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FNHL News Archives

12/18/12 - We are full as of today for the single sheet this Friday. I will send out rosters by Thursday night. As usual, the cost is $10. We still have openings for the two single sheets in January but they are also starting to fill up so if you want in please don't wait to email me. Also a reminder that we will have regular FNHL games on Friday, 12/28/12. I know it's been a disjointed session but last time we had our regular games there were far too many no-call, no-shows. As a matter of common courtesy please let your captain know if you can't make a game so a sub can be arranged. On behalf of George and the entire FNHL family we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!

11/27/12 - The schedule for this session is now complete. I am now opening up reservations for all single sheet weeks thru 02/01/13. We are full for this week but at the moment there are openings for all other weeks. Also George asked me to mention that since the bar is now open at the rink they have requested that there be no drinking in the locker rooms.

11/19/12 - The upcoming session will run for awhile due to numerous off weeks. I'm still waiting to clarify one week in December so I have posted the weeks I know for sure right now. As always, we will run one sheet at 9:45pm on any off week as long as I can get 20 skaters and 2 goalies signed up. The cost for these single sheet games is $10. Since there are so many upcoming, I am going to start taking reservations immediately for any open week through 12/21/12. If you want a spot in any open week, starting with this Friday, please email me right away.

11/14/12 - I have not yet received the full schedule from the rink for the next session. As soon as that comes in I will finalize both the Friday and Sunday Group schedules here. As most of you probably know, the bar reopened upstairs recently. In years past this has always been a good place to get together after the games and socialize. Hopefully everyone will have a chance to stop up and enjoy a beer with friends - and there is food available as well.

08/05/12 - Please note and pass on that the games on Friday, August 17th will start 45 minutes later than normal on the NHL side only.

07/10/12 - The headline pretty much sums it up. I have updated both the regular FNHL schedule and the Sunday group... But it has been brought to my attention that George still has far too many unpaid spots. If you still owe, please make sure to find him this week. Especially in the summer, with business picking up and players taking time off George has his plate very full. If we appreciate his efforts to keep this league running smoothly everyone needs to step up and do their small part by making it a point to pay on time. The FNHL is not run by the rink so any shortages have to be covered and it's not fair or reasonable for that burden to fall to one person.... Finally I did hear that the 10th Annual Golf Tournament was a great success, despite missing a few teams. A good time was had by all and a sizeable donation was made to an appreciative Marsha's Mulligans Senior Dog Rescue in Constantia NY in the name of our good friend Dan Jennings. Thanks to all who attended and we look forward to another great year in 2013!

05/24/12 - The schedule for the new session is posted. Please note we are off this weekend for Memorial Day and wish everyone a safe and happy break with family and freinds. The Golf Tournament is less than 10 days away and George is still in need of a few foursomes to round out the group. I know there are more golfers, hackers and slashers out there than have signed up so far so please consider joining us for this always enjoyable event!!

05/16/12 - The 10th Annual Golf Tournament is just a couple of weeks away and we are still in need of foursomes. There are quite a few new faces in the league this year and we hope that you will take this opportunity to join us for a great day of golf, friends and fun. Registration is easy, just send me an email with you foursome listed. You can pay George at the rink or here on the payments page of our website. In addition, George is also pleased to announce that the proceeds from this year's event will be donated to Marsha's Mulligans Senior Dog Rescue in Constantia NY in the name of our good friend Dan Jennings. Click here to see a copy of their brochure with information about the great work they do. I was also asked to mention that we'd like folks to bring at least one small item from the list of things that are "always needed" (from the brochure). Like "soft" dog treats, dishes, collars, leashes, cleaning supplies so we can present her with not only a monetary donation, but a huge bag of much needed snacks, supplies, etc. Thanks in advance for a quick response and we look forward to another great day on the golf course!!

04/19/12 - The FNHL is pleased to announce that our 10th Annual Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, June 2nd at the Greenview Golf Club in Central Square. As in past years, this event will be a memorial event to celebrate the life of our good friend and FNHL player Dan Jennings, who passed away tragically on 8/30/2008, and donate to some good causes in his honor. I will post additional details on that soon but right now registrations are open - just send me an email with your individual or foursome to hold your spot. George is also very happy to announce that there will be no price increase this year. For only $60 per person/ $240 per foursome you get a full round of golf with cart, steak dinner, tons of door prizes, raffles and fun with good friends. The format is Captain and Crew - Best Ball and the emphasis is on fun - no previous golfing experience or expertise is required. Also this event is open to all FNHL players (past and present), friends, family, etc - all are welcome! Please mark the date and send me your registration info as soon as possible, George hasn't given me a deadline date for the money yet but you can register now and pay later when the money is due. Thanks in advance for helping to make our 10th Annual the best yet and feel free to email me with any questions.

04/04/12 - The new session is posted and the Sunday group is updated as well. There are some time changes during the sessions so please make a note of them. Also we got word recently that FNHL veteran Tony Pompo from the Red Team has decided to hang up his skates. Tony has been in the league for many years and we are certainly sad to see him go. He's a talented hockey player but more importantly a class act who has deservedly earned our respect over the years both on and off the ice. On behalf of George and the entire FNHL family we wish him and his family all the best in the future.  

02/14/12 - Just a quick note this week. George asked me to mention that the 8:00 game needs to start as close to on time as possible. It seems that lately that game has been starting 15-20 minutes late and that winds up throwing off the zamboni schedule for the second game and the game on the Olympic side..... In other news, the Sunday group schedule has been updated and this is the last week for the current session so the regular FNHL schedule will be updated next week.

12/20/11 - The schedule for the next session has been posted. As is typical this time of year we have several off weeks due to tournaments, etc at the rink. Please take a close look at start times also because there are two weeks with an 8:15 NHL start. The new Sunday Group schedule has also been posted and we are off for a couple of weeks due to the holidays. A suggestion was made to have the Sunday teams switch colors for the new year - any thoughts?? Money was due (both groups) recently and I believe there are still too many spots left to be paid so please make certain to pay George this week. I am already starting lists for the single sheet games in this session. As always, if you want in please send me an email and specify the date or dates you want to skate - AND - as always, please do not sign up for a spot unless you are going to actually show up. For the benefit of the new guys I should explain that those weeks are not considered part of our regular session and the cost for the single sheet games is always $10 per player. Once the list is full I will set lineups and email them to those participating....Thanks and on behalf of George and the entire FNHL family I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!!

11/28/11 - Just a quick reminder that we have no regular FNHL hockey this week but we do have a single sheet at 9:45pm. There are still spots open as of right now so please email me asap if you want to play. As usual, the cost is $10. Also, I know a few people mentioned that they wanted to skate and I tried to update the list from memory but it's always a good idea to send me an email to confirm. I will be sending around rosters as soon as the group is complete so if you have not gotten an email from me by Thursday evening, chances are good you are not on the list (as long as I have your email address). Finally, if you are on the list, please show up. Last week the list was full and we had a waiting list. No one called or emailed to cancel but there were two no-shows which threw the teams off a bit and caused two people who wanted to play to sit home. Thanks in advance for not letting that happen this time around...

10/31/11 - Important note - The rink has advised that they have a conflict on 11/18/11. Due to this we will be off on that day for regular FNHL games. I will put together a single sheet game at 9:30pm as long as there is enough interest. The games that were scheduled for 11/18/11 have been moved to 12/16/11. Please pass this info along. Thanks

10/26/11 - A bit of good news/bad news this week. On the good side, Orange team player Steve Olson once again hosted a SUNY Upstate benefit tournament Oct 14th and 15th at Cicero and Team FNHL finally managed to break our tradition of losing in the finals and brought home the championship. Big thanks to Steve and his crew for their efforts in putting the event together and to all of the players who participated.... On the not so good side, money was due that same weekend and as of right now there are still a significant number of spots unpaid. Obviously this is a problem and unfortunately not a new one. The situation is reaching the point where George is seriously considering whether the FNHL can continue. We're open to any and all suggestions but at this point the only way to solve the problem is to fill the teams, collect from all subs and make sure that all the spots are paid on time. George is almost always there when the money is due but if you don't see him right away either take a minute to find him, pay your captain or pay online. Since George will be out of town this week, I will be collecting - please do not take the ice this week for the new session until you've paid.... Finally, the new schedule is posted. Based on the info I've gotten from the rink it appears we are back to 8pm and 9:30 on the NHL side. If there are any further changes I will post them here and notify the mailing list and facebook group. Also the Sunday schedule is posted and, based on the info I received, we are done 15 minutes early at 8:00am most weeks so please make a note of that. 

