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19-May-2006 – At long last the Deisman officially claims the hockey pool

EDMONTON – For all intents and purposes the pool had been over since December with Nathan Deisman carrying a commanding lead from the get-go. Officially here are the results:

Gold: Nathan - 847

Silver: Preston - 763

Bronze: Cory – 673

Also playing:

Dino - 668

Corwin - 647

Simpson - 614

Dana - 612

Misselbrook - 583

Luke - 572

Cam - 539

Tom - 525

Girard - 525

Cliff - 501

 

 

24-April-2006 –Watchmen wind-up I, honors 5 years and team ownership

EDMONTON – Despite a disappointing season, the Watchmen gathered at the house of Don one last time to celebrate the 5th year of the Watchmen franchise and to recognize the team founder and captain Cory Wilkinson for his efforts in keeping the team together and making sure enough players hit the ice for every game. The team showed their appreciation to Mr. Wilkinson with a gift hot Watchmen paraphernalia custom made by Brothers Sports for the squad.  

 

11-April-2006 – Jacknisky gets hat-trick of 2006 awards, while Philips claims four

EDMONTON – The polls closed and this year’s Watchmen players choice awards have been counted.  It was a tight race this season for almost all of the awards, with the exception of the Purple Blood Award which was given to Thomas Dr. Nisky Jacknisky almost unanimously.  Jacknisky also collected Tony van Tol Memorial for most penalty minutes and shared in the honours of the George Mallia Iron Man award with Preston the Kid and Cam Gunner Philips.  Phillips also collected a hat-trick of awards, including the Most Valuable Watchmen players choice award and Chris Marsh Memorial trophy for most points and added a fourth for good measure namely the Marvin Blue 3-Stars award. 

Kulmatycki also took multiple awards being recognized by his team-mates for his two-way play, and finally the most coveted of all Watchmen awards, the Don Cherry’s post-game performance award in a neck and neck race this year went to Dino Greek Salad Vlahadamis.

Most of the squad will be gathering this evening to celebrate the award announcements and to take in the Oilers game.  Stay tuned for one last WatchNET write-up to close out the 2005-06 season and to announce the season ending wind-up.

2005-06 Watchmen Awards:

Don Cherry’s MVP – The most coveted Watchmen award for post-game performance

Dino Vlahadamis

MVW – The 2005-06 performance award

Cam Phillips

Barker Memorial Best 2-Way Play – The Watchmen who digs deep in both ends of the ice

Preston Kulmatycki

Purple Blood Award – To the Watchmen who gives 110% every night

Tom Jacknisky

Chris Marsh Memorial Award for Most Points

Cam Gunner Phillips (42)

George Mallia Iron Man Award

Kulmatycki, Jacknisky and Phillips (29)

Tony van Tol award for most penalty minutes

Dr. Nisky Jacknisky (70)

Marvin Blue 3-stars

1.      Cam Phillips

2.      Cory Wilkinson

3.      Chris Girard

 

4-April-2006 – All over but the crying…

EDMONTON – The Watchmen played themselves out of a playoff spot Tuesday night as the Fubar rolled over the boys in purple 5-1.  It was a fitting end to the season that just seemed to see the Watchmen one timely bounce away from being in the game to an untimely retaliation penalty that put them out of a game they were in.  It was also fitting that the Watchmen would finish the season with one of the defencemen not showing up for the game (without a phone call – a trend that plagued the squad since December), and on the receiving end of some brutal officiating that saw a penalty called against the Fubar with the puck sitting on a Watchmen stick all alone in front of the net.

Needing a win to secure a playoff spot and a tie to give the team a virtual lock on the post-season the Watchmen came out flat and found themselves 2 goals behind in the opening period when a scramble and a 2 on 1 both found their way to the back of the net.  Unfortunately for the Watchmen, their tender couldn’t keep the Fubar at bay early on and trailing by two goals the Watchmen were never able to find their confidence and settle into their game.  The Fubar outshot and badly outchanced the Watchmen who gave up 6 breakaways and 3 odd man rushes.  While these chances were turned away, it was the Watchmen’s Achilles heel – the inability to clear their own zone despite having possession that finally cost them when the puck ended up on a Fubar stick all alone in the slot who somehow managed to bat the puck out of the air over a sprawling Watchmen tender.

The Watchmen did battle back to make it 3-1 when Kulmatycki finished off a Jacknisky setup, but quickly got into penalty trouble and gave up a fourth goal on a 4-on-3 penalty kill.  The Fubar added an empty netter to put the final nail in the Watchmen coffin.

While the Watchmen could still have snuck into the post-season through the back door with an Ice Bears loss to the McCowans in the following game, but the McCowans proved once again to be the Watchmen’s worst enemy, and to be the most inconsistent team in the league this season, while the Ice Bears proved what a little grit and some rock solid goaltending can get you as they pounded the McCowans 5-1 who will both advance into the last two playoff spots.

2005-06 marks the first year that the Watchmen have not made the playoffs in the winter season.  Despite a disappointing season, the Watchmen still have a good squad and more importantly a good bunch of guys, held together by the tireless efforts of player-coach Cory Wilkinson.  While their record did not reflect it, the Watchmen were competitive in Division 1 this year and will just need to find a few more reliable players to fill out the roster and bring a more consistent effort to the rink to bounce back next year.  In the meantime, the Watchmen have a summer title to defend, and May is just around the corner.

Stay tuned – more to come on the WatchNET including the Watchmen season awards, an end of season wind-up announcement and a final appearance of the Ghost Writer to take the season home.

Three Stars

 

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 1 vs. Fubar 5 (Loss, 12-16-1)

 

3-April-2006 – Big two points on the line for the Watchmen’s final game of the regular season

EDMONTON – April has arrived bringing with its annual rituals; moving the clocks ahead an hour, the Oilers struggling for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and the end of the ERHL regular season.  This year for the first time in five years a visit to the post-season remains uncertain for the ERHL’s Watchmen, as Division 1 wraps up Tuesday night with two games that will decide the playoff fate for 3 of the 4 teams involved.

The Watchmen face off against the Fubar at 7:45pm, followed immediately by the McCowans pitted against the Ice Bears at 9:15pm with both games being played at K of C Arenas.  While the Fubar have had a playoff spot wrapped up for months now, it will be the final game of the year for either the Ice Bears, the McCowans or the Watchmen all of who go into the game within 1 point of each other with only two playoff spots available.

Incredibly all 3 combinations of playoff outcome are possible for the playoffs (WM-MC, WM-IB, MC-IB), and all 3 teams actually control their own destiny.  On one hand, the Watchmen have one advantage in that if they end up tied with either the Ice Bears or the McCowans, but on the other hand they face-off against the first place team in the league – the Fubar who has dominated the season series against the Watchmen.  The Fubar have little to lose or gain as they could end up playing any of the 3 basement dwellers in the first round regardless of where they finish in the standings.  However, teams with nothing to gain proved to be dangerous this weekend as both the Batmen and the Force both won with nothing to play for against the McCowans and the Ice Bears respectively both of whom could have improved their post-season odds with a win on the weekend and could each be punted without a win on Tuesday.

With the season on the line the Watchmen barely scraped out a victory in their 29th game and the Ice Bears and the McCowans lost to teams with nothing to play for.  While the playoffs begin Tuesday night for the league’s three basement dwellers, the two that do advance will certainly have to up the ante or they could get an early start on the summer.

 

26-March-2006 – Time to vote for this year’s Watchmen awards

EDMONTON – Polls open for this year’s Watchmen players choice awards.  Email in your vote by April 1st; click here for past winners.

Categories:

Don Cherry’s MVP – The most coveted Watchmen award for post-game performance

MVW – The 2005-06 performance award

Barker Memorial Best 2-Way Play – The Watchmen who digs deep in both ends of the ice

Purple Blood Award – To the Watchmen who gives 110% every night

Meanwhile the Chris Marsh Memorial Award for Most Points is still up for grabs with F-Bomb Wilkinson trailing Gunner Phillips by 2 points heading into the final game of the season.  There is likely to be a 3-way tie for George Mallia Iron Man Award this year as Kulmatycki, Jacknisky and Phillips have all only missed one game this season and are all expected to be in the roster next Tuesday night, unlike Nycholat who is widely rumoured to be benched after missing Saturday night’s game.  The Tony van Tol award for most penalty minutes is likely to go to Dr. Nisky Jacknisky who has a 10 minute lead on the Watchmen’s all-time penalty minute leader Dino Greek Salad Vlahadamis. 

 

26-March-2006 – Phillips, Girard resuscitate Watchmen

EDMONTON – The Watchmen squared off against the Screaming Pigeons Saturday night at K of C with 2 regular defensemen in the lineup.  While the Screaming Pigeons were all but mathematically eliminated from the post-season, a win for the Watchmen was essential to keep them in the hunt for the sixth and final spot.  The last time these two teams met it was a free-for-all shoot-em-up with the Watchmen losing 11-6.  Saturday night was the opposite; with both teams playing a much more defensive-minded game as the game’s first goal was not scored until midway through the second period when the Pigeons scored on their second breakaway of the period.  The goal was a psychological blow to the Watchmen who were outshooting the Pigeons almost 2:1 at this stage in the game but had been unable to muster a goal or even many high quality chances.  The game settled down significantly in the second period after both teams got into a little penalty trouble in the first, and Dana Guru Gray tied the score when he found the bottom corner to finish off a scramble in front of the net to cap the period.

The game remained 1-1 heading into the final frame.  The Watchmen continued to dominate on the shot clock, but were methodically kept to the outside by the Pigeons defence allowing little more in the way of scoring chances than slap shots from the perimeter, meanwhile, despite being outshot, the Pigeons had mounted four separate breakaways and three 2 on 1s but had only been able to beat the Watchmen tender once.  With the game dead-locked at 1-1 a ticking clock was slowly becoming the Watchmen’s worst enemy as anything but two points would be the final nail in the Watchmen’s playoff hopes.  Moments later the Watchmen found themselves longing for a 1-1 score as they surrendered 2 goals at the 8:30 and the 5:30 mark of the third period to find themselves suddenly trailing 3-1 and apparently 5 minutes away from golf season. 

A 2-goal deficit looked insurmountable, until Wilkinson caused a turned over in the Pigeons zone and the puck found its way onto the stick of Greybeard Girard who made no mistake burying a bullet into the top corner and the Watchmen were within one with 4 minutes left on the clock.  The goal was certainly a shot in the arm as the Watchmen buzzed for the final few minutes but couldn’t seem to mount an effective attack.  The Pigeons gained a whistle just outside the Watchmen blue line with a 1:14 left on the clock and looked poised to be able to run the clock.  However, the Watchmen were able to gain possession of the puck and pulled their goalie for the extra attacker.  The puck found its way onto Dino Greek Salad Vlahadamis’ stick on the point who hammered a perfect low shot on the Pigeons’ tender and the rebound was pounced on by Cam Gunner Phillips to tie the game with only 30 seconds remaining.  And just like that, the game, along with the Watchmen’s season went into shoot-outs.  Once again it was Phillips and Girard who buried the puck for the Watchmen while the Pigeons were unable to score in the shootout and the Watchmen found themselves collecting the two points that seemed lost only 10 minutes earlier.

The Watchmen were able to score in the final minute with the goalie on the bench for the first time that the WatchNET staff can remember, and were also able to do something they haven’t been able to all season: collect an ugly win. The win keeps the Watchmen’s playoff hopes alive, but just barely as they will have to mount a better effort to come up with two more points against the first place Fubar in the final game of the season. 

Three Stars

1)      Cam Gunner Phillips

2)      Chris Greybeard Girard

3)      Tim Traitor Weis

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 4 vs. Screaming Pigeons 3 (Win SO, 13-15-1)

 

25-March-2006 – Season on the brink

EDMONTON – The season was on the line Tuesday night as the Watchmen faced off against long-time rival, and fellow 2006 bottom-feeder the McCowans as the two teams battled for fifth and final time this season in a game both teams desperately needed to win to make the post-season.

The Watchmen jumped out to an early lead but quickly gave the puck away in their own zone to allow the McCowans to tie it up, a scene that would be repeated over and over throughout the night.  There was little remarkable to report on besides the ridiculous officiating who called back 2 Watchmen goals, seemed unable to decide what constituted icing, and managed to make a coincidental call on a hit-from-behind that sent a Watchmen player to the hospital for the evening.  It was the sort of officiating that makes one want to look for another league (incidentally, the senior referee called his reliably solid game).  Despite the officiating woes, the Watchmen have no one to blame but themselves for not finishing off the McCowans when they had the opportunity, giving their foes chance after chance to get back in the game which ended in a 4-4 draw.

The Watchmen have two games left and are going to need to win both and will need either the McCowans and/or the Ice Bears to tank for the Watchmen to make the post-season.  The Watchmen play the Screaming Pigeons this afternoon who are all but eliminated from the playoffs, but who pounded the Watchmen at their last meeting in the midst of the Watchmen’s brutal 3 game skid that may ultimately cost them the winter playoffs for the first time in the team’s history. 

Three Stars

1)      Cory Wilkinson

2)       

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 4 vs. McCowans 4 (Tie, 12-15-1)

 

14-March-2006 – Season on the brink

EDMONTON – The Stingers proved why they are fighting for the ERHL President’s trophy this season as they dominated the Watchmen despite the hometown heroes ability to dress a full line-up for the second straight game.  The Watchmen put together back-to-back important wins to remain in playoff contention, but were in trouble right from the get-go Sunday morning.  The Stingers got the early jump on the Watchmen when they scored midway through the first period.  Despite continued pressure by the Stingers, the Watchmen managed to fend off the attack and finish the period only trailing 1-0.

The Stingers were able to take a strangle-hold on the game by accomplishing two of the big momentum swingers in hockey – scoring in the opening and the closing minute of the second period.  With a 2:1 lead in shots on net, the Stingers tallied another goal midway through the 3rd period taking a commanding 4-0 lead.  The Watchmen were able to break the shut-out in the last five minutes of the game, but that would be all the offense they could must this Sunday morning. 

