Week 14 - Semis/Finals Day - brought us some Cool, Schweddy and thrilling action!

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First some league notes...

  • Pancakes for Fort Mac: As most of you know, one thing that the league prides itself on is helping those in need... I know we have shut down for the summer but with the recent events in Fort McMurray we, like most of you I'm sure, feel the need to do what we can to help out. Therefore, this coming Sunday the league will be hosting a pancake breakfast at the Heron Road Community Centre with all proceeds going to the Red Cross Fort McMurray relief fund. Here are the details:
    When: Sunday, May 15th 2016 9:30AM - 12:30PM
    What: Pancake breakfast
    Where: 1480 Heron Road, in the kitchen on the men's changeroom side of the gym
    Cost: $8 gets you a couple of pancakes, sausages and juice or coffee ($5 for kids 10 and under)

    Please spread this invitation to anybody and everybody you know, if you know you'll be attending please send me a note so we can have an idea of numbers. We'll be creating a Facebook event so please look for us there and share it.

    The league will be donating the rental cost of the kitchen and all the ingredients, so 100% of the money we raise will go towards the cause. We are looking for volunteers to help out cooking, cleaning and serving so please reply to this email if you're able to help out. If you can't attend and would like to donate or just want to give some extra money to the cause I'm happy to accept email money transfers / cash or cheques which will be added to our donation.

  • League Banquet: We are very happy to support one of our own Pat Fynn and his establishment The Brass Monkey located at 250 Greenbank Road, the Monkey will be debuting a new "private room" and we'll be taking advantage and hosting our banquet there. The event will be held Friday June 17th, festivities will kick off at 8PM and go until the wee hours. Cost as usual will be $5 per person, this helps offset some of the cost of hosting the event and gives you access to a pub style buffet of pizza, wings etc. Later in the night the Monkey will be hosting local band, The Vault, who specialize in covering classic rock so it should be a great night. Come out for the some food, drinks, laughs and the award presentations then stay for some great music! More details will be sent out closer to the event, but mark it on your calendars now!

  • Final Appreciation: thanks to Lori Renaud, Chantal Pelletier and Helene Bourgeois for helping set up the equipment this last week...and sincere thanks to all of you who have helped with the equipment set-up and take-down this season, I truly appreciate all of you, and I have to say that Pete Heron and Pat Fynn get my co-1st star award for that...and big thanks to my fellow scorekeepers Jason Muscant, Steven Toste, Pat Fynn and Pete Heron - you guys were a big help all season...and thanks to our players Chris Stott, Ryan Hawkins, Jay Reid and Steven Toste for stepping in to help us with reffing...and of course, thanks to the boss man Sean Frewen for helping with scorekeeping and all the other support and flexibility you constantly offer me to make my job easier on game day and for my duties during the week....last but not least, thanks to the many of you in this amazing league who often comment about my recaps - they're extremely time-consuming, but the positive comments help fuel the writing fire - and thanks to those of you who take a minute to personally thank me for my work, I appreciate it, and I can honestly say this is the perfect 2nd job for me as I not only get to use my writing, design and stats/organizing skills, but I get to use them in a league full of great people and with many personal friends I either met or brought in the league...I've been asked about doing what I do for other leagues, but I'm only interested in doing it for this league that I'm passionate about, and that's mostly because of Commish Frew, Matriarch Cindy Bertrand, and the great bunch of people I get to work with every week...

Now on to the thrilling action of Bubbas Sunday...

8:10 Road Crew vs Karlsson's Swedish Meatballs (View Boxscore & Recap)

Even without a pair of main Meatballs, the Swedish gang put up a good fight right to the final buzzer, but the Cinderella Roadies prevailed once again

