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Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Game Report
February 25, 2008

Thrashers 5 Killer Strawberries 4 OT/SO

With the Ice Marshall still out of the lineup and without the services of a discombobulated Gumby and a malingering Butcher Brophey, the Strawbs managed to extend its losing streak to an embarassing all-time high of 3 games. What is unfortunate about the streak extension is the fact that it comes as a playoff loss. To win the coveted Intramural Hockey Crown, the Strawberries will have to win all its remaining games. This is something it can do, provided a little effort is put forward by certain underperforming parties who shall remain nameless (unless, of course, there is another defeat before the end of the season, in which case the slammin’ will be happenin’).

First, let’s deal with the absences. As noted in the previous game report, the Ice Marshall has been in Stockholm. Currently, he finds himself at the tail end of this Swedish trip on which he picked up another humanitarian award. On this game day, he was suffering a much deserved post award hangover. When reached by phone after the match at his hotel on the Hoodaloodagoodastrasse, he was quoted as saying “I’m surprised and disappointed this time. I think I leave the team in good hands and still they mess up. I’ll be cutting my trip short to get this Titanic off the iceberg. Crap…my head hurts. Kate and Ashley, can we get an earlier flight.”

As for Gumby’s absence, there really was no excuse. Apparently he had cut his fingertip on a can of smoked oysters while ice fishing in the nude with the cheerleading squad from Mamma Poon’s School For Misguided Misfits and, consequently, lost a lot of blood; 3 or 4 drops according to some shady but reliable eyewitnesses. Luckily, the Bandaid took and he will, according to his publicist, be gracing the team with his august presence at the next hockey encounter. Even flimsier was the reason proferred by the Butcher to explain his no-show. “My new hot tub was coming in. Miss White Go Go Boots was coming over to help me test it out. You understand, I hope.” No, the team does not understand and steadfastly refuses to understand your self-centeredness. Show up to the next game, you post-pubescent, angst-ridden, testosterone besotted slacker!

Now to the game itself. What a mess. While it is true that the Killer Strawberries peppered the Thrashers goaler with more than 50 shots which it converted to 4 anemic goals, it was the defence who contributed above and beyond to the thrashing. After an opposing team manages to score on an early breakaway, the other team usually adjusts so that such an occurrence does not happen again. Not so with the Strawbs’ defence. As blithely as a crack addict contemplating the beauty of his own genius, the Strawberry defenders refused to change their wayward approach. Time after time, the defencemen, led by a mentally derailed Freight Train, pinched in from the blueline to chase loose pucks behind the opposition’s net. The defencemen were not content to do this crazy, out-of-position digging alone. Like bladder-challenged high school girls at a sock hop skitting off to the bathroom in pairs, the Strawberry defenders made frequent in-tandem forays into territory, far from the spots they should have been in. The culprits, which included The Vice, who should have known better, Shiny Sean Brightly, who should have known better, Whoahorny, who should have known better, and the aforementioned Freight Train, allowed an unprecedented 12 breakaways resulting in 4 goals. One would have guessed that by, say, breakaway #7, a light would have come on. Apparently, there was a power outage in certain helmets.

In their defence, the offence played well, but were plagued with shotus weakus and a very hot goalie. The tottering Dr. Thug, MagBoy, Pyjama Man and Archilles Perron managed to pierce the Thrasher’s armour in a valiant yet insufficient effort. Of the plus 50 shots on net, Archilles had 32 of them, as he was set up repeatedly by the out of position Freight Train Laronde. One hopes Archilles' conversion rate climbs out of the abyss in which it currently languishes. Is everything okay at home, Monsieur Archilles?

To round out the performance appraisal of the forwards, it should be mentioned that Warrin Peace’s contribution was just north of mediocre. He skated like he was carrying Plutonium in a lead valise. He performed thus, even though he was being cheered on by the team’s #1 fan, the bodacious Samara Desert, who showed up to the game in her best squirrel skin jacket, a jacket which Warrin’ made for her in remembrance of their first sock hop together at Wiki High in 1999.

One truly strong point in an otherwise dismal match was the play of the Strawbs' hapless goaltender, Jesse The Leak. He stopped 8 of 12 breakaways and 2 of 3 shootout attempts. “ Man, I sure felt alone out there tonight” he understated. “Was this some kinda test or something? I can’t wait for the Ice Marshall to come back to instill a little discipline, a lot of discipline really. I always knew he was the glue that kept us going.”

