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!!!
Bulldogs Dent the Knight's Armor to Continue Winning Streak
Posted by: Jean Pierre Roulette on Fri Jun 16th 2017 8:55am
Heading into week #8 with a 4 - 3 record and sporting a 2 game winning streak, the Bulldogs squared off against the Knights. This was set to be an interesting contest as the past few games against this division foe have resulted in fighting and bad tensions. Two seasons ago, a Bulldogs player was sucker punched after the game on the hand shake line. Last season, that same player attacked Bulldogs scorer and speedster Joe "not a scumbag" Espo in an unprovoked unnecessary attack. Heading into this week #8 contest with playoff implications on the line, there was a good amount of uncertainty.
Absent from the Bulldogs lineup was the Captain Frank "Night Court" Dag, his attorney Peter "I can get you off" Haz, Jared "Always Pimpin" O, and Riston "Will pop any pill" R.
First period action started off with the Bulldogs jumping out to a 1 - 0 lead. Smokey "the Bear" Mangano collected a puck deep in his own end. He circled around his cage with speed and head manned it out to Ryan "6th man in" Monahan who received a perfect pass in stride. His speed was too much for the Knights defenders and the 6th man in finished the play with a sweet goal to put the Bulldogs on top.
With the score tied at 1 - 1, the Bulldogs had a faceoff deep in Knights territory. Fan favorite Jean Pierre Roulette took a puck off a defender and placed a shot on goal from a bad angle. He recollected his shot behind the net where the goalie was expecting and fearful of a wrap around attempt. JPR had already passed in front to Jason "the other Roulette" O who put the puck into the open side of the net for an easy goal on the confused Knights goaltender who had lost sight of the puck. The same shift saw the Roulette brothers pass cross ice to each other and then finally to Smokey "the Bear" Mangano who finished the accurate puck work by defeating the Knights goalie with a devastating wrist shot that sent the Bulldogs into the first intermission with a 3 - 1 lead.
Second period action saw Jean Pierre Roulette collect a Knights clearance attempt along the boards within the offensive zone. With the defense out of position from the expected breakout, he fed Ryan "6th Man In" Monahan in front of the net who tallied his second of the game. Second period action ended with the Bulldogs leading 4 - 3.
Third Period action was highlighted by Joe "not a scumbag" Espo. With 4 players out of the lineup and players fatiguing, Espo continued to skate with the tempo he originally won the Bulldogs fan base over with upon originally joining the team. Perhaps the whispers of a slump were heard by the scrappy speedster who responded by owning the 3rd period. The defensive core of John "Isotopes still remember both beatings I threw them" Cooz, Jon "Eye in the Sky" Cav, Smokey "the Bear" Mangano and Joe "helpless Romantic" D threw Espo several stretch passes where he demonstrated his talent, stick handle and speed. Lining with superstars AJ "All Day" Bezner and Drew "Endless Energy" Taylor, Espo exploded for two 3rd period goals and this line itself boasted a +3 player rating for the night - where all 3 goals were scored in the 3rd period to solidify the Bulldogs 3rd straight win to a now 5 - 3 record. At the final buzzer, it was Bulldogs 7 and the Knights 4.
Plays worth mentioning are Joe "not a scumbag" Espo drawing a 3rd period penalty. He was unnecessarily attacked on a play by the same player who has been known to attack the Bulldogs in the past. Espo did not retaliate in this instance and that power play helped the Bulldogs preserve their 3rd period lead.
Further credit should be given to the Bulldogs defenders who assisted their goaltender by giving up their bodies to block shots. Defenders specifically noted for being selfless and risking injury were Jon Cav, John Cooz, and Joe D.
The Bulldogs got strong goal tending once again from Mike "nobody knows how to warm me up" Holtby who staved off an early Knights rally that allowed his skaters to comfortably gain control of the game.
Bulldogs Pull Off Stunning Comeback to Steal Victory
Posted by: Jean Pierre Roulette on Thu Jun 08th 2017 2:01pm
Heading into Week #7 with an even 3 - 3 record, the Bulldogs were scheduled to take on the Desserters. Bulldogs fans remember this opponent well as these two teams squared off in an epic championship game and have also had episodes of fighting throughout their recent contests.
