Bulldogs Impropable Run Falls Short In Spring 2017 Championship Game
Posted by: Jean Pierre Roulette on Mon Jul 24th 2017 1:39pm
The Bulldogs seemed to be rolling this season. After a 2 - 3 start, they finished the season on a 5 game winning streak. Combined with 2 playoff wins, they took a 7 game winning streak into the final game of the season where they squared off against the Evil Monkeys for the Spring 2017 Aviator Championship Keg.
Even though it is the Spring Season, the game was played in late July where the Bulldogs have had a lot of success with Summer Month hockey as they are Summer 2015 and Summer 2016 League Champions.
Further, the Bulldogs have dominated the Evil Monkeys when the two teams have previously collided in post season play having eliminated them twice in recent playoff meetings.
The road to the game that would decide which team would hoist the keg was longer this season than previous playoff formats. Although it was a single elimination format as usual, both teams had to play 3 rounds in order to be crowned champions. Previous playoff format only required 2 wins.
In opening round action, the Bulldogs squared off against the Knights. Conversely, the Evil Monkeys battled with last season's defending Aviator Keg Champion, the Lords of Flatbush.
In the second round, the Bulldogs defeated the Desserters in overtime 5 - 4 after the Desserters were granted a first round bye for being a top seed. The Evil Monkeys edged out the Isotopes, who were also granted an opening round bye, in identical fashion via a 5 - 4 overtime win.
After battling through two tough rounds and after both winning 5 - 4 in overtime, it would now come down to one game between the Bulldogs and the Evil Monkeys for the Aviator Championship Keg.
The game started out as mostly uneventful. The teams traded uneventful chances and the play itself was clean and penalty free. Although the Bulldogs had some nice scoring chances, the first period ended with no scoring.
The second period was rather uneventful as well. No penalties were registered, Mike Holtby was up to the task and the Bulldogs ended the period with a modest 1 - 0 lead. They were now 1 period away from finishing an improbable run, an amazing winning streak and yet another Aviator championship keg.
The 3rd period was nothing like the first two. Did the referees want to open the game up? Was the game too boring for the fans? Much can be speculated as after an uneventful first two periods of no penalties, the Bulldogs were charged with 4 minor penalties in the 3rd frame. The penalties that were assessed seem to be minor infractions of the rule book - at best. These same infractions were occurring both ways and had been taking place all game. Whether or not all of the penalties were valid calls is up for debate, but what can certainly be agreed upon is the tolerance level of the officials was different for the 3rd period and the rules suddenly became very strict - mostly in one direction.
The referee and league director Kienzle suddenly found his whistle less than 1 minute into the 3rd frame where he called interference on a Bulldogs player who lost his stick in an opposing player and actually let go of the stick and stood with his hands up. Another penalty was assessed after a faceoff where two players were pushing and shoving after the play had moved out of the faceoff circle and an Evil Monkeys player dove to the ice covering his head as if it was injured from a padded glove contacting his titanium cage (with no consequence of a diving penalty). Another Bulldogs player was sent to the box for urgently getting up from the floor behind the net after an Evil Monkeys player fell on him at the whistle. No contact between the two players had actually occurred when the players stood up although there was verbal chatter. The 4th and final penalty involved a Bulldog getting tangled going to the boards battling an Evil Monkey for a loose puck where the EM player saw the worst of it and fell. Of the 4 penalties called against the Bulldogs, the Evil Monkeys converted 2 of them for power play goals and mixed in an even strength goal to develop a comfortable 3 - 1 lead with time running out. The Bulldogs also briefly benefitted from the whistle happy period as they were granted a 4 minute double minor power play that essentially didn't last 4 minutes as it was partially washed out by one of their own penalties. In the frame, the Bulldogs would add another tally that proved to be of little significance as the 3 goals they surrendered in the 3rd period stood up for the Evil Monkeys who stole the 3rd period and the Spring 2017 Aviator Championship keg with it as they toast to a 3 - 2 win.
Losing is always disappointing. However, the Bulldogs have much to be proud of as they rode out an amazing 7 game winning streak and overall had a fun and successful Spring 2017 season. With the Summer season about to begin, the Bulldogs will move on from this and come back stronger.
