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PHILLIPS’ RETURN SCUTTLED BY AMATEUR
OCT 31, 2018 (Millwoods) – Cam Phillips, one of the longest serving Watchmen vets has been sidelined with a chronic should injury this season, but was given the all-clear from doctors to suit up for the All Hallow’s Eve tilt. He, like the rest of the Watchmen faithful (except Dino Vlahadmis who got into the the Hallowe’en brews a little over zealously) dragged their sorry asses to Millwoods arena for a 10:30 puck drop, only to find the ice time had been booked.
The league is working on rescheduling the game and has set up a GoFundMe site to pay for Lyle’s gas.
The non-game at least extends the squad’s shutout timeframe for a few more days as the boys are back in action Saturday night.
WATCHMEN THREE STARS
1. Cam Phillips for attempting a triumphant return
2. Jeff MacLellan for having the beverages on ice
3. Dino Vlahadamis for knowing which game to drink through
(N/A) Watchmen n/a – Wolves n/a
SEASON RECORD 5-2-1
WEIS POSTS AN ELUSIVE BEER LEAGUE SHUTOUT
OCT 27, 2018 (Callingwood) – The 2017/18 defending champs, the Dirty Sanchez, who handed the Watchmen a loss in the season opener have dropped 5 of their last 6 heading into a rematch of the top of schedule rotation. In spite of a full roster this season, the Watchmen were down to only 9 regulars plus a spare in the lineup (plus 1 ‘maybe’ on TeamSnap, who didn’t make it out to Callingwood - or the Beerhunter). The Sanchez were even thinner on players, and were at a further disadvantage with the spare they managed to pull out of 1993, equipment and all.
Realizing their short bench would likely catch up to them as the game wore on, the Sanchez made a dash out of the gate tallying the games first few scoring chances, but couldn’t beat the Watchmen tender despite pressing their advantage early.
The Watchmen counter-punched midway through the 1st frame when Rory Shott scored just moments after the Watchmen’s first power play expired, where the buzzed and buzzed but couldn’t find the back of the net. The Watchmen doubled their lead 120 seconds later when Darren Hockman batted in a rebound the flew through the strike zone and was hammered into the back of net for Bladon’s 2nd assist.
It took the Watchmen another full period on the freshly groomed ice before they would find the net again, but Bladon would keep his point streak rolling assisting a pair of goals from Kenzie Shepard. The Sanchez tried to sneak back in the game with a breakaway mid-frame, but were turned away, and moments later Bladon would decide he was done assisting goals and score one of his own sending the Watchmen into the 3rd leading by 5.
Bladon kept the ball rolling scoring less than 2 minutes into the final period, fully letting the air out of the Sanchez’s goalie’s tires, who made it clear he was feeling sorry for himself for the remainder of the game. Mercy didn’t stop Cole Geiger from netting a pair of goals, getting Mike McCarthy a pair of assists on his debut outing with the purple and gold.
WIth 6 seconds left on the clock, Bladon capped a 5 point performance feather a stretch pass to Sheppard, who surprisingly was waiting on the far blueline for the pass. Sheppard knew it was an important teaching moment for the Sanchez goalie to play a full game, and what better way to send that message loud and clear than to buzz the tower with the slapper? Strangely, it wasn’t received with the message of educational value that it was intended.
When the final buzzer sounded a split second later, the Watchmen had not only earned a rare beer-league shutout, but also vaulted into 1st place, with the undefeated Spoilers having recently been promoted to the prestigious heights of division 3A.
WATCHMEN THREE STARS
1. Murray Bladon
2. Tim Weis
3. Kenzie Sheppard
(W) Watchmen 8 – Dirty Sanchez 0
SEASON RECORD 5-2-1
WARD’S UNDEFEATED STREAK INTACT AS WATCHMEN ROLL
OCT 21, 2018 (Kenilworth) – Electric Mayhem faced down 9 Watchmen skaters on Saturday evening at Kenilworth Arena. The Mayhem were in 2nd place trailing only the Spoilers in the standings heading into the game. The Mayhem drew first blood getting on the scoresheet only 5 minutes into the game. The lead was short-lived as Greg Delaney responded only a minute later from Murray Bladon and Preston Kulmatycki. Delaney, playing his first game of the season since a successful rookie summer season with the purple and gold was in again on the squads next tally as Kulmatycki finished off a pass from Bladon on a 2-on-1. The Mayhem looked to respond but could find the back of the net, and Delaney opened up a 2-goal lead with his 2nd of the game and wiring a howitzer from the top of the circles top cheese before the period was out.
