2015-16 Season Review

2016 CHAMPIONSHIP REPORT

Blackhawks 5 Bruins 3
Blackhawks are 2016 MNHL Champions

If you would have suggested in October that the Blackhawks would be Champions you’d have been labeled a crazy idiot.

After an opening week 11-1 beat down to the hands of the Penguins, the Blackhawks looked to be a team with no hope, but apparently they hit rock bottom and bounced back, HARD.

As quick as the puck had dropped, Hawks 2 way forward Steve “Show Time” Adams put the boys in red up 1-0.  But minutes later a cross crease puck off the skate saw the Bruins tie the game.

It was going to be one of those nights apparently.

Shortly after, Hawks power forward Matt “MVP?” Snyder parked himself in front of the crease and waited… and waited… and waited… until the fancy tic tac toe passing of Murray Pratt and Henry Verbakel put a puck on his stick and Snyder did the rest, going far side on Craig “Crazy Legs” Dunbar to put the Hawks up 2-1.

After an Andrew “Sharpie” Sharp penalty, the Bruins powerful power play went to work.  The Hawks had a stratgey of “not letting Tim shoot from anywhere”, an easy mission on the chalk board, a difficult mission when your face to face with his powerful shot.  But a Kevin Rupple steal put the Hawks on a 2 on 1 shorthanded.  Rupples shot was saved by Dunbar but the puck trickled out in front of the net and as both teams scrambled to find it, Snyder again was Johnny on the Spot and tapped the puck into the open cage for his 2nd of the game and a 3-1 Hawks lead.

The Hawks would get 1 more before the period ended when Henry “The Savy Vet” Verbakel went into Gretzky mode (young Gretzky, not Gretzky with the Rangers), taking a puck around the Bruins net and patiently holding it for an eternity before slipping a beautiful pass thru dozens of legs onto the waiting stick of, you guessed it, Matt Snyder who chipped the puck past Dunbar for his 3rd of the game and the natural Hat Trick to put the Hawks up 4-1.

The Bruins though, would not back down.

Tim “Thunder Stick” Gibson had several chances as the Bruins put the pressure on.  A Gibson rocket from the point deflected off an unknown stick past Shawn “Bone Cracker” Martin to bring the Bruins back within 2.

Shortly after Bruins forward Dave Barrett walked in past the Hawks forwards and snipped a shot top cheese past Martin to bring the Bruins back within 1 goal (I think it was Barrett, I was actually behind the play taking a casual skate on the back check, don’t worry, Henry gave me a talking to on the bench).

4-3 Hawks with minutes left, Foulon trying to get loose but the Hawks were all over him like a dirty shirt.  Gibson trying to get another rocket free from the point but the Hawks forwards patrolling the d-zone, Hawks stud Beliveau killing penalty after penalty with his “around the world” skates.

Up by 1, the Hawks were feeling the pressure until something magical happened.  I’ll never forget this moment.

Andrew “Sharpie” Sharp skates the puck over the blue line, on the bench Talbot says to no one in particular that “Sharpie is going to do something with this one” as soon as the words are off his lips, Sharpie shoots the puck past Dunbar to put the Hawks up 5-3.

How did Talbot know?  Was it Destiny?   Does Talbot have hockey magic?  A crystal ball?  Yes to all 3!

A scrambling last 2 minutes, Bruins pulled Dunbar, Hawks with a couple icing calls, relentless pressure from the Bruins, stiffing defense from the Hawks backend of Stevens, Smith, Szypula and James, the clock ticks down, 3… 2… 1… pandemonium ensues, the Hawks are Champions!

Grown men cried.  The little team that could, did!  The MNHL Cup in all it’s glory was raised high last night.

After the game Blackhawks Captain Talbot Stevens appeared on Coaches Corner, “any time a player scores 3 goals in a Championship game, a legend is created” Talbot commented.

“Yes it was a great team effort with tons of defensive help from the forwards, but one player put the team on his back and proved said ‘I got this’.  Matt Snyder may be the best player I’ve ever been on the ice with.”

Strong words from a proven leader of men.

It goes to show you that dreams do come true boys.  Dreams do come true.

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Blackhawks Captain Talbot Stevens accepts the 2016 MNHL Cup
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Chris kisses the cup
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Snyder’s hat trick was a surprise to everyone, mostly Snyder.
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Captain Talbot, a true leader of men
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Shawn was at his strongest when the game was on the line
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Henry “The Savy Vet” Verbakel
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Blackhawks Stud Ryan Beliveau
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Tyler is in heaven with the MNHL Cup
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Chester and Jimmy celebrating a Championship out on the town

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Diamond Dave devours a delicious dish of Chicken Wings… mmm Finger Lickin’ Good!

Bruins-vs-Blackhawks

 

Championship Set

Consolation Game (aka Toilet Bowl)

March 28 @ 9:30  Stars vs Penguins

Championship Game

March 28 @ 10:00 Bruins vs Blackhawks

Join the boys at Marnio’s after the game for a few beers to celebrate with the winners and console the losers.

Semi-Finals Reports

March 21

Bruins upset Stars in Shoot Out

In a back and forth game with both teams sporting short benches, the 4th seed Bruins upset the 1st seed Stars in a shoot out.

