January 20 Game Reports
Bruins 4 Pens 0
The Bruins took their 2-game losing streak into a contest against the struggling, but playoff bound, Penguins.
Team Captain Tim Gibson gave his usual riveting pre-game speech. Hey guys “Don’t fuck up.” One of the cagey veterans in the room responded by asking Tim when he would score a goal again to help the team (we can’t remember his last).
The game started with the Penguins applying a lot of pressure. Fresh from the minors (replacing Dunbar) new goalie, Rick V., responded in Dominic Hasek style, by keeping the Penguins off the score-sheet until Tim got his first goal in months to put the Bruins up 1-0. While Tim took full credit for the goal we should point out that he actually passed the puck to Blair who kicked the puck straight up into the air and over his goalies head. The goal ignited the Bruins who ran the score to 4-0 with 2 goals from Doctor Andy, who instead of reading radiology reports looking for bad things, figured out that good things happen when you don’t look at bad things like the goalie.
With the game firmly in hand the Bruins went into clock watching mode. This gave the Penguins life who climbed back within two until a late snipe by the Bruins sent them home without worrying about Tim’s post-game tirade about the late goals.
Kings 5 Wings 2
The Wings continue their losing streak losing to the Kings 5-2. A disappointed Wings Captain Joe appeared perplexed during an after game interview, commenting that “maybe it’s time we made some changes in the dressing room, next week we’re going to all change at home and show up in our equipment like they do in Atom and Midget”
When it was mentioned to Joe that Hockey Canada has recently eliminated the word “Midget” from it’s terminology for being offensive, Joe commented “Great, one more thing our team can’t do right”
Whalers 2 Leafs 2
The Leafs and Whalers battled to a 2-2 tie when the Whalers tied it with under 3 minutes left. Then, in the final seconds, an arrant pass leads Whalers forwards Snyder and Wilcox on the fore-check and a beautiful give and go leads to….. the Whalers hitting the post and the Leafs holding on to 1 point that they appeared desperate to give away.
The biggest surprise of the night was the positive post game words Jimmy had for the Whalers when they came into the dressing room. “It’s strange to get a compliment from Jimmy” said Whalers forward Chris Bumbacco “I think someone needs to check his medication”
January 13 Game Reports
Kings 6 Penguins 4
Kings capture 2 points from the Pens who are trying to regroup from an attack from the injury monster.
Whalers 4 Red Wings 1
Whalers take it to the short handed Wings thanks to solid goal tending from Patrick who was the 1st star for the green fish.
Leafs 5 Bruins 3
With Craig Dunbar not in the pipes due to a shoulder injury, the Leafs started strong and built a 4-0 lead. But the league-leading Bruins did not give up.
January 6 Game Reports
The first games of 2020 brought both motivated play and Holiday hangovers.
It’s very evident that for many in the MNHL, Santa did NOT bring any conditioning this Christmas.
Leafs 4 Red Wings 3
Red Wings continue with their losing streak falling 4-3 to the Leafs. With a furious final period, the Wings were unable to get a tying goal.
Trade rumors continue to circulate in the Red Wings dressing room, mostly about Captain Joe and mostly when he is out of the room…
Just kidding Joe, the boys love ya!
Kings 6 Bruins 4
The Kings continue their push to 1st place defeating the Bruins to set up a tie at the top of the standings.
This is one battle to keep an eye on thru the 2nd half of the season.
This battle is likely to come down to which team is able to avoid the post game Marino’s chicken wings which are known to take down even the best of squads.
Whalers 8 Penguins 4
Whalers take advantage of a weakened Pens team missing one of their top guys and playing with goalie on his last leg.
Dean pushed thru as best he could but was in obvious discomfort from a recent injury and the Whalers were able to get 8 goals past him on route to a much needed win.
It’s been rumored that Penguins representatives were seen scouting the 8:00 Bantam ice time for potential re-enforcements. When asked about the age discrepancy, Blair commented that “most of the guys in our league have the skill of a 9 year old so there shouldn’t be a problem”
December 30 Game Reports
Bruins 4 Pens 3
Another close hard fought game that came down to the wire. The Pens were down to 8 skaters while the Bruins had an unusual bounty of players, getting Tim Dixon and Mike Courtney back from the long term IR.