09/07/11 - The next six weeks is posted and as the headline notes it has become necessary to increase our sub fees. From now on, the sub fee on Fridays is $15 and the fee for the Sunday group is $10. This was a difficult decision for George but hopefully it will allow us to keep the rosters full and the league going strong well into the future. For those who may not know, the FNHL is not run by the rink. There is a contracted price that George is committed to each session and if the teams are not full and paid, he is responsible to pay the difference out of his own pocket. We understand that guys would prefer not to pay for a spot if they can't make some games but we were running into too many players who would not commit to a roster spot and only wanted to pay on the weeks they were there. That would leave George stuck for the difference and that's just not reasonable. Also, up until now the sub rate was the same as the rate for players who did step up and commit for the full session. Moving forward there is a benefit to committing for the full session and we sincerely hope that's the choice most of you will make. Captains, please make sure that everyone gets the message since not everyone reads the website.... In other news, George mentioned to me that our resident aging veteran defenseman Bob LaBarre is turning 60 this week. Since Bob apparently doesn't read the website - or can't see the small print anymore, I was told it's ok to mention that a small surprise gathering in his honor is planned for tomorrow at 7pm at Castaways in Brewerton. If anyone wants to stop by and offer congratulations in person they are welcome. Also rest assured, the fire dept is on alert due to the extreme number of candles that the cake requires.... Finally it is with regret that I announce the FNHL retirement of Blue team member Steve Kokkoris. Steve has been with the league for well over a decade, and my teammate for much of that time. I can say firsthand that he's a quality individual and a good person to have on your team. On behalf of George and the entire FNHL family please join me in wishing Steve all the best in the future.   

08/16/11 - First of all some sad news to pass along. George told me that Mark Solak's father passed away last week at the age of 92. Our sincere condolences go out to Mark and his family at this difficult time.....In other news, there has been quite a bit of discussion about the current situation with rosters being short and quite a few games being played with 6 or 7 guys per side. No final decisions have been made but it has been proposed to raise the sub fee from $10 to $15 and George will let us know if and when that will take effect. For those that are new to the league I should explain that the FNHL can't really function as a "pickup" group. It's not like open hockey where the rink collects from whoever shows up. George is gracious enough to coordinate the league and each session he is on the hook for the full amount due. When spots are not covered for the entire session George has to make up the difference and that's just not possible and certainly not a reasonable thing to ask him to do. That is why, although we do need and welcome occasional subs, we have to concentrate on making sure that all the rosters are full each session. With the present sub fee at $10 (which is the same rate the regulars pay) too many guys are opting to only pay the weeks they play and in the end George stands to get stuck with the balance. A sub fee at $15 might encourage guys to accept a regular spot on a roster even if they can't make it absolutely every week. I know money's tight for everyone but there has to be a better answer than sticking George with the balance. Any other thoughts or feedback are welcome.... Another item of concern recently is the age old problem of self control on the ice. No matter who is at fault - and everyone has different opinions on that, believe me, when things get out of hand it is bad for the entire league and could jeopardize our ability to get ice in the future. The league has never had ref's so it's on every individual to keep themselves under control. No one, not George, me, the captains or anyone else has the time or desire to play policeman. If you can't do it and feel that you have the right to take matters into your own hands when someone else does something stupid then you probably need to bow out and find a different place to play. Sorry to put this out there to everyone because I know most people make every effort to avoid these types of incidents but as a group we simply must solve this problem once and for all..... Last thing, Vlad Sirotkin sent me an email awhile back that I promised to share with the group. It has been mentioned on our facebook group (FNHL) page but for those who have not seen it.

Dan,

Not sure if it is a good idea but just wanted to suggest posting on the FNHL website an announcement about inaugural Empire State Marathon, which will take place on October 16, right here in Syracuse. They have a full marathon, half, and marathon relay, where each runner is doing a 6-7 mile leg of the entire distance. So, it might be cool if other FNHLers ran or if FNHL had a relay team in this exciting local race, maybe even in official FNHL jerseys. Just a thought. Here is a link to the event website: http://www.empirestatemarathon.com/index.php Personally, I plan to run the full by myself.

Vlad    

07/27/11 - The schedule for the next session is now posted. Also the Sunday Group schedule has been updated as well. Captains, please take a few minutes to review your rosters with George so I can actually update them here. Also I believe we still have an open spot or two so if you know of anyone who wants in please let George know. Finally, as per the news item below, I hope anyone who is on Facebook will consider joining our new group there. While not a replacement for this website it could be very useful for communication and quick updates. One thing that was pointed out to me this past weekend is that we have a group there named FNHL - not an individual account. There may be another FNHL there using the name for their individual account.

07/21/11 - In an effort to make the FNHL info as accessible to as many as possible I have just established a group on facebook - the group name is FNHL. Presently the pictures from the golf tournament are posted there and the plan is to use that space for photos, announcements, feedback and discussion. It will supplement not replace our website and things like schedules, rosters, payments etc will remain here. I realize not everyone is on facebook but if you have an account I hope you will  join the new group.

06/07/11 - There is a tournament at the rink this week so we will not begin the new session this Friday. We usually can get one sheet during these but no so this week. The Sunday group will be skating this week at 6:45am.... The Dan Jennings Classic Golf Tournament was a great success and on behalf of George and the FNHL I want to thank everyone who helped make that possible! Special thanks to Patty Ryan for all her organizational work and to Erica Jennings for providing the on course refreshments and camera! Also thanks to all who donated door prizes and raffle items and of course to George for making it all happen. At the end of the day over $1250 was raised and the Jennings family and the FNHL proudly presented Hospice of Central New York with a check in memory of our good friend Dan Jennings. I will be posting pictures, etc on the Golf Tournament page in the near future..... Unfortunately the news was not so good on Sunday morning. George was finally back on the ice but he lost his edge and literally fell backwards on the ice, landing squarely on his wrist. The end result was a compound fracture of his wrist, some serious pain and another 8 weeks minimum on the shelf. I spoke to him this afternoon and he said the doctor set the bones back in place and put him in a cast today. He was in relatively good spirits considering all he's been through and I'm sure that we will do anything we can to help him through this additional rough time. I will keep you all posted but for now, please call or email me with any league issues or concerns.

05/31/11 - The countdown is on for the FNHL Dan Jennings Classic Golf Tournament which will be held on Saturday, June 4th at the Greenview Golf Club in Central Square - 1pm start. I spoke to George this morning and he was pleased to report that the proceeds from this year's event will be donated to Hospice of Central New York in Dan's name. They are a great local organization that provides compassionate care for people at a most difficult time and we are happy to be able to support them in their mission. Here is a link to their website http://www.hospicecny.org/, I hope you will take a few minutes to see what they are all about. On a related note, we have added some teams but there is still room for a few more. If you would like to play please let me or George know as soon as possible. Friends, family, all are welcome and George always manages to see to it that no one leaves empty handed. Also there will be several great raffle items to win, contests during the tournament and a steak dinner at the end. This will be our 9th year and I recently went back into the news archives to when it all began. What I found was that the winning team that first year included none other than Dan Jennings! Hope to see you all there on Saturday...!!  

05/11/11 - The team captains and I met with George today and we were happy to have the opportunity to present him with the card and gift. Thanks to everyone for pitching in and making it so meaningful. I know George was truly appreciative and it was really nice to be able to give something back to someone who has done so much for us over the (many) years.... On a related note, the 2011 Dan Jennings Classic Golf Tournament is officially open for registrations and we hope everyone will join us! The date is Saturday, June 4th - 1:00pm at the Greenview Golf Club in Central Square. This will be our 9th annual golf event and the third in honor of our good friend and teammate Dan Jennings who passed away tragically in an auto accident in late August 2008. For the past two years the proceeds have gone to benefit the Erica Jennings Trust Fund but the Jennings family has advised us that thankfully Erica is now well taken care of. With that in mind, beginning this year we will donate the money raised to a worthy local charity in Dan's name. George is in the process of finalizing the details so I will announce the beneficiary once that is confirmed. Also there are links on the Payments page for anyone who would like to pay online via PayPal. For anyone new to the league this is always a lot of fun and a rare chance to socialize as a group (without helmets) with plenty of good food, drinks and company so we encourage you to join in. Friends, family, etc - all are welcome and George always has lots of great door prizes and raffle items as well...... One last note, thanks to an unfortunate collision last Sunday morning I will be on the shelf for a few weeks recovering from a couple of fractures in my finger. I will still be available by phone and email but player issues such as subs needed should be first directed to your team captain to be sure that they are handled as quickly as possible.

04/29/11 - George called me yesterday and let me know that he suffered a heart attack this week and is in the hospital (Crouse) until at least tomorrow. The good news obviously is that he was able to survive the incident and we are all thankful for that. Unfortunately this will keep George off the ice as he takes whatever time is needed to rest and recover. I spoke to him again today and assured him that we will be more than happy to step up and see to it that things run smoothly in his absence. I will be collecting tonight for anyone who still owes for the new session and if there are any roster, sub or goalie issues that cannot be handled by the team captains please call me directly at 246-2940. Also I will coordinate rosters and collect for Sundays until George has recovered. George also asked me to pass along that he expects to be resting until at least Sunday but will hopefully up to taking some phone calls next week. I'm sure that this news will impact everyone as it did me. George is a great friend and a selfless person who has made a real positive difference in our lives for many years. I know I speak for the entire FNHL family (past and present) in wishing George a full recovery, thanking him again for all he has done, and looking forward to many more good years and times to come. I will post further updates as they become available. 