A fast game that saw the Bruins jump out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to an Adam Foulon breakaway.  The Stars responded late in the 1st to tie it at 1 and then took the lead early in the 2nd.  A penalty to Bernie late in the 2nd allowed which was extended when he left the box early allowed the Bruins to tie it off a Kevin Noble goal where he shot directly off the face off to surprise the Stars tender.

Off to a shoot out where the Stars choose to shoot first and scored on their first 3 shots only to see the Bruins respond to each goal with a goal of their own.

In the 8th round, Chuck Parker of the Bruins went high glove side after screaming in to secure the Bruins a Cinderella trip to the MNHL Championship.

Blackhawks 2 Penguins 0

In the 2nd game of the MNHL Semi-Finals, the Blackhawks neutral zone trap held the powerful Penguins off the score sheet.

The Blackhawks were lead by the amazing goal tending of Shawn Martin (actually as per Captain Talbot’s instructions, forget that last sentence) and the return of powerful centers Kevin and Ryan.

Jumping out to an early 2-0 lead, the Hawks went into full 1995 New Jersey Devils mode and continued to clog up the neutral zone running the Talbot certified version of the trap.

2 uncharacteristic late Penguin penalties stymied their attack and the Hawks were able to hold on.  As everyone knows, Hockey Referees LOVE to hear constructive criticism during the course of a game and Blair provided immediate feedback to the Ref regarding his eye sight and integrity.  I know that the ref certainly appreciated Blair voicing his point of view.

A post game appeal by the Penguins was filed after a “phantom puck” incident saw 2 pucks enter the ice surface during a strong rush from the Pens.  While Hawks supporters will claim that an absent minded rink attendant simply threw a stray puck back over the glass during play, Pens supporters claim that this was a conspiracy on par with the JFK assassination plot… We may never know the truth.

APPEAL HEARING: After hearing the appeal of the Penguins Captain, reviewing video evidence and taking various witness statements, the MNHL Appeal Committee has come to a decision:

APPEAL DENIED

The Penguins then requested that the appeal be escalated to the MNHL Independent Arbitrator, who provided this decision:

ARBITRATION REQUEST REJECTED

Week 22 Game Reports

March 14, 2016

Penguins 6 Blackhawks 4

In a game ripe with playoff implications, the Blackhawks jumped out to an early lead thanks to 2 short handed goals in the 1st, but a fluky goal from behind the goal line from Mike O’Neil got the Pens back on the board.

With 3rd place locked up and a short bench greeting them at every change, the Hawks appeared to lose their legs in the 2nd.

Needing a point to guarantee a top 3 finish, the Pens just wanted it more and were able to take a 2 goal lead in the 2nd period.

The Hawks fought back but every Hawks goal resulted in a Pens rebuttal.

Final score, Pens 6 Hawks 4 locking the playoff spots down and setting a rematch for the 1st round between the 2 birds of prey.

Bruins 4 v Stars 2

Bruins finally eeked a victory from the Stars with the help of super sub John “Hired Gun” McArthur replacing Dave “highest cost per game played” Barrett.

The short handed Stars team appeared to be resting up for the playoff run, locating a goalie at the last minute thanks to Puck Stoppers.

Bernie’s power play goal brought the game within 1 but Adam “Fresh Cherries” Foulon scored on his 10th break away of the game to seal the Bruins victory.

On a special note, the MNHL wishes good luck to Bruins forward Coach Dave Barrett as he hopefully leads the UWO Womens Hockey team to a 2nd straight national championship this weekend.

Week 21 Game Reports

March 7, 2016

Bruins 4 Blackhawks 3 (or 5-4)

The Blackhawks jumped out to an early 2-0 and 3-1 lead in this exciting game that had a playoff feel.

A sense of urgency from both teams created a back and forth feel.

Nothing short of 2 wins in the last 2 games would help the Bruins and captain Tim went all in to guarantee his boys a chance to move up the standings.  With the score tied late Bruins made their move.  With under 90 seconds left, needing a win, the Bruins pulled Dunbar from the net for the extra attacker.  Off the bench came the hero of the night Adam “Blue Line” Foulon who streaked down the middle of the ice, thru countless Blackhawks players and right into the slot to score the game winner on a dejected Hawks squad.

The Bruins hopes are alive for 1 more week.

Stars 15 Penguins 4

1 word describes last nights game according to Pens forward Scott Cortese, “Ugly”.

The Stars and their magnificent 8 skaters had their way with the Pens in a 15-4 stomping.  10 goals after 1 sealed the deal for Blairs boys, although the score board showed a 25-2 score at intermission.  The Pens debated returning for the 2nd.

Kevin the Engine played his usual strong stellar game.

Pens tendy Dean “The Thrill” Shill played thru flu like symptom.  Blair (1) and Bummer (2) were the scorers for the Pens.  Too many scorers to report for the Stars.

The Pens loss combined with the Bruins win makes Week 22 very important for the bottom 3 teams in the league.

Week 20 Game Reports

February 29, 2016

Stars 7 Blackhawks 5

A strong showing from the Stars was enough to handle a Blackhawks team that came on in the 2nd period in a fast paced game.

Teams exchanged moments of control but the Stars depth and speed was too much for the Hawks to handle.

An exceptional goal from Hawks stud Ryan Belliveau was a sight to be seen.  This MNHL newcomer was definitely playing to the ratings committee with his end to end rush.

The playoffs must be approaching because the tempers were razor sharp and Dave Bancroft already has the playoff beard rocking in full force.

