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2016-17 Season

 

Watchmen start season with a W

Vlahadamis and Van Wieren robbed of hat tricks

11-September-2016 

KC Arena – The winter Watchmen hit the ice Saturday night, still riding the high of the summer title. The 2016-17 roster lost long-time teammates Matt “don’t stand in the crease if you value your kidneys” Pastorius and JP “come help me lay sod, and install my microwave, but I still won’t play for the season” Glaves, who’s spots were filled by Bryan Ward and Jay Rodrigue after their summer PTOs (which essentially consisted of wearing the worst looking socks in the league for a season and not asking for their money back).

The game was against decade-long rivals Fubar, who were only able to ice 8 skaters and a spare goalie for the matchup but were facing off against a Watchmen roster completely devoid of the Cape Bretoners, all of who were healthy scratches for the season opener. In spite of a short bench, the Fubar struck first after a shot from the point deflected to an unmarked man in the slot who popped in the game’s opening goal only two and a half minutes into the season. The Watchmen quickly bounced back after firing a flurry of rubber at the net, Cam Phillips got the puck to Jacknisky in the slot, who swept it into the bottom right corner to tie the game up. Up until the halfway point of the period, Jacknisky was 100% of the Watchmen’s offence on the season, until Vlhadamis raced in on a 3-on-1 with Rodrigue who dished the puck to Lyle Van Weiren who fed it to Vlahadamis who one-timed it over the Fubar goalie’s shoulder and into the back of the net. The Watchmen’s lead was short lived as the Fubar quickly scored a pair of goals, both on passes from the point to the slot and past the Watchmen tender.

Fubar extended their lead quickly in the 2nd frame wiring a shot high to the glove side on an early 3-on-1, and scored again just a few minutes later to open up a 5-2 lead. The game appeared to be quickly slipping out of reach when the Fubar barreled in on another 2-on-1, but this time is was turned away, as was a subsequent breakaway on the same shift. The saves, which seemed to be a rarity in the Watchmen end stemmed the bleeding and seemed to get the gold and purple’s collect legs back under them. Lyle Van Wieren dangled through the Fubar and surprised the goalie with a quick snipe from the slot to narrow the lead to 2 goals and moments later Rory Shott would bust down the right side and go bar down on the short-side on an unassisted market to draw the Watchmen to within one when the period ended.

The 2-goal deficit was foisted back onto the Watchmen early in the 3rd when Weis was unable to turn away a breakaway two minutes into the final period. Once again Lyle Van Wieren would rally the troops, this time hammering a shot from the point, high and over the net, but managed to bust his way to the crease to meet the puck that had rebounded off the glass and back across the top of the net, notching his second goal of the frame. Fubar pressed to get the goal back but were turned away by Weis, and the rebound found its way to Wardo who fed a long pass to a streaking Vlahadmis who would fire one hard to the glove side to tie the game up a 6s. A similar play unfolded only a minute later, this time the puck would bounce off of Weis to Rodrigue who got it up to Preston Kulmatycki who, after wiring a clapper of the goalie’s collarbone earlier in the game wound up from the top of the circles and pounded one home for the Watchmen’s first lead of the game. The lead would endure until the final buzzer sounded, although not before Lyle Van Wieren and Dino Vladahamis were each robbed of rounding out their hat tricks, Vlahadamis by a sprawling defenceman who protected his empty net, and VW Jr. by Ward who made sure Lyle didn’t get a sniff of ice time with the net empty to hunt for the hatty.

When the buzzer sounded it was 7-6 for the Watchmen who start the season off on the winning note they ended the summer season with, much to the chagrin of GM Jacknisky, who is sure they squad will remain in Div 2 as a result.