With the game winding to a close, the Watchmen’s newest defensive addition Luke Moran got a little too much body in front of a breaking Stinger forward who found himself on his can on his own blue line.  The refs rightly called a 2-minute body check for what was clean hit in a contact league, but certainly a minor penalty in the ERHL.  As he turned his back to the play for a leisurely skate to the box, the Watchmen defender was greeted with a 2-handed cross-check from behind and promptly jumped on as he was going down.  The latter of these two courageous moves turned out to be a big mistake as it only took nanoseconds for the tide to turn as blows were rained upon a the former attacker.  The “fight” ended quickly as the refs pulled Mr. Moran off the turtled Stinger and both players were handed single-game suspensions. It was little solace for the Watchmen who would eventually drop the game 4-1.

 The Watchmen square off against the McCowans and the Screaming Pigeons in their final two games in March.  Two games that could very well decide the playoff fate for all of the teams involved as who will emerge from the log-jam in the basement of the league is still anyone’s guess.

Three Stars

1)      Justin Brodziak (Stingers)

2)      Tim Weis

3)      Luke Moran

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 1 vs. Stingers 4 (Loss, 12-15-0)

 

8-March-2006 – Hope remains

EDMONTON – It was only two weeks ago when the Watchmen management started recruiting for the summer squad having all but lost hope in the winter season after the Watchmen piled up the losses due in large part to the inability to dress even half a lineup most nights.  With 6 games remaining, the Watchmen found themselves as the sole possessors of last place in the division, and with controversy surrounding the team’s ability to suit up enough bodies the scouts quietly went to work.  The effort paid off last week with a shootout win over the Force aided significantly by the ability to dress a full roster.  This week the scouts were earning their keep again as the Watchmen recruited defensemen Mike Dunn and Luke Moran, and were able to add the veteran Darren Ice Bear Hockman to the roster for a second time this season.

The Batmen who are still in need of a couple of wins to clinch a playoff berth, also suited up a deep line-up.  The Batmen jumped out of the gates quickly and controlled the play early on and jumping out to a 6-2 lead in shots in the opening minutes of play.  The Watchmen were able to parry the attack, find their feet and even up the play that was still end-to-end.  The Watchmen drew first blood with four minutes left on the clock when Tommy Dr. Nisky Jacknisky fired home a shot from the low circles sending a message to the coach that he was sick of playing defence.  The F-Bomb Wilkinson made it a two-goal lead a couple of minutes later. 

To date the Watchmen and Batmen have matched up fairly well on the ice, but the Batmen have taken both games in the season series thanks in large part to their ability to put the puck in the net when it mattered.  The Watchmen blew a 2-0 lead the last time these teams met up, a rally that began with a short-handed goal.  History was set to repeat itself when the Batmen’s captain and most dangerous player turned over a puck at his own blueline on the Watchmen’s first power play of the night, but he was not able to convert on the break or the ensuing wrap-around attempt.  The stop became a two goal swing when Preston the Kid tipped home a perfect shot from the point by Moran 16 seconds into the new period giving the Watchmen a three goal lead.

The Batmen are just too dangerous offensively for the Watchmen to sit back on their laurels and so they kept up the attack as the Girard-Wilkinson-Phillips line converted less than a minute later and then again with six minutes left in the period to build a 5-0 lead.  The Batmen were not about to roll over and die as they responded on 7 seconds later and then again with less than a minute left in the second period to bring the game to within 3 goals heading into the final frame.

Despite winning the period, there was an uneasiness at the Watchmen bench between periods as the Batmen appeared to have new wind breathed into their sails.  But Cam Gunner Phillips stole the momentum with a shot from the top of the circles that fooled the Batmen tender early in the period.  Five minutes later Luke Mr. VW van Weiren tattooed a puck on a rush and the Watchmen regained their 5 goal-cushion.  Despite having built a formidable lead, the sting of having given up 5 goals in 5 minutes in a crucial game only a month ago was still fresh in the minds of the Watchmen who can scarcely afford to lose a game at this junction in the season.  The Batmen did score again on a screen shot half way through the period, but Wilkinson polished off his hat-trick on a golden pass from Phillips only 40 seconds later to extinguish any spark that may have been generated, and the Watchmen were able to hang on for the win in a game that was much closer than the final result indicated.

From top to bottom, Tuesday’s game was the Watchmen’s best collective effort of the season attributable in large part to having defensemen playing defence and allowing the vee-dubb and Dr. Nisky to be unleashed offensively. At the end of the day, the Watchmen received a huge boost having the services of two new solid defenders to shore up the core, allowing the offence to press and press hard – generating numerous scoring chances including a couple of breakaways that were robbed by the Batmen tender.  The 2 points vault them just out of the basement and tenaciously clinging to the final playoff spot.  In the final 4 games the Watchmen play both the McCowans and the Screaming Pigeons with whom they are battling for a post-season berth a schedule that ensures at least their destiny is back in their own hands.

Three Stars*

1)      Cory F-Bomb Wilkinson

2)      Corwin Walk the Line Nycholat

3)      Tim Weis

 

*honorary stars go to entire squad for solid top to bottom effort

Game Result:  Watchmen 8 vs. Batmen 3 (Win, 12-14-0)

 

27-February-2006 – Watchmen have fun

EDMONTON – The Watchmen finally got a break and a bounce to go their way, but just barely.

It’s no secret that the Watchmen have struggled in 2006, not the least of their problems being the ability to dress a consistent line-up on a night-to-night basis.  The news got worse for the Watchmen as veteran defenseman Russ Misselbrook, who had been listed as day-to-day for the past few weeks suddenly announced that his back injuries were not clearing up and hinted he is likely done for the season and may being hanging up the skates having played his last game as a Watchmen.  Management, players, friends, fans and sports-writers are all hoping this is not the case, but are only left to speculate.

Meanwhile another veteran defenseman, Shaun Mills who was injured at work several weeks ago has failed to resurface leaving the Watchmen with only two regular defenseman on the roster.  On Sunday, both D-men managed to show up doubling the number who have been in the line-up for much of the new year.  The Watchmen were also able to suit up a couple of spares, as Cory Wosnack made his second appearance in the ERHL this season, and the Watchmen welcomed Aaron McGill to the line-up as well.  Having enough bodies for almost a full line-up, and armed with the new “have-fun” attitude they hit the ice running, jumping out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Russ Summer Simpson and Chris Greybeard Girard, and dominating the shot-clock 8-0 midway into the opening period. 

The game was looking pretty one-sided half-way through the first period; a surprising turn of events considering the Force have owned the Watchmen all season long, a fact that they weren’t about to forget.  The inevitable turning point came when a delayed penalty was being called against the Force, and instead of allowing their team to go on the power play, the Watchmen decided to retaliate, sending not one, but two players to the box including one for a double-minor.  The Watchmen went from a power play to a 4-minute penalty kill and the Force wasted no time getting back into the game scoring a pair of goals less than a minute apart.  The Watchmen did regain the lead on a low drive from Cam Gunner Phillips with only 10 seconds left on the clock, but the Force had found their stride.

The Force tied the game when a weak Watchmen pass was intercepted in their own zone, handing the Force a 2-on-0 as the entire squad had turned to the rush up ice.  Bryan Lewis made no mistake potting his second of what would become a natural hat-trick five-minutes later when again the Watchmen were unable to clear a loose puck from in front of the net.  Giving up a short-handed goal was painful and it looked as though the game was spiraling out of reach when the Watchmen were not able to convert on an ensuing 5-on-3 power play as Girard hammered shot after shot off the iron with impressive accuracy.  However, before the power play had expired, Dana Guru Gray whacked home a rebound to tie the game with only a few minutes left in the period.

The Watchmen retook the lead 20 seconds into the 3rd period when Summer Simpson notched his second of the night.  The lead would be short-lived however as the Watchmen once again handed the puck over in their own zone and the game was tied only 30 seconds later.  Having lost control of the game mid-way through the 2nd period, the refs motioned to turn the clock to run-time after much of the ice time had been lost on trips to the penalty box.  While this didn’t impress either team, the Force capitalized when Lewis rounded out his morning with a hat-trick of assists giving the Force the lead once again, this time with the clock a-ticking.  To cap off the complete loss of control, Dino Vlahadamis was ejected from the game after disputing the Force’s sixth goal. 

Things were not looking good for the Watchmen who were now down a goal and a defensemen in a game only an hour ago looked like they had in the bag.  Impressively the Watchmen did not quit though, and Gunner Phillips tipped in the tying goal with five-minutes left on the clock.  In the final minute of regulation time the Watchmen had a chance to steal the game, but were unable to convert on a break-away and ensuing rebounds, only to give the Force a return breakaway with 10 seconds on the clock, which was also stymied preserving at least a point in the game and sending it into shoot-outs.

Of the six shooters, only the Watchmen’s Cam Gunner Phillips was able to find the back of the net, and the Watchmen were able to claim their first and only victory in the month of February in a hard-fought back and forth battle.

Things are still not looking rosy for the men in purple with only 5 games left on the schedule as they still find themselves bringing up the rear of the pack.  There are however four teams within 3 points of the Watchmen all of whom will be fighting to avoid being one of the two teams to dawn the shame of not to making the post-season.  All 4 teams however do have a game in hand on the Watchmen who for some annoying reason have been stuck one game ahead of the rest of the division for almost the entire season.  Things will have to go very well in March for the Watchmen to make the dance, but February’s last game was a step in the right direction as the Watchmen failed to lay down and die despite looking like they were about to on several occasions.

And for those who didn’t get the WatchNET last week… Wilkinson isn’t quitting. 

Three Stars

1)      Bryan Lewis (Force)

2)      Cam Phillips

3)      Russ Simpson

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 7 vs. Force 6 (SO) (Win, 11-14-0)

 

23-February-2006 – Wilkinson questions his future with Watchmen management

EDMONTON – The Watchmen are 1-6 in 2006 and fingers are starting to get pointed as frustrated fans saw the once mighty Watchmen get rolled over again.

Once again the Watchmen were only able to suit up one defenceman for the fourth week in a row.  The inability to consistently dress a full line-up are leaving some questioning team management, starting with team founder, owner and CEO Cory Wilkinson himself.  “I'll take, and deservedly so, the responsibility of us not winning,” Wilkinson told a news conference Wednesday after the Watchmen lost their fourth game in a row, this time at the hands of Fubar. “That's the situation I'm in, the position I have.

“I feel tremendously responsible that we didn't win. And quite honestly, I'm going to re-assess where I fit and what I'm going to do in the future.

“The Watchmen are wonderful, WatchCORP is great, and I love it dearly. But I'm also human, too. It's tough and it's nerve-wracking. It's not fun when you don't win” he said.

Clearly the Watchmen are knee-deep in trouble, not only for the current season, but given the lack of participation this year are going to be scrambling for players to fill out next year’s line-up.

“He’s going to have to be active in the free agent market, and starting right now” Watchmen veteran Dino Vlahadamis was quoted as saying, “it’s getting to the point where I’m just not having fun anymore.”

Despite being sole possessors of the basement, all hope is not lost with 6 games left in the season the Watchmen are not out of the race, but will have to show a lot more magic as April quickly approaches.

Meanwhile, the Watchmen have begun looking for players in the hopes of re-building for next year’s season. 

Three Stars

1)      Jay Norgard (Fubar)

2)      Fubar guy 2

3)      Fubar guy 3

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 2 vs. Fubar 6 (Loss, 10-14-0)

 

13-February-2006 –Watchmen flushed in battle of the toilet bowl

EDMONTON – The Watchmen’s playoff hopes are fading fast after losing 3 games in a row to the bottom three teams in the league, this week it was to fellow basement dweller the Ice Bears completing the Watchmen plummet into the last spot in the division.

Once again the Watchmen fell victims to absenteeism suiting up only 1 regular defenceman, only 9 skaters in total.  The Ice Bears, on the other hand suited a full 3 lines, apparently taking the match-up more seriously as they are inching their way towards post-season.  This intensity initially proved costly for the Bears who spent the better part of the opening 20 minutes short-handed.  Nonetheless, the Watchmen were only able to capitalize once to take a 1-0 lead well into the second period.  Despite many power play opportunities, including a 5-on-3 advantage the Watchmen were unable to mount many scoring opportunities.  However, the Watchmen were unable to watch the Ice Bear parade to the sin bin without getting in on the action and eventually started to retaliate turning the penalty tides.  The rope-a-dope was worked to perfection as the Watchmen had spent all of their energy on their numerous power plays and were out of gas trying to kill of their own.  Glen Shoemaker scored a power play goal to tie the game.

The Watchmen had one final glimmer of hope when Nathan Deisman swatted an Ice Bear stick at the point knocking the puck all the way down the ice, but the puck just went wide of the empty net with the Ice Bears goaltender on the bench due to a delayed penalty.  Instead of a lucky goal, the Watchmen got a 5-on-3 disadvantage, which JP Glaves and Ryan Rivest both capitalized on to put the Ice Bears up 3-1 going into the final frame.

Penalties on both sides settled down in the third for the most part (except for Wilkinson’s “slashing”) but the Ice Bears were able to fend off whatever attack the Watchmen could mount, and after potting an empty net goal took the game 4-1.

The Watchmen are left with seven games to pull out of the self-induced tailspin, and will need to go 5-2 just to finish .500 with any hopes of making the playoffs.  Things are not looking good, but it ain’t over yet.  Rumor has it that Janet’s got $5,000 on the Watchmen pulling it out of the fire.

Three Stars (it’s getting too hard to pick out 3 Watchmen)

1)      Glen Shoemaker

2)      JP Glaves

3)      Chris Grant

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 1 vs. Ice Bears 4 (Loss, 10-13-0)

 

5-February-2006 –Watchmen in trouble

EDMONTON – The Watchmen got hammered by the Screaming Pigeons 11-6 at the welcoming Bill Hunter Arena.  The wheels appear to be coming off the Watchmen wagon who continue to be plagued by inconsistency in the roster and inconsistent goaltending.  The Watchmen faced off against the Screaming Pigeons Friday night in what was a back and forth high-scoring affair.  Both teams exchanged goals and leads, but managed to go into the third period down 6-5.  But the men in purple ran out of gas as they watched their net filled.

