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Watchmen season ends one goal short

2007 is in the books, bringing an era to an end

18-July-2007

EDMONTON – In spite of a pre-game “stay outta the box” speech it was only a few minutes into the game that the Watchmen found themselves killing a penalty. The Battalion took advantage firing seven shots on net before the Watchmen got their first, the seventh found its way into the back of the twine as a shot from the point was tipped mid-air to give the Battalion a 1-0 lead. They would make it 2-0 on another power play and another screened shot from the point and the Watchmen found themselves behind the eight ball early on. But before the period was out, Jeff MacLellan and Ryan Fitzsimmons would connect on a bouncing puck that somehow found its way up and over the Battalion tender and into the cage to cut the lead in half heading into the second period.

MacLellan would tie the game on a powerplay when Nycholat danced in off the point and feathered a tape to tape pass to MacLellan who buried the puck to draw the game even at two. But, as would be a re-occurring theme this evening the Watchmen found themselves on another penalty kill and gave up a 2 on 1, which was stopped, but the rebound was scooped up to give the Battalion the lead yet again. While the Watchmen would draw even on a strong effort from Ryan Fitzsimmons who earned his way into the slot and buried low hard shot, the game wouldn’t stay tied for long as the Battalion were able to tally their fourth on yet another tipped shot from the point. The goal was particularly hard to swallow as it occurred on probably one of the worst calls in the history of hockey, when Jeff MacLellan got penalized for tripping after striping the puck of a Battalion defender who fell trying to follow MacLellan in on a semi-break. Not only did the Watchmen lose the break, but ended up on a costly penalty kill. Unfortunately is wouldn’t be the only poor call on the evening. While the Battalion racked up almost twice as many penalty minutes as the Watchmen – the least penalized team in the division in the regular season, for some reason the refs were only able to see purple and white this evening. While the Watchmen didn’t do themselves any favours it was a painful way to play a third and deciding game.

Despite being outshot 30-15, the Watchmen were only trailing by a goal heading into the third period with the season on the line. Unfortunately, only 30 seconds into the period the Watchmen gave up yet another 2 on 1 and the Battalion regained a two goal lead deflating the Watchmen’s attempt to build some momentum. The struggles would continue as the Watchmen were penalized again and again, and while JP Glaves was able to notch a short handed marker to bring the Watchmen within 1, it would be as close as they would come this evening as the final buzzer sounded ending their summer campaign with a 5-4 loss. In spite of two tough games to end the season, and a slew of injuries this year, on the ice it was a solid summer season as the division was very competitive top to bottom, and the Watchmen went out playing hard, but ultimately coming up just short.

The game not only ends the season but also completes a chapter in Watchmen history as many long-time veterans have announced their intentions to move on next season leaving the team in need of re-tooling before the winter campaign – which is only 8 weeks away!

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

1)      Nate Moore (Battalion)

2)      Jeff MacLellan

3)      Patrik Ondrisik (Battalion)

Game Result: Watchmen 4 vs. Battalion 5 (Loss 1-2)

Watchmen Power Play: n/a

Watchmen Penalty Kill: n/a

 

Weis hands the Battalion a second chance

Ugly loss in game 2 forces third and deciding match

17-July-2007

EDMONTON – Not likely time for a write-up on the game as unfortunately our writing staff has a day-job and the third and deciding tilt takes place tonight at K of C.  Quick highlights:

Watchmen come out buzzing

Weis plays like shit

Watchmen battle back

Moran beats the living crap outta some guy in a classic tilt that went something like this:  “c’mon fight him you wimp, fight him”… 10 seconds later… “break it up, break it up!”

Weis continues to play like shit

Battalion chirp and cry

Battalion win

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

1)      game sheet AWOL… 3 Battalioners

Game Result: Watchmen 3 vs. Battalion 7 (Loss 1-1)

Watchmen Power Play: n/a

Watchmen Penalty Kill: n/a

 

Watchmen take 1-0 lead in semi-finals

Boys win one for the Nisky

13-July-2007

EDMONTON – The battle between the Battalion and the Watchmen has been rivalry spanning over 5 summer season, and Thursday night’s division I playoff game pitted the two squads against one another yet again in the best 2 of 3 series.

The evening kicked off on a sour note as the Watchmen learned that long-time warrior, Tom #10 on the score sheet and #1 in the your hearts Jacknisky indeed broke his ankle in the final game of the regular season and was scheduled to undergo reconstructive surgery Friday afternoon. There was little the Watchmen could do for their fallen brother-in-arms, but go out and try to win.

Meanwhile, Jacknisky was not the only Watchmen to be sidelined on the evening as Russ Simpson and Travis Manchur are each nursing groin injuries, while Clayton Harbak’s season also has also been ended as a result of a broken ankle. The Watchmen’s other broken bone scratch Ryan Fitzsimmons however did appear in the stands for the game walking with ease and sending a positive message that he’d be back on the ice for game 2 Monday night.

The Battalion were missing a handful of key players as well including their starting goalie Jeff Strank who robbed the Watchmen the night before, and the team’s leading scorer Patrik Ondrisik both apparently had important date with Jon Bon Jovi et al at Rexall Place. The Battalion mounted the early attack, but it was the Watchmen who drew first blood when the rebound off of a Cam Phillips shot over glove side of the net from the slot bounced back into a goal mouth scramble and Brad Holt was able to whack it home. The one goal lead would stand until just 15 seconds in to the second period when Dino Vlahadamis threaded the needle from the corner, to Dana Gray in the slot who chipped it to double the Watchmen lead. But the offence wasn’t done yet, as Chris Girard broke in on a short handed break midway through the frame and used Cam Phillips as a screen to bulge the twine a third time.