The Bruins jumped out to a lead on a goal by Andrew Bratton but the Pens bounced back on a rush by Blair Collett. The Bruins took the lead on a redirect by Andy Leung but the Pens again responded after Dunbar gives up a juicy rebound. The save of the game (season?) came very late in the first period when the Pens tender does a windmill type move to try to stop a one-timer off a 2 on 0 rush and makes the remarkable glove save.
After the break the Bruins came out hard, having the advantage of the extra skaters, and took a 2 goal lead off snipes by Bob “the ref was okay tonight so came away unscathed” Andersen and Adam Fremeth, who flicked a nice back hand from the slot going high blocker side. The Bruins seemed to have things well in hand when a late game turnover lead to a 2 on 0 breakaway and their lead was cut in half.
The Pens pulled their tender late and had a few good chances but couldn’t convert.
Kings 8 Red Wings 5
The Kings had a small bench but big hearts on route to an 8-5 win over the Red Wings. Can anyone stop the mighty Kings? Only time will tell…
Leafs 6 Whalers 2
After jumping out to an early 1-0 lead, the Whalers fall to a motivated Leafs team. Adam Cleland with 3 beautiful goals was too much for the Whalers who were already thinking about 2020.
December 23 Game Reports
Kings 7 Whalers 5
Kings jumped out to a 6-3 lead before the Whalers battled back to get it within 1, but “Party” Marty Camenzuli stuck a big lump of coal in the Whalers stocking this year by feeding a beauty pass across the crease sealing the win for the Kings.
Whalers thought they had 5 minutes left to battle back but some poor clock setting from Forward Matt Snyder actually lead to the game ending 5 minutes early. Unfortunately for Snyder, setting the game clock wrong wasn’t even his worst play of the night.
Penguins 3 Leafs 0
Pens over Leafs 3-0, earning some payback from the 8-0 pounding the previous week. Penguins shy several guys including goalie Dean who’s out for a couple weeks with a groin pull.
Bruins 5 Red Wings 5
There was something festive for all to celebrate as both teams come away with a point. There were lots of goals in the Bruins and Red Wings stocking so their snipers would be celebrating.
There were also some great saves and great defensive plays at both ends. The true Christmas miracle, though, was the surprise return of Bruins super-forward Tim Dixon from what was believed to be the long term injured reserve.
The only one not celebrating was the ref. Bob “I’m in the last week of being Dean so call me ‘has Dean'” Andersen must have decided the ref did not deserve figgy pudding for some blown call. The blast that shattered the ref’s visor (leaving him with a few minor cuts) still seemed a bit harsh. Don’t cross the Dean!!!
Christmas Party Wrap Up
The MNHL Boys enjoyed the annual Christmas Party at Marinos with a nice slice of pizza and some of Londons finest “chicken” wings. All reports are the league toilets got a work out this morning.
Thanks to Jimmy for ensuring all the boys had hot foot on arrival and thanks to all the players for making 2019 another great year in the MNHL.
Merry Christmas and here’s to a great 2nd half of the season in 2020.
December 16 Game Reports
Leafs 8 Penguins 0
Missing a few key players, the dirty birds could not get off the ground against the Leafs.
Down 5-0 near the break, things got worse for the Pens when keeper Dean “The Thrill” Shill went down with an apparent groin pull and could not continue.
Kings goalie Steve Valenti came to the rescue finishing between the pipes for the blue birds but the Leafs were too stingy for the Pens and walked away with the 8-0 win.
Hat Tricks from Adam Cleland and Darin Crackord earned them each an extra piece of pizza and a few more minutes in the massage chair at Rod Mitchell’s annual Christmas party.