After the game, most Strawbs slithered to the Terminal Tavren, their tails firmly ensconced between their legs. While a lot of lamenting accompanied the first round, by round 10, optimism creeped through the door and insinuated itself into all psyches present. Future victories were toasted and the team rededicated itself to winning the Crown which hangs so tantalizingly before its eager grasp.

16 Guinness, 41 Stella, 3 Kilkenny, 2 pounds of chicken wings (seasoned) and some dreams of future glory were consumed.

Blades Slice Strawberries

Game Report

February 14, 2008

Blades of Steel 5 Strawbs 2

It should have been a joyous farewell gift for devoted fans Madame LaChaise Lounge and Pamdaemonium. Neither Madame nor her sister, the world’s greatest ditherer, will be attending another game this year. Each has her own selfish reasons. Madame LaChaise will be pursuing self-fulfillment on a beach in Costa Rica as she studies the use of indigenous fruits in local cocktails. Pamdaemonium will continue changing her mind in a climate more suited to her langourous lifetstyle. The team will miss their enthusiasm and cleavage.

Unfortunately, the Strawbs failed to deliver the goods and lost to an outmanned, outskated but not outscored squad of desperate Blades, keen on proving that youth can outperform age and treachery if it really sets its heart upon victory. One possible reason for the loss could have been the absence of leadership and other je ne sais quoi normally provided by the Ice Marshall who was in Stockholm (until February 26) to receive yet another award for his ceaseless contributions to world peace and harmony. “I am disappointed but not surprised” stated the team’s spiritual leader upon learning of the defeat. “These guys can be like a bunch of unsupervised teenagers with a blowup doll. Without proper guidance, they think they know what to do but usually end up screwing themselves instead.”

The loss leaves the Strawberries entering the playoffs on a rare 2 game losing streak. One can only hope that a better effort is made to ensure a second consecutive Intramural Hockey Crown. Sadly, this will will have to accomplished without the support of 2 of its top 3 fans.

After the game, the Strawbs reassembled at the Terminal Tavren to give Pam and Madame a proper send off. At least in this regard, the team was successful. Speeches were given, hugs exchanged, best wishes uttered and much alcohol poured down greedy gullets. Good luck ladies. We will miss you sorely.

73 Stella and an industrial size bottle of Tums were consumed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wilted and Betrayed

Game Report
February 11, 2008

Thrashers 6 Strawbs 2

It was barely 3 minutes to game time as Sir Gumby, The Leak, the Ice Marshall, Shiny Sean and Warrin’ Peace sat peacefully in Dressing Room #10, hoping than no other Strawbs would show up to the game, thus allowing the squad to forfeit with dignity.

Alas, luck was running the other way. MagBoy, soon followed by Pyjama Man, came sauntering through the door, unfortunately giving the Strawberries enough manpower to have but one spare on the bench. Faced with this dearth of players, the team still pressed on as best it could against fourteen determined Thrashers, aged 19 or less. Youth won out on this evening, kicking Age’s butt with its ice skate versions of Doc Martins and Jimmy Chus.

After the final whistle, the bedraggled Strawbs’ squad hit the showers without a word being spoken. All present knew they had just witnessed a case of grand betrayal. If Sir Gumby with his temporarily shattered ego, The Leak with his failing eyesight, the Ice Marshall with his double pneumonia, Shiny Sean with his recent sleep deprivation, Warrin’ Peace with his bad haircut, MagBoy with his gingivitis and uncontrolled flatulence and Pyjama Man with his excessive sperm back up could make it through minus 40 degree weather to carry the Killer Strawberries' banner, the rest of the team could at least have sent regrets.

