JCC Floor Hockey


Juranka's Corner

May 17, 2004

this is a long email
sorry bout that...

- - - - -

it was not without
a large degree of surprise
that deranged and gus
found themselves
facing off in the finals this year

Gus had been in a slump from Channukah
until their first playoff game

they won the first of three

Deranged won the second

anyway... all tied up at a game apiece,
gus and deranged went at the final game
with the type of karmic inevitability
that lottery winners have when they
announce that they always knew
they were destined to be rich

everyone felt like this was their year

here are the events
that unfolded on monday night, May 17th, 2004

based on the prior game it became an issue
as to who gets Larry in net for the second half

Larry needs a period to warm up but then
he can close down a team single-handedly

since both teams were aware of this,
a coin toss would decide who got Larry to close

since deranged finished ahead of gus
i got to pick and chose tails and won
and chose Jesse to start

our battle plan was simple

one-to-one coverage
massive emphasis on defense
take away the point shot
shadow Gregus
forecheck like mad
pass up the sides
take lots of shots
& rush the net

when i asked Aron why he thinks we lost
the first game of the finals he said
the only thing wrong with us that night
was that Davy and Lorne didn't step up

Davy had twisted his ankle
on his first shift
and without offence
we were toast

the speed of Gus was a thing to behold
so quick shifts were in order

one final captain decision
which i made and i believe
made all the difference
was to bring on a Coach
in the form of Carolyn

she's also a nurse and her sympathy
would help just in case we lost
but all previous (4 or 5) times
that she was behind our bench
we had never lost

the first half was fantastic... for Gus
Ronny opened the scoring with his
patented one-timer as he literally
slid into the slot

Deranged wasn't getting any lucky bounces
and Coach Carolyn reprimanded us for
"not forechecking and just sitting back
waiting for the ball to come to us"

Gus was beating us
to every loose ball

Gus was clearly in the zone and
our two Deranged fans were silenced
by one goal after another

soon it was 4-0 for Gus

at this point i began entertaining the possibility
that it was their game, their cup, their season

Deranged had been shut down quite a few times
this year, especially during our early slump

its like we were stuck in neutral and
just couldn't even get into first gear

a late period goal by Davy gave us a ray of hope

half-time was a passionate event for the Deranged

each player said what they felt had gone wrong

Paul (never at a loss for words or passion) gave
us his routine emotional workout

Davy was cautiously optimistic and just
reminded us that the entire year
would be decided in the next half

we were a totally different team in the second half

the ball was in Gus' end most of the time
but still we had no luck scoring until
Danny took the game into his own hands

starting in our zone he ran the ball up the left wall
by himself (Roy and i were miles behind the play)
and then took it straight to Jesse's net with two
defender on him

it looked like he lost control of it a couple of times
but in the end he was at close range,
still wacking at the ball and somehow it went in

THAT was the turning point in the game

although we had been applying pressure
until that moment it seemed that
lady luck was sleeping with gus

that started up a new level of confidence

the lantz line started to connect and
two goals later with only 5 minutes left
the score was tied 4-4

Larry was solid and had shut Gus out all period
but the game and season was far from over

Jeff and Mark wove the Wener-Gregus magic,
sprung a two on one and with some beautiful passing
left us one goal back and totally deflated

the emotional rollercoaster had taken another turn

we called a time-out
lots of soul-searching yada-yada-yada
and back we went to finish the season

Davy made his lateral move and patented wrist shot
to the top left corner and we were back in the game

the overtime rules had been discussed before the game
and if we tied we would have a 10 minute period of
sudden death before doing a shootout

that overtime never came because
with 40 seconds left in the season

Lorne managed to take a pass in the slot,
settled the ball down and
let go a wrist shot to the top left corner

this would be the final goal of the season

as the seconds counted down we were
still on edge, it was surreal

when Josh blew the final whistle
i still couldn't quite believe it

in my six years at the JCC
i've been to the finals three times
but until now i'd never felt... the glory

all night afterwards
whenever anyone mentioned the game
i'd get goosebumps and
shivers up the spine

this game was up for grabs
all night long, right down to the last second

after some team photos
we were off to the Firk

- - - - - - - - -

Loren Freid had come out to watch and
i got a chance to catch up with him

Hilary was our super-waitress

the pool-table was loaded with ham sandwiches
(next year we'll remind them them to hold the pork)

the booze was flowing like crazy
and it turned out to be paid for by
an anonymous league member
who has cash and there is only
one person i can think of in that category

mucho thanks

- - - - - - - - - -

then the awards part of the night began with
"thank you"s and a round of applause for...