A quick time out was called by the Battalion to settle down and regroup, and regroup they did as Nate Moore skated through three Watchmen unmolested on the very same power play to break the Watchmen shut out and get the Battalion back within striking distance. But for the second time in as many nights, Jeff MacLellan’s signature forecheck-slapshot combo resulted in an unassisted goal. The goal came less than 20 seconds after the Battalion had earned their first point deflating the squad short term momentum.

Heading into the final frame up 4-1 the game looked well in hand for the Watchmen – particularly when half the period ticked off the clock and the score handed change, and almost definitely when the Battalion earned a 4 minute minor with just under 8 minutes to play in the game. The Battalion, whilst a very skilled squad are not renowned for having very tight control over the tongues, and tonight was no exception as the chirping was unleashed in full fury. The Watchmen on the other hand are also not famous for being able to stay outta the fray, and as such called a timeout to blow off some steam. But the coaching decision didn’t pay off as instead of running out the double minor, the Watchmen took back-to-back-to-back penalties three minutes into the power play and suddenly found themselves on the short end of a 4 on 3 stick. With plenty of time left on the clock the Battalion pounded home a shot from the point to bring the score within two.

In spite of allowing the Battalion back into the game the Watchmen were able to hold on for a 4-2 win giving them a 1-0 lead in the series that resumes Monday night at K of C arenas. The Watchmen are hoping to take the game and the series to move to the finals to draw the winner of the Sting-Batmen series whose first game went to the Sting Monday night.

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

1)      Jeff MacLellan

2)      Chris Girard

3)      Tim Weis

Game Result: Watchmen 4 vs. Battalion 2 (Win 1-0)

Watchmen Power Play: 0 for 6

Watchmen Penalty Kill: 6 for 8

 

Battalion earn a playoff berth downing Watchmen

Jacknisky out as Watchmen hit with injury bug going into playoffs

12-July-2007

EDMONTON – Another showdown between the Watchmen and the Battalion is set for tomorrow night after the Battalion faced the Watchmen in a do-or-die last game of the season and came out on top.

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

1)      Nate Moore (Battalion)

2)      Jeff Strank (Battalion)

3)      Mitch Flegel

Game Result: Watchmen 2 vs. Battalion 3 (Loss 10-5-0)

Watchmen Power Play: n/a

Watchmen Penalty Kill: n/a

 

Watchmen lose game for ‘fun’

Watchmen outhustled, outgunned, outplayed by Batmen

11-July-2007

EDMONTON – It’s happened before, it’ll happen again… Watchmen lay an egg, and the Batmen take advantage in a big way. Fortunately for the Watchmen there was nothing riding on the game, and it was perhaps an appropriate time to mail one in…

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

1)      Chad Casvant (Batmen)

2)      Jason Inkpen (Batmen)

3)      Eric Kebernik (Batmen)

Game Result: Watchmen 4 vs. Batmen 9 (Loss 10-4-0)

Watchmen Power Play: 0 for 2

Watchmen Penalty Kill: 1 for 2

 

Watchmen clinch summer pennant

9-5 victory seals first place for Watchmen and leaves Chain Gang hanging by a thread

8-July-2007

EDMONTON – With three games remaining in the schedule the Watchmen needed to collect 2 of the possible 6 points to lock up top spot in the division. The Chain Gang were the Watchmen’s opponent over at the toasty-warm Londonderry arena. The Gang has not fared too well since joining the top division, and had given up 10 goals to the Watchmen in both of their previous two matches (accounting for almost 1/3 of the Watchmen’s total offensive output this summer). The trend looked like it would continue when the Watchmen got on the board only moments into the game when the Chain Gang’s goalie mishandled the puck and it was collected at the blue and dumped into a gapping cage by Jeff MacLellan. But the Chain Gang would strike back notching 3 goals in a row to take the lead. While first place isn’t a huge reward given the tight division, the Chain Gang were playing for their playoff lives and so the offensive outburst had the Watchmen on their heels. But the boys would settle down and tie the game up before the end of the period.

In spite of the early jump, the tides began to turn in favour of the Watchmen as MacLellan, Girard and McPherson would dominate the score sheet notching 4,3 and 2 goals respectively before the night was out. Meanwhile the Watchmen defense and tender became stingier than they were in the first period surrendering only 1 more goal in each period. Despite being the most penalized team in the league the Gang stayed out of the box for almost the entire game. In fact the only 2 penalties of the game were both called during the final few minutes of the final period when the Chain Gang had all but thrown in the towel. While the Watchmen offensive output was down 1 goal from their previous two outings, 9 markers was enough to seal the deal and a 9-5 win clinched the top spot in the division for the boys in purple.

While the remaining two regular season games are meaningless for the Watchmen their opponents, the Batmen and the Battalion are both still very much in hunt for the 3rd and 4th playoff spot. But the Watchmen can’t rest on their laurels as they play three nights in a row this week with the playoffs starting on Thursday immediately after the end of the regular season. And despite the Watchmen’s record, there isn’t much to choose between the teams in the division this summer and the Watchmen will have to keep playing their game when the playoffs arrive.

