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Watchmen 2006-07 Awards Announced

WatchCORP congratulates winners

25-April-2007

EDMONTON – The votes have been tallied and the Watchmen management is pleased to announce this year’s award winners:

Most Valuable Watchmen: Preston Kulmatycki

Don Cherry’s Award for Most Valuable Post-Game Performance: Cory Wilkinson

Purple Blood Award for Team Dedication: Tim Weis

Playoff MVW: Luke van Weiren

Chris Marsh Memorial for Most Points: Preston Kulmatycki (45 points)

George Mallia Memorial for Iron Man: Dino Vlahadamis and Tim Weis (29 out of 30 games)

Tony van Tol Memorial for Most Penalty Minutes: Dino Vlahadamis (48 minutes)

Ed Jean Memorial for Least PIM/Game: Russ Simpson (0.0 PIM/Game)

3-Stars Cup (as voted nightly by Don Cherry’s attendees): Preston Kulmatycki (61) Tim Weis (54) Chris Girard (37)

Congratulations to the winners.

 

Watchmen era ends with a whimper

Watchmen bow out in classic style

11-April-2007

EDMONTON – With both teams facing elimination Tuesday evening the stage was set for a classic match-up between the Ice Bears and the Watchmen. It was the Watchmen who got the early jump scoring 2 in the first period as the Girard-van Weiren-Wilkinson line connected twice in the same shift to put the Watchmen up 2-0. The lead would hold until midway through the 2nd period when a soft pass to the point resulted in a 3 on 1 and Quilty finished off a pass from Block to cut the lead in half.

With the season on the line and a tenuous 1 goal lead the Watchmen took 4 offensive zone penalties, allowing the Ice Bears to re-group and find their game. While the Ice Bears were unable to capitalize on any of the ensuing power plays the selfish penalties certainly relieved any momentum that they had been able to generate. The Watchmen would manage to hold on to their one goal lead until a streaking Joel Block snuck in behind the Watchmen defence and tied the game on a breakaway.

With the game looking to be destined to head to overtime it was a classic Watchmen failed clearing attempt that turned into a scoring opportunity for the Ice Bears, leaving the lone Watchmen back-checker little option but to take a penalty with just over 3 minutes left on the clock. The Ice Bears managed to whack in a rebound on a screen shot from the point to take their first lead of the game with just over 2 minutes left on the clock. While the Ice Bears would draw a penalty of their own their penalty kill proved more effective than the Watchmen potting a pair of empty netters sealing the game and the Watchmen’s season.

While it was perhaps a fitting end to the season that saw the squad struggle to make the post-season thanks in large part to an impressive March, it is nonetheless a bitter pill to swallow. If the passion demonstrated by Mrs. Wilkinson for the season could have worked its way to the Watchmen bench perhaps it would be a different ending to the story, but alas this is where the ink dries on this chapter.

After a down and up and down again season the Watchmen’s future appears uncertain. With long time veteran all-stars Wilkinson and Nycholat having announced their retirement it is clear that the squad has an uphill battle to rebuild in order to remain competitive in the ERHL’s top division next winter. Until then the Watchmen will be entering a summer squad in the hopes of reliving the 2001 and 2005 glory years. Thanks to all the players for another fun season – stay tuned for the announcement of a wind-up party… this year it just might happen.

Three Stars

1)      Joel Block (Ice Bears)

2)      Chris Grant (Ice Bears)

3)      Cory Wilkinson

 

Game Result: Ice Bears 5 vs. Watchmen 2 (Loss 0-2)

 

Watchmen bring B-game to playoffs

Boys opt for long road to the finals

8-April-2007

EDMONTON – The Watchmen’s seven game winning streak came to a screeching halt Saturday night at the hands of the Batmen. After struggling to nab the 5th playoff spot, the Watchmen appeared to take their winning ways for granted as they gingerly made their way on to the ice and waltzed through the warm-ups and attitude that translated into a lack-lustre beginning and an even worse finish in front of this year’s first sellout crowd.

Adding to the Watchmen misery this evening would be another referring debacle, but this would not be the reason for the evening’s loss, but rather just the icing on the cake for what would be a complete team collapse. There was little of note to be proud of on the Watchmen’s side, as the Batman took it to them all night.

Down but not out, the Watchmen will need re-group as they face off Tuesday night against the Ice Bears on an evening that will be then end of the season for one of these two squads. The winner of which will have to end the season of all of the remaining teams to earn their way back to the final. The upshot is that it could be a bonus 6 games tacked on to the regular season!

Can the Watchmen find their game and put together another impressive winning streak to get another shot at the elusive winter title? Only time will tell.

Three Stars

1)      Mark Wawrychuk (Batmen)

2)      Troy Bontus (Batmen)

3)      Nick Schwinghamer (Batmen)

 

Game Result: Batmen 7 vs. Watchmen 1 (Loss 0-1)

 

Watchmen finish season on a high

On a roll heading into playoffs, Watchmen expect a short bench when they arrive

1-April-2007

EDMONTON – With an 9-13-1 record in mid-February, the Watchmen management was dreaming up win-loss combinations that would be enough to sneak them into the sixth and final playoff spot – what a difference a month makes. A six game winning streak saw the Watchmen clinch fourth place heading into their final game of the season against the powerful Fubar who have clinched the division pennant and have owned the Watchmen this season beating in all four previous meetings.

While the game meant nothing for either team’s placement in the table, pride and a perfect record in March was on the line. The Watchmen drew first blood, when Kelly Wosnack – filling in for Luke van Weiren this evening – sniped a shot under the crossbar on the first shift of the game, and Rocky Eldridge swooped in to jam in the loose puck for good measure; a head’s up play as the he ended up getting credit for the goal. Don Kesslar gave the Watchmen a 2-0 lead only moments later when he hammered a shot according to an eye-witness “into the centre of the net”. The Fubar narrowed the lead on their own blast from the point only moments later reminding the Watchmen that in spite of the game being meaningless in the standings and a back-up tender in the pipes for the Fubar they are always a team to be reckoned with. The Watchmen would answer right back when Jeff MacLellan hammered a shot just inside the post to restore the two goal lead. Then with 1 second left on the clock Wilkinson feathered a pass onto the tape of a streaking Kelly Wosnack, who buried the puck to give the Watchmen a 4-1 lead heading into the second frame.

The squads would trade a pair of goals each in the second, and a singleton each in the third, and despite being ultimately outshot 45-26 the Watchmen had the 7-4 advantage when the final buzzer sounded. The win ices a perfect month of the Watchmen and ends the regular season on the best winning streak the squad has ever put together since its inception in 2001.

The seven game winning streak has surprised no one more than the Watchmen themselves, as three starters apparently assumed there would be no post-season this year for the Watchmen and made arrangements to be out of town for the first of the two-game elimination playoffs. The Watchmen management is therefore begging their only eligible spare Mike Walker and his agent to allow him to hit the ice Saturday night. Free tickets have been left at the gate for all family members who wish to attend.

Stay tuned this week for awards voting and playoff preview!

Three Stars

1)      Jeff MacLellan

2)      Jon Fuller

3)      Tim Weis

Three Cherry’s Stars

1)      Mike Walker

2)      Darby Wilkinson

3)      Will Ferrell

Game Result: Watchmen 7 vs. Fubar 4 (Win 16-13-1)

 

Jacknisky seals game and bet

Watchmen beat Pigeons in a sloppy performance

28-March-2007

EDMONTON – “…and 8” was uttered four times this Saturday evening as Cam Phillips notched 4 assists in a come from behind victory for the Watchmen. While the surging Watchmen had clinched a playoff berth, an additional 2 points would secure them 4th spot in the table as the Ice Bears and the Kings each dropped their respective games Saturday night. Screaming Pigeons however were prepared to play the role of spoiler this evening taking an early 2-0 lead over an over-confident Watchmen squad. Thanks to a management error the Watchmen were short a forward throwing the lines into disarray.

However, for the 150th time in the past 6 years, Girard would finish off a Wilkinson pass to revive the Watchmen. The bullet into the top shelf narrowed the lead to for less than a minute as the Pigeons regained the 2 goal margin when the Watchmen failed to clear their own zone for what seems like the 150th time this season. Dino Vlahadamis answered back pinching in from the point to swat home a centering pass, only to watch the Pigeons regain the lead on a 2-on-1 to finish the period up 4-2 on the Watchman.

Although they had come out flat footed in the first period, the Watchmen regained their composure in the second outscoring the Pigeons 3-1 in the period on goals by Eldridge, Phillips and Griffiths to send the game into the third period knotted at 5 goals a piece. In spite of their rally, the Watchmen had not crushed the Pigeons drive this evening, when a bizarre bounce from behind the net went off the Watchmen goaltender’s head, and was then baseball batted into the net to regain the lead. The seesaw affair continued in the other end when Wilkinson notched his 240th ERHL career goal bouncing the puck in off the Pigeon goaltender’s leg. The Pigeons and the Watchmen would trade another pair of goals before the end of the period, with Vlahadamis tallying his second of the night to send the game into overtime tied at seven, with the Pigeons out-shooting the Watchmen 44-32.

The five minute overtime would only last two shifts when Jacknisky pounced on a loose puck in the slot to give the Watchmen their first lead of the game, but the only one that mattered as the Watchmen found a way to extend their winning streak to six games, and to record their 15th win of the season. While it wasn’t the prettiest game, or the most defensively responsible game, the Watchmen did show poise to battle back time and again, and more importantly secured 4th spot in the standings as both the Ice Bears and the Kings dropped their respective games. A fact that was not lost on Jacknisky who’s overtime winner secured him the season-long bet with summertime team-mate and wintertime rival Mitch Flegel as the Ice Bears are no longer able to catch the Watchmen in the final standings.