The Watchmen tore the game open in the second with a pair of goals from Bladon, the first being set up by Delaney again, before notching an unassisted marker to give the Watchmen a commanding 5-1 lead five minutes into the second. It’s rare that the Watchmen don’t like to give their opponents a fighting chance to get back in the game, and so Rory Shott attempted to introduce an opponent to the turn-buckle, allowing the Mayhem to convert on the ensuing powerplay. The comeback was interrupted when MacLellan sprung Hockman who went bar-down to give his line their first points on the evening. But ever-generous Watchmen would surrender yet another powerplay goal with just 17 seconds on the clock to give the Mayhem a sniff of hope, and Weis had to rush back into his net after getting just a little too much mustard ringing the puck around the boards milliseconds before the Zamboni took to the ice.
MacLellan would once again blunt the comeback, this time deking out the Mayhem goalie finishing off a 130 foot pass from Pastorius early in the 3rd. Tempers flared a little as the squads traded elbows and trips to the sin bin, but the game looked all but over when the Mayhem found themselves short two men with less than 10 minutes to go. In spite of the manpower disadvantage, the Electric Mayhem managed a clean breakaway only to find the back of Weis’ glove. The save officially crushed what was left of their spirits, allowing Bladon to finish off his hat trick before the final buzzer would sound. Bladon’s 5 points on the night were tainted by his failure to check the hydration schedule and his willingness, in spite of Ward’s advice, to finish the game without correcting his error. Bladon, while thankful that Vlahadamis was not at the game to scold him, did make amends by rushing out and returning with beverages rather than facing a lifetime of taunting from Ward (right Rory? You still got that ½ case in the fridge?).
With the season 20% over, the Watchmen have pulled into a tie for 2nd place with the Mayhem and trailing only the Spoilers who remain undefeated with the league’s top three scorers. The Watchmen are gathering steam with 3 players in the top 10 in scoring (MacLellan, 13pts, Bladon, 12pts and Sheppard, 11pts), and boast the division’s highest scoring defenceman (Pastorius, 9 pts), and the lowest starting goalie GAA (Weis, 2.60). Hopefully management will continue to keep Ward in the line-up even when the team’s heart and soul is back from Europe and the roster fills up, as Ward, in spite of being a healthy scratch in the first two games remains undefeated on the season.
WATCHMEN THREE STARS
1. Greg Delaney
2.5 Murray Bladon*
3. J-Rod Rodrigue
(W) Watchmen 8 – Electric Mayhem 3
SEASON RECORD 4-2-1
*½ star penalty for hydration infraction
WATCHMEN MERCY GIRAFFE
OCT 13, 2018 (Argyll) – Saturday nights at Argyll Arena mean the bass beat is pounding on the East end of the rink. The basement-dwelling Giraffe were hunting for their first win of the season against a thin Watchmen lineup. The boys in purple came out fast and hard outshooting the Giraffe 3:1 in the opening frame but ran into a brick wall in the Giraffe pipes. It took the Watchmen shelling the beaches for 15 minutes before Kenzie Sheppard finally tickled the twine giving the Watchmen a 1-0 where it would remain until the second period.
J-Rodrigue figured the Watchmen tender was getting bored watching the play stay in the Giraffe zone, so he figured he’d send the Giraffe spare in on a breakaway to wake him up. The Watchmen tender wasn’t up to the challenge and even though the Giraffe were being badly outshot they managed to pull to a 1-1 draw. The score wouldn’t remain knotted for long as Kenzie Sheppard scored his 2nd of the game restoring the Watchmen lead.