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

1)      Jeff MacLellan

2)      Chris Girard

3)      Dan McPherson

Game Result: Watchmen 9 vs. Chain Gang 5 (Win 10-3-0)

Watchmen Power Play: 0 for 1

Watchmen Penalty Kill: 1 for 1

 

Watchmen bounce back to down Sting

Simpson and Harbak sidelined as Watchmen clinch playoff berth

28-June-2007

EDMONTON – After having their ass handed to them last week the Watchmen-Sting rematch was slated for Wednesday night at K of C. While the Watchmen were missing 5 of their starting players, a busy day on the phone for the Watchmen GM enabled the squad to have a full line-up by the time the puck dropped. The Sting were apparently less fortunate on the telephone as they struggled to get 2 lines on the ice. Nonetheless, the Sting pounced first when the rebound off of the first shot of the game was swatted in giving the Sting a 1-0 lead. Instead of the first period shelling they got last game, the Watchmen bounced right back as Jeff MacLellan somehow found a hole on the short side to tie the game. The game would remain tied until Russ Simpson collected the puck behind the net on a power play and wrapped it in to give the Watchmen the lead with just under two minutes to play in the period. Moments after notching his fifth goal of the 07 campaign, Simpson pulled his groin and exited the game leaving Luke Moran to move up the wing.

It would be almost a full period of play before either team scored again when Gary Oikawa who’d been called up from the Ice Bears for the game found Jeff MacLellan out front of the net who swatted in his second of the night to give the Watchmen a two goal cushion. MacLellan would get his third point of the night a minute into the third when he fed a pass back to Dan McPherson who h-a-m-m-e-r-e-d a shot from the point like only the lads from Ft. Sask can into the back of the twine. While the Watchmen had a 4 goal lead, the Sting were out-shooting the boys in purple by a 3:2 margin. In spite of the Sting continued attempts it would be the Watchmen who would score yet again when Dino Vlahadamis swooped in to mop up a rebound a cap the scoring at 5.

Despite being outshot 34-24 it was an impressive rebound win for the Watchmen after being pounded by the Sting just last week, keeps the Watchmen in the top spot in the division and clinches a playoff spot for the Watchmen who are now mathematically out of reach of the Chain Gang. One more win in the remaining 3 games for the Watchmen clinches them first place in the division as well. Unfortunately the win comes at a cost; with Simpson on the indefinite IR, and news that rookie Clayton Harbak injured his foot playing baseball puts the Watchmen down two starting forwards with two weeks, and three games left in the regular season for the Watchmen (none of which are at K of C).

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

1)      Tim Weis

2)      Jeff MacLellan

3)      Travis Manchur

Game Result: Watchmen 5 vs. Sting 1 (Win 9-3-0)

Watchmen Power Play: 1 for 2

Watchmen Penalty Kill: 3 for 3

 

Watchmen pounded in Wilkinson’s swan song

Sting shell Watchmen keeping the table tight

25-June-2007

EDMONTON – Six years after founding the team, and having come out of retirement once already, #16 Cory Wilkinson made his final appearance with the purple and white Friday night. Having accepted a new job in Vancouver there would be no coming out of retirement a second time. And graciously, the Watchmen put together their worst performance of the season so that Wilkinson wouldn’t have any second thoughts about leaving the boys.

From the Watchmen point of view the game was fairly unremarkable as the squad was clearly not prepared for the Sting onslaught who notched 11 shots before the Watchmen got their first. The Sting would eventually mount a 5-1 lead in the first period due to a combination of odd man rushes, screened shots and poor goaltending. A four goal deficit would be too much for the Watchmen to overcome, and although they would eventually make it respectable, the final buzzer would sound with the score 8-5 and the Watchmen with their tails between their legs, still holding on to the top spot in the division for now, but have yet to secure a playoff berth with four games left.

Fortunately for Wilkinson his send off golf trip was a bigger success as the Watchmen took to the links in Red Deer Saturday afternoon.

The Watchmen bid farewell to their founding father and all-time leader in games played, goals, assists and swear words. Number 16 has been returned to the rafters as Wilkinson heads for the coast.

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

4)      n/a lost game sheet

Game Result: Watchmen 5 vs. Sting 8 (Loss 8-3-0)

Watchmen Power Play: n/a

Watchmen Penalty Kill: n/a

 

Holt’s hat trick keeps Watchmen winning

Watchmen win second in a row despite missing 6 regulars

20-June-2007

EDMONTON – An 8 pm Monday start time was apparently a difficult time for the Watchmen players, six of who did not make it out for the Watchmen’s 3rd tilt against the Battalion. With only 9 regulars in the line-up, the Watchmen called up the defensive prowess of the franchise’s most prolific goal-scorer Chris Girard who had been called up for the game and was paired up with Corwin Nycholat on the point.

Whether or not it was his new defensive partner that gave him the confidence to wonder off the blue line will remain unknown, but twice within the opening ten minutes of the game Nycholat found himself with the puck deep in the Battalion zone, and both times he would get the puck to an unmarked Brad Holt who made no mistake either time to give the Watchmen a 2-0.

Taking their 2-0 lead into the second period the Watchmen found themselves on the losing end of the penalty equation for the most part of the period allowing the Battalion to claw their way back into the game. The Watchmen’s lead was cut in half when the Battalion were able to capitalize on one of a string of power plays that they were handed. The point shot that was hammered over the Watchmen tender’s mitt midway through the second brought the game to a 2-1 score. In spite of a flurry of calls which seemed to be assisted by a persistent whine from the Battalion bench, the Watchmen were able to retain their lead heading into the final frame.