The silver lining for the Watchmen is that despite finding themselves in the basement, the still control their own destiny as they head into the final 8 games of the season facing each team again once.  The bad news is that the first place Fubar are the only team that they face twice before the end of the season. 

It’s gut check time for the Watchmen who are staring down the barrel of not making the winter playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Cory Wilkinson

2)      Dino Vlahadamis

3)      Dana Gray

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 6 vs. Screaming Pigeons 11 (Loss, 10-12-0)

 

29-January-2006 –Watchmen blow 4-0 lead

EDMONTON – The Watchmen came into Sunday’s game at .500 on the season, and struggling to stay above the playoff cut-off.  But the Watchmen were riding a big win against the Stingers last week and have been a perfect 3-0 against the McCowans this season who are battling it out with the Watchmen in the division cellar. 

Things were looking good for the Watchmen who jumped out to a 4-0 lead midway through the second period thanks to 2 big goals from Wilkinson and markers from Phillips and Gray.  However the wheels came off the wagon with 5 minutes remaining in the second period when the Watchmen surrendered five unanswered goals including the 5th backbreaker with only 4 seconds left on the clock. 

Both teams played solidly in the third period but neither could notch another goal as the Watchmen could only shake their heads wondering what in the hell happened. 

It was a tough loss considering the game was all but in the bag at one point, and the boys just needed one big save from their netminder who just couldn’t seem to get a handle on the puck when it mattered.

Nonetheless, the squad will have to put it behind them as the playoffs effectively begin next week for the Watchmen who face Pigeons and the Ice Bears to kick off February.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Cory Wilkinson

2)      Dino Vlahadamis

3)      Luke VanWeiren

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 4 vs. McCowans 5 (Loss, 10-11-0)

 

23-January-2006 –Watchmen come to life (those that decided to show up that is…)

EDMONTON – Things were not looking good for the Watchmen with only one defencemen who managed to drag themselves to the game Saturday night.  Corwin Honey-Garlic Nycholat called in sick, while Nathan AWOL Deisman, Shaun AWOL Mills and Vic AWOL Minnas all decided not to inform anyone that they wouldn’t be attending the game, leaving the Watchmen with a single blueliner.  Guru Gray made a rare pre-game speech, but there was little optimism amongst the troops given tht they were left with no choice but to move 3 forwards to the point.

Despite the cards stacked against them the Watchmen drew first blood as Toe-drag Girard made no mistake after being sent in all alone by Wilkinson, scoring on the first shot of the period.  In characteristic Watchmen fashion, back-to-back penalties allows the Stingers tied the game and then take the lead on consecutive power play goals.  Before all hope could be lost F-bomb Wilkinson hammered home a pass from Girard to tie the game at two.  The Stingers would regain their lead however when an unmarked Stinger finished off a one-timer from the slot.  Things were not looking promising for the Watchmen as despite the first period ending with the Watchmen down 3-2, they were also facing a forbidding 15-6 shot deficit and were looking unable to contain the powerful Stingers offence.

Instead of rolling over and dying, the Watchmen burst out of the second period gates with a sense of determination rarely seen this season kicked off by Cam Gunner Phillips who tied the game 40 seconds into the period as VanWieren notched his 3rd assist of the game.  90 seconds later, Preston the Kid would score to give the Watchmen the lead.  The game’s turning point occurred in the same shift when the Watchmen goalie Weis came up his first game-saving stop in a while, which translated into a rush for the Watchmen and Kulmatycki to netting his second goal of the shift only 90 seconds from his first, and the Watchmen seemed to have broken the goal-trading by taking the first two-goal lead of the night.  But the Watchmen were not done yet. 90 second from the last goal, Chris Girard picked up the puck at the Stingers blue line and toe dragged his way around the left-winger only to find the centre-man coming at him, who also fell victim to a toe-drag as Girard moved towards the slot, where he toe-dragged his way around the defenceman and then… you guessed it - deked the goalie with a toe-drag, and the four back-to-back toe drags would be the crowning jewel of four unanswered Watchmen goals in the opening five minutes of the period.

Not all good things came in fours this evening though as the Watchmen were dealt their fourth consecutive penalty shortly after their offensive outburst and the stunned Stingers were given a chance to regroup.  Before the period was out the Watchmen would have accumulated six short-handed situations in the game to the Stingers zero, a mystery considering the play was pretty even for all intents and purposes.  Nonetheless, despite the imbalance in calls, the Watchmen goaltender seemed to have found his misplaced horseshoe as he shut the door time and again. The score was kept 6-3 until the dying moments of the period when (on a penalty kill) Russ Simpson chased down a puck that had been iced on the Stingers net.  In a bizarre miscommunication between goalie and defenceman the puck somehow ended up on Simpson’s stick who was all alone in the slot as he patiently danced around the Stingers goalie to pop in the Watchmen’s seventh goal with 1.0 seconds remaining on the clock.

Despite the tough period, the Stingers didn’t give up as they pressed early in the third period only to find that the Watchmen had carefully rolled into a defensive mode and were able to protect their four-goal lead.  The Watchmen were finally awarded their first power play of the night midway through the final frame as the Stingers frustrations mounted.  The frustrations burst with 5 seconds left on the clock when a Stingers forward was stood up by Watchmen “defenceman” Moravec and fisticuffs were exchanged.  The final buzzer would sound with the Watchmen having been outshot 35-24 with the score 7-3 in their favour.

The Watchmen walked away with their first win of the new year breaking their three-game losing skid - a feat particularly impressive considering the collection of “Absent without call” players.  Special mention goes to Luke VanWeiren, Tom Jacknisky and Dean Moravec who did a top-notch job filling in on defence, giving up a season-low two, two-on-ones.  The Watchmen face the McCowans next week both of who as predicted have come to life and are currently riding a three-game winning streak as trudge their way towards a playoff spot.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)       Tim Weis

2)       Chris Girard

3)       Luke VanWeiren

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 7 vs. Stingers 3 (Win, 10-10-0)

 

22-January-2006 –Tallspin under way as Batmen beat Watchmen

EDMONTON – Having put together back-to-back weak efforts, the Watchmen were eager to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, as they jumped out to an early two goal lead as Wilkinson and Deisman notched early markers.  The Watchmen were handed the opportunity to finish the job, not once but twice as they went to the power-play twice in a row.  Unfortunately, both power-plays would see the Batmen tally short-handed goals, and instead of putting the nail in the coffin, the Watchmen found themselves on their heels and scrambling in their own zone as they surrendered a third unanswered goal late in the period finding themselves suddenly playing catch-up.

Unfortunately catching up was not in the cards this evening, as the Batmen quickly went on to shore up their lead as they surgically slide through the Watchmen defenses and before they knew it, the Watchmen had dug themselves a hole from which they couldn’t escape as they dropped the game to the Batmen, capping their 3rd straight loss.

In spite of the final outcome (6-3 loss), the Watchmen played well overall except for isolated break-downs with the Batmen seemed more than capable to capitalize on the opportunities that presented themselves.  Like their first meeting, the two squads are relatively well matched with the Watchmen drawing the short end of the stick once again.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)       Luke VanWeiren

2)       Nathan Deisman

3)       Chris Girard

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 3 vs. Batmen 6 (Loss, 9-10-0)

 

8-January-2006 – Force punish Watchmen

EDMONTON – The 2006 hockey year kicked off for the Watchmen bright and early Saturday morning against the mighty Force squad.  Over the next hour and a half, the Watchmen would learn numerous lessons in just how key timing is in winning, or as the case may be losing hockey games.  

Setting one’s alarm clock in order to get out of bed and to the rink on time is very important to the outcome of any game.  Equally important is knowing to check the schedule on time for the same reason as previously stated.  Not heeding these warnings resulted in four Watchmen no-shows, and only 2 defencemen in the line-up. 

The timing of the first goal is also often key in setting the stage in a game, and giving up slapshot on the glove side 3 minutes in the game rarely helps.  It is also noteworthy that the timing of your first shot on net should ideally come before the other team has registered 10.  The Watchmen would give up another 10 shots and two goals before the period was over.  However, before all hope was lost a goal by Wilkinson would make the game 3-1 and get the Watchmen back into the game.

Giving up a goal in the last minute or the first minute of a period is always dangerous, and the Force did just that by scoring only 13 seconds into the second period to suck the wind out of the Watchmen sails.  With Moe, clearly on their side the Force would take a commanding 6-1 lead into the 3rd period.

The referees would also demonstrate that over time, accumulating numerous missed hooking calls will eventually lead to a sense of frustration, especially when you are having your ass handed to you by the other team for the third time this season.  Nonetheless, the referee can shoulder none of the blame for Watchmen’s drumming this fine morning.

Lastly the Watchmen would learn that to start playing hard in the 3rd period, there simply isn’t enough time to stage a comeback, particularly against a strong Force goaltender.  While the Watchmen were able to pop home two goals in the final frame is was too little, too late and the final buzzer would sound with the Watchmen continuing 2006 where they left off last year; on the receiving end of a solid ass-kickin’.

Unfortunately before the game was through there would be once last lesson to be learned, and that is that there is never a good time to hit someone from behind.  Hitting from behind has got to be the most cowardly and cheapest thing that anyone can do in hockey.  This is amplified ten-fold when you are in a non-hitting league to start with – oh and it’s rec (as in recreational) hockey.  Sometimes hits from behind can be accidental if the opposing player turns his back at the last minute, and in such cases the onus is still on the offender not to hammer the check-receiver whether or not it is a hitting league – this however was NOT the case at the end of this morning’s game when a Watchmen defender was driven face-first into the boards with less than 5 minutes left on the clock.  Few things can be less classy, than to a) hit someone from behind, b) in a non-contact league c) when you are up by 5 goals in the dying minutes of a game, but just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, instead of apologizing for making a mistake that could have cost someone the use of their limbs, incredibly the Force player who was rightfully tossed from the game had the audacity to complain about the call.  It has been a long time since this reporter has seen such a shameless display, and it was a terrible way to end what was otherwise a solid effort by a very good Force squad.

Dropping the game to the Force the Watchmen are once again on a multiple game skid, and will be looking to pull out of the fall before it becomes tallspin when they suit up this Friday against the dangerous Batmen.  Hopefully a few more players will show up…

Watchmen Three Stars

1)       Dana Gray

2)       Cory Wilkinson

3)       Chris Girard

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 3 vs. Force 6 (Loss, 9-9-0)

 

25-December-2005 – No rest of the WatchNET

EDMONTON – With the 2 week layoff for our favourite squad one might expect the WatchNET staff to take some well earned R&R… but one would be wrong.  This is not some 2-bit webpage that only gets updated when the Watchmen are playing (or when they win)!  On the contrary, with the break in action our resident statisticians have been put to work to see if the numbers can tell a story that the coaching and management aren’t seeing.  And for today’s number crunching we took a look at the correlation between a player’s goal-scoring and the likelihood of the Watchmen winning.  In the 05-06 season, the Watchmen have put together 9 wins and scored 75 goals, 46 of which have come from Phillips, Girard, Simpson and Wilkinson.  Interestingly, both Phillips and Girard are as likely to score in a win or in a lose, while a goal from Wilkinson or Simpson virtually guarantees the squad a win, having suffered only 2 of their 8 losses when Wilkinson or Simpson have scored.  Finally the Watchmen have not won a game unless at least one of their top 4 scorers has scored.

Watchmen record when player has scored (only players who have scored more than once are listed):

 

WM Wins

WM Losses

 

WM Wins

WM Losses

 

WM Wins

WM Losses

Cam Phillips

5

5

Preston Kulmatycki

2

2

Luke VanWieren

2

1

Chris Girard

5

4

Jody Milne

2

1

Tom Jacknisky

1

2

Russ Simpson

5

1

Cliff McClain

2

0

Dino Vlhadamis

2

0

Cory Wilkinson

4

1

Mike Starrett

2

0

 

 

 

 

 

24-December-2005 – Fubar too much for Watchmen ringette squad

EDMONTON – Before the drop of the puck it is always a mystery which Watchmen squad will show up to play, but soon after it hits the ice it is usually very clear.  Last night was no exception, as the Watchmen found themselves down 1-0 after the first shot (and the first 2 on 1) of the game was converted by Fubar.  Moments later when a pass up the middle was intercepted in their own zone it was apparent that the Watchmen ringette squad had laced up the skates this evening.  The turnover – the first of many on the night – would result in the Fubar stretching their lead to 2-0 as a flukey screened shot that somehow went under the Watchmen tender’s right pad.

Things were not looking good for the Watchmen.  However, the first buzzer sounded to relieve the pressure and allow the home team to regroup and not before Phillips converted a nice setup from Nycholat to bring the game to within 1.  The Watchmen did settle down early in the second and tied the game when Girard finished off a solo effort dancing around an outstretched Fubar tender.  However, on this night the Watchmen would find themselves one step, one player and one horseshoe behind.  Fubar regained the lead when a high shot was tipped out of mid-air between the legs of the Watchmen tender after the Watchmen once again failed to clear their zone despite having had possession of the puck.  Despite the loss in momentum caused by the goal, the Watchmen were given one last chance to prove the mettle when the Fubar took a penalty only minutes later.  However, the power play would prove to the Watchmen’s underdoing, as they gave away back-to-back short-handed breakaways.  While the Watchmen tender turned aside the first breakaway, the squad found itself fishing its pride along with the puck out of the net after the second deke found its way into cage, and the Watchmen were back in a two goal hole. 

The wheels came off the wagon in the third period as Fubar netted four more unanswered goals, appearing to score almost at will.  In the Watchmen’s defence, six regular players were out of town due to the holidays and one Watchmen went AWOL, resulting in a short bench.  Nonetheless, instead of playing a cautious game that would be warranted on a regular night against the formidable Fubar, the short-staffed Watchmen were particularly sloppy in their own zone and at the opposing team’s blueline and overall just couldn’t buy a break or a big save when it mattered.  Fubar made no mistake pouncing on the opportunities that they were given.