When the teams headed into their dressing rooms for the scrape it was looking like a lucky bounce or two was all the Giraffe might need to sneak out a win as the Watchmen struggled to solve the tender. But Sheppard would keep the offense rolling early on in the third springing Darren Hockman in on break who went upstairs to finally open the floodgates. The Watchmen would notch another 4 unanswered including tallies from Cole Geiger and a shortie from Lyle van Weiren while Sheppard earned the praise from the refs for his soft hands finishing the game with a hat trick of goals and assists. Hockman capped the period with his second of the game, and the Giraffe threw in the towel with 3 minutes left on the clock invoking a rare beer league mercy rule. The win put the Watchmen over 500 for the first time in the season.
WATCHMEN THREE STARS
1. Kenzie “soft hands” Sheppard
2. Darren Hockman
3. Jeff MacLellan
(W) Watchmen 7 – Giraffe 1
SEASON RECORD 3-2-1
ROUGH AND TUMBLE TO A DRAW TO A DRAW WITH THE PYLONS
OCT 3, 2018 (KC) – The Watchmen faced off against les Pylons at KC Arena with a short bench and their 2nd team brother filling in in the pipes this season. The game was a raucous affair with the Pylons parading to the box and losing the cool. While the Watchmen weren’t used to being on the observing side of team’s self-destructing and whining to the refs, they kept it together for the most part, with only veteran defenceman Ward drawing an unsportsmanlike penalty – even seasoned PIM accumulators Jacknisky and Rodrigue stayed out of the sin bin the entire game.
Watchmen potted 2 goals came from the D with Matt Pastorius and Lyle Van Wieren each tallying 1, while Jeff MacLellan and substitute player Nathan Ross each contributed a single goal as the teams skated to a rare 4-4 draw even after a 3-on-3 OT frame keeping Ward’s undefeated streak alive.
WATCHMEN THREE STARS
1. Lyle Van Wieren
2. Tom Jacknisky
3. Cole Geiger
(T) Watchmen 4 – les Pylons 4 (OT)
SEASON RECORD 2-2-1
3-ON-3 OT PUTS WATCHMEN .500 ON SEASON
SEPT 26, 2018 (Canadian Athletic Club) – The bottom four team in prestigious Division 3B were pitted against each other Wednesday night at CAC Arena. The winless Giraffe and the lowly Bearcats had fought to a 7-7 overtime draw the game before leaving the ice in pretty rough shape by the time the Watchmen and the Blackhawks, who were both dwelling near the bottom of the table took to the ice.
Moments before the puck dropped Jeff MacLellan managed to rush in from Millwoods in time to join the other 9 forwards suited up for the game.
For the 3rd game in as many starts for Watchmen net-minder Tim Weis, the first shot he faced to start the game was a breakaway. While he turned it aside, it wouldn’t be long before a Blackhawk was left open in the slot who buried a pass from the half-boards and the Watchmen trailed 1-0 early on. The momentum built for the Bubba’s Blackhawks when they tipped in a pair of shots from the point to go up 3-0 just 15 minutes into the game.
The Watchmen were sent to lick their wounds as the tractor scraped the CAC ice. Bryan Ward, while gently caressing his small, hard vape stick would declare the Watchmen were a second period team and they hit the ice to prove it. The Watchmen cane out the gate fast as Jeff MacLellan burst in off the draw to try to get the Watchmen on the board only to be repelled by a hot Blackhawks goalie who had parried everything that had been thrown at him in the 1st. Soon thereafter Ward found himself in the sin bin giving the BB’s a chance to put the game out of reach, but his prophecy began to unfold as it wasn’t the Watchmen’s first shorthanded rodeo. MacLellan intercepted an errant puck and with a burst of speed racer in all alone before finishing his signature deke to break the Blackhawks’ clean sheet.
The goal sparked the Watchmen who continued to press only to be stumped by the Blackhawks tender. Rookie signing, Zach MacRae, who had been called up to a line-up which had had 9 confirmed skaters midway through the day (only to end up with 11 at gametime) would bring the Watchmen to within 1 when he buried his own rebound after being set up my MacLellan. Kenzie Sheppard, who had already tagged the post twice found the back of net shortly after only to have his bad luck continue as the red disallows the tying goal due to the net having been kicked off its moorings.