The Watchmen were able to get the penalties more or less under control in the third period and it looked like the 2-1 score may hold up until the final buzzer. But with less than five minutes to go, Russ Simpson and Cam Phillips combined to recapture a two goal cushion. Simpson patiently out-waited the Battalion defenseman on a 2 on 1 and fed a perfect pass to Phillips in the slot who one-touched it home. The insurance would prove invaluable as the Battalion continued to press and would end up out-shooting the Watchmen by a tally of 37-27 before the night was out. In spite of the attacks, it was a bizarre play that would lead to the only goal that they would notch in the period when Preston Kulmatycki was hauled down with a stick around his throat on a break-away that somehow ended up in a non call. As both teams stood waiting for the penalty (or the penalty shot) to be called, the Battalion were the first to realize that the whistle had in fact not gone as they quickly re-grouped and attacked the Watchmen zone. On the ensuing scramble a screened shot found its way into the back of the net and the Battalion were within a goal with two minutes to play.

But Brad Holt would finish off his hat trick into an empty Battalion net after a flurry of chances assisted by the extra attacker. The Battalion tried pulling their goalie a second time, and again successfully attacked the Watchmen zone only to have Nycholat tip away a pass on a 2 on 1 to officially put the game out of hand.

The Watchmen face-off against the Sting in a home and home series as the season approaches its final few weeks. Meanwhile Ryan Fitzsimmons the team’s second leading scorer has had his cast removed and is scheduled for rehab in the hopes of returning to the line-up before the end of the regular season.

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

1)      Corwin Nycholat

2)      Brad Holt

3)      Tim Weis

Game Result: Watchmen 4 vs. Battalion 2 (Win 8-2-0)

Watchmen Power Play: 1 for 6

Watchmen Penalty Kill: 6 for 8

 

Watchmen reclaim 1st from Chain Gang

MacLellan notches a hat-trick before getting tossed

17-June-2007

EDMONTON – With the WAtchNET staff vacationing in Ontario, loyal fans have found that Ghost Writer failed them a second time this year… Especially disappointing is the lack of detail about Preston Kulmatycki filling the net again to get back into the league’s top ten in scoring, and Jeffy MacLellan getting himself booted for beating on a Chain Ganger who quickly learned that challenging him to a fight was a bad, bad idea. Meanwhile the Watchmen are 2-0 without starting tender… looks like the weak link has been identified.

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

1)      Jeff MacLellan

2)      Preston Kulmatycki

3)      Russ Misselbrook

Game Result: Watchmen 10 vs. Chain Gang 5 (Win 7-2-0)

Watchmen Power Play: n/a

Watchmen Penalty Kill: n/a

 

Batmen out-hustle Watchmen

Winning streak comes to an end

15-June-2007

EDMONTON – Another 6:30 pm start saw players from both teams trickling onto the ice after the scheduled start time and even after the puck dropped as lads fought with rush hour traffic to make it out on time. The Batmen would strike first this Monday evening when Chad Casavant spotted an open Mark Wawrychuk on the doorstep each notching their first point on what would be 4 and 3 point nights respectively. While the Watchmen would get it back on a powerplay when Kelly Wosnack threaded the needle to Dan McPherson who buried the puck with a low drive, the Batmen would reclaim the lead before period was out on the first of what would be many odd man rushes this evening and the Watchmen would find themselves trailing by a goal when the period was up.

The second period would bring more of the same for the Watchmen as the Batmen continually hemmed them in, and when the Watchmen got the puck into the offensive zone the Batmen were quick to spring odd man rushes. The Batmen would score on one of each type of play early in the period, first a 3 on 1 and then a well-cycled puck each found their way home and the Watchmen were suddenly trailing 4-1. Dan McPherson would get one back on a bouncing puck, and if it wasnt for some goaltending heroics the Watchmen could have drawn within 1 before the end of the period.

Kelly Wosnack would tally the only goal of the period for the Watchmen when he hammered home a turn over. While the miserly shot clock was not counting rebounds as shots on net in either end, both teams managed to officially tally almost 30 shots before the night was out. Nonetheless neither goalie would surrender another goal, and the Watchmen were unable to draw even. The Batmen finished the night off with an empty-netter and the Watchmen’s winning streak came to an end.

Despite sitting near the top of the table, the Watchmen are only 3 points from the basement and will need to get back on the winning horse as the post-season is just around the corner. On a happier note, Dr. Nick, the Watchmen’s team doctor, has given Ryan Fitzsimmons a positive prognosis and the boys in purple are keeping their fingers crossed that they may have him back in the line-up prior to the start of the post-season.

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

1)      Chad Casavant (Batmen)

2)      Mark Wawrychuk (Batmen)

3)      Dan McPherson

Game Result: Watchmen 3 vs. Batmen 5 (Loss 6-2-0)

Watchmen Power Play: 1 for 3

Watchmen Penalty Kill: 3 for 3

 

Fitzsimmons on IR

MacLellan to step in to fill some big skates

8-June-2007

EDMONTON – After enjoying 14 hours of prompt hospital care, the Watchmen were dealt a heavy blow Thursday morning when X-rays confirmed that Ryan Fitzsimmons had broken his foot in Wednesday night’s game against the Battalion sidelining him for 4-6 weeks. The doctors couldn’t believe that he was walking on a broken foot, clearly a testament to the toughness of the player, which of course the Watchmen have come to expect from all their team mates. The WatchNET caught up with Fitzsimmons yesterday: “It may the codeine talking, but I’m feeling pretty damn good, and these flying pink bunnies taste great. I’ll be back for playoffs, and if all goes well the last few regular season games.” 