The upshot is that the Watchmen end 2005 with a winning record and are expecting to have Nathan Martyr Deisman back the line-up from the IR in the new year.  The Watchmen play the Force to start 2006, a team that has owned them this season outscoring the Watchmen 15-3 in their two meetings this season.  The Watchmen will also have history working against them as they have not been able to lose only one game this year without losing at least two more in a row.  So, rest up ye merry Watchmen and be prepared to welcome 2006 with a win, when the squad opens CBC’s hockey day in Canada with a 7:15 am start on Saturday, January the 7th.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)       Cam Phillips

2)       Chris Girard

3)       n/a

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 2 vs. Fubar 8 (Loss, 9-8-0)

 

22-December-2005 – Year in review prior to final game of 2005

EDMONTON – 2005 has been a successful year for the Watchmen franchise, taking the silver ERHL medal in the Spring playoffs and the gold in the Summer round.  Several new faces have been added and the squad has bid farewell to some seasoned veterans, but overall the team’s core is relatively stable and this familiarity has developed a strong sense of team during play and after the whistle.  While this can be a double-edged sword, as the squad has certainly demonstrated the ability to collectively not show up, by and large the team chemistry has lead to an improved ability to play a complete game.

The 2005/06 season has been an up and down affair for the Watchmen squad who have yet to win or lose a single game without it turning into a winning or losing streak.  Up and down performances have also been the hallmark of individuals on the squad, offensively, defensively and in the pipes.  While the strongest and most consistent play has come from the Watchmen’s leading scorer Cam Gunner Phillips and run-and-gun utility man Tom Dr. Nisky Jacknisky who night-in and night-out continue to give 110%.  Dependable solid efforts have also been put forth Dana Guru Gray, although he has had problems getting himself to the rink consistently.  The Watchmen currently sit in the middle of the pack and have unremarkable goals for and goals against averages, slightly worse than the league average in both columns.

With the recent point surge from veterans Girard, Simpson and Wilkinson, as well as improved defensive zone play, the Watchmen have put together 3 wins in a row pulling themselves out of a virtual tailspin which saw them drop all 4 games in November.  Nonetheless, at the halfway point the division continues to be tight, and the Watchmen cannot afford to sit back on their laurels but will need to build on this momentum if they hope to have any success come April.

The Watchmen have yet to beat several divisional opponents including the Batmen, Force and Fubar.  Tomorrow’s game pits them against the Fubar who have taken both decisions this season 6-5 and 5-2.  The Watchmen will be facing an uphill battle as the holiday season will claim at least 7 starting players, and the entire regular pool of spares.  Regardless of what happens on Friday, the Watchmen will finish above .500 going into the break, but the squad will need to play hard and tight to avoid the onset of a losing streak going into the new year.

 

18-December-2005 – Rec hockey at its finest

EDMONTON – The Watchmen took to the ice Saturday night eager to keep their two-game win streak alive, and more importantly ensure that the Ice Bears would not have bragging rights over the holidays.  While the ritual cyber-trash talk was exchanged, it wasn’t with the same degree of vigor or vulgarity that trash-talk watchers have come to enjoy.  Perhaps this was due to a degree of weariness as the season hits the halfway mark, or perhaps the whole sibling rivalry was starting to defuse.  When Tommy “I’ve got f*$#ing tact” Jacknisky fired a shot across the Flegel bow hours before gametime drew no response, it appeared that both teams were desperate for the two points at stake and were simply focused on the task at hand.  When the puck dropped, as the Ice Bears captain had forewarned, it was pretty clear that off-ice friendships were going to be put on hold.

The Watchmen jumped out to an early lead, as Vic New-Guy Minnas’ shot from the point deflected to an open Chris Greybeard Girard, who managed to fan perfectly on the shot as it slid into the bottom corner on a screened Ice Bears goaltender.  With a one-goal lead, the Watchmen parade, more correctly, stampede to the penalty box began.  Despite the importance of the game, the Watchmen appeared determined to hand the momentum over to the Ice Bears by spending the majority of the remainder of the game short-handed.  Fortunately for the Watchmen, the team’s owner – a shady character known only as the Lighthouse – had just managed to slip some under the table salary bonuses to the Watchmen goaltender allowing him to be decked out in all new gear, which not only made a sharp fashion statement, clearly brought his game to a new level as he kept the Bears’ power play at bay.

In between penalty kills, the Watchmen were able to extend their lead as Cam Gunner Phillips hammered home a one-time pass from Chris Sniper Girard, who notched his impressive 3rd assist of the season, bringing his helper total up to 25% of his finishes.  With only seconds remaining on the clock the F-bomb - with his newly healed wrists – pounded home a slap-shot into the 1” x 3” space between the peanut butter jar, and the top of the cupboard and the Watchmen took a 3-0 lead into the final period.

There’s something about Men’s League hockey that occasionally can bring out a set of vocabulary rarely used in the office.  Considering that a good number of players on both sides of the squads have not only played together in the past, and are friends off the ice, some of the blame for what would become a slippery downward slide in the final period must be placed onto the officiating, who on this particular evening seemed to have an impressive knack for making calls that would escalate frustrations at every turn.  The notable list of calls include only calling a retaliation, calling questionable stick infractions while missing glaring offences, allowing after the whistle stabs at goaltenders, making even-up calls for minor incidents and sending both guys to the box when there was a clear instigator.  Yes, it is an exhaustive list, but it was an exhausting experience.  The calls were by no means one-sided, as the Ice Bears were also clearly feeling frustrated by the constant stoppages, and the incredibly lengthy explanations.  The latter would finally bite the Ice Bears as the game dragged to the edge of the ice rental, and the clock was turned to run-time for the final 5 minutes – a very inopportune time, as the Bears had clawed their way back into the game scoring two power-play goals with 6 minutes and 2 minutes left on the clock. 

The frustrations got to the point where the 2 points suddenly stopped mattering as the Watchmen ended up on a 5-on-3 man disadvantage for the final two minutes of play.  The Ice Bears pulled their goalie for a 6-on-3 advantage but were not able to knock another puck past Weis’ new gear, thanks in large part to some impressive back-checking my Preston the Kid in the last minute, and the final buzzer would sound with the shots 33-23 for the Ice Bears but the score 3-2 for the Watchmen.

With the utmost respect for the crap officials have to put up with on a nightly basis, it is important to note that when games get ugly, by and large both teams have contributed their fair share to exasperate the situation, and admittedly the Watchmen were certainly guilty of not helping the situation on Saturday night.  It is also worth noting that the refs stuck to their guns on a delayed penalty call in the heat of it all, which despite some enthusiastic advice to the contrary, they were 100% correct on.  That said, usually once a season the refs have a game to forget, and Saturday was definitely that game.  Fortunately, both squads are mature enough hockey players to leave it at the rink and move on to the next ever-important, lives-hanging-in-balance, Men’s Recreational hockey game.

Meanwhile the Ice Bears are quickly proving that they are a squad to be respected after downing the high flying Batmen last week and showing a lot of grit and character to battle back from a 3-0 deficit and coming a bounce away from taking the game from under the Watchmen’s feet.  For their part, despite the ugliness, the Watchmen will take the 2 points at the midway point of the season, as they are going to struggle to field a squad for their final game of 2005 that falls on the 23rd of December - the last working day before Christmas.

Kudos goes out to the Ice Bears webmaster, who despite weeks of taunting beat the WatchNET to the punch this week.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Tim Stylin’ Weis

2)      Chris Greybeard Girard

3)      Cory F-Bomb Wilkinson

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 3 vs. Ice Bears 2 (Win, 9-7-0)

 

17-December-2005 – Editorial note

EDMONTON – Boo ya.

 

12-December-2005 – Wilkinson comes to life as Watchmen ground Screaming Pigeons

EDMONTON – It was a busy week for the Watchmen management who have been active in the free agent market looking to fill the gap left by McClain's suspension and to shore up the blue-line to solve chronic injury and absenteeism bugs that have plagued the squad since September.  In addition, the coaching staff has been under pressure to find lines that will help solve the team's offensive inconsistencies.  All of this activity is of course futile before an Albert's Family Restaurant Classic, as a 7:15 AM start time inevitably means attendance will be spotty. 

Nonetheless, the Watchmen were able to dress 11 skaters enough to implement two of the major managerial changes, namely moving Dino Jimi Vlahadamis and Cory F-Bomb Wilkinson to the wing.  Utility man Thomas Caramello Jacknisky dropped back to the point to complete the defense pairings.  Jacknisky wasted no time making his presence felt on a beautiful rush out of his own zone and then made the setup of the year to send in Wilkinson all on his own, who buried his first on what would be a four goal outing.  Wilkinson got his second goal on the very same shift as he intercepted a pass while fore-checking.  Wilkinson would complete the hat-trick to round out the period, but not before the Pigeons clawed their way back into the game by notching back-to-back goals near the midway point of the period.

The Screaming Pigeons were coming off of a 3-game winning streak going into Sunday's game and looked poised to give the Watchmen a battle as the second period opened with the score 3-2.  However, the Pigeons did not anticipate that the period would be owned by Russ Summer Simpson and Mike ‘Spare’ Starett who would each tally two goals and an assist in the frame.  Simpson not only parked a beautiful backhand into the peanut butter shelf, but made a presence back-checking breaking up a two-on-one single-handedly.  Despite the offensive outbreak by Simpson and Starett the Pigeons were able to pop in a rebound on a breakaway, but it was little consolation as the period finished 7-3 for the Watchmen.

Wilkinson would get his fourth marker for the Watchmen as the teams traded goals in the third period. Despite the Pigeons ultimately out-shooting the Watchmen the buzzer sounded with the Watchmen winning 8-4, pulling them into 5th place in the Division 1 standings.

Meanwhile Watchmen goaltender Tim Better-to-Look-Good-Than-to-Play-Good Weis, apparently jealous that Corwin Man-in-Black Nycholat was getting all the fashion accolades showed up sporting yet another set of goal pads.  The gear got its trial by fire facing 7-odd man rushes against a Pigeons team that likes to leave a man in the cherry tree.  While four goals did sneak past Weis it was good enough for the win, the Watchmen's second in as many game as they prepare to face the Ice Bears who are fresh off a big win over the Batmen this week knocking them out of first place.

Elsewhere throughout the division the McCowans laid the boots to Fubar 13-4, and the Force downed the Stingers 5-3.  As the season approaches the halfway mark Division 1 is proving to be surprisingly tight, and on any given night any team is beatable by anyone else. 

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Cory F-Bomb Wilkinson

2)      Russ Summer Simpson

3)      Mike ‘Spare’ Starrett

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 8 vs. Screaming Pigeons 4 (Win, 8-7-0)

 

4-December-2005 – Watchmen nearly clutch defeat from the grasp of victory

EDMONTON – After going 0-4 in the month of November, fears began to grow that the Watchmen had lost their Mojo – it was after all pretty clear that they’d lost their heart after doing little more than show up and go through the motions for an entire month.  Doubts appeared to be put to rest early when Chris Stop-Trying-So-Hard-Guys Girard scored on the first shift of the game, but these hopes were dashed though when the McCowans tied the game on a goal-mouth scramble.  However, only moments later Cam Running-Man Phillips exploded for a single-shift hat-track, scoring three goals in just 51 seconds.  Russ Misselbrook then drove home a low blast from the point before Phillips converted for the fourth time to put the Watchmen up 6-1 half-way through the first period.

With the game apparently well in hand, the Watchmen began to do what they do best – start taking risks in their own zone and at the opposing team’s blue line, thanks in part to Girard’s demotivational between periods speech. And, as is often the result, the McCowans capitalized; scoring a goal to finish the period and two more in the second.  After allowing the McCowans back into the game, the Watchmen settled down.  Despite having a few power play opportunities, including a 5 on 3 advantage, and eventually outshooting the Watchmen, the McCowans were unable to beat the Watchmen goaltender again.  Although 10 goals were scored in the first two periods, the third period was scoreless until the final seconds of he game when Darren Free-Agent Hockman scored into an empty McCowans net, a well-deserved finish only moments after being on the receiving end of a cheap shot (note to readers: it is not impressive, nor does it prove a whole lot to hit someone in a no-contact league.)  Cam Running-Man Phillips solidified his already impressive performance with 4 consecutive wins on the draw in the final minute of play with the McCowans goalie on the bench.

The McCowans, despite their struggles this season demonstrated once again that they are not a team to be taken lightly, as they showed a lot of grit and character to come back after a rocky start, and forced the Watchmen to barely hang on, despite an early five goal lead.

With the win, the Watchmen pull themselves back to .500 on the season, picking up a badly needed 2 points. The question remains as to whether or not the Watchmen have found their mojo, but the win did demonstrate a noticeable change in heart as the Watchmen did not panic as their formidable lead eroded away.  This dedication and team play extended beyond the dressing room as a notably mention goes out to Darby Wilkinson who subconsciously got ill in order to allow the F-Bomb to attend Saturday night’s game. The Watchmen next face the red-hot Screaming Pigeons who are on a three game winning streak knocking off the Batmen, the McCowans and the Force to finish November, so the Watchmen will have their work cut out for them at the Albert’s family restaurant classic Sunday morning.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Cam Running Man Phillips

2)      Darby Mrs. F-Bomb Wilkinson

3)      Tim Weis

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 7 vs. McCowans 4 (Win, 7-7-0)

 

28-November-2005 – Watchmen throttled

EDMONTON – “It’s about flippin’ time” Watchmen owner was quoted as saying.

It may have been a result of the years of taunts.

It could have been the relentless ridicule from opponents, fans and even teammates. 

It may have been the verbal thrashings at the hands of Watchmen ownership, or simply that Santa came early this year.

Or maybe it was when the WatchNET writers' association refused to defend the green pants even when taunted by a player in as comical uniforms as the Batmen.  Whatever the case, the Watchmen's primo prima donna, Honey-Garlic Nycholat decided enough was enough.

