Friday, March 6, 2015

Hawks outskate Yogis to a 5-3 win

COLUMBUS, OH - The Arrowhawks had their hands full for their seventh game of the session. Their opponent Yogis were a fast skating, skilled bunch capable of scoring with each of their four lines. They had an excellent goalie, tactical blue line and playmakers throughout their bench. 

The Yogis jumped to an early 1-0 lead and held a 3-1 lead after two periods. But the lead wouldn't hold. The Arrowhawks rallied to score 4 third period goals and win the game 5-3. Rather than detail the action, we'll let the photos tell the story. 
The Yogis goaltender brought his A game, thwarting shot after shot in the early going. It was clear that if the Hawks were going to score, it would take traffic and lots of shots.
The Hawks didn't match the Yogis jump early in the game. There was a late scratch causing the Hawks to ice just three defenseman for the night. They were in for a long night and needed to buckle down in front of Hawk net minder Jamie Santho. 
Santho didn't have a chance for two of the first three goals scored by the Yogis. Were his teammates up for the challenge?
The Yogis forwards had speed, skill and excellent vision and playmaking ability. Arrowhawk forwards realized they'd have to pick up their back checking if they were going to make a game of it.

They needed a leader. And fortunately, they had one in their captain Mark Monahan who was brilliant in both zones.
Monahan brought tenacity and grit and established a blue collar attitude to the bench. 
Mark's playmaking ability was on full display and lifted the team to tilt the ice in the second period.
Santho began to trust his defenseman and stood on his head after the first period.  He snared a sure goal off a wicked wrist shot and lifted the bench. It was time for the Hawks to start scoring.

Enter top line forward and leading point man, Ben Kitchen. Ben did his thing and was a threat every time he took the ice.

The Hawks began climbing back into the game behind Kitchen's aggression and determination. And the powerful skating of another new face to the Arrowhawks, Tyler Moats.
"Tyler's speed was unmatched," said LW Tom Morgan after the game. "He had an extra gear tonight and they didn't have an answer for him." he added. Moats played his second game of the session and proved to management that he deserves a full-time spot on the club. Moats would score two goals and lead the Hawks to a hard-fought 5-3 win.

Moats scores on a breakaway setup by a tape to tape pass from Lanctot.
A vital core player for the Hawks, Bryan Wharton, a ten-time CAHL Champion, patrolled the center of the ice in both zones. He was excellent and brought a much needed physicality.

But the Hawks wouldn't have stood a chance without the heart of their blue line, Minnesota Nick Lanctot. Nick and fellow defenseman Jason DeJong and Ted Bulwinkle shut down the middle of the ice.

Ted Bulwinkle. He's a swift-skating hog with a nasty slapshot. Ted was determined to not suck and didn't take anyone's head off with his normally extremely high shot. We're proud of you, Ted.
Another new face to the winter session is Trevor Setterlin, a former standout forward for the Upper Arlington Bears. Setterlin opened the ice for his line mates showcasing nifty puck handling and excellent speed.

Oleg Chetverikov had several prime scoring chances on the night including this dandy that was saved by a fortunate stick placement from the Yogi goaltender.
The game was open for either club to win. The Hawks needed a sniper. Enter wily veteran Tom Morgan. Morgan was captain opportunity, scoring two vital goals. Once from the point on a blind snapshot to the upper left corner and again on a dynamite shot from the high slot. He and Monahan are like peanut butter and jelly, made for each other.

Rob Walls snaps a wrester just passed the Yogis goalie.
RW Ryan Soucek works behind the net and sets up a scoring chance. Soucek's speed on the top line continues to give opponents fits.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The big three

Wharton, Walls and Griffith lead the way for the Hawks scoring this session. All three have been excellent carrying the puck and scoring timely goals. Who'll win the scoring title for the Hawks? With one game to play, it's anyone's guess.

Hawks secure first place and top seed

LEWIS CENTER, OH - The Friday night CAHL league gave fans a doozie of a game tonight. The two heavyweights of the division (hold the fat jokes) squared off to decide first place. In one corner were the exceptionally good looking Arrowhawks (8-1-1), with their six pack abs, flowing locks and dazzling intellect. In the other corner was Your Ad Here (8-1-1), a highly skilled collection of decent enough hockey players who skate fast, handle the puck well and force opponents into poor positioning because they're damn good.

Let me set the stage. 

The Here's throttled the Hawks in last session championship game. Heading into tonight's game the offensive powerhouse Here's led the league in goal scoring (56) and goal differential (28). Three of the five top point producers in the league play for the Heres. [Editor note... if the team name is Your Ad Here and you have to abbreviate, what would be best? If there's no ad, theres no revenue and your shop closes. The ads. I think that's best.] 

The Ads have but one weak skater on their team. Derek Choops isn't him. Choops leads the league in goal scoring. He's what some call an 'at will' player. He has 26 goals on the season and 15 assists and represents 24% of the point total for his club. 

But he was absent tonight. And that may have made the difference. 

The Ads jumped out to an early 1-0 lead and looked to be taking it to the Arrowhawks through the first five shifts. 

"They had great jump," said captain Mark Monahan after the game. "We didn't match their intensity early on but we found our groove."

Regular Hawk netminder Jamie 'Shamus' Santho wasn't available for the game because he was studying for the BAR exam. A mystery goalie named Patrick was called up from the Arrowhawks minor league affiliate and was quickly forced to stand on his head [figuratively]. 