Spring 2017 Playoff Statistics:
Player G A
AJ 1 0
Lou 1 1
Cav 1 0
Jason O 1 0
JPR 1 3
Riston 1 1
Ryan 4 0
RAC 1 1
Jared 0 1
Joe D: 1 4
Jeremy 1 2
Espo: 1 1
Bulldogs Refuse To Roll Over And Play Dead - Advance to Spring 2017 Championship Game
Posted by: Jean Pierre Roulette on Thu Jul 20th 2017 9:29am
After a first round playoff win, the Bulldogs squared off against the Desserters in second round playoff action. These two teams have a historical playoff past as they squared off for a championship several seasons ago in a heated contest that was delayed due to several fights. Most recently, the teams met in week 7 of this season where the Desserters protested the game upon losing the contest on the ice. In playoff hockey, there are no protests or cheap wins - this one would have to be decided on the ice and the Desserters had their full squad.
Much like their previos contest, the Desserters came out of the gate with a very fast paced rapid tempo. The Bulldogs found themselves pinned in their own end often and were not getting many shots on goal. At the end of the first period, the Desserters had a modest 1 - 0 lead.
With the deficit at 2 - 0, the Bulldogs got on the board in the second period. Joe D rushed from his defensive perch and found himself battling for a puck against the Desserters defense deep in their end. After he created a turnover, he found Riston "Pink" R in front of the net who put the puck into the open corner to cut the deficit in half.
The Bulldogs headed into the 3rd period down 3 - 1. Almost immediately after the puck drop, Ryan "6th man in" Monahan took a pass from Jared "pimp" O to make the score 3 - 2. After a scrap, the Bulldogs found themselves on a 5 on 3 power play where Ryan "6th Man In" Monahan took a feed from Joe D to tie the score at 3. This still left time for a 5 on 4 power play advantage for the Bulldogs.
As the 3rd period played on, Holtby's solid play throughout the game allowed his team to start to control the tempo. With a faceoff deep in enemy territory, Riston won a faceoff back to his point man and Jon "eye in the sky" Cav - whose blood saturated the ice last week, gave the Bulldogs a 4 - 3 advantage late in the 3rd period.
It was the Desserters turn to go on the power play. After nearly killing the penalty, the Bulldogs gave up a PP goal and the score was tied at 4.
More late penalties occurred where a Desserters player was ejected, and another player had to serve the penalty in his place. The Bulldogs ended regulation time on a power play that saw them gaining momentum and getting good chances. However, none of them went in, and the teams headed into overtime.
With the wind already at their back, a tiring and slowing Desserters team and a now surging and energized Bulldogs attack, it didn't take long for this OT game to be decided. Ryan Monahan exploded to the net on a furious rush that resulted in a shot on goal, a crash into the goalie, a crash into the net and ultimately a hat trick for the 6th man in that was the OT game winning goal for the Bulldogs.
Overall Game Notes:
The Bulldogs got their usual solid goaltending from Mike Holtby. When the Desserters pushed the tempo, he staved off some threatening opportunities and kept the score close. It eventually enabled the team to come back from a 2 goal deficit in the fastest paced game the team was faced with all season.
The 3rd period was marred by several penalties for both teams. Captain Frank Dag altered lines and changed attackers strategically to give the team the best chance at winning. His decisions proved to be ingenious as the end result was a win.
Bulldogs centermen - Ryan, Drew, Riston won some pivotal faceoffs in the 3rd period that resulted in puck control, shots, and a major goal. Riston had an assist off a direct faceoff. Drew did not allow the other teams threatening center to take the puck and push forward - which had worked for the Desserters earlier in the contest. By neutralizing that attack, he gave his team the advantage and the puck possession.
The Bulldogs defenders have been two way players all season and have recently stepped up their game to a very high level. They battle in their own end, they hustle for an offensive threat while still being able to get back and not get burned. A very dangerous crew right now that has really helped the team be successful.
Although this is the Spring 2017 season, this is the Month of July and the Bulldogs seem to come alive during summer hockey. They have won the previous 2 summer season championships (Summer Season 2015, Summer Season 2016) and are now headed to the championship in July 2017. Let's Go Bulldogs.
History Repeats Itself - Bulldogs Put Knights to Rest In Playoff Opener
Posted by: Jean Pierre Roulette on Thu Jul 13th 2017 11:05am
After riding a 5 game win streak into the playoffs, the Bulldogs squared off against the Knights in the first round of the playoffs. This contest lived up to its billing. All of the anticipated events based upon previous controversies arose, and there was also a pretty good hockey game played by the Bulldogs.
Typical, the Knights #12 struck again. Perhaps the Bulldogs should be angry with him for his constant rule breaking?? Perhaps its par for the course as league rules seem to never apply across all teams evenly... even with league President Chris "Worst"ine smirking from the score table.