Bruins 4 Red Wings 1
It was a close hard fought game with first place on the line. The Wings poured in on early and were rewarded with a 1-0 lead. The Bruins started to battle back and the ice started to tilt. Later coach Tim would comment a couple of times that “we were solid except for the first few minutes”. Side note – Tim was in the dressing room the first few minutes fixing his stick. Coincidence???
The Bruins tied in on a goal mouth scramble and before the break coach Tim scored what would be the game winning goal – his pass on a 2-on-1 bounced back to him and with Dave Orr sliding to stop the one-timer, Tim found a yawning cage.
The score stayed 2-1 for the longest time in the second. TSN turning point had to be a breakaway by Wings star Brad Noble. His deke to the tender’s left was turned away. Had he tipped off his “move” the prior week when subbing for the Bruins? The post game pressers were silent on the matter. As is often the case, a missed chance at one end turned into goals at the other.
With the score 4-1, the play dubbed in the Bruins dressing room simply as “the save” happened. The Wings insisted it should be called “the goal”. With Dunbar down in the crease, the Wing snipped what appeared to be a certain goal from the slot. But Dunbar reached out and snagged it. Was his glove behind the red line when that happened?? The overhead cam was not working so we’ll never know. Even as of this write up, Dunbar swears his glove was on the line. Can he be trusted?? We know he makes saves by closing his eyes and hoping for the best. In the end the ref trusted the Bruins tender and dropped the puck in the Bruins zone, with Wings players lined up at center ice (I guess you always trust the guy with the most gray hair).
The Wings played inspired hockey after that but could not eat into the Bruins lead. Should be an interesting second round to this battle next week
When asked after the game about his recent success, Dunbar credited the fact that “he was opening his eyes more when the other team took shots on net”.
Kings 7 Whalers 3
The Kings struck early with 2 quick goals before the teams settled down and had a close game.
Late, with the Kings up by 2 and 3 minutes left, the Whalers went to their analytics department who reported that their chance of winning would increase by 0.012% if they pulled the goalie early. Never one to snub his nose at good, solid math, Clark Webster ordered Patrick out of the net only for it to immediately backfire as Henry scored again to go up by 3.
The low point for the Whalers was a 2 on 1 rush when Webster snuck a beautiful pass across the crease to Matt Snyder who proceeded to tip it 4 feet wide – a perfect representation of Snyders play this season.
After the game, Whalers captain Jimmy asked Snyder to write a list of players on the Whalers that Snyder thought were lazy but upon his return, Jimmy was disappointed to see that Snyder had in fact, recorded his grocery list for the week.
December 9 Game Reports
Whalers 4 Red Wings 4
In a game that anybody could have won… no one did!
Whalers and Wings battle to a 4-4 tie highlighted by the fluid play of Wings stud Brad Nickle and a spirited intermission speech from Whalers Captain Jimmy where he imparted such hockey wisdom as “stop the f**king puck”, “shoot the f**king puck” and the age old “move your f**king feet”.
Ahh Jimmy… your leadership is the glue that holds the Whalers together.
Penguins 8 Kings 3
The stuff the Penguins are made of and their secret to their third victory, an 8-3 win over the mighty Kings…
When your teammate scores, give them a hug and tell them something sweet that makes them smile.
When your teammate falls, pick him up and pat him gently on his hind quarters.
When your teammate yells at a player on the opposing team, tell them they’re a person too, who has feelings and is only trying their best.
When your teammate gets a penalty for perhaps sliding a stick into another player’s nether regions, tell them that player has to go home and use those nether regions on his wife or girlfriend at 2:30 am, when they’re so excited to receive them home.
When you’re at Marinos and one of those gang bangers, who tend to frequent that establishment and who’s concealing a weapon gives your teammate a not so friendly look, tell them they didn’t have all the opportunities you had when you were little to play hockey.
When your teammate talks badly about the referee, tell him it hurts the referee more than it hurts you to hand out that penalty.
When your teammate asks you if you’d care to join them in the shower, tell them you’ll bring the conditioner if they’ll bring the shampoo.
These are the things that bind the Penguins, that drew them together for that third victory, that made all 11 guys go into a shower cubicle made for only two guys.