04/17/11 - George mentioned that the golf tournament is planned for June 4th, 2011. This has always been a great event and we hope everyone will be able to join us. I will post additional details about this years event including the registration page as soon as they are available. Since we've had quite a few new players this year I just want to mention that the event is open to all FNHL players, families and friends. The format is "Captain and Crew" - best ball so you don't need to be an expert golfer - or even have any golfing skills (right Bob?) in order to play.... In other news, George will be at the rink early and collecting this week so if you still owe, please make sure and see him to get that taken care of... I will be out of town this week so I'll take the opportunity now on behalf of George and the entire FNHL family to wish everyone a very happy Easter!!

03/13/11 - We had a good skate last week with the single sheet. Thanks to all who joined in. Also there has been a time change on the NHL side for March 25th so please take note of that.

03/08/11 - It appears that the rink has something going on this week so we only have the 9:45 slot available. If there is enough interest we will run one game as usual - first 20 skaters and two goalies to respond get the slots. If you want to play this week please email me right away. Also I spoke to George today and quite a few people still owe for this session so please see him as soon as possible and get that squared away..... Recently we have seen a couple of trends that are not good so George has asked me to address them here for your consideration and feedback. First and foremost is there seems to be an increase lately in hostility (stupidity?) on the ice. We all want to have a competitive game and there are certainly times when tempers can flare (I am no exception) but the bottom line is that at the end of the day we all have lives and jobs that are far more important than whether we won or lost on Friday. There is simply no place in this group for guys who want to fight, swing sticks, and otherwise take people out. As I've said before, this is not "George's league," and it's not his job to serve as league policeman. This is a group that gets together on Friday's for some fun and exercise. George is gracious enough to keep things coordinated but the responsibility to keep ourselves under control and safe on the ice belongs to everyone. If you can't handle this responsibility, please do everyone a favor and take yourself off the ice.... Secondly, last week was the "alternate week" and we saw games of 5 on 5, 6 on 6, and 7 on 7 and that included several guys who played a double. Turnout seems to be at all all-time low on these weeks and it puts everyone in a bad spot. Over the years we have tried numerous special formats to keep things interesting but nothing seems to work consistently. I would really appreciate some insights on this and any suggestions you might have to prevent so many players from blowing off the last week. Obviously everyone has obligations that cause them to miss games from time to time but when half the league fails to show up it's a clear indication that something needs to change. What can we do to make that last week of each session interesting? Should we just go back to scheduling a regular game for that week?..... Next up, the schedule for the Sunday group has been updated. Please check it closely as the times do vary this session..... Finally, my brother Pete called me recently and said that he expects another tournament this summer (July) in Milwaukee. Last year Cavy, Pete Klem and I went out for it and joined my brothers team. It was a great trip (as far as I remember) and the hockey was good too. If there is enough interest we can put together a full team this year and/or do the same thing as last year with a partial group. There are at least two divisions so if you're at all interested please let me know and I will try to put something together. The cost of the tournament itself was very reasonable - around $60 per player but that did not include lodging, travel, etc. We haven't done many tournaments recently so this might be a good opportunity to get back to one.

01/26/11 - The new schedule is posted. Except for the last week, we are back to our usual times. Also George and I have been trying to bring the roster page current so if you see any errors please let me know. We have had some responses from guys interested in joining the league and I have forwarded them to George so hopefully we will be back to full teams soon. Also the Sunday group schedule has been updated and it appears that we will be going to later times for awhile at least. George asked that if this causes a problem for anyone to please contact him directly.

01/19/11 - After an extended break the FNHL is back on the ice this week. Since this is the last week of the session the games will be played using the alternate rosters. George and I updated both the regular and alternate rosters tonight so what is shown is the most current info as far as we know. Please review the rosters and let me know if there are changes needed. There are currently several open spots in the league and George is working on filling those. If you know someone who wants to join please have them call George directly at 436-6882 to expedite the process..... Also this week George will be looking for payment from anyone who still owes for the upcoming new session. Please make sure to find him and settle up..... Finally the Sunday schedule has been updated for those in that group. This Sunday is the usual 6:45 but the next two Sundays after that are 9:45.

12/22/10 - Due to a combination of the calendar and rink bookings we will be taking a four week break from regular FNHL action. Our next set of regularly scheduled games will be on Friday, January 21st, 2011 and those are alternate week games. Money was due last week but quite a few people were out so please be sure and see George as soon as possible to get that paid. I'm sure George would appreciate starting out the new year without having to chase down a bunch of unpaid spots. On a related note there are still a few skater spots open for the single sheets on January 7th and 14th so if you want in send me an email asap. For those of you in the Sunday group there are time changes for the next two weeks so please be sure and check that page for the details. As we start another year I would like to take the opportunity to send a big Thank You to George for his continued efforts to keep this group going. It's due to his efforts that we are able to take the ice each friday and hopefully everyone will do their part in 2011 to make that job as easy as possible by showing up each week and paying on time. Also we have had the pleasure of welcoming some new and talented players into the group such as my new teammates Bill Blaszcyk and Mike Conway. We are always on the lookout for reliable players to join the league and there are a couple of teams in particular that need some help, so if anyone knows of players who might be interested please let us know. In the next couple of weeks George and I will adjust the rosters (both regular and alternate) so please keep an eye out for that. Finally on behalf of George and the entire FNHL family I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a (safe and) Happy New Year!!! - Yes even you Bob....

11/16/10 - It's been a while since the last update and there are a couple of items to note. First of all, the next session has been posted and due to a combination of factors including the holidays and tournaments things are quite drawn out this time around. There are several weeks with no regular FNHL hockey so please read the schedule carefully before heading to the rink. Also during this session there are several weeks where we will have only one sheet available. As always, I will be filling rosters for those weeks on a first come - first served basis. Once we have 20 skaters and two goalies for a given date the list will be closed. If you're interested just send me an e-mail and I will let you know if you're in time. Also please do not reserve a spot if you're not sure you will be there. It's very frustrating to hold spots for people who don't show up while turning away others who would have been there. For anyone new to the FNHL this type of session scheduling usually happens about once each year and should not be considered representative of the way most sessions go.... In other news, the Alternate Week Team games have been going pretty well and the plan is to continue with that format for a while. Thanks again to Nick Smith for the suggestion..... George has mentioned that payments have been slow again lately and he asked me to remind everyone that unpaid spots are subject to replacement without notice. The money is always due on the second to last Friday of each session and it is your responsibility to either find George and pay him at the rink or pay here on the website with Paypal. George simply does not have the time to hunt people down and the bottom line is that he shouldn't have to. On a related note we have had interest recently from players wanting to join or re-join the league and it was nice to see some former FNHL'ers back on the ice including Jamie Shuler and Dave Sabatino. If anyone knows of a player who might be interested in signing up please have them email me here at the website or call George directly at 315-436-6882. ...... Finally, there is something new and exciting in the works and we hope that it will be of interest to many of our FNHL players. George has some land a few miles from the rink and for a while now has been kicking around the idea of building an outdoor rink and hosting our own "Winter Classic" perhaps as a benefit game for a worthy local cause(s). I am happy to report that George and Bill Hopkins (and others I'm sure) have already begun working on the rink and it looks like it's going to work out very well. Here is a photo George sent me this week of the progress he's made so far.

In the near future we will need some volunteers to help put together the boards. It will probably happen on an upcoming Saturday and with enough help the work should be able to be completed in one session. If you're willing to help out with this project please let George know and/or send me an email asap. Also we're always looking for good suggestions on an overall plan for the game and other possible events we could hold there. I know there are some very creative people out there so please feel free to contribute some ideas. We will continue to update the website as additional progress is made and details confirmed. If all goes well, with some needed volunteer help, we can look forward to having a lot of fun this winter on our own version of the Field (aka Rink) of Dreams...!!

09/21/10 - The new teams have been selected and are posted on the Rosters page. These teams will be used only for the last week of each session where we previously had the ABC games since those were getting a bit stale. Thanks again to Nick Smith for the suggestion and to the BWW volunteers who participated in the draft. If you have been omitted from these new rosters please send me an email asap so we can get that straightened out..... In other news, the FNHL Committee met last Friday and a resolution was reached regarding the incident from the 8:00 game on 9/10/10. Thanks to all who submitted their reports and especially to the Committee members who had to make a difficult decision in a situation where there were a large number of conflicting accounts and opinions. Overall this was not a good situation and one that I hope we do not run into again. As I stated previously, no one wants or should need to take over the job of FNHL policeman and we have no intentions to do so. This group exists solely for fun and exercise and the main rule we have is that each player has the responsibility to control their own actions and reactions. We all want a good competitive game and there is no doubt that from time to time situations come up but there is simply no good reason for anyone to do something that puts another player at risk of injury. No checking, no slapshots, don't slash, and use common sense. Enough said, let's move on......

09/11/10 - It is truly unfortunate that the following message needs to be posted but after discussing the incident that occurred at last night's 8:00 game it is evident that it's necessary.