 

Watchmen Finals 3 Stars

1.         Lyle Van Wieren

2.         Dino Vlahadamis

3.         Tom Jacknisky

Season Record:  1-0-0   7.00 GFA | 6.00 GAA  | 4.0 PIMA

Season Leaders:  Vlahadamis/Lyle VW 2 G | Weis/Rodrigue 2 A | Jacknisky/Kulmatycki 2 PIM

 

 

Watchmen take first title in a decade

Nova Scotia teams up with Sherwood Park for a dominant season

11-August-2016 

EDMONTON – It’s been over a decade since the Watchmen took a summer gold medal, earning them a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame*. GM Thomas Nisky Jacknisky had assembled a formidable cast to don the purple and gold for the summer season. The Watchmen were clever enough to go 1-2 in the pre-season games to ensure they didn’t land in Division 1. The squad even dropped the opening game of the Div2 season before going on an 8-game tear before losing a timely pair of games to finish off June and to stave off a potential division shuffle.

The season’s early winning streak was matched by an equally impressive suspension streak. Before long, the League would write Watchmen management stating that “this feels like I have you on speed dial” after 7 separate suspensions had been dolled out in just 8 games. Eventually the Watchmen’s season would end with more game suspensions than games played. Kenzie Sheppard came within an inch of having his season ended before it was halfway over, but after some rehabilitation and sensitivity training went on to claim the regular season scoring, assists and points title for the squad (and if suspensions counted likely would have taken the PIM title to make it a clean sweep).

The second half of the season antics settled down, but unfortunately injuries picked up where suspensions tapered off and several veterans (some of whom weren’t Nisky) spent multiple weeks on the IR. The Watchmen got back on the winning horse taking the first 3 games of July to put them in striking distance of clinching first place with a win against season rival SSI Warriors in the 2nd last game of the season. But with their starting goalie Tim Weis on a training stint in Ontario the Watchmen got lit up for 11 risking not finishing on top. But the squad would recover to take the final game of the season against the Puck Hogs, a team whose goalie insisted on pounding his stick after every goal like a peewee Tier 8 tender and who had mocked the Watchmen’s poor pre-season performance in their May match up. The win solidified the Watchmen’s spot on top of the table and a bye for the first round of the playoffs. The loss for the Puck Hogs meant they drew the 2nd place SSI Warriors who disposed of them in 2 straight a fitting end to a lippy bunch, as the Warriors would roll on to an eventual road to the finals.

The bye resulted in a week off before the Watchmen hit the ice again to face off against the Viking Wieners, who in spite of having a name that might be funny for an immature 10-year old (tee hee, “wieners”) had handed the Watchmen a sound loss to start the season (albeit in the brief pre-Desrosier epoch), had knocked off the 4th place Lightning Bolts in round 1. The week off, and a depleted roster was evident as the heavily favoured Watchmen, in spite of a goal and an assist from each of the lobster linemates, MacLellan, Sheppard and MacBurnie, were barely clinging to a 1 goal lead with less than a minute left in the game. While the game had seen 3 out of 5 goals scored on the power play, captain Jacknisky took it upon himself to roll those dice with a roughing penalty with 40 seconds left, and the VW’s managed to sneak one past Casey Shott with just 1 second left on the clock to tie the game and force a sudden death shootouts. While the dying minutes were harrowing, the Watchmen pulled out the shootout giving them a 1-0 lead heading into game 2.

The Watchmen opted to avoid a similar roller coaster in game 2, and introduced the puck to the twine every 70 seconds for the first 6 minutes of the game putting up a 5-0 lead, with Rory Shott notching a hat-trick when the game was barely 5 minutes old. The Weiners tried to claw their way back into the game with a pair of goals, but the Watchmen would put a quick end to the attempted rally when Sheppard and Dylan ID-check Kulmatycki stamped out that fire. The Weiners netted another 2 in the second frame, but Sheppard would complete a hat-trick of his own making the game 9-4 heading into the final period. Heading into the third, the Watchmen had their opponents by the short-and-curlies and opted to pull, pounding home 2 more goals putting the VW’s out of their misery with a decisive 11-4 romp with Chris Lynam, Matt Pastorius and Murray Bladoooooon each recording a hat-trick of assists.