B-Pool Semi #1 - After scuffling through a pretty miserable campaign including not winning once in their final 8 regular-season games, and being shut-out 3 times, the last-place Road Crew have really put things together nicely during these playoffs. First, they managed to upset the #1 B-Pool seed Smash-Mouth Pirates 5-4 last week, and riding that momentum, they played a solid game against the #4 B-seed Karlsson's Swedish Meatballs in this first game of Semis/Finals Sunday. Roadie veteran captain Pat Fynn had an extra challenge on this day as his solid vet goalie Pete Heron was not available, so Fynn decided to strap on the pads himself and get his good buddy Mark Yeates to spare for him as a rearguard. That would prove to be a very wise decision as Yeates was a very effective addition to the squad. Almost 8 minutes into the game though, it was the Meatballs who struck first as reigning 5-time Top Offensive Female Kelly Brant bulged the twine with the help of spares Steven Toste and John Dawley who were filling in for captain Michel Blondeau and his brother Frank Blondeau. But just over 3 minutes later, the aforementioned spare Yeates got the Crew on the board with an unassisted tally at the 9:09 mark. Then with 4:44 left, the Roadies went up 2-1 when sharp-shooter Al Bolduc sniped his own unassisted marker - but with just 45 seconds remaining to the intermission, we were tied up 2-2 when sparing duo Toste and Dawley hooked up with the latter setting up the former's nice goal.

And just under 4 minutes into the 2nd period, those two talented spares would combine again as Dawley lit the lamp off a good feed from Toste to give the Meatballs their 2nd lead of the game - but the game was knotted up again at the 11:45 mark when feisty Roadster Isabelle Blondeau banged one in, for her 200th career point, with the help of spare Yeates. And just 20 seconds later, the big spare D-man was inflicting damage again as Yeates sniped after a good pass from fellow spare Ryan Hawkins - but, just 85 seconds later, at exactly the 10:00 mark, the pesky Meatballs evened the score at 4-4 when sneaky sniper Helene Bourgeois found the back of the net as she often does, with the help of spares Dawley and Mona Le Blanc. With 7:17 left though, the Crew scored 2 goals on one shift - first it was pugnacious playmaker Chantal Lalonde one-timing one home with the help of spare Hawkins and reliable rearguard Lori Renaud, then it was Al tallying again off a another good dish from spare Hawkins to put them up 6-4 with 5:33 left to play. Not wanting their season to be over, the Meatballs tried their best to get back in this game - and with their goalie pulled, Kelly sniped again off good passes from spare Toste with his 4th point of the game and spare Dawley with his 5th point. So it was now 6-5, but there were just 22 ticks left on the clock - the Meatballs did get a couple of decent chances to send the game to overtime, but fill-in goalie captain Fynn made the saves to preserve his team's 2nd straight upset in these B-Pool playoffs.

9:00 Wrecking Ballem vs Monette For Nothing (View Boxscore & Recap)

Superstar Ballem was a one-man Wrecking crew as he tallies the game's first 4 goals en route to a huge 6-2 win over the strong Monette gang

A-Pool Semi #1 - Remembering they lost 5-2 to Monette For Nothing back in Week 8, the Wrecking Ballem squad knew they would need to step up their game in this highly-anticipated A-Pool semi-final match-up. Well, our league's active points-per-game (3.27) leader, Dan Ballem, did indeed step up as he took matters in his own hands - quite literally. Just over 2 minutes into this contest, Ballem intercepted a pass near half and rifled his lightning-quick snapshot past Monette's red-hot goalie Marc 'Rock' Laroche, who will again be a top candidate for Top Goalie this season. The next 15+ minutes of play went scoreless thanks to the masked men, Rock and his counterpart MC Chartrand, making many fine saves - Rock was especially solid as he faced 24 shots in this half from the high-scoring Wrecking shooting squad who tallied the 2nd most goals in the league this season. But at the 2:23 mark, Ballem again broke up a pass attempt with his uncanny ability to read plays, and he again sniped on another laser-fast shot - and just over a minute later, Ballem capped off his 1st-period hat-trick of unassisted tallies as he, yet again, picked off a pass and deposited it into the back of the net - making the score suddenly 3-0 at halftime.