The Watchmen’s six game winning streak is a testament to how the team pulled together in the final month of the season at a time when missing the playoffs two years in a row was starting to look like a distinct possibility. Nonetheless, the Watchmen also proved to themselves that in the midst of their winning streak they were still take poorly timed penalties, to shoot selfishly on odd man rushes and the uncanny ability to produce moments of complete defensive zone collapse. So, before the Watchmen pat themselves on the back too hard, they will have to tighten up their game when the playoffs kick off in early April. The Watchmen will get a taste of playoff hockey when they face off against this year’s pennant winner, the Fubar as both teams play their final regular season game Saturday night at K of C arenas.

Three Stars

1)      Cam Phillips

2)      Dino Vlahadamis

3)      Dr. Thomas Nisky Jacknisky

 

Game Result: Watchmen 8 vs. Screaming Pigeons 7 (Win 15-13-1)

 

Watchmen roll over listless Kings

Winning streak extended to five

24-March-2007

EDMONTON – The Kings have been this year’s most unpredictable team. With only 3 games left in the season, and a single point advantage on the streaking Watchmen, the Kings were only able to dress six regular skaters and no goalie. However, understanding that the winner of the game could very likely finish ahead of the loser in the final standings, they were not about to forfeit, and enlisted the help of just about anyone in the rink they could find. The delay in getting a goalie on the ice meant that the Watchmen started with a free goal and the Kings a delay of game penalty.

The Kings and friends put up an impressive fight, and even managed to outshoot the Watchmen this evening, but with half the team imported from a team that had just played a game, the game was pretty much over before it began. The Watchmen big shooters came to shine this evening with Chris Girard leading the way tallying five points, Preston Kulmatycki notching 4 while Wilkinson and Kesslar each tallied a goal and a couple of assists. Even Watchmen netminder Weis got in on the offence notching a pair of assists.

When the final buzzer sounded the Watchmen had leaped over the Kings in the standings with two game remaining for each squad. The Watchmen will need all four points in their remaining two games to solidify 4th position, but two of the four would mean that both the Ice Bears and the Kings would have to be perfect in their remaining games to push the Watchmen into either 5th or 6th. The Watchmen face off against the Screaming Pigeons Saturday night, and are excited to be expecting Jeff MacLellan back to the line-up after a 2 ½ month hiatus in the oil patch.

Three Stars

1)      Chris Girard

2)      Preston Kulmatycki

3)      Don Kesslar

 

Game Result: Watchmen 10 vs. Kings 4 (Win 14-13-1)

 

Walkers help Watchmen make it four in a row

Watchmen clinch playoff berth in second straight shut out

14-March-2007

EDMONTON – While the Screaming Pigeons have been eliminated from the playoffs for several weeks they played spoiler to the Green Power handing them a 5-4 loss this week leaving the Watchmen in need of only 1 win in their remaining four game to clinch a berth in the post-season. The Watchmen faced off against their old rivals the Ice Bears Tuesday night with the hopes of sealing the deal on the playoffs and not suffer a repeated fate of an early golf season two years in a row.

While the season series sat at 2-1 in favour of the Watchmen, the Ice Bears shut out the boys in purple in their previous meeting and so in addition to the playoffs, the Watchmen also knew their pride was on the line this evening. While both squads hit the ice missing several regular starters, the Watchmen GM had clearly made a better effort to pull players up from the minors as the Watchmen were only 1 player short of a full bench (and would have been full staffed if not for a no-notice/no-show winger).

Not only did the Watchmen spares fill out the roster with the necessary bodies, but the spares would lead the charge this evening thanks to a healthy brotherly rival. Mike Brothers Sports Walker burst in off the point and shoveled a puck through the five hole to break a 0-0 deadlock midway through the 2nd period. Not to be outdone, Dave Walker, playing his inaugural game with the white and purple drove a shot in from the top of the circles to make it a 2-0 lead only moments later. Not only did Mike collect an assist on his brother’s goal, but he apparently felt like he needed to re-establish the offensive pecking order in the family and he wired a slap-shot home from almost the exact same spot only moments later to give the Watchmen a 3-0 lead with less than 5 minutes to play in the period.

Not content to protect their lead, the Watchmen took several penalties, giving the Ice Bears the chance to claw their way back into the game. Unfortunately for them, Weis’ glove seemed just a little bigger tonight than usual as he turned away several good Ice Bears opportunities preserving the clean sheet heading into the final frame.

While the Ice Bears would ultimately (officially) outshoot the Watchmen 30-23, the Watchmen defensive core for the most part held the Ice Bears at bay, allowing only a handful of goal-scoring opportunities in the third. While the Ice Bears star tender Chris Grant shut the door in the final frame, the Bears were unable to sneak any pucks past the Watchmen tender this evening, and Weis was able to hold on for his second straight shut-out.

For the most part the match-up was the cleanest it had been since these two rivals started facing off, leaving most to conclude that the absence of Flegel from the Ice Bears roster removed the provoking element from the ice. However, this theory was laid to rest when an exchange of pleasantries and face-washes brought the game to a close, with a handful of Ice Bears with their panties in too much of a knot to boycott the hand shake afterwards.

With last night’s victory the Watchmen have clinched a playoff berth, and with three games remaining are also positioned to possibly jump the Kings and/or the Ice Bears. If the Watchmen are able to keep pace in their remaining 3 match-ups (which real dedicated players would surely make an effort to attend), with the teams they are chasing, they have the mathematic possibility of finishing as high as 4th as they will win a tie-break with either the Ice Bears or the Kings. For now, the Watchmen will take the hard-earned 2 points and focus on keeping the winning streak alive when they face off against the Kings on Saturday night.

Three Stars

1)      Mike Walker

2)      Tim Weis

3)      Dave Walker

 

Game Result: Watchmen 3 vs. Ice Bears 0 (Win 13-13-1)

 

Watchmen come alive when it matters

Weis shuts out Green Power in crucial game

5-March-2007

EDMONTON – With only five games remaining in the season the big question on everyone’s mind was: “Is the WatchNET going to start covering our hometown heroes again?” After over a month of silence the WatchNET has been sprung back into action after the Watchmen put together their third straight victory. The first, over the Batmen was a 7-5 victory, which the WatchNET wrote off as a fluke. The second, a 5-2 win over the Screaming Pigeons caught the attention of the editorial board’s staff, and a resounding 7-0 win over the Green Power this week was so impressive it forced the WatchNET staff into a position where they had no option but to return to their writing cubicles and get back to work.

Unfortunately, the reporters having been sitting on their ass for over a month have forgotten how to take game notes, and have little to report on beyond the fact that top to bottom the Watchmen played one of their best games of the season, and most importantly did it with the season on the line. The Green Power were chasing the Watchmen for the 6th and final playoff spot and Saturday’s game was a 4-pointer. The resounding win all but seals a playoff berth for the purple and white. While the Green Power are mathematically still alive, a misstep or two and/or a handful more points by the Watchmen and they will be eliminated. The win not only gives the Watchmen a strong chance of being in the post-season again, but also gives them a chance to jump either the Ice Bears or the Kings with a head-to-head against each of them before the end of the season. It was only a matter of time before the sucking came to an end.

Three Stars

1)      Russ Misselbrook

2)      Tim Weis

3)      Dino Vlahadamis

 

Game Result: Watchmen 7 vs. Green Power 0 (Win 12-13-1)

 

Deisman retires

#17 hangs ‘em up after 2 strong seasons

1-March-2007

EDMONTON – The Watchmen wish a fond farewell to a pillar on their defensive core for the past two season as Nathan Deisman announced his retirement from competitive hockey. The Watchmen are sad to see him go, but would like to thank Nathan for his effort on the ice for the past two seasons, and his prompt return of his team jerseys. His presence in front of the net was always a force and will be missed. Best of luck Nathan.

 

Watchmen double up Kings

Watchmen bring losing streak to an end

29-January-2007

EDMONTON – more to come (in a month… or not)

Three Stars

1)      Rocky Eldridge

2)      Kelly Wosnack

3)      Cory Wilkinson

 

Game Result: Watchmen 6 vs. Kings 3 (Win 9-11-1)

 

Grant shuts out Watchmen

Watchmen lose third straight

23-January-2007

EDMONTON – Blah, blah, blah – Happy Manchur?

Three Stars

1)      Chris Grant (Ice Bears)

2)      Doug Quilty (Ice Bears)

3)      Master Mitch Flegel (Ice Bears)

 

Game Result: Watchmen 0 vs. Ice Bears 2 (Loss 8-11-1)

 

Pigeons beat Watchmen

Watchmen implode on and off ice

13-January-2007

EDMONTON – Little can be said about the Watchmen’s performance Friday night. While there were moments of strength, once again failures to get the puck out of their own zone, retaliatory penalties and the inability to convert on power plays added up to the second loss in a row at the CAC for the Watchmen each of which could have gone in either way.

At the end of the day the Watchmen are in need of their goaltending to come up with one more big save when it matters which may tip the balance in such close games. At the same time the bickering on the bench needs to come to an abrupt end so that the boys can get back to winning or losing, but doing either as a team.

