Fit to be Tied


Date of Game: November 25, 2023

TCHC White

by Johnny Upton, Staff Writer


Around 22:00, the Canadians arrived in central Tokyo, prim and proper, hair fluffed, and many presumably wearing TV makeup. It was photo night at Meiji Jingu Skate Arena. After a few laps around the ice, the players wiped the foam from their mouths and seething anger from their faces to pose for photos taken by Ray Naoto Yamaguchi.

Ray is a talented photographer who can make a feral lot of hockey players look polished and presentable. Hours later, after incessant demands for reshoots, close-ups, insistence for better seating positions, and the occasional soft box ransacking (all jokes…), the boys and one woman were ready to play hockey.

The REDBLACKS wasted no time getting on the board, with a nice feed from Hiroki Iida to Hiroki Yamashita.  Soon after D-man, Noah Honch went Top Cheddar to put the REDBLACKS up 2-0. Despite valiant efforts from the Whites to break through the brick wall that was Emerson Keung; no shots found the back of the net. As the game progressed the goalies were taking control, as both sides had multiple chances on Takeshi Tatsumoto and Emerson, with no one bulging the twine. Yamashita would eventually skate through the Whites like pylons at a stick-and-puck to make it 3-0 REDBLACKS.

After multiple drives, Chris Colucci finally got the biscuit in the basket for Team White with a nice backhander to make it 3-1, with assists going to Evan Iveson and Mike LaRose, who was back in action after completing his MBA (Congratulations, Mike!). The Whites, smelling REDBLACK blood, continued their comeback. Aya Ikeda, lobbing a shot that managed to bounce past multiple defenders, was then deflected in the goal by Matty O to put the Whites on the board again, 3-2.

With the speed picking up, Yamashita, yet again, scored to make it 4-2, which was then followed by a clapper from Satoshi Kobayashi, fed from Honch, to put the REDBLACKS up 5-2. The Whites, like feral dogs, didn’t know the meaning of ‘rollover’ and promptly got back in the mix with a give-and-go between Colucci to Eric LaCara, getting on the board to make it 5-3.

Yamashita, just showing off for the cameras at this point, scored yet again to mark four tallies on the night. At 6-3, with fifteen minutes remaining, the Whites had no intention of giving up. Phillip Adams took a shot from the point, which ended up on Timothy’s stick for a nice deflection into the yawning cage. The Whites were back in the game. The well-conditioned Colucci, after welcoming daughter Anna Michelle into the world on Tuesday, found the back of the net again, putting the Whites within one goal at 6-5.

As the clock ticked down, and with more glamorous post-game photo shots on the way, White got the tying goal from Jesse Starosta with an assist from LaRose. A shootout was not to be as time expired, and, as we all know, real hockey games sometimes end in ties.

The Tokyo Canadians want to sincerely thank Ray Naoto Yamaguchi for coming out and taking photos of the team. He was incredibly professional and, all joking aside, was able to quickly set up his equipment to provide the team with a proper photoshoot. We look forward to seeing the results of Ray’s photo shoot soon.

Please reach out to Ray Yamaguchi through his website for any of your photography needs.

#icehockey #hockeygram #instahockey #tchc #YokohamaKeiaiEyeClinic #OUIinc #TheFourCGroupKK #rayyamaguchi #RayNaotoYamaguchi

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Tokyo Canadians #11 Hiroki YAMAGUCHI scored 4 goals for the REDBLACKS vs TCHC White.