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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Monday, May 22, 2017

You'll like this hockey story...

So when last we discussed the topic, my hockey teams had all been eliminated, and KC still had his Penguins in the NHL playoffs, while Laurie had St John in the Canadian Quebec League and Nashville also in the NHL tourney.  And so it remains- an exhibition of how not to handle the puck gave Pittsburgh a 7-0 win against Ottawa while Nashville has a shot to make the finals with a win over Anaheim tonight.  And St John won the Quebec League title, but that's not the end of the story for Laurie's best Canadian team.  Or for me, as it turns.

See, Canada's Major Juniors are three semi-pro leagues with players ranging in age from mid-high school to "Going for my doctorate".  And at the end of their season, they have an overall championship called the Memorial Cup.  This is the first time I have paid attention this far into the season, so I wondered how they do a three-way tournament.  As it happens, it is a four-team tourney, with the three champs being joined by the host team of the tournament.  And when I looked to see who the host was this year, guess who I found?

My own Windsor Spitfires from the Ontario League, who had a great regular season, but blew a 3-0 game lead against the London Knights, who in turn became prey for the Erie Otters, who have the biggest scorer in North America in Blackhawk prospect Alex DeBrincat, who scored 65 regular season goals.  So I was back in business, and celebrated by knocking off Laurie's favored St John 3-2 while Erie won its first game over Western League champs Seattle Thunderbirds.

Last night, I got to watch Windsor's second game in the round-robin against Seattle.  Remember me mentioning the earlier Pittsburgh game and the "exhibition on how not to handle a puck?"  I hadn't seen jack yet...

Early in the game my Spits scored first.  And 22 seconds later, a Seattle forward was playing around behind his own net, got his pocket picked by a Windsor kid, who threw it out front, and another slammed it past the shell shocked 16-year-old rookie goalie for Seattle that the announcers had been bragging up the whole pre-game.

And 17 seconds after that, another sleeping Seattle player got his pocket picked right in front of the net, the thief slammed it past the stunned goalie, and in 38 seconds Windsor had a 3-0 lead.

But wait.

The kid goalie was pulled for his more veteran backup, who survived the rest of the first period.  And in the second, Seattle actually scored to narrow things to 3-1.  But almost immediately thereafter, a scramble in front of the Seattle net seemed to break up, and goalie #2 went behind the net to play the puck.  And got HIS pocket picked, and Windsor swiftly put the puck in the now-empty net for a 4-1 lead.

But wait.

Early in the third period, Laurie gets up to go to the bathroom.  This is mentioned to give you a sense of timing.  No more does the door shut when the strangest goal I have ever seen occurred.  The Windsor player was to the goalie's left a way off when he fired a rising shot.  It glanced off the raised stick of a fellow Spitfire.  It careened off the FACE of a Seattle defenseman and dropped.  Seemingly about to go wide, the goalie let down his guard, and the puck hit the far post and went in.  5-1 Windsor.

Three minutes later, just before Laurie left the bathroom, Windsor scored again, and it would end 7-1.

I have honestly seen some of the stupidest goals ever in my life this playoff season.  Goalies misplaying things, forwards dropping off pucks to teammates that aren't there.  But the three banker (credited to Graham Knott, the stick that was bank #1) had to be the most amazing BAL goal I've ever witnessed.  And it was even better than my memory said.  Here  you can watch for yourself- it actually hit off a Seattle stick, then Knott's arm, then the defender's face, and then went in!


  1. Chris:
    Some of those minor league games have some REAL steam attached to 'em. The kids are hungry to PROVE themselves to their fans and scouts.
    (wonder how the Hershey Bears did this year?)

    That goal you mentioned was a LULU!
    Never seen a FACE used as an "assist" on a goal, by either offense OR defense.
    Sounded like a good game.
    Stay safe (and keep YOUR stick on the ice) up there, brother.

    1. Hershey was third in their division, took out Lehigh Valley in round one, but lost 4-3 to Providence in round two.

      Now last night we watched the St John/Erie game. All I can say is, the Ontario League is way better than the Quebec league. I never saw a good team get absolutely pummelled like Erie did to St John.

  2. I am not a sport person, only time I tried to play hockey was at school during sport when I was made to and hated it me and sport do not go together, however, I liked this story

    1. Thought you might. BTW, go Adelaide Adrenaline!