Three Stars

1)      Aaron Royce (Scr. Pigeons)

2)      Rocky Eldridge

3)      Randy Popik (Scr. Pigeons)

 

Game Result: Watchmen 3 vs. Screaming Pigeons 4 (Loss 8-10-1)

 

Weis’ glove wakes up a little late

Batmen take season series led with win

6-January-2007

EDMONTON – Splitting the first two match-ups of the season, the Watchmen and the Batmen faced off for the third time Thursday night.

Playing in his second game of his retirement comeback, Cory Wilkinson opened the scoring when he popped in a rebound off a shot from Cam Phillips. Giving the Watchmen a 1-0 lead, which despite several opportunities to increase, they would be forced to settle for going into the second period.

As is usually the case when these two teams met, the game was fast, clean and fairly low-scoring, and as the period wore on it looked more and more possible that the slim one-goal lead may hold up for the Watchmen. But with less than four minutes to go in the period, the Batmen capitalized on a turn-over 10 feet outside of the Watchmen blue-line, and hammered at shot from the top of the circles at the Watchmen net. A partially screened Weis only managed to get enough of the puck with his glove to make it painful to watch as it bounced and slid into the net behind him. Energized by their goal, the Batmen would finish off a 2-on-1 less than two minutes later to take the lead heading into the third.

The Watchmen had several opportunities to tie the game back up they couldn’t seem to pull the trigger. While the Watchmen tender’s glove snagged a few pucks in the third, the one that got through would end up being costly as the Batmen goaltender would not relent in the opposite end of the rink. The Batmen would add two empty-net goals to seal the Watchmen fate.

While the game could have gone either way, the Watchmen are going to find a need to manufacture some victories as the season quickly approaches the playoffs. Still struggling to stay above .500 a post-season berth for the Watchmen is by no means guaranteed.

Three Stars

1)      Nick Schwinghamer (Batmen)

2)      Eric Kebernik (Batmen)

3)      Tim Weis

 

Game Result: Watchmen 1 vs. Batmen 4 (Loss 8-9-1)

 

#16 comes out of retirement

Boston Royals blow a gasket in loss to Watchmen

31-December-2006

EDMONTON – 2006 will go down in Watchmen lore as a tough one. The squad didn’t make the winter playoffs for the first time in franchise history, and were bounced from the playoffs in the first round in the summer. On top of that team founder Cory Wilkinson announced his retirement in mid-September after being diagnosed with a recurring hip injury. And although the winter campaign hasn’t been a disaster, the squad continues to struggle to remain at .500 and in the middle of the divisional pack. But hope was rekindled Saturday night when #16 was unceremoniously lowered from the rafters and Wilkinson suited up once again with the boys to take on the Boston Royals juggernaut.

While the Royals have been dominant this season, the Watchmen jumped out to an early lead when Kulmatycki hammered home two shots on the same shift on beautiful setups by Deisman who was moved up to the wing for the game, and the Watchmen’s newest recruit Trent Thompson. The Royals would strike back to tie the game with back-to-back goals of their own, and the Watchmen who had blown an early lead against the Royals in their first meeting looked like they might be up to their old tricks. But Rocky Eldridge would restore the Watchmen lead on the very next shift going coast to coast and hammering home his 8th of the season before the period was out.

The Watchmen would blow it open in the 2nd period to take a 5-2 lead when Vlahadamis and Thompson both tallied goals in the first five minutes of the period. Frustrated by an unfamiliar deficit the Royals appeared to get a little edgy, but they would get a goal back beating the Watchmen tender through the five-hole on a 2-on-1 to make it a 5-3 game. However, when an icing call was waved off at the last minute the Royals’ blew a gasket. While the call was questionable, it resulted in an unmitigated tirade against the refs who justifiably handed out three unsportsmanlike penalties on the same play. Nycholat was the only Watchmen to capitalize on the ensuing 5-on-3 power play to give the Watchmen a 6-3 lead. In classic Watchmen style, they did also surrender two breakaways whilst on the power play, both of which were turned aside. With the puck lying 8 inches from the goal line, apparent x-ray assisted vision aided a Boston Royal to claim the puck - that was lying under the Watchmen goalie - was in fact in the net. When the referee, who was standing on the goal-line for the call politely corrected him, a second heaping of verbal diarrhea was heaped upon the officials. As one of the mental midgets was being escorted to the penalty box he took it upon himself to hit the referee from behind – the ultimate in classless/brainless maneuvers – earning him the 2006 lobotomized monkey of the year award, and an early shower that is likely to last for much of the remainder of the season.

The second temper tantrum resulted in a prolonged 5-on-3 advantage for the Watchmen as the Royals’ antics had earned them two majors on the same play. The Watchmen took advantage netting a goal to finish the second and start the final period. An 8-3 advantage appeared insurmountable, but when the Royals scored back-to-back goals to cut the lead to 3 with over 7 minutes remaining, the game suddenly looked like it wasn’t quite in the books just yet. Things got a little more exciting when the Watchmen took back-to-back penalties to find themselves down 5-on-3. But the Watchmen would kill the penalties off, and would even score short-handed on another penalty kill only moments later. The Royals got the last kick in potting a 6th goal in the dying seconds, but it was too little too late as the Watchmen offence, assisted by the Royals’ mouths had sealed the deal.

And as 2006 goes into the history books not as the Watchmen’s best, 2007 is already look up with Wilkinson back in the line-up and the Watchmen having just upset a top squad as they head into the new year.

Three Stars

1)      Preston Kulmatycki

2)      Nathan Deisman

3)      Rocky Eldridge

 

Game Result: Watchmen 9 vs. Boston Royals 6 (Win 8-8-1)

 

Fubar shut-out Watchmen

Weak first period sinks ship

25-December-2006

EDMONTON – Deisman, Eldridge and Nycholat; three of the Watchmen’s five regular defensemen along with forward Vecas Griffiths opted for early egg-nog over a tilt with the Fubar Saturday night. While the Watchmen were able to recruit a few spares it was to little avail as the Fubar exploded for 4 goals in the first period and a 5th early in the second to bury the Watchmen.

While the boys in purple fought hard ‘til the end of the game and ended up outshooting the Fubar, they were unable to beat the Fubar tender who recorded his second shut-out of the season. A few ugly altercations occurred as the game wore on, but in the end a fairly unremarkable performance for the Watchmen.

Three Stars

1)      Dwayne Melnychuk (Fubar)

2)      Brad Coutu (Fubar)

3)      Curtis Warwaruk (Fubar)

 

Game Result: Watchmen 0 vs. Fubar 5 (Loss 7-8-1)

 

Watchmen fire on all cylinders to top Green Power

First half of the season is in the books with a .500 record

17-December-2006

EDMONTON – Another late night game Saturday evening pitted the Watchmen against the Green Power. The Watchmen who have been struggling to stay .500 this season have had good luck against the Green Power thus far going 2-0 against them to date. But the Green Power were out to give the Watchmen a run for their money this evening hemming them into their zone as the Watchmen scrambled to get organized early on. The Green Power’s early attempts were repelled though, and the arrival of Watchmen’s sixth player – their loyal two fans – was enough to spur the offence into action as Girard opened the scoring from MacLellan and Kulmatycki. Green Power would draw even on a nicely tipped shot from the point on their second power play of the night courtesy of some advice that Girard had earlier offered to the officiating staff. But the Watchmen almost immediately retaliated when Nycholat set up Phillips on a 2 on 1 who made no mistake burying the puck give up the Watchmen up by one going into the second period.

But the Green Power tied the game early in the second period by burying a rebound after a failed clearing attempt was turned around at the Watchmen blue line. But the Watchmen regained the lead when Nycholat found a wide open Jeff MacLellan in the slot with the teams playing 4 on 4. MacLellan would tally another before the period was out again on a feed from Nycholat and the Watchmen were up by two heading into the final frame.

Both teams battled hard for third period; the Watchmen trying to ice the game and the Green Power trying to claw their way back into the game. At the halfway point of the period it was a blast from Eldridge that was assisted by Kulmatycki to find it’s way into the back of the net to take a commanding 3 goal lead. The lead was blown even further open when Griffiths slide a shot through the five-hole on a partial break only 40 seconds later. The Green Power would get one back with 90 seconds left when a failed clearing attempt resulted in a goal-mouth scramble. But the last minute comeback was thwarted by a couple of stops in the Watchmen zone and then put on ice when Jeff MacLellan went through two defencemen and the goalie to complete his hat-trick and notch his as well as Nycholat’s fourth point on the night.

The Watchmen have once again climbed back up to .500, but have two formidable foes in the Fubar and the Boston Royals, the top two teams in the league, before 2006 is put into the history books.

Three Stars

1)      Corwin Nycholat

2)      Jeff MacLellan

3)      Tim Weis

 

Game Result: Watchmen 7 vs. Green Power 3 (Win 7-7-1)

 

No last minute heroics this week

Watchmen drop third game to Kings this season

10-December-2006

EDMONTON – A tipped top from the point, a power play break away and a goal-mouth scramble all found their way into the back of the Watchmen net in the opening 10 minutes Saturday morning, and the Watchmen found themselves trailing 3-0 before they had even wiped the sleep from their eyes.

Licking their wounds going into the second frame the Watchmen settled down, no doubt in part due to the late arrival of veteran Corwin sleepy-head Nycholat, and of course the morale boost when 3 of the 4 Watchmen season ticket holders filled the bleachers.  Despite being outshot through two periods, Dino Vlahadamis got the Watchmen back into the game midway through the second period when he found the five-hole from the circles, and the Watchmen were within striking distance going into the final frame.

