annoying habit of getting one and giving one up on this night and, true to form, the All Knights took the lead at 5-4 about 1:34 after the Greaves tying goal.
 
Credit our boys for fighting back though! Desgranges took a pass from Rob Smaal at his own blue line, studiously ignored a wide open Chad Fleck and burst in over the blue line. He took the puck wide and around the net and found South Buffalo’s favorite son, Ed Parsons, with the pass. Parsons swatted at it and put it high over Tatsu’s glove to knot things up at 5.
 
The third period was a defensive struggle with Kevin Holt, Smaaly and Greaves shutting the door and clearing rebounds. Nobu made two circus glove stops late in the 3rd to preserve the tie as his mates pushed for the winner maybe a little too hard causing them to forget their defensive responsibilities. The boys pushed hard for the winner and almost got one to go as McCain missed a breakaway and Parsons got stoned from in tight but, as referee Chawanya blew the whistle and the clock showed all naughts, the score remained 5-5. The tournament remains wide open but our boys will need a solid victory in the final game if they are to entertain any hope of taking the hardware. Solid effort from a short bench but make the final 5-5.
 
Your Allied Pickfords TCHC 3 Stars
 
1st Star – Nobu Araki – Nobu had a slow start but was on fire in the final frame when he had little help and lots of shots. He made at least two game savers late and let the boys push a bit.
 
2nd Star – Guillaume Desgranges – G was a whirling dervish, opened the scoring and made the play happen to tie things up late.
 
3rd Star – Kevin Holt – Played hurt and played tough. Calm when he needed to be and full of fight when he needed to be.
 

New Years Cup Scoring Leaders
Player
GP
G
A
PTS
PIM
Roberge
3
2
5
7
2
Greaves
3
4
3
7
0
McCain
3
4
3
7
0
Stevens
3
2
2
4
2
Harrison
2
2
0
2
0
Anderson
1
1
1
2
0
Morris
2
1
1
2
0
Lotocki
1
0
2
2
0
Parsons
3
1
1
2
0
Desgranges
2
1
1
2
0
Waechter
2
0
1
1
0
Komatsu
2
1
0
1
2
Holt
3
0
1
1
0
Smaal
3
0
1
1
0
Carlson
1
0
1
1
0
Montague
1
0
1
1
0
Fleck
1
0
1
1
2

R&W Cup - Game 1

2011-01-31

 

Team Morris Pounds Team Lotocki in Opener of R&W Cup
Redd Fischer
 
The R&W Cup is a five game series pitting Team Lotocki against Team Morris. President against Vice President. I am currently reading Team of Rivals which chronicles the political genius of Abraham Lincoln as he managed the competing political ambitions of his closest rivals to build the Republican Party, create one of the strongest cabinets in US political history and win the Civil War for the Union. Why is this relevant? This game promised to be a civil war, one where brothers would find themselves on the other side of the rink from mates they had gone to war with a few weeks back. Also, not a lot of us have so much going on in our lives so this little tourney represents the high point of the long, cold winter ahead. Not surprisingly, there was a full house at Jingu with each side throwing 3 solid lines and 6 defense over the boards for what promised to be a spirited affair. One other parallel that I can draw with the Civil War was that early battles rarely ensure victory. Much as the British lost after initial successes at Bunker Hill and Long Island, the Rebels slaughtered the Union forces at Manassas and Bull Run in the early going and it was grim indeed for Lincoln and his crew. In our game tonight, Team Lotocki played the Confederate Army winning early battles and Team Morris the Union Army, choosing to apply constant pressure to eventually overwhelm its opponent.
 
