Championship Sunday - And the Bubbas go to...

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2018-01-14
Another OFBHL season has come to an end and I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for taking part in this league and helping to make it what it is, I may be biased (just a little) but I've played in most of the leagues around the city and our Sunday morning league is the most fun I have playing ball hockey, that is due to the group of amazing people who come back season after season for the love of the game.

Congratulations!

After an outstanding 2 weeks of playoff action two teams were able to win 3 games and walk away as champions. Congrats to A pool champs Thongs N Dongs and captain Shawn Weatherdon who upset nothing but the top 3 regular season seeded teams on their way to the Bubba. In the B, congrats to Going Commando and OFBHL jack of all trades Craig Richer for his second straight B Division title, maybe an invite to the A is finally on tap for next season!

Awards voting

The link for Awards Voting is now available look under Awards -> Awards Voting and place your votes! During your voting you'll also have the opportunity to pass on feedback in an anonymous manner so take advantage and send any suggestions, comments, complaints etc and they'll be addressed. Winners will be announced on the website and on Facebook in the coming weeks.

Spring 2018 Season

Everything is set for the coming season which starts right away January 21st... can't wait to hit the floor!

8:10 Runners & Gunners vs Going Commando (View Boxscore & Recap)

Highest scoring game of the day sees GC eke out a one goal win to book their spot in the finals

Championship Sunday kicked off with a great B pool matchup between Runners & Gunners and Going Commando, both teams won their opening round playoff game fairly easily and were looking for a shot at the mini-Bubba championship. GC would show up with just a little more jump in their step and take advantage of their early chances, first Denis Dodd would find some space less than 2 minutes in and find the twine then not even 2 minutes later spare Michel Blondeau would follow suite putting R&G in an early hole. They would settle down behind some strong goaltending from grizzled veteran Peter Low who wouldn't allow another goal in the period, Pat Overhoff would get the Runners on the board and R&G would add a late period goal to send this game into the break tied at 2. If GC were a little sharper to start the game, the story was quite different in the second period as R&G came flying out of the gates and were quite literally Running and Gunning, they would take their first lead just over a minute into the period and would dominate the shot counter but MC Chartrand in the GC net would lock them down, despite being outshot and outchanced GC would score 4 straight goals in the next 5 minutes of play to take a 6-3 stranglehold on the game. R&G would not fold and continued to press hard, Overhoff would bring his team back within 2 at the five minute mark and then to within one with his hat trick marker with just 2 minutes left to play. Despite some furious late pressure R&G could not complete the comeback and end up falling by a 6-5 score, congrats to both teams on a great game!

9:00 Deja Eww vs Just the Tip (View Boxscore & Recap)

Beagan and Ferguson put on a goaltending clinic in A pool semi

Our first A pool game of the day had the 3rd seeded Just the Tip taking on the 4th ranked Deja Eww, the teams had combined to give up just 4 goals in their first round victories and featured two of the regular season's best goaltenders so you knew this one would be low scoring but vets Brent Ferguson and Herb Beagan had something special in store. DE would get on the board first as a spare would pick up a rebound from a save by Ferguson and snipe the opening marker 4 minutes into the game, that lead would last for most of the period until JTT venerable sniper Don Prior would find a few inches of space while short-handed and knot the game at 1, with time ticking on the first period it would be Prior again who would find a bit of space, this time off a Litt St-Jean feed and use his patented wrister to give JTT the lead with just 9 ticks left in the first half. After the teams nearly evenly split 30 first half shots the second half would actually be more eventful from a shots perspective but the goalies were the story, JTT would take 26 second period shots including a bunch of great chances to extend their lead on a late PP but wouldn't fool Ferguson again, unfortunately for their team the DE shooters were equally frustrated themselves as they directed 14 shots including a late flurry at Beagan but could not best the dominant tender again. Thanks to an outstanding goaltending display on both sides and some timely goalscoring by their sniper JTT take this game by a 2-1 final.