The FNHL is essentially a social group for people of all ages who want to get together on Fridays and play hockey for fun. Most of our players are over 18, but younger players are also welcome as long as they can participate safely. It is only a league in the sense that we have six teams and a rotating schedule - there are no refs, standings or playoffs. George has graciously devoted his time and energy for many years to keep this group going but it is not "his" league, it is all of ours and we are all accountable to one another.

While we all enjoy a competitive game and play to win, the bottom line is that the outcome of the games usually is and probably should be forgotten once the players leave the ice. The safety of all players is the single most important aspect of the game that we should be concerned with. That's why we've always maintained some basic rules including no checking, no slashing and no slapshots.

Of course we all know that no matter how hard we try, some contact does occur and there is an inherent risk of injury. That is acceptable, but when individuals lose control of their temper and/or choose to ignore the rules by checking, slashing, taking slapshots, etc then everyone is put at risk and we, as a group, have to take action.

Several years ago we asked for volunteers to form a committee to handle any bad situations that occur during FNHL games. Up until now they have not had to meet but unfortunately that streak has come to an end.

Anyone who personally witnessed the incident that occurred during the 8:00 game is welcome to send me an e-mail with what they saw. I will collect these accounts and forward them to the committee for review and a determination will be made on behalf of the entire group. If anyone has a problem with this they are welcome to leave the FNHL and find another place to play.

The bottom line here is that if winning is so important and you are so intense that you can't control your temper and treat both teammates and opponents with respect then you probably are in the wrong place. On a related note, the same concepts that apply to behavior on the ice also apply to behavior off the ice for both players and spectators. George has worked hard over the years to forge a good working relationship with the rink and nonsense like what happened Friday puts that in jeopardy. It simply cannot be tolerated and any spectator who cannot behave like a rational person is subject to arrest and/or expulsion from the rink at the discretion of the management. On behalf of the FNHL I extend a sincere apology to the Cicero Twin Rink management and staff for the incident as well as to those who had to witness it.

Finally we want to emphasize that while this unfortunate incident will be handled it should not and will not begin a new disciplinary trend. Neither George or I or any of the committee members are interested in taking on the role of FNHL policeman. As I said at the beginning - this is our league and it's been a lot of fun over the years. If it's worth keeping together then it's everyone's job to step up and see to it that the games are fun, safe and competitive. 

08/17/10 - I have posted the new session and updated the Sunday schedule for those in that group as well. I have enlisted the aid of a schedule generating website to make sure that no team is accidentally excluded from having at least one 8:00 game each session. My apologies to Team 1 for the oversight last time. Also George and I are working on getting the rosters fully updated. We've had some summer skaters recently who will be returning to school as well as some recent job related departures so it is a work in progress. If you see some obvious error on your roster please let George or I know about it. It is possible that there will need to be a few player moves in the coming session to even out the numbers. As always, if you know of someone who is interested in joining the league please have them contact George or e-mail me. Finally you will see that the ABC week has been replaced with the Alternate week. Thanks to a recent suggestion from Nick Smith we will soon be drafting teams 7 thru 12. The captains for these new teams has yet to be decided but in the next few weeks they will draft their teams from our regular rosters and play only during that sixth week of each session. I'm open to suggestions and/or volunteers to lead and draft the alternate teams....

08/11/2010 - The ABC week schedule and rosters are posted. Thanks to all who responded with the ins and outs. As you can see there are still a few openings which I will work with George to fill before the games. As always they are based on the info I have available so if you know of someone who can't make it or someone who has been omitted,  please let me know. It appears that we will have some openings next session as some players leave for school, new jobs, etc so if you know of anyone reliable who wants to join in please let George know or have them send me an e-mail.

06/26/10 - As the headline states, this years golf tournament went over big and we have the pictures to prove it. Please take a look at the Golf Tournament section of the website for a brief recap and pictures. Also there is an extra special picture posted to the Fun Photo Gallery that you won't want to miss. Due to the large number of new players and subs this session I have decided not to attempt anything special for the ABC week. The schedule for next week is posted but it just puts regular FNHL teams against one another. Please feel free to mix things up any way you want to make things interesting and keep the games as even as possible.

06/02/10 - The remainder of the schedule for this session has been posted. Please note that games on the NHL side this Friday - 6/4/10 may be about 15 minutes late starting. Also next week, 6/11/10 the NHL side will start 1/2 hour later than usual at 8:30pm. See you at the golf tornament!

05/27/10 - I spoke to George tonight and he was able to confirm that the times for tomorrow's games are correct as posted. As soon as I get the rest of the dates and times for the session I will fill in the rest. Also George said that the featured raffle item at this year's golf tournament will be a new black Nintendo Wii game system which he is generously donating. In addition there will also be a Garmin GPS and plenty of other good stuff so we hope everyone will join us and take a few chances on winning these great items. Proceeds from the raffles benefit the Erica Jennings Trust Fund and we thank everyone for their continued support. As always, we will be joined by Dan's family and friends and look forward to another opportunity to reminisce and celebrate his memory. 

05/26/10 - I haven't gotten the official e-mail yet but as far as I know we have ice Friday so I've posted a schedule. As soon as I get final word I will do a full update.

05/18/10 - The ABC Week is posted and this session I've decided to try a modified version of a suggestion from Brian Banks. Each game is posted as usual with one full team vs another. To provide the twist this week what I would like is for each team to keep their goalie and usual defensemen but send their forwards across the ice to the other side. I don't think we've ever tried this and it should be an interesting way to mix things up and see what other teams see when they play you. I don't know if it will prove anything but it should make for some good locker room chatter next session. I still haven't heard much feedback on Nick Smith's skills competition suggestion but Nick Julian did tell me he has a radar gun we could use. What do you think of this? How could we best structure it? Like the idea? Hate it? Any comments would be appreciated..... Also as the headline suggests we've had a good initial response to the golf tournament but there are still spots available. We hope that everyone will consider taking part in what is always a very fun afternoon. Registration is easy, just send me an e-mail with the names of your foursome. Money is due by the last Friday in May and can be paid to George directly or through Paypal on our Payments page. The cost is just $60 per player and includes golf, a nice steak dinner, door prizes and raffles to benefit the Erica Jennings Trust Fund.

05/05/10 - George has confirmed that the always popular FNHL Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, June 5th 2010. This year's event is our 8th overall and second dedicated to the memory of our friend Dan Jennings and will benefit the Eric Jennings Trust Fund. Since we do have quite a few new people I'll give a quick rundown on the way it works. The tournament is open to all, not just FNHL players. Friends and families are welcome and it's one of the few chances we have to socialize and get to know people without wearing helmets. Format is captain and crew - best ball. There are prizes for longest drive, closest to the pin (mens and womens), etc and George always goes out of his way to make sure that there are plenty of door prizes. In addition there are several nice items up for raffle with the proceeds going to Erica's trust fund. After the golf there is a great steak dinner. Bottom line is that this has always been a great event and most years the weather has been cooperative as well but rain or shine a good time will be had by all. We sincerely hope everyone will make plans to join us. Once again we will use an e-mail registration system  - just send me an e-mail and put FNHL Golf Registration in the subject line. Please remember to also include the names of your foursome members. If you don't have a foursome you can register as an individual or smaller group and we will pair you up. The cost is just $60 per person and you can pay George at the rink or use the link on our payments page for both individual and foursome payments via Paypal. As always there is a small additional cost if you use Paypal to cover the fees they charge us to use their service. Registrations can begin immediately and all money is due by the last Friday in May.

04/23/10 - I received a suggestion for the ABC week from Nick Smith and figured I'd throw it out to the group for consideration. Please let me know what you think.

For the 6th week, was just thinking about mixing it up alot - how about a skills competition? We talked about this in the past and I think someone had access to a radar gun for hardest shot, could also set up accuracy targets, fastest skater, shootout etc.

Could have each team send five players and hold it on the NHL Rink during the two ice times. The remaining players would play a three-line game (if everyone shows) on the Olympic ice. Or you could reverse it and get 20 players entered in the skills competition and play two ABC-type pickup games on the NHL ice. You could have people sign up for it or hold preliminaries during the season (during warmups or after games) in the various events to get down to the finalists to compete in Week 6.

Not sure if the people who would be entered would want to give up a week of game time for this, but it's something different. If we were able to narrow it down to the final two or four in each event, you could set up the ABC game rosters so those players were on the ice at the same time and determine the winners without sacrificing any games (might need to shorten the clock though).

04/15/10 - I got the final schedule today. There are no off weeks in this session but there are several weeks with time changes. Please look closely at the schedule each week before heading to the rink.

04/14/10 - I e-mailed the rink today and expect to have the official dates and times for the next session soon. For now I posted a tentative schedule but expect some changes once I hear back from them The playoff week from last session ended up with a surprise or two as Blue soundly defeated Yellow to take the gold while Orange beat Red for the bronze. White could not muster enough offense to overcome Black and ended the session winless. Carl shaved his head anyway..... I'm still not sure what to do with the 6th week this session and am looking for suggestions. The mini-tournament was ok but attendance in week 6 was still pretty bad..... As the headline says, if you know of anyone who might be interested in joining the league please let George know asap. There are far too many spots still unpaid and George is ready to dump anyone who still owes as soon as a replacement is available....Finally, a suggestion was made last week to completely re-draft all the teams in the league. We have discussed this idea in the past but there has always been too much opposition to it. Since we have some new people I thought I'd throw the idea out again and ask for some feedback. Please send me an e-mail and let me know if you're for or against it.