The victory propelled the Watchmen into the championship against the SSI Warriors who needed 3 games to get passed the Twisted Wristers in the semi-finals. The Championship had the 2 top teams facing each other who were 2 and 2 head-to-head in the season series. While the Warriors had to play an extra series to make it to the final and may have had some tired legs, the Watchmen were at a disadvantage without their spiritual leader Nisky Jacknisky who decided to pull a Bladoon and book a vacation during playoffs, and faced the prospect of the 2 of the division’s top 5 leading scorers shooting on a freshly returned Weis, who was covered in rust from over 3 weeks off. The fear of a rusty goalie was not abated when the first shot of the game found its way into the Watchmen’s net (albeit on a 2 on 1 prophesized by Wardo before the game). The Warriors would protect their lead until a hard back-check from Preston Kulmatycki would feed the puck to Dino Vlahadamis to Desrosiers who pounded a clapper from the top of the circles into the far side to tie the game, and end what would end up being be the Warriors’ only lead of the series. Moments after scoring, the Watchmen found themselves on the power play, and Kulmatycki Jr. put the Watchmen into the lead tapping in a feed from Blair Manning.

When the buzzer sounded, the Watchmen retired to their room with a 2-1 lead, breathing a sigh of relief that they had rallied to counterpunch the Warriors’ early foray. The counterpunch turned into a flurry to the solarplexus, as the purple and gold exploded in the 2nd frame. Kulmatycki Jr. struck first early in the period opening up the most dangerous lead in hockey. Chris Lynam rubbed a little salt in the wounds getting into the Warriors’ kitchen, but the trash talk also earned him a trip to the sin bin and a chance for the Warriors to get back into the game. Their hopes were soon dashed, when Rory Shott broke up the attack to sail in on a breakaway popping in a short-handed tally on a shot short side over the goaler’s blocker, crushing his soul a little as he flew into a spaz-rage apparently forgetting he was playing Division 2 summer beer league hockey. The tantrum didn’t help, as DK would complete his hat trick on a power play again on a set up from Manning less than 5 minute post-tanty. MacBurnie completed the Watchmen’s unanswered 6 goal outburst on a setup from Bladoooon. The Warriors who had struck first blood and were matching the Watchmen for shots on goal unexpectedly found themselves trailing by 5 as the second period wound down. Fearing the game might slip away (and likely fearing the wrath of the most vocal team-mates), the Warriors’ stemmed the bleeding putting a puck in the net with 1:25 left in the frame. Weis turned away a breakaway in the dying seconds of the period, and when the Zamboni hit the ice at the end of the frame the squad was able to breath a little easier knowing things had settled at the lonely end of the rink.

While formidable, a 6-2 lead is anything but insurmountable in beer league game and Murray Blandon put the game out of reach with an unassisted break at 11:57 of the third. Kenzie Sheppard notched his 6th of the playoffs a minute later and while the Warriors scored one back, an 8-3 lead is a formidable one even in beer league with less than 9 minutes to play. MacBurnie made sure it was in the bag scoring 2 to finish the game. Tempers flared as the seconds ticked off the clock and the Watchmen took a 1 game to 0 lead in the best of three finals.

The series resumed 48 hours later at Meadows Arena, while the Warriors needed to get back in the series, the Watchmen were smelling blood in the water. Rosie Desrosiers opened the scoring 2 minutes in on a feed from Preston Kulmatycki and Jay Rodrigue putting the Warriors on their heels. Before the Warriors’ captain could say “WHAT-THE-F#@K-ARE-YOU-GUYS-DOING-I-TOLD-YOU-TO-BACKCHECK-GODDAMMIT?!?!” Rosie found Vlahadamis out front of the net who used his half-century of experience to go glove-side, top-cheese, bar-down, opening up an early 2-0 lead. The Warriors had a chance to get back in the game with Rory Shott in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct, but Rosie would dangle in and notch a short-handed marker delivering a deflating blow to the Warriors heading into the flood. The 3-0 score was a testament to the Watchmen not only outplaying the Warriors, but also outplaying one referee who for some reason seemed to be watching a different game than the rest of the players, or was intent on trying to tilt the table against the Watchmen calling mysterious call after mysterious call.