Penguins vs Bruins

The Pens win the game.  Score TBD

CRIME STOPPERS REPORT: The Case of the Missing Pucks

As previously reported, Blackhawks Captain Talbot Stevens has reported a string of missing pucks from the Hawks puck bag.  “I just don’t know where they have gone to” reported Talbot to Police.  A lunatic fan?  Rats?  Talbot’s imagination run wild?  We may never know…

UPDATE:

Blackhawks Scorer / Super Detective Ryan Beliveau has gotten to the bottom of the missing puck fiasco.  As evidence by the pictures Ryan secured, it appears that Blackhawks forward Matt Snyder was taking home some mementos from his MNHL Season.  Matt Snyder, a true 4th line forward on a 3 line team.

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The case of the missing pucks has been solved!

Week 19 Game Reports

February 22, 2016

Bruins 4 Stars 4

Bruins and Stars (fasten your seat belts) played to a 4-4 tie last night.  The Bruins were significantly by hired gun super sub John McArthur who scored a goal and brought energy to the Bruins checking line.  McArthur replaced the shifty Dave Barrett — who seems to be leading the league in cost per game played.

Other Bruins scorers were Nickle, Gibson and Foulon.

Notably, Bruins Chris Higgins overcame a season long battle with Stars Flu and turned in a solid game on D.

A good back and forth game, the Bruins had a late lead but their poor choice of accepting 3 Stars penalties backfired.  Having not practiced the Power Play in, well…. ever, and not knowing what to do with the extra skater, the Bruins faced a downhill rink and were stuck in their own zone allowing the Stars to tie the game late.

Stars scorers were not reported but Bernie was 100% on offensive zone face offs.

Penguins 8 Blackhawks 4

The Penguins skated to a decisive victory over the 2nd place Blackhawks who were without star goaline Shawn Martin last night.  While their sub goalie played great, they Hawks were unable to capitalize on early chances and the Penguins were their usual, patient and opportunistic selves.

A bevy of Hawks give aways lead to Penguins goals.  Pens forward Adam Cleland was his fiesty self and Chris Bumbacco’s red helmet was flying around.  Even MNHL Bad Boy Blair Collett was able to contribute with a 2 goal game.

Hawks attempted a 2nd period come back lead by 2 goals from Murray “The Chef” Pratt who appears to be heating up at just the right time.

The return of line mate Henry Verbakel saw an end to a 7 game goal streak for Matt Snyder, Coincidence?

Steve Adams was able to finally find the back of the net after claiming to be open the entire game.  Tyler Smith played a strong 2 way game at center as the Hawks were without both of their usual centers for the contest.

Pens goalie Dean “The Thrill” Shill once again put in a strong showing and let everyone know it.  His flair for flashing the leather was almost sickening to the Hawks bench and multiple discussions of “running the goalie in the playoffs” were had in the dressing room after.

In defeat, the Blackhawks dined on a delicious Roast Beef on a Bun which reportedly had been marinating for 4 days.  Unfortunately the team ran out of Beer at the 24 can mark, a fitting end to a disappointing evening.

Reports of the Pens moving from the Dressing Room to Marino’s to celebrate the monumental victory have yet to be confirmed.

Pens forward Mike O’Neill potentially facing sexual harassment charges for an unfortunate “texting error”.  Mike is without comment at the advice of his lawyer.    Stay tuned for updates…

Week 18 Game Reports

February 15, 2016

Stars 8 Penguins 6

Family Day Hockey kicked off at Carling with an 8-6 Stars victory over the Penguins.  Both teams went 9 aside and the Penguins lead by 2 for a portion of the game but Stars super D-Man Kevin Dangles decided to score a good chunk of his 6 goals.

Penguins rookie of the century Adam Cleland had 4 of the 6 Pens goals.

Tragedy was avoided when the Penguins beer guy was able to scrounge up a supply cache after discovering the beer store was closed on the holiday Monday, crisis adverted.

Blackhawks 7 Bruins 6

A great back and forth game that saw Hawks stud Ryan Beliveau come away with a hatty and 6 points.  Snyder had 2 (editors note:  everyone says the 1st goal was amazing but honestly I had my eyes closed the entire time so I have no idea what happened) Andrew “Sharpie” Sharp continued to find the back of the net with 1 and Steve “Atta Boy” Adams had 1 as well.

Bruins decided to move Tiny Tim Gibson up to forward as they appeared to be short handed with Foulon out.  Gibson’s shot was stellar from the front end and the Bruins D was able to hold the fort.  Dave Barrett was strong up front for the Bruins whos sub goalie was lights out for chunks of the game.

It appeared that tempers flared in the dying minutes,  when in reality a couple of the boys were only  voicing their opinions on the recent Republican debates using their outdoor voices.  Just a couple of passionate politics fans exercising their first amendment rights (free speech).

Week 17 Game Report

February 8, 2016

Stars 7 Blackhawks 4

Hard to believe the Stars only scored 7 goals, it felt like 100.

Stars jump out to an early lead but a feisty Blackhawks team gave it the ol’ college try including scoring with under 5 seconds left (do last goal wins rules apply?)

Blackhawks Goalie Shawn Martin storms out of the dressing room after the game in protest for the shoddy team defense from the Hawks.  One can only wonder what would have been had Talbot and Henry not taken vacation on this most important game.