The game was actually very tight for the first 20 minutes with no blood drawn. There was even a blocked shot when Denny Waechter (Team Lotocki) dropped down in front of a James Heather slapshot. Anyone who has played with Jimmer knows that this is very brave but not very smart if one has to work in the morning. As line mates Bobby Chung and Ed Parsons came off, Parsons was heard to exclaim, “You really cannot teach that kind of insanity…I mean balls.” There was also Kevin Holt gutting out shift after shift after popping his shoulder on his 2nd shift. Expectant father and team captain Dave Lotocki got his team on the board with a spectacular effort as he danced through the neutral zone and blasted a rocket over Nobu Araki’s glove hand to make it 1-0 Lotocki. The Team Morris line of Shawn Montague, Naoto Hamashima and Frank Harrison was all over the place in the early going but only good fortune and the quick reflexes of Tatsu kept Team Patty Mo off the board. Satoshi Kobayashi staked Team Lotocki to a 2-0 lead a few minutes later and this had the Lotocki side wondering if they would be stealing Game 1 in relatively easy fashion after winning a battle or two.
 
It was not to be however. Montague, Harrison and Hamashima got cranked up with Montague eventually getting a break and barreling in on Tatsu. There was a yard sale as Lotocki and Simon Greaves backchecked furiously. With bodies flying everywhere and a huge clang that may or may not have been an inside crossbar, the puck landed between the legs of a sprawled Tatsu and the official call on the ice was “no goal”. Video review by an objective Team Lotocki was inconclusive and an incredulous Montague vowed revenge. It is really funny how karma can be a female canine. On the ensuing draw, Dave McKinnon picked Brent McCain’s pocket and the puck went to Guy Roberge at the point. A low hard shot was tipped in front by a Team Lotocki defender and just like that it was 2-1. About a minute later Patty Morris got his team back to all square banking in a rebound from in tight. The tide had turned and Team Lotocki started to feel like the Rebel troops approaching Gettysburg, Chattanooga or maybe even Vicksburg.
 
Line 3 for Team Morris really got cranked up at this stage. Joji Hiratsuka missed a glorious chance but Marc Bookman and Tim Laurie did not, hooking up about a minute later to get Morris up for the first time in the game at 3-2. About 3 minutes later, Rob Smaal, after enquiring about whether or not there would be any breaks in the game for those who needed it, made a nice pinch and gloved down a Team Lotocki clearing attempt. He made a nice pass to Frank Harrison, who one-timed it past Tatsu to make things 4-2 Morris.
 
This was the beginning of the end for Lotocki’s side. Marc Bookman got his first of the night from in close and it was 5-2. Scott Collins finished off a passing play between himself, the always dangerous McKinnon and Patty Mo and it was 6-2. On the ensuing shift Collins got tangled up with Mark Didcott requiring an intervention from the suddenly calming influence of Brent “Killer” Carlson, who in addition to a solid defense played Jimmy Carter to Collins and Diddler’s “Sadat and Begin side show”. Diddler seemed awfully confused by the whole thing asking team mates who that tall guy was who challenged him to drop the mittens. Cooler heads prevailed as usual and all was forgiven by the next play.
 
Fast forward to a late draw in Team Lotocki’s end that went back to Chris Antonelli at the point. He lined it up, one-timed it and went absolutely ROOF DADDY on a shocked Tatsu to make it 7-2 and start to rub salt in the wounds of the Lotocki side. Wes Browne, solid on the back end and always a threat to rush, got his first of the tourney and Bookman scored his second of the night to bring it to 9-2.
 
The 9-2 score prompted some tinkering and Guillaume Desgranges moved to Dan Stevens’ line with Satoshi Chawanya. After a few good shifts the boys were rewarded as Chaw tipped in a Koby shot from the point. Brent McCain got a last goal for Team Lotocki as Diddler fed him a nice pass to the wing and he deposited a back hand by a sliding Nobu. It was something to build on as they say but far too little and far too late to change anything here. Make the final 9-4 Team Morris for a 1-0 series lead. A battle won for Team Patty Mo but it is 4th down and a war to go!
 
Your Allied Pickfords 3 Stars
 
1st Star – Frank Harrison (Morris) – Was absolutely flying out there and even though his line only got 1-2 goals, they wore Team Lotocki down.
 