The Desrosiers show would continue into the second period when he tucked in a breakaway, only to have what will go down as one of the worst calls in hockey history the goal not only called back but Rosie sent to the box for goalie interference (on a breakaway… yeah, you read that right). The Warriors took advantage of the absurd call which turned into a 2-goal swing and the Watchmen found themselves with a 3-1 lead instead of a 4-0 one. The Watchmen wouldn’t let the call get in their way, as Rory Shott fed a pass to Jay Rodrigue who patiently outwaited the Warriors’ goalie having saved his first goal of the season for the most opportune time. The Watchmen did finally achieve their 4-goal lead that had been cock-blocked by the ref earlier in the frame when MacLellan pounded home a pass from MacBurnie hard and on the ice to the far side of the net. Desrosiers kept the pressure coming on a set up from PK and Bryan Ward making the game 6-1, a towering lead given how solidly the Watchmen defence was repelling the Warriors’ attacks. The Warriors would get a glimmer of hope on a shot from the point, which fluttered past Weis who was out of his net following an ill-conceived poke-check.

If the tirade of vulgarities and bitching at everyone including the Zamboni driver (which after 17 years of beer league hockey is a new one even to this sports reporter) wasn’t classless enough, the Warriors decided to sink to a new low calling for an ID check before the 3rd period began on Dylan babyface Kulmatycki. While the ID check failed, it would ultimately backfire as the time it took, when combined with the flurry of goals in the first 2 periods and stoppages resulting from the parade to the penalty box unleashed by the blind zebra, were quietly chewing up much of the game’s allotted ice slot. When the play eventually resumed, the Warriors scored on the period’s first shift after MacLellan made 6 moves too many at the blue line bringing the score to 6-3. MacLellan would immediately redeem himself drawing a gross misconduct for being called out on his alternative lifestyle. In spite of handing out a Gross, the ref managed not to give the Warriors an actual minute of short-handed play, but it was no matter, as Kulmatycki Jr. tickled the twine moments later to restore the soul-crushing 4-goal cushion. Lynam and Ward would team up for a flurry of penalties as the period wore on which appeared to give the Warriors one last chance. That glimmer of hope was quickly snuffed out as midway through the final frame the game needed to be shortened due to the imminent end of the ice slot. While there was icing already on the cake, Desrosiers put a cherry on top stealing the puck and heading in on a shorthanded breakaway with a minute left. Instead of placing the cherry on top, he rammed it up the opposing team’s ass winding up for a full blown slap-shot from inside hash marks burying the puck and Warriors’ collective pride.

The buzzer sounded and the Watchmen would hoist the Cup after a series sweep, with a decisive 18-6 goal differential. The win rounded out a hell of a season, with a hell of a bunch of guys. Most of the boys opted to retire to the nearby establishment to revel for a bit in the glory and managed to bury the hatchet with the Warriors players who were also at the bar (albeit to drown their sorrows, rather than relive their own greatness) and after a round of shots were exchanged came over to congratulate the deserved champions leaving the rivalry on the ice.

Post-season golf and Sherwood Park Brewhouse wind-up is scheduled for Sunday August 28th. Details to follow. Be there f---ts.

 

*’s database of people who have mailed in $10 and a photo of their team.

 

Watchmen Finals 3 Stars

1.         Ryan Desrosiers

2.         Matt Pastorius

3.         Dylan Kulmatycki

Playoff Record:  4-0-0    8.25 GFA / 3.25 GAA  / 12.0 PIMA  (1st/1st/4th)

Season Record:  12-4-0   6.69 GFA / 5.31 GAA  / 15.4 PIMA  (1st/3rd/1st)

Playoff Leaders:  Desrosiers 7 G / Sheppard 5 A / Desrosiers 11 Pts / Rodrigue 8 PIM

Season Leaders:  Sheppard 21 G / Sheppard 18 A / Sheppard 39 Pts / Jacknisky 30 PIM