Stars had moments of amazement.  The old saying “he skated circles around me”, that literally happened last night to at least 4 Blackhawks.

Week 15 Game Report

January 25, 2016

Penguins 3 Stars 3

Pens managed a 3-3 tie vs the mighty Stars and their kijiji puck stopper!

Pens found themselves down a goal for the first 2 periods and then bounced back to tie and take a 3-2 lead. Stars superstar Kevin tied it up with 50 seconds to go though to keep the Stars from dropping 2 straight.

The game wasn’t without it’s tussles.  The Stars had a guy tossed and Blackhawks power forward Rich Wotten have himself a 6 minute penalty even though the ref didn’t call it!

He went into the box thinking he had a double penalty and 5 minutes later the ref was skating by and asked Rich “what are you doing in there??”.  If that’s not honesty, I don’t know what is.

With the Stars losing to the Blackhawks last week and suffering a tie to the Penguins, maybe Bernies Stars are starting to fall from the sky?

Blackhawks 6 Bruins 5

A Typical Norris vs Adams division clash between the Blackhawks and the Bruins saw the Hawks hold on for a 6-5 victory.  Snyder opened the scoring for the Hawks finally solving Dunbar after 2 years of frustration.  Szypula found the open 5 hole minutes later for a 2-o Hawks lead.  Rupple added 2 including a beautiful rebound on his own break away and Smith found the back of the net with authority.

But the story of the night was, without a doubt, the debut of the MNHL Fan Club.

A large group of female hockey fans made their way to Carling for Ladies Night and Blackhawks stunning forward #16 Ryan Beliveau made them Beli-eve.

Pictures below.  “Belsy is a Stud!”… It’s safe to say we all feel the same away.

Only question is, was Belsy able to complete the hat trick that night (and maybe the next morning?).

Delicious Beef Stew greeted the victorious Blackhawks in the dressing room.

Week 14 Game Reports

January 18, 2016

Bruins 5 vs Penguins 4

In the 1st stunning upset of the night, the Bruins were able to capture a 5-4 win over the Penguins thanks to 4 goals from Adam “Red Light” Foulon.

Bruins Goalie Craig Dunbar reportedly had to leave the game due to a broken nail.  Seriously… he suffered a grotesque injury when the fingernail on his glove hand was ripped off, most likely from a laser beam of a shot from the powerful Penguins team.

This upset shakes up the standings as 2 points separate the Pens, Hawks and Bruins who battle for 2nd thru 4th going into the playoffs.

Blackhawks 7 Stars 5

There are certain events in life that you will always remember where you.  Where you were when JFK was shot.  Where you were when the World Trade Towers were attacked.  Where you were when the Blackhawks beat the Stars for the 1st time this year.

In a back and forth game dictated by puck control and end to end rushes, a full house Blackhawks team was able to handle a short handed yet powerful Stars squad in a game that was as exciting as they come.

The highlight of the night was a controversial penalty on Hawks Andrew “Sharpie” Sharp called for taking a slap shot.  Little did the referee know that Sharpie was using a new, military grade titanium stick borrowed from NASA.  While the penalty was called for Sharpie “not controlling his stick” little did we know that the stick was actually controlling Sharpie.  Goalies beware, if slap shots ever become legal, your days are numbered.

The thrill of the night was Murray “The Chef” Pratt, returning to the ice after taking a week off to enter into — and most likely dominate — a cooking competition (think Iron Chef x 1000) his hands were as soft as a piece of thinly sliced marinated veal, cooked in a red wine and mushroom reduction with just a hint of garlic and sage.

Police are investigating a sexual harassment accusation on the Blackhawks bench though.  The MNHL Human Resources Department will be interviewing players after an unnamed Blackhawk reportedly threatened to spank another player on the team (hint, the accused has a stunning beard, wears # 41 and has the initials HV).

Blackhawks are now 1 point out of 2nd place but also 1 point out of last place.

Week 13 Game Reports

January 11, 2016

Blackhawks 3 Penguins 3

In what can only be classified as Addition by Subtraction, the Blackhawks were able to squeeze a 3-3 tie out of the Penguins without talented scorer Matt Snyder who’s mom made him stay home to finish his school work.

No other reports forthcoming from Cortese and the Pens due to the suspected embarrassment of tying the consistently inconsistent Hawks.

Stars 8 Bruins 1

Roving reporter Craig Dunbar provided this update from the field:

Stars had a full lineup while the Bruins fielded only 8.

It appears many of the Bruins get a bad case of “Star sickness” when we play Bernie’s squad.

The good news for the Bruins is that Bernie’s boys seemed to play only at about 75% most of the night – letting Foulon in for several breakaways that would have normally been challenged hard.  It didn’t matter, though, as the Stars tender was a wall.

The only bright spot for the Bruins was Chuck Parker, who netted our only goal in addition to bringing a fine selection of beers for the boys.  If he had brought some food he would have netted a MNHL hat trick!

Week 12 Game Reports

January 4, 2016

Bruins 6 Blackhawks 3

It was the game after Christmas and all thru the Rink
The Bruins wer flying, the Blackhawks, they stink

Foulon just hung out, at the blue line with care
He knew that the puck would find it’s way there

Blackhawks D-Men Talbot and Tyler and Scott and Chris
Got lost in the D-Zone, the Blackhawks abyss

With the Hawks within 1, there arose such a clatter,
Ol’ Jimmy sprang from the dressing room to see what was the matter

The matter was the Hawks blew it, the Bruins played with no fear
They had Big Tim back on D and his 8 tiny reindeer

And we heard the Blackhawks exclaim as another win left their sight
“4th place ain’t that bad, hey… pass the Bud Light”

Bruins jump out to a 1-0 lead late in the 1st with a great goal from Foulon along the ice and hold on for a decisive win.

Blackhawks get within 1 only to watch their comeback wither on the vine.  The Bruins and Blackhawks are now tied for 3rd place.

Stars 4 Penguins 3

Stars beat the Pens 4-3 last night despite sporting only 8 skaters to take a strangle hold on 1st.

The Pens called up reinforcement Joe Skufca, but the hired gun was unable to turn the tide for the Pens.

The Stars tender was on fire making timely saves and the Stars Bobby Orr clone # 9 (name withheld to protect the innocent) was his usual game controlling self.  Even a late game scuffle from resident league goon Blair “Bad Boy” Collett wasn’t enough to fire the Pens up.

The Pens tried the ol’ “pull the goalie” move but it was too little too late for the Baby Blue Bad Boys.

And when they thought it couldn’t get worse, reports indicate the Pens Injury List could be growing after a bad run in with some post game Marino’s Chicken Wings that caused quite a stir in a few Penguins toilets this morning.  Not Pretty!

The battle down the stretch will be for 2, 3 and 4th place as teams look to avoid the Big Green Death Star aka Bernie’s Stars in the 1st round.

The Pens, Bruins and Blackhawks are now within 3 points of each other with meaningful games in the future.

Christmas Party Report

A great night of games wrapped up with a great night of beers, pizza, wings and exaggerated skill as the MNHL Boys gathered at the Alibi for the 1st Annual MNHL Christmas Party. 

Over 25 guys made it out and everyone looked to be in the Holiday Spirit. 

Thanks to the MNHL Board for throwing in some cash towards the food bill and thanks to Big Jimmy for organizing the distribution of the food.

1st Half Review

At the unofficial half way point of the season, it’s fair to say that the league appears to be a success.  The new relaxed format hasn’t slowed the pace of play, the aggression is way down and the enjoyment is way up and a few of the boys even appear to be getting in some sort of “shape” thanks to the 90 minutes of ice. 

Blair finally settled on a jersey color after 4 weeks of fashion experimentation.

Reports of expansion are circulating for the 2016 season and the playoff race is in full swing with every team still in the hunt.

Here’s to a great Holiday Season and looking forward to a great 2016 filled with Hockey Heroics.

12 Bars of Christmas Report

The MNHL mid-season All Star team travelled down Richmond on Saturday night to enjoy 12 bars of Christmas.  Working under the operating guidelines that “technically any place that serves is a bar” the boys were only able to make it to 11 “establishments” before falling to the night.  For the most part, it was a great night of pitchers and pictures, although no one really can confirm the details.

In order of appereance:

#1 McCabes

#2 Molly Blooms

#3 The Keg Bar (Technically not a bar but still counts)

#4 Jack Astors

#5 The Ceeps

#7 Martini Bar (Outside Only)

#8 Barking Frog

#9 The Runt Club

#10 Winks (Outside Only)

#11 Joe Kools


  

Week 11 Game Reports

December 21, 2015

Stars 8 Blackhawks 3

Coming in hot on a 3 game unbeaten streak, the Hawks jumped out to a 2-1 lead after the 1st period on goals from Matt Snyder (Finally…) and Kevin Rupple.  Captain Talbot must have had a vision because he predicted Snyder would break the seal last night and in dramatic fashion, his prediction game true… bold guess or Jedi Mind Trick from Talbot?

As the 2nd period started, Bernie and the Boys came alive.  Bernie and the Stars appear to be Star Wars fans if last night’s game was any indication because seconds into the 2nd period

THE FORCE AWAKENED…

The Big Green Death Stars decided that they actually wanted to win the game and, like a cat toying with a mouse before sudden death, the Stars literally slaughtered a shaken and sad Hawks team that had visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.

Final score was 8-3 (or 9-3 or 10-3) Stars.

Penguins 6 vs Bruins 4

In the late game on o’ Rink A the Bruins fell again in a close game that even had Scott “Christmas Story” Cortese find 2 gifts under the tree.

From here on in, any goal scored within 15 inches of the net will be known as “scoring a Cortese”

The Pens are quickly becoming the bad boys of the MNHL as they had 3 goons serving penalties at one point in the game (safe to assume one of these was Blair) but their PK unit held strong as Blairs Baby Blue Boys held the Big Bomber Tim Gibson off the score sheet.

Matt MacDonald went on a personal mission (possibly fueled by egg nog and rum) to de-nut Pens star Adam “Stylish Hands” Cleland.

Tim “Mountain Man” Beckett was the man of the night for the Pens.  Don’t be fooled by this Grizzly Bear looking big man, he has the insides of a Teddy Bear and hands as soft as a baby angel which allowed him to score on a beautiful wrap around goal on Dunbar for one of his 2 goals.

Adam “Ice Man” Foulon had his usual contribution of goal and high flying end to end rushes.

Scoring was completed by Brad Nickle who tipped a beautiful wrist high shot in, hand eye coordination has never been an issue for Nickle.

