Week seven in the Corellieu Secondary School Floor Hockey League began on a heavy note.
Tuesday, April 2
8% 10 – Chicks With Sticks 0
Though the game itself was the usual collection of smiles and laughs once the ball dropped, getting started was tough for students and staff alike.
Over the many years of floor hockey — at CSS and QSS — we’d become accustomed to the smiling presence of super-fan Brian Cullinane in the stands.
Today, however, he wasn’t there, and the finality of his untimely departure settled upon on us with an uncomfortable permanence.
Always a cheerleader; always a supporter with trophies and schedules and surprise new gear; always a friend to share a laugh and a playful jab; Brian’s absence was tangible from setup to the final whistle.
We will think of our friend Brian each time we drop the ball on a new game.
Thanks for everything Cully; rest in peace.
The smiles and laughs provided some rough catharsis, but the game itself saw a cocky 8% club run roughshod over the all-try Chicks With Sticks in a 10-0 rout.
Though the score was lopsided, we appreciated all the players for playing hard and showing good sportsmanship. Perhaps there can be no more fitting tribute to our fallen friend than a game played hard and fair.
Wednesday, April 3
Stick Breakers 3 – Icemen 11
Regardless of records and expectations, the Icemen knew they were in for a battle the moment the ball dropped.
On their first rush up the floor, Lillian Beuschel made a tremendous cross-floor pass onto the tape of Jorja Salmons’ stick. Salmons completed a beauty goal with a one-time finish to give the ladies their first lead of the season.
Rachael Paley held the fort for the ladies as long as she could, playing her Kirk McLean stand-up style to near perfection.
The Austin Podger helicopter line was too much for the Breakers in the long haul, however.
The young women were solid in all aspects of their game, with Beuschel and team enforcer Aleesha “the Hammer” Bautista playing particularly well in their own zone.
Maddy Moore was absolutely electric with excitement after potting her first goal of the year.
Sam Goulet turned in another stellar performance in goal for the Icemen, turning away a number of great chances.
Thursday, April 4
Chicks With Sticks 2 – Nordiques 7
The game began with a moment of silence for our pal Cully, and some heartfelt words from Nordiques team captain Fred “the Fixer” Rogger.
In honour of Brian, the Nordiques will wear a Shamrock decal on their jerseys for the rest of the year.
After much discussion among the league organizers, it was determined that from this season onward, the Trophy for Most Sportsmanlike Team would now be known as the Brian Cullinane Memorial Trophy.
When the sniffles and hard swallows were done, it was time to drop the ball.
The Chicks with Sticks were quicker than the Nordiques off the hop, squeezing a quick one through Rob “Suitcase” Biller’s yawning five hole to earn an early 1-0 lead.
Martin “Dr. Evil” Runge took over the offense after that, scoring a couple of quick ones to the consternation of a crowd far more inclined to cheer for the ladies than their “favourite” teachers.
Makenna Maxwell continued her strong play in goal for the Chicks With Sticks, turning away a number of point-blank chances.
Daniel Gamache was strong offensively for the all-female squad, creating several good chances, including a hard wrister that rung the post hard behind “Suitcase.”
The Nordiques were buoyed by the return to action of Steve “Boots” Dinicol, Josh “Nightstick” Nutley, and Alec “Metal Shop” Borrett. They were also helped by free agent signing of Jolene Joaquin.