And, amazingly, Ballem was at it again, not even 2 minutes into this 2nd stanza when, while short-handed, he cut off a pass in his own slot and used his crazy speed to bolt down alone on Rock and beat him with a dirty backhand dangle. So it was now 4-0 for Ballem's bunch with the man himself notching all 4 goals - but make no mistake, while the boxscore might look like he was maybe hogging the ball with 4 straight unassisted markers, literally every one of those goals were started by Ballem making a great defensive play and turning it around to either shoot or walk in for beauty goals. Then, at the 15:33 mark, someone other than Ballem finally got on the board as their talented captain Andrew Stephens lit the lamp on a nice wrister after sweet feeds from his beloved bedmate Amanda Murray and her sister-in-law Faith Murray - both of whom are continuing to improve every game. Now down 5-0, the previously red-hot Monette offence really started to kick it into high gear to attempt to get back in this game - and they have the offence to get it done as they boast the man they named the team after, Andre Monette, who finished just 1 point shy of his 1st OFBHL scoring title after amassing a ridiculous (and maybe record?) 16 points in his final 3 games of the season, plus they have our season's point-per-game (3.22) leader in Stephane Chenier, along with our league's 2nd-best female point-getter this season in Most Improved Cheryl Brekalo. Led by those 3 in particular, the Monette gang bombarded the Wreckers' twine tent, but netminder MC continued his best season ever between the pipes by making many magnificent saves - as no goals were scored for almost 10 minutes of play. Then with 5:55 left, the Wrecking crew went up 6-0 when captain Andrew sniped again, this time off a great feed from playmaker Alex Brunette-D'Souza - but just over a minute after that, the frustrated Monette gang finally got on the board, with just 4:43 left, when Andre tallied with the help of Cheryl's 50th career point - almost half of which were actually accumulated just this season. The Monette For Nothing squad surely knew it was beyond a long shot to make a comeback (they're not the Schweddy Balls after all!) but they kept firing away and, with just 30 ticks left, they managed to squeak a 2nd goal by MC as Andre scored again with the help of dependable rearguard Laurie Reinhart and Cheryl. But obviously it was too little too late as Wrecking Ballem move on to the Bubba Cup Final after this solid 6-2 victory.

9:50 Smash-Mouth Pirates vs Schweddy Balls (View Boxscore & Recap)

In a great game that went down to the wire, the Schweddy Balls sweated it out as, this time, they had to hold on to a slim lead for the win

B-Pool Semi #2 - After making unbelievable comebacks in each of their last 2 games - including last week's B-quarter-final in which they erased a 4-goal deficit in the final 11+ minutes to get to this game - the Schweddy Balls were hoping to not have to be the comeback kids once again in this match-up against the Smash-Mouth Pirates. These were the top 2 seeds going into these B-Pool playoffs and when they met way back in Week 2, the Pirates snuck away with a 5-4 win - so a good tight fight was excepted, and that we got. Just under 5 minutes into this contest, the Mrs. Smash-Mouth Missy Newhook opened the scoring off a nice feed from our league's matriarch and stalwart rearguard Cindy Bertrand. Exactly 2 minutes later though, that matriarch's fine husband, Schweddy captain Sean Frewen, got his team on the board with a nice shot after good passes from red-hot playmaker Rachel Clermont and hulking D-man Pat McKerral. No little balls would tickle the twine for the next 9+ minutes of play until, at exactly the 4:00 mark, Schweddy sharp-shooter Colin Smith tallied an unassisted marker - and just 27 seconds after that, they went up 3-1 when captain Frew sniped again with the same two generous givers, Rachel and Pat. So even though the two combatants almost equally divided 49 shots on net, the Schweddy ones were up by 2 at the intermission thanks mostly to their spare goalie Devin McManus who was a wise fill-in for recent 2-time Top Goalie Herb Beagan.

Just under 3 minutes into the 2nd half, the pesky Pirates got back to within a goal when feisty Amy Vandekemp bulged the twine with pugnacious Frank Zic picking up the helper. With the game now 3-2 and these two top B-Pool teams fighting for the right to move on to the Mini Bubba Final, both squads were giving it all they had. Guided by their injured captain Steve Andrews, who, for maybe the first time in our 33-season history, was actually coaching from the players' bench, the Pirates were riding the momentum of that goal as they had a couple of glorious scoring chances against the Devinator...but the spare tender was keeping his temporary team ahead with some sensational stops. Then the Balls started to slowly but surely take over the game as they not only held a 23-15 shot advantage in this half, but they also held a territorial advantage especially in the final 10 minutes of this tight fight. Coaching captain Andrews pulled his goalie in the dying minutes and his troops fired a few more bombs, but the Devinator would not be beat again as, in stark contrast to their previous 2 games, the Schweddy Balls hold on to squeak away with the 3-2 triumph - vaulting them to the B-Pool Final against the 'Cinderella' Road Crew who were shut-out 3-0 by the Schweddy gang, but that was way back in Week 1, long before the Crew's current impressive playoff run.