Week 10 Game Reports

December 14, 2015

Blackhawks 6 Penguins 5

“We’re going streaking” was the cry from the Blackhawks dressing room post game.  To outsiders, weird and wild visions ensued but to the Blackhawks who are undefeated in 3 it had an entirely different meaning.

Jumping out to an early lead thanks to 2 goals by Savy Vet Henry “The Most Interesting Man in the MNHL” Verbakel.  He doesn’t always score goals but when he does, he scores 2.

Kevin Rupple dominated chunks of the game with his nifty stickhandling and the score could have been worse if not for the fast glove of Dean “The Thrill” Shill who was in the head of ‘Hawks forward Matt “No Finish” Snyder.  Reports that robbing Snyder 4 or 5 during the game weren’t enough and Shill actually drove to his house, ate his food and wore his clothes just to prove a point.

Blair Collett got the Pens back in it with a goal that defys description.  Mike O’Neill and Adam Cleland also had strong games for the Baby Blue Boys but despite strong pressure in the final minutes including an outstanding game from Hawks converted D-Man Tyler Smith, the Hawks went home victorious.

Take notice MNHL, the Hawks are circling.

The highlight of the night was the strongly contested debate on the merit of Uber vs. Taxi Cabs in the dressing room, paired with a strong beer selection — over 5 different choices.  Was someone being festive or cleaning our the beer fridge?  We may never know.

Stars 8 vs Bruins 3

Best guesses of  the final score is Stars 8 Bruins 3 although many will dispute as the ref didn’t put up goals to the enjoyment of Bruins Fans.  Stars may have scored more.

Bruins were down two strong players in Brad Nickle and Dave Barrett so they snuck (illegally????) super sub Mark Vandenbosch on the squad and had him pose as perennially injured Hans Schreff.

Stars started with 6 skaters allowing the Bruins to jump out to a 2-1 lead. The Bruins thought their illegal tactics were working and they had a chance of finally beating the Stars… THEY WERE WRONG.

Bernie’s call for reinforcements was realized when the troops started arriving (by car or by horse TBD) and the ice began to tilt.

The Bruins quickly realized their chance of winning was only slightly better than the chance of a white Christmas in London.

Goals started coming in all varieties- pucks bouncing off Briuns D,  Dunbar forgetting he’s a goalie and pretending to be D, leading to 2 yawning cages.  Finally Star Super Star D-Man # 9 scored a particularly nice goal where he skated around 2 or 3 Bruins, including the Goalie.

Undeterred by the drubbing, the Bruins joyfully went to Rod Mitchell’s for his annual Christmas celebration where the boys battled hard for their turn in Rod’s massage chair.  Stars 8 (or 9 or 10) Bruins 3 Massage Chair 0

Week 9 Game Reports

December 7, 2015

Stars 10 Penguins 7

The Stars entered with only 7 skaters but apparently it was the right 7 as they were able to pound 10 goals past the Baby Blue Penguins in a back and forth barn burner in the early game.

While details are dim, the score suggests a game full of chances.  17 goals is an impressive feat for any game involving both Bernie and Blair on the same ice.

Blackhawks 5 Bruins 2

Some teams will just not be denied, in this case that team was the Blackhawks who moved into a tie for 3rd place after a decisive 5-2 win.

The 1st period was full of chances but no results.  Hawks forward Matt Snyder lead the attack but his game was similar to a poorly planned Scandinavian vacation…. All Swedish, No Finish!

The Blackhawks would take the lead late in the 1st when Henry Verbakel took a Kevin Rupple feed to put the ‘Hawks up 1-0.  Henry was definitely the “Toe” to Kevin’s “Tic Tac”.

Hawks forward Ryan Beliveau made us “Beli-eve” when, with the patience of a Vietcong sniper, waited… waited… waited… and then buried to put the Hawks up by 2.  Beliveau celebrated by praising the hockey gods.

Chester Szypula showed up eventually, and immediately took charge of the back end.  While the MNHL doesn’t give out awards if they did, Szypula would have to be in consideration for the MNHL Norris Trophy.

Hawks lead 3-0 late in the 2nd but the Bruins keep it a game when Adam “All I Do is Score” Foulon was able to start the come back attack.

“Tiny” Tim Gibson did what he does best, dominate the back end, walk over the blue line and let a missle go, this time though Shawn Martin couldn’t track and the sound of the posts still echo thru Carling.

3-2 Blackhawks, late…..

But the ‘Hawks come back with the insurance goal and a 5th for good measure.   There may have been a 3rd Bruins goal but honestly by 11:15 most of the Blackhawks had already checked out of the ice and were thinking about the delicious culinary trip thru Greece that Tyler Smith was planning in the dressing room.

Bruins tender Craig Dunbar was again, simply amazing in net.  Mike Marquis was his relentless self.  Foulon on an off night was still a threat on every shift and Gibson was his usual strong self.  Bruins D-Man Rob Mitchell also had a strong night in his back end clearing the crease and throwing his weight around.

Blackhawks had strong games from Smith who moved back to D, Steve Adams with his fore check of doom and constant bench chatter and Murray “Puck Possession” Pratt.

On the other hand, Blackhawks “forward” Matt Snyder was awful, not sure why they let this guy on the ice.  Rumors circulated that if he hadn’t brought the beer he would have been a healthy scratch.