"I don't know who he was but he had these really old pads and looked somewhat odd," said Arrowhawk winger Rob Walls. "I wasn't sure what to expect. Especially in warmups when we didn't have any pucks and had to just air guitar it with fake slappers and all. I had a feeling he might have a ultra-quick glove because he snared a one-timer from the slot in warmups. I just shook my head," he added. 

Turns out Patrick the goalie was good. Darn good.

"He made three stellar stops early on that really gave us a spark," said Hawk winger Tom Morgan, who played a majestically positioned defense tonight. "He had an amazing glove save that really frustrated their club." 

Walls must have been charged because he scored the equalizer 40 seconds later to tie the game at 1-1. 

The Hawks scored again in the first to take a 2-1 lead that held through two periods. The game was a nail biter with end-to-end action. The Ad's Chad Kostka, Michael Ellis and David Mosholder were determined to make a difference. They were a handful for the Hawks defenseman who fortunately, were up for the task. 

"Jason DeJong, Ted Bulwinkle and Adam DePerro have been so stout for us, we knew that if we back checked and gave them support, they'd shut them down," said Hawk winger Ryan Turray after the game. "I'd give you more quote material but I'm really hungry and saw a vendor selling coney dogs for a dollar so I'm out of here," he quipped as he ran off. 

Kostka pulled the Ads within a goal just inside two minutes in the third period. But 3-2 was as close as the Ads got in the game. Adam DePerro scored a dandy even strength goal with a minute left in the game to secure the win. 

The game ended 4-2, with Ryan Soucek notching the game winner via a brilliant goal off the back of the goalie who had strayed from the crease just enough for an angle. We'd have photos of all tonight's action but we had to fire our photographer because he moved to California to make wine. Bastard. 

The win moves the Hawks into first place and guarantees a #1 seed for the playoffs. The three stars were: 3rd star, Patrick the Mystery goalie; 2nd star, Ryan Soucek; 1st star, Rob Walls.

For a full game report, click here

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hawks harpoon Whalers 7-4

[editor's note: I am quite good at dangling with the puck, passing with precision and playing defense when everyone else on my line decides to leave the ice at the same time.]

EASTON SHOPPING MALL OWNED BY LES WEXNER, WHO'S MORE SKILLED AT RULING THE RETAIL WORLD THAN OUR TEAM IS AT BUYING A TEAM BUS -- The amazing United States of America hockey team they call the Arrowhawks soundly defeated the Whalers tonight, 7-4. Despite the final score, the game had drama --  like a passionate and good bottle of wine intoxicated wife who loves to cook you meals at odd hours just because she feels inclined to please, but loses her focus along the way leaving you with a colorful blend of confusion on a plate.


If that doesn't make sense, it's because I may have gotten drilled into the half boards (what the hell is a half board anyway? All the boards are the same height. I keep looking for some distinct visual reference that indicates "oh shit, I'm in the half board area" but I don't see one. And don't come at me with the yellow 'look up' zone stuff. There are already way too many colors on the ice. Ice is white, the opponents jersey is a different color than mine, there's a blue crease, blue lines, red lines, yellow trim... it's all way too much to process at the speed I skate. Which is really, really fast.)

Where was I?

Our defense was amazingly offensive tonight. I think I remember jumping out to a 4-0 lead, only to have the Whalers close the gap in dramatic fashion 4-2. I believe our D scored the first four goals. I may have been on the ice for the 2 goals against in the same shift, but that's no indication of my lack of hockey skill. As I stated earlier, I am quite good at dangling with the puck, passing with precision and playing defense when everyone else on my line decides to leave the ice at the same time.

The Whalers have some talented skaters, for sure (NHL players love those two words. Is it a cold weather thing? Do Icelanders use that phrase, "For sure...." I doubt it.)

Anyway, my favorite players on the night were: (good use of colon)

Ted Bulwinkle for finally shooting low enough on the ice to not hit any living thing above the size of a fat pig (or Rob) No Rob, I'm not comparing you to a fat pig.
Mac Lawless. For showing up.
• Our goalie, who was really, really good but only half as good as Jamie Santho because he's our usual goalie and I don't want him to lose confidence in his awesomeness.
Nick Lanctot for rallying our team when we gave up some goals when I wasn't on the ice -- leading to our potting two more goals and boosting the lead to 6-3 good guys. [I think]
Tom Morgan for putting together this random collection of awesome skill and sticking up for his net minder, despite the five-minute major penalty and having to play center, not his natural position. For the record, Tom is the leading point-man in Arrowhawk history, for those keeping track. That is not lost on me, even in my hazy state.

Speaking of states... Or countries, how about the UK, retaining Scotland? I mean, come on!

A defenseman named Ziska who's one of three Ziska's who filled in for our young stud Jay Jenkins who was absent due to being in college and having to attend a mandatory college function that may or may not have had beer pong involved. [my v button is malfunctioning. shit!]

• The goal scorers who I'm too lazy to look up, since they weren't me, which is unusual because I'm used to dictating the skill on the ice.

The win keeps the Hawks in a three-way tie for first place, with a perfect 3-0 record. Tom gets all the credit for his awesome lineups.

Ok, I'm done.

Damn 'V' button. Shit.

[random complaint: I'm not happy that the new leader in google search for Arrowhawks is this:

Arrowhawk :: That sucks. What the hell hockey nation? We can't let this continue, can we?]

But at least our map looks like this: