Hammers Goalie Comes Up Huge in Victory!
Posted by: Lorne Birch on Wed Mar 02nd 2011 12:04am
The Velvet Hammers were the benifactors of outstanding goaltending once again, as they defeated The Senior Citizens 3-1, Friday night at the Bell.
Shawn Thompson picked up where back-up Clay Koroscil left off, earning the hardest working player helmet. In a game where goals were at a premium, Thompson made several huge saves throughout the match, earning his 9th win of the season.
"Nobody was happier than me, seeing Clay coming up huge in the last 2 games I was absent. It really inspired me and I think it showed tonight. I felt awesome out there. It was a big win. All the boys played their asses off!" said the games first star Shawn Thompson afterwards.
The Velvet Hammers played with a short bench as they could only ice 2 lines and 3 defenceman. Usually this was a nemisis for the boys as they have not been able to secure a win, short benched all season. Friday night however, they changed that as everybody seemed to step up their game.
The Hammers second line, consisting of Kerry McAuley, Bob Drysdale, and Gaston Berryman were The Hammers best line as they shut down the Senior Citizens and notched the game winner when Berryman scored a hi-lite reel goal midway through the 3rd period.
When asked about his huge goal, Berryman had this to say, "It felt good to score a big goal because I don't think I've been playing too well lately. Mind you my captain will tell you otherwise as he constently tells me how wonderfully gifted I am out on the ice! Lorne is truly my inspiration!"
Reg Gamblin was another one of the game's stars as he played one of his best games of the season. Right from the first face-off Gamblin seemed to control the flow of the game, playing great defence and providing some offence too, as he scored The Hammers first goal of the game. Gamblin's radar was bang on as he set up several Hammers throughout the match with precision passes.
Rounding out the Hammers three stars was Kevin McAuley. Playing his first game of the year, he was stellar all game, as he had a lot of jump to his stride. Without a doubt it was Kevin's best performance as a Hammer and he showed an abundance of confidence all game.
Josh Dueck scored his 18th of the year when he put the game away with his first career empty netter.
"I've been playin hockey for close to 30 years and I've never scored an empty netter. I almost didn't know what to do. I was just thinking to myself, please don't pull a Brett and miss the net. Better yet, I was happy Lorne was well behind me so I knew he wouldn't be blocking the empty twine!" said Dueck.
The Velvet Hammers hope to push their unbeaten streak to 4 this Saturday night when they close out their regular season against one of the league's elite, Team Ramrod.
Streaks in Their Shorts
-The Velvet Hammers are 3 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history!
-The Hammers have only 1 loss in their past 5 games.
-Brett Birch is still 1 point shy of becoming the club's first 40 point man in franchise history
Late Heroics Earn Hams Huge Point against Hated Rivals!
Posted by: Lorne Birch on Sun Feb 20th 2011 3:32pm
As promised it was a rugged and chippy game played Saturday night at the Bell, as The Velvet Hammers and Rockpile skated to a 3-3 tie. In what could be the last game played in this heated rivalry between the two teams, due to Rockpile announcing their departure to the Dakota League next year, it was a fitting way to end this 2 year war, with both teams skating away with a point.
Once again the Hammers dug themselves a hole, as they spotted the opposition another 2 goal lead. The boys in yellow, never gave up, and came back twice from 2 goal deficits to finally earn the tie on a late goal by team captain Lorne Birch, with the goalie pulled and only seconds remaining. Amazingly The Hammers almost won with 4 seconds left, as Brandon Rewucki won the draw back to Brett Birch, and he one-timed it off this writers arm, on what may have been the winning goal, as it appeared to be heading to the top corner. Sadly only a puck sized bruise on my arm is all Brett was awarded.
When asked about the big goal and his arm, Lorne Birch had this to say, "Nobody wanted to lose to these guys. We out played them in the second half and really deserved at least a point. The way Clayco kept us in there. He deserved better too. I just saw the puck lying there, and I grabbed it, wheeled around and shot it. It just snuck in. I was pumped. I think my P.K Subban celebration was evidence of that. As for my arm? Who knew my brother had a shot? I don't know if it was going in or not, but it certainly had some mustard on it!"
The rough and ruggid theme of this game was over-shadowed by the spectaculiar goaltending on both sides. Each teams respective goalie put on an all-star clinic as they seemed to match each other, save for save. The fact this game had less than 7 goals was truly amazing as numerous players on both sides, were simply robbed of what should of been sure goals.
