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A win away from the pennant

Watchmen down Sting 10-4

4-July-2008

EDMONTON – The battle of the division leaders took place Thursday night as the Watchmen and Sting faced off in the 2nd last game of the season for each squad. One point separated the teams thanks to the Sting’s 8-7 victory the last time the teams faced off. A Sting victory would clinch them first spot, while Watchmen victory would vault them over the Sting, but would still leave them in need of a win in their final matchup to seal up the pennant.

The first period was a closely fought battle, with the Watchmen coming out ahead 4-3. The remaining 2 periods would be all Watchmen, who outscored the Sting 6-1 taking the game 10-4. The win puts the Watchmen on top for now, but with the Sting’s final game against the last placed, and mathematically eliminated, Gunslingers the Watchmen will need a win in their final regular season game against the Battalion this evening to take top spot.

The Battalion are on the verge of playoff elimination, and need at least a point to stay alive. A Watchmen win in regulation time would give them top spot and eliminate the Battalion from the post season. Other possible outcomes could pit these two teams against each other in the first round of the playoffs. The identical scenario took place last summer, and the Battalion not only went on to win the final regular season game, but also eliminated the Watchmen in the first round of the playoffs. We’ll have the answers after tonight’s game.

Three Stars Selection as chosen by mail-in votes

1.      TBD

Game Result: Watchmen 10 vs. Sting 4 (Win 12-2)

 

 

 

15!

Watchmen offence explodes

26-June-2008

EDMONTON – Fighting for their playoff lives, the Gunslingers needed a big offensive push to topple the high-flying Watchmen who going into their second game in as many nights were averaging 7 goals per game. By the time the final buzzer would sound Tuesday night, the Gunslingers would be equal to their opponent’s average offence output thanks in large part of “not much help on the backend”; but the ‘Sinlgers were not counting on an unprecedented 15 goal burst by the Watchmen to nullify their efforts. Without any regular reporters at the game, reports were sketchy, but briefing notes clearly point to impressive performances put in by the Cape Breton connection who notched 6 points each, returning MacBurnie to his 3 point/game average from the blue line since joining the Watchmen and thrusting MacLellan into the scoring race despite only having played 7 games since begin sent to the minor leagues in Australia to work on his conditioning. While the highlight of the night belonged to another mid-season acquisition Mitch Czibere who “scored on a penalty shot move that was just disgusting.” Witnesses report they “couldn’t even tell you what the hell he did because just like everyone else especially the goalie, I am still trying to figure it out.”

The win leaves the Watchmen within striking distance of the division title, but first they will have to get through the Sting who they draw Thursday night the outcome of which is very likely to resolve the final standings before the playoffs begin July 10th.

Three Stars Selection as chosen by mail-in votes

1.      Dave MacBurnie

2.      Jeff MacLellan

3.      Mitch Czibere

Game Result: Watchmen 15 vs. Gunslingers 7 (Win 11-2)

 

 

Watchmen clinch 2nd with resounding win

6:30 start earns Watchmen a second freebie goal for second game in a row

24-June-2008

EDMONTON – When the clock struck 6:30 the Hotties only had 4 players ready to hit the ice, thanks to ridiculously early start time and a ridiculous amount of traffic.  Seven minutes had ticked off the clock before the game got underway with Hotties being penalized with an automatic goal against, and being handed the unenviable task of starting the game without any spares. The Watchmen, an impressive 2 lines and 3 defencemen deep, got the jump on the Hotties as Mitch Czibere and Brad Holt each notched a marker in the truncated opening frame. While Luke VW made a gentlemanly gestre to try to let the Hotties back in the game by firing a puck off of his own post, his tender has been with the purple and white long enough to be prepared for such eventualities and the Hotties were still looking for their first goal by the time the buzzer sounded.

The Watchmen started the second frame down a man as Jason Wilson was sent to the box to feel shame before getting free early in the second for a trip. Wilson’s seat in the sin bin had barely cooled off when Luke VW was sent for a two minute timeout for body contact. Having killed off back to back penalties, the Watchmen got a power play of their own when in spite of only having six players in the game, the Hotties managed to get all of them on the ice and were awarded a minor penalty as a result. While the Watchmen were unable to capitalize, it wasn’t long before they were able to open up a sizable chasm before the Hotties’ roster fully trickled into gear, and Kulmatycki made his debut after navigating his way through the sea of construction. Only five minutes had elapsed in the second frame before two more pucks found their way into the back of the Hotties net courtesy of the young guns duo of Schneider and Czibere, who clearly had benefitted from all of the practice breakaways during the extended warm-up.