2nd Star – Marc Bookman (Morris) – Bookman had 2 goals and an assist and was a catalyst for a very strong 3rd line.
 
3rd Star – Takeshi Tatsumoto (Lotocki) – Probably faced 80 shots and most of them were second and third rebounds. He looked like he had lost 12 pounds by the end of the game

New Year's Cup Game #2

2011-01-28

 

TCHC – New Year’s Cup Round Up
By: Redd Fischer
 
The Tokyo Canadians suited up for their second game of the New Year’s Cup Tournament at Takadanobaba Citizen’s Rink on Friday night with most expecting that the matchup with the Tokyo Egoists would be the battle for the top spot in the tournament. For about 55 minutes the outcome was very much in question with a hotly contested and sometimes chippy contest that went back and forth. Our boys in red most certainly would want the last 5 minutes back though as they let Kaku and his one man show steal the two points with a 5 minute, 4 goal outburst the likes of which we have not seen this year.
 
The Egoists drew first blood on a very strange goal as captain Dave Lotocki, who was very solid on the night, blew a tire and watched helplessly as the puck slid under him to Satoshi Kobayashi, traitorous in Egoist White, who walked in and scored on an uncontested breakaway one minute into the game. Lowtalker could not be faulted for this one though and the troops rallied quickly. Simon Greaves pinched and centered one to Brent McCain who got a couple of whacks from in close before finally getting it over the line. The rest of the period ebbed and flowed and the Egoists took a 2-1 lead. Before the break, Brent Carlson made another great pinch and spotted Guy Roberge who made no mistake in tying things up to end the 1st period at 2-2. The Roberge/Frank Harrison/Stevens line was very solid again as they were in game 1 of the tourney.
 
The Egoists top line got firing again and scored on a very close call at the blue line as the Egoists were staked to a 3-2 lead. TCHC pled its case loudly but the call stood and so did the lead. Satoshi Chawanya, an Egoist on this night then banged in a rebound to get the score to 4-2. Things threatened to get a way from TCHC as Dan Stevens got called for charging, giving a suddenly energized Egoists side a chance to pull away. The bench was a bit flustered until captain Lowtalker and player/coach/assistant captain Rob Smaal took a minute and calmed things down. Leading by example, Low and ever steady defensive partner Kevin Holt killed off 45 valuable seconds and then Low lobbed a pass towards centre ice. Guy Roberge was streaking and the puck slipped through the Egoist defender and right on to Roberge’s stick for about 100 feet of clear breakaway and he made no mistake rifling a shot top shelf on the blocker side to give TCHC life and get things back to 4-3 with his well timed short handed effort.
 
The 3rd period was back and forth for the first few minutes and TCHC knotted things at 4 with a very pretty 3-way passing play by Shawn Montague to Patrick Morris to Brent McCain who caught the goalie coming across and swept around him to get his second of the night.
 
The tie did not last long as Koby found Joji Hiratsuka, also an Egoist on this night, with a home run pass and Joji made no mistake burying it. Simon Greaves got things back to square with a seeing-eye shot that just squeaked in through pad and post. At this point it was 5-5 and there was about 7:40 left. TCHC had a power play and a chance to take the lead after Dennis Waechter got blasted at centre ice. Denny got up with fire in his eyes but thought better of it and took the power play as Ed Parsons and Guillaume Desgranges showed great poise with their teammate. The boys just could not get one to go on the power play though. Kaku then took over banging in 4 straight, 2 or 3 of which went in off cross bars and posts as the wheels came off for TCHC and Nobu Araki, who was very solid between the pipes, got left to fend for himself as the boys started to take chances to try and tie things up late.
 
So the situation is this: Egoists are 2-0 and TCHC is 1-1. TCHC must run the table and hope that the Egoists somehow drop a game. There are 2 more games left and anything is possible of course. This was a case of two teams being evenly matched for 55 minutes but in the end in wound up being a tough day at the office for our boys in red. Make the final 9-5 Tokyo Egoists.
 