Josh our amazing referee
Kim for doing so much for the league this year
the Goalies (especially Larry, Jesse and Shiney)
Sander who bought our shirts (and hats)
Tim and Larry for the website
Aron, Tim and Andrea for laying the groundwork as last years' commissioners
the Team Captains for helping keep things in order and
the Ferret and Firkin for discounts and great service

The AWARDS table was stacked

Andrew McPhail won the Ron Francis Award for Most Gentlemanly Player
- what a great choice, i never saw a mean expression on this guy's face -

Roy Abraham won this year's Soupy Sales Award for being the league's comedian
- another great choice, he cracks me up,
without his lightness i'da been totally frazzled -

Sander Shalinsky won the Bob Fosse Award for being the most stylish
- and now i'll bet the rest of us will run out and buy
yoga pants during the off season

Lorne Lantz got the JCC Future Stars Award for the rookie who makes
the most impact in his first year.
- he may be soft-spoken but as you all know this guy was
an amazing forechecker and clutch goal-scorer.

L'Equipe Dijon won the Kim Campbell Trophy for the best regular season record.
When this team was flying they were impossible to beat

the Canadian Legion Cup was the new Firkin Award
for the weekly "Power Rankings" winner
and it went to the super-sociable Gus.
This award is near and dear to my heart.
The Pylons won it last year.
Dijon was runner up this year but
Gus was a clear run-away winner
with a consistent string of victories and
the most 100% (7 player) turnouts at the Firk.

Andrea was given an Award for Excellence by showing tireless dedication and service to the league. As the one and only two-term commissioner she gave the higher powers the estrogen it needed to get a grip on testosterone-laden issues.

Jeff Silver got the MVP Award for the most valuable player to his or her team.
This guy could do it all. Defense/offence/great assists/tons of goals.

Loren Freid was the First Player to be inducted to the JCC Ball Hockey Hall of Fame. He is one of the originals who got this modern version of the league off the ground by being the first full-time goalie. His positive attitude was always inspiring and we all hope that, like Mario, he comes out of retirement next year.

Steve Chamberlain took the Pete Rose "Charlie Hustle" Award for the player
who runs his ass off every game. This is the new version of the "Hustler award"
that Gabe Tick won last year. Steve was a perfect choice. Great speed and endurance.

Alan Silverman took home the Maytag Award for being reliable, effective and
maintenance free. He is definitely our long-term role-model because he keeps
going and going, and improving every year.

Joel Lessem won the Mark Messier Award for demonstrated leadership qualities.

Dean Brauer won the K-Tel New and Improved Player Award.

This year's Ed Award goes to Ron Wener. Great choice (although I voted for Shane). Ron's spirit is so huge. He is as friendly as it gets.
Maybe even too friendly...
Patrick solemnly introduced the award, remembering Ed's death
and the impact which that tragedy had
on his attitude towards the game.

Washington Generals Award was awarded
to runner-up in the playoffs which was Gus.

The Deranged won the coveted JCC Cup, awarded to team
that wins the JCC Floor Hockey Championship.

When the baseball hats were donned and
THE CUP was handed over
I walked around the pool-table
holding it high and without exaggeration
it felt like i was finally
truly living a hoser's dream.

This ritual should definitely become a tradition.

The same goes for drinking from the cup.
Beer from the holy grail tastes like ambrosia

Kim and Adam
Larry and Jesse
Mark and Andrea
Paul, Carolyn and i
shut the place down

what a season
what a finals
what a finish
and what an amazing night

love you all
hope to see you at pick-up
have a great summer

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