Eventually both teams fielded two full lines of forwards and D, and the Hotties were able to get on the board when a rebound bounced off of the backboards and through a mess of Watchmen and Jalapeño bodies into the crease for an easy tap in; and just like that in spite of a handful of sprawling efforts to keep a goose egg on the scoreboard, the shutout was over. Dave MacBurnie would get the goal back with style when he danced end to end and introduced the puck to the roof of the net. Jeff MacLellan would collect a feed from Jason Wilson and bury the team’s seventh. The Hotties responded in the final minute by bouncing a puck in off of the Watchmen tender's head on a 3 on 1.

Once again, the Watchmen responded to giving up a goal by scoring two, as Luke VW threaded a seeing-eye shot through a crowd to start the third, and Jason Wilson followed up a few minutes later on a set up from Kulmatycki and VW bringing the Watchmen within a goal of double digits. The Hotties would close the scoring by sneaking a breakaway shot through the five-hole with five minute left, but their six goal deficit would mean an already truncated game would end even earlier as the last five minutes ticked off the clock in run time.

The win puts the Watchmen out of reach to the Jalapeño Hotties, and setting up a potential first round matchup between the two squads. With three games remaining, the Watchmen and the Sting face off next week in a must-win game for the Watchmen if they hope to leapfrog the Sting for the top spot going into the playoffs. The last two playoffs spots are still up for grabs with only four points separating 3rd from 7th. The Watchmen face off tonight against the Gunslingers who are in desperate need of a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Honourable mention goes out to Quilty and Holt who filled in at the point with four of the Watchmen’s six defencemen listed as healthy scratches against the Hotties, the big question for the Gunslingers game is who will step up to complete the WatchNET with the regular reporting staff on a 2-game hiatus.

Three Stars Selection as chosen by post-game BPs attendees

1.      Luke VeeDub

2.      Mitch Czibere

3.      Jason Wilson

Game Result: Watchmen 9 vs. Jalapeno Hotties 3 (Win 10-2)

 

 

Watchmen avenge loss with authority

Win clinches playoff berth and at least 3rd place

21-June-2008

EDMONTON – A 6:30 start, combined with a torrential downpour and a rare southside game meant a number of players on both sides were late getting themselves to the rink and on the ice. None were more delayed then the Battalion goaltender who didn’t manage to his the ice until halfway through the period, spotting the Watchmen a 1-goal lead. With the game finally under way the first period was almost over before it began, but there was enough time left for Matt Schneider to set up both of his line-mates; Mitch Cziere and Cam Phillips just 9 seconds apart giving the Watchmen a 3-0 lead. But the Practice Roster would get back in the game early in the second period when they capitalized on penalty handed to JP Glaves in the dying seconds of the first period.

The score would stay stagnant at 3-1 for most of the 2nd period in spite of a power play opportunity handed to each team, and according to the Roster’s quantity and volume of swear words hurled at the referee’s apparently there should have been more. However, it was the Watchmen who benefitted from the next power play call, perhaps in part due to the relented abuse being hurled at the refs, perhaps in part due to MacLellan being hooked to the ice on a breakaway. MacLellan, would get the goal he was denied on the ensuing powerplay when Kulmatycki passed a rebound through the slot, which the Caper made no mistake burying it two-thirds of the way through the period. The goal was the first of a three goal burst to finish the period as Schneider tipped in a beautiful feed from both Czibere and Phillips only 30 seconds later and the Jason Wilson would hammer a slapper off the centre post in the last minute of the second.

The Watchmen began the final frame without Brad I’ll play when I feel like it Holt who made himself a healthy scratch for the third period claiming he had to drive 3 hours to “work”. The loss of Holt must have given the Roster boost as they got one back to start the third period, to make the score 6-2. But they were unable to claw their way back into the game as Kulmatycki pounded in a slapper from the hash marks, followed by Schneider who finished off a four-point night sliding in his second goal of the evening while being hooked to the ice. With the game out of hand and only a few minutes left on the clock, the Roster ratcheted up their verbal abuse to impressive new levels resulting in both a 10-minute misconduct and followed moments later by a game ejection to round out the game. The whining and crying appeared to get the creative juices following however as the Roster popped in a short-handed goal before the game ended with the Watchmen up 5 goals up, and solidly in 2nd place with 6 points more than the 3rd place teams in the table with only four games left on the schedule. The win locked up a playoff spot for the Watchmen, with the post season schedule just released. With the Sting also surging, the Watchmen will likely need to go 4-0 in their remaining games to reclaim top spot in the division while a single point in one of their remaining games solidifies second place.