Nothing was consumed, as the wilting process was utterly complete by the end of the game.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mount Olympus Sends a Messenger

Game Report

February 7, 2008

Killer Strawberries 9 Titans 6

Just prior to last night’s match against the Titans, Sir Gawdawful Gumby, recently knighted in a secret ceremony at the Aloha Baby Compound West, held a press conference in the lobby of the beautiful Pete Palangio Arenas, home to the Killer Strawberries and other lesser juggernauts. While the presser was at times long, rambling and seasoned with more than a dash of false humility (not unlike the self-appointed subject of the press conference), its purpose was never in doubt. Sir Gumby made it clear to the gathered throng that, while he was flattered to have been elevated to the ranks of hockey nobility, it was certainly not his intention to sit on his laurels or hardys. To the amazement of all within earshot, he proclaimed that “henceforth, I wish only to be known as Gawd.” “Please just capitalize the G,” he conceded. “I think some people might find full capitals a tad pretentious. That is most assuredly not what I’m all about”. As he left a rather odiferous trail of what he is all about to linger in the air of the lobby, Gawd, using a slight wave of his hand to part the throng, made his way to the team’s dressing room to take his place on the small throne he had earlier erected in his own honour. From the heights of his newfound Olympus, he held forth on what he considered to be the most egregious of the Strawbs’ weaknesses. Because no one was listening anyway, there is no record, oral or otherwise, of the profundities which emanated from Gawd's Stool of Hubris.

Despite the 3 ring circus in which they found themselves performing, The Killer Strawberries played an excellent game, once their fickle goaltender decided for whom he was going to play that evening. Unbeknownst to management, The Leak took it upon himself to promise another team he would play for them at the same time in another venue in order to allow one his friends to tend goal for the Strawbs against the Titans. The only problem with his hare-brained scheme was that his friend had been, earlier in the week, suspended from another league for verbally abusing a zebra. Oddly enough, the besmirched zebra in question was about to referee the Strawbs-Titans game. As the Leak’s replacement placed his first foot upon the ice surface, he was accosted by the aggrieved party and summarily told to leave. Fortunately, the embarassed Leak was still in the arena and, faster than a Vice’s slapshot, got dressed for the game. By the time he made it to his crease, the Strawberries were down 2-0, no thanks to some shoddy goaltending by MagBoy. From then on, the momentum shifted and the squad kept it date with destiny, outscoring the Titans by a score of 9 to 6.

The Strawberries won the match without the services of Butcher Brophey, Dr. Thug, Whoa.Horny and Shiny Sean Brightly. Apparently, the Butcher has had a separated shoulder for the last 7 months and did not realize it until he had to open up his wallet recently to pay for some post game beer, always a painful exercise for him. Dr. Thug continues to nurse the concussion he suffered when he ran into the immovable object we call Freight Train. Whoa.Horny, now on sabbatical from his last sabbatical, was studying Peyote Poppers in some Arizona desert and Shiny Sean had no real excuse beyond a limp claim that he is still hurting mentally and psychically from the playoff loss suffered by the Packers earlier in January.

It should be noted here that Archilles Perron, 30 pounds lighter than he was at the start of the season, continued his torrid scoring streak, adding 4 more goals to his illustrious hockey resume. The Kate Olsen Binge & Vomit Diet seems to be working and has been recommended to some of the other Strawberries who are, ill-advisedly, patterning their physiques on that of Jabba The Hut.

As a result of his impressive showing, Archilles was spared the acid tongue of Gawd after the game. Without so much as a glance into his own mirror, Sir Gawd found time to lambaste anyone who would listen to his tirades. The Vice’s shot was too limp, Freight Train was derailing too often from the tracks of his inattention, Pyjama Man played like he didn’t care if Up were Down or vice versa, MagBoy was too coy with the puck, The Leak didn’t know how to handle rebounds and the Ice Marshall’s hair gel was too stiff. It was almost a certainty that he would have continued in this vein had not the messenger Nemesis arrived unexpectedly from Mount Olympus to stanch the vitriol and open a small can of WhoopAss . Without warning, Sir Gawd found himself sprawled on the floor, wallowing in the remains of his tattered Stool, the capital G of his new self-prescribed moniker firmly ensconced in his nether regions. As he pulled himself from the floor, he did manage enough dignity to say:” Just call me Sir from now on.”

After the game, the team reconvened at the Terminal Tavren to discuss the righteousness of Olympians and the sorry state of its fan base. The Strawberries, save for one humbled Sir, rarely if ever complain about anything. But it must be noted that more than a modicum of disappointment was expressed about the recent lack of fan support. Has anyone seen Miss White Go Go Boots or MagGirl or She Who Must be Obeyed, or Glasgow Glamour or Madame la Chaise Lounge or Pamdaemonium or The Evil Spawn or even the most constant of our hangers-on, the beguiling Samara Desert? Please come back. We miss the adoration.

