We kick off week 11 as Chairman Lee's Team visits Make Angelo Grape Again. The Chairman's team proved again to be the only ones capable of beating the Juice is Loose last week as they came back from down 4-1 to score 5 unanswered goals, thanks largely in part to Brendan Hargave's career 5pt nights and Dan Nichols' repeat goaltending heroics, extending his unbeaten season between the pipes. The Purple Nurples on the other hand suffered their second straight heart breaker; keeping a game tied until a late slip up costs them the game. They can feel good about tallying 7 goals, propped by another Ramone Thompson hat-trick and a 5pt night for Rose Bohemier, but they need to find a way to slow the opposition down. Could Captain Angelo Phills' birthday be the inspiration they need to buckle down for the full 50 minutes?
Match #2 has Argent Slaughter visiting the dive bar as the Aquaholics host what looks to be another tight match. This bout was close on paper in Week #3 as the blue boozers took the game with a 5-4 score, but coming off a one-goal effort, their lowest of the season, the Aquaholics don't appear to be in their early season form. Meanwhile, the Slaughter squad is undefeated in their past 2 games, having apparently been awoken by their rattling second loss to team Purple. As extra incentive, the Grey Lords will be aware that with 3 games remaining in the season, a single point this week for the Blue Devils will officially put them out of reach in the league standings.
No Cream, No Sugar will be squaring off against the Juice is Loose in the 7:10 slot this week, motivated as ever to prove their mettle. The Black Eyed Team will hope they can maintain their grit with more discipline as they have now taken a penalty and gone over their foul limit in both of their last 2 games. On the bright side, their 4 goal-per-game avg. over those matches is well above their 2.6 avg. for the season, reflecting an uptick in what was formerly their weakest area, driven in part by rookie Eric Kinley's inaugural appearance on the stat sheet. They are also aided by facing a Juicer gang that appears to be slowing down. Some have pointed to hunger, or the fact that OJ haven't had to push since week #4, but they played it close in Week #9, and suffered their 2nd loss of the season last week. Will the celebration of Shelby Herman's 50th career game help the team gel again, or will Diana Rocha and the Caffeine crew shout them off the top of the standings?
Our final matchup has the Hulk-a-maniacs facing off against the E-lemon-ators in a hyphen-loaded aff-air. When these teams last met, the Hulk-a-maniacs were the league's #1 team while the E-lemon-ators were 2nd to last. Despite the discrepancy, this game remained tied until the last few minutes where Green Machine took a late lead to win 4-3. Fast foward to week #11 and these teams are each one position closer to each other, while the Lit Lemons have learned from their mistakes and overcome late ties to win games in 2 of the past 4 weeks. Gang Green defense has become particularly stingy of late, allowing only one goal to team Blue's lethal offense, but with Yellow stars Brian Sakala and Kirk Vandersteen coming off 5 and 3 point weeks respectively, these teams look set to keep it close yet again.
The After-Hours Committee is thrilled to announce that Boston Pizza was successfully revived at approximately 9:15pm on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017. It is now in stable condition, although it will need to be monitored and tended to over the coming weeks. They'd like to express their gratitude to all the players who made it possible, and shake a Dikembe Motombo-esque finger at all those who did not show up. For those whose other commitments made it impossible to join in last week, fear not. You can easily redeem yourself by attending the aforementioned pre-Canada Day BP and Karaoke night on June 28th. The league does not condone an inebriated state in the workplace and therefore will offer the friendly suggestion of taking the following morning off? Or not. You don't have to take our advice, it's your funeral...
We’re talking ‘bout playoffs?!?!?
As mentioned at the beginning of the year, the playoff structure for the league has changed from prior years to single elimination bracket play.
The schedule will be as follows:
Jul 12 5:10 1v8
Jul 12 6:10 2v7
Jul 12 7:10 4v5
Jul 12 8:10 3v6
Jul 19 5:10 W2v7 v W3v6
Jul 19 6:10 W1v8 v W4v5
Jul 26 5:10 Championship
In the event of a regular season ranking tie, usual regular season tiebreak rules will apply.
The regular season will almost be done and the beauty of summer will be upon us. This is not a soccer league organized portion to the season, but Canada Day-ish night it is the perfect time to brag about regular season stats and plot playoff strategies for the following weeks. Unlike the past two years we were not blessed for a Canada Day that lined up nicely around a soccer night but this will not stop us from organizing an outing to Boston Pizza, and continuing on to Limelight like history dictates. Talent is not required to participate in the karaoke aspect of Limelight, but for those brave enough to take the stage a welcome audience is always a great sight to see. Hope to see many of you out on June 28th! Any questions please talk to your captains.
With playoffs now less than a month away, teams can no longer use the excuse that they’re finding their grooves. Truth-week kicks off with an intriguing matchup as The Juice is Loose faces their kryptonite in Chairman Lee’s Team. The Chairman’s team did not fare well last week as his under-manned roster faced off against their own achilles heal, giving up their second game to Argent Slaughter. They’ll look to bounce back in a big way as the only team that has found a solution to corking up the Juice’s one-man wrecking crew. The OJs appeared stymied last week, held to a tie with 10 minutes remaining in their match vs the Grapes, but the floodgates opened yet again as Shelby Herman played the architect, masterfully setting up 3 of the Orange’s final 4 goals. Fans will be watching intently to find out if the red army can adapt their game plan to also cover this new-found threat.