Three Stars Selection as chosen by post-game BPs attendees

1.      Matt Schneider

2.      Cam Phillips

3.      Mitch Czibere

Game Result: Watchmen 8 vs. Practice Roster 3 (Win 9-2)

 

 

Smurfs steam-rolled

MacLellan and Kulmatycki net hat tricks

11-June-2008

EDMONTON – “5-0?” JP Glaves asked his team-mates after hitting the ice only 6 minutes late, “For us?” Despite Glaves’ equally impressive lack of faith in his goaltender and his team-mates’ ability to score, indeed the ice had not yet even finished freezing from the zamboni flood by the time Watchmen had seized a commanding, and what would ultimately be a big enough lead to win the game. Kulmatycki opened the scoring less than a minute into the game. Wathcmen newcomer Mitch Czibere would finish off a breakaway at the 12:00 minute mark of the frame, when Dave MacBurnie would set up MacLellan and Kulmatycki a minute apart to give the Watchmen a four goal lead. Phillips capped the five goals in five minutes on a feed from MacLellan, but the Watchmen would not be finished scoring for the period as MacLellan notched his second of the game with five minutes to go in the period and give the Watchmen an unprecedented 6-0 lead to work with heading into the second period.

league’s leading goal scoring Mark Wawrychuk scored early in the second period to breathe a little life into a stunned Smurfs bench. However, the 6 goal cushion was quickly restored and increased to 7 when Schneider and Quilty notched a goal each less than a minute apart. Resting on the laurels, the Watchmen were taken by surprise by a talented Smurfs squad that refused to give up in spite of the uphill battle they faced. The Smurfs mounted several sustained attacks and controlled the play for the better part of the period, firing 20 shots at the Watchmen net, two more of which found the twine. While the Watchmen would retain a five goal cushion heading into the third, the Smurfs won the second period, overtook the Watchmen for shots on net and took a power play into the final round.

No sooner had the Watchmen killed off the first power play of the period, did they find themselves two men short. The Smurfs were unable to capitalize on the prolonged 5 on 3 to claw their way back into the game, and Kulmatycki and MacLellan would each finish off their hat-tricks in the final period sealing the game. The Smurfs were able to pop home a 4th midway through the period, but in spite of ultimately outshooting the Watchmen 42-30 they were unable to recover from the early lead that they surrendered. The Watchmen look to avenge their season opening loss when they face off against the Practice Roster a week from their victory over the Smurfs.

Three Stars Selection as chosen by post-game BPs attendees

1.      Jeff MacLellan

2.      Preston Kulmatycki

3.      Dave MacBurnie

Game Result: Watchmen 10 vs. Smurfs 4 (Win 8-2)

 

 

Back in the win column

Watchmen drop Battalion 4-1

8-June-2008

EDMONTON – The Watchmen suited up against the Battalion in the second game of the week Friday night. After a brief delay to find a scorekeeper the teams faced off in the second game of the season series. The Watchmen drew first blood when Doug Quilty went to the net with his stick on the ice and Matt Schneider bounced a pass in off of his stick to open the scoring. But the Battalion would answer only 8 seconds later when a puck would jump up on end and squeeze through a hole between the post and the Watchmen tender’s leg to tie the game.

The score would remain that way until Jeff MacLellan would took over the second period scoring a natural hat-trick. However, the third goal apparently didn’t go far enough in the net to qualify and his hat-trick would be discounted to a pair. Jason Wilson would close the evenings scoring midway through the third, firing a shot in off of a Battalion defender’s leg.

Both teams would tally close to 30 shots before the final buzzer sounded but aside from the funny bounce in the first the Watchmen tender would keep the door shut. The same could not be said for the Battalion’s mouths who illustrated why they are the most penalized team in the league, jawing endlessly at the refs. All in all the win marked the Watchmen’s lowest scoring outing of the campaign in both ends of the rink, and while MacLellan got cheated out of his hat-trick, he washed his sorrows down with a couple of plates of hot wings and it was all forgotten about.

Three Stars Selection as chosen by post-game Don Cherry’s attendees

1.      Jeff MacLellan

2.      Tim Weis

3.      Luke “Iron Maiden” VW

Game Result: Watchmen 4 vs. Battalion 1 (Win 7-2)

 

 

Sting stamp out Watchmen winning streak

Watchmen lose game and top spot to Sting

4-June-2008

EDMONTON – The battle for first place took place Tuesday night with the Watchmen putting their 6 and 1 record up against the Sting who have been near perfect on the season except for 1 loss and 1 tie. The Watchmen’s short bench did not serve them well as the Sting exploited the re-juggled lines early on scoring once in each of the three opening minutes to open up a 3-0 chasm. It looked like it was about to be romp, and fans were bracing for a blowout, but Doug Quilty would knock in back to back goals before Matthew Schneider danced end to end roofing a shot to tie the game at 3 only seven minutes into the game. The goaltenders managed to keep the offensive outburst on hold for the next five minutes, but the Sting would pop in two more before the period was out reopening a 2 goal lead heading into the flood.

