Join the Crowd ...
This year's competition started off on a somber note, as the
perennial voice of Slapshot Keith Hunsinger was summoned
to be with his ailing wife. Sadly, Karen succombed to a long
bout with cancer not long after the convention. It wasn't the
same without him, and we were all thinking of him as we were
When the pucks were dropped, we had 22 full tables of action
throughout the ballroom. We had the usual late-night fun, topped
by the arm-wrestling match between Nate "Auction Security"
Hoam, and "tire tossin" Becky from LBG games.
Highlights of the first round included our defending champion,
Mark Guttag, getting the attention he deserved and having his
superstar stolen from him. That's life in the age of free agency.
We also had Bill Crenshaw leading the crowd in a chorus of "Happy
Birthday" for his son. Someone may have switched his cards
when he wasn't looking, because proceeded to lose 12 straight
games with no player higher than a 4. The MVP of the first round
was Scott Buckwalter's Tiny Tim, who scored six goals in his
first eight games, sending Scott into the semi-finals.
We then had our semi-final "lightning round", which
advanced six finalists. In what is rapidly becoming a Slapshot
tradition, each player brought their own custom playing piece
to the final table. The lineup was:
Devin Flawd, playing the Mariners pin
Derek Landel, playing the Snapple cap
Rebecca Hebner, playing the earring
Brandon Bernard, playing the penny
John Kerr, playing the Prezcon badge
Mark Mitchell, playing the cell phone
The earring was very small, and was easily hidden by the larger
pins. She made up for it with trash-talking, including calling
Devin "the kid", even though she is actually younger
The final began with a rarity in Slapshot - negotiation.
Derek announced that he had a bruiser, and wanted to engage in
a bruiser war to improve his team. John immediately jumped on
this idea, permanently destroying his team. John went the entire
finals without winning a single game. His final hand was Tiny
Tim, two 2's, two 3's, and a 5.Perhaps next year, he will try
a WBC badge to try to improve his luck!
Elsewhere around the table, Mark had bad luck trying to advance,
playing four tie games. Derek's team benefited from the bruiser
war, and qualified for the finals in first place. Devin quietly
built his team into an unstoppable powerhouse. First up for Devin
in the semi-finals was Brandon, who got swept. In the other semi-final,
Derek's #1 seeded team went up against Rebecca's fragile high-number
team. Rebecca survived, winning the series 3 games to 2, but
had to limp into the finals with several weak players.
The consolation 3-4 game was won by Derek, and then the plaque
was brought out for the championship series. Devin's unstoppable
powerhouse was too much for Rebecca, and Devin swept the series
to bring home his third plaque of the week.
27 junior players turned
out to start a Saturday afternoon version of this adult Saturday
night tradition. The kids were each presented with a hockey puck
with a picture of one of the players from the Slapshot
deck attached to it, courtesy of assistant GM Mark Yoshikawa.
The kids then divided into four boards of seven players each,
with the top two from every table advancing to the finals.
Katie Dougherty dominated the finals from the start, as she put
together a good team early through judicious drafts and a smart
trade, then proceeded to win game after game until final victory
was secured. The other junior sports entrepreneurs finalists
Mary Beth Mitchell
3rd: David Pack
4th: Michael Schoose
5th: Heather Lange
6th: Megan McCorry
Many thanks to Mark Yoshikawa for donating use of his game,
for arriving in full referee attire to add atmosphere to the
event, and for providing the hockey puck souvenirs for the kids.
His giving of time he could have used for himself was invaluable
in keeping the event running relatively smoothly and for which
I will be forever grateful.