While the final motivating factor may forever remain a piece of ERHL folklore, when Nycholat reached into his hockey bag Sunday night what emerged was not his infamous 15 year-old pair of green pants, but a new sleek black Tackla set much to shock of all of the on-lookers in the room.  The long-awaited day had finally arrived, and the green machine era finally drew to a close as number 4 took to the ice finally looking like a full-fledged Watchman.

Oh yeah, and the Watchmen got the crap beat out of them again, but that's hardly news anymore.

What is news is that the Screaming Pigeons shocked division 1 Saturday night by notching their first two points since being promoted from division 2, by defeating none other than the first place Batmen by a score of 3-1, proving that almost anything is possible in this tight division this year... except perhaps a consistent team effort by the Watchmen.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Cam Running Man Phillips

2)      Tommy Dr. Nisky Jacknisky

3)      The artist formerly known as Green Machine Nycholat

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 3 vs. Stingers 8 (Loss, 6-7-0)

 

19-November-2005 – A good loss

EDMONTON – The Watchmen dropped their 3rd straight game this time to the Batmen on Saturday night.  The first place Batmen were fresh off an 11-1 drumming at the hands of the Stingers and looking to re-group.  The Batmen pressed hard early on resulting in several odd man rushes and combined some strong fore-checking  with the Watchmen’s inability to clear the puck from their own zone to create numerous good scoring chances in the early going.  The Batmen however, were able to beat the Watchmen goaltender only once when they turned around a failed clearing attempt and the buzzer sounded with a 1-0 lead for the Batmen.

Wilkinson tied the game up on a beautiful setup from Girard early in the second period in what was one of the nicest Watchmen goals in a while.  The ties was short lived however, as the Batmen regained their lead thanks in large part to the referee, who not only kept the clearing pass in the zone, but then proceeded to fall on the Watchmen forward taking him out of the play and setting up a Batmen 2-1 in front of the net.  While the refs are a part of the ice surface, this event was particularly frustrating given that it was the third blocked clearing pass in only 5 minutes by the zebras, all of which resulted in Batmen scoring opportunities, the last one resulting not only in a goal, but a shift in game momentum.  Buoyed by the goal, the Batmen scored again only moments later batting in a lose puck on the scramble to take a 3-1 lead.

Down but not out, the Watchmen took control of the third period and evened the shot count as they buzzed in the Batmen zone.  It was for the most part  a fruitless endeavour thought as the Batmen goalie was clearly up the challenge, making several impressive saves.  The Watchmen were able to narrow the gap to one when Cam Phillips popped in a scramble midway through the 3rd.  However that would be the last one the Batmen netminder would surrender this evening, and the Batmen would ice the victory with an empty net goal in the final minute of play.

Despite the frustrations of dropping their third straight game, tonight’s was a good game, and the Watchmen showed a lot of heart to hang in the game and battle back right to the end.  Kudos go out to the Batmen goaltender who shut the door on the Watchmen, but all in all it was the Watchmen’s first loss of the season where they can hold their heads high and know that if a bounce or two had gone one way or the other, the outcome could have been different.  This is a welcome change to the other 5 losses, where the Watchmen’s worst enemy has been themselves.

Nonetheless there are areas for improvements, notably the Watchmen offence is struggling to score at crucial points in the game to allow Mr. Moe Mentum to get on their bench.  Two breakaways and a 3-on-1 were all turned away in the early going of tonight’s game and forced the Watchmen to end up playing catch-up instead of defending a lead.  In addition, the Watchmen are still waiting for their goalie to steal them a game, combined with an on-going epidemic of failure to clear their own zone has resulted in no points in their last three outings.

The Watchmen are going to have to pull up their socks if they are going to stay competitive in this division.  While their record stands at .500, with the exception of one game against the Stingers, the Watchmen have only beaten teams below them in the standings and have to start settle down and get a few wins under their belt before the holiday break.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Tim Weis

2)      Cory F-Bomb Wilkinson

3)      Cam Running-Man Phillips

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 2 vs. Batmen 4 (Loss, 6-6-0)

 

16-November-2005 – Force roll over Watchmen, as ERHL throws the book at McClain

EDMONTON – It was a rough week for the Watchmen, who lost their biggest player, lost by the biggest margin of the season and lost a little pride after dropping their second game in a row.  The ERHL came down with its verdict Thursday night on the incident against the Fubar, handing out a remainder of season suspension to Watchmen forward Cliff McClain.  While the incident was pretty ugly the suspension seems rather harsh for a guy who has never been suspended before, and had only 2 minutes in penalties this season.  Nonetheless the book, and its appendices, footnotes and bibliography have tossed at Mr. McClain and the Watchmen and fans will be searching for a replacement forward to finish the season.

With the ripples of this news reverberating through the dressing room, the Watchmen hit the ice ready to avenge their 6-0 loss to the Force in their previous meeting.  Once again the Watchmen were unable to keep the Force’s explosive offence at bay, as the Force jumped out to an early lead in the first period and didn’t look back.  The Force headed into the second period with a 1-0 lead, but quickly blew it open to a 5-1 gap midway through the period as they converted on several 2 on 1’s and scrambles in front of the net.  The Watchmen were able to close the margin to 5-3 at one point, but the Force continued to capitialize on their odd man rushes, potting 4 goals in the third period for a 9-3 final.  The Watchmen have now dropped both games this season to the Force by 6 goal margins.  The only saving grace for the Watchmen this evening was all the gracious compliments the Force had about the WatchNET, and how badly they wish that they too had such enthusiastic game-to-game coverage... one day my friends, one day.

The Watchmen face another big test this week against the first place Batmen who the Watchmen will need to beat to halt their losing skid. 

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Chris Flying Frenchman Girard

2)      Sam the spare McKegney

3)      Tom Dr. Nisky Jacknisky

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 3 vs. Force 9 (Loss, 6-5-0)

 

6-November-2005 – O’ Barker where art thou?  Watchmen back-checking vanishes as they drop the November opener

EDMONTON – The Watchmen attempted to re-enact all 18 Shakespearean comedies (and several sonnets) whist trying to clear the puck from their own zone in what appeared to be a concerted effort to give up as many scoring opportunities as they could in a single game.  When this strategy didn’t work, the Watchmen resorted to giving up a numerous odd man rushes and breakaways and topped off with two 5 on 3 man disadvantages to eventually hand a victory to Fubar, the ERHL’s best dressed, but worst named franchise. 

The generosity began earlier as the Watchmen gave up a 4 on 1 in the very first shift of the game, and needless to say, found themselves down a goal only moments after the puck dropped.  The Watchmen were able to bounce back though, as Dr. Nisky Jacknisky finished off a Wilkinson setup and tied the game with 9 seconds remaining on the first period clock.

The Watchmen would rediscover their giving spirit though as the Fubar restored their lead on a 5 on 3 man advantage, and promptly took a two goal lead after converting on a short-handed breakaway.  While the Watchmen continued to struggle to clear the puck from their own zone, they did manage to bring the game to within a goal thanks to blast from Everett the temp.  However, this would be the last time the Watchmen offence was able to convert and despite turning away a breakaway and a pair of 2 on 1’s the Watchmen goaltender could not keep the Fubar offence at bay who scored again on their 2nd 5 on 3 power play early in the 3rd period.  Fubar would eventually add another empty-netter before the night was out.

Before the final buzzer could sound though things spiralled out of control on the ice, culminating in a full-house of fives over tens for Cliff Dombrova McClain as he responded in-kind after being lumberjacked across the chest.  A few more niceties were exchanged before the game ended to complete the total loss of control.

A few bright spots for the Watchmen were Jacknisky’s impressive penalty-killing forechecking, Nycholat’s 2-assist performance, and special mention needs to go out to the selfless play of Nathan Take-One-For-The-Team Deisman.  After his shot-blocking accolades earned him a 1st star nod against the Ice Bears, Deisman took it to another notch by diving in front of a Fubar shot, taking the puck squarely on the chin, and chunk of his face and a pint of blood with it. 

The Watchmen are likely to be without McClain for a while, but are looking forward to the return of Chris Part-Time Girard to the line-up to buoy Watchmen offence while they collectively search for their ability to back-check.

Meanwhile the strongest back-checker in Watchmen’s history Matt Yankee Barker appears to have settled into his new home south of the border.  While he lamented that “it ain’t like playin’ with the Watchmen”, stimulating pre-game conversations such as “yah, that bar is wick, man; guaranteed hot ass every time; let's go there after the game this time,” and “dude, I was so hammered when I smashed that jet ski into your dock” in the locker of his new team will surely arouse the young doctoral candidates’ mind; dashing Watchmen faithful hopes for a glorious return to the purple and white.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Tommy Dr. Nisky Jacknisky

2)      Corwin Honey-Garlic Nycholat

3)      Tim Ottawa Weis

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 2 vs. Fubar 5 (Win, 6-4-0)

 

31-October-2005 – Notes from around the league

EDMONTON – As the season approaches the 1/3 mark it is time for the WatchNET staff to report on random going’s on around the ERHL.

Watchmen will finish 2005 with one more game than rest of division

In a bizarre twist, the Watchmen - who were hoping to have a light schedule early on as they were missing their regular goaltender for much of the fall - will end up being the only team to have played one more game than all of the other teams in the division.  That apparently is the price to be paid for harassing the league over schedules prior to the season. Hopefully this will be rectified early in the New Year. 

McCowans down 1st place Batmen

After winning Division II last year, the McCowans (previously the Northern Stars) have had a disappointing start to the season notching only 3 points in their first 6 games.  However, a quick scan of their roster reveals that absenteeism appears to be a major culprit in their early struggles.  The McCowans are never a team to be taken lightly, and they proved just who dangerous they can be by handing the 1st place Batmen their first loss of the season Saturday night with a 6-5 shoot-out victory.  The Batmen still get a point out of what becomes a three-point game by going into an extra frame, and remain on top of the table.

Bee Sharps off to a strong start

Meanwhile in Division VI, the Watchmen’s favourite ERHL team is off to a strong start with a 4-2-2 record tying them for third place in the division.  The Watchmen and the Sharps’ paths did cross this year as the league was trying to reschedule the 2nd Watchmen-McCowans tilt in mid-October.  The Sharps however were unwilling to give up their time slot, and the Watchmen were forced to find yet another replacement goaltender for the game.  Nonetheless, the Watchmen are still rooting for Sharps, whose inspirational webpage can claim direct responsibility for the Watchmen and Ice Bears’ cyber-presence.

Weis claims Ice Bears’ First 3-star selection

The Ice Bears’ fledgling webpage has added a new post-game 3-stars feature.  However, the Bears will have to wait at least one more week until they can claim their first #1 star as the inaugural honour was bestowed upon Watchmen goaltender Tim Worse-Attendance-Record-Than-Girard Weis after Saturday night’s 5-1 decision.  Meanwhile as certain WatchNET faithful lamented yet another borrowed idea, Preston the Kid piped up with the following words of wisdom: “Relax guys, it’s not like you invented webpages, or the internet… like Al Gore.”

Nycholat keeps fans guessing

Watchmen superstar Corwin Honey-Garlic Nycholat pledged prior to the season start-up he would be dawning a new pair of pants that would match the rest of the squad.  However, two months into the season the green-machine continues to hold out.  “Maybe he just thinks I’m kidding about how much I hate those pants” Watchmen owner, a shady character known only as the Lighthouse said in September.  Hope stills remains for Santa or Mrs. Honey-Garlic to spring for a new pair, as H-G appears too stubborn and/or cheap to do so on his own.

 

30-October-2005 – Watchmen score 5 unanswered goals to continue their 4 game winning streak

EDMONTON – The Watchmen had not lost a game since they were humbled by the Ice Bears in the Thanksgiving Classic, and hit the ice Saturday evening looking to continue that winning streak for Watchmen family night.  Unlike their first meeting, both squads had most of their regulars dressed this evening.  The game started a little early and the puck dropped without much of a warm-up and both teams waiting for a few players to hustle out of the dressing room.  In the confusion, Honey-Garlic Nycholat took the first shift on the wing with Wilkinson and Girard.  The line set the tone early as they buzzed for the first few minutes in the Ice Bears’ zone culminating in the Bears’ goaltender being force to make several solid saves, including one from Nycholat who was set-up in the slot.  After the game Wilkinson noted that Nycholat intentionally did not score for fear that management would continue to lean on him to move off of his beloved point.  Despite the early pressure, the Ice Bears drew first blood on same shift as they went up 1-0 on only their 2nd shot of the night.  When the puck crossed the goal-line, an eerie silence shrouded the Watchmen bench as the squad was left to wonder if their goaltender would have a repeat Swiss-cheese impersonation performance.  However, 16 seconds later Russ Summer Simpson set everyone’s mind at ease as he set up Mike Starrett on a two on one, and just like that the game was tied.  Before the period was out, Chris Part-Time Girard put the Watchmen up finishing off a pass from Nycholat on the point after a clean face-off win from Cory F-Bomb Wilkinson.

Despite being down 2-1, the Ice Bears continued to press and would end up out-shooting the Watchmen 34-33 but were unable to beat the Watchmen goaltender – thanks in part to a couple of posts.  Things got a little ugly in the 2nd period, and while the Ice Bears were able to keep their wits about them, Watchmen tempers began to flare and as a result the boys in purple would spend a good part of the 2nd and 3rd periods killing penalties.  While this did not stop them from looking to get sprung for odd-man rushes, it did mean that by and large they were forced to focus more on their defensive play, and ultimately cradle what would become a three-goal lead.  Penalty killing kudos go to Nathan Deisman and Shaun Poke-Check Mills, who repelled attack after attack, Deisman even making a butterfly save midway through the second period.  Nonetheless, when they weren’t short-handed the Watchmen built on their lead on goals from Girard and Vlahadamis and would close the second period up 4-1.  