The second period would see almost as much scoring as the first, this time with the Watchmen opening the charge as Wilson and MacLellan scored back to back to tie the game at 5, and then moments later Dan McPherson would give the Watchmen their first lead of the night. Rob Jamieson would tie the game up on a blast from the point less than a minute later, but Jeff MacLellan would restore the Watchmen lead knocking in a Schneider rebound. But the Sting would not be held at bay as the popped in two on a couple of broken plays in the Watchmen zone and would regain the lead that they had at one point held so firmly.

After 15 goals in the first 30 minutes, the third period saw none, in spite of both teams tallying a number of scoring chances, and the Sting ultimately firing 60 shots on net, with both teams combining for over 100 shots.

The loss ends the Watchmen’s winning streak and surrendered top spot to the Sting who now lead the purple and white by a point just over the half-way point in the season.

Three Stars Selection as chosen by post-game Don Cherry’s attendees

1.      Rob Jamieson (Sting)

2.      Matt Schneider

3.      Nathan Gilbon (Sting)

Game Result: Watchmen 7 vs. Sting 8 (Loss 6-2)

 

 

Watchmen come from behind again

Quilty learns getting a stick in teeth is only a minor in the ERHL

30-May-2008

EDMONTON – After blowing a three goal lead in the third period the last time these squads met, the Gunslingers hit the ice looking to avenge the loss, but the game wasn’t even five seconds old when Doug Quilty stripped the puck off of the Gunslinger defensemen and raced in all alone finishing off the hat trick he began 48 hours earlier against the Jalapeño Hotties. Matt Schneider, who deconstructed the Gunslingers in the previous matchup, was at it again as he dangled into the Slinger zone before feeding a perfect pass through the slot onto the waiting stick of Cam Phillips, who made no mistake giving the Watchmen a two goal lead on only six shots in the period. At the other end of the rink, the Gunslingers would fire 20 shots at the Watchmen tender but would only be able to cut the Watchmen lead to 1 goal before the teams switched sides. 

By the time the second period began, the Watchmen’s Preston Kulmatycki would appear giving the Watchmen two lines and four defensemen to help minimize the player deficit they were facing as newcomer Chris Wilson failed to turn up, while “part-timer” Jason Wilson would show up just in time for the trip to Cherry’s claiming that he’d misread the schedule, but later letting it slip that he’d been engrossed in watching Entertainment Tonight and couldn’t pry himself away in time for the puck drop. However, the extra man didn’t help the Watchmen initially as the Gunslingers equalized on a two on one which neither ref witnessed but nonetheless declared the play a goal. While the video replay was inconclusive there was little argument over the call, but a 5-minute major handed to Luke VW moments later allegedly for spearing was the strangest phantom call of the season. While VW did rough up his opponent in the corner and receive a two-handed tomahawk chop and a sucker punch in the face in return – the Watchmen blueliner was summarily tossed from the game, while his opponent was only handed a double minor. The four-on-four play and the 1-minute power play that followed were not kind to the Watchmen as the Gunslingers popped home a pair of goals. With a two goal cushion and a four skater advantage the cards were stacked in favour of the Gunslingers and the momentum was clearly on their side. But before the period was out, Matt Schneider would rush the puck end to end and tuck in an unassisted marker to bring the Watchmen to within a goal.

The tables would turn in favour of the Watchmen early in the third period when Quilty carried the puck deep into the Gunslinger zone before dishing it to MacLellan, who, through the legs found an open Brad Holt waiting to pound a one-timer through the Gunslinger tender to tie the game at four a piece. A minute and half later Brent Blumhagen would take a feed from Schneider and wire home a slap shot restoring the Watchmen’s one goal lead they had let slip away a period earlier. Schneider would then round out his four point night by scoring the game’s 10th and final goal putting the Watchmen up by a pair. A lead that Weis would defend until the buzzer sounded as he opted to use his blocker instead of trying to catch pucks on the right side. The win put the Watchmen on top for the sixth straight game.

The tww points were not without its costs however, as Luke VW will have to sit the next game after somehow having been deemed to have speared a Gunslinger, and half of Doug Quilty’s front tooth will sit out the rest of his career. Note to players: Apparently slashing a guy in the face an chipping his tooth is only a minor penalty in the ERHL, while a rub out in the corner is 5 and a major.