Having already been hit from behind twice this summer season, perhaps a broken foot is a blessing in disguise for Fitzsimmons, but the loss of their #2 goal scorer is a heavy blow for the lowest scoring team in the division. However, stepping up and stepping in is Watchmen sophomore Jeff MacLellan, who joined the Watchmen last summer and winter campaigns but had chosen to sit the summer of 2007 out as he was worried he’d be out of town too frequently. Fortunately for the Watchmen, MacLellan loves hockey and after 2 months of sitting on the sidelines he was more than eager to jump at the chance to get back in the line up. Like Fitzsimmons, MacLellan is a strong two-way player with a big offensive upside, and so the Watchmen will soldier on as the summer season reaches its midway point this coming week.

Watchmen fans and players all which Fitzs a speedy recovery, and hope to see him back in the purple and white before he f*@#s off the United States in September, something that which has become a worrying trend for Watchmen vets.

 

Battalion downed in shoot outs

Watchmen’s 5th straight win a costly one as Fitzsimmons sidelined

7-June-2007

EDMONTON – The Battalion and Watchmen squared off in the most recent installment of the 2004 and the 2005 summer Division 1 champions’ rivalry. It was the Battalion who got on the board first who found themselves on a 2 on 0 in their first power play of the game which they buried thanks to a funny bounce. But Preston Kulmatycki would tie to up when he hammered home a slap shot from the circles on a semi-break. The Battalion would reclaim the lead by converting a stretch pass into a clean breakaway. While giving away 2 breakaways early in the game was not a strong start it would pay dividends later in the game. Kulmatycki would find the back of the net again to tie the game on a goal mouth scramble set up by Clayton Harbak, who would set up Dino Vlahadamis 30 seconds later whose snap shot through the five-hole gave the Watchmen their first lead of the night.

While the Watchmen went into the second period up a goal, they were down their second leading scorer Ryan Fitzsimmons who he took a slap shot off of his foot late in the first and left the game for X-rays. While the action was up and down throughout the period as both teams found themselves killing penalties all period including several 5 on 3s the score remained 3-2. But with 3 minutes remaining in the period Kulmatycki would complete his hat-trick when he danced around two Battalion defenders and patiently outwaited the goaltender before sliding the puck home to give the Watchmen a two goal lead heading into the final frame.

The penalties calmed down in the third period probably in part thanks to the message the refs sent in the second period that they were not going to put up stick work or lip flapping. Nonetheless, the Watchmen felt the refs missed a call when their goalie got hit behind the net after dishing the puck into the corner. The Battalion attackers stick ended up firmly lodged in Weis’ skate and he tripped and stumbled back to the front of the net, but not in time to stop the Battlaion’s Nate Moore from capitalizing on the empty cage. The Watchmen would have no one to blame only moments later when the Battalion finished off their 3rd breakaway of the night to tie the game up with only 5 minutes left to play. Although they came close, the Battalion would have to settle for at least 1 point on the evening as the buzzer sounded forcing a shoot out to decide the winner.

Corwin Nycholat was slotted to take the first shot for the Watchmen and he made no mistake wristing a shot home to put the pressure on the Battalion’s first shooter Patrik Ondrisik who had already scored on a breakaway this evening, but was only able to get 95% of a goal this time as the Watchmen tender got just enough of the puck to have it come to a dead stop with 3.5 mm still touching the goal line. While the Watchmen would not score again, the breakaway practice they’d given their goalie throughout the game helped him shut the door on the remaining Battalion shooters and the Watchmen would collect another two points on the evening. The Watchmen retain their place on the top of the leader board despite being the lowest scoring (and least penalized) team in the division.

While a win’s a win, the Watchmen management couldn’t help but express their disappointment in Kulmatycki’s offensive output dropping by over 50% from his previous performance. “While a hat-trick is helpful, he didn’t get a single assist” commented veteran defenceman Corwin Nycholat. GM Weis echoed the sentiment: “when Fitzsimmons went down you kind of expect your big offensive guns to step up to fill the gap, but to tally less than half the number of points as last game is really heading in the wrong direction. What can we expect next game?  At this rate he’ll be a negative plus-minus next week.”

The Watchmen put their winning streak on the line twice next week against the Batmen and the Chain Gang on Monday and Friday. Watchmen faithful are eagerly awaiting news of a speedy recovery of Ryan Fitzsimmons.

Three Stars BP’s Selection

1)      Preston Kulmatycki

2)      Tim Weis

3)      Dino Vlahadamis

Game Result: Watchmen 5 vs. Battalion 4 (SO) (Win 6-1-0)

Watchmen Power Play: 2 for 10

Watchmen Penalty Kill: 7 for 8

 

Watchmen deal merciless counterpunch to win 4th straight

Watchmen seal Chain Gang’s fate on five-minute hit from behind power play

2-June-2007

EDMONTON – Both the Chain Gang and the Watchmen struggled to get a squad on the ice for the 6:30 pm face-off Thursday night and almost 5 minutes had ticked off the clock by the time the game got underway. The Watchmen welcomed veteran tender Weis back into the paint smelling of A-535, but were worried that he may have come back a little early when the first shot of the game found its way into the back of the net. Despite having been lit up by the Sting the night before The Chain Gang were still the number one team in the division and the early lead did not bode well for the Watchmen who were without four starting players this evening. But five minutes later they would counterpunch with a vengeance notching 3 goals in 3 minutes to take a 3-1 lead into the 2nd period.

The opening minutes of the second period would be the Chain Gang’s chance to score a flurry, one-upping the Watchmen by scoring 3 goals in just 2 minutes to reclaim the lead from the boys in purple. Once again the 1-goal deficit would light a fire under the Watchmen and who would retaliate by outscoring the opposition 5-1 in the remaining 12 minutes of the period, the last 2 of which came on a 5-minute major the Chain Gang were assessed for hitting Watchmen punching bag Ryan Fitzsimmons from behind. The two power play goals turned a back and forth 6-5 game into a commanding 8-5 leading into the final frame.

