The opening week of the CSS intramural floor hockey saw strong showings from all six teams in action. The week went a little like this:
High Noon, Tuesday, Jan. 28
Nordiques 11 – NHL Rejects 2
A large crowd (objectively large, not Trumpy large) gathered for the 2020 season’s icebreaker between the grizzled vets of the staff Nordiques team and the hard-charging ladies on the NHL Rejects side.
Buoyed by an unusually deep bench, the Nordiques rolled four lines and three D pairs all game, wearing down the ladies by the final whistle. New Nordiques Liam “Dirty Mike” Grogan and Sergei “Federov” Karagodine added sizzle in the offensive zone all game. The biggest highlights for the Nordiques were a pair from Troy “Dana Murzyn Hockey School” Moore and a seeing-eye special from Ted “Round Mound of Rebound” McCart. Both of these fellas had their seasons cut short last year, so we’re all happy to see them back and contributing to a big team win.
Scantily clad by ‘tender standards, Nordiques new backstop Jay “Glam Chowder” McDowell made a number of scintillating saves to keep the score flattering the staff club. “Glam” was particularly strong stopping a deft move from Cassidy Nykirk on a penalty shot. The absence of Fred “FR12” Rogger from the Nordiques lineup fueled rumours of his impending retirement, or a financially motivated move to the Los Angeles Chargers floor hockey team.
The ladies deserve full marks for effort throughout, playing fast and hard all game and showing marked improvement from last season in their positional play. Scoring for the ladies were Makenna Maxwell “Silver Hammer” — after a full season between the pipes last year — and Cassidy Nykirk. Nykirk and Daniel Gamache threatened the Nordiques goal all game and appear primed for big offensive seasons.
High Noon, Wednesday, Jan. 29
Benchwarmers 10 – Lucky Pucks 0
The league’s second all-ladies team, the Lucky Pucks, took to the floor for an opening clash against the powerhouse Benchwarmers club. Though the score did not flatter the Lucky Pucks, goaltender Katie “Old Mother” Hubbard was beyond spectacular, turning away numerous golden chances. More than once, Jake “the Snake” Beaudry was left looking skyward in amazement after a transcendent Hubbard save. Kyle “Ear” Wiggins and “Nearly Headless” Nick Falloon paced the Benchwarmers’ attack with multiple goals each. Each heard the boos and muttered curses of the crowd (and referee) as they poured the pressure on Hubbard, but the jeers only seemed to fuel their attack.
Beyond the heroics of Hubbard, the game’s finest moment centred on the vicious fore-checking of Ally “Baba” Fulton on the casually stickhandling Benchwarmers’ goalie Kaden “Nothing Rhymes With” Ekstrom. Ekstrom succeeded in stickhandling himself into a heap of trouble in the corner of his own zone and only saw his shutout saved by the rarest of all floor hockey miracles: a commitment to back-checking in a one-sided game. Ekstrom can thank his lucky stars that his flamboyant foray did not end in disaster.
High Noon, Thursday, Jan.30
Mighty Pucks 12 – PCKU 8
The best tilt of week one was easily the battle between the scrappy co-ed PCKU team and an over-confident Mighty Pucks club. Starting the game flat-footed, almost assuming victory would fall in their laps, the Pucks were shocked by a quick seeing-eye special from PCKU sniper Lief “the Lucky” Scott. Scott’s blast was like smelling salts for the Pucks, as they picked up their game and began to score in what became a see-saw battle. Living in the limelight, Damon “Geddy” Lee notched four for the Pucks, while Justin “Coho” Salmons potted at least five for PCKU. I say at least five, as I was reminded that real goal scorers don’t keep count — that’s for scrubs. Riley “Show and” Telford was strong between the pipes for PCKU, turning aside several golden chances, while at the other end Cole “Chinook” Salmons stole the show with an absolutely elastic toe save that drew the “oohs” and “ahhs” of the huddled masses in the bleachers.
While the Pucks walked out of the gym with a hard fought 1-0 start to their season, PCKU held their heads high, knowing they had a club that could compete with the best the league has to offer. Gritty checking forward Ashleigh “Low Bridge” Langille shared with Nordiques veteran “Fresh Prince of Bill-Air” that the staff club was on upset notice when they take on PCKU. Clearly, thoughts of the last playoff spot going to the Nordiques simply because it always does are in serious question on the PCKU squad.