Three Stars Selection as chosen by post-game Don Cherry’s attendees

1.      Matt Schneider

2.      Tim Weis

3.      Doug Quilty

Game Result: Watchmen 6 vs. Gunslingers 4 (Win 6-1)

 

 

Weis traded to Ottawa, Girard dealt to Calgary

Injury-plagued tender to complete summer season before being dealt for a bag of pucks

28-May-2008

FT. SASK – “We’re hoping to get a nice bag of pucks, but really we’ll settle for just the bag” interim GM Preston Kulmatycki was quoted as saying shortly the Watchmen announced they were dealing their long-time goaltender to Ottawa. Weis who was an original member of the Watchmen is closing in on his 300th career game with the purple and white when the announcement was made. “It was time for him to go, the guys can only take so much A-535 fumes before the game” Kulmatycki said, “it’s been a good run, but clearly it’s time for the team to look to the future and let’s be honest, his best days were behind him.” Weis will be allowed to continue in the pipes until the end of the summer season, and will report to Ottawa for the 2008-09 season in exchange for an undisclosed number of pucks.

Weis joins a list of Watchmen veterans unceremoniously dealt across the continent including team captain Chris Girard who was also traded to Calgary effective mid-June. “It was tough to see Chris go as he’s still got a few toe-drags left in him” assistant captain Cam Phillips said. But after appearing in less than half of the team’s regular season games last winter his dedication to the squad (and to Don Cherry’s afterwards) was starting to be openly questioned by some people on the inside, and his move has long been thought of being inevitable. The Watchmen were able to negotiate a better deal for Girard including a place to crash on the annual golf tournament to Kananaskis, and a lifetime supply of Vioxx. Both trades signify a near end to the original Watchmen, as only Dino Vlahadamis remains on the roster from the team’s genesis in 2001.

 

Jalapeños overpowered

Watchmen fill the net and fill out roster

27-May-2008

EDMONTON – Riding a four game winning streak the Watchmen hit the ice with only 6 skaters for a 6:30pm rematch against the Jalapeño Hotties, who were themselves riding a three game winning streak. The Jalapeños were able to take advantage of their opponent’s short bench, but were unable to score as the Watchmen goaltender apparently remembered he was supposed to stop the puck. As Watchmen players slowly trickled onto the ice they were able to wrestle the momentum away from the Jalapeños and got on the scoreboard first when Dan McPherson picked up where he left off last game pounding a feed from Jason Wilson into the back of the net. The Jalapeños responded on a 3 on 1 moments later lifting a shot over the Watchmen tender’s blocker to tie the game. The Jalapeños pressed for the lead, but could not tally another goal and an attempt to beat Weis on the blocker side for a second time was turned away to Matt Schneider, who tonight was able to stay in the game for more than a single shift, collected the rebound and rushed end to end, stuffing in a wrap-around to restore the Watchmen lead.

The Watchmen took a 1 goal lead into the second period in spite of being outshot 16-10. The second period was much the same as the first as both teams recorded several scoring chances, including three – yes three – 3 on 1’s for the Watchmen, who were unable to convert on any. A 4 on 1 however would break that drought midway through the second when Jason Wilson dangled with the puck through the slot before roofing a wrister to put the Watchmen up by two. The Watchmen were able to kill off the only penalty of the game moments later, before Cam Phillips lugged the puck wide and dished it to a waiting Luke V-dub who slid it between the wickets with a minute to go before the flood. The Watchmen retired to their dressing room up by three but being outshot 28-24, in a tighter game than the scoreboard reflected.

During the break the Watchmen realized they needed to get the next goal to prevent the Jalapeños from getting back in the game, and it only took them 8 seconds – not enough time for the loyal Kulmatycki fan club to get back from the beer tent – for Quilty to bat a puck out of the air and through the five hole giving the Watchmen a five to one lead. The play, initiated off of a blast from Preston “you can never be too close – or too far – to take a slapshot” Kulmatycki, took the wind out of the Jalapeños sails and the third period was all Watchmen, or more correctly all Quilty who would assist on Schneider’s second goal of the night before popping home his second of the period with five minutes left on the clock. In spite of creating a breakaway chance for himself, Quilty was not able to complete the hat-trick, although his three point performance puts him on top of the Watchmen scoring heap and into the league scoring race as he vaults past Brad Holt. The league scoring leader, Joel Henetuik would halt the Watchmen’s unanswered six goals and cap the game’s scoring driving home a one-timer. The goal would be too little, too late as the Jalapeños winning streak came to an end as the buzzer sounded with the score 7-2 in favour of the Watchmen who fired 20 shots at the Jalapeños in the third, half of which probably came at the hand of Cam Phillips who was allowed to continuously swat at an uncovered puck on two occasions before the whistle blew.