Another drive from the circles, this time from Dena Moravec slid through the Kings’ tender’s five hole and the Watchmen found themselves one goal away from tying the game. And before the period was out Kulmatycki would tip in the Watchmen’s third goal, but not before the Kings had whacked in a rebound for their fourth of the game. The Watchmen battled hard in the dying minutes, and even had a golden 5-on-3 power play opportunity, but in spite of some good opportunities were not able to tie the game before the final buzzer and the Kings would collect their 6th point off of the Watchmen this season.

With the loss the Watchmen fall back below .500 once again, having yet to get above 50/50 this season since the home opener. The Watchmen face-off against the Green Power at 11:00pm.

Three Stars

1)      Scott Dragon (Kings)

2)      Colin Amsbaugh (Kings)

3)      Preston Kulmatycki

 

Game Result: Watchmen 3 vs. Kings 4 (Win 6-7-1)

 

Watchmen make it a little too exciting over wounded Ice Bears

Last minute heroics required for second week in a row

2-December-2006

EDMONTON – The Watchmen faced off late Saturday night against the hottest team in division 1; the Ice Bears who were coming off a four game winning streak that saw them knock off the Fubar and the Boston Royals – the division’s top two teams – in the process. But the Ice Bears hit the ice Saturday night missing several veterans to injury, suspension and wardrobe malfunctions, and the Watchmen were the beneficiaries of the Ice Bears emaciated line-up.

While the Watchmen welcomed back Jeff MacLellan to the fold who drove all the way from Hinton for the game, they were also missing several veterans namely Dr. Nisky Jacknisky, Russ Punisher Misselbrook and Dino Vladar Vlahadamis whose absence incidentally leaves only Swiss cheese Weis and Preston the Kid in the running for 2005-06 the iron man award. Fortunately for the Watchmen, Kulmatycki not only showed up, but he showed up to play; notching the game’s first goal midway through the first period with helpers going to Chris Tailgate Girard and Keith Bullet Reade; a star recruit by Rocky French-Onion Eldridge. Vecas Griffiths would double the score unassisted when he buried a break-away shot through the five-hole just over a minute later. The Ice Bears’ offence that boasts two of the league’s top scorers proved that it is not to be taken lightly when they cut the lead in half on a power play in the final minute of first rounding out the period 2-1.

The second period was all Watchmen, as the Ice Bears’ short bench began to show, and the Watchmen’s defense, that was bolstered by spares Moran and Kesslar, who were called up this evening, kept the Ice Bears’ attacks at bay. The Watchmen blew it open when Girard and Kulmatycki each scored, and assisted on each other’s goal on the same shift, both of which were precipitated by a Nycholat shot from the point.

The 4-1 lead going into the final period looked awfully comfortable, but between 2nd and 3rd Weis ominously reminded the squad that the Ice Bears had rallied from the same deficit the last time these two teams faced off. The warning was not heeded however, as the Ice Bears tallied three straight goals to tie the game, the last two only 13 seconds apart in the final minute of the period. After a solid bout of swearing, the shell-shocked Watchmen managed to re-group, as Girard would earn his fourth point on the night, and his second hat-trick of assists in two games when he passed the puck up to Reade who tattooed, a Herculean shot into peanut butter shelf from just inside the blue-line with only 16 seconds remaining on the clock. The ringing of the cross-bar that had been grazed on the goal was still echoing in the arena when the final buzzer sounded and for the second week in a row, the Watchmen took away the two points in a game they deserved to win, but salvaged only in last-minute after laying an egg in the third period. While both wins were a little more dramatic than they needed to be the Watchmen will take the 4 points as they pull back to .500 on the season with 2 games remaining in the ’06 half of the ’06/’07 season.

You can expect to read the Ice Bears’ version of the story in about a month from now. Until then, the Watchmen will be back on the ice next week for the Albert’s Family Restaurant classic at 7:30 AM next Saturday versus the Kings… yes AM folks.

Three Stars

1)      Chris Girard

2)      Preston Kulmatycki

3)      Corwin Nycholat

 

Game Result: Watchmen 5 vs. Ice Bears 4 (Win 6-6-1)

 

Kulmatycki’s tip salvages November for Watchmen

Watchmen pay the price in narrow win

28-November-2006

EDMONTON – It wasn’t pretty but they all count.

In spite of the deep freeze that has settled in over the City of Champions (and also-rans), the Watchmen managed to suit up a full line-up thanks to some last minute additions to the line-up namely Paul Little Vecas Griffiths and Luke Lindros Moran. The Watchmen also welcomed Dean Moravec back to the line-up for his annual cameo appearance.

The game was about 25 minutes late getting underway, enabling Greybeard Girard to deliver and stirring speech about how to stem the sucking that has plagued the squad all month. The discourse seemed to work as the Watchmen took control of the game early on notching 7 shots on net before the Pigeons got their first; and 5 minutes into the game, with the teams squaring off 4 on 4 Nycholat opened the scoring on a blast from the point to notch his first goal of the campaign, assisted by Kulmatycki and Girard. Less than 3 minutes later, Kulmatycki would get Girard his second assist on the night when he hammered a slap-shot from the top of the circles into the top shelf on a semi-break.

Having controlled the play in the first period, the Watchmen slowly began to drift towards some old habits in the second, and struggled to strike the knock-out punch. However, they did a good job of parrying the opposing squads attacks and the period looked like it was going to end in attrition. But the Pigeons broke the Watchmen’s shut out bouncing a puck off of a skate and into the net to cut the lead in half with less than 3 minutes to go in the period. Dean Moravec would restore the two-goal cushion almost immediately when he popped in a Nycholat rebound and things were looking good for the Watchmen with the period ending 3-1 and a power play to start the final frame.

The Watchmen would neutralize their man advantage only 6 seconds into the third by taking a tripping penalty, and the Pigeons took advantage of the open ice to pot a low drive to the glove on a 2 on 1 to bring the game back within one. The goal reinvigorated the Pigeons who had been outshot 15-11 until this point, to record the games next 10 shots on net including the tying goal with 10 minutes left in the period and forcing a diving glove grab only moments later to keep the game knotted at 3. However, the Pigeon re-awakening was a little too intense for their own good as they got themselves into penalty trouble in the last 5 minutes of the game. The Pigeons sent 5 of their own guys into the sin bin, and while 2 of them were accompanied by coincidental penalties, the Watchmen found themselves the beneficiaries of a 5 on 3 man advantage to finish the game thanks to some sloppy and dangerous Pigeons play.

The Pigeons did their best to sneak a break-away out of the disadvantage, which on many nights may have worked, but this night. Instead it was picture perfect tip by Kulmatycki off a blast from Girard who was playing the point on the power play and had been fed a one-timer set up from Nycholat that would give the Watchmen the lead once again. The goal went in just as the first penalty expired, and so while the Watchmen had the lead again, the Pigeons had one last chance to take it away full strength.

The Pigeons pulled their tender for the final minute of play, but the Watchmen were able to repel the attack led by Vecas Griffiths, who displayed his sportsmanship on two occasions by refusing to put the puck in the empty net to run up the score. The Watchmen… a real class act.

The 4-3 win nets the Watchmen their first and last points in the month of November, but it came with a cost. Philips, Moran, Kulmatycki, Jacknisky and Deisman all left the game nursing injuries (two of which were at the hands of Rocky Eldridge who sniped two team-mates that were unfortunate enough to get in between the net and his shot), all of whom are expected back in the line-up when they face-off against the Ice Bears on Saturday. In spite of his attempts to injury his own players, honorable mention goes out to Eldridge for stepping up to his role on the point, and equally important for making the trek to the Garneau after a failed attempt to secure a table at BPs after the game.

Three Stars

1)      Corwin Nycholat

2)      Preston Kulmatycki

3)      Chris Girard

 

Game Result: Watchmen 4 vs. Scr. Pigeons 3 (Win 5-6-1)

 

Watchmen Lose Third Straight

Watchmen manufacture yet another way to lose

19-November-2006

EDMONTON – The Watchmen put together 2 solid periods against the Boston Royals before collapsing in the third to give up 4 goals and the game… and they picked up right where they left off Saturday night against the Batmen handing them two gift wrapped goals to start the game.

Despite being outshot 18-5 halfway through the 2nd period, the Watchmen were able to pull within one when one of the Watchmen’s 4 spares on the night popped in a rebound from Griffiths and Deisman. The goal buoyed the squad who rallied to bring the shot clock to a respectable balance but were unable to tie the game thanks in large part to some solid Batmen goaltending. The Batmen, who struggled early on in the season but have come on strong recently were not going to let the Watchmen off the hook that easily. The Watchmen’s favourite pastime of being their own worst enemy as they continually broke their own rhythm with repeated trips to the box combined with Batmen resilience impeded the Watchmen from climbing back into the game. Ironically however it was not the three 5-on-3 disadvantages that would sink their ship, rather they would kill all of these off successfully only to surrender 2 short-handed goals late in the second frame to finally relinquish the 2 points.

All in all it was a less than mediocre game for the Watchmen who have had a less than mediocre start to the season – there were flashes brilliance, which were ultimately eclipsed by The Watchmen are in desperate need of putting a string of wins together before the tailspin gets out of hand.