Both teams traded chances in the 3rd frame, but to no avail until Luke VanWeiren was able to find a crack to slide home the game’s sixth and final goal with only a few moments remaining on the clock.  Despite the Watchmen’s effort to allow the Ice Bears back into the game through repeated trips to the sin bin, the final buzzer would sound with a 5-1 Watchmen victory.  Honorable mention goes out to Dr. Nisky who not only set the tone of the game with some cyber-space trash talk prior to the game, but also ended up with his second 2-assist night in a row, and to Cory Wilkinson who managed not to get credit for either of his 2-assist performance.  Perhaps it was the absence of his regular centreman Preston the Kid or perhaps it was the lunch that didn’t sit quite right but Cam Puking-Man Phillips was held off the board for only the 3rd time this season, as Summer Simpson edged closer to both of them for the Watchmen scoring lead two months into the season.  The Watchmen closed out October with a 4 and 2 record and next face off against the Fubar with whom they have a score to settle as they started the Watchmen’s autumn three-game losing skid.

The Watchmen management family-day advertising paid off as the ceremonial trip to the house of Don saw as many players as wives and kids, the latter who were entertained by Wilkinson with tales of Sponge-Bob Squarepants.  All in all a fine way to spend a Saturday evening, with a big win and good company.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Nathan Deisman

2)      Chris Part-Time Girard

3)      Shaun Poke-Check Mills

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 5 vs. Ice Bears 1 (Win, 6-3-0)

 

24-October-2005 – Watchmen rock Westmount, Johnny Cash rocks Garneau

EDMONTON – The Watchmen downed Div 1 newcomer the Screaming Pigeons Sunday night led once again by the offensive 1-2 punch of Cam Running Man Phillips and Preston the Kid Kulmatycki, both of who would finish the night with 2 goals and an assist each.  This despite yet another game of three Absent WithOut Call (AWOC) players, leaving the Watchmen unexpectedly short-staffed.  The decision to carry a 6th defenseman has now all but been finalized thanks to the AWOC frequency surpassing the 50% of games played margin.

Notwithstanding having only 2 lines and dropping Tom Utility-Man Jacknisky back from forward to play D, by and large the Watchmen controlled the play.  Cam Running Man Phillips opened the scoring as he patiently circled out from behind the net and pounded a wrist-shot home in the bottom right corner and the Watchmen were up 1-0 a little over a minute into the period.  With a little over a minute left in the period Preston the Kid converted a setup from Jacknisky and Phillips, and the Watchmen finished the frame up 2-0. The Screaming Pigeons bounced back though converting a 3 on 1 half-way through the 2nd period shortly after killing off a two man disadvantage, and the game’s momentum looked poised to change.  Once again Phillips stepped up to the plate to restore the two goal advantage, and less than a minute later Chris still looking for my first assist Girard tapped in his fifth goal of the season off a Wilkinson rebound, as the Watchmen slammed closed the brief window of opportunity that had been opened for the Pigeons.  Kulmatycki iced the cake on a “blast” from just inside the blueline that managed to find its way through the five-hole and into the back of the net, giving the Watchmen goaltender his first helper of the season.

The Screaming Pigeons did have their fair share of chances in the 2nd period and into the 3rd, but either found a sprawling Watchmen goaltender in the way, or a pair of stone hands, as they tapped 3 two-on-one’s wide of the net.  With five minutes left on the clock the Pigeons were finally able to score again, this time relying on Corwin waiting for Christmas Nycholat’s right foot to do the scoring as a centring pass tipped in behind the Watchmen tender.  Things got a little ugly as the game wore on and the Screaming Pigeons’ chances for a comeback faded.  After a handful of trips to the box for both squads the Watchmen walked away with their 3rd straight win, and looking to avenge their last loss as they face the Ice Bears in a rematch this Saturday night at K of C.   AWOC’s aside, the Watchmen will be without scoring sensation Preston the Kid, and will have to hope Phillips can continue his point rush without his partner in crime.

After having his appendix removed the morning of last year’s tragic loss to the Northern Stars, Phillips has been filling the net like he did in his final year in the minors when he won the Div IV scoring title with 80 points in 2002-03.  Cam leads the Watchmen in scoring this season with 7 goals and 8 assists in 7 games, and is the only Watchmen among the league’s top five point producers.  Phillips’ welcome outburst has prompted Watchmen management to contemplate booking appendectomies for all the forwards (and a handful of defensemen too).  Fortunately, Watchmen goaltending appears to have settled down and the lobotomy has been cancelled.

After the late Sunday game, the Southern contingent of the elite gold-star chicken-wing club retreated to the only establishment that would appear open – the Garneau.  A few heads turned as the crew apparently non-regulars waltzed into the dingy watering hole.  Undaunted, the Watchmen crew proceeded to expel the riff raff thanks in large part to the fact that Johnny Cash played extremely loudly on the jukebox apparently does not go well the sting of an inebriated headache.  Thanks for Mr. Cash and Mr. Nycholat for clearing the house.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Cam Running Man Phillips

2)      Preston the Kid Kulmatycki

3)      Tim It’s about time he stopped sucking Weis

 

Game Result: 

Watchmen 5 vs. Screaming Pigeons 2

(Win, 5-3-0)

 

17-October-2005 – Ghost writer steps up to report as Watchmen back over .500 after downing struggling McCowans

EDMONTON – Much the same as the battle between the Dallas Stars and the Edmonton Oilers have become the benchmark for modern day rivalries, the same can be said about the McCowans - Watchmen showdowns. With no love lost between these two teams in the last few years every game is a whirlwind of emotion. After a late change in the schedule (in football they call it icing the kicker, here it seems it was just fear) the Watchmen trotted to the sauna known as Westmount Arena fresh off a dashing victory against the Stingers on Thursday night. After such a dazzling display of team effort on Thursday night would the Watchmen slip back to their old ways?

With less than 4 hours till game time the Corporal found out he was short a goalie after an unfortunate incident involving the Young McClain Kid who nearly ended up with an amputated leg by a moving bus. Luckily he managed to walk away with minor injuries much to the shagrin of the bus driver. After exhausting several resources to find a replacement keeper on such short notice the boys in purple were looking down the barrel of a possible forfeit, ironically after rescheduling the game so that the McCowans could field a team. With a late call into the Powers-that-be, a replacement was found.

The puck was set to drop on another classic tilt between these storied franchises. The hot line consisting of The Kid, The Running Man, and Starship Trooper McClain was to start this one off. The game started out with the quick pace that was to be expected. With only two minutes having ticked off the clock the Watchmen “Spare” Jody Milne bulged the twine to set the tone early in this contest. The buzzing line of Milne, Wilkinson, and Jacknisky looked sharp as they were giving the McCowans fits due to the constant pressure being applied in the opposing end of the rink. As the period ended the momentum shifted back and forth. Wilkinson, potted a beauty at the 12 minute mark, as the crowd murmurs: “could this be Boy Wonder making his triumphant return with a newly reconstructed wrist or is it just the strong linemates management has put him with?” The only negative for the Boys in Purple was that every time they put up a tally to take the lead, the McCowans would battle back to tie the game. Both goalies were looking sharp thus far and at the end of the first it remained knotted at two.

While team play was the hallmark of recent Watchmen success, the only goals so far came from the same line so the Watchmen needed to spread around the scoring to really throw the McCowans off their game. But, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it… as the first shift of the second period Jody Milne busts down the wing and hammers the puck under the sprawling tender. Once again the McCowans find a way to come back and crush the little hearts of the Watchmen squad to draw even. Up till this game the disappearing act know as the Wilkinson Trio had been consistently held off the scoresheet, but tonight the fans were left to wonder “Where has all the offence gone from the rest of the team?” But before they could finish their thought… Bring in the UFO’s! here come McClain sporting his flashy new lid, and just like that its 4-3 at the end of the second. 

Autum is a lovely time of year; unless you are Summer Simpson, the leading scorer on the Watchmen so far this season has been known to fall victim to the winter blahs. And, up to this point in the game Summer has been held off the scoresheet… are the leaves changing? HA!  First shift into the third and Mr. Simpson decides to rectify the situation. Potting his first of the game after some beautiful work from the rest of the line, and Summer makes the score 5-3 just 30 seconds into the third. The fans are going wild. Ahhhh, three lines firing on all cylinders?! Watchout ERHL here comes the mighty Watchmen train. Before the game was completed the Watchmen had tallied another three goals to soothe the uproar coming in recent weeks from the likes of the Watchmen Faithful.

On another note, this reporter couldn’t help but notice the lack of brutality and cheapshots and was wondering if maybe this bunch of boys has finally grown up?  Could the winds of change be filling the sails to right the Watchmen Ship? Stay tuned folks we are just getting started.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Cory Bionic Arm Wilkinson

2)      Jody “Spare” Milne

3)      Cliff Starship Trooper McClain

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 8 vs. McCowans 5 (Win, 4-3-0)

 

13-October-2005 – Big performance in 2nd and 3rd period avoids massive management shake-up

EDMONTON – After a bumpy start the Watchmen settled down to take Thursday night’s tilt against the Stingers, bringing their season up to .500.  The Watchmen were on their heels early in the game as the impressive speed of the Stingers caught them off guard, and before they knew it they found themselves down 2-0 in the first five minutes of play.  Watchmen goaltending continued to look shaky as the first two sailed into the net untouched.  The Watchmen rallied on a blast from Phillips, only to watch the Stingers re-capture the two-goal lead, moments later and Weis’ future with the club was not looking good. 

Instead of panicking, the Watchmen settled down and slowly chipped away. Tom Utility Man Jacknisky decided to set the tone and show that his squad was not going to take any crap.  The Watchmen appeared buoyed by the fact that they killed off several penalties in a row, including a 2-man disadvantage early in the second period.  Lead by what would eventually be a 4 point night for Cam Running Man Phillips, the Watchmen battled their way back into the game, tying the game mid way through the 2nd period on a highlight reel goal from Russ Ball-and-Chain Simpson, who reached back and swatted in his own rebound.  Before the period was out McClain finished off a nice centring pass and suddenly the boys were up 4-3 and looking to hang on for their first win in a long while.

The Stingers were not about to roll over though, and did what they do best by pressing offensively early in the third.  But Weis appeared finally to have re-grouped as he turned aside a 2-on-1 midway through the period, the rebound was collected by the Watchmen who marched down the ice and scored to take a 2 goal lead.  Moments later Shaun Mills’ blast from the point was tipped home by Cliff McClain and instead of being a 4-4 game, the Watchmen now had a commanding 6-3 lead to protect. Mills’ second assist on the night puts him 4th in team scoring 20% of the way into the season.  When the clock expired and the Watchmen had their first win in October, and a huge monkey off their back.

The win is an important confidence boost for the team after dropping three straight games going into tonight and finding themselves in the basement of the standings alongside their opponents in last year’s final the McCowans.  The victory also quelled rumours about a massive management shake-up (or nervous breakdown), as the squad showed a lot of character and impressive overall team play to regroup against a formidable opponent.  The Watchmen will need to keep the momentum going as the face-off against the McCowans Sunday night. 

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Cam Running Man Phillips

2)      Tom Utility Man Jacknisky

3)      Cliff Cliffy McClain

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 6 vs. Stingers 3 (Win, 3-3-0)

 

9-October-2005 – Watchmen offence cannot compensate for poor goaltending as Watchmen drop third straight

EDMONTON – The Watchmen dominated the Ice Bears Saturday night, out-shooting them 42-26 as both sides were missing several regulars due to the Thanksgiving weekend.  But Ice Bears founder, CEO and star goaltender Chris Grant, put on a goaltending clinic keeping the Watchmen at bay.  Meanwhile in the other end, the Watchmen goaltender Weis let in 6 goals for the second consecutive game, leading to some questioning management’s decision to bring him back this year at all.

“First he holds out for the month of September, then he shows up fat, out of shape, in need of a haircut, and looking like he just doesn’t care,” a Watchmen player wishing to remain unnamed said after the game.  “I mean, it’s been like 6 months since he bought a new glove or new pads or something – I’m starting to wonder about his dedication to the team.”  Weis has indeed looked awful in his first two outings, while the Watchmen were shut out against the Force, the poor goaltending was easier to overlook, but last night’s performance was simply painful to watch – he’s clearly not seeing the puck.

On a positive the line of Kulmatycki, Phillips and Milne was impressive out of the gates as each member of the line scored a goal on each of their first 3 shifts. The Ice Bears battled back from a 3-1 deficit to eventually take a 5-3 lead.  The squads traded goals in the third and the buzzer sounded with the Watchmen on a three game losing streak, and the Ice Bears overtaking them in the standings having not lost in 3 games.

The Watchmen will need to turns things around as they face the very strong Stingers Thursday night.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Preston the Kid Kulmatycki

2)      Cam Running Man Phillips

3)      Jody Milne

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 4 vs. Ice Bears 6 (Loss, 2-3-0)

 

8-October-2005 – Ice Bears lawyers respond to allegations

EDMONTON – After receiving a verbal bashing in the WatchNET news, the Ice Bears writers guild, who have been slow to respond to the accusations on the “Bear Tracker” issued an official statement to Watchmen Management:

“gentlemen, gentlemen

…i'll keep this simple.

relax boys...”

Whether such a statement was meant to incite more anxiety or as a formal apology remains to be seen.  Either way the two sides duke it out in less than 9 hours at K of C arena.  Tickets are still available. 

 

7-October-2005 – Watchmen fall from 4th to 6th place without playing a game

EDMONTON – An ERHL divisional shake-up has seen the Batmen and the Screaming Pigeons added to the top division and Crunch move to division 2.  The Batmen and the Pigeons each posted impressive records in Div2 vaulting them into the Division 1 standings and pushing the Watchmen from fourth place to sixth.  The horrific effort put forth last week is suddenly all the more glaring as the boys in purple have suddenly fallen out of a playoff position (no, it’s never too early to think about the playoffs).  Hopefully the Watchmen can find their game buried under some turkey this weekend for the Thanksgiving classic that pits them against the Ice Bears.

 

6-October-2005 – Ghost writer outraged by icebears.ca

EDMONTON – SHAMEFUL! With the mighty Watchmen down on their overly inflated egos the Watchmen Castaways a.k.a The Ice Bears decided it was time to start their “OWN” website.  In addition to several copyright laws infringed upon, the launch happened without the blessing of the true overseer of ERHL hockey operations: The Lighthouse. Tsk!Tsk!