04/06/10 - The interrupted session has ended and the results are in. Despite a collapse last week and a loss to Red, the Yellow team claims first place in the round robin with a 4-1 record. They will face Blue, who also finished at 4-1 on the Olympic ice at 9:45pm for the championship. Yellow will be the home team and had the choice of rink and times thanks to winning the head to head matchup with Blue. The consolation game will be Red against their good friends in Orange at 8:00pm on the NHL side. Both teams finished 3-2 but Orange gets the home team nod because of their win over Red in week 2. And finally......we have the desperation game between winless visitor White and home team Black who had only one win in the session over guess who... yup White. There will be electricity in the air at 9:30 as the drama unfolds.... Rumor has it that Carl Bratt has vowed to shave his head if he loses. 

04/01/10 - Just a reminder that we are back to regular start times this week and it is the last game of the mini tournament we've been having to determine next week's schedule. Instead of the usual ABC format, next week will be a playoff week with the top two teams from the session facing each other for cash, rings and a place in history, the 3rd and 4th place teams will play one another strictly for beer, and the two last place teams will play to see who gets to stay in the league.... good luck to all.

03/25/10 - The single sheets are done and we are back to regular FNHL hockey this week. I did just get word that there will be a slight time change tomorrow. Due to a tournament, games on the NHL side will be delayed by half an hour. The first game will start at 8:30 and the second game at 10:00. Please pass the word to anyone who might not have access to the website.... Also for those in the Sunday group I have updated that schedule as well. There are time changes and off days listed so please double check it before heading to the rink... Finally, I had a discussion with Kyle from the rink recently about the traffic problems we've had on Fridays because of the parents who block the road waiting to pick up their kids from the teen skate. Bottom line is that no one is particularly happy about the situation and the parents just don't seem to know or care that they are creating a problem. The police have been down the road and declined to take any action. It's not a perfect answer but probably the best one we've got is to simply wait to start the later game until people can get through the traffic safely. Kyle is in agreement with this and he correctly pointed out that the rink had always been willing to work with us. They've never been in a hurry to kick us off the ice on Fridays and have no plans to start now. If you're on the ice at 9:45 and you can see that there are probably a few guys stuck in traffic just give it a few minutes before starting up. It would be better if the parents would realize that they don't have to block the road but that's not going to happen so let's work with the rink rather than against them to make the best of it. 

03/02/10 - First of all, thanks to everyone who responded to my request for game results. I believe I have them all now. We are now at the point where there is no regular FNHL hockey for three weeks. We will be renting a single sheet each of those weeks at 9:45pm and I have been taking reservations for spots - first come, first served as always. Right now the goalies are full but I do have three skater spots left for this friday (3/5) and five spots left for the following two weeks. If you want to play and haven't e-mailed me yet, the time is now. I will hold a waiting list each week but once the spots are filled they rarely open up. On a related note, if you have already contacted me and are on the list but cannot make it please let me know asap.....Thanks.

02/22/10 - Since I was on vacation the last two weeks I need some info on the game results. I did get one email  from the first week but not much else. If anyone can help out it would be appreciated. All I really need is an approximate score or at least who won each game. Thanks to anyone who can assist me with that. Also, we have only single sheets for the weeks of March 5th, 12th and 19th. I've already heard from a few people (mostly goalies) but I am definitely looking for skaters to fill those games as well. As always it is first come - first served so please don't wait to contact me if you want in. George has Crunch games each of those nights so I will be coordinating and collecting the usual $10... 

02/09/10 - The next session has been posted. Due to the declining interest in the ABC games I've decided to try something different this session but in order for it to work I'll need some assistance from the group. What I'd like to do is try to keep track of the results of the games this session - no stats, just the winning and losing teams and scores. At the end of the session the final weeks matchups will be based on the results of the previous games. First and second place will play for overall session bragging rights, third and fourth will play for some small level of respect while fifth and sixth will battle for their dignity.. of course in order for this to work the teams will need to put up the goals as they are scored and someone will need to remember to e-mail me with the final results of each game..... This e-mail system will be put to the test right away as I will be on vacation starting Friday and will miss the next two weeks - thanks in advance for helping make this work.... In other news, I am both extremely pleased and terribly distressed to announce that my friend and fellow Blue team player Joe Abate will be leaving the FNHL after this week. Joe begins his career in the Army next week and has his sights set on joining the elite Army Rangers unit (probably should be named the Army Flyers but I digress...)Anyway... Joe is certainly one of the best hockey players we have had the pleasure of playing with (or pain of playing against) and his talent on the ice will be missed, but more importantly he is a very focused young man with definite career goals and we are certainly proud to see him move forward as well as serve his country. On behalf George and the entire FNHL family we wish Joe nothing but success in the future...    

02/03/10 - The schedule and rosters for this week are posted. Due to an unusually high dropout rate  there is no absolute breakdown of players by ABC's, etc. Also George will be collecting again this week so if you still owe please see him to settle up. I am probably going to change up the ABC week format next session as it appears that too many people are losing interest and skipping the games which makes it very difficult to schedule even matchups... 

01/27/10 - Just a reminder that the money is due this week. Please remember your checkbooks and see George at the rink.... Also I got word this week that Dan Jenning's aunt Ruth Abulencia passed away last Saturday. I wish to extend sincere condolences to the family on behalf of George and the entire FNHL family.... One other item this week - an e-mail from Joe Gracz regarding an upcoming fundraiser.

Another pancake breakfast fundraiser for CNS Northstars Varsity Hockey, Saturday Feb 6, 8am-10am, this time at Applebee's on Rte 11 near Taft Road and Sweetheart Corners. Tickets are $5 per person for pancakes, bacon, and a beverage. Please see Joe Gracz, who's son is on the team, Friday nights or Sunday morning during hockey for tickets, or email at JGracz@cnyric.org or joegracz@aol.com to let him know and he will get them to you.   

01/19/10 - I just got word today that there is a schedule adjustment for games on the NHL side this Friday, January 22nd. The first game will be at 7pm and the second game will not start until 10pm. Another group (I think a girls college team) has the ice @ 8:30pm.  This is a one week only adjustment that the rink requested and we will be back on track the following Friday. Please pass the message along to all players, especially those without web access..... Also George asked me to remind everyone that money for the outdoor Crunch game on Feb 20th was due last Friday but there are still a few people who owe. Payments can be made here on our Payments page or in person at the rink and we would appreciate it if that was taken care of no later than this Friday..... Finally I got the following message from FNHL player Mike Masello recently -

Dan,

I have a fellow coworker that is new to the area and is looking to find group or league to join again. He is a goalie and lives in the Utica area and would drive here to play if needed. Could you please post on our web site his name and number if anyone needs a goalie? Eric Garceau 404-218-3535

Thank you,

12/17/09 - George has set a final date for payment for the Crunch outdoor game tickets - Friday January 15th which is the first regular game after our unusually long holiday break. Tickets are $36 each and you can either pay George in cash anytime on or before the due date or use the Paypal link that I've set up on the Payments Page of this website. As always I've had to add a little to cover the Paypal fees. We have done quite well selling our block of 100 but there are still a few tickets left so e-mail me if you want in. Also I am taking reservations for the single sheet on January 8th. Please e-mail me if you are sure you can make it and want a spot - 20 skaters and 2 goalies, first come, first served. Please don't reserve a spot unless you know you will be there as I'm sure a lot of players will want to get on the ice that night. Since this will probably be the last update before the break I'd like to take the opportunity on behalf of George and the entire FNHL family to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy and safe New Year!!

12/08/09 - The holiday session is posted and as you will see we have an unusually long break due to the fact that Christmas and New Year's Day are both fridays. In addition, the rink has something going on the next week although we will probably be able to rent one sheet that night (1/08/10). By the time we get back in the swing of things there is sure to be some slow play until the holiday calories are burned off and I wouldn't be too surprised to see a bunch of future FNHL'ers born around mid September of 2010..... But before you take care of that business, please make sure to find George and pay him. Remember,  no pay = no play (anywhere).....

12/04/2009 - A letter from Phil Valeriano. He asked me to pass some info along.

Hi Dan Could you post something for me. We have a tournament scheduled for Las Vegas. The dates are 2/19 2/20. Its is a 40 plus age bracket. We have a few players from Buffalo going and need a few from here. Have anyone who is interested call my cell 315-450-2632 or email me at pval62@hotmail.com.

Thanks Phil

12/02/2009 - The schedule and rosters for the ABC week are posted. Thanks to everyone who responded to the in or out request. As always, please let me know asap if you can't make it or if you have been omitted so I can make last minute changes. We have gotten more responses on the outdoor Crunch game tickets but we still have a few left so please let me know if you are interested.