10:40 Snapers vs Cool Runnings (View Boxscore & Recap)

Even after the last-place Snapers upset the #1 seed last week, most likely didn't expect them to compete with the #2 seed Cool Runnings, but that they did

A-Pool Semi #2 - The 4-5-3 Snapers barely made the A-Pool this season - they squeaked in by just 1 point over 2 teams - so nobody expected them to have a chance against the hottest team, and #1 seed, in the league last week. But they managed to slay the dragon in a huge 3-2 upset victory - giving them the right to now face the top remaining seed in the #2 Cool Runnings who actually tied for 1st place overall with an 8-2-2 record and they were also #1 in the league in both Goals For (59) and Goals Against (30). So clearly the upstart Snapers were in tough again for this A-Pool Semi-Final. Maybe knowing that, the underdog Snapers came out flying in this contest as they carried most of the play in this 1st half as evidenced by their 21-14 shot advantage - but for the opening 18+ minutes of play, no goals were scored with Cool Justin Labrecque and Brent Ferguson taking turns making many fine saves. Finally though, with just 1:45 left in the period, the Snapers finally made good on one of those 21 shots when sniper Don Prior lit the lamp with the help of captain Sean Malloy and reigning 5-time Top Offensive Female Kelly Brant. Exactly 1 minute later though, Cool's tenacious sharp-shooter Jeff Murphy broke up a play near half and wired a missile that mashed mesh behind Brent - making the score 1-1 at the intermission.

Just over 3 minutes into the 2nd frame, the Cool gang took their first lead of the game when Murphy sniped another unassisted tally on another wicked shot. The next several minutes of play saw both teams exchanging some glorious chances, but the two tenders, Brent and Justin, were clearly on top of their game making several stupendous stops. The Cool gang were a much higher-ranked team overall backed by a goalie in Justin who finished the season as the 2nd-best in each of the 3 main goaltending categories - but Brent and his lesser-ranked squad were keeping up with their counterparts step for step. With 14:10 left in the game, the Cool gang had a power-play opportunity, but they couldn't get the insurance goal by ginger-hot Brent. And about 3 minutes later, the Snapers had their own man-advantage, but they too were thwarted by Justin who was continuing his breakout season between the pipes. Then with the score still 2-1, the Snapers got called for 3 penalties (1 coincidental) in the final minute but, while all 3 were clearly penalties that needed to be called, they were all the result of working extra hard against their enemies to try to get/keep the ball to desperately attempt to send this game to overtime. But, while the Snapers deserve a ton of credit for not only eliminating #1 last week but pushing #2 right to the final buzzer this week, it was just too much of a hole to dig out of as the ultra fast Cool Runnings would breathe a collective sigh of relief as they were able to hold on for the narrow 2-1 victory - and they now move on to the Bubba Cup Final against the #4 seed Wrecking Ballem who tied them 3-3 back in Week 7.

11:30 Road Crew vs Schweddy Balls (View Boxscore & Recap)

As any Final should be, this contest was a nail-biter right to the final buzzer and beyond as it took sudden-death overtime to determine the Mini Bubba winners