“Can’t even make their own f*!&%** site.  First they gut our farm team and now they steal our on-line material… these guys will pay!” was the war cry heard throughout the corporate offices of WatchCORP. Luckily retribution is just two sleeps away. Yes that’s right folks, the Saturday night tilt has now become the fight card. TSN analysts have dubbed this tilt as the Thunda From Down Unda. As much as that sounds like a bad case of Chilli Ass let me tell you the Boys in Purple will be all “Gassed Up” come Saturday.

Call it what you will, I call it a shot, a kick in the nuts, but this reporter has seen enough! Put your stick in his side let ‘em know you are there! 

Calling all Watchmen! Another dismal performance and you will all be going through the most humiliating experience of your lives when we read the rag known as icebears.ca on Sunday morning (well almost the most humiliating, Cory you in the closet with the dog and the peanut butter that was still the best!). Feel it boys, its time to declaw the cubs! Let it be known that the ghostwriter does not take it lightly when his reputable news source is dragged through the mud!

 

6-October-2005 – Ice Bears launch their own webpage into a midst of controversy

EDMONTON – Shockwaves have surged through the ERHL world upon the launch of an all too familiar looking website by the fledgling Ice Bears.  Years of using the U of A Explosions as a talent pool without offering enough long-term contracts has finally come back to haunt the Watchmen, as they watched their farm team suddenly dry up with the formation of the Ice Bears this season.  The I.B.’s, keen to make a presence for themselves in the league have jumped in with not only snazzy new jerseys, but by launching their very own webpage. 

At first the initiative was commended by Watchmen players and ownership, until closer inspection revealed a string of intellectual property issues.  Reaction has been fast and furious:  “We took these guys under our wing, showed them the ropes in the ERHL and this is how they repay us… by ripping off our Management Tree?”  Dana Coach Gray said in an exclusive WatchNET interview. “Some of these guys couldn’t even spell ERHL before we took them in.”  “I am shocked and chagrined. I’m mortified and stupefied” Preston the Kid said.

 “There’s enough academic nerds on that team to know plagiarizing someone else work is a big no-no” Honey-Garlic Nycholat was quoted as saying (himself an academic nerd), “but if you have to ‘borrow’ some ideas, you’ve got to at least be creative about it… they f#$*ing well took our wallpaper for Christ’s sake”.  “It’s flattering really, I know they look up to us like a child does to his father, or a Padawan to his Jedi Master” F-Bomb Wilkinson said “some say this [the webpage] is taking it a little too far, but I say that I’m just here to drop pearls of wisdom, and I can’t help who picks them up.” 

“I didn’t know the Ice Dogs had a webpage” Watchmen newcomer Luke vanWieren said “I wouldn’t have signed on with these has-beens if I’d known I could get equal publicity elsewhere.”

Lawsuits are pending.

“I’m just glad that I made their farm team” Watchmen goaltender, Tim Weis was quoted as saying, “the way the Watchmen are playing right now, I’m looking for options!”

 

2-October-2005 – Watchmen s#$% pajamas on way to bed

EDMONTON – The Watchmen found a way to outplay, outshoot and out skate their opponent on Friday night, yet manage to get outchanced about 10-1.  The Watchmen took to the ice anxious to shake off last week’s loss, and took control of the game early on.  However, it became evident that the strategy of shooting the puck wide from the slot was not going to yield many goals.  Switching tactics the Watchmen proceeded to hit the Force goaltender on the numbers with such accuracy to make Joe Montana proud.  Despite only conceding 21 shots to the Force, the Watchmen gave up eight 2 on 1’s and a couple of breakaways, and their goaltender Tim Weis, who was making his season debut was clearly not up the challenge as goal after unanswered goal sailed passed him leaving fans and sports writers wondering why management decided to bring him back at all.  The result a 6-0 loss, and the second in a row.  The Watchmen next face the Ice Bears who are fresh off a sound thrashing of the once mighty McCowans.  The Watchmen have a week to calm their nerves and find their game as they catch the Ice Bears on an upswing.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Matt Yankee Barker

2)      Marv Killer Blue

3)      Chris Marsh

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 0 vs. Force 6 (Loss, 2-2-0)

 

26-September-2005 – More ghost writing as the Watchmen drop their first game

EDMONTON –  It was a dark and stormy night……no wait  it was a midday classic. With an early draw the Watchmen headed to the rink shaking off the weekend’s pleasantries for their biggest test of the season thus far. The Watchmen, riding an impressive 2-0 start, faced off against Fubar at the storied KC Twin. In what was touted as match-up of the week, and the boys in purple had to be knowing they would be required to play the full 45 this time.

Still without their regular keeper, the Watchmen had called up young Cody McClain to fill the void left by the regular plug that fills the 4x6 hole in their end of the rink. The game started out on the wrong foot with regulars Nathan Deisman and Preston Kulmatycki noticeably absent in the dressing room.  When the puck dropped it was clear that this was to be the toughest match yet for the undefeated Watchmen squad. At about the 6 min mark both teams were showing the multiple (by multiple I mean four) fans that they would get their money’s worth. The boys from Fubar definitely  have learned to use the no red line rule, as they constantly stretched out the Watchmen defenders. The first goal was a prime example of this as the Watchmen fell victim to the trap set by the Fubar forwards who took a 1-0 lead. Still picking up their clothes from being undressed on the first goal of the night the Watchmen skated out the remainder of the period only down by one goal, largely in part to Young Cody who was peppered due to the lack of defensive responsibility shown by the entire Watchmen team.

The second period started like the first ended, with the Watchmen back on their heels watching the constant pressure being applied from the Fubar squad. Finally able to rattle the young keeper, Fubar potted two quick strikes in the second. Gut check time; down 3-0, the faces on the Watchmen bench were long and their efforts coming up very short. Not able to muster much of an attack, murmurs swirled around the bench. But the light at the end of the tunnel finally showed up, thanks to Dino Just for Fun Vlahadamis and Cam Phillips who each buldged the twine from behind the Fubar netminder (although Vlahadamis was not given credit for his efforts on the gamesheet). By the end of the period, the Watchmen had crawled back from the brink to pull within one.

A couple minutes into the third, the winds of change were blowing and the Watchmen had found new hope and looked poised to get back in this one. But once again the Fubar boys struck again taking back that ever-blowing wind. Looking like this was the end of the road Summer Simpson decided it was not our time to fold, striking back on the very next play. TOUCHE! Like pesky little flies, the mighty Watchmen would not go away. But there is always a bigger, badder fly swatter, tonight being swung by the Fubar squad. Just over a minute and a half since Simpson’s mighty strike, the Fubar boys had put two more past the young lad from St.Albert. Talk about a kick in the nuts. The Watchmen were definitely showing what poor defensive play will get you, how about a slap in the face!  With time winding down and the Watchmen faithful wondering how their boys could be pulling this crap again, Chris Greybeard Girard pulled out a trick from his bag, bringing his team back to within two. Needing some extra juice, now would be the time to pull out all the extras and go balls to the wall, we all know everyone dogged it throughout the game, the Watchmen decide to pull the only solid part of their game with a minute left. Pressure mounting in the offensive zone finally paid off as The Kid potted one with 31 seconds remaining. Down by one 31 sec left? Could this be the comeback we have been looking for? Gameplan…Gain the zone pull the tender get a freakin’ goal! Fubar wins the draw lobs the puck into the Watchmen zone, Nathan Deisman moves the puck up here goes Cody, extra skater (can you feel the excitement?) spirited puck movement  to try and open up some lanes, after a couple of opportunities the puck comes back to the point only seconds remain Nathan Deisman lines ‘er up…….. CLANG!!!!! Well that’s it folks time expires Watchmen lose.

They did it to themselves the Watchmen let their egos get to the before the puck even dropped. Reality check, I hope so. This was a bad defensive showing and hopefully with the return of Nycholat we can shore up some of these deficiencies. Maybe it’s time for a shake-up? Will the Watchmen be able to get a regular goalie back in the nets? Only time will tell as the Watchmen management has time to mull this one over. My two cents, The Watchmen have not looked overly impressive to start this campaign their record makes them look a lot better than they have been feeling. As summer winds down, I ask that Summer Simpson please don’t let fall get you down we need you to be an evergreen!

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Russ Summer Simpson

2)      Cam Running Man Phillips

3)      Shaun Mills

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 5 vs. Fubar 6 (Loss, 2-1-0)

 

22-September-2005 – Move over JK Rowling… WatchNET ghost writer strikes again!

EDMONTON – With a ‘W’ under their belts the mighty Watchmen took to the ice in the second game of their Championship season. Being undefeated at this point in the season has got to feel good………Oh wait we are just getting started. Returning to the lineup was Chris BabyFace Girard. Up to the press box was the Corporal after being handed a one game suspension. The Watchmen playing in one of the ERHL’s “MEDIOCRE” ice slots rubbed the sleep out of their eyes. Another night, Another game. Notable absences for this tilt were Cliff McClain and once again the mysterious Shaun Mills.

Both teams had barely rubbed the sleep out of their eyes when the Watchmen opened the scoring. The zip was definetly in these boys when the puck dropped. Within ten seconds Cam Phillips had been left all alone on the doorstep to pot his second of the season. The Crunch woke up and managed to bulge the twine a mere 33 sec. later. Ding. Ding. Was this going to be like the shootout at the KC Corral? Girard took exception to a Crunch forward using his/Comrie’s patented toe drag, and Chris Babyface quickly notched his first of the season. Heading onto the power play Jody Steady Eddy Milne made his contribution felt by putting the Watchmen up 3-1. The Watchmen were showing the hustle they lacked in the first game of the season. Maybe all those days off were spent getting pumped up instead of the usual route of Drinking Beer thinking , Man I have got to get in shape. With the midpoint in the period approaching Girard turned it up and decided to pot a couple of more turning the trick. By the end of the first period the Watchmen were looking to be in control of this one having jumped out to an early 5-2 lead.

Whether it was the quality ice time or the summer rust the game slowed its torrent pace considerably throughout the next period. With the red light almost burned out from the first period it only saw action twice more before the night was out. Summer Simpson potted his fourth of the season, a far cry from the hat trick that he produced just over a week earlier, ahhh it must be getting chilly outside as the seasoned, or is it seasonal, vet has come back to reality by producing only one goal but still contributing with a couple of helpers. With the final seconds ticking down in the second period of play the Crunch breathed a collective sigh that this period was over, but the Watchmen had other ideas. The speedy duo of Firefly Phillips and Dr. Nisky applied ample pressure to force a turnover in the neutral zone. Knowing it was time to go to work the dynamic duo buzzed the control tower in the waning seconds of the period only to be rewarded with the good Doctor popping one in much to the shagrin of the Crunch keeper. With only one man coming back to help the Crunch had turned their back on their tender who was left out to dry yet again on this night. The sunburn emanating from the back of his neck was in need of a little TLC.

The third period produced some ugly hockey as both teams looked like they were wanting to get home to their backdated issues of Penthouse Forum. Constant turnovers and lack of hustle throughout the final period made what promised to be a great game turn into a sleeper. Kudos to Chris Grant who bailed out the Watchmen faithful on a couple of occasions once again. Hopefully the return of Timmy Part Time Weis will bring the same solid tending that the boys in Purple have come to expect through the early parts of this season. On another note the Watchmen failed to have anyone ejected from this game therefore they should be skating with a full lineup in the Sunday Matinee.

 

22-September-2005 – Watchmen punish Crunch as the hat-tricks continue

WATERLOO, Ontario – The Watchmen welcomed the Crunch to the winter season with a 7-2 drumming Wednesday night.  The win gives them along with the Stingers, who downed 7 McCowan skaters that showed up Tuesday night, a perfect 2-0 record.

For the second game in a row a Watchmen winger netted a hat-trick, this time it came from Chris Greybeard Girard making his triumphant return to the ice after sitting out the season opener with a suspension carried over from last year’s final game.  Summer Simpson, who notched a hat-trick in the Watchmen’s previous tilt continued his offensive output tallying a pair of assists and a goal to stay on top of the Watchmen team scoring with 6 points in 2 games.  While Cam Running Man Phillips registered 4 points with a goal and 3 assists.

The Watchmen have missed star defenseman Shaun Mills, and are looking forward to his return to the line-up to round out the defensive core.  Meanwhile Chris Grant continues to post impressive numbers for the Watchmen with a save percentage of almost .930 fueling rumors that Weis’ agent has lost any bargaining power, and is currently begging the coaching staff to give him another crack at the lineup.  The begging doesn’t appear to be working though as Weis is listed as a healthy scratch for the tilt this weekend against Fubar (formerly the Timberwolves) who were the strongest team in the 2nd half of the season last year, and appear to have continued that momentum in 2005-06.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Chris Greybeard Girard

2)      Cam Running Man Phillips

3)      Russ Summer Simpson

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 7 vs. Crunch 2 (Win, 2-0-0)

 

19-September-2005 – Wilkinson out for Watchmen’s second tilt

WATERLOO, Ontario – The powers that be have handed down a single game suspension to the Watchmen’s all-time leading scorer Corporal Cory Wilkinson for allegedly being jumped in the season opener against the McCowans.  The McCowans fared worse however who will have 4 players sitting out their 2nd game, 3 of whom who were tossed in last week’s unpleasantries and another who has another 3 games to feel shame before he is let loose on the ERHL in a suspension carried over from last season’s finals.

Meanwhile the Watchmen are organizing their annual (season-pending) hockey pool draft after the game on the 25th against Fubar at Mr. Cherry’s fine establishment.

 

16-September-2005 – Ghost writer steps up to the plate

AMSTERDAM, Holland – After an initial poor showing, an anonymous replacement writer has answered the calls for proper post-game coverage and, while a little late, has given Watchmen fans and bookies alike a summary to enjoy…

EDMONTON –  After shaking off the rust from sitting on the couch watching live coverage of the World Poker Tour the Watchmen headed out on their quest to take back what was unceremoniously wrestled from them in the 2005 finals: that’s right folks the quest for the ERHL Championship.