It’s a bond that goes deeper than marriage. You don’t text your wife at 10am to tell them you’re on the shitter for the third time already because of those wings.
It’s your teammate you share these feelings with, the guy who spits next to you on the bench, the guy who asks where my teeth are and then goes back out to the bench in a towel to get them, the guy who loves you unconditionally if you suck or score.
These are the reasons the Penguins will continue to be victorious, will continue to shine, and will take home that MNHL cup in March.
Bruins 6- Leafs 2
Bruins were short staffed AGAIN, with new addition to the Long Term IR Tim Dixon (we’ll miss you Tim!). So they called up super sub Brad Nickle who thought yellow might be good for the complexion (and 3 hours of hockey sounds fun!).
It was a tight game for most of the first with good chances and saves at both ends. Bruins open it up with a flurry late in the first, netting 2 before the ice gets cleared. After the break they again find the net in bunches to gain a 5-0 lead.
Then the super sub does the super jinx and says (out loud no less)- “wouldn’t a shut out be great”. Almost immediately Talbot drills one from the point which bounces off at least 2 players before finding the back of the net.
Goal of the night goes to Andrew Bratton who roofs a backhand in the second
December 3 Game Reports
Kings 7 Bruins 2
The Kings slaughter the Bruins. Due to the traumatic events, no witness statements were taken at the scene.
Bruins post game reaction
Whalers 5 Penguins 2
2 Words… 4 Goals… 1 Never Say Die Attitude… Whalers are lead to victory by Clarke “Mother F’ing” Webster and his 4 goal performance.
In what can only be described as divine intervention, this stunning human lifted the team on his back and took the Green Fish to the promised land over a stunned Penguins team.
Asked about his 4 goal performance, Clarke only had this to say “it would have been 5 if my wingers didn’t suck”. When it was pointed out that the Whalers rotated all 6 wingers on his line thru the game, Webster responded “… exactly”.
When asked after the game how they allowed one player to score 4 goals, a confused Pens Captain Blair stated “Jimmy told us he was a healthy scratch”.
Jimmy’s mind games, once again, have proven the difference in the MNHL. We’re all just pawns in the high stakes game of hockey domination being played by this Evil Genius.
Whalers Captain Jimmy
Leafs 5 Red Wings 4
Without their leader, the Wings fought hard in a back-and-forth game and were well-positioned to come away with a tie or a win.
With the game tied and three minutes left to play, the Leafs took a penalty. But a loose puck in the Wings’ zone ended up on the stick of rookie Darin Crockford, who fired home his second of the game and earning the game’s first star.
The second star went to Leafs forward Andy Cleland, who broke out of his scoring slump with a brilliant deflection past keeper Dave Orr.
Andy Cleland slides one past Dave Orr
November 25 Game Reports
Red Wings 3 Penguins 2
The Red Wings without their captain and emotional leader Joe Scufca, were able to hold off the Penguins 3-2 despite a late surge and two goals by Russ ‘the hammer” Rodrigues.
Dave Orr played arguably his best game in net all year facing a barrage of shots all game.
The Red Wings were saddened their Captain was missing in action. Captain Joe returns from Miami in two weeks to resume his position as team leader and mascot.
Leafs 6 Kings 5
In this rematch, the Leafs again get off to a slow start going down 4-1 against the Kings just like a week earlier. And like in the last game, the Leafs claw back to tie the game 4-4…. Only this time, the Buds pull ahead for a chance to win.
But… Ol’ Marty Camenzuli snipes top corner to tie the game again with a couple of minutes remaining.
Call it global warming – but the Leafs would not be denied. With 20 seconds on the clock, Adam Cleland bangs the puck in right off of the face off to give the Leafs the two points and end up with identical records as the Kings.
Bruins 5 Whalers 3
The Bruins and Whalers hooked up for a 2nd straight meeting and the story of the night was Craig “Crazy Legs” Dunbar making save after save for the yellow bears.
Bruins and Whalers trade stretches of pressure in the offensive zone but the Green Fish weren’t able to find the a way past Dunbar.