Hello Correlieu and flockey fans in Kersley and Bouchie Lake, “Oh Baby’ we had a good one on Thursday (May 16)!
The last two teams standing after months of gruelling flockey were poised and ready to give 110% (though their math teachers have told them over and over again that this simply isn’t possible, and their English teachers have given up explaining what a “euphemism” is).
Before the battle for the Correlieu Cup could begin though, there was the none-to-small matter of awarding the regular season hardware. Cam Hender “the Tender” walked away with League MVP, despite his workload dropping off noticeably in the season’s waning weeks.
The Chicks With Sticks walked off with the most sportsmanlike team award, renamed in honour of Brian Cullinane. It was our pleasure to see the first presentation of the “Cully” made by Brian’s daughters, Erin and Zoe. Thanks for that gesture ladies; it was generous and appreciated.
Once the ball was dropped, the game started like the early rounds of a heavyweight fight, with both teams playing a little tentative, probing for openings and looking to land the first big blow. Three or four minutes of scoreless action saw little work for Hender, while Kaeden “Insert Nickname Here” Ekstrom was called upon to make several big saves.
Slowly finding their legs, Tolitis began to come in waves, getting the 8% back on their heels, and eventually potting five goals on an overwhelmed Ekstrom (who’ll likely duck at the dinner table for a few days when someone passes him the butter). Smothering play in the defensive end and the ridiculous goal-scoring of Chris “Nicknames are Beneath Me” Thon seemed to have the game put away with a 5-1 Tolitis lead at the half.
Regrouping over oranges at halftime, Rylan “Drop Kick” Murphy, “Nearly Headless” Nick Falloon, and the other 8% players came out on fire for half two.
Led by a pair of goals by team spark-plug Devin Rusk — who also blocked just short of a million shots — the 8% pulled as close as 8-5 down with about four minutes to play. The comeback was not to be completed; however, as the teams swapped penalty shots with disastrous results for the 8%.
Only a 4×8 sheet of plywood could have stopped Thon’s ridiculous roof-daddy on Ekstrom, while Hender squeezed the five hole shut on the Ryan “Back check…? We don’t need no stinking back check” Murray.
With the game firmly in hand, Tolitis even gave one late shift to team mascot Devon “Ow the bench has splinters” Bara. The Tolitis team also insisted that this writer give a little ink to stay-at-home defender Ty Darragh, cousin of Liam Darragh (who’s still likely mad at Suitcase for a goal he called back at QSS in about 2007).
The fellas stomped the halls with the cup all afternoon, as well they should with their name on the thing for the third year in a row. With most of Tolitis moving on to greener pastures in various jobs, colleges and junior teams next year, free agency for 2020 opened about 30 seconds after the game’s final whistle.
Both the Silky Salmons and 8% began offering lucrative “I’ll do your homework” contracts to the remaining Tolitis players, while making attempts to raid each other’s rosters. “Suitcase,” “The Fixer,” and “Dana Murzyn Hockey School” were not offered contracts by either squad and were told the teams were “headed in a different direction.” Clearly, the market for old, slow dudes has dried up!
Thanks to the Observer for the space! Thanks to those who read this space and said nothing but supportive things (though my hearing can be a little selective)! Thanks to all the players and fans! Thanks to everyone who helps to keep CSS floor hockey the best thing about semester two (other than June). See you next year for more “cannonading drives” and “scintillating saves.”