11/30/09 - We have the ABC week up next and I'd like to get as good an idea of who is in and who is out before putting up the rosters. Please send me a quick e-mail to let me know. Captains if you could canvas your teams it would be appreciated as not everyone checks the website regularly. Also we still have tickets for the outdoor Crunch game on Feb 20th available. Quite a few have been claimed already but we'd like to make it as large an FNHL group as possible for this event.

11/25/09 - Here are the details on tickets for the outdoor Crunch game at the Fairgrounds on Feb 20th. We have a block of 100 tickets available and they will be on a first-come, first served basis. As of right now about 40 are already reserved. They are in the $40 seating section which is the better of the two sections and are discounted 10% for us so the final cost is $36 (not $35) per seat. I am not sure exactly when George will need the money but it will be relatively soon. Obviously interest is running very high and I'm sure we will sell out quickly so if you want in, please don't wait to contact me. If there is enough interest I will put up a Paypal link for them on the payments page but then of course we will have to charge extra to cover the Paypal fees. I'm sure this will be an event to remember and look forward to seeing everyone there (yes, even you Bob).... 

11/23/09 - George asked me to mention that we may have an opportunity to get discounted tickets to the outdoor Crunch game on Feb 20th at the Fairgrounds. The price will be $35 (reg $40) and I believe he will need that fairly soon. Please send me an e-mail asap if you are interested.

11/22/09 - No regular FNHL hockey on black Friday, however I believe we will be renting one sheet - at either 9:30 or 9:45pm. As always, the first 20 skaters and two goalies who e-mail me get the spots. Also the Sunday schedule is not updated as I have not gotten the info from the rink yet. For now I would assume that we are on and I will post any changes when I get them. On behalf of George and the entire FNHL family I'd like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving..!! 

11/16/09 - Some info from Joe Gracz to pass along.

Pancake breakfast fundraiser for CNS Northstars Varsity Hockey, this Sunday Nov. 22, 8am-10am at Applebee's on Rte. 31 behind Burger King, near 481 Great Northern Mall exit . Tickets are $5 per person for pancakes and a beverage. Please see Joe Gracz, who's son is on the team, this Friday night or Sunday morning during hockey for tickets, or email at JGracz@cnyric.org or joegracz@aol.com to let him know and he will get them to you Friday. The varsity players will be serving the food. If you're part of the Sunday morning game, play hockey Sunday morning and then go to breakfast. Help support the team so he doesn't have to rely on me for his hockey training.

11/04/09 - I got the following e-mail from Red Team player Vlad Sirotkin.

Hi, Dan,

I do not know if this is news worthy but I thought I would share with the FNHL folks some personal news. This past Sunday I have run and finished the New York City marathon! This was my first marathon ever. While I cannot explain what possessed me to do it there were ~43,000 other "fools" who thought it great fun. The race was a blast and the crowd support was terrific. My finishing time (4:05:36), while almost twice that of the professionals, is more than 20 minutes faster than Pat LaFontain who also happened to be running in this year race. I also would like to express my thanks to the guys and gals in the league, especially George Fleischmann, Tony Pompo, Brian Banks, Mike Pardee, Bob LaBarre, Patty Ryan, Joe Abate, Jerry McDowell and all others who knew I was running, for their support and encouragement. The thought of not letting all of you down pushed me on when the going got tough and carried me all the way to the finish. Thank you for that.

Yours truly,

Vlad

Congratulations Vlad, seems like a newsworthy item to me.... 

10/20/09 - The new session is posted. I believe there is still some money owed to George. Please make arrangements to get that paid if you still owe. Based on the e-mail from the rink it appears we may be off or have one sheet the week of 11/27. I will update as soon as I get the word from George.

10/14/09 - I have updated the rosters for both Friday and Sunday and the Sunday schedule is updated as well. Thanks to all who took the time to send me an e-mail this week telling me whether you were in or out. I've tried to include everyone and also honor all special requests. As always, please let me know if you can't make it or if you were omitted. I am planning to collect this week since George will be at the Crunch game so please bring money if you still owe.....

09/16/09 - We just got word that the Sunday group will be on this week. There is a tournament at the rink but their times do not conflict with ours. Also the rosters have recently been updated and should be correct as of today. If you notice an error and/or name misspelled please let me know and I will fix it.

09/10/09 - The new session is up. I believe there are still some openings within the league. Please see George if you know of anyone reliable who might be interested.

09/020/09 - Thanks to everyone who responded this week. Sorry I didn't answer each one but things have been hectic. As always, if you have been put on a roster but will not be there please let me know. If you have been omitted but want to play please contact me asap as well. It is important to note that the Olympic side (game #3) will start at 9:15pm - not the usual 10:15pm.

07/29/09 - The schedule for the next session is posted. George will be out of town this week but Steve Kokkoris and I will be collecting from anyone who still owes. This should not be happening as we begin a new session since money was due two weeks ago but if you do still owe please make absolutely certain that you either pay via paypal or find either Steve or I at the rink. There is no doubt in my mind that George is ready to drop anyone unpaid and if that means the rest of the team has to kick in extra to cover a spot then that's how it will have to be. Also, the rosters have been updated as far as I have them including the goalie assignments. Special thanks to all the goalies for your willingness to make the team switches work. It has made things interesting...... Finally a brief update on Chris McKenzie's new addition to the family. A baby girl, Annabelle (rhymes with Danielle) was born last week 6lbs 4oz. and both mother and baby are doing fine. That's all I have - (still no picture yet) but congratulations again to Chris and Jenna from the FNHL!!

07/21/09 - The schedule and rosters for this week's games are posted. Thanks to everyone who responded to let me know if they were in or out. As always if you are listed but can't make it or are not listed but would like to play please let me know asap..... Congratulations go out this week to Blue Team member Chris McKenzie and wife Jenna on the birth of their first child. Other than a brief text from Chris I don't have any details yet but I will post them as soon as I get them. For now we'll just call him or her baby Dan or Danielle... Finally, money was due last week. If you still owe, please make it a point to find George and pay him before you go on the ice....

06/29/09 - I have just been advised that the schedule for this session has been changed. This week the game on the Olympic ice will start at 8:00pm instead of 9:15pm as originally planned. Also the rink will be holding public skating in July so the rest of the month's games on the Olympic side will start at 9:45pm. Please pass this along to your teammates.

06/16/09 - The Dan Jennings Memorial Golf Tournament was a great success! We are very pleased to announce that $1215 was raised and donated to the Erica Jennings Trust Fund. On behalf of George, the Jennings family and the FNHL I would like to sincerely thank everyone who participated. The weather was good for most of the day and as far as I can recall, the turnout was the best we've ever had. I do have a few pictures and will post them as soon as I can on the Golf Tournament page. Congratulations to the Micky Tetrault foursome who narrowly edged out Jesse, Carl Bratt and the Banks brothers for the overall victory. Regardless of whether your team was first or last I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all. The food was good, there was no shortage of beer and the scenery wasn't bad either. As usual, George went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that no one left empty handed. We're already looking forward to next years event and hope you all win plan to join us again in 2010..... In other news, the schedule for the next session has been posted. Please note that because there is no public skate in July and August we will have a 9:15 start time on the Olympic rink. Since we have the early times I am also considering another Friends and Family night at the end of the session with refs, etc. Please send me an e-mail if you would be interested in this. There is an extra fee for that night ($5) to cover the refs and scorekeepers but it gives us a chance to invite fans and play a "real" game with refs and stop time..... Finally, although it's not quite unanimous, George has decided to follow through on the suggestion to rotate the goalies. We will put this in place and see how it works out but for now, everyone will switch one team and that will be reflected on the rosters as soon as I can get them updated. If you know of a goalie who doesn't read the website please let them know.  

06/10/09 - The schedule and rosters for this week are posted. I can tell you for certain that it will be interesting. Thanks to everyone who responded with a status update for the week. Based on the responses we will be missing quite a few skaters so I tried to allocate the remaining players and those who volunteered to play two as evenly as possible. There are no true ABC games but hopefully each game will be even depending of course on who shows up..... The Dan Jennings Memorial Golf Tournament is this Saturday at 1pm and the turnout looks really good. Hopefully the weather will cooperate but rain or shine the event is sure to be a lot of fun and we look forward to seeing everyone there for another opportunity to socialize, remember our good friend Dan and raise some money for Erica's trust fund. As always, George has been very busy putting all the details in place. Thanks to George for all his continued hard work on this event and throughout the year and special thanks to Patty Ryan for her invaluable assistance!!..... If anyone still owes money for either the golf or the regular FNHL session which was due last week please see George at the rink before or after the 8:00 game. Payments are also accepted here on the payments page of our website. I know that this is once again becoming a source of concern and it needs to be taken care of right away. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.... Finally I got a message on the website that Red team player Mark Solak found a pair of shoulder pads in their locker room a few weeks ago. If anyone is missing shoulder pads please contact me here at the website and I will put you in touch with Mark.

