and the comparisons are just beginning
Some of the many entrants in the uniform
... and the winner has upped the ante
this year by bringing a helmet!
The LaDue table is a place of humble
beginnings ... where champs get their start.
Big Meanie, Mark Mitchell and the
Grinch ... before she was escorted to the Penalty Box. Serves
This year's Slapshot tournament got off to its usual
raucous start at 11 PM with the annual Reading of the Rules.
Since the usual Voice of Slapshot, Keith Hunsinger, chose Gettysburg
over WBC this year (sounds like grounds for a 2014 trip to the
penalty box to me ..) we dug deep into our archives and selected
Stuart K. Tucker, the namesake of the "I Got Pucked"
award, to do the reading instead . With that formality out of
the way, the unofficial beginning of the end of WBC 2013 got
Historically, the GM's table contains an annual grudge match
between Don Greenwood and Lisa Gutermuth as the latter picks
Don's pocket on the trading block. This year, Don chose an early
bedtime over more abuse from the Grinch, and Lisa abandoned the
table to join another. To add insult to injury, she chose the
"Flush Stein" table. That injury could not be borne,
so her new tablemate and constant referee Mark Yoshikawa sent
Lisa to serve out a two minute penalty for treason. In the absence
of our two star players, nobody was left at the GM table to stop
Bruce Reiff from emerging victorious, complaining all the while
about having to stay up later than usual.
action of note from the first round:
· Richard Irving's team made the playoffs with players
totaling 8.5 points. He then got swept as the reigning Caesar
Randy Buehler won the table.
· Laurie Wojtaszwzyk won her playoff series with all games
going to overtime, and in one of those overtime games, Tiny Tim
scored the winning goal. Laurie was "stunned" to discover
she had advanced. I'm choosing to interpret "stunned"
in a good way, as opposed to "whataya mean I have to play
· Grant Dalgliesh won at a table where Tiny Tim scored
twice in consecutive games.
· Not to be outdone, Lex Jackson's team (which he called
the "Masked Marauders" scored with Tiny Tim three times!
See, he is an asset to your team! Sadly, Lex couldn't pull out
a victory, as Kristen LaDue advanced despite Tiny Tim's best
efforts to deprive her of her rightful glory at her first WBC.
When the Zamboni had cleared the ice, we had three tables for
our annual Massively Unfair semifinal Round (we call it that
because it's Massively Unfair!), each of which advanced two players
to the Final. The lineup of unfortunate - I mean happy - advancers
for the Final was:
Gus "I'm making my dad stay up late!" Collars, playing
the gold dubloon.
Kristen "That's nothing, I dragged my dad down from the
bar!" LaDue, playing the smushed penny.
Ray "Can someone drag me up to the bar?" Freeman, playing
the Altoids case.
Luke "The Voice of Experience" Paruda, playing the
bottle cap that he "found". Luke is a returning finalist
from the 2011 Fnal table. When we asked him why he hadn't learned
his lesson last time, he replied: "You have to want to advance!".
Which, actually, probably puts him ahead of 75% of the field.
Kevin "How did I get here?" Cantrell, playing the crown
from Small World.
Yoel "We get laurels for this, right?" Weiss, playing
the Ticket to Ride piece. He took great pains to let me
know that he chose this piece because "he don't care"
Kristen started the game off aggressively by challenging Kevin
to a game. Kevin tried to intimidate her by asking if she was
sure. When she said she was, he said "good choice",
and showed a pretty bad team that got decidedly worse when Kristen
bruised his best player. Kevin's team was still too good for
Yoel, however, who played Kevin to a tie, and then spent some
turns doing some much-needed drafting. Gus and Luke also played
Kevin for easy wins in the early going. Kevin went several times
around the table before picking up his first (and only) win,
and that happened while he was in the bathroom. Insert your own
joke about how "anyone could be a better coach" here.
Meanwhile, Ray stayed quietly on the side, drafting for three
straight turns, and when he finally played, showed a great team.
On the very next turn, Kristen traded with Ray, who moans "No!".
Yoel, going immediately afterwards, said "I have a hunch
your team just got worse" and played Ray's leftovers. Yoel
won, but Ray still had two bruisers who decimated Yoel's team.
Yoel then tried to play several games against bruisers to have
his bad players bruised into better ones. Luck wasn't with him,
though, as he continually lost his team's best players instead.
Still, he picked up enough wins to stay in contention.
Off to the side, as all of the bruising and chaos was going on,
Kristen was quietly putting together a strong playoff run. It
seemed like the only player who noticed and tried to stop her
was Gus, but his team wasn't good enough, and the melee in the
middle of the table didn't play him enough to give Gus many cheap
wins. Once the rest of the table noticed, Kristen was one spot
away from winning the division and starting the playoffs, and
it was her turn. Immediately several players outdid each other
saying how horrible their team was, and how easy it would be
for Kristen's team to beat them and start the playoffs. Turns
out, they were all right!
But first, the consolation series between the two people who
didn't make the playoffs: Gus, who finished one win away from
qualifying, and Kevin, who had won only once is his reward for
playing a third round. Showing once again that Slapshot is massively
unfair, Kevin beat Gus to take 5th place.
In the actual playoff series, the 1v4 matchup paired Luke and
Kristen. Luke came in with a strong team, but Kristen bruised
Luke's 6 and 7 players in the first two games, propelling Kristen
to a 3-2 series win.
The 2v3 pairing matched Yoel and Ray. Game 1 went about as well
as Yoel could hope for, as his Tiny Tim scored, and his 1 scored
on (and got bruised by) Le Goon. In Game 2, Tiny Tim knocked
Le Goon out of Ray's team, and that was enough to give Yoel a
push into the Final.
The 3rd place consolation series was between Luke and Ray, and
the remnants of Luke's good team was enough to beat Ray, who
no longer had a bruiser, so Luke took third place.
The first game went to overtime, but Kristen's superstar lived
up to his billing and gave her the game. The second game, it
became apparent that, as Yoel said "I've run this team as
far as it can go", and Kristen won again. In the third game,
Yoel's "get my bad players bruised strategy" finally
works as his 3 defender got upgraded to a 6. But it wasn't enough
as in Game 4, Kristen completed the sweep and took home the coveted
Superstar plaque. Maybe you can convince your dad to play next
year! You know - display your shield next to his. Oh? He doesn't
have any? That may require a change in strategy.
The final team rosters:
Kristen: Superstar, 7, 2, 6, 3*, 9
Yoel: 6, 4, 3, 5, 12, 10
The most important thing about Slapshot
is to ensure the proper mojo with the correct token.
Please don't tell me they are cloning
Reiffs now down in Greenville? The horror ...
One of the Massively Unfair semifinals
as Kristen takes step 2 to glory.
Umm .... Sandman aside, Grant ...
comparison might not be a good idea.
Derek Landel lends a hand dropping
GM and referee Mark Yoshikawa
skates between tables.
Four hours before dropping the puck for 194 crazy hockey fans
Saturday night, Mark Yoshikawa warmed up with 35 little bruisers.
Holiday Saccenti proved to be the top skater followed by Sophie
Bels, Ethan Shipley-Tang, Ryan Sokolowski, Brandon Wines and