While the Watchmen would give up their share of chances in the final period, they would not surrender any more goals and would find the back of the net twice more to reach double digits before final buzzer sounded handing the Watchmen their 4th straight win as they remain undefeated against teams in Division 1.

Oh, and Kulmatycki notched 4 goals in a 7 point performance, setting the record for the most offensively productive night in franchise history and vaulting him into the team’s scoring lead.

Three Stars Selection

1)      Preston Kulmatycki

2)      Clayton Harbak

3)      Dana Gray

Game Result: Watchmen 10 vs. Chain Gang 5 (Win 5-1-0)

Watchmen Power Play: 3 for 5 (4 PP goals, 2 of which came on the same major)

Watchmen Penalty Kill: 2 for 2 (no goals surrendered)

 

Watchmen overcome referring to win third straight

Nycholat, Gray, Fitzsimmons and Kulmatycki chip in a goal each for win

29-May-2007

EDMONTON – The ghost writer has let down the legions of Watchmen fans with the following “report”:

“I dont remembre who scored how it went down or anything of the game. I wasnt given a game sheet because the refs kept it.

I failed you Jedi Master, Please dont cut off my testes.”

The reason that the game sheet was not issued to the team became apparent in a flurry emails sent to the WatchNET over the course of the past week. Piecing these correspondences together will help elucidate the events that ultimately led to the Watchmen’s 3rd straight victory, at the cost of a 1-game suspension to veteran Dino Vlahadamis:

… we played solid but we took about 13 minor penalties and a couple of 10 min majors.  seriously played over half the game short handed.  it wouldnt have been so bad if the calls were going both ways but when ryan has a breakaway and 3 guys are draped over him and he gets no shot off and hauled down there should be at least one call but there was nothing called.  tom gets tangled up with a guy and gets 4 min.  it looked bad because it was at a pretty good speed but they just got tangled up…

…we won…. russ brought his own folding camping chair to the dressing room, it was awesome. dino was kicked out of the game and dana allllmost got kicked out but just ended up in the box... the reffing was brutal... seriously the out of this world bad, good thing they only had like 9-10 guys…

it just kind of got out of hand.  its not really that the calls that were bad its that they didnt call stuff that was blatent.  to me it was more missed calls than bad calls.  our guy got hammered, wasnt even looking towards the guy, behind the net and there was no call.  then a second later we get a penalty.  when the ref called it that is when dino snapped.  i dont know man, but they were bad.  after that game i could see why guys would want to quit the league…

…you missed a gong show man…

…I am not denying that we did not deserve the penalties that we got, I was dissappointed at the calls that we weren't getting the other way. We get hauled down on a breakaway, hit pretty nasty from behind a few times, etc, etc and nothing... The safety of the players were in question as they were taking runs at us and they weren't getting called. I’ve never seen a game called so one-sided… All in all, it was a poorly reffed game. We have had problems in the past, but never this bad. Thy usually at least call the game fairly when they call lots of penalties…

…what’s your number?  You won’t believe what happened last night…

So there you have it o loyal WatchNET readers. Those of you who witnessed the debacle can decide for yourself if the various reports are a fair reflection of the game. Ultimately, the Watchmen were able to battle through the adversity and get the 2 points without losing anyone to injury. While the failure to produce a post-game write-up was the icing on the cake for a frustrating evening, it is time move on, as the Watchmen face-off against the undefeated Chain Gang this Friday night in a battle for the top spot in the division.

Update from ghost writer trying to save his job (May 30):

I have been busier than a dog with two dinks and I realized when it was too late that I didn thave a game sheet. I do remember Corwin blitzing a laser from the outside hash marks ove rthe tenders shoulder. Beauty!!

Three Stars Selection (as chosen by the ghost writer)

1)      Ryan Fitzsimmons

2)      Preston Kulmatycki

3)      Chris Grant

Game Result: Watchmen 4 vs. Battalion 2 (Win 4-1-0)

 

Watchmen fire 48 shots at Bullets for second win in a row

Fitzsimmons postpones vacation to tally natural hat-trick

18-May-2007

EDMONTON – The long weekend began with Kulmatycki and Weis (as well as winter stars van Weiren, MacLellan and Walker) officially entering (and just as quickly departing from) the ranks of professional hockey as Rocky Eldridge showed up to hand out the paycheques from the Full Throttle Tourney. The main event however would be the Watchmen facing off against the Bullets Friday night at K of C Arenas. Thus far the Watchmen were perfect against Div1 teams and winless against Div2 teams, so in spite of the Bullets being from a lower division the Watchmen were all too aware of how poorly they can play when they put their minds to it. Speaking of playing poorly, the Watchmen goaltender foolishly laced up the skates this evening despite a nagging groin injury, and after watching him hobble around in the warm-ups it was clear the coaching staff made the wrong decision allowing him to play.

However, the Watchmen would protect their duck lame tender in the first period keeping the Bullets off the score sheet, but would also be unable to cash in, in the other end of the rink. But Ryan Fitzsimmons would take the bull by the horns in the second period tallying, not one, or two, but three straight goals in a span of two shifts to put the Watchmen up 3-0. Before the period was out the Fort Sask. line would connect with Preston Kulmatycki dishing it to newcomer Clatyon Harbak who made no mistake burying the puck into the empty net giving the Watchmen a 4 goal lead heading into the flood.