Clay Koroscil, playing his second game of the season in net, was the Hammer's first star once again, earning the helmet, and becoming the first Hammer this year to receive the prestigious honor in back to back games. Koroscil made several huge saves throughout the game, always keeping The Hammers within striking distance of earning a point.
Brian Kyca and Andy Rewucki rounded out the scoring for The Hammers. Andy is having a fine rookie campaign, as he became the first Hammer to notch 20 goals in one season. When asked about it, he seemed more concerned with the poor reffing than his rookie milestone.
"The reffing was horrible! I could of had at least 3 or 4 breakaways out there but I was mauled like a piece of steak in a dog kennel!"
It should also be noted that Andy was slapped with a ten minute misconduct late in the game as he voiced his concerns on the officiating to one of the refs. This will result in a one game suspension. More importantly though, it also gives him the team lead in goals AND penalty minutes!
Speaking of milestones, Josh Dueck's club record 14 game point streak came to an end last night.
"Hey I didn't get a point. Our team did. That's all that matters. I would also like to take this oppurtinity to tell Lorne to get the **** out of the way!!! It's pretty tough scoring out there when I have to beat two goal tenders!" said Dueck after the game.
The tie guarantees the Velvet Hammers can do no worse than .500 this season. Quite the accomplishment considering this team won only 4 games last season.
The Hammers look to continue to build momentum, as the playoffs draw near, when they take on The Senior Citizens this Friday night at The Bell.
STREAKS IN THEIR SHORTS
-Josh Duecks franchise record 14 game point streak is SNAPPED!
-Lorne Birch ironman streak now at 52 games. I would like to mention Brett made a good effort in trying to snap it for next week.
-Clay Koroscil becomes the first goalie in Hammers history to start his campaign unbeaten in his first two starts of the season.
-Brett Birch has 1 point in his last 5 games played. I would like to note his defencive play has been stellar though! Preventing goals is just as important as scoring goals. But still...1 POINT!!!
-Andy Rewucki becomes the franchise's first 20 goal scorer. Well done!
No Leading Scorer? No Problem! Hammers Win!
Posted by: Lorne Birch on Wed Feb 16th 2011 12:32am
The Hammers entered Saturday nights clash without their top scorer Brett Birch, but left with a big win as they edged The Salty Pirates in yet another fiesty filled game.
The Rewucki brothers picked up the slack for the usually reliable Birch/Dueck line as they were left vulnerable by the departure of Brett Birch (personal reasons). The brothers picked up 3 goals for The Hammers and were the difference in this highly contested affair.
Brandon Rewucki appears to be returning to the high level of hockey he expects of himself, as he played his best game to date for The Hammers, since signing as non-restricted free agent back in December.
"I'm starting to feel better out there. I just needed to get a few games in. I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm getting close" said a modest Brandon Rewucki after the game.
Josh Dueck notched his 17th goal of the year, running his point streak to a franchise record 14 games.
When asked about his streak Josh was happier with the win. "Maybe after the season is over, I'll sit back in my lazy boy recliner with a can of Lucky and reflect on my personal achievements. For now though it's all about wins. This was a big win for us. It also says a lot about the guys in this dressingroom when we can win a tight game like this without an incredibly talented and very good looking player like Brett!'.
Brett Birch wasn't the only key player out of the line up for Saturday's game. Hammers back stopper Shawn Thompson was also out due to personal reasons. Taking his spot in the crease was team back-up Clay Koroscil, making his first start of the year.
Koroscil was nothing short of spectaculiar for The Hammers as he made 28 saves in the victory. Clay looked a little rusty in the first four minutes of the match when he let in two quick ones. The Salty pirates though, would only be able to put one more by him, the rest of the way. Clay was unbeatable in the last few minutes of the game as he stopped everything fired at him in a furious frenzy provided by The Pirates.
Koroscil earned The Velvet Hammers hardest working player helmet after the game.
"I was a little nervous before the game, and it took a few minutes into the game to get comfortable. After they scored those 2 quick ones, I was pissed. I went to a different level after that. I felt great out there. I can't wait to face Rockpile next weekend!" said Clay after the game, also making reference to the Velvet Hammers next tilt.
The Velvet hammers now have sole position of third place finally, but things are far from settled in the standings as 4 points still seperate 3rd and 6th place.
The Hammers face their hated rivals Rockpile this Saturday. Bad blood boils over whenever these two teams get together and this writer forsees yet another rugged and feisty hockey game this weekend.
The Hammers appear to be getting Rockpile at a good time as The Pile have lost 7 of their last 10 games. Saying that, they can never take a team lightly as they found out a few weeks ago when they lost to 9th place Napa.