The Watchmen’s offensive outburst continues as they are now averaging close to seven goal per game, and was even strengthened last night as the Watchmen have added power forward Chris Wilson to the line-up and announced the re-signing of Jeff MacLellan fresh back from a stint in the New Zealand minor leagues. With the addition of these two, the Watchmen have rounded out their roster heading into Thursday night’s rematch against the offensive-minded Gunslingers.

Three Stars Selection as chosen by post-game Don Cherry’s attendees

1.      Doug Quilty

2.      Tim Weis

3.      Brent Blumhagen

Game Result: Watchmen 7 vs. Jalapeño Hotties 2 (Win 5-1)

 

 

Watchmen on top of the heap

McPherson shoots the lights out to compensate for embarrassing goaltending

22-May-2008

EDMONTON – The Watchmen faced off against the newly demoted Beavers Wednesday night in a bid to keep their three game winning streak alive and kicking. Unfortunately their goaltender didn’t get the message as after Girard opened up the scoring for the squad a minute and a half into the game, Weis put on his best imitation of Swiss cheese letting everything that was fired at the net (and even some that were going wide). Before the Watchmen could blink they were down 3-1 thanks in part to a four-minute penalty coupled with a game ejection handed to Matt Schneider on arguably the worst call in the history of rec. hockey. A call so bad it warrants a special report for comic relief from the goaltending tragedy that unfolded on the ice: Schneider was carrying the puck into the Beaver zone and was hit by a defender in the ensuing battle for the puck Schneider was somehow handed a two minute penalty for interference in spite of being the puck carrier. While admittedly he told the referee he thought it was an atrocious call (which it was – but that happens), he did so without raising his voice, making a personal jab at the ref or even swearing, nonetheless questioning a call was apparently worthy of an additional two. Before the puck dropped Schneider let another low-key comment fly, only to find himself heading to the showers as a result. In all the years the WatchNET has been reporting on hockey this was without doubt the biggest overreaction ever. With the bizarre debacle behind them the Watchmen tried to claw their way back into the game, when newcomer Konrad Robichaud collected a rebound and muscled it into the twine. In the next 50 seconds both teams would tally a goal rounding out a wild first 7 minutes of play with 7 goals on the board.

Both goaltenders would manage to play the next seven minutes without letting in a goal, but Quilty would feed Brad Holt for the second time in a row to get the Watchmen level at four goals, 90 seconds into the second frame. Holt would shift from goal scorer to passer a minute later setting up Kulmatycki as the Watchmen reclaimed the lead that Weis had unceremoniously given away in the first period. The bleeding in the blue paint hadn’t stopped yet and the Beavers tied the game at 5 just over a minute later. But it would be the last time the Beavers were in the game as the Watchmen unleashed their howitzers, starting with Chris Girard to pounded home two in a room before assisting on Dan McPherson first of what would be a four goal night. The offensive explosion gave the Watchmen a 3 goal cushion with five minutes to go in the period; a lead that would normally be more than enough to protect, but back to back shorthanded goals brought the Beavers to within one again before the period was out.

McPherson would own the final period though as he wired home a hat trick in the less than 9 minutes restoring a respectable cushion. A cushion that the Watchmen would need as Weis has his best period of the night letting in only 2 brutal goals. But Clayton Harbak put the final nail in the coffin wiring home the Watchmen’s sixth slapshot tally of the night rounding out the score 12-9, as the teams combined for 94 shots on net. While it wasn’t pretty in front of the Watchmen pipes, the unprecedented offensive explosion (done so even without the Watchmen leading assist man Cam Phillips) carried the Watchmen to their fourth straight victory leaving them on top of Division 1… for now.

Hopefully the Watchmen goaltender can remember that he is supposed to stop the puck as the purple and white play twice next week – both rematches of one-goal wins.

Three Stars Selection as chosen by post-game BP’s attendees

1.      Dan McPherson

2.      Chris Girard

3.      Konard Robichaud

Honourable mention Brad “scoring race” Holt

Game Result: Watchmen 12 vs. Beavers 9  (Win 4-1)

 

 

Shootout heroics make it three in a row

Gunslingers let one slip away

15-May-2008

EDMONTON – Fresh off of back to back wins the Watchmen hit the ice Wednesday night a little high on the buzz only the combination of A-535 and fresh paint can create. Facing off against the Watchmen this evening were the Gunslingers in the first match-up of these squads in franchise history. While both teams managed to forget to bring pucks for warm-ups, the Gunslingers got the jump on the Watchmen notching the first 5 shots of the game. But a Gunslinger penalty turned the tides – albeit temporarily – when Matt Schneider corralled a rebound on a shot from the point to slide in the opening goal of the night. But the Watchmen’s lead didn’t last for long when a 2 on 1, and a couple of powerplay goals and the Watchmen found themselves trailing by a score of 3 to 1 by the end of the first.