The third period opened with the Watchmen continuing to control the play outshooting the Bullets by a margin of more than 2:1, but the Bullets would manage to get themselves back into the game when a failed clearing attempt got fired back in wide of the net and bounced to an unmarked man in front of the net. The Bullets would get another only moments later when a pass back to the point was picked off sending the Bullets in on a 3 on 1 and after the bouncing puck found its way into the back of the Watchmen net the game that looked well in hand was suddenly 4-2 with over ten minutes left in the period. But Kulmatycki would notch his second straight assist on the night as the other winger on the Fort Sask. line; Dan McPherson would bury a shot into the top shelf to give the Watchmen some breathing room. While the Bullets would sneak out one more breakaway goal, the final buzzer would sound with the score 5-3. The Watchmen face of Wednesday night against their old rivals the Battalion.

Three Stars Selection*

1)      Ryan Fitzsimmons

2)      Preston Kulmatycki

3)      JP Glaves

Game Result: Watchmen 5 vs. Bullets 3 (Win 3-1-0)

 

Watchmen down Sting

Combined offensive effort helps Watchmen rebound for win

12-May-2007

EDMONTON – Squaring off against the Sting for the first time in several years the Watchmen were eager to put their inter-divisional loss behind them. It showed as two shots into the game and the Watchmen found themselves with a 2-0 lead as summertime spare Chris Girard found the top shelf on a pass from Brad Holt and moments later Cam Phillips would whack in a loose puck on a centering play from Dana Gray. The Sting fought back but where unable to beat the Watchmen goaltender and Russ Misselbrook would hammer home a rebound to finish the period with the 3-0 lead for the Watchmen.

The flood between the first and second periods helped the Sting regroup as they stormed back with two straight goals to narrow the lead to 3-2. But Brad Holt would restore the Watchmen’s two goal lead by finishing off a setup from Ryan Fitzsimmons sending the game into the final frame with the score 4-2. Down but not out the Sting’s Mike Golka would pot his second of the night in the dying seconds of a power play midway through the period. But once again Fitzsimmons would spring Holt this time in on a breakaway which he buried through the five hole to keep the Sting’s attack at bay.

Apparently frustrated with the results on the scoreboard the Sting decided it was time to drop a few shoulders, but even the increased physical play would not allow them to take the lead away. While the did get close again, by whipping in a low shot into the bottom corner with less than four minutes to play, but thanks to some hard forechecking led by Cam Phillips the Watchmen would parry their attacks. Phillips also managed to clear the Watchmen zone in the dying seconds and unselfishly dish the puck to Dana Gray who put the final nail in the coffin this evening burying an empty-netter with 2 seconds left on the clock.

Honourable mention goes out to Ryan Fitzsimmons who tallied 3 assists on the night despite taking a dirty shoulder in the chin and to Chris Girard after 2 seconds of consideration for dropping his plans to make an appearance. The win over a top Div 1 team, helps prove that despite the summer roster, the Watchmen jerseys seem to be able to beat or lose to anyone they match up against on any given night. The victory did come at a cost though as Watchmen’s tender how turned aside 38 of the 42 shots fired at him this evening appears to have re-injured his groin and may be out indefinitely.

Three Stars Selection*

1)      Brad Holt

2)      Cam Phillips

3)      Russ Misselbrook

 

Game Result: Watchmen 6 vs. Sting 4 (Win 2-1-0)

 

Beavers surprise Watchmen

Stretch passes too much for Watchmen to handle

9-May-2007

EDMONTON – The Watchmen were pitted against the Beavers Tuesday night in their first interdivisional game of the campaign. Noticing the Beavers were on the receiving end of a 13-1 thrashing in their first outing the Watchmen hit the ice a little over-confident that the W was a foregone conclusion, but they should have reached a little deeper into the recesses of their memories to recall some interdivisional upsets last summer. A point that was made clear when the Beavers tied the game up on a breakaway almost immediately after the Watchmen’s Fitzsimmons had given them an early 1-0 lead.

The Watchmen would accumulate a 3-1 lead before the period was out when Dan McPherson whacked in a rebound and Russ Simpson found the far corner on a break. The two goal didn’t last long when a knockballer hit a stick and found its way into the back of the Watchmen net. The Watchmen were able to preserve a 3-2 lead going into the second frame, but the may have been the kiss of death for the Watchmen though as they began to rest on their laurels and frequently got caught leaving men open for stretch passes and odd man rushes. While the Beavers would only capitalize on one of the two-on-ones in the second, a breakaway in the third period gave them their first lead of the game.

Travis Manchur would tie the game up with a low drive with less than five minutes to go in the period, but the tie did not last long as the Beavers finished off yet another breakaway in the final minute of the game by bouncing the puck in off of a skate. The remaining 30 seconds were not enough for the Watchmen to mount a comeback and the Beavers handed the Watchmen their first loss of the summer season.

Three Stars Selection*

1)      Jon Berard (Beavers)

2)      Tom Jacknisky

3)      Jason May (Beavers)

 

Game Result: Beavers 5 vs. Watchmen 4 (Loss 1-1-0)

 

Five unanswered goals power Watchmen over Batmen

Former rivals combine for Watchmen’s first W of the season

3-May-2007

EDMONTON – Facing off against the Watchmen in earlier this year, Ryan Fitzsimmons had only donned a Watchmen jersey for 12 minutes before netting the Watchmen’s first goal of the summer campaign. His goal – a pretty solo effort – tied the game at one as the Batmen had jumped out to an early 1-0 lead Thursday at Clareview Arean. The Batmen would regain their lead only moments later when a 2 on 1 shot was tipped in over the Watchmen goalie’s glove. The Batmen would go up 3-1 early in the second frame in what was beginning to look like it would be a long, tough season for the Watchmen.