Three Stars

1)      Nick Schwinghamer (Batmen)

2)      Nash Klimosko (Batmen)

3)      Troy Bontus (Batmen)

 

Game Result: Watchmen 1 vs. Batmen 4 (Loss 4-6-1)

 

Watchmen Honour War Vets By Playing Dead in 3rd Period

WatchNET staff takes vow of silence until sucking comes to an end

11-November-2006

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Game Result: Watchmen 2 vs. Boston Royals 7 (Loss 4-5-1)

 

Watchmen Look to Rebound Against Tough Opponent

Family Day Announced for 5 pm start time

10-November-2006

EDMONTON – The Watchmen will try to repair what’s left of their tattered pride this weekend in front of a reported sold-out crowd. A 5pm start at K of C is reportedly drawing in the puck-bunnies from far and wide, and the box office is reporting that pre-game sales for the 2 for 1 price promotion for kids has been a big hit.

The question remains whether it will be enough to breathe some life into the Watchmen squad who were throttled last week by the Fubar. It will be a big test as the Watchmen face-off against none other than the undefeated Green Power, who went a perfect 5-0 in division 3 in which they began the year and have gone on to knock off the Kings, the Pigeons, Fubar and Green Power in order since getting promoted to division 1.

The Watchmen can only hope that some of the dedication that Nycholat, Weis and Jacknisky showed after last game when they retired to the Garneau until closing time will shine through on the ice Saturday evening. Otherwise they may be forced to head back to the Garneau to hear more of the children’s story entitled The serendipitous story of Nisky Jacknisky and his stupendous shaved satchel due out later this year.

 

Watchmen Management Issue Apology to Season Ticket Holders

Weis recovering from sunburn to back of neck

6-November-2006

EDMONTON – The Watchmen management would like to formally apologize for the debacle that took place on Saturday night against the Fubar. To Mr. P., and Mr. And Mrs. K. – our loyal season’s ticket holders – we know all too well how painful it must have been watching the boys have their asses handed to them on a plate by Fubar. Of course you know as well as us that the ERHL season would not have been complete without a total team meltdown, and it is just as well that they got it out of their system in November instead of the 2004/05 season when it occurred in Game 1 of the finals. Of course if it happens too many more times the boys will be unlikely to make it to the finals let alone the playoffs, but we are confident that the embarrassment of the loss will spur them on to bigger and better things to close out 2006.

When the Fubar scored 4 times in the opening half of the first period we started processing the refund cheques. While the boys showed some signs of life in the 2nd and 3rd it was clear that our goaltender had no designs on allowing the boys to get back into the game. When the Fubar tallied the final 2 goals in the last few minutes of the game the official decision was made to issue the refunds for the full ticket price will be sent out immediately. While we cannot cover the nausea medical bills or vomit stain dry cleaning expenses, we hope that the refund is sufficient to see you out again this Saturday when the Watchmen face off against the Boston Royals.

Sincerely,

Watchmen Management

Three Stars

1)      Brad Coutu (Fubar)

2)      Rob Jamieson (Fubar)

3)      Jason Makarus (Fubar)

 

Game Result: Watchmen 5 vs. Fubar 10 (Loss 4-4-1)

 

Return of Phillips Buoys Watchmen Over Green Power

Big win for Watchmen followed up by disappointing Cherry’s turn-out

28-October-2006

EDMONTON – The Watchmen took to the ice Saturday night with zero fans in the crowd, only one mysterious observer with a clipboard taking notes. While his identity would be revealed at the end of the game, had their been any fans they surely would have been wondering which Watchmen squad would show up this evening, the squad that shut-out the Batmen at the beginning of the month, or the squad that blew a 4-1 lead in the last fifteen minutes of play against the Ice Bears.

The Watchmen were without defenseman Corwin Yankee II Nycholat who fulfilled his water-boy duties having planned for his absence, and Nathan Explosion Deisman, who was officially scratched only an hour before the game. The Watchmen added Cory Viper Wosnack to the line-up for a second time this season, and were pleased to welcome Cam Gunner Phillips back into the ranks after almost a month off.

While the Watchmen gave up a scoring chance on their first shot against their tender was up to the task early on, and at the other end of the ice Phillips wasted no time making his presence felt by potting back-to-back goals at the 3-minute and 4-minute marks of the first period, both of which were set up by Girard. The Watchmen took a commanding lead midway through the period when Vlahadamis drew his second assist on the evening by bouncing a puck off the boards and onto the tape of a streaking Jeff MacLellan, who made no mistake burying the break-away after having perfected his move on Weis during the optional Friday morning skates.

Coming into this game the Green Power were tied for the top of the standings with one overtime loss, and had only dropped one regulation time decision which was to the Watchmen the first time these two teams squared off. The Watchmen appeared to be on the verge of sealing the deal on another Green Power defeat when the Watchmen went up 4-0 early in the second. While the Watchmen had a five-on-three advantage, Preston the Kid Kulmatycki decided to single-handedly take on all three of the Green Power defenders before he slipped in this sixth on the season.

The Watchmen continued to press but could not deliver the knock-out punch, and before you could say “Classic Watchmen Hockey” the Green Power was back in the game burying back to back goals midway through the second period to make it a 4-2 score going into the last period of play. Not about to give away the two points that moments ago looked inevitable the Watchmen tried desperately to notch the elusive 5th goal, but found only the post, the crossbar, and the Green Power tender standing tall. With three minutes left on the clock and a man in the box, the Watchmen surrendered the 3rd goal on the night and it was starting to look like the Watchmen might be headed back to the OT for the third game in a row.

However, the 5th goal would finally come when newcomer Vecas Griffiths finished off a Jacknisky rush to the net, allowing the Watchmen to enjoy a collective sigh of relief. Kulmatycki would add an empty netter with just one second left on the clock and the Watchmen found themselves over .500 for the first time this season.

After the game the apparent scout showed up in the Watchmen dressing room, recruiting players to be in an upcoming feature film. The movie, apparently a comedy about hockey will likely be graced by the likes of Simpson, Van Wieren and Phillips, all of who were handed picked for their “skating style”, leaving many of the Watchmen little choice but to enroll in power skating if they want to star in Hollywood’s next Edmonton-based project. The fame apparently rushed right to the heads of the Watchmen players, who were all apparently too cool to head to Don Cherry’s to watch Roli shut-out the Capitals, and for the first in memory the house of Don sat empty after a Watchmen game. Honorable mention goes to Vlahadamis and Weis who made a valiant, but ultimately failed attempt to marshal the troops across the street.

Three Stars

1)      Cam Phillips

2)      Chris Girard

3)      Preston Kulmatycki

Game Result: Watchmen 6 vs. Green Power 3 (Win 4-3-1)

 

Open Letter to Honey-Garlic Sr.

WatchNET editorial

27-October-2006

Dear Mr. Nycholat,

It has come to our attention that your son is considering leaving the Watchmen family in the fine province of Alberta at the end of the year to join the San Diego Maple Leafs (and some research lab).

Clearly the loss of Corwin to free agency is a tough blow to the Watchmen’s defensive core, but we hope that you understand the ramifications of allowing your son/client to move south of the border.

First off, your grandson, Matthew will spend his formative years in the United States. How will he ever play in the NHL growing up under 25 degree temperatures in the winter? Clearly Corwin was a big disappointment in the quest to get a Nycholat into the NHL, but there is still time to live vicariously through Matthew. However, in San Diego the poor little guy may be forced to take up surfing instead of learning to shoot a slap shot (an offence that may cause forfeiture of one’s Canadian citizenship).

Secondly, while Corwin’s taste in hockey teams is already suspect, a move to California may have him cheering for a team named after water fowl. Or worse, he may even forget about his country’s national sport altogether. The early warning signs are already showing: he’s missed 2 games already this season, and was even overheard to be talking about golf the other day.

And finally, and most importantly the WatchNET will not be covering Corwin’s weekly exploits in California. While he was a fan favorite here in the ERHL, we simply do not have the staff or the budget to keep up on his exploits in the United States. You remember Matt Barker? We didn’t think so. In fact, if you allow this move to take place we may be forced to cancel your subscription to the WatchNET altogether.

While the Watchmen management accepts its role in failing to keep Corwin from testing the free agent market, we are appealing to you, not just as his agent, but as his father. There is still time to stop this madness. The Watchmen, their legions of loyal fans, and of course Matthew’s hockey career are all counting on you to cancel this contract to San Diego, and keep Corwin and his ugly green gloves in Alberta, and with the Watchmen where he belongs.

Sincerely,

Watchmen Management

 

Watchmen Lose in Shoot-Out Despite Dominating Play

Watchmen rally in third to salvage a point

22-October-2006

EDMONTON – The Watchmen arrived at Westmount arena Sunday night for the first time with the team’s founder officially sidelined indefinitely from the team’s ranks. Upon announcing his retirement, Wilkinson handed over the GM reigns to goaltender Tim Garth Snow Weis, and the on-ice duties to Dana Guru Gray and Chris Greybeard Girard. Even under new management the Watchmen still maintained their knack for giving up the puck in their own zone handing the puck to Kings players twice in the first period both times resulting in goals. The Watchmen were able to tie the game at 1 before Kings potted their second goal and then cashed in a partial breakaway for a two goal lead by the end of the period.

In spite of the scoreboard the Watchmen had controlled much of the play in the first period and were continuing to do so into the second frame but were unable to beat a hot goaltender. The Kings however were able to do just the opposite when they took a 4-1 lead early on in the 2nd period when a harmless looking shot from the circles somehow found its way through the Watchmen goaltender. Frustrated by the numbers on the board, the Watchmen continued to slog away only to find the Kings’ tender up to the task time and time again. The Kings were able to generate their own fair share of chances when they found themselves on the power play, but were unable to put the final nail in the Watchmen coffin.