B-Pool Mini Bubba Final - If we had betting odds for our league's playoffs, for varying reasons few would have bet on the last-place Road Crew and the Schweddy Balls to be the combatants in this B-Pool Mini Bubba Final. For the #14 seed Roadies, they didn't win any of their final 8 regular-season games, they scored the least amount of goals in the league (37) including getting shut-out 3 times this season, and for this Semis/Finals day they were missing their proven playoff-performing goaltender Pete Heron along with their #1 guy Daniel Blondeau who's often been money in the playoffs including being the 1st star with 2G-2A in their quarter-final upset win last week. Meanwhile, on the flip side of the floor, firstly most betters wouldn't have predicted the #10 seed Schweddy ones to even be in the B-Pool because most pundits predicted they'd be at least a top-5 A-Pool team this season. And secondly, after an up-and-down campaign that led them to be only the #2 seed in the B-Pool playoffs, they were down 6-2 with just over 11 minutes left in their quarter-final game last week, but they stormed back to score 5 unanswered goals, including the winner with just 20 seconds left, to bring them to this Semis/Finals day. And like their opponents on this day, the Balls were also missing their masked man between the pipes, recent 2-time Top Goalie Herb Beagan, not to mention they just barely won their Semi-Final 3-2 earlier in the day. So, these were indeed two very unlikely squads in this B-Final - but a big factor in them being here was wise spare choices by their veteran captains in Roadie Pat Fynn and Schweddy Sean Frewen. First, being that he's in the same goalie box as Heron, Fynn decided to strap on the pads himself while also acquiring the services of his long-time buddy and former men's league teammate Mark Yeates to play out in his stead - and he also replaced his #1 guy Daniel with sharp-shooter Ryan Hawkins. Meanwhile, opposing captain Frew could have used any available goalie in our league to replace Herb, (and maybe he was stuck with this choice haha) but he opted to go with a diminutive tender from the box below him in Devin McManus who also happens to be the 2nd-best all-time in save% (90.5) for all who've played in more than 2 of our league's 33 seasons. So with all that preamble said, let's get on to the exciting action. Well, it wasn't too exciting in the way of goals in the opening almost 9 minutes of play as no little balls tickled the twine with both spare goalies, Fynn and Devin, taking turns making some solid saves. But at the 11:11 mark, spare Yeates, like he did in the Semi-Final, got his adopted team on the board as he sniped with the help of fellow spare Hawkins and pesky rearguard Lori Renaud - less than 3 minutes later though, the Schweddy ones would respond when white-hot Rachel Clermont banged another one home with Frew and big blueliner Pat McKerral picking up the helpers. Then with 2:45 left to the intermission, also white-hot Frew scored a nice goal, the 250th of his illustrious 384-game career, with big Pat again getting the assist - but with just 3 ticks left on the clock, Roadster spare Hawkins broke up a play near the wall at half-court and bolted down the right wing and rifled in a wicked wrister bardown to make the score 2-2 at the break with the Crew outshooting the Balls 29-21 - so both spare goalies, especially the Devinator, were superb in this opening half.

Exactly 2 minutes into the 2nd stanza, the Roadsters continued that momentum swing as they re-took the lead at 3-2 when spare Yeates tallied yet again on a nice individual effort - but just over 5 minutes after that, the hot Schweddy pair of Balls, Rachel and Frew, continued their playoff onslaught on opposing nets as Rachel sniped her 5th goal and 9th point in their 3 games, with the help of Frew's league-leading 10th playoff point. Then, at the 11:02 mark, the see-saw affair had the Balls take their 2nd lead of the game when spare Johanne Pyzevas one-timed a nice shot home after good feeds from playmaking power couple Colin and Denise Smith. This is as good a spot as any to point out that this reporter and a few astute onlookers noticed that Schweddy's #1 girl Denise was moved to defence for this Semis/Finals day by captain Frew, and that proved to be another shrewd move as she was relentless in her attack of any enemies entering her zone. With 7:07 remaining though, this thrilling contest was tied up for the 4th time as the pesky Roadies scored when spare Yeates capped off his hat-trick (to go along with his 2G-2A in their morning win) with the help of his good friend and feisty rearguard Jodie Suitter with her 25th career assist in this her 73rd game. So with the score now 4-4 in the dying minutes of the game, the Schweddy ones showed a lot more push in this 2nd half as, after being outshot 29-21 in the opening half, they held a distinct 22-12 shot advantage in this frame - that was aided by a late power-play - but no more goals would be scored in regulation, so, fittingly, we were off to a 5-minute sudden-death overtime period in this Mini Bubba Final. Both teams had their chances in the opening couple of minutes of OT as both the Devinator and Fynn needed to make a couple of game-saving stops - but at exactly the halfway mark of the period, at 2:30, Schweddy Colin won the offensive left face-off back to raw rookie Ty St-Jean who unleashed a seeing-eye missile that found its way through a maze of legs to mash the mesh and win the Mini Bubba for his Schweddy Balls! Full marks to captain Fynn and his pesky Road Crew not only for taking this clear-favourite Schweddy team all the way to overtime, but also for salvaging their miserable 8-game winless streak to end their season by playing hard and well in all 3 of their playoff games. And congrats to Schweddy Balls' captain Sean Frewen for first making some wise lineup moves and also leading his troops both on the scoresheet and on the floor. This is Frew's 6th Mini Bubba championship while D-man Pat McKerral (with a career-high 7 playoff points) has now won 4 Mini Bubbas while his lovely bride Mel McKerral has now won 2 - all the other 6 full-time members of this team - Colin Smith, Denise Smith, Herb Beagan, Katie Wright, Ty St-Jean and Rachel Clermont - are first-time winners of the B-Pool Championship. And it should be mentioned that their 2 spares in their 2 wins on this day -- Devin McManus and Johanne Pyzevas -- were also key contributors to winning the Mini Bubba. Congrats to all of you Schweddy Balls!