4 Guinness, 5 Stella, 2 Blue Light, 1 Kilkenny, 3 Black and Tan, 1 God-sized goblet of Ambrosia, and a discarded capital G were consumed.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Marinating In The Afterglow

Game Report

February 4, 2008

Strawberries 7 Blades of Steel 2

Sometimes, great performances proceed from unexpected quarters. Sometimes those quarters have been around for so long, they get taken for granted, buffed by familiarity to a soft hue of comfortable beige... Such a “sometimes” manifested itself in last night’s game against a determined but ultimately outgunned Blades of Steel squad.

After finally succeeding in escaping the claws of his inner tortoise, “sometimes” landed with a bang for the team’s spiritual leader in minor vice, the sybaritic Rob The Torch, also know as The Vice Marshall, Red Greenfield, Greenie and The Dictator By The Lake. For the second time in 3 games, The Vice potted a magnificent hat trick…6 goals in total, each entering the opponents’ net at speeds almost exceeding 5 miles per hour. He scored on a backhand low, a backhand high, a forehand low, a forehand high; on a deke with a flourish and through a scramble in a skirmish. It was a veritable smorgasbord of scoring techniques which he has been honing since rock first turned to dirt. As the little Red Hen used to say in his favourite piece of English literature “Hard work pays off”.

As the Strawbs marinated in the afterglow of the Vice’s unexpected yet highly welcomed performance, another “sometimes” almost came to fruition before crash landing on the unfortunate rocks of reality. Fresh from an invigorating week-long retox session somewhere in coastal Mexico, Magboy spent most of the game wreaking havoc on the Blades. He skated like a flatulent wind on speed, causing turnovers, scoring opportunities and the ejaculation of vituperative epithets from the mouths of his dazzled opponents. He notched 2 goals on the evening, each of which could have gone head to head in a beauty contest with any of those perpetrated by The Torch. When asked at game’s end to what he attributed his flashes of hockey brilliance, he was quick to point out the salutory effects of drinking Tequila out the dancing shoes of the senoritas he routinely encountered on his post sundown Tom Cat prowls.

Now an alert reader will have noticed that the “crash landing” portion of the description above has yet to be accounted for. That is the way it will stay. Suffice it to say that, when one is bragging about one’s prowess, it is best to do so outside the earshot of anyone waiting impatiently for a proposal in marriage.

There are only 2 more notes to make on the evening. This writer would like to confirm that Dr. Butcher Brophey did indeed receive a post-game phone call from the team’s Executive headquartered in Oahu. He was told that he is being considered for team tenure, mostly as a result of the sandpaper he added to his game against the Blades. For a match where contact is supposed to result in a penalty, this one was an anomaly. The Butcher battered the Blades at will with nary a humiliating visit to the sin bin to show for his actions. He played like the Butcher we know and love, and he should be congratulated for the covertness of his dastardly deeds.

And finally, just to prove there was a full moon last night, it must be reported that there was more than one board side sighting of She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO) during the tussle between the Strawbs and their arch rivals. This is but the second time in 15 years that SWMBO has been seen in attendance at any her husband’s games. Normally, she spends quiet evenings at home, in her pink puffy slippers and matching Chenille nightgown, sucking on bonbons while reading Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary or other such sentimental tripe. It all seemed a mystery until it was pointed to her current husband, the handsome self-effacing Ice Marshall, that their son, Buzz Charm, was playing at the same time on the ice surface opposite and that SWMBO was simply trying to get the Ice Marshall to provide her with the $45 needed to get Buzz an after game snack worthy of his tastes, inclinations and desires.

Except for the wasted $45, it was a superb outing. The team’s hardiest revelers gathered later at a local imbibery to publicly acknowledge the Vice’s breaking out of his 51 year old hockey slump and to continue its glorious marination in all things hockey related.

1 Blue, 1 Keiths, 1 Canadian, 1 pale liquid resembling beer, 1 Coors Light, 1 banana daiquiri and 6 Patron Tequilas quaffed from a discarded red stiletto pump were consumed.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Canadian Idyll

Game Report

Strawberries 6 Thrashers 5

January 31, 2008

Serendipity is full of fine surprises. The world could use a lot more of it; that and single malt Scotch...neat… in a crystal tumbler...with your favourite girl at your side running her fingers through your hair while she ignores all of your faults and lauds you cooingly for that one redeeming thing you take home to her after every game: your stinking, testosterone soaked equipment.