The Desserters came out fast and the Bulldogs were juggling personnel and adjusting lines as Jeremy "Bear" Mangano was abruptly given a 10 minute misconduct and Drew "Endless Energy" Taylor also took a 2 minute penalty. The Bulldogs fell behind 3 - 0 throughout the progression of the first period of play. With a seemingly harmless faceoff in their own end and 13 seconds remaining, the Bulldogs won the draw to Jon "Eye in the Sky" Cav. He sent the puck to Jason "the other Roulette" O who fed Jean Pierre Roulette as he crossed the Desserters blue line. JPR took another one of his thunderous clappers that resulted in a bar down clang as the Desserters goalie helplessly waved his glove as he ducked for safety. The Bulldogs took some momentum with a 3 - 1 deficit into the 1st intermission.
In the second period, RAC found himself in a neutral zone battle. JPR provided assistance and took the puck from the scuffle over the Desserters blue line. Frank "El Capiton" Dag created some separation from his defender and received JPR's cross ice pass. Frank then demonstrated his ever so dangerous wrist shot into the upper corner of the net to cut the deficit to 3 - 2.
After the Desserters added a goal, JPR collected a dump into his own end. After collecting the puck, he carried it out of his own end and into the neutral zone. He surprisingly continued to rumble through the offensive zone with defenders harassing him for the turnover. His shot on goal was unsuccessful but line mate Drew Taylor was hustling through the zone for the entire play. He finished the play to cut the deficit to 4 - 3.
The Desserters again added another tally to re create their 2 goal cushion. RAC picked up a neutral zone turnover and crossed the opposing blue line down the left side. With defenders in place to greet him, he placed a laser wrist shot off the far post and into the net through a tiny window of opportunity to send the Bulldogs into the 3rd period down 5 - 4.
The 3rd period saw the flow of play remain steady and also saw the frustrated Bulldogs take penalties. The Bulldogs killed off their penalties, but the Desserters added another goal to once again create their 2 goal cushion. Time was running out and the Bulldogs had the face off in their own end after yet another stellar save by Mike Holtby. As soon as the puck dropped, RAC took the faceoff, the puck, the momentum and the energy right down the ice through the other team for his second unassisted goal of the game giving the Bulldogs hope that perhaps they might be able to tie it. About 2 minutes remained when it almost seemed like instant replay. RAC again skated coast to coast and earned his own break away. The Desserters goalie put his entire effort into luckily stopping Rac's breakaway and Jean Pierre Roulette opportunistically followed the play to tap in an easy game tying goal.
Under a minute remained with a 6 - 6 tie and it seemed the Bulldogs were headed for another controversial shootout. Jeremy "Bear" Mangano picked up the puck in the neutral zone and carried into Desserters territory. Although he was wide, he turned on the jets for a burst of speed that earned him the room to get off a dangerous wrist shot. Drew "endless energy" Taylor was crashing the net on the play and was awarded the tally that solidified the comeback and secured a 7 - 6 Bulldogs win.
Additional Game Notes:
A. The Bulldogs only lead in this victory was with under a minute left in the game.
B. Drew "Endless Energy" Taylor and Jeremy "Bear" Mangano were permanent fixtures in the goal crease as they frustrated, annoyed and even infuriated the Desserters goalie. The result was the goalie skating around his zone attacking and verbally threatening Bulldogs skaters. Drew "EE" Taylor and Jeremy "Bear" Mangano ended up with the last laugh by combining for the game winning goal.
C. The Bulldogs were without key players Riston "needed to get laid" R, Joe "scumbag" Espo, and Jared "All Nighter" O which forced Frank "El Capiton" Dag to make some lineup moves. The Desserters, as a result, have protested the game.
The Aviator league officials seem willing to entertain the protest despite the fact that the Bulldogs are the longest running and most consistent team within the Aviator league. Further, it only took 1 day for Aviator league officials to not stand by their empty threats sent to our captain that clearly stated any goalie "involved in an altercation... forfeits for his team"
D. Mike Holtby played amazingly well, as usual, but was assessed his first minor penalty of the season as well as his first "scumbag of the game" award for playing "fetch" with the referee after whistles thus filling the void for the absent Joe Espo.