#12 created the hype for this game. Two seasons ago, he tried Jeremy "Bear" Mangano and lost - plain and simple. #12 was too fat and slow, and he lost to a better fighter. No shame. You tried. It's a sport - be a sportsman, no? Not this guy. Probably sore from losing his entire life, he suckered the Bear on the handshake line. Pretty low class, we could all agree. So he disappeared for a few games.
#12 then resurfaced again for the Knights. There isn't much free agent market for fat boys with no speed or skill and being half of the Knights left the team for the Desserters, they needed players. This time, he decided to seek out and attack Joe Espo. Why?? Probably because Espo was good on 2 breakaways that game. A painful reminder of being overweight and slow, he just pounced. Not surprisingly, Espo held his own. Apparently he held his own too well. After the fight ended and the two were separated, #12 did only what a handshake line sucker punch cheap shot artist would do - he drove Espo's head into the ice. He couldn't do it while they were actively engaged in fighting - so hey, may as well do it now that the fight is over and no one is protecting themselves anymore. The league thought little of the offense.
So now there's last night. It's the playoffs, so the shenanigans will stop right? I mean, you wouldn't want to take a bad penalty in a playoff game, would you? It could potentially eliminate your entire team. But a punk is a punk and #12 can't help but play that role. Last night, he chose RAC. RAC was playing a pretty good game. He had himself a goal and some nice game flow. #12 seized the opportunity to hit him in the head with his stick. I mean hey, why not right. RAC was having a good game, and its not like the league will intervene. So, of course they fought. Of course #12 lost. It's not unnoticed #12 had help from his bench located near where the fight took place. Didn't help, he still lost the fight. He should be used to it by now. He should also be appreciative. RAC let him up from a vulnerable position. #12 's response... "f*ck you". It was truly typical of his character. But it's not the story.
The Aviator league was true to their character. They had a printed roster for each team at the gateway of the arena. These teams have each been in the league a minimum of 2 calendar years. They know who the players are. The Bulldogs franchise is the longest running one in this league - and win or lose is also the most honest. Needless to say, the Bulldogs roster matched up. The Knights roster displayed 3 handwritten names. Last minute adjustments can we say? Why have a sign in sheet at all?
The league has also been very keen on sending stern emails as of late. New rules that would be enforced - they threaten. Referees that will call games more strict - they threaten. If not for Capt. Frankie Dag advocating at the scorers table, #12 wasn't even getting an ejection. Assault with a deadly weapon is apparently a 5 minute major - maybe a 10 minute misconduct. As for RAC, after he defended himself and showed restraint, he gets interviewed by police. Sounds about fair in the most sarcastic tone I could possibly print it in.
Jon Cav played half of the game bleeding from his lip from a high stick. Intentional or not, the pools of blood on the ice were evidence of a play worthy of at least a double minor. The blood spread along the wall in front of the Bulldogs bench as the referees skated back and forth across it but apparently nobody saw the play. How convenient. It's a good thing the league has become so "strict".
Truth is, the referees were fair. They were impartial - which is all two teams could ask for. But they were bad. This isn't a rant about the referees as at least they were bad both ways. This is about the league. They take it upon themselves to threaten the captains and ask the captains to spread the threat to their players but then the league only intervenes inconsistently and unfairly - at best - if at all. And if you're unfortunate enough to have to defend yourself after receiving a stick to the head, as RAC was, you're not allowed to protest an unfair non call at the risk of being deemed hot headed or unsportsmanlike. You have to swallow it with a smile while a verbal protest is worthy of a call to the police - stop the madness, please. The arena roof serves as a circus tent at this point as instead of a serious competitive league it has become a juggling act of rules and a comical interpretation of what they promise to be.
As for the Bulldogs, they were in character as well. They wanted to win. They were less bark and all bite. This is a tight knit group of guys who have played together for a long time. Last night, they showed why they have won 5 championships. The Knights were good. In fact, they were very good. And having extra players made them great. But the Bulldogs were better. The Bulldogs won 7 - 5. 7 goals. All 7 goals were scored by 7 different players with one each. I remember them all, but it doesn't matter. There was more. The goaltending was superb. Mike Holtby left very few rebounds and when he did, they were controlled safely. He positioned properly through screens. He reacted to well placed shots. He did everything.