Week 8 Game Reports

November 30, 2015

Bruins 4 Penguins 4

To the average MNHL fan arriving early for the 10:00 showcase game, surprise and panic ensued as there was a game ALREADY IN PROGRESS.  The new 9:30 time slot made its debut last night in a classic Penguins vs Bruins battle on ol’ Rink B and by the sounds of it, 30 minutes makes all the difference in the world to a bunch of old boys like us.

You’ve heard of Game of Thrones, how about Game of Ties.

Bruins and Penguins battle to a 4-4 stalemate after the Penguins were unable to hold two different 2 goal leads.  The Bruins battled back to take a 4-3 lead late but a penalty for goaltender interference to Bruins Bad Boy Mike “Maniac” Marquis put the mighty Pens on the power play down by 1.

Rich “Which Way” Wotten scored the tying goal late while on the Power Play and the game ended at 4’s.

In a first in the new era MNHL, Chris Bumbacco was physically molested while on a break away and was awarded a……

PENALTY SHOT!

Unfortunately for Chris, his Penalty Shot was Penalty Sh*t and Craig “The Wall” Dunbar said “not so fast my baby blue wearing friends”.

No Tim Gibson bombs from the blue line and the Penguins spent extra time in their pre game meeting focusing on stopping the Adam Foulon breakway strategy.  Bruins star Brad Nickle was en fuego (ie. on fire) but All Swedish, No Finish as he was unable to pop one past Dean “The Thrill” Shill.

Many comments on the early start which allowed an extra 30 minutes of beer drinking for Blair’s boys before the street lights came on and their moms told them they had to be home since it’s a school night.

Stars 5 Blackhawks 5

Like the rash on your butt that just won’t go away, the Big Red Machine were able to wrestle a point away from the undermanned Death Star in Green they call the Stars in a game that had everything you could want out of the MNHL including delicious Chinese cuisine, the return of an MNHL legend and a once in a life time event.

The Blackhawks jumped out to an early lead but the Stars patient counter-attack was able to tie the game up.  Savy vet Henry Verbakel resembling a young Brett Hull had 2 goals for the ‘Hawks and like a rabid dog, hounded the net for his 3rd with a few late chances.  If Verbakel is able to regain his form of earlier years it would be akin to Sean Connery coming out of retirement to once again play Super Spy James Bond.  It would be epic.  Let’s just say, the fire is starting to heat up.

Now, there’s some events that a person may experience once, or twice a life time if their lucky.  A full lunar eclipse, a lottery win, being struck by lightening or more relevant to this article, a Talbot Stevens goal.  If you blinked you missed it, but you’ll never miss the stories, to be retold for years.  This seeing eye wrister from the blue line put the Blackhawks up yet again.

The Blackhawks may have let up too early though when an error proved to be more costly then a 20 year mortgage with a 14% interest rate.  Leaving Stars super captain Bernie Klacer alone thru the neutral zone, The Star’s Star walked across the blue line and shot a cannon off the cross back down and in the net to tie the game.

2 goals from Stars forward Dave “Free Buffet” Bancroft and solid goal tending from Shawn Martin is the rest of the story.

Blackhawks forward Matt Snyder had 2 nifty rushes showing off his dangles but, as has been confirmed by many of the women in his life, in the end Snyder came up a few inches short.

Szechuan Beef was the post game meal for the ‘Hawks.  A festive far east trip for the taste buds with just enough heat to scare away the children.

Week 7 Game Reports

November 23, 2015

Stars Many Bruins Less (12-5 Bruins)

Like Big Foot, the actual score of this game is a mystery.  Reports of 9-6, 12-5, 20-5 have been coming in from all corners of the MNHL globe.

Some quotes from unidentified players involved:

“We’re trying to forget.  Lost count after double digits”

“12-5 would be my best guess”

“2 Touchdowns to a Field Goal”

“Green are just too good, at least for me”

“I saw 7-2 on the scoreboard but I’m not sure for who… ya right we all know for who”

“12-6 or 20-6, I lost count”

The official score will go down as 12-5.  The sting of the loss will quickly fade, but for many Bruins the trauma will last for ever.

Penguins 8 Blackhawks 4

In the late game the Penguins jumped out to an early lead and never relented, walking away with an 8-4 win over the lowly Blackhawks.

The Baby Blue Pens jumped on the scoreboard early when Scott “Garbage Man” Cortese pounced on a rebound in front like a Racoon digging thru a garbage can and finding a day old piece of pizza.  With the stink of the 1st goal still lingering in the air, the Pens jumped on a flat and unfocused Blackhawks squad like a fat kid on the last piece of cake.

Mike O’Neill set up camp at the Blackhawks blue line and, after putting himself offside previously, scored a beautiful break away goal.  Cortese added his 2nd and Collett was his usual pestering self keeping the Blackhawks rush under control.  On one rush his defensive prowess was so relentless that Blackhawks forward Matt Snyder simply fell upon him in exhaustion.

The only bright spot in an otherwise uninspired Blackhawks night was the play of Bobby Orr clone Chester Szypula.  Displaying hands as soft as a babys bottom, Chester again showed the benefits of a full warm up netting a goal in consecutive games.  The Blackhawks power line of Verbakel, Pratt and Beliveau was consistently inconsistent and the checking line of Sharpe, Snyder and Rupple had apparently “checked out” before puck drop.