But it was another former Watchmen rival, this time Travis Manchur from the winter Ice Bears, that would stem the bleeding when he squeezed in a shot with Jacknisky on the receiving end of some punishment in front of the net to bring the Watchmen to within a goal. Just over a minute later Preston Kulmatycki would tie the game as he danced around the Batmen defender and goaltender sliding the puck in the empty cage with five minutes to go in the period. Fitzsimmons would give the Watchmen the lead with 8.3 seconds remaining in the second period when he whacked in rebound off the stick of Dana Gray.

Having let in 3 goals in the game’s first 20 minutes, Watchmen goaltender Tim Weis would shut the door for the remainder of the game preserving the Watchmen’s lead despite the fact that the Batmen would ultimately outshoot the Watchmen 30-24 on the evening. Kulmatycki would add some insurance batting in a puck out of midair off the stick of Russ Simpson, and JP Glaves would seal the deal popping in the game’s final and the Watchmen’s 5th unanswered goal propelling them to a 6-3 victory in the season opener.

It’s a good start for the summer squad who were without four starters including veterans Vlahadamis and Nycholat and new recruits Dan McPherson and Clayton Harbak, all of whom, with the exception of Harbak are expected to be in the line-up for the Watchmen’s next tilt at 10pm Tuesday night.

Three Stars Selection*

1)      Tim Weis

2)      Preston Kulmatycki

3)      Ryan Fitzsimmons

 

Game Result: Watchmen 6 vs. Batmen 3 (Win 1-0-0)

*selected after the game by BPs/Don Cherry’s attendees

 

‘Watchmen’ win inaugural 3-on-3 tourney

Squad goes 6-1-0 in 7 games in 24 hours

28-April-2007

EDMONTON – Ten players thrown together by GM Rocky Eldridge, all donned the Watchmen jerseys in between winter and summer seasons to play in the inaugural 3-on-3 Full Throttle 24-hour tournament at River Cree arenas. The tournament began at 9:15 pm for the Watchmen, who were only able to dress 6 out of a possible 9 players thanks to 2 players not showing up and a late working schedule for Preston Kulmatycki. The two 16-minute half format proved to be a lot of ice time and a lot of skating in the wide open 3-on-3 play. The short bench caught up with the Watchmen squad as they fell behind early, but found their second wind and exploded in the second half to ultimately pull out a 10-9 victory over the Jimmies and an early two points in the 4 game round-robin. A fury of late-night phone calls and Watchmen were able to recruit two more players to the roster and welcome Kulmatycki into the line-up for the midnight game against the Moonshiners; the tournament favorites. When the game ended at 1:00 am, the Watchmen found themselves on the losing end of a 7-2 score.

But they wouldn’t have much time to worry about the loss as they had to suit up again for a 3:15 am start against the Warriors and again at 5:15 am against the Black Aces, both of who they dispatched handily thanks to the goal scoring prowess of the Eldridge comedy duo brothers, Keith bullet Reade, the wheels of Jeff lululemon MacLellan, Preston I think I’ve lost 10 pounds tonight Kulmatycki, and Rob I still don’t believe you won Dellaire and the solid defensive wall of Luke I’m putting this picture on my mantle van Weiren, Steve I shoulda taped my ankle and kept playing Buck and Mike trading card collector Walker, and backed up by Tim juiced on full throttle Weis.

Incredibly, the Watchmen had a ‘good’ schedule with a break between 6 am and 2 pm. And while a combination of adrenaline and full throttle caffeine didn’t allow the players to hit the sack immediately most were able to catch a few Z’s before the first round of the playoffs began at 2 pm when the Watchmen faced the Jimmies again. A 6-5 win saw the Watchmen advance to the divisional finals against the hometown Moonshiners. Despite the pessimistic preview by Watchmen tender, the Watchmen jumped out to a five goal lead early in the first frame. While the Moonshiners voiced their opinion of the Watchmen’s defensive play, it was a strategy that proved to be successful as they hung on to win the game 8-7 and their division in order to advance to the tournament finals against the undefeated 9-men; a conglomerate of many of the ASHL’s top players.

Once again however, the defense-first style put into action by the Watchmen surprised the 9-men squad who were used to a more open game that just about everyone else in the tournament employed. Despite getting down 1-0 early on, the Watchmen offence repeatedly capitalized on turnovers to mount an impressive 6-1. The crowning jewel was scored by a blistering slap-shot off the stick of Keith Reade into the top shelf that blew the tenders water bottle to pieces sending water cascading all over the crease in undoubtedly one of the most dramatic goals scored in rec hockey history. As was the case in the previous game however the Watchmen shelled up in the second half to cradle their lead. And while the captain of the ‘full throttle girls’ (and some drunk guy in the casino) would eventually crown him the game MVP, it was all the Watchmen tender could do to keep protect the Watchmen lead as the final seconds ticked off the clock. The 8-7 final score earned the Watchmen the first ever Full Throttle championship, bragging rights, free entry into next year’s tournament, a $2,000 payout (which Eldridge resisted placing all on the roulette wheel), and equally important a moment of suspended disbelief that the full throttle girls found the tired, smelly boys moderately interesting.

Hopefully the tourney championship has instilled some winning ways back into the Watchmen jerseys as the ERHL summer season starts this Thursday… hopefully Kulmatycki and Weis will be off the IV drip by then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  The WatchNET is meant to be a light-hearted look at the team and the league.  Please read it with that in mind, no offence is intended – keep in mind very few people in the world will ever read this webpage.  If you have any comments, concerns or corrections please email me.