9:50 Evening News Team vs WinTurris Coming (View Boxscore & Recap)

WinTurris Coming captain Malloy the shootout hero leading his team to the B Finals

The second B pool semi featured the top seed in the B WinTurris Coming taking on the wildcard entry Evening News Team who had lost a tight 5-3 decision last week, on paper WTC appeared to have the advantage but in this crazy league the outcome is rarely that simple. This game was definitely a tale of two halves as shown by the shot counter, maybe the gym was tilted for this one, but in the first period ENT would absolutely dominate holding a 22-11 shot advantage and scoring the only goal of the frame off the stick of the pugnacious Teela O'Neill-Boivin. The second half would be the mirror image of the first as WTC took over the game but simply could not beat ENT spare tender Andrew Godin, finally with just over 6 minutes to play Frank Zic would snipe one off a Melissa Smith feed to tie the game at 1-1, despite a 26-11 second half shot advantage WTC could not score again and this game was headed to 5 minutes of OT. WTC would continue their strong play in the extra frame holding an 8-5 edge in shots, they even appeared to have won the game but Smith converted a Zic feed mere milliseconds after the buzzer had sounded keeping ENT alive as we now progressed to a shootout. Godin and WTC goalie Marc Laroche had already had outstanding games and showed again that goaltending wins championships with neither goalie giving an inch through the first 4 shooters per side, finally WTC skipper Sean Malloy would take matters into his own hands and snipe winner while Laroche made another save to lock up a 2-1 win for their team, what a game!

10:40 Thongs N Dongs vs Couples Retreat (View Boxscore & Recap)

Eight(h) is enough as bottom seed advance to the big dance!

Our last semifinal matchup of the day had the 2nd ranked Couple Retreat taking on underdog Thongs N Dongs who had come up with the unlikely upset in the previous knocking off the #1 seeded Grabner by the Josi, could their Cinderella run continue all the way to the final? The first half of this game could not have been more evenly played as the teams each directed 16 shots on net and territorial play was nearly even, Ryan Hawkins for TnD and Jeff Squires for CR would each do what they do best and snipe wristers to see the game locked at ones at the half. The goalies would shine to start the second but with shots firing fast and furious you knew that we'd soon hear from the shooters, CR would take their first lead of the day halway through the period on a goal from spare Christina Osborne, fireballer Bernie Car would tie things up with 6 minutes remaining on his patented clapper from the point. With just 2:24 on the clock CR would take what should have been a commanding lead with captain Andrew Stephens fooling the goaltender, with their season on the line TnD would respond and it would come seconds later on the ensuing faceoff, captain Shawn Weatherdon would win the draw back to Car who again showed off the heavy shot beating CR's keeper, just 4 secnods after falling behind the game was again tied at 3-3, the rest of regulation would expire and we were headed for extra time for the second time today, this time a 10 minute period. Despite being the lower seed TnD would build on their 28-18 second half edge in shots outshooting CR 9-4 in the extra frame, with just over 3 minutes remaining a hero would emerge and it was Mona Le Blanc converting on a passes from Hawkins and Car to send TnD to the Bubba Cup Final!

11:30 Going Commando vs WinTurris Coming (View Boxscore & Recap)

Live by the shootout, die by the shootout...

The B pool championship mini-Bubba Final featured the top 2 seeded teams in the B, #1 WinTurris Coming facing off against #2 Going Commando, many times the B pool is won by a team that wasn't close to qualifying for the A but gelled late in the season, that would not be the case this season as both the teams in the final fought tooth and nail to make the top 8 falling just a single point short in the end, credit to both teams and their captains as they quickly recovered from that disappointment and set up a great consolation bracket final game, the teams were also a study in contrast as WTC relied heavily on their defence to win low scoring games while GC could score with the best, but both teams were backed by veteran goalies putting up some of their best seasons to date in MC Chartrand and Marc Laroche. WTC would open the scoring 5 minutes in on a beauty goal by goalie turned d-man Devin McManus, that goal would be matched by GC 5 minutes later as Denis Dodd would snipe his second of the day, GC would pull ahead themselves 90 seconds later thanks to Kelly Brant only to see WTC tie things up again soon after on a Frank Zic effort, that's how the period would end with the score locked awt 2-2 and WTC holding a 22-16 lead on the shot board. GC would get the only powerplay chance of the game early in period 2 and after nearly 2 solid minutes of control would be rewarded with the go ahead goal off the stick of spare Michel Blondeau, they then turned to their masked man MC Chartrand, MC would turn aside 21 second period shots but WTC had one last bullet left to be fired, with less than 2 minutes to play Zic would pot his second goal of the game and we were all tied up again, the rest of regulation would tick away with no goals and the OFBHL would see OT for the 3rd time on the day. Five minutes of sudden death overtime would solve nothing as both teams were solid defensively with only 7 shots total taken so it was off to another shootout, the second straight for WTC, this one would not take as long as the first, the goalies would both stop the male shooters but Kelly Brant would flash her sniper form scoring the winner in the second round while Chartrand made the stop to give Going Commando the mini-Bubba Championship. Congrats to both teams on a great season, outstanding playoff run and a nail biting final game, GC captain Craig Richer along with Kim Richer and Eric Bekkers walk away with their second and second straight B pool championship, goaltender MC Chartrand and Melissa Blondeau earn their second B pool title while the rest of the team all take home the hardware for the first time.