12:20 Wrecking Ballem vs Cool Runnings (View Boxscore & Recap)

They say 'speed kills' in hockey, well this Bubba Cup Final certainly featured our league's two fastest squads - and in the end, the Cool gang won the ultimate race

A-Pool Bubba Cup Final - With the amazing parity in our league, I can't really say that this A-Pool Championship game featured our league's two best teams - but I can definitely say that it displayed the two fastest overall teams as both squads are littered with speedsters. I also can't say one team is the clear favourite as Cool Runnings finished with an 8-2-2 record this season, while Wrecking Ballem were just 1 point behind them at 8-3-1 - also, when these two teams tangled back in Week 7, it was a 3-3 draw - so it was anyone's guess who'd emerge victorious for the coveted Bubba Cup prize. That said, there are three aspects where the Cool gang had an advantage when analyzing the tale of the tape. First, they have the not-so-secret weapon of our league's top female point-getter in Josianne Garneau who led the girls with 13 goals and 27 points, and while she's obviously an offensive magician with the ball, she's also extremely quick, feisty and hard-working. Second, they have a breakout star between the pipes in Justin Labrecque who, in this his 5th season, will be a sure candidate for not only Most Improved Male but also for Top Goalie, and he'll even surely get some League MVP votes as he finished #2 overall in all 3 main goaltending catergories (7 Wins, 2.55 GAA, 92.5 save%) - and, unbelievably, he was even better during this playoff run. Lastly, and related to those first two points, they were literally #1 in the league in both Goals For (59) and Goals Against (30) - so they excel in both zones on the floor. But, not coincidentally, their contenders in this Final are also extremely strong in each of those 3 aspects of the game. The Wrecking crew's #1 girl, Alex Brunette-D'Souza, was #3 in the league for female points-per-game (13 in 7) and along with racking up the points, she's also likely the best girl in our league for controlling the ball around the perimeter and only making high-percentage passes to create offence for her team - like her counterpart Josianne, Alex is a highly-trained and skilled ice hockey player whose many skills translate very well in ball hockey. As for their masked man, now in (surprisingly already) his 13th season between the OFBHL pipes, MC Chartrand enjoyed his best season ever as he played in all 12 games, led the league with 8 wins, had a terrific 3.42 GAA along with a 90.1 save% - both career-highs - and certainly good enough numbers to garner him some votes to be a repeat winner of the Most Improved Male award that he won in the Fall 2014 season. And in the goals department, the high-flying Wreckers were #2 in Goals For, just 1 goal behind their opponents, thanks in large part to them having 3 guys who are all in the #1 box conversation - clearly their star Dan Ballem is not only in the conversation but he's definitely one of our league's best active and all-time players with his whopping 565 points in just 173 games, but they also boast two quasi brothers-in-law in captain Andrew Stephens and Brock Murray who both played like #1s this season, and Brock in particular, will definitely steal some Most Improved Male votes from the two masked men in this game as the 5th-year sharp-shooter finished the season with 20G-10A which not only shattered his previous career-high of 19 points, but his 30 points also placed him in a tie for 4th most in the league. And, of course, for any team to reach this League Championship Game, they have to have a terrific supporting cast of players who do many of the little things it takes to ultimately win the games when they count the most - and both of these combatants have excellent supporting players.