Game #2 features two teams coming off strong prior week showings, with Argent Slaughter hosting No Cream, No Sugar. Slumping Team Black was looking for a stronger performance from their stars and got it last week as they bullied a juggernaut Team Hulk to a tie game, thanks to an overdue breakout performance from Sean “Ro-” Brokop, and a display of team grit and sandpaper that may lose friends, but more importantly wins championships. They will need stronger attention from captains Fraser and Kusiak who mis-managed their way to a bench-minor for too many men, necessitating a late 5-on-3 penalty kill in order to hold on to their tie. The Silver Surfers meanwhile rebounded from a painful loss to take their 3rd win of the season last week courtesy of Vivek Maharajh’s 4 goal effort and season first points from Justin Scott and Bridget O’Leary, proving she can indeed talk the talk and walk the walk. However, Argent will need all hands on deck as they look to contain a Coffee squad that had their strongest offensive showing of the season when these teams last met.
The 7:10 match features two teams mired in struggle as the E-Lemon-ators do battle with Make Angelo Grape Again. The Grape ones will expect to fair better than in the first version of this meeting, where the Sour Squad dropped the hammer to the tune of 9-4, more than double their next best offensive output of the season. Both teams faced powerful offenses last week and held them largely at bay until a deluge of late goals turned the scores lopsided as the Angelo Experience went down 6-3 while Brooke’s Bullies faltered 8-4. The Don Cherry crew can take consolation in the effectiveness of their new formation and strategy over the first 40 minutes of their match last week, while the Lemon Drops are welcoming new-found talisman Troy Woods with open arms, as he’s become a goal-per-game scorer over the past 3 weeks. Both these teams are well aware that they are running out of time to prove that they’re for real and would relish the chance to do so this week.
The primetime slot will certainly not disappoint as arguably the two most evenly-matched teams do battle with the victor claiming 2nd rank in the league as their own. Very little separates the Hulk-a-maniacs and Aquaholics, as they both offer a dizzying array of offensive weapons, while their goaltenders Matthew Dolan and Andrew Mackay are tied for second with identical GAAs of 3.111. The Smashers have 1 point over The Boozers in the standings, and each team’s two main scorers are separated by the very same amount. Gang Green may have taken the first match 6-3, but they are coming off a tough tie that may have left some bruises, while the Blue brigade has the momentum of a dominating performance last week and the intangible locker room presence of Rhys Degrave, who happens to be a real stand-up guy. He’s got moxie.
The final match-up of the night will be the most interesting of all, as all GWLMISL participants battle to decide the social fate of the league. Concerned about Boston Pizza’s Q2 earnings and the fate of their Boston Bucks, defacto league after-hours committee board members Chris Gessell, Marcia Gallos, Thomas Lai, and “Handsome” Jean Arakaza will be looking to revive the league’s out-going, sociable nature. Their natural first step will be to coax former board chairman Mike Siwicki out of his strict, lean diet and responsibilities as father of felines, and back to his seat on the board, as they believe the fall of this domino should cause the ripple-effect the league so sorely needs. Any league member who wishes to contribute to this cause can make donations payable to Boston Pizza St. James. Domestically brewed 18oz. beverages can be provided for all minimum donations of $5.99. For information on how you can get involved, please contact your league convenors, or simply shout at the top of your lungs on a Wednesday evening “I’m headed to BP”, and proceed to do so.
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Hulk-a-maniacs will be squaring off against No Cream, No Sugar to start the evening. The Hulk-a-maniacs are fresh off back-to-back 8 goal outings and had their balanced attack on display yet again last week as 7 players hit the stat sheet. No Cream, No Sugar meanwhile is still looking to get their offense going as the league’s last-placed offense has only scored more than 3 goals once. They will hope that the return of captain Kyle Kusiak from long-term injured reserve (albeit only temporarily), can not only off-set the loss of Adam Alkins, but also be the spark they so sorely need. The offensive struggle memo was not passed on to journeyman Jim Jennings however, as he continues to light the lamp and celebrated his 100th GWLMISL point with the Joe’s only 2 goals last week.
Tension will be at a high in game #2 as The E-Lemon-ators face the Aquaholics with both teams looking to wrap up unfinished business. Their week #2 matchup ended in the season’s first tie, meaning the Aquaholics will need this leg to successfully spike the lemonade bowl. Team Lemon is coming off a disappointing second loss to their citrus rivals but after ruffling the feathers of the high-flying Orange offense last week, team muscle David Senesky will focus on his next task of ruffling the meticulously coiffed ‘do of the Boozers’ defacto bench candy, Eric Lees. The Blues will do their best to brush that off, uplifted as they celebrate Janelle Fraser successfully notching the league’s first Fraser family goal.
The 3rd matchup of the season pits Karen Morris’ slumping Argent Slaughter against one of their few victims thus far, Chairman Lee’s Team. Keith Morris’ Red Devils fell victim to a short Argent Slaughter bench in the first leg of the Morris derby, largely felled by their own lack of drive and the jet-lagged legs of team leader Adam Conci. With a 4-2 record since, the Liberation Army have the look of a new team, but returning superstars and healing injuries stand to put the Silver Foxes in good standing as well. Argent will have to cope with a new challenge as keeper Aaron Yanofsky was absent in the first bout, but will counter the addition with newfound scoring threats in Jonny Moir and Daniel Desrosiers.
The final match of the night pits 1st placed The Juice is Loose against former last placed Make Angelo Grape Again. The Purple Drank are coming off their first win since week 1 after last week’s 10 goal explosion, featuring hat-tricks from Ramone Thompson and Roseline Bohemier. On-lookers question whether they are capable of beating a team not named Argent-Slaughter but with their momentum on high, there’s no better stage than primetime vs the league’s top team to prove that they’ve ironed out the kinks. They’ll need to be as focused as ever now that Orange have spread out their attacking duties from top to bottom, all the way to goal keeper Salim Tourabaly who enjoyed a 3-point night last week. In light of this stand-out performance, Captains Jean and Brianne have demanded that the remainder of the roster begin fasting as well to prevent their diets from weighing them down.