Once again The Velvet Hammers look to continue a great sophmore season with a win, and just maybe, go to three games above .500 for the first time in franchise history this weekend at The Bell.
Due to the turbulent nature of the grudge matches against The Rockpile, tickets are selling quick. Get them now before you miss the chance to see Bedlam at the Bell III this Saturday at 9:45.
As for this writer? I have the best seats in the rink. Ice level baby!
STREAKS IN THEIR SHORTS
-JOSH DUECK POINT STREAK NOW AT 14 GAMES
-LORNE BIRCH IRON MAN STREAK IS AT 51 GAMES (INCLUDES ALL GAMES PLAYED IN FRANCHISE EXSISTANCE SUCH AS PRE SEASON,EXHIBITION, TOURNY'S AND PLAYOFFS)
-CLAY KOROSCIL UNBEATEN STREAK TO START A SEASON IS AT 1
-LORNE BIRCH POINT STREAK SNAPPED AT 10 GAMES
-BRETT BIRCH IRON MAN STREAK SNAPPED AT 35 GAMES
Captain Crunch's write up
Posted by: Candace Birch on Wed Feb 09th 2011 5:00pm
I am lovin' the post game write ups, especially the official player quotes. Keep em coming!
Team Napa Too Much For Weary Hammers
Posted by: Lorne Birch on Sat Feb 05th 2011 11:58pm
The Velvet Hammers took the ice looking to go 3 games above .500 for the first time in franchise history. On paper this looked attainable as they faced the ninth place Team Napa. Unfortunately a short benched Hammers crew proved to be the difference as Team Napa took advantage of the weary Hammers in a 5-2 victory.
The Hammers fell behind early in the first and never drew even for the remainder of the match. With just two lines, the boys in yellow and gold just lacked the energy required to bounce back from a 3 goal deficit.
"We were just too tired out there today. We need 3 lines to be a better team." said gaston Berryman following the match.
The game was also a nasty affair as both sides took turns steam rolling the goal tenders. Team Napa started the "Bowling for Tenders" match. Josh Dueck wasn't afraid to add to the Hammers bowling scorecard, when he gently peeled half of the team Napa goalie's body off like a banana, on a hard cut into the crease. This caused a scrum in front, as the goalie decided to use his glove as a window wiper on Dueck's face shield.
When asked about it Dueck responded "I was just trying to finish the play and their defenceman helped to propel me into their goalie like I was a pea on a sling shot. Nothing I could do. I really tried to stop. Honestely I did. Gee I sure don't know why he was so mad. There was no need for him to rub my face the way he did. The game of hockey doesn't need goons like that. I just play a clean game...like an angel out there. That really hurt my feelings!"
It was that play that caused Team Napa to get revenge as number 18, we will call him Goldilocks as his real name escapes me, it might be asshole, not sure, decided to do a forward flip bodycheck into Shawn Thompsons chest as he lay on the ice after a save. Needless to say this upset three Hammers in particular as Chris Sigffuson used Goldilocks' head as a resting spot for his knee, Brett Birch became a barber and tried shearing his hair off, while Lorne Birch used his face as a punching bag. This all of course led to a Velvet hammers powerplay naturaly. Unfortunately The hammers couldn't make Napa pay as they didn't produce the PPG.
"That 18 is a little bitch. He's lucky I didn't rip his f****** hair off!" said a mild mannered Brett after the game.
"When I saw that prick do a five foot leap at Stumpy I was enraged. I threw myself on him and proceeded to punch him in the face for every foot he jumped at Shawn. Yep that's 5 punches!" said team captain Lorne.
"I needed a rest so I just kneeled down. I had no idea his head was there." said Sigffuson.
Even though it was a loss for the Hammers, it was nice to see the group come together and back up their goalie. The Hammers for the most part kept their compusure even though it would of been easy to just turn the match into Wrestlemania with the poor reffing and dirty play by Team Napa.
Josh Dueck and Lorne Birch provided the goal scoring for the Hammers and they both added an assist as well. Clay Koroscil had 2 points, as he added two helpers in the losing cause.
The Hammers hope to rebound with a win this friday against The Salty Pirates. Without their top scorer Brett Birch in the line up due to personal reasons, it certainly won't be an easy task.
Mind you if things get ugly, we can just go bowling for tenders again.
Streaks in Their Shorts
-Josh Dueck extends his point steak to 13 games.
-Brett Birch's streak is snapped at 11
-Lorne Birch has a 10 game point streak
-Bob Drysdale has now run his UMHL streak to 38 games without a penalty.
-The Hammers failed to reach 3 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history with their loss