Now, on to the action...

After no little balls tickled the twine for the opening 4+ minutes, the Cool gang's underrated star Randy McPhee showed why he should be in the mix as one of the top players in our league - he broke up a play near half and then used his filthy mitts to dangle around two Wreckers before deking out MC for a gorgeous unassisted goal. After being tied with his teammate Josianne with 27 points this season - 8th most in the league - Randy 'only' got that 1 goal in today's two games, but anyone watching (or certainly playing in) the game could clearly see he brings so much more to the table than goals and assists...he's a speedy ball-possession machine as he's constantly either carrying the ball all over the floor looking for openings to create offence or he's using his fantastic speed and hockey sense to chase down his enemies to regain possession. And just under 2 minutes after that unbelievable goal, at the 14:02 mark, Cool's pugnacious sharp-shooter Jeff Murphy, who's exploded in these playoffs, set up a nice goal by Josianne to put their team up 2-0. The Wreckers weren't letting up at all though, as they continued to attack in waves - but Justin kept thwarting them with some sensational saves thanks to his refined technique. Then with 8:34 left in the half, the Cool dynamic duo of Murphy and Josianne were inflicting damage, as they have all season, when he sniped off a sweet feed from her. Despite a combined 41 shots on net (22-19 Cool), no more goals were scored in this half as Justin continued to shine in the Cool twine tent.

Now up 3-0, the Runners seemed to go into more of a defensive mode in this 2nd half as they didn't take as many shots on net while concentrating on sticking with their equally speedy opponents step for step. Having lots of youthful exuberance on their squad, along with some wise experience in their 69-year-old rearguard Jack Gould, the Wreckers kept attacking from every angle - but the Cool gang are the only team in our league that could literally keep up with their speed as defensive specialists like veteran D-men Dale Cahoon and Aaron Karas were all over the Wrecking crew. And the other 3 girls on the Cool gang were noticeably effective too as rearguards Vikki Blair and Christina Osborne were really working hard to simply clear their zone and eliminate as many scoring chances as they could - while their captain, Mel Blondeau, was an animal as a defensive forward as she used her great speed and athleticism to run step for step with any Wrecking attacker. And along with all that relentless defensive work from those 5 Cool players, their 3 offensive stars - Randy, Jeff and Josianne - are all known for also being equally strong defensively, doing whatever it takes to help their team win. And if all that isn't enough, when the Wreckers did manage to break through the wall of team defence, Cool goalie Justin was there to make huge saves as he's done consistently all season long. With the score still being 3-0 for the Cool gang by the midway mark of the 2nd half, the Wrecking crew really started to pour it on to at least pot a goal and see what happens after that. Along with Alex, their 3 other girls - ever-improving Amanda Murray, her sophomore sister-in-law Faith Murray, and spare Tracey Windsor (filling in for Bekki Wilson) - all had their chances to help the Wreckers score their 1st goal of the game, but Justin was a man on a mission between the Cool pipes. Then, in final 5 minutes of play, the Wreckers main scorers gave it all they had - working as hard as they have all season - and even outshot their winning opponents 22-13 in this 2nd half...but the Cool gang were content to just play man-to-man defence while doing their best to keep the dangerous scoring chances to a minimum. And with just 1:55 left, after a couple more stupendous stops by Justin, Murphy and Josianne hooked up yet again with him notching his 2nd goal of the game of another nice dish from her. Down 4-0 now in the dying minutes, the Wrecking crew pulled their goalie and tried to at least break the shut-out bid, but with 1:20 remaining, Josianne broke up a play and deposited the ball into the empty net to make the final 5-0 - which really wasn't indicative of the overall game. As you'll see in detail below, Josianne (8 pts) and Murphy (9) were the offensive catalysts for the Cool gang in these playoffs which was fitting as they were on fire ever since they were put together very early in the season. And while those two will definitely get some A-Pool Playoff MVP votes, their stellar tender Justin will steal some votes too as he was spectacular in these playoffs with a miniscule 1.00 GAA and brilliant 97.4 save%.