Well, ideal worlds are a lot like the impossible fantasy above. After all, that’s part of what makes them ideal. But sometimes, nature, in its inscrutable wisdom, grants to us mere mortals those evanescent glimpses of perfection which make life worthwhile. Now, dear reader, you may be wondering just how much single malt is fuelling this ramble. The answer is: none. This ramble is entirely fuelled by the idyllic memories of last night’s game.

In all previous encounters, the Strawbs had dominated the Thrashers. Despite their tenacity, they could not slow the red-socked Strawb juggernaut facing them. But this encounter was different. The Thrashers were a born-again team: lively, creative, feisty and fast. Every time the Strawbs would take the lead, they refused to fold, repeatedly clawing their way back into the game. No lead was safe until, at the 20 minute of the last period, the buzzer declared the Strawbs winners by a micron.

Ask any aficionado of the game what makes for memorable hockey. Invariably she will tell you it involves a tight-knit match seasoned with artistry from unexpected quarters and with more than just a little grit in the Vaseline. The Vice Marshall, with a move he hasn’t used since hid dad used to tie his skates, grabbed the puck in his own zone, dusted off a pesky Thrasher with his bad arm and launched a glorious stretch pass to a streaking Ice Marshall who had been hiding under the opponents’ blue line, waiting for just such a pass. The team’s Spiritual Leader and Shining Example of Misspent Youth caressed the offering with his stiff shafted Koho, spun around twice to indicate his approval, rocketed into the opponents’ zone and dipsydoodled a delicious Dopplerdogger into the microscopic opening between the left post and the Leviathan who guarded it. Tears flowed from all fans present as cries of “Pump Up The Jam, Strawberries” rang from the rafters.

Once all the discarded lingerie was lifted from the littered surface, the game resumed with both sides exhibiting the kind of play they remember in Montreal when the forum eclipsed the Vatican in importance and revenues. Sir Gawdawful Grumpy continually outmaneuvered his determined attackers with guile and legerdepied ( the foot equivalent of the legerdemain). Shiny Sean was magnificent as he jumped into the play on several occasions to create and finish off glorious scoring chances. Dr. Boneheaded Butcher Brophey briefly released himself from the debilitating memories of domestic woes which plague his very essence to play a game characterized by nasty compassion and applied cunning.

Archilles Perron continued his torrid scoring pace which he attributes to Feng Shui, his diet of Brussels Sprout Smoothies and to the notes his inamorata, the beautiful Glasglow Glamour, packs into his athletic protector before each game. Freight Train Laronde, fresh from adding 2 new lines to his PhD thesis earlier in the day, legally or illegally toppled at least one unsuspecting Thrasher at every face off, using the only hockey stick in the league measuring over 8 feet in length. Warrin’ Peace, spurred on by the 3 fans he imported from the Island just for the occasion (including the constant Samara Desert), did not disappoint his adoring throng. He dashed, feinted, spun and twisted just like he did when he was first spotted by the Executive dancing the Fandango on a moonlit beach in Oahu, in perfect time to the waves lapping the shore at his feet.

All of which brings us to Jesse The Leak, whom many had predicted would end up unceremoniously tossed onto the dust heap of hockey history once he began to study under the aforementioned Dr. Butcher Brophey. Fortunately for the Strawbs, The Leak has not heard or heeded a word of what passes for wisdom in the Butcher’s classes. Instead, he has focused on what truly counts in this unpredictable universe: stopping the puck so that his team mates can brag about their on ice victories and get fingers run through their hair practically at will.

The last word must be left for our opponents on the evening who made the game the pleasure it was. They played like gentleman and gentleladies, showed class and tenacity and virtuosity but more important than any of that, contributed meaningfully to the creation on an on ice joie de hockey which is rarely paralleled in any universe.

After the match, the team reassembled at the terminal Tavren where the beer was cold, the wings were hot, faults ignored and hair was mussed.

4 Stella, 5 Guinness, 3 Blue Light, 2 Keiths, 2 Kilkenny, 1 Shirley Temple smelling suspiciously like Aqua Velva, 2 lbs of chicken wings and the visions of future on ice idylls were consumed.