05/05/09 - The schedule for the next session is posted. Money is now past due so if you still owe please make it a point to find George and pay him or pay here on the website with Paypal..... Also the money is now due for the Golf Tournament and the same payment options apply. We have had the question asked if people could simply not pay until the tournament but that's really not workable because if a registered team fails to show George will still be committed to paying the golf course for their spots. If anyone would prefer to mail George a check then let me know and I will be happy to provide his home address.... Finally I've been told that due to several players dropping out we have a few openings to fill asap. I know that Black team member Kevin Dunbar is moving to Buffalo soon. He's been a welcome addition to both his team and the FNHL and will be missed but we wish him much success in the future. If you know of anyone who is interested in joining the league please have them contact George right away.......

04/29/09 - The schedule and rosters for this weeks game are posted. Please note that there are late starts this week on the NHL side but an early start on the Olympic (9:15). Make sure you know the start time and rink for your game this week and please pass that info on to anyone who might not have access to the website. The rosters may need to be adjusted if there are late notifications of players who can't make it. If there are any changes they will be posted by noon on Friday. It would help if someone could print out the rosters on Friday afternoon and bring them to the rink. I did not go with a pure ABC format this time and instead used some other themes for the games. Hopefully they will work out ok..... Also the golf tournament registrations have been coming in well but we still need a few more teams. If you have been waiting to register, please do so as soon as you can. George is ready to begin collecting the money for the event and would like to have all money in by May 31st. You can either pay him directly at the rink or use the Paypal option here on the website. Thanks in advance for your cooperation on this.... Unfortunately we got word last week that former FNHL'er Germain LaPointe's mother passed away. Our sincere condolences go out to Germain and family at this difficult time. If anyone would like to send a card the address is

Germain LaPointe
P.O. Box 420
Marlboro, NY 12542

 

04/08/09 - Finally the info for the golf tournament has been posted. Due to some technical difficulties with the registration form I decided to scrap it in favor of an e-mail system. There is also a link on the payments page for both individual and foursome payments via Paypal. As I'm sure most of you are aware, this year's event is our first dedicated to the memory of our friend Dan Jennings and will benefit the Eric Jennings Trust Fund. We are looking forward to the date and another opportunity to get together off the ice, have some fun and share many fond memories of Dan. Hopefully we will get a nice day (with no snow!) but either way it has always been a lot of fun rain or shine and we sincerely hope everyone can make it. Just a reminder for those who are new to the league this year, the event is open to all, players, family, friends etc so feel free to invite anyone who might be interested. If possible, please register early. I don't think we have ever sold out but we've come close a couple of years. Feel free to contact either George or I if you have any questions..... Just a couple of other quick items - I was surprised to hear that White Team member Carl Erickson has taken a job in Albany and will be leaving us in the very near future. Carl has been a part of the FNHL family for quite a while now and we are certainly sad to see him go but wish him well in the future. On a related note, Carl's girlfriend Stephanie has been a regular at our games for quite some time now and our season ticket holder base will be taking a major hit due to this turn of events. To at least partially compensate for this loss of revenue George is proposing that all FNHL players forego their 3% raises for this season and agree to lag their goal scoring against the Blue team by 5 goals per game. Your cooperation in this shared sacrifice will prevent the need for the layoff of approximately 8900 FNHL players...... Finally, Sunday players should already be aware of this but just in case - there is no hockey this week (Easter Sunday). Our regular FNHL schedule is posted and confirmed except for the last week which I need to finalize with George.

03/17/09 - I just got word this afternoon that we have no regular hockey this week due to a tournament at the rink. We will have one sheet at 9:15pm this Friday and as always the first 20 skaters and 2 goalies to e-mail me get the spots. I did post a tentative schedule for the next session but that won't become final until I get the e-mail from George.... Thanks to everyone who stepped up this week and took care of the payments that were owed. I'm not sure that every single spot was covered but I know that most were and the effort was appreciated. With spring (hopefully) breaking George will be quite busy and have even less time to hunt people down so a little effort on our part goes a long way....

03/10/09 - First and foremost, the money was due and as of this afternoon George told me we still have 14 unpaid spots. That obviously needs to be corrected this week. It wasn't that long ago that George was ready to pack it in and after a slight improvement it looks like the problem is coming back again. If you still owe for this session please either pay online or pay at the rink before you step on. George won't be there for the early games but someone will be there and have the list. Make sure you find out who is collecting before you play. Captains need to step up as well here and see that this is done. Call George at 436-6882 if you're not sure which of your team's players still owe.... In other news, this week is the ABC session and I need to know who is not going to be able to make it so I can get the schedule and rosters done. Please e-mail me asap if you or someone on your team can't play. Thanks in advance for the help on that.... Finally, the 7th Annual FNHL Golf Tournament has been scheduled for Saturday, June 13th at 1pm. This year's event will also be the first Dan Jennings Memorial Tournament and a portion of the money collected will be donated to the Erica Jennings Trust Fund. This has been a lot of fun every year and gives us a rare chance to get together with family and friends and socialize outside of the rink. I hope to see everyone there this year and a registration page and payment link will be posted on the website in the coming weeks. The cost will be $60 per player and as always a steak dinner and tons of door prizes will be provided. 

03/02/2009 - We are off this week but have one spot at either 8:30 or 8:45. George will not be there this week so I will collect. As always, the first 20 skaters and two goalies to e-mail me get the spots.... In other news, we were sad to hear of the passing of Christine Fleischmann's mother. Our sincere condolences go out to Christine, George and family.

02/17/2009 - The schedule for Fridays has been revised slightly. We are on for the next two weeks but are off on March 6th so the last week of this session will be Friday March 13th.... In other news we recently got word that my good friend and teammate Len Slack has accepted a job in Albany and will be moving in just a couple of weeks. While that's good news for Len and his career, it's certainly bittersweet for us as Len has become somewhat of a fixture around here and will be missed. I'm sure he will do very well in his new job and hopefully he can still sub in with us occasionally when he visits family in the area...... Also I found out last week that Bill Hopkin's father passed away recently. On behalf of George and the entire FNHL family we extend our sincere condolences to Bill and his family....  

02/08/2009 - Once again we are off on Friday but have one sheet available at 9:15pm. George won't be able to make it this week so I will be collecting. If you want a spot e-mail me right away. Last week the group was full by Tuesday and there were four guys who got shut out. Two were on the waiting list and two more who just dropped in hoping for a vacancy. These sessions have been popular lately so if you are not on the list there's basically zero chance that there will be a spot if you just show up. On a related note, if you do get a spot this week but have to cancel, please call me right away at 246-2940 so I can fill in from the waiting list..... Thanks!

02/01/2009 - We are off for the next two weeks but there is one sheet available this Friday at 9:30pm. If you want a spot please e-mail me right away. Last time we did this a few people were too late. There may also be ice a week from Friday but I won't be taking reservations for that yet... In other news it appears we have an old problem resurfacing. In the past two weeks at least two teams have had money stolen from their locker rooms during the game. Please make sure to either lock your room during the game or better yet, avoid leaving anything of value in the locker rooms. I wish there was a better answer but even if we catch them in the act there's no guarantee that it won't happen again in the future.

01/15/2009 - By all accounts, last week's scrambled teams worked out pretty well. Thanks to all for the good turnout and also thanks to the diehard ladies crew including Stephanie and Laura who pushed our attendance to near record levels - even going so far as to leave the game on the Olympic side to catch some action on the NHL rink. There have even been calls for an encore, especially in the first game which went to overtime. If anyone still has a copy of those rosters it would help. I don't save old pages and since the new schedule has already been posted, the previous one is gone... Payments were better this time around but George did tell me that there are about four people who still owe....

01/07/2009 - As the headline mentions, first and foremost the money is due. George has to pay the rink this weekend and there is absolutely no way that anyone who has not paid should step on the ice tomorrow. After all the problems we had last session I was hoping to not have to lead with this, but I do and so I am. Enough said (I hope)...... This week's games should be interesting. At the request and suggestion of several players I have gone with a pure scramble with a few sub-plots carefully woven in. There is no true "ABC" format because we just don't have the right distribution of players to make it work. Hopefully the games will be fun and relatively even and you will have a chance to skate with some players that you would usually oppose. As always, if you wanted to play but were omitted please e-mail me right away so I can update the rosters. The same is true if you are on the list, or see someone else on the list who you know won't be there. I used the rosters that I have but there were a few guys that I had questions about. I would recommend that everyone check back on Friday to confirm the final rosters. I will try not to move anyone who is already scheduled but on occasion it is necessary. Also, since the rosters are so scrambled it would be a good idea for someone to print the rosters and bring to the rink on Friday...... Finally, my brother Pete e-mailed this week and is very much interested in Montreal or some other tournament destination this spring. If you are interested and/or have a specific tournament in mind please let me know right away so we can nail this down. As always, the team will depend on who is available as well as factors such as age, experience and number of teams we can field. We have always had a good time at these events so if you want to participate please let me know.......

