In Days of Old

Tales from the Timebox: January 23rd, 2018

“In Days of old, when men were bold, and the Zamboni was not invented!” Some of you hockey parents may remember this. And for sure us grandparents do. In fact, we did this all the time, when I was a kid playing outside on the pond or on the outdoor rink. Back in the day before the Zamboni came along teams would scrap the ice with big wide wooden boards and flood by pulling a barrel with a cloth on the back. The barrel is still at the back of our arena and so are some of the scrappers. Just in case you ever wanted to use them. And in case you didn’t hear, the Zamboni crapped out on us this past Thursday night and wouldn’t start. And after two days and numerous mechanics trying to start it, a rental unit was sent out from the city and ours was taken in for repair; they think it may be the computer board.
The rental got here in time for the Elks’ game Saturday night. The timing could have been a bit better, with a bantam game Friday night and five other minor hockey games here on Saturday. Some of them had to be postponed and some moved to another arena. But on the other hand, it could have been worse, if it happened during the bantam D provincial finals in March.
A few weeks ago we helped out Vermilion, when their plant went down and provided them with some ice time. Great job by our team managers who had to scramble around finding ice and contacting teams, and referees. Mass texts going out. Just think how we would have to do that only a decade ago… phoning everyone on the land line.
The bantam team was one of them moving a game Friday night against Lloydminster to Cold Lake with very short notice. Not only was it short notice, but a short bench for our guys once again. This time they pulled up a peewee player,  Dean ‘the Machine’ Ockerman to play with them. He’s one of the bigger peewee players, and his team wasn’t playing that night. Giving the bantams a total of eight skaters. But once again they pulled off a huge win, 7 to 4 for the Avalanche over the Blazers. Four goals and two assists for the ‘Jet Stream’ Jaden Van Maarion. One goal and three assists for Evan ‘Batman’ Ockerman. Dallas ‘Cowboy ‘ Bristow with a goal and an assist, and ‘Lightning Liam’ Ludlage firing one from the far end into the empty net to put the last spike into the Blazers coffin. Charlie ‘Chuckle’ Rogal with a couple of helpers. Three of the Avalanche goals scored on the power play, the empty net one by ‘Lightning’ scored short handed. Great job between the pipes by goalie ‘Sexy Slader’ Hardcastle who faced 36 shots, keeping the boys in the game. The Avalanche putting 29 on the Blazers tender.
On Saturday more of the same. Eight skaters again, this time against Marwayne, with  ‘Danny Boy’ Cardinal who served a one game suspension, back in the line up and he scored the first goal for the Avalanche half way through the second to make it a one all game after forty minutes. Coming out in the third period the Avalanche would get another two, one by ‘Cowboy’ one by ‘Chuckles assisted by ‘Lightning Liam’ and ‘King Cole’ Bendixen. The final score 3 to 1 for the Avalanche. Another win for this unbelievable ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey team!
Our midget team was scheduled to play at 5 pm on Saturday and their game against Lloydminster had to be moved to Frog Lake. The Avalanche winning this one quite easily 11 to 4. Four goals for the talented sniper Nick ‘Sparky’ Anderson, the speedy Austin ‘Astro’ Axley with two goals and two assists. All arms and legs, the lanky 6 foot 4,  Brody ‘the Big O’ Odgaard with two goals and two assists. Abe ‘New Guy’ Neufeld with his second of the season. Free wheeling D Man Hayden ‘Hot Wheels’ Ludlage with a goal and an assist. The rugged hard-nosed defenseman ‘ Warrior Warren’ Ference also with one goal and an assist. Wolke ‘the Wolfman’ Cueva with three assists, team captain ‘Awesome Alex ‘ Hunter with a couple of helpers too. Guarding the fort, it wasn’t  a busy night for goalie Spencer ‘Fortress’ Hardcastle, but he still made  some outstanding high light saves.
Back in business on Sunday at the AGR, only one game was on the agenda; but it was a huge game for this young peewee # 4 team with 5 atom aged players in their line up. No butterflies for these guys. Gung ho and ready to go at 2pm when they played fantastic against Bonnyville in a provincial round robin game winning 3 to 0.
Coming off the starting line, going full bore,  Kaleb ‘Formula One’ Flamand scoring  the first goal assisted by Brady ‘Bionic Man’ Hymanyk and ‘Wild Wyatt’ Pavol. Into the second period, ‘Bazooka Joey’ Cardinal would do it all alone right off a face off. He picked up the puck, then  deaked out two players, and then said “How’s it going?”  to the goalie. Five minutes later, the ‘Bionic Man’ would score one on the power play, going in all alone on the breakaway and doing the same.
With a three goal lead you would think they may back off a bit, but these guys kept the pressure on for a full 60 minutes and peppered the Pontiacs goalie with 41 shots. No boys are going to push this girl around! Great aggressive work in the corners and in front of the net by defense woman Kaylee ‘Big Bird’ Radcliffe. Tiny defenseman Gavin ‘Giver’ Kadutski living up to his nick name, getting the green light he rushed with the puck, he was given her all out both ways. Goalie Kade’the Kid’ Fontaine didn’t face a ton of shots, but had to make a couple really tough saves in the game to keep his goose egg going. Next game is tomorrow night, Wednesday at 6.15 in Bonnyville. Hey, if you get a chance go give them your support, you’ll enjoy the game and the effort is unbelievable.
Because of our Zamboni issues, the peewee Tier # 1 team had to move their provincial round robin game against St. Paul to Frog Lake on Saturday. The game ended in a two all tie, ‘King Kong Konnor’ Poitras scoring  both of the Avalanche  goals. Both of his goals were assisted by Cash ‘Paycheque’ Capjack and ‘Mick Jager’ Fontaine. Ryan ‘ Ram Rod’ Cameron was flying in both of their games this weekend. He’s not a very big player, but he plays with a big heart and is never intimated by bigger players.  And a  great goaltending performance by ‘Stretch’  Goalie Vanden, ‘Super Mario’ Moroziuk stood on his head at times, and stretching from post to post he shut the door keeping this one close. The next game of the two game total points series is in St. Paul this Thursday night. Good luck, I know our guys will do this !!  On Sunday in Cold Lake the tier # 1 peewee team had their hands full with the top team in the league. ‘Paycheque’ and ‘Mick Jager’ scoring, ‘King Kong’ with an assist.
The only  team that wasn’t affected by the Zamboni was the Atoms who  had two games booked out of town. On Saturday they played a really strong game in Cold Lake. This one could have went either way, the Avalanche losing 7 to 6. A hat trick, plus an assist  for Braylee ‘Little Willy’ Lesyk. Two goals and two assists for Everett ‘Snoopy’ Smereka. Charlotte ‘ Web Mail’ Henderson sending a message into the twine. Hard working nine to five girls  ‘Stella Ella’ Ballas, and Anna ‘ the Banana’ Henderson getting an assist each. It was a  total team effort on Sunday up in Plamondon, the Avalanche winning this exciting  one 2 to 1.  Grandparent, Albert Bortanyk commented to his daughter, the team manager Melinda Henderson, that “he had never seen them play this well, it was best game of the year that he had seen so far.” The pretty brown eyed  ‘Stellar Ella’ scoring the first goal. No one is going to can catch  the ginger bread man! ‘Cyclone Cole ‘ Pierce going coast to coast and top shelf with the second goal. Both of those goals were scored in the third period giving the Avalanche  the big win, and both were assisted by the fore- checking  forward Kaysen ‘Dynamite’ DeMossiac.
 And now for the K.A. Campbell quote of the week, ” Winning is always fun, but the car is more important. ‘ Teemu Selanne at an All Star game.