Having given up a 4-1 lead in their previous outing the Watchmen were buoyed by a goal from Jeff MacLellan only 34 seconds into the 3rd period. Sensing a crack in the Kings’ amour the Watchmen pounced, hammering away throughout the final frame, and denying the Kings in their own zone. Rocky Eldridge brought the Watchmen to within one when he blocked a point shot, beat the opposing defenseman to the loose puck and capped off a perfect deke with some first rate trash talk. The Watchmen were not done yet when Kulmatycki tipped in a shot from MacLellan and Eldridge popping in the line’s 4th goal of the game tying it up.

Both teams made an effort to take the game in regular time but were stymied in both ends. The game went to OT without deciding a winner, but the Kings potted their first two in shoot-outs and the Watchmen came up empty. While the Watchmen were able to salvage a point, they are not going to get away with putting themselves behind the 8-ball too often this season.

Three Stars

1)      Preston Kulmatycki

2)      Rocky Eldridge

3)      Jeff MacLellan

 

Game Result: Watchmen 4 vs. Kings 5 (Loss (SO) 3-3-1)

 

Watchmen Founder Retires

Recurring hip injury ends career of Watchmen’s all time leading scorer

18-October-2006

EDMONTON – Cory Wilkinson, Watchmen founder and all-time leader in goals, assists and games played officially announced his retirement today after weeks of medical treatment concluded that his lower-body injury that had forced him to the side-lines after only playing 2 games this season was much more than a groin pull. The news is a crushing blow to the team who he founded and led on the ice and to the restaurant next door. 

 

Watchmen Win in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Performance

Ice Bears rope-a-dope a point from the Watchmen

15-October-2006

EDMONTON – Saturday night saw the first match-up between the Ice Bears and the Watchmen, two teams who’s friendships off the ice do not seem to translate into a whole lot of merriment and cheer on the ice. The pre-game was cordial, as the Ice Bears went so far as showing a great deal of sportsmanship to offer up a couple of water bottles to the Watchmen after their water-boy let them down at the last minute. Fortunately the fine establishment that is K of C Arena has an emergency supply of water bottles for just such an occasion. But, the Ice Bears’ generosity was not done yet, when they lent one of their jerseys to the Watchmen goaltender as his was needed by one of the three alternates the Watchmen had in the line-up this evening. The Watchmen were down four regulars with the F-Bomb Wilkinson and the Shrine Phillips still in the IR and Jeff Torres MacLellan who was serving a one-game suspension was joined by healthy-scratch Corwin water-boy Nycholat on the sidelines. Fortunately the intangible spiritual lift and vocabulary broadening that Dr. Nisky Jacknisky brings to the dressing room was back in the to the line-up after missing last game.

After spending most of their last game in the box, the skate was on the other foot to start this game with the Watchmen being awarded 5 power plays in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Watchmen took advantage of an extra skater not only by Cory Viper Wosnack and Chris Tailgate Girad popping in goals at the 11- and 7-minute marks but also by dominating the play so badly that the shot clock read 10-1 nearing the end of the period. However, the plucky Ice Bears were not about to roll over and die as they would capitalize on their first man advantage when Ice Bear rookie sensation Lance Krebs who pound home his first of three on the night.

The Watchmen would score two more goals on special teams in the opening half of the second period. Kulmatycki, the recipients of a cross-check from behind after the Watchmen’s first goal would exact some revenge by shelving a short-handed backhand on a puck that came to him from van Wieren. Only moments later van Wieren would score his second of the season from Fingland and Deisman burying the Ice Bears… or maybe not.

Krebs would dig the Ice Bears out of their grave by capitalizing on another power play when he hammered a slap shot that seemed to go right through the Watchmen goaltender in the dying minutes of the second. Having dominated the first two periods the Watchmen seemed to run their own legs into the ground in the final frame and the rejuvenated Ice Bears attacked. The Ice Bears managed to keep themselves out of the box in the third and scored three goals in four minutes to turn a two-goal deficit into their first lead of the game. With only 5 minutes left on the clock the Watchmen could only ponder how they blew their formidable lead, and the ship they had been steering up until this point was sending out an SOS.

But all hope was not lost. With two and a half minutes remaining van Wieren would rise again to the task tipping in a bullet from point courtesy of Russ Iron Man Misselbrook as Derek the Chisel Fingland notched his second assist on the night. Despite some last minute penalties, including a brief 5-on-3 advantage for the Ice Bears, the Watchmen would hang on to force a shoot-out and both teams were left with a sense of frustration having blown leads, but at the same time both had managed battle back to salvage a point when things were looking bleak.

The Ice Bears would strike first in the shoot-out when Krebs made no mistake finishing off a nice deke that would be answered by a big save by the Bears’ tender in the other end and the Ice Bears looked poised to nab the extra point. But Watchmen goaltender Weis, who had been unable to make the big save in regulation time was able to shut the door against the remaining Ice Bear shooters, while in the other end Kulmatycki would even up the score and Wosnack would snipe the sudden-death shot to claim the extra point. While it was wasn’t pretty, the Watchmen will take the 2 points as they draw even on season once again as they prepare to face-off once again against the Kings this weekend.

Three Stars

1)      Lance Krebs (Ice Bears)

2)      Luke van Wieren

3)      Cory Wosnack

 

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

 

Kings Benefactor of Watchmen Implosion

Fans outraged at officiating “s#*t-show”

8-October-2006

EDMONTON – The opening ceremonies that saw #27 come down from the rafters and out of retirement and the surprise return to the line-up of Chris Marsh, the Watchmen’s 4th all-time leading scorer were quickly forgotten when 34 seconds into the game the Kings buried a 2-on-0 that was handed to them when the Watchmen failed to clear the puck from their own zone. The Watchmen, who are without Philips and Wilkinson for at least another month also had van Wieren and Jacknisky as healthy scratches this evening. In their places the Watchmen dressed Derek Fingland, Mike Walker and Chris Marsh, and it was the spares who made themselves noticed right away as Walker assisted on a wrap-around goal by Jeff MacLellan to tie the game less than a minute later.

With two goals in less than two minutes, the game looked like it was going to be a back and forth shoot-em-up, but it wasn’t long before the referees decided to make their presence known calling the first of what would eventually be 28 minor penalties on the night. This call would be the first of 9 that the Kings would receive, while little did the Watchmen know that they had 19 calls waiting in store for them. The teams would trade special teams goals before the period was out. First the Watchmen would take the lead with a short handed goal when a Nycholat shot from the point went off Marsh who was planted in front of the net. The lead would be erased only a couple of minutes later by a Kings power play tally that was also a tipped shot from the point. After fending off a period that was spent mostly in the box, the Watchmen would receive a additional tough break when MacLellan collided head-on with a King behind the net and was handed a hitting from behind penalty and a game ejection.

The Watchmen would miss MacLellan’s 5-on-3 penalty killing abilities as they found themselves down two men for the third time in the game early in the second period. Nonetheless the Kings were not able to cash in on this or any other power-play they got in the game although they would end up with five 5-on-3 advantages before the night was out. In spite of some mysterious calls, the Watchmen were their own worst enemy yet again this evening giving the refs a lot of opportunities to send them to the box to feel shame. And even with the frequent trips to the bin, the Watchmen had their chances to stay in the game, and it was even strength mistakes that would ultimately cost them. The Kings’ Donnan was the benefactor of two such defensive lapses and he made no mistake on either scoring early and late in the second period to put the Kings up 4-2.

A two goal deficit would be too much for the Watchmen to overcome from the penalty box and they were not able to generate many offensive opportunities to claw their was back into the game. The final nail in the coffin would come four minutes into the third period when the Kings’ Bishai and Donnan would combine for the fifth time that evening. The final two-thirds of the period would painfully tick away before the Watchmen retire to Don Cherry’s to lick their wounds, knowing full well another opportunity was thrown away by a collective mental break-down as they let festering spoonful of questionable officiating get the best of their tempers. Watchmen legend Marsh remarked that after a 3 year hiatus from the league “some things never change” while the Watchmen cheering section complained bitterly about the priced they’d paid for their mini-packs and were looking for a refund.

Three Stars

1)      Chris Donnan (Kings)

2)      Matt Bishai (Kings)

3)      Chris Marsh

 

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

 

Watchmen Shut Out Batmen

Solid top to bottom effort puts Watchmen back at .500

30-September-2006

EDMONTON – As eager as the Watchmen were to move on from their last game, the Batmen were equally anxious to get a win under their belt after starting the season with two straight losses. The pace was quick from the drop of the puck much to the delight of the sell-out crowd, who besides the Watchmen season ticket holders had come to cheer on the Batmen. The play was back and forth with both teams playing solid team defense limiting the number of shots on net to below 10 in total for most of the first period, with both goalies looking up to the task when they were tested. With less than four minutes left on the clock, it would be Luke why the hell was I stuck on defense all last year with scoring hands like these van Wieren who would break the deadlock when icing was called off of a Batmen clearing shot, the Watchmen tender played the puck up to Nathan check out my new pants Deisman who found van Wieren on the other side of the red line. Cradling the long pass van Wieren hammered a shot on net that fooled the Batmen goaltender and the Watchmen had drawn first blood. Spurred on by their legions of fans the Batmen were unphased, but were also unable to penetrate the Watchmen’s defenses. Their best scoring chance of the period was kicked away with only 6 seconds left on the clock leaving score 1-0 going into the second frame.

