It seems the NHL is back on track, all is forgiven! Or at least the NHL powers that be are hoping so.
If Gary Bettman wants to reduce the venom spewed his way from the West Coast, perhaps a team in Seattle would do the trick. Just imagine a Friday game — Vancouverites driving south for cheap NHL tickets and Washingtonians driving north to ski. Free trade never worked so good!
Anyway, at least my cable guy is happy; the cable nix has had a last-minute reprieve. I can only afford to attend one or two NHL games per year — taking my girlfriend to the games for reasons unknown as she only really wants to be seen on TV, iPhone in hand, waving to someone wise enough to stay home and watch the game on the tube and, in turn, evade the myriad of expenses involved in supporting your favourite NHL team. My girlfriend, never reads my article so I’m not worried about the feedback… and besides, I’m only joking, really!
In the A League, the Mongolie Grillers handed the Ice Wizards their second loss of the season last Tuesday by a score of 8-3. The Wizards came out strong, with a power-play goal three minutes in by Reid Johnston, with assists going to Sandy Tyler and Michael Borrelli. The Grillers would steal some magic from the Wizards after their early goal, however, netting three unanswered goals from Matt King, Chris Miron and Dave Daling before the end of the first.
Tyler replied for the Wizards midway through the second, but the Grillers scored the next five goals to put the game out of reach. Daling scored a hat trick and had a six-point night in total. Daling is currently on track to earn the “Rocket Richard Trophy” with 25 goals in his last 18 games. The Wizards would finish out the game with a late short-handed goal from Matt Potter.
After 20 games in the A League, the standings have the Wizard well in front of the pack with 36 points. The Grillers are in second with 22 points; the Longhorn Outlaws are in third place with 12 points, one ahead of the fourth-place Tapley’s Winterhawks.
In the Whistler Women’s Hockey League, all six teams are alive and well with 15 games played thus far. In first place, the Roland’s Thunder have 11 wins, two losses and two ties for a total of 24 points. Also with 24 points, the Gone Wild gals sit at 10-1-4.
In third place, the Subserveo Brewers pick up the slack with 20 points followed by the Blackcomb Killer Bees — who, in my opinion, have the best team name in Whistler — in fourth at 10 points. In fifth and sixth place sit the Murphy’s Hammer and the Pemberton Ice Caps, respectively. Gone Wild forward Michelle Chang leads the league in points with 22 goals and 23 assists in 14 games, while teammate Toshi Thompson has 10 goals and 19 assists for 29 points.
The women’s league gets back to action Thursday (Jan. 17) at 8:30 p.m. with the Gone Wild taking on Murphy’s Hammer, followed by the Killer Bees and Ice Caps at 10 and the Brewers challenging the Thunder at 11:30.
Men’s Whistler Hockey Commissioner Ian Pike continues to follow through on his Interleague match-up games, most recently pitting the Longhorn Mighty Moose of the Rec League against the Ice Wizards. As of press time we won’t have the results of that Tuesday (Jan. 15) game, but if all goes well the Wizards will go easy on the Moose and make new friends in the process.
Each Interleague game is meant to challenge the Rec League teams into a possible jump to the A League next season. It’s a win-win situation for the Rec teams, as they get extra games added to their regular season at no extra cost to them. Time will tell if the commissioner’s plan works.