After skating for nearly one and a half hours straight on Sunday night in the team’s one and only pre-season action, the Watchmen took to the ice in their season opener against the McCowans. Missing from the lineup on this fateful night were some Watchmen regulars, Chris Graybeard Girard sidelined by the mighty hand that rocks the ERHL cradle, still made an appearance to witness the Drama that only opening night will bring. Meanwhile Tim Jetsetter Weis was glued to his computer from over the pond waiting for the ERHL to get real time scoring. A notable no-show as well was Shaun Mills who decided that this was not his time to make an appearance after being a no-show for the second consecutive night.  Nathan Sleepyhead Deisman also went AWOL, bringing the total defensive showing to a whopping 3, despite the overwhelming pre-season opposition to carrying 6 D-men.

The stage was set the puck was ready to drop on another Watchmen season. The first period you could tell that the Watchmen were out of shape and out of sync. Playing very cautiously was what the boys in white had in mind. The McCowans boys definitely came to play (in the first period at least), nonetheless, outskated and outhustled the mighty Watchmen found a way thanks in large part to some rock solid goaltending. With the first goal of the Watchmen season coming from Cool Hand Luke VW tying the game at 1, the Watchmen started to wake up. Corporal Wilkinson decided enough was enough and potted the second Watchmen goal. Then the unthinkable came. Forgetting to check his calendar prior to the game Russ Summer Simpson opened up the floodgates. Rumblin’, Stumblin’ and Bumblin’ Mr. Simpson turned the trick before the night was finished.

Then the classiness of the McCowans, formerly the Northern Stars, raised its ugly head.  Even a name change couldn’t change the inner demons that haunt these young men. Being down and out the McCowans decided it was time to spice it up. Draped all over the spiritual leader of the Watchmen, the Assistant Captain of the McCowans figured it was better to use Cory as a punching bag to release some of the frustrations that had been mounting all game. Outcome: Samograd 5 mins. for fighting Wilkinson 5 mins. for taking it. A fight, hardly. Being dragged into this without being able to defend oneself, definitely.

As time rolled down the Watchmen realized that they must thank their lucky stars for the superb play of fill-in Chris Grant. Grant did nothing less than stand on his head. Constantly “trying” to get the puck out just doesn’t cut it. Thankfully the plug filling the four by six hole was Chris Grant. With time expiring the Watchmen figured it was time to go and lick their wounds with a W in hand. But ol’ McCowans spiritual leader Ed Patenaude had other ideas. Steam swirling from his ears he challenged the world and all he got was Dino Just for Fun Vlahadamis. Holding him at bay in quite a comical display of who is tougher Dino looked like he was holding a mad little puppy by the scruff of the neck. Holding his temper is not something Dino has been known for in the past but in this game Mr. Vlahadamis showed true poise and his years of knowledge were definitely a factor in him not receiving a suspension.

All in all a very spirited affair. Improvements will definitely have to be made as the season skates on. With this team who knows where the season will take them; but it better be a Winter Championship.

 

13-September-2005 – van Wieren bursts onto lineup as Watchmen down McCowans in season opener

ABUJA, Nigeria – The puck dropped on the Watchmen’s 5th season in the ERHL Monday night against their nemesis the McCowans (formerly the Northern Stars, formerly the McCowans). With the regular WatchNET reporters unable to attend the opener, staff was relying on replacement writers to file a game synopsis, but alas nothing short of utter disappointment arrived, leaving fans and puck bunnies adrift.

After piecing together rumours, allegations and loose pieces of information, it was determined that the Watchmen were able to come up with the big ‘W’ thanks in part to some outstanding goaltending by Chris Grant, a hat-trick from Russ Simpson a pair of assists from Preston the Kid, a goal and assist from Watchmen newcomer Luke van Wieren, and a goal and a game ejection for Watchmen assistant captain Corporal Cory Wilkinson. 

Meanwhile power forward Chris Girard is poised for a have a hell of a year by notching an assist while watching the game from the stands.

Fans and foes alike will have to hope for a much better performance from the replacement writers until the regular staff return to their posts.

Watchmen Three Stars

1)      Russ Summer Simpson

2)      Chris Ice Bear Grant

3)      Luke van Wieren

 

Game Result:  Watchmen 5 vs. McCowans 2 (Win, 1-0-0)

 

9-September-2005 – Lighthouse pulls the trigger on big-name signings in the off-season

ABUJA, Nigeria – Watchmen management has announced the starting roster for the franchise’s 5th anniversary season.  While the majority of the 04/05 winter line-up is returning to the purple and white, the Watchmen and their fans welcome two new faces to the ranks as the Watchmen’s owner – a shady character known only as “the Lighthouse” – was able to shore-up holes in both the offence and defence with free agent signings over the summer (at least one GM in Edmonton was busy attracting talent).

Gaps left by departing forwards Barker and Blue have been filled by the highly anticipated Luke van Wieren, and by moving Cliff Cliffy McClain back to the wing after spending the last season and a half on the point.   van Wieren brings youth and a cool last name to the aging scoring line as he will centre F-Bomb Wilkinson and Greybeard Girard.  McClain brings size to the speedy pair of Preston the Kid and Cam Running-Man Phillips, while rounding out the forward lines, Firecracker Jacknisky brings grit to the long-time line-mates Coach Gray and Summer Simpson.

As was widely speculated, Nathan Deisman was signed to a full-time contract after being a reliable spare last season, and will add his size and strength to an already intimidating defensive squad as he joins Mills, Misselbrook, Nycholat and Vlahadamis, who are all returning to the Watchmen blue line.

With the squad’s skaters all in place, the Watchmen management still have to quell rumours of unrest surrounding their goaltending situation, as long-time netminder Weis has notably been scratched from pre-season action as well as at least the squad’s first three games.  After a successful summer, winning both an ERHL and Sherwood Park summer championship backstopping the Watchmen and the Vipers, and after hearing about van Wieren’s alleged signing bonus, rumours are swirling that Weis is holding out.

In the past the Watchmen have depended on the services of reliable tenders’ Shoemaker and Grant.  However, both have joined the Watchmen’s divisional rivals the Ice Bears for the upcoming season.  While one of them is likely to fill in for the first little while, the pressure is mounting on the Lighthouse to reign in Weis’ ego and get a stable core moving into the autumn, as October points have proven to be invaluable in March.

The Lighthouse was reached for a rare comment on the goaltending issue:  “We have our sights set on the prom queen this year, and with the combination of experience and new blood I’ve signed this year, I expect, and will settle for no less.  I’m not going to let one head case ruin this squad’s chemistry; targets are a dime a dozen and he knows that… he’ll come crawling back.”

Once the goaltending issue is in hand, the Lighthouse will still have his work cut out of him recruiting a stable pool of spares, as most of the reliable farm team has now either been called up to the show, or joined Shoemaker and Grant on the Ice Bears.  This shortage is apparent right off the bat as Girard is sitting out the season opener as he finishes off a suspension handed down in the final game last Spring.

 

8-September-2005 – Watchmen season to begin with WatchNET staff on the road

AMSTERDAM, Holland – Coming off of a championship summer season the Watchmen return to the ice Monday night against their old rivals the McCowans (formerly the Northern Stars), who beat the Watchmen 3-2 in the 3rd and deciding game of last year’s divisional finals.  Both squads have been moved up to the ERHL Div1 after last year’s top division squads have all imploded or moved onto other leagues.

The Watchmen have only a single pre-season skate on the 11th of September, just one night before they return to the KofC twin ice pads (and of course Mr. Cherry’s abode next door) to shake of the summer rust.

The Watchmen will start both the pre-season and league play without the WatchNET regular staff covering the games as the WatchNET chief reporter is on assignments in Africa and Ontario.  Thanks to stiff penalties and nasty emails imposed by Watchmen management for tardy team coverage, the WatchNET will do its best to keep up to date thanks to the wonders of the Internet.  Fans can look forward to replacement reporters covering the games and the off-ice gossip until the regular staff resume their posts in October.

 

 

15-August-2005 – More Rumours Surround the Watchmen’s “resident problem child”

OLD STRATHCONA – Rumour mill: Nycholat decides to change agents.

Considering the luck that Lindros has had with his father as agent. Nycholat Sr. is rumoured to be negotiating for his son. Nycholat Sr.'s other clients have included Wally Buono (Coach of BC Lions), curler Ed Lukowich (when he was on his game), and the kid from the car commercial who says Zoom-Zoom.  "Yeah, I have had a mixed bag for clients. This diversity allows me to have my finger on the pulse of the enitre entertainment industry" Nycholat Sr. was quoted as saying.

Although the green machine is signed for the upcoming season. His agent has asked to renegotiate. "My son, I mean my client, had already decided he wanted to renegotiate his existing contract long before T.O. started making noise." stated Nycholat Sr. only adding to the existing rumours that the Green Machine will be handful at this years training camp. In their renegotiations the Nycholat's hope to obtain a years supply of honey-garlic wings in exchange for getting new hockey pants.

Time will tell how this unfolds.

In a related story. The paparazzi has been staking out the QE 2 highway trying to spot Russ "summer" Simpson. Reports have it that he also is causing some friction with this decision to wear pink colored pants during the team’s annual golf tournament.

Watchmen fans would like to hear what some of their other favorites are doing this summer to stay in game shape and get ready for the upcoming training camp...

 

11-August-2005 –The End Of An Era?

OLD STRATHCONA – ERHL fans, players and memorabilia collectors alike are abuzz with the fresh rumours that Calgary-born Watchmen blueliner Corwin Honey-Garlic Nycholat maybe retiring his signature green pants. “I am currently negotiating the purchase of new hockey pants”, Nycholat allegedly wrote in an unconfirmed memo to some members of his fan club.

The news comes only a day after the speculation of his possible move to the wing hit the press. Some think the pants leak may be an attempt to quiet some of the harsh criticism he got following the maybe-I-should-stay-on-the-wing scandal. The Watchmen's owner, a shadowy character known only as the Lighthouse blasted Nycholat earlier today: “I have to deliver the free agents to fill holes left by Blue and Barker. Nycholat should just shut up, come to camp in shape, play where we tell him to and make sure the water is cold.” While his language may have been a bit harsh - bordering on abusive - Watchmen management does have a short fuse these days as it is under the microscope to fill out the winter roster. With only 31 days remaining before the puck drops on opening night, the team needs to add some scoring because as Wilkinson put it: "Greybeard ain't getting any younger".

Regardless of management's tough-love policies, the speculation of the pending retirement of the green pants has taken the ERHL by storm.  Fans and pundits have been speculating the sudden change of heart after stubbornly hanging onto the eye-sores for this many years. Some say he has finally had enough pressure from his coaching staff, while another popular theory is that he is retiring the greens on a championship and an MVW season as he has nowhere else he can take them.  However, after witnessing the impressive display of witty and clever verbal attacks from opponents over the summer perhaps he just doesn't want to make himself an easy target any longer. Or is it simply a ploy to quell the aforementioned positional controversy?... only time will tell. Until the boys hit the ice again in September we can only keep our eyes on e-Bay.

“I'll believe it when I see it”, power-forward Cam Phillips replied when asked about switch, “but I think it's an idea whose time has come”. 

 

9-August-2005 – Rumors swirl about Nycholat staying on the wing

OLD STRATHCONA – After collecting the Summer 2005 MVW rumours have been circulating about Nycholat’s desire to remain on forward for the upcoming season.  Nycholat scored 7 and assisted on another 10 during the regular season playing mostly wing, and although he finished 2nd in league scoring in the playoffs he did so without scoring a goal. “He seems to have acquired a taste for the spotlight, and hanging out at the blue line just might not cut it any longer for him”, Watchmen power-forward Chris Girard was quoted as saying.

Player-coach Cory Wilkinson tired to play down the rumours when asked whether he was considering the move: “Yeah, I’ve heard him say it [staying on forward], but I thought he was just joking.  No one has approached me officially with anything just yet. I do know how personally Nycholat takes it when our goalie is always coming down on him when he gets danced around by attackers or gets caught pinching, and I know he takes that stuff home with him.  On top of that he's vowed to boycott the NHL, so he'll be without an outlet, and perhaps the extra skating might do him some good – you know, calm his nerves a little so he stops ordering Honey-Garlic wings after the games… but it's a tough call. I've got a lot of egos to massage on this squad - it's not easy running a rec hockey team...”  

The fact of the matter is that the Watchmen have very little room up front in the winter line-up regardless of Nycholat’s wishes, but coming off an MVW season, it is no surprise that management is reluctant to publicly address the star's future.  “There's still plenty of time before the season begins, I'm still trying to get rid of those damn green pants, and there will be plenty of time to sort out other details afterwards” Wilkinson said. However WatchNET staff have learned that Wilkinson is planning a golf retreat this weekend; perhaps to have a heart to heart with Nycholat to stem the tide of media enquiries. Maybe Wilkinson will also be giving him a few golf tips to help him take the Texas scramble title at the Watchmen wind-up next weekend thinking that if Nycholat wins he’ll be in such a good mood he’ll be more agreeable to the all but foregone conclusion that he’ll be a blueliner again this winter.  Nycholat could not be reached for comment.

 

2-August-2005 – Barker and Blue hang ‘em up

OLD STRATHCONA – The buzzer had barely finished sounding when player-coach Cory F-Bomb Wilkinson pounced on the jerseys from retiring legends Matt Barker and Marvin Blue, “and the away one!” he quipped. “What?! They are like my children, if I don’t keep a close eye on them they have a tendency to wander off”.  It was at this moment that it was apparent that not only were the Watchmen losing two team-mates and good friends, but their departure also leaves big gaps up front in the Watchmen line-up.  Fans and players are looking to Watchmen management to recruit some scoring hands if the Watchmen hope to maintain their current momentum.  The pressure is on the Watchmen GM to come through with the upcoming season just over a month away.

 

 

 

 

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.