The second period was similar to the first with both teams battling hard but finding it difficult to penetrate the opposing teams’ defences. The quick pace of the game also saw a fair number of penalties being handed out on both sides as players periodically found themselves using their sticks when caught out of position. But the power play attacks were parried by the penalty kill units in both ends of ice. The Watchmen’s Chris Gunner Girard would put his team up by 2, five minutes into the period as he took a pass from Kulmatycki and MacLellan and popped in his own rebound on a play that began moments after the Batmen were turned away on a breakaway in the other end.

The first goal of the third period was likely to decide the fate of the game; would the Batmen get themselves back in it or would the Watchmen put it away? Despite a few good chances by the Batmen, the answer came six minutes into the period when Corwin Nycholat found an open Rocky Trigger-man Eldridge in the slot who made no mistake burying the puck with a quick release to the glove side. The Watchmen appeared to have furthered iced the game shortly afterwards when Jacknisky made a perfect tip into the bottom corner of the net. However not only was Jacknisky’s first goal of the season taken away but he was also sentenced to a trip to the sin bin for allegedly interfering with the goalie (an impressive feat for someone standing two feet from the paint). Nonetheless, with plenty of time left on the clock to make things interesting, the two minute minor became four after Dr. Nisky Jacknisky failed to explain the laws of physics to his judge and jury. And with that the Watchmen began a parade to the penalty box earning themselves a 5-on-3 disadvantage immediately afterwards Dr. Nisky’s sentence. Despite the opportunity handed to them the Batmen came up empty-handed. Down and out the Batmen let down their guard and the Watchmen mercilessly pounced popping in two more goals in the final minute of the game coming from Girard and Eldridge giving them each a pair on the night. While outshooting the Batmen 30-21, the Watchmen were the better team this evening but the 5-0 outcome did not fairly reflect a tighter battle on the ice.

An impressive overall team effort assisted Watchmen goaltender Tim Weis in recording his first shut-out in over a year. The defensive core was bolstered by the presence of Mike the Force Walker and led into battle by the physical presence the twin towers of Misselbrook and Vlahadamis. Special mention goes out to Deisman and Nycholat (who have finally both met the minimum dress code requirements) who not only played a tight game in their own end but also set up the game’s two most critical goals.

Having seen how well Nycholat and Deisman play, and more importantly how they look now that they are colour coordinated (more or less) the pressure is likely to mount on veteran Russ brother Amish Simpson to get on board and finally retire his blue pants. Confidential but trustworthy sources have leaked to the media that Simpson has been harbouring a pair of black pants at homes for several years now but refuses to bring them to the rink because he thinks they make him look fat.

The news this evening was not all good for the Watchmen however, who were already sitting their offensive and spiritual leader Wilkinson, also lost last year’s leading scorer Cam the Shrine Phillips who separated his shoulder after being hit from behind in the second period. Missing two veteran scorers, the Watchmen will face a big test next week when they face off against Division 1 newcomer the Kings who will be looking to rebound after suffering back-to-back losses to the Fubar and the Batmen.

Three Stars

1)      Tim still fuminWeis

2)      Nathan new look Deisman

3)      Corwin Nycholat

 

Game Result: Watchmen 5 vs. Batmen 0 (Win 2-2-0)

 

Watchmen Score 6 Times, Concede 5; The Score Sheet Says Otherwise

Great game spoiled

27-September-2006

EDMONTON – Tuesday night’s hard fought battle between the Fubar and the Watchmen was ruined by two disallowed Watchmen goals and a phantom call awarding the Fubar a goal with the puck still in the glove of the Watchmen tender.

Fubar proved that they are the team to beat this year with a solid effort from top to bottom. In the other end the Watchmen stepped up their game and played with the league’s first place team for most of the night only to have the game snatched away in the last 10 minutes of play. It was a great game otherwise and the fiasco that was the third period unfortunately overshadowed both teams’ solid performances.

The bad news piled up for the Watchmen who not only lost the game, but also lost their player-coach Wilkinson who has been put on the IR to nurse a lower body injury that he tried to play through but has decided it needs to be rested. The Watchmen hope to put tonight’s debacle behind them when they face off against the Batmen this weekend.

While the result gave the Watchmen little to cheer about, platinum chicken wings of honour were bestowed upon Jacknisky, Nycholat and Weis for being the only members of the squad to commiserate at the haute culture establishment that is “the Garneau” after the game.

Three Stars

1)      Danny Woo (Fubar)

2)      Derek Graham (Fubar)

3)      Jeff MacLellan

 

Game Result: Watchmen 4 vs. Fubar 6 (Loss 1-2-0)

 

Comedy Of Errors

Watchmen let on get away

24-September-2006

EDMONTON – The Force did their best to hand Saturday night’s game to the Watchmen, but the Watchmen managed to find a way to hand it right back. The Force were only able to dress two lines and three defensemen, and the full line-up on the other bench quickly took control of the game registering 6 shots before the Force even got the puck into the Watchmen zone. However, when they did they finally break in they made no mistake as Don Laurin found an unmarked Bryan Lewis in the slot to take a 1-0 lead. The Watchmen would continue to press the Force but were turned aside time and again by Force goaltender Rob Marchiel, and with 4 minutes left to go in the period Laurin would tally the second goal for the Force on a shot on the ice that had no business going right through the Watchmen goaltender who was clearly caught flat-footed.

Frustrated after tallying 16 shots in the first period and conceding only 8, but finding themselves down 2-0 things did not get any better in the second period. The Watchmen continue to press furiously, but could not solve the Force goalkeeper. The Force squad was clearly tired, but played the under-manned rec hockey tactic to perfection – defence first, hope your goalie is hot, ice the puck when you can and capitalize on all your chances. The Watchmen who grew increasingly frustrated by their inability to score despite dominating the game began forcing offensive plays from every corner of the ice including their own zone and would eventually turn the puck over three times in their own zone in the last five minutes of the period to give to 3 breaks, 2 of which found their way into the back of the net and the Watchmen could not believe that they were down 4-0. Kulmatycki finally broke Marchiel’s magic field with a shot from the slot giving the Watchmen some hope going into the third period.

Despite some of the worst goaltending the city of Edmonton has seen since the retirement of Allan Bester, the Watchmen could have still won this game, but somehow found way after way of not being able to score. The Watchmen would eventually tally 47 shots on net, but it wasn’t until there was 3 minutes left on the clock did Rocky Eldridge make it a two goal game, and Girard would tap in his first of the season with 5 seconds left on the clock to make the score look respectable.

Full marks to Rob Marchiel who stood tall against the barrage, but when the final buzzer sounded it was hard for the Watchmen not to believe that they let one get away. Fortunately the Watchmen have only a few days to lick their wounds before hitting the ice again this Tuesday against last year’s pennant winner the Fubar who laid an 11-4 thrashing on the Force in their opening game.

Three Stars

1)      Rob Marchiel (Force)

2)      Bryan Lewis (Force)

3)      Moe Teliani (Force)

 

Game Result: Watchmen 3 vs. Force 4 (Loss 1-1-0)

 

Vlahadamis and Manchur Lead the League

Grit pays off for Watchmen veteran and Ice Bear plug

22-September-2006

OLD STRATHCONA – With the first week in the books the Watchmen, and their spin-off squad the Ice Bears are both off to perfect starts, led by Watchmen veteran Dino Vlahadamis and former Watchmen and now poker-player extraordinaire Travis Manchur. Manchur made his ERHL debut with the 2005 Watchmen summer squad helping the squad earn its second summer title, and then along with Mitch Flegel and J.P. Glaves who were also part of the summer squad formed the core of the fledgling Ice Bears core in its debut 2005-06 season. Glaves who re-joined the Watchmen summer team in 2006 appears to have taken some of the tricks he learned whilst with the purple and white by getting tossed from his first game back with IB’s.

Vlahadamis’ scoring burst has left the Watchmen management with a conundrum on their hands as he had been expected to play defence this season. Vlahadamis, a versatile utility-man stepped into Dana Gray’s spot centering Russ Simpson and Tom Jacknisky, a line that tallied three of Watchmen’s four goals in their opening win. Gray is again a healthy scratch for Saturday night’s game against the Force, and if Vlahadamis continues his offensive prowess some may begin to question the management’s choice of line-up. However, looking around the squad there is not much you would want to tinker with. Last year’s scoring leader Cam Phillips has been paired up with Rocky Eldridge, a natural shooter who lit the it up in the summer before his injury. They are centred by the hard-working Luke van Wieren who’s ability to win draws and dig in the corner compliments the winger tandem nicely. Meanwhile Preston Kulmatycki’s speed and hard-nosed play seems like a natural fit between long-time wing-mates Girard and Wilkinson.

At the end of the day the Watchmen are 1 and 0 and with the first win in the books the fans will have to give it a few more games to get used to the new line-up before any shake-up makes much sense.

 

Vlahadamis Lifts the Watchmen Over Green’s in Season Opener

Watchmen almost let one get away

21-September-2006

EDMONTON – The puck dropped last night in the season opener for the Watchmen who faced off against divisional newcomer Green Power. The Watchmen dressed a full line-up by adding Mike Turncoat Walker to the line-up after the Force let him go on waivers to sit in for Dana I’d rather watch the Oilers’ farm team play preseason Gray. The Watchmen also welcomed Rocky Eldridge back to the line-up who after 2 surgeries and 10 weeks in an arm cast was so excited to get on the ice rushed to the rink without his helmet. Gray’s absence at centre was filled by Dino Vlahadamis who stepped up from his 2006-07 assignment on the point; a move that would pay big dividends before the night was out.