So did the skaters. The players scored 7. But they did more. They collapsed low. They picked up open players in the defensive end. They played 2 way hockey. They played in all 3 zones. They blocked shots. They dug in the corner. They moved their legs. If knocked down, they got back up. They got to the net in the offensive zone. They picked up loose pucks. Jon Cav was bleeding on the ice and didn't miss a shift. This is the story. True to character? Some people have more character than others. If you put a lot of character in one place, that's a team that has more character than the next team. That's the Bulldogs. Despite bad calls and unfair league intervention, they just played. They played with integrity and they played with focus and concentration. And they won because of it. They are advancing in the playoffs - and it is well deserved and well earned. A total team effort that each and every one of them is proud to be a part of. Nice job Bulldogs!!!!!
Bulldogs Ride Forfeit Win Into Spring 2017 Playoffs
Posted by: Jean Pierre Roulette on Fri Jun 30th 2017 10:51am
Bulldogs fans, the comeback is officially complete. The Bulldogs faced adversity this season and showed their toughness and tenacity by overcoming a slow start to qualify for the Spring 2017 playoffs.
The Bulldogs completed the first half of their 10 game season with a 2 - 3 losing record. Previous experience has shown that anything more than 4 losses has usually not allowed most teams to be playoff contenders in the ever so tight aviator division. With their backs against the wall, the Bulldogs would have to run the table in order to have a chance to qualify for the playoffs.
The Bulldogs responded with impressive consecutive wins against the Lords, Desserters, Knights and Evil Monkeys. Their winning streak was extended to 5 games this week as the Yachtsmen goaltender did not want to attend and the team forfeit the contest. The 5 game win streak took the Bulldogs from a 2 - 3 record to a respectable 7 - 3 record that catapulted them into the Spring 2017 Playoffs.
Playoff action is set to pick up next week against the Knights. The Knights and the Bulldogs have had interesting matchups that have been marred by cheap shots, fights and ejections. Although the Bulldogs won their recent matchup against the Knights in Week 8, we all understand that playoff hockey is a different game.
Regular Season Statistics For Spring 2017 Season:
Player Goals Assists Points
JPR 8 13 21
Joe D 5 7 12
Riston R 6 5 11
Espo 6 4 10
Jason O 3 7 10
Jeremy 5 5 10
Drew 2 4 6
AJ 1 4 5
Frank Dag 3 2 5
Cav 1 3 4
RAC 2 2 4
Cooz 1 2 3
Jared 0 3 3
Ryan 2 1 3
Peter 1 0 1
Goals Against 35
Bulldogs Win Streak at Four as They Spank Their Evil Monkeys
Posted by: Jean Pierre Roulette on Thu Jun 22nd 2017 8:53am
We are now late in the Spring 2017 Season as the Bulldogs took on the Evil Monkeys in Week 9 action. History usually dictates that the Bulldogs have had trouble with the Evil Monkeys during their previous few regular season meetings including dropping a contest to them earlier this season in week 3. However, the Bulldogs are rolling right now and appear to be unstoppable as of late.
The game played where the teams were trading chances. The Bulldogs generated many scoring opportunities that they just didn't seem to finish. The Evil Monkeys were kept to bad angle shots - when given opportunities and Mike Holtby was more than up to the task.
The game's first goal was scored in the second period. Joe "I Care What People Think of Me" Espo took a shot on goal that was kicked into the corner. Jean Pierre Roulette retrieved it for a quick centering pass to Riston "Pink" R who waited out the goalie and slid the puck around him with a patient, nifty move in traffic. The tempo of the game created the possibility that it just might end with an uneventful 1 - 0 score.
Midway through the 3rd period, the Evil Monkeys tied the score. A minute later at the 6 minute mark, Smokey "The Bear" Mangano picked up the puck in his own end (allegedly from Ryan "6th Man In" Monahan). Bear travelled coast to coast where he earned himself a breakaway headed deep toward the net on his backhand. His speed and tenacity had everyone on the ice fearing a quick deke. Wisely, he slid the puck softly past an over committed and fooled Evil Monkeys goaltender to regain the lead. Shortly thereafter, with 3:32 remaining, the Evil Monkeys again tied the game.
With under 2 minutes remaining, the Evil Monkeys attempted to gain the Bulldogs zone. A defensive stand chipped the puck into the neutral zone where Joe "head down" Espo and Smokey "the Bear" Mangano raced down the ice with an impressive burst of speed. They passed back and forth and put a shot on goal that was left sitting on the goal line. Riston "Pink" R followed the play and finished the job for the game winning goal.
With their record now at 6 - 3, the Bulldogs are making a strong case for Aviator league Playoff contention. Next week is their final regular season contest. They will take on the Yachtsmen in week 10 action. The Bulldogs were victorious against this team earlier this season in week 4 - but that was 6 long weeks ago. Let's Go Bulldogs!!!