Congrats to captain Mel Blondeau who did a fantastic job drafting her team and made some shrewd moves with her lineup this season which helped her win her 3rd Bubba Cup and 1st as a captain. It was also veteran D-man Dale Cahoon's 3rd Bubba, while it was the 2nd for their other vets Randy McPhee, Jeff Murphy, and Aaron Karas. So for the other 4 members of the Cool gang, this was their 1st ever Bubba Cup win - Josianne Garneau who's played 53 games over 5 seasons, also 5th-year couple Justin Labrecque (55 games) and Christina Osborne (64), and last but not least, 3rd-year rearguard Vikki Blair with 35 games played. Congrats to all of you Cool Runnings on a much-deserved Bubba Cup Championship!

Original Four Stars of the Week

  1. Justin Labrecque, Jeff Murphy & Josianne Garneau - while the other 6 Bubba Cup winning Cool Runnings teammates deserve recognition too, these 3 players really stood out on the scoresheets of their two wins today...masked man Justin capped off his breakout season where he finished 2nd in each of the 3 main goalie stats by being the 1st star in both wins today as he only allowed 1 goal on 36 shots in the 2-1 Semi-Final win and then turning aside all 33 shots for his 3rd career shut-out when his team needed it most in the Bubba Final - so he had a 0.50 GAA and 98.6 save % on this big day, and a sparkling 1.00 GAA and 97.4 save% in these playoffs...while Murphy scored his team's only 2 goals in the morning 2-1 win and followed that by notching 2 goals and 1 assist in the Final, which after getting 4 points in their quarter-final, gives him 9 points (6G-3A) in their 3 playoff games...and Josianne was held off the scoresheet like everyone else but Murphy in the morning game, but she exploded for 2 goals and 2 assists in the Final - after getting 4 points last week - she tied her career-high with 8 playoff points in 3 games, this after leading our league in female scoring during the regular season with 13 goals and 27 points

  2. Sean Frewen, Rachel Clermont & Pat McKerral - like any Championship winning team, the other 6 Schweddy Balls were all key contributors to their success, but these 3 were particularly strong on the scoreboard...after generating 5 key assists last week, captain Frew had 2 goals including the winner in the morning's 3-2 Semi win and then notched 1G-2A in the B-Final to tie his career high with 10 playoff points -- good enough to also lead all point-getters in this season's playoffs - all that along with making many key captain decisions during these playoffs...after amassing 3G-2A last week, Rachel picked up 2 assists on her team's 3 goals in the morning victory, and then she sniped 2 more goals in the B-Final to give her a career-high 9 points in this her 10th season of playoffs...hulking rearguard Pat picked up 2 assists in each of his team's two wins on this day, which added to his 1G-2A last week, gave him 7 points from the backend in these playoffs - added to the fact that he's a beast defensively

  3. Dan Ballem - the perennial MVP and Top Offensive Male candidate/winner notched 4 straight unassisted goals to open the game in the Wrecking Ballem's big 6-2 Semi-Final win - and they were all the result of him anticipating the opposing play, breaking it up, and using his amazing offensive flare to score the big goals for his team...he and his entire team were literally shut-out in the Bubba Cup Final, but it wasn't from lack of effort by Ballem who, as I think everyone knows, is still battling back from serious illness

  4. Mark Yeates & Ryan Hawkins - it's not often that spares get any star love - in fact, for website technical reasons, they never do...but here in the Original Four Stars of the Week, I have more flexibility, and these two wise spare choices by Road Crew captain Pat Fynn are certainly deserving of the nod as rearguard Yeates had 2G-2A in their morning upset win and then he notched a hat-trick in their narrow Mini Bubba Final loss...while Hawkins had 3 helpers in the morning win and then had 1G-1A in the B-Final


About Our League

Established in January 2000 and now entering our 34th season of continuous operation, the OFBHL is the pre-eminent recreational, mixed ball hockey league in the Ottawa area. We strive to offer our players a unique and fun experience each and every season!


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