The Green’s got the early jump on the Watchmen registering the first 5 shots of the night but were kept off of the scoreboard by Watchmen goaltender Weis who despite missing the entire pre-season was looking sharp off the mark (and he was playing ok too). The Watchmen got on the scoreboard first though as Russ Simpson batted in the Watchmen’s first shot on net a setup from Jacknisky and Vlahadamis. This line would combine again for goal number two early in the second period when Vlahadamis popped in a shot from a sharp angle beside the net giving the Watchmen a 2-0 lead. Green Power would respond though midway through the period tallying back-to-back goals tying the game at 2, robbing the Watchmen of the lead, the momentum and the cheer on the bench.

But the Watchmen regained their composure and the lead with back-to-back tallies. First from Kulmatycki who chipped a shot into the top-shelf on the short-side on a pass from Wilkinson and then Vlahadamis would round out his 3 point night when he pounded a screen shot along the ice into the bottom corner from the slot. Green Power would not relent however, and despite tallying 38 shots were only able to find the back of the net once more and the Watchmen would put their first game of the season in the win column.

While some saw a knee-on-knee attempt with 8 seconds left, others suggested it was a cheap body check, but either way a Green Power player displayed an incredible lack of sportsmanship and class taking an unprovoked run at an unsuspecting Watchman in the dying seconds of the game in a non-contact league. It does not prove much to hit someone who is not expecting it in a non-hitting league beyond putting your name in the running for lobotomized monkey of the year, but nonetheless this is what happened in the dying seconds of the game and not only caused a brouhaha but also likely foreshadowed ugliness the next time these two squads meet up. All in the all the Watchmen looked pretty good for their first game back and for the most part managed to control their tempers despite playing a fairly dirty squad. The Watchmen face-off next week against the Force.

Three Stars

1)      Dino lean, mean scoring machine Vlahadamis

2)      Tim Weis

3)      Tommy Jacknisky

 

Game Result: Watchmen 4 vs. Green Power 3 (Win 1-0-0)

 

Giddy-Up!

Puck drops tonight at K of C

20-September-2006

OLD STRATHCONA – This is it, with a successful preseason in the books the Watchmen are ready to hit the ice tonight. The Watchmen face off against ERHL newcomer Green Power to open their season. The Watchmen expect a full line-up including Phillips and Weis who missed the entire pre-season due to contract disputes after being voted Winter and Summer MVPs apparently went straight to their heads. Nonetheless, their contracts have been settled and they will be expected to step up in full force after holding out. The only healthy scratch is veteran centre-man Dana Gray who was sent by management to watch Oilers preseason action to re-evaluate his commitment to the team. With the puck drop only hours away the pressure is on for the Watchmen to come out of the gates running.

 

Watchmen Management Lines up One More Pre-Season Skate

Squad gearing up for season opener next week

15-September-2006

TORONTO – Coming off the worst winter season in Watchmen history, team management is taking no chances to ensure the squad is in tip top shape before Tuesday’s opening game. Like Kevin Lowe did flying the Oilers out to New York before the Stanley Cup finals, player-coach Wilkinson has lined up a third pre-season skate in Enoch, just west of Edmonton where he feels the media and fan pressure will be reduced as the players need to focus on the task at hand. For the first time in franchise history the Watchmen did not make the playoffs in the winter season last year, a feat they are eager to quickly put behind themselves. But this team of veterans are going to need big things and right from the beginning.

High hopes hang on Phillips to keep his offensive production on the upswing. When he joined the Watchmen in 2002 he averaged 1.0 points per game and has improved each season, finishing last campaign averaging 1.5 points per game; a feat that did not go unnoticed by his team-mates who overwhelmingly voted him the season MVP. Despite holding out for the first two preseason skates, Cam Phillips is expected back in the line-up Saturday night.

The story of the preseason so far has been the return of Russ Misselbrook who came out of retirement to join the 2006-07 roster to shore up the Watchmen defence. His physical presence and consistent effort will be counted on this year. He is joined by newcomer Jeff MacLellan, a versatile rookie that the Watchmen management is very excited about after bursting onto the Watchmen line-up this summer. Nathan Deisman is returning from an intense off-season training in Minnesota and is also rumoured to be joining the U of A Explosions full-time, the Watchmen’s former farm team that is now all but overrun by Ice Bears. Corwin Nycholat, one of three Watchmen still maintaining a presence on the Explosions is also being counted on for big things this season after he was tied for the team lead in assists last season but is rumoured to be suffering from mild sleep deprivation. Veteran Dino Vlahadamis who has proven his versatility rounds out the defensive core whose consistent solid play has been a Watchmen cornerstone season after season wherever he is needed on the ice (or in the box).

Meanwhile the Watchmen will continue to count on the Wilkinson-Girard duo who this year are centred by Preston Kulmatycki – their 4 centre man in 4 years. There are high expectations that Kulmatycki will be able to reign in and channel the passion these two exchange into scoring instead of bickering. Meanwhile another long-time Watchmen tandem of Gray and Simpson will be counted on to deliver their ying-yang of defensive responsibility and breakaway rushes. This year they are to be joined by utility-man Tommy Jacknisky who’s zeal on both ends the ice should play to the strengths of both line-mates. Sophomore Luke VW, who to his dismay played too well on the point last year and ended up there for the season, will be centring last year’s leading scorer Cam Phillips and will be joined by the prospect Rocky Eldridge who scored 7 goals in the first 3 games he played with the Watchmen this summer before being injured for the balance of the season. When he gets off the IR, the scout report expects the scoring output of this line to contend for number one.

Finally the Watchmen goaltending situation remains stagnant with the rumoured re-signing of washed-up veteran Tim Weis who keeps buying new equipment in the hopes of looking younger but isn’t fooling anyone.

 

Watchmen go 1-1 in Pre-season

Big name free agents still unsigned as season approaches

11-September-2006

ELLERSLIE – The '06-07 season kicked off Friday as the Watchmen took on the Div.4 Top Shelf in exhibition play. Soon after the drop of the puck, it was evident that Top shelf would not be toiling in Div.4 for very long. Young, fast and skilled, the Watchmen found themselves in a much more heated battle than anticipated. Still the wily veterans, all 11 of them, gave as good as they got, but ended up on the losing side 6-5.

On Sunday, The Watchmen found themselves facing off against their old foes, the Ice Bears. As expected, it was a goaltending battle as Reinier Grovenald stepped up for hold-out Tim Weis and battled IB's Chris Grant for tender supremacy. While the Watchmen dominated play for the most part, Grant was un-beatable and looking like his MVP self as he turned away shot after break away after shot.

Down 1-0, Wilkinson was finally able to sneak a puck through a crowd to beat the Bear goaler. Simpson finished the rally and the Watchmen took the game 2-1.

The Lighthouse was rumored to be in the building and had this to say post game. "We looked good for the most part. Obviously, we have some work to do and fitness needs to be addressed. The return of Misselbrook has given our blueline a needed shot in the arm. He looked fantastic. Nycholat needs toughen up. Obviously, becoming a father has made him forget about what's important."

"I think we addressed our need at Centre. Luke looked good. I am excited to see what he can do this season with this opportunity. 

When asked about his “first line” of Girard, Kulmatycki and Wilkinson, the lighthouse had this to say..."Is that what there're calling themselves?"

Only last-season’s MVP Cam Phillips was MIA and needs to be signed before the season starts. "I expect Cam in the line-up opening night. His agent is proving very difficult to get a hold of. And I don't like the hard ball tactics.... He should be here in camp with the team."

The Watchmen are trying to get one more game in before their season kicks off on Sept.19th. It is rumored that the team and Weis are close to a deal and the disgruntled goaler should be starting next Tuesday. "all I can say is he better be ready to go..." a clearly ticked off Girard quipped, after taking his rumored tongue lashing from coach Wilkinson.

"What can I say?" the coach stammered. " I think golf has made him (Girard) soft. He has to find that edge again...enough of the *%$damn Brokeback talk!"

Some things never change.... 

 

Watchmen Family Grows by 1

Watchmen management give ½ price discount to Matthew Nycholat’s first season tickets

30-August-2006

OLD STRATHCONA – A warm Watchmen congratulations go out to the Nycholat family who have added yet another fan to the growing legions. Here in the proud father’s words:

Rachel and I are the proud parents of a new baby boy. We have named him Matthew Edward Nycholat. Our Matthew was born on August 14th just before 6 pm.  Rachel and him are both doing well. We are slowly adjusting to the sleep deprevation and learning to use our problem solving skills.

I know he is still to young to help out the Watchmen but I have a funny feeling that he wants to be a big offensive defenceman when he grows up. Time will tell.

While player-coach Wilkinson was disappointed the boy wasn’t named Cory as he had been promised, the F-Bomb did add his congratulations in his own special way; “As long as that prima donna doesn’t use this excuse to show up to training camp out of shape…”

The news kicks off another Watchmen season, as the schedule has just been announced for the upcoming season.  The Watchmen are rumoured to have an exhibition game in the works against the Ice Bears before the show kicks off.  Stay tuned!!

 

 

 

 

 

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.