12:20 Thongs N Dongs vs Just the Tip (View Boxscore & Recap)

Apparently Cinderella wears a Thong!

The OFBHL A pool playoffs are always a crap shoot and the 8th seeded teams have a history of shocking the world, in fact in 4 of the past 6 seasons the eighth seed has knocked off the top seed in the first round of the playoffs however you have to go all the way back to Fall 2013 to find an 8th seed that won all 3 games en route to a championship, TnD were continuing that proud tradition but could they buck the trend and finish the deal? They were in tough this game taking on Just The Tip and their goaltender Herb Beagan who had only allowed 3 goals on 69 shots against so far in the playoffs, luckily TnD had an answer of their own in goal with the ultimate dual threat Steve Toste who had continued his ascension in the OFBHL goalie ranks this season. The first period would be evenly played territorially and on the shot clock but TnD would do what underdogs need to do and score early, Ryan Hawkins would continue his great playoff run with a goal 4 minutes in and then with time nearly expired on the half TnD would score again off the stick of Shawn Weatherdon, a huge goal to give them a 2 goal edge going into the break. With their championship hopes slipping away JTT would come out strong after the half, they'd finally find a chink in Toste's armour as Litharitza St-Jean would pick a corner then just 2 minutes later JTT spares would combine for another goal to make TnD's lead vanish and it was anybody's game with 13 minutes to play. Over the ensuing minutes both teams would get chances but the floor would begin to tilt in the underdog's favour as they poured on the shots, with just over 6 minutes to play Weatherdon would score his second of the game to lead his team back into the lead, on the ensuing shift space would open for Hawkins and he would make no mistake with his 5th goal of the playoffs regaining the 2 goal lead for Thongs N Dongs and putting JTT squarely on the ropes. Just the Tip would show their mettle making a strong push in the final minutes but open shots were swallowed up by Toste in goal and TnD played keepaway to kill the clock. Time would run out and Thongs N Dongs pull off the unlikeliest of upset playoff runs, they beat the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed teams to win the Fall 2018 Bubba Cup.

Congrats first have to go to Just the Tip, despite the finals loss for co-captains Yan Elgin and Frank Blondeau this team had all the makings on a champion with a balanced attack, strong goaltending and a tenacious style of team defence, unfortunately for them they ran into a Cinderella Story on the other bench. In his 8th season as captain Shawn Weatherdon takes home his second overall Bubba but first leading his team, long time vets Toste and Mona Le Blanc both take home their 4th big title, just one off the most by any player since 2004, Hawkins, Caro Tessier and stout defender Tina Ash both win for the 2nd time while Jason Reid and Bernie and Ann Car finally tasted victory for the first time. Congratulations to all on a well deserved title!

Thanks!

Before closing the door on another successful season I'd like to hand out a few words of thanks:

  • A special thank you to Brian & Doug for being our main refs, it's a thankless job but their consistency and positive attitude make things work on a weekly basis. Thanks to all of our player refs and scorekeepers for subbing in when necessary and keeping things running smoothly.

  • Thank you to everybody who has stepped up to take on the role of captain, your work and input are invaluable to me and to us as a league.

  • Thanks to each of you for bringing what you do to this league, for realizing what we are about and doing your part to further that goal.

  • Last but certainly not least, a huge thanks to right hand man Craig Richer, I hope you all appreciate the work he puts in for the love of this league.

 
 

About Our League

Established in January 2000 and now entering our 37th 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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January 28
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