The score would remain 3-2 for much of the third and a combination of solid goaltending, posts and just bad luck kept the Watchmen trailing by 1 as the final frame wound down. While Blackhawks were tiring and spending the majority of time defending their own zone, they still managed to counterpunch to create multiple 5-Bell scoring chances including their 4th breakaway of the game halfway through the period. A goal would likely seal the Watchmen’s fate, but the attack was denied and on the next play MacLellan slide home a rebound tallying his second goal and Rory Shott’s 2nd assist knotting the game for the first time since the opening period.
Neither team could pull ahead in regulation and the teams moved to the new 3-on-3 OT format. The Watchmen recorded the early sudden death chances, but a turn over sent the Blackhawks in on a clean 2-on-1 threatening to end the game, but the centering pass was read by Weis and the tender kicked out the rebound to Kenzie Sheppard would send McRae in all alone. McRae made no mistake dangling the puck home. The Watchmen’s first lead of the game came at the exact right time giving them their first OT win of the season.
The Watchmen look to keep their own winning streak alive as they face the bottom dwelling Giraffe Wednesday night. Tickets are still available for the Kenilworth Classic.
WATCHMEN THREE STARS
1. Jeff MacLellan
2. Tim Weis
3. Zac McRae
(W) Watchmen 4 – Bubba’s Blackhawks 3 (OT)
SEASON RECORD 2-2-0
THE WATCHNET RETURNS
SEPT 26, 2018 (Edmonton) – Holy Shit we’re back. It’s been a tumultuous decade between writers’ strikes, and changing technology, but the WatchNET staff is back in action, dusting off the old files to write about Edmonton’s most storied beer league squad - hopefully in new and improved smartphone readability.
And not a moment too soon as the Watchmen are off to a slow start this season dropping their first two games against the 2017-18 defending champions the Dirty Sanchez 3-2 and following that up with a loss the currently undefeated Spoilers with a resounding 9-6 defeat.
The squad took to the ice last Tuesday night to try to salvage some dignity against the Hydro-Flo Bearcats, who incidentally have managed to get a team sponsor, unlike the Watchmen who have preserved their integrity by not selling their illustrious name to anyone who would like to buy them new team jerseys (however, should that option come to pass, they’d likely sell out pretty quickly – right Jeffy?).
The puck dropped at 9:30pm at KC arena in front of a crowd of 1, and by 9:30 and 21 seconds, the Watchmen had already given up their first breakaway. The aging Watchmen goalie could do little to fend off the attacker and less than half a minute into game 3 the Watchmen were already trailing by a goal. Intent on cauterizing the early wound, Clinton Paul zipped home a feed from Rory Shott on the very next shift to tie the game at a goal apiece giving the Watchmen a glimmer of hope of not going 0-30 for the season.
The teams settled down after each surrendering a goal in the opening minute, but Murray Bladon would soon be sent to the penalty box and Bearcats restored their early lead on the ensuing powerplay. Bladon would however atone for his sins before the period was out slipping home a shot on the ice to tie the game at 2, which is how it would stay until the period ended.
The Watchmen had gone 6 and a half periods without the lead, but that would end when Cole Geiger finished off a set up from Bladon less than 4 minutes into the frame. Paul would notch his second of the game and Bryan Ward would slap home a pass from his D partner Matt Pastorius on a powerplay to open up a three goal lead midway through the game. But, never looking to make it easy on themselves, the Watchmen would concede a goal before the period was out to give the Bearcats a glimmer of hope heading into the final frame.
Fortunately the century-line would snuff out the comeback when veteran (and only 1 of 2 original Watchmen still in the lineup) Dino Vlahadamis would pop home a feed from Darren Hockman from behind the net and the Watchmen were poised to roll to their first victory of the season. Purple jersey Assistant Captain Jeff MacLellan would add some insurance from Paul and Pastorius moments later and Pastorius would round out a 3-point night with a clap-bomb in the final 30 seconds to polish off an 8-3 game, giving the Watchmen their first victory of the season.
The purple and gold are back at it tonight against Bubba’s Blackhawks as both teams look to bring their season’s to .500.
WATCHMEN THREE STARS
1. Matt Pastorius
2. Clinton Paul
3. Bryan Ward
(W) Watchmen 8 – HydroFlo Bearcats 3
SEASON RECORD 1-2-0
(L) Game 2: Watchmen 6 – Spoilers 9
(L) Game 1: Watchmen 2 – Dirty Sanchez 3