From Father to Son ...
Bruce Reiff awards the best costume
... to the obvious delight of the
Jay's Basement contingent.
Sean and Nathan Druelinger - father
& son - are in the mood.
The Mafia is sporting their spiffy
new Green shirts for Slapshot.
The 2014 Slapshot tournament got off to its traditional
rousing start at 11 PM Saturday night - the perfect cap to a
great week of gaming. It was a record crowd for the Saturday
night gala - but no one noticed since the event was dwarfed by
the 300+ field for Ticket to Ride. This year, we had the
crowd from Jay's Basement dressed up in matching jerseys, and
a player who dressed up as a goalie with a beer bottle permanently
affixed inside his mask - to make room for the other bottle in
his hand. That's getting ready for Slapshot! We also had
a repeat performance of the chest-painted "RANGERS"
group - this time with coach! I guess the coach was there to
make sure they spelled their team name correctly - by Saturday
night nobody's sure about anything anymore.
the normal rules-reader Keith Hunsinger couldn't make it this
year, we enlisted Dan Dolan Sr. to read "Dan's Rules".
I think we'll only be able to con him into doing it once, so
next year we'll looking forward to Keith coming back.
Eventually, we all remembered we were here to actually play
a game, and the puck was dropped at the center of 22 tables.
Amongst the echos of "WHINING!" and sly maneuvering
between the people who wanted to advance and the people who wanted
to go to bed, we had some notable occurrences:
~ Chris Shabuin won the Pucked award at his table by being
constantly defeated and having his best card bruised. He ended
up with 1 win, with the catch phrase "Call me the Minnesota
Timberwolves". Yeah, since they're a basketball team, that
might be why you didn't do so well.
~ Criag Yope managed to get pucked by Tiny Tim three times
in the playoffs at his table, including the series-clincher.
~ Doug Galullo managed to score with Tiny Tim five times at
his table, but it was all for naught as Nate Druelinger advanced
~ Ben Collinson advanced at his table despite losing a five-overtime
game to Zoe Rose
~ Mark Mitchell won his game at the referee's table, but got
lost in the bar and never reappeared for the semifinal. We'll
let the reader decide if that was a mistake or not.
~ Bryan Collars pulled the upset over Josh Githens at the
Greenville Mafia table despite having "no idea what was
going on". I think he's got innate skill.
Eventually, all the table winners who managed to make it back
from the bar gathered around for our annual Massively Unfair
Semifinal Round (we call it that because it's massively unfair!)
and when the zamboni smoothed the ice we had our six finalists:
Andy "I'm trying to read a book" Latto, playing
Yoel "Last year's runner-up" Weiss, playing the Eiffel
Tower, complete with lots of French... um... "speech"
Ben "Shut up and leave me alone" Collinson, playing
the purple peg
Danny "My parents just texted to tell me I'm dumb for not
losing in the semi" Lewis, playing the yellow peg.
Antony "What are all of these crazy people doing here?"
Saccenti, playing the pirate
Nathan "I'm wearing my hockey uniform for this, losers!"
Druelinger, playing the blue peg.
went first, immediately looked at his team, declared (in what
would become a theme) "Man, my team is horrible!" and
immediately traded. Later, we learned that he was dealt both
Le Goon and Tiny Tim. Certainly a fun combination, but maybe
not one that will help you win a lot of games. Antony used his
turn to challenge Nathan. Antony won, but Nathan revealed his
superstar. After Nathan challenged Andy and won, Andy (in what
would become a theme) traded with Nathan, trying to get that
superstar. In all, Andy made a total of six unsuccessful trades
with Nathan. Many other players also tried unsuccessfully to
trade with Nathan. On Yoel's turn, we learned that he was the
player with the bruisers, making him a popular target to play
the bad teams (in the hopes they would get better).
When it came around to Ben's turn, he turned to Danny and said
"I hear you have a horrible team - me too!" and challenged
Danny to a game. Danny won handily, proving that Ben was the
true patsy. Danny was upset with this ("Hey, my team's bad
too!"). As it turns out, Danny's "bad" team managed
to beat at least half the table at one time or another, while
Bengot his first win in the 14th victory of the season. And when
that win happened, Ben was shocked ("What? I won?").
Ben's misery continued in other ways - after finally playing
Yoel and getting a bad card replaced by a bruiser, he immediately
lost it to Danny's Tiny Tim.
As the patsy-beating continued, Yoel and Andy were quietly gathering
good teams and moving up in the rankings. Eventually Danny realized
this, and traded with Andy's team. Since he was given a defenseman,
Danny had to decide whether to give up his 7-rated defender or
Tiny Tim. Despite having scored three goals, Danny gave his Tiny
Tim away. Andy, not appreciating the gift, immediately drafted
a new defenseman to replace him.
As the games continued, every player had a chance to shine, and
at one point all of the players had between four and six wins,
making it anyone's game. Everyone besides Yoel and Andy were
trying to compete for the "worst team" prize, arguing
over who was the doormat. Eventually it was decided that Ben
was the doormat, Danny was the doorbell, and Nathan declared
himself the "welcome mat". Which is better than being
the doormat, I guess?
But in the midst of it all, the player who probably ended up
with the actual worst team was Antony. He engaged in a series
of trades with Andy, and continually got the same horrible players
back on subsequent trades. After a while, it seemed like he got
all of the bad cards, and when he picked one up, said "Welcome
back to the team".
As the playoffs were about to start, Yoel, Nathan, and perennial
doormat Nathan were one game away. Ben managed to win another
game to start the playoffs. But first, we had the series for
fifth place between frequent trading partners Andy and Antony.
Andy's team had gotten decimated once the tabled realized how
good it was, and Antony's team could never improve, so this was
destined to be an epic matchup. In the three-game series, both
the second and third games went to overtime using all six cards,
but Andy prevailed in the end.
In the "real" playoffs, Danny played Ben in the first
round, and showed who was really the doormat by rolling over
Ben quickly. In the other series, Nathan had the better team
on paper, but Yoel managed to bruise Nathan's superstar - who
had survived the entire game up until that point - in the first
playoff game, and then bruised Nathan's next best player in the
second game. After that, Yoel advanced handily.
In the championship series, we had Danny and his "horrible"
team against Yoel, who had been training for an entire year after
coming in second last year. Yoel's bruiser was hungry for blood,
but he couldn't factor in the contents of the player deck - Danny
managed to gain two 7-rated players and Crease Lightning to replace
his bruised players. After that, Danny's new and improved team
couldn't be stopped, and he took the superstar plaque to taunt
his parents, and Yoel was sent home with yet another second place
coaster. But for a moment in time, the Slapshot standings
had the perfect balance with father and son bookends.
Danny's final team: 7,5,2,7,7,10 (2 of the 7's and the 10
goalie were drawn in the championship series to replace bruised
Yoel's final team: 6,6,3,7,2*,9
Jay's Basement certainly came
equipped to play some hockey.
WBC's favorite referee drops the puck
for future bruisers.
The munchkins go skating. The one
in the striped shirt is the GM.
Four hours before dropping the puck for 234 crazed hockey
fans Saturday night, Mark Yoshikawa warmed up with 28 little
bruisers. Every WBC young 'un needs to get their skates wet in
the traditional Saturday night party eventually so Mark has been
running the Juniors league for years - many of whom have since
grown up and are now sending their children to his academy.
~ 1st: Caiden Baralo, age 11
~ 2nd: Ella Landel, age 9
~ 3rd: David DeAcereto, age 10
~ 4th: Emma Weintraub, age 11
~ 5th: Holly Saccenti, age 11; 2013 defending champ
~ 6th: Seamus Parauda, age 11