Your Allied Pickfords 3 Stars
 
Kaku – Egoists: He had 5 goals and a couple of helpers and TCHC had no answer.
 
Satoshi Chawanya - Egoists: Played solid two way hockey and was rewarded with a goal. Also booked the ice and set the tournament. In as 2nd star as a builder and as a player!
 
Dave Lotocki – TCHC: 2 helpers and a calming influence on the bench that helped to keep this one interesting down to the wire.

New Years Cup Game 1

2011-01-07

 

TCHC Takes New Years Cup Opener in a Walk
Redd Fischer
 
2011 officially opened for TCHC Friday night at the Takadanobaba Citizen’s Rink for the opening game of the New Years Cup Tournament. The boys were able to work off the holiday rust by throwing 3 solid lines over the boards in a game that would not be a closely contested affair against a Waseda University club team. Maybe it was a good thing because the next test looming is a very tough Tokyo Egoists squad who come armed to the tournament with a few TCHC members and a bit of a chip on their shoulders.
 
The game got off to a flying start for our boys in Red with a goal only 58 seconds into the game. Tommy Anderson did some nice work digging the puck out from behind the net and spotted Brent McCain creeping in off the wing. McCain slid the puck quickly to Patrick Morris who made no mistake in banging the puck into the wide open net. Simon Greaves, who was very good on this night, got the second goal about a minute later as he converted a pretty passing play between Guy Roberge and Dan Stevens. The line of Stevens, Roberge and former Indiana Hoosier, Frank Harrison was the big line on this night and they started to carry the play at this point. Harrison got a beauty on a one timer from in tight converting a lovely pass from Roberge and Kevin “Kid” Holt, who was also very steady on the blue line. Stevens rounded out the scoring with an unassisted effort and the first period ended at 4-0 TCHC.
 
Stevens got his second of the night early in the 2nd period as Waseda got caught on a bad line change and McCain, spotted Roberge high who flipped another pretty pass to Stevens who rarely misses when given chances like that. Tonight was no different. At the end of that same shift Harrison continued his strong play and was rewarded with his 2nd of the night. Simon Greaves also got his second on an unassisted effort to make the score 7-0. The energy line of Dennis Waechter, Ed Parsons and Mihail Komatsu got fired up and had a series of great chances culminating with Komatsu going roof daddy for his first of the tournament finishing off a nice three way from Parsons and Waechter.
 
The 3rd period was much tighter with Waseda’s tender and Nobu Araki trading saves to keep the frame scoreless. Nobu was not tested much on this night but he was solid when called upon, shutting the door on a few defensive lapses over the course of the game. The line of McCain/Morris/Anderson was really “snake bit” on the night and could have had a few more goals but it was not to be. Late in the game though, the hockey Gods relented and Anderson finally converted a breakaway after being sprung by a Rob Smaal touchdown pass.
 
The only thing left to play for was a shut out and credit the boys from Waseda for playing to the final whistle. With 23 seconds left on the clock they banged in a rebound to break the ice and ruin Nobu’s shutout bid.
 
In the end it was a good effort from TCHC with a very balanced attack. No player had more than 3 points and everyone got on the score sheet. This kind of balance will be needed as the games get tougher. The next game will be Monday, January 17th against the Tokyo Egoists. Make the final in this one 9-1 TCHC.
 
Your Allied Pickfords 3 Stars
 
1st Star – Dan Stevens – Dan had a big night with Roberge and Harrison and finished with 2 nice goals and a helper.
 
2nd Star – Guy Roberge – Guy was all over the ice feeding his linemates and Greaves off the point from start to finish.
 
3rd Star – Simon Greaves – Logged probably 35 minutes of ice, was never out position and also finished with 3 points off 2 goals and a helper


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