Great goal tending from both Shill and Martin.

Blackhawks dined on a pulled beef medley including home made slaw.  The beef was slow cooked for 11 hours and paired excellently with the MGD.

Unconfirmed reports that the Penguins did have post-game beers while the Blackhawks cried post-game tears.

Week 6 Game Reports

November 16, 2015

Blackhawks 7 Bruins 4

In the upset of the early season, the Blackhawks jumped out to a 5-0 lead over the powerful Bruins and withstood a strong late push to pull out their 1st victory of the season.

Even though there was 11 goals scored, strong goal tending from both masked men was the story of the match.

Blackhawks scorers included Andrew “Sharpie” Sharpe and Chester “2 Goals” Szypula who had 2 shots from the blueline find their way thru to the back of the ol’ puck catcher (ie the net).

The Bruins got on the board after Tim Gibson decided to take matters into his own hands with a post denting laser from just over the blue line.

The win sees the Blackhawks take a firm grasp on 4th place with 3 points.  Remarkable that a team can triple their seasons points with 1 strong showing.

Blackhawks post game meal report:  Meatball Subs paired perfectly with Coors Banquet tallboys.  Comments on the delicious hint of garlic and pepper in the sauce.   A solid 7/10 on taste and 8/10 on presentation due to the brand new crock pot.  A 5/10 on ambiance in the room due to the distracting door knocking which hindered conversation.

Stars 8 Penguins 5

West Coast corespondent Blair Collett provided this update:

The big news pre-game was the confusion over the missing refreshment cooler.  Seemed to have created a distraction on the ice as well (for the Penguins).  Lots of rumblings on who missed out on bringing the additional bevies.  On a positive note the powder blue penguins did have pucks for warm up so that helped out immensely.

The start of the game was close with chances had at both ends.  More on ice distractions as the Penguins looking for Green enforcer Bernie Klacier who was missing for the game.  I think maybe intimidated by previous losses (to the Penguins).  Alas, the Green team without their physical presence exploited the Penguins defense to break the game open late. Multiple missed opportunities came back to haunt the pale blue penguins.

Happy to report no injuries sustained in the game and post game explanation of who brings refreshments when and in what quantity was the only win for the Penguins.

Week 5 Game Report

November 9, 2015

Stars 5 Blackhawks 3

It started off as a slaughter but ended in excitement in this classic MNHL game that saw perhaps the greatest goal ever scored (more on that later).

Bernie and the Stars came out hot and heavy early, relentlessly punishing the Blackhawks defense, with controlled anarchy in the Blackhawks zone, the Stars jumped out to an early 4-0 lead.  ‘Hawks goalie Shawn Martin and Stars super spare Sam Shaw put on goaltender clinics, Martin made a reported 64 saves in the 1st period alone.

But the Blackhawks would not die.  Early in the 2nd period Blackhawks power forward Matt Snyder picked up a loose puck and went into Bobby Orr mode, he circled back around his net and went on to go end to end over, around and thru EVERY SINGLE Stars player. his luscious long hair flowing in the wind before doing a triple spin-o-rama and taking the most stunning wrist shot top shelf.  Both benches broke out into a standing ovation.  The game had to be stopped for several minutes to calm both teams down who were simply amazed at what they had just seen.  Grown men wept in the hands at the pure beauty of this amazing goal.  Captain Talbot was speechless in his post game press conference.  If you don’t believe this story, shame on you.  The legend of this goal will grow for years to come.  Your childrens children will marvel at this accomplishment.  MNHL’ers will lie about being on the ice for this miraculous display of athletic prowess for decades.

Alas, after getting to within 1, the Stars scored a late insurance goal and walked away with the 5-3 victory, but even after the game the stadium was a-buzz at what Snyder had accomplished.

Verbakel also scored a pretty goal on a feed from Rupple.  It wasn’t as nice as Snyder’s goal of the century but it should be mentioned.

Blackhawks dined on a delicious Mexican themed taco spread.

Bruins 6 Penguins 4

The mighty Penguins accomplished the impossible, wearing the same jerseys for back to back games.

Rumors of massive grumblings from the Penguins dressing room regarding the fact that the web site refers to them as the Penguins, Sharks Jets has lead to rumors of a potential walk out from the Penguins (similar to the happenings in Flint, Michigan).  Web administrator Matt Snyder was questioned after the game and commented “if they have a problem, they know where to find me, let’s settle it on the ice” at which point laughter ensued.

On the ice, hired Gun Adam Cleland scored a hatty for the Pens who had opportunities to win it late until the Bruins sealed the deal with an empty netter.

Scott Cortese’s effort to tie the game were for not, as Bruins goalie Craig Dunbar argued he wasn’t ready (the old “wasn’t ready” trick, works every time) and the goal was disallowed.  No mention from Scott that Dunbar was still on his knees doing up his pads.

Savy vet Andy “The Butcher” Cleland drew his first penalty of the season with a vicious 2 hand chop (vicious may be an exaggeration, but it sounds good).

After the 5th goal against, Dean “The Thrill” Shill attempted to shake his boys up by verbally abusing their effort and intelligence, his scream to “Smarten Up” echo’d thru the rafters of ol’ Carling Arena.

Finally, Penguins passed on a hot dinner but did enjoy 2 cases of beer after the game.  The Blackhawks had no comment on this blatant attempt at one-up-man-ship.

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