A surprisingly agile group of geriatrics known as the Bruins won this year's Niagara Falls Senior Alumni Hockey Playoff Championship game, with a 3-0 win against the luckless, fallen Leafs.
Rich "Tabaracci" Russell earned the shutout as goaltender for the Bruins, stopping all 42 shots.
After a scoreless first period, the Bruins first goal was scored by "Bobo Lou" Roddie, assisted by Ed "Sniper" Smith and Dr. Jake "take my teeth" Jankowski, DDS.
Soon afterward, "Da Bruins," as they are affectionately known by their fans, went into high gear, inspired in part when yours truly, this humble writer, Randy "RU 4 Real" Ubriaco, added the all-important second "insurance" goal, with Chris DeMarco chipping in the third goal.
Assisting on these goals were Rich "Herb" Brooks, Hank "out of gas" Hughes, and Jim "Hefty bagodonuts" Heft. The Leafs were left, as Bob Dylan once observed, Blowin' in the Wind.
Still, it was a hard-earned win. It was, in many ways, a tribute to the fossilized mossbacks on the team - in particular, the Bruins' infamous Smith, the oldest man in the league (also believed to be one of the oldest humans in existence).
Smith, the former Melody Fair producer, declined to comment on his age, but said he is considering retiring while still at the "top" of his game and "while he can still bend over and tie his skates."
On another, bittersweet note, every hockey team needs a tough guy. However, the league has seen the last of one their own - the gritty, grizzled, ruffian from Norkville, Ont.,, Mr. Jack Dobrint. Tough guy Dobrint, while not young, recently said that even though he is retiring "make no mistake about it, I can still out muscle any 80 or 90 year old guy in the league."
|Some say the opponents weren't so tough, but this photo proves otherwise, as Ubriaco (right) squares off against one of the tough guys (left) on the other team.
||Ubriaco says the team is going to hone their skills this off season by practicing with the Bikini Ice Hockey league.
The games leading to the glorious, remarkable, and richly-deserved championship victory of the astoundingly adept and popular Bruins were played at the newly-renovated Hyde Park Twin Rinks Ice Pavilion, which is managed by tourism and hockey tournament guru Gene Carella and his son Michael.
By what might be called a "quirk of fate," first place in the league standings actually went to Captain Greg Delgado's "Wild Wetbacks," led by goalie Deano "Beano" Snyder. However, the Wetbacks came up short in the all-important playoff round.
A late injury suffered by Dan Pedlo didn't help their cause.
In the photo above: Bruins: Goalie Rich Russell in front. Kneeling L-R, Hank "I've got gas" Hughes, Frank Davis, Assistant Captain Chris Demarco, Paul "no Bragg-ing"
Morreale, and Co-Captain Randy "RU Marvelous" Ubriaco.
Standing rear: Bobo Louie Roddie, Ed "Sniper" Smith, Jake "Teeth" Jankowski, "Book em" Dano Carlson, Rich "3 peat" Brooks, Jim "Hefty" Heft, Tony "the Lizard" Lizaukas, Ralph "the Marvel from Muncton" Proulx, John "God" Goeddertz,and Captain Brett " the Jet" Banker.
Missing: Paul "Bloomers" Blume and Matt Puenic.
A big thank you to the league's sponsor, Honey's Pizzeria, and their fine staff, for a great season and delicious banquet food. So ends another wonderful season of Men's Hockey at Hyde Park; bring on the Golf and Bocce games ...
Until, NEXT time, Ladies and Germs ... Peace!