To Bruise or not to Bruise, that is the question ...
Adam and Karen Meldrom get in the
Top and mid management all in one
Jersey hasn't felt such a movement
in the force since the last episode of the Sopranos.
Josh didn't get the memo - or else
he got a special excuse to be out of uniform while in uniform.
Sara and Ed Beach dress for
the occasion. Bet they match costumes for Halloween too.
Alex Dunbar and Ashley May,
videographers covering the convention, are given the Travelling
Hanson Brothers Trophy.
The 2010 tournament started off with the usual boisterous
crowd, bolstered this year by a documentary crew who came to
record the festivities after seeing the YouTube video of the
"Reading of the Rules" from last year. It takes a special
constitution to want to record our event, especially knowing
beforehand what you're getting into, so we rewarded the documentarians
with the coveted Travelling Hanson Brothers Trophy for 2010.
At the GM's table, the annual grudge match between Lisa Gutermuth
and Don Greenwood had to be postponed for a year, since Lisa
left early to attend a wedding. Be sure to tell her about all
the awesome things she missed the next time you see her. But
the show must go on, and so we pressed a "replacement Lisa"
into service, and chose Nicole Reiff, fresh off her win in Battle
Cry that afternoon, and looking for blood. Or so we were hoping.
Alas, the whole table had to stand by and watch the Unstoppable
Greenwood Juggernaut cruise through to the Final. In the end,
the only person who could stop Don was Don himself, as for a
second year in a row, he whomped Ken in the table Final and chose
sleep over advancement, and for a second year in a row, Ken Gutermuth
went in his stead to uphold the table's honor.
In other first round action, we saw what may be our first
recorded double-female penalty as Virginia Melton and Laurie
Wojtaszcyk were both caught whining, and paid the price. The
score sheets also recorded lots of whining about bad hands, written
once it was too late to be penalized for it. Jonathan Barnes
lost his Superstar on the first trade of the game without getting
a chance to use him. Ken Lee bragged about his powerhouse hand
of 1,1,1,1,2,2, but was topped by Tim Packwood's 1,1,1,1 and
Tiny Tim. Naturally, neither player won their game, but they've
stockpiled better luck for future events ... or so I keep telling
Also, in a self-described "touching and emotional story
that will one day be shown on ESPN 8, the Ocho" Alex Maly
took over for his dad Andrew in the playoffs and ended up sweeping
the table Final. We're not sure what happened to Andrew, but
we'll assume that whatever kept him from his team was a legitimate
and honorable excuse worthy of retelling around future Slapshot
As usual, the annual "Massively Unfair semi-final Round"
got most of the winners quickly off to bed, leaving us with six
finalists, each bringing their own playing piece with deep sentimental
"Thank You Don Greenwood" Gutermuth, playing the paper
Hans Christian "I'll beat all of you ugly Americans"
Kirketerp, playing the plastic tank
Charles "I aspire to become relevant" Squibb, playing
the 5 cent Euro piece
Josh "I'm the real hockey fan" Githens, playing
an actual hockey figurine (!)
Ben "No, really, I found this piece on the floor"
Collinson, playing the beer cap
Jessica "Tiny Jess" Foster, playing the lipstick
It's always interesting to see the styles of the finalists
come out in their actions. Jessica started out by drafting five
times, to the collected boos of the other players. Her response
was "It's part of the game! Jeez!". Charles also drafted
early, which was a dead giveaway and the first couple of games
confirmed that he was drafting out of necessity, as he quickly
became the table patsy.
Meanwhile, Ken won a few quick games and had four wins before
anyone had their second. He then tried to form a coalition of
himself, Josh, Ben, and Jess to all play each other and try to
make sure only they advanced to the playoffs. Charles and Hans
Christian responded by forming their own coalition to only play
each other, but that dissolved once it was discovered that Charles
had two bruisers. After that, visiting teams shied away.
As the game progressed both coalitions splintered, and Josh
and Ken both found themselves in the lead, and on the verge of
starting the playoffs. They tried several times to advance one
of them, but a run of several tied games meant prolonged the
game, giving the others time to improve their position.
Meanwhile, Jesssica's constant drafting finally stuck gold,
as she revealed that the Superstar was buried deep in the Forward
deck. Upon seeing that, both Ken and Josh stopped playing each
other, and made some drafts of their own to prepare for the playoffs.
Josh declared "I did some scouting in Winnepeg", but
he may want to fire that scout, as he ended up with the lowly
Eventually, Ken and Josh played a game that didn't end in
a tie, and triggered the playoffs. The first bracket had Ken
playing Hans Christian and his bruiser. Two of the games in this
series went into overtime, giving Ken's team extra chances to
get battered. His team staggered away with a 5-game phyrric series
win, but managed to pick up a replacement bruiser of his own
for the next round. In the other bracket, Le Goon did his job
early, taking out Jessica's superstar, and leaving her team without
much hope. Josh and his goon advanced to the Final to play Ken
who was looking to become the second two-time Slapshot champ,
armed with his new bruiser.
Before the Final could begin the third-place series was played,
and Jessica beat Hans Christian 2-0. Jessica got the third place
plaque, but Hans Christan got the grey plaque that he said was
the cooler color, so everyone went away happy. But there could
only be one happy contestant at the end of the Final, and it
was a mighty struggle, destined to go the full seven games.
game 1, Le Goon bruised Ken's 6 player, but Ken won the game.
In game 2, Le Goon bruised Ken's 5 player, and Josh won the
game in overtime
In game 3, Ken got his revenge, bruising Josh's 7 while losing
a 3. Ken won in overtime.
In game 4, Josh lost a 5, and Ken a 4. Ken won, taking a 3-1
In game 5, Josh bruised Ken's 4, and won in overtime to remain
There was actually a lot of strategy in these overtime games,
as Josh had the best player remaining (a 7), but Ken had a level
10 goalie. So deciding who to risk, and when to play which card
had a huge impact in these overtime games. This was especially
true in game 6, when Ken bruised Josh's 6, and then decided to
bring out the bruiser in overtime, conceding the game, but bruising
Josh's 7. Ken went into the deciding Game 7 with what appeared
to be the dominant team.
Then, as the puck dropped in the seventh and final game, we
saw the replacements that Josh gained to replaced his bruised
stars - another 6 and another 7! With these great new cards,
Josh won the game and the championship. Ken was seen shaking
his head for days afterward, muttering to himself "I can't
believe he pulled a 6 and a 7 for the last game..."
Andy Lewis and his infamous open-hand
Ken gets his annual bye to the semis
while I trundle off to bed.
The lucky icons that brought our finalists
to the play-offs.
Sean's tough job - staying awake for
the finalists to finish.
Mark Yoshikawa dropped the puck for 16 little hockey players
this year. Giovanni Petruzelli proved to be the toughest little
bruiser in the rink. He was followed by Zack Denysenko, Max DuBoff,
Nick Metzger, Sara Harthan and Dacey Collinson.
GM Mark Yoshikawa drops the puck and
runs for cover.
This crew appears to be Mark's size.
A couple of years will fix that.