Apparently one of the Watchmen urinated in one of the referees’ water bottles during the flood as the Watchmen were handed 7 consecutive penalties, and in spite of Doug Quilty’s shorthanded tally, Weis would let in a second knuckle-ball in as many games and the Gunslingers retained their two goal lead. The Watchmen appeared to have narrowed the lead once again midway through the period when Kultmatycki knocked in a goal from the goalmouth. Instead of the goal counting however, Kulmatycki was escorted to the penalty box for yet another Watchmen penalty to kill.

While the Gunslingers were unable to score again in the period, they were able to ratchet up their childish beaking at the refs and their opponents. The Watchmen did put a puck in the net only to have it called back and a penalty awarded on the play. The exact play a period later counted for a goal for the Gunslingers however, when they bowled over the Watchmen netminder to take a commanding three goal lead with 10 minutes to play in the regulation. Outshot, outchanced, and out-powerplayed, it was looking grim for the Watchmen’s winning record. But the TSN turning point came when Luke VanWeiren collected a botched cleaning attempt/pass up the middle and pounded home his first of the campaign narrowing the lead to two goals. The deuce looked like it will still be good enough as the clock ticked away.

While the Gunslingers tried to extend their lead they couldn’t get their 2 on 1 chances past the Watchmen tender and with 1:21 left on the clock Preston Kulmatycki danced deep into the Gunslinger zone and roofed a wrister over the glove and into the peanut butter shelf and suddenly the Watchmen were a goal away from tying it up. With the net empty the Watchmen were able to keep the puck deep and thanks to an outstretched leap by Brent Blumhagen and drew a penalty by Gunslinger #24, who made a spectacle of himself not only to the point that the referee through him out of the game, but continued on with the folly as he exited stage left wishing the Watchmen good luck as he departed. Perhaps it was his well wishes, or perhaps it was the second clean draw that Quilty won in a row, but somehow the puck squirted free and onto the stick of Matt Schneider who tallied the game’s first goal, and this time made no mistake recording the game’s tenth to tie it at five a piece.

With less than 25 seconds left on the clock, both teams were able to generate quality scoring chances before the final buzzer sounded sending the game to shootouts. Once again Schneider demonstrated his nose for the net scoring on the opening penalty shot. The marker would be all that was needed as all three Gunslingers were unable to score and the Watchmen snatched the two points from out under the noses of the Slingers. The Watchmen hit the ice a week from their third victory to take on the winless Beavers, who beat the Watchmen almost exactly a year ago in their only division 1 win, before being relegated to division 2.

Three Stars Selection as chosen by post-game Don Cherry’s attendees

1.      Matt Schneider

2.      Doug Quilty

3.      Tim Weis

Honourable mention to Gunslinger #24 for the timely penalty and the warm words of encouragement

Game Result: Watchmen 6 vs. Gunslingers 5 (SO) (Win 3-1)

 

 

Watchmen down Battalion for second straight win

Watchmen outnumber and outshoot opponents

9-May-2008

EDMONTON – The Watchmen faced off Thursday night against the Battalion for another round of the longest summer hockey rivalries in the ERHL. The Watchmen beat the Battalion in the Finals in 2005, eliminated them from the playoffs in the final game of the 2006 regular season, but were knocked out of first round of the playoffs last year by the Battalion. While Thursday night’s game marked the opening of another chapter in the ongoing saga, the Battalion - and their sharp new green uniforms – didn’t appear to be taking the Watchmen too seriously dressing a far from full roster.

The Watchmen got a break only 10 seconds in when Dino Vlahadamis dumped the puck into the Battalion zone and a funny bounce off the back boards saw the puck squirt onto the stick of Doug Quilty who popped it into the gapping cage. The Watchmen extended their lead when Jason Wilson popped in his first of the campaign giving the Watchmen a two goal lead – a score that reflected each team’s time with the puck. The Battalion are never to be counted out and in spite of being outshot, outchanced and outplayed, managed to sneak out a breakaway to but the Watchmen’s lead in half at the halfway point in the period. Brad Holt would restore the Watchmen’s two goal lead less than a minute later only to have the Battalion claw their way back when a seemingly harmlessly shot got tipped wide and then tipped off of the Watchmen tender’s mitt and into the twine.

Quilty would net his second of the game early in the second period to restore a 2 goal lead when he hammered home a puck in the slot. The period would end on a bizarre play when the newest Watchmen Matt Schneider was hauled down on a breakaway. While most onlookers were expecting the ref to call a penalty shot, Schneider was awarded a goal, while no one except the ref seemed to see the puck cross the goal line. The call was the straw that broke the camel’s back for an already frustrated and chippy Battalion squad, who took the opportunity to inform the officials what they thought of their effort.

