So we've reached the half way point of August which I know has you all thinking hockey hockey hockey! Well, I know at least those of you hooligans checking this page in the middle of August are anyway. Why don't you go ahead and cool your jets for just a few more days as the registration forms for the upcoming 2017-2018 GWLHL season are currently having the Is dotted and Ts crossed and should be released in the next week or two. In the mean time prepare yourself both mentally and physically for another exciting edition of GWL hockey as the tradition continues unabated.
Please note that registration deadline this year will be Friday September 22nd but don't go lollygagging around with registration thinking you have all the time in the world as due to all the transformational change going on around here lately we don't know if we'll be running with 10 teams again this year or if we'll be forced to revert back 8 teams. If we end up going back to 8 teams space may be limited so it's in your best interests to get your registration in as soon as humanly possible to secure your spot and not be left out in the cold with nothing to do all winter but play Monopoly with your mom.
And please wash that equipment before the season starts because it really stinks.
Ken Richardson Award:
This year's winner Adam Janssens, (picture to follow) is a first-time winner of the prestigious award. Adam Can always be counted on to be a positive influence in the dressing room, on the bench, and at BP's/Hooters after the game. Congrats to Adam on the very well-deserved win.
Ken Richardson award : This award is dedicated to the memory of Ken Richardson. It is awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the kind of player Ken was - not necessarily the most talented, but hard-working and, above all, a good sportsman. It is a prestigious award in that the recipient is selected by the referees and players of the League.
Hall of Fame:
Glen Garrioch (picture to follow) was this year's sole inductee into the GWLHL Hall of Fame. Glen, or "Handsome G" as he is known around the league, is a former captain and convener. After 23 seasons and 403 games played, Glen has racked up 337 points and only 24 PIM's. Usually seen with a smile on his face, Glen's positive attitude and sense of humour has made him a favourite league-wide. Word has it that Glen's GWL email signature has already been updated with "GWLHL HOF", to go along with his CPA and CMA designations. An incredibly worthy inductee.
What Does it Take to Get Into the Hall?
Must have played a minimum of 15 years – Someone who contributes to the spirit of the league. Both on the ice and off the ice. This is not just a 15-year club. It's not just about the stats (but that helps if they are good), it's an honor and a privilege voted on by the other Hall of Fame members. This individual has helped promote the league through their on-ice demeanor, their contribution to convening or captaincy, and their participation in post-game activities. This individual inspires and fosters a friendly, yet competitive environment for co-workers of all skill levels and job titles to participate.
In what may be the longest game in GWLHL history (citation needed), Teal was able to claim victory over Yellow with a goal in the third overtime period, earning Teal the 2-1 win and the 2016-2017 Championship.
Yellow got off to a quick start, scoring a few minutes into the first period after dman Craig Jones rushed the puck from end to end before throwing it into the slot for captain Tim Grant, who ripped it into the back of the net. It took another period before Teal was able to get the tying goal, after a laser-beam shot from the blue line by Scott McDonald. Chances were traded back and forth during regulation, but the teams were still tied 1-1 after the third period ended.
The first overtime period was 5-on-5 for five minutes. Yellow was able to ring a shot off the post early on, but couldn't get any closer than that. The second OT period was 4-on-4 for five minutes, and once again, saw chances traded but no goals scored. The third and final OT period was 3-on-3 and would have gone until a goal was scored. Approximately 30 seconds in, Teal speedster Marty Hulme picked the puck up in his own zone and burned down the boards towards the Yellow net. After finding himself in the corner beside Yellow's net, he threw a no-look backhand pass into the slot that went through a Yellow player's skates, and landed directly on the tape of dman Adam Broome. In an incredible display of skill and overall talent, Adam utilized his Patrick-Kane-esque hands and dangles and made so many moves that Yellow substitute goalie Steven Penman became dizzy and confused, leaving his five-hole open. With calculated and exact precision, Adam slid the puck through the wickets and into the net, sealing the win and the Championship for Teal. There is no need to confirm with anyone who was at the game whether or not that's how the goal was scored because that's definitely what happened.