The Watchmen built up what looked like an insurmountable lead when JP Glaves tallied a marker 3 minutes into the game when he apparently skated in to the zone, scored the goal and got back into his position on the blueline before the scorekeeper could bat an eyelid. With the game all but in the bag, the Watchmen took back to back penalties, giving up back to back goals as their four goal lead to dropped to two in less than 11 seconds. The quick markers re-invigorated the Battalion and in typical Watchmen style, they drew another penalty in their on-going effort to make every game as nail-biting as possible. However, as the old adage goes; the best defence is a good offence, the Watchmen penalty killers Kulmatycki and Holt found themselves deep in the Battalion zone when Kulmatycki danced around a defended to slide the puck over to Holt would sealed the deal, giving the Watchmen their second win in as many games.

The purple and white square off again Wednesday evening at 745pm

Three Stars Selection

1.      Brad Holt

2.      Doug Quilty

3.      Dino Vlahadamis

Game Result: Watchmen 7 vs. Battalion 4 (Win 2-1)

 

 

Watchmen get one in the win column

Rejuvenated roster comes up with big win over Hotties

6-May-2008

EDMONTON – The Watchmen’s second game pitted them against league newcomer the Jalapeño Hotties. In the dressing room rumours were swirling that with a name “Hotties” perhaps the Watchmen were facing the Pandas or Chimos summer squad. Much to Quilty’s dismay however, their opponents were all male this evening and young and fast to boot. The JH’s came out hard, but fortunately the Watchmen had brought close to a full line up and were able to keep pace. While the JH’s were outshooting the Watchmen, the score remained knotted a zeros until the Watchmen took back to back penalties giving the Hotties a two-man advantage. The Hotties capitalized with less than 30 seconds left in the first penalty, tipping in a shot from the point to take a 1-0, but were not able to tally a second one on the remaining man advantage and would have to settle for a single goal lead heading into the second frame.

Despite outshooting the Watchmen almost 2:1, the Hotties lone goal lead would stand for almost a full period, until they took a penalty with less than six minutes to play in the second period. Cam Phillips would take advantage of the man advantage to equalize the score, but the score didn’t stay level for long as the Hotties regained their lead less than 30 seconds later sending the teams into the final frame where they began the period - a goal apart.

Quilty tied the game for the Watchmen early in the third, only for the Hotties to regain their lead moments later. But the Watchmen would continue to battle back and Kulmatycki tied the game at the halfway point of the period and Philips notched his second of the night by banking the puck in off a defenseman’s skate to give the Watchmen their first lead of the evening. The seesaw battle continued however, as the Hotties were able to equalize on their second power play goal of the evening with under five minutes to play. With the game looking to be destined for overtime, the Hotties took what would turn out to be a fatal penalty and Philips would notch his fourth point of the night by setting up Dan “crazy legs” McPherson who danced around a defender and threaded a shot through the five hole for the game winner. The Hotties would battle to the final buzzer, eventually outshooting the Watchmen 34 to 22, but would not score again as the Watchmen held on for their first win of the season.

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

1.      Cam Phillips

2.      Clayton Harbak

3.      Dan McPherson

Game Result: Watchmen 5 vs. Jalapeño Hotties 4 (Win 1-1)

 

Practice Roster take advantage of short Watchmen bench

Short bench picking up where winter season left off

2-May-2008

EDMONTON – No reporters available, but a short bench including a few new faces for the opening game of the summer season left the purple and white struggling to keep up with the Practrice Roster, aka the summer Fubar. Fortunately Chris Grant stood tall in the pipes to keep the score respectable, but the end result saw the Watchmen lose their season opener by a score of 6-4. In spite of the short bench, the summer roster is shaping up with a solid mix of Watchmen winter players, summer vets, new faces and token Ice Bears. To date the lineup looks like:

LW:

Brad Holt

Matthew Schneider

Jeff MacLellan

C:

Preston Kulmatycki

Cam Philips

Doug Quilty

RW:

Jason Wilson

Dan McPherson

Chris Wilson

D:

Brent Blumhagen

Ben Burke (IR)

JP Glaves

Clayton Harbak

Dino Vlahadamis

Luke VanWeiren

G:

                                                                                        Tim Weis    

Spares:

Chris Girard

Chris Grant

Mitch Flegel

Gary Oikawa

Luke Moran

Three Stars Don Cherry’s Selection

n/a

Game Result: Watchmen 4 vs. Practice Roster 6 (Loss 0-1)

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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.