The championship game of the 2016-2017 GWLHL season has their competitors.
Teal (2nd overall in regular season, 4th in playoffs) will face Yellow (3rd overall in regular season, 1st in playoffs) at 5:00 on Wednesday, March 23rd for the trophy, the bragging rights, and to get their names in the record books (aka in the "Awards" section over on the left, there).
Teal will go into Yellow's home barn to decide the top team this year.
Yellow played Purple in the early semi-final game on Wednesday. Yellow got off to a great start, and found themselves up 9-2 after the first two periods. Purple is never one to give up on themselves, and scored the next three goals to get the game as close as 9-5. But Yellow still had something in the tank and was able to get the next two goals, finishing the game with an 11-5 win. Asked for comments on the win after the game, Yellow sniper and GWLHL-finals-first-timer Sean Brokop was too excited to form a coherent sentence. Rest assured, Mr. Brokop and the rest of the Yellow gang will come out flying tomorrow.
Teal took on White in the late and last semi-final game on Wednesday. In a totally-unsurprising defensive battle, the teams found themselves tied 1-1 after White rookie Ty Webber sniped a goal on fellow rookie and Teal goaltender Russell Rollins, only two minutes into the second period. But Russell had a thought shortly thereafter: "I should stop all the pucks from now on". And he did. So when Teal captain Jamie Lyon scored his second goal of the game almost four minutes later to put Teal up 2-1, the game was all but decided. Teal successfully shut down the potent White offense, and even though stand-in goalie Greg Martin (called in for regular White goalie and captain Gord Dowhan, who decided that the likely birth of his next child was more important than the GWLHL semi-finals) turned in a fantastic performance, White could not obtain the elusive game-tying goal.
If history is any indicator, the final will definitely be a hard-fought battle. Teal and Yellow have played each other three times this year, with Yellow finishing up 2-1 in the series and 13-11 in overall goals for/against. But Teal is out for vengeance after Yellow beat them in the final round robin game of the playoffs, stealing top spot in the pool. Seating will be limited at the Thirsty Penguin, as the Jets don't play until 9:30 so there's nothing else to do at 5:00 on a Thursday.
The wind-up is scheduled for immediately following the finals, at Winn City Pub @ Pembina and Grant.
View All News For the Season
In what is sure to be an exciting Wednesday, Purple plays Yellow @ 4:40 in the first semi-final match-up, while Teal plays White @ 5:50 in the late game.
Purple vs Yellow is a difficult match-up to predict. Purple finished the regular season atop the standings with a 12-3-4 record, while Yellow finished third at 10-7-2. The teams played two games in the regular season, and they ended very differently. Purple took the first game in dominating fashion, winning 9-2 in the fourth week of the season, while Yellow took the second game 14-1 in a lopsided affair on Hockey Day in Canada, a day that saw Purple missing their top two regular season and playoff scorers in Reggie Goodfellow and Sanjay Guliani. Both teams hope to ice a squad on Wednesday that will guide their team to the finals on Thursday.
Teal vs White is a very different story. Teal finished the regular season in second place, earning a 12-4-3 record with a league high +31 goal differential. White rounded out the top four in fourth place with a 9-6-4 record and a league low 24 PIM. In their two games during the regular season, both teams earned a 3-2 win. Teal was quarterbacked all year by team captain Jamie Lyon, who put up a career high in goals, assists, and points, and more than doubled his production from last year. White was led by a league-high five rookies, in addition to stellar performances from first-time team captains Gord Dowhan and Troy Woods. The teams were separated by only four goals against in the regular season, and after hard-fought 3-2 wins by both teams, the final time these teams play each other this season is sure to be a defensive battle.
With the top four teams from the regular season playing in the semis, the last two days of the 2016-2017 GWLHL season is sure to showcase some fantastic hockey.
The league finals will be played on Thursday @ 5:00, with the wind-up at Winn City Pub immediately afterwards.
Standings - Playoff Season
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No games are scheduled in the next 7 days.