12/29/08 - We are off this week however there is one sheet available at 9:45pm so the usual process is in place - first 20 skaters and 2 goalies to e-mail me get the spots. Cost is $10 per player. Please don't wait until the last minute as we had a flurry of late requests when we did this a couple of weeks ago. Also please don't e-mail and reserve a spot that you're not sure you can keep - we have run into that in the past and it's simply not fair to the people that are really planning to play... In other news, I am happy to pass along the message that Blue Team member Chris McKenzie and his wife Jenna are expecting their first child this summer. Congratulations to you both from the FNHL..!!  For those of you who don't know him, Chris is the player on my team with the red helmet that our opponents love to hate and his wife Jenna is a competitive figure skater. If there's a soft pair of hands somewhere in that family tree, the child could grow up to be quite a hockey player indeed.... As you know, the bar at the rink has been closed for a while now and I haven't heard anything new as far as a re-opening goes, but there has been quite a decent FNHL turnout at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Cicero after the games recently. Last week's crew included special guest appearances by Bob (hatchet) LaBarre and his better half Patty, Len Slack's girlfriend Laura (who we thought had given up on us) and Jesse's girlfriend - also named Laura (who graciously offered me tickets to a Flyers game on January 21st)..... So if you're looking for a spot to socialize after the games, feel free to join us there most weeks (at least until the bar re-opens)... Finally, I was going through my inbox recently and realized that I had forgotten to post the news that Rich Fleischmann and his wife Melissa welcomed baby # 5 into their family on October 14th. Ryan Christopher Fleischmann weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs., 6 oz and all concerned are doing great! My sincere apologies for the oversight and (belated) congratulations to Rich and family on behalf of the FNHL. There is also a picture posted in the Fun Photo Gallery... I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and wish you all a happy and safe New Year...!!! 

12/14/08 - We are back to the grind for a couple of weeks at least. The following message was sent to me today by Chris Rousseau.

Hi everyone! I have raffle tickets for a signed Erik Cole Edmonton Oilers Jersey. Tickets are $5 a piece or you can get 5 for $20. The proceeds go directly to the Oswego County SPCA (OCAWL) and the animals that were rescued from the house in Palermo. If anyone is interested please let me know. You can e-mail me at rouss35@gmail.com. I will arrange to come meet you wherever, whenever. The drawing takes place on December 20th, 2008. I should also mention that the jersey will come in a display case all ready to be hung in your home. It is a wood case with a glass front and comes with keys to lock and unlock the case.

Thank you all!

Roussy

12/11/08 - The roster is full for tomorrow. I've sent an e-mail to those on the list. Please let me know if you can't make it....See you there.

12/07/08 - As mentioned previously, the schedule has been revised. We will have no regular FNHL games this coming Friday (12/12/08). There is one sheet available at 9:45 so the first 20 skaters and 2 goalies to e-mail me get the spots. Cost is $10 per person and I will collect that night. George will not be there so please don't call or e-mail him to reserve a spot. Several guys have already told me they want to play but please send me an e-mail follow up to make sure I've got you on the list. As always, please pass the message along to anyone who may not have internet access.

11/27/08 - On behalf of George and the entire FNHL family we'd like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We are on tomorrow so we're officially renaming Black Friday to Black and Blue Friday..... There has been a tremendous response to last week's posting so we're hopeful that the issue can be resolved without drastic action. Time will tell, but it's obvious that people are concerned and willing to help turn things around.... For those in the Sunday group remember that we are on at 8:00am this week.

11/19/08 - The new schedule is posted but I fully expect some revisions so I will update things as I get the info. This week is all set so please pass the word. As you probably noticed the website has been restored to the previous format for now and Dan's tribute pages can be accessed through the menu on the left. Eventually I will find time for a complete re-work but this will have to do for a while...... As the headline reads, we do have a serious problem on the horizon and it warrants the immediate attention of every FNHL player. Last week, after yet another frustrating night of trying to chase down the money that was due, George said that he is done chasing - for good. As of last week there were about 14 unpaid spots - nearly 25% of the league. We have tried for a long time to get cooperation from everyone in order to ensure that the FNHL can keep going but nothing seems to stick. For those of you who may not know, this league is not run by the rink and if you fail to pay George he is personally on the hook for the money. He can't afford to pay for your hockey and he shouldn't have to. That is why we cannot operate like a skate and shoot and all spots have to be paid for a full six week session even if you have to miss some games. I've been maintaining the website and working closely with George for quite a few years now and have seen session after session pass with this same basic payment problem. George has consistently gone well above and beyond the call of duty to keep this league afloat and I firmly believe he has truly had enough - which brings us to a crossroads. If we want the league to continue, this problem must be solved. It must be solved immediately and not allowed to resurface - ever..... If anyone has any comments and/or ideas on how to fix the problem once and for all, now is the time to bring them up. We've tried adding the Paypal option but only a few guys use that each session. We've tried having one team captain take charge of his team and pay George the full amount but can't seem to get someone from each team to step up and truly be responsible and reliable. We've also tried reminders on the website and roster replacement and things improved for a little, but not enough..... Bottom line - please pass this message on to every player on your team. If you still owe money absolutely do not step on the ice until you find George and pay him. Next session if the money (all of it) is not paid when due I sadly am certain that this league will not continue.  

10/28/08 - George called tonight and said we have one sheet available on Friday at 8:45pm. Please e-mail me right away if you want to play - obviously spots are limited, first come, first served.

10/26/08 - I just found out today that we will not have hockey this Friday due to Halloween. There were too many vacant spots already known to realistically cover the games so the schedule has been pushed back a week. Please pass the word to your teammates..

10/09/08 - Phil Valeriano asked me to post the following.

Dan could you put a note on our Web site that I need 2 players for the lysander Sunday night league it is a solid B league game times range from as early as 6pm 730 815 9:00 and 9:30. My cell number to contact me is 450-2632

Thanks Phil

10/01/08 - The schedule for the next session has been posted. Also the schedule for the Sunday group has been updated as well. If you still owe George from last session please do not step on the ice this week until that has been paid.

09/23/08 - George called me this evening and asked me to spread the word that a special Friends and Family night will be held on Friday, October 24th from 6pm-10pm. On that night we will suspend our regular games in favor of an evening of celebration and remembrance. The rink has graciously agreed to cancel their usual public skate and we will be holding our own public skate instead. Also on that night we will raise a banner at the rink in Dan's honor and retire his number. My understanding is that admission and skate rental will be free. Donations will be accepted and George will also be raffling a number of items with the proceeds going to benefit Dan's daughter Erica. I will post additional details and information as it is confirmed. We hope that everyone will take this opportunity to come out on a Friday night and bring family and friends to skate, celebrate and remember our good friend Dan. Please pass the word on to anyone who might be interested.... In other news, the schedule for this week is posted. Due to the number of people who have said they can't or might not be able to make it we've decided not to try to schedule "ABC" games this session. Brian Banks has sent in an alternate twist for this week and it goes as follows.

1...schedule teams as you would normally

2...when all players are on ice, have one team take a player off of the other team....the other team would then take one of their players for their team...

3...i think 2 or 3 offensive players should be exchanged and 1 defenseman so that 3-4 players would be playing on a different team BUT, players of similar abilities would be exchanged so that one team or the other doesn't have a significant advantage.

An example would be 6 vs 3 team 6 takes Tony Pompo....team 3 counters with Dave Cavallaro team 6 takes Brian Pompo...team 3 comes back with Dan Jervis team 6 takes Brian Banks.....team three picks George Fleischmann a 4th player could be swapped but 3 is a safe number this way equally skilled players are traded AND the chemistry of the game is re-arranged to change things up a bit tell the captains to have their team bring both jerseys OR they can just swap jerseys with the other team..

Hopefully someone will print this out so everyone is clear on how it will work. I will be out of town myself so someone will have to let me know how it goes.... Finally, for those of you in the Sunday group remember we are off this week. 

09/14/08 - Obviously it's been a very bleak couple of weeks for the FNHL. We've begun to say goodbye to our friend Dan and somehow find a way to move forward as he would certainly want us to do. I know that George already has some plans in the works for a benefit night and I'm sure that will be just the first of many.... The schedule has been revised to move up the games originally scheduled for 9/26/08 to next week 9/19/08. That was an error on my part and a carryover from when we moved up the Friends and Family Night to week 5 of the last session. I apologize for the oversight and hope it won't cause too much confusion for all of you. The following friday (9/26/08) is the last week of the current session and I am open to suggestions as to whether you want an ABC week, a different shuffle or just a regular game that night, I will be out of town that weekend so the sooner I get feedback, the better. Also please let me know asap if you also cannot make it that week or if you are not on a roster but would like to play as a sub...... We did have a rare treat last weekend as well known Syracuse Crunch player Jon Mirasty subbed in for the Blue team. Of course Carl Bratt and the rest of the White team played the perfect villain that evening and Blue still couldn't claim a victory, but it was fun nonetheless and we wish Jon well as he starts NHL training camp this week.... Finally, as many of you have heard the prices for ice will be increasing slightly. Beginning next session the price for Fridays will go from $55 to $60 and Sundays from $30 to $35. A price increase is never fun, but George has always worked hard to keep the league affordable and will continue to do so. Overall the rink has been very good to us, especially since the new management took over and this small increase for us will help them out while still allowing us to skate each week at a very reasonable price. I have adjusted the paypal links accordingly for those who pay online. Please remember that money is due this week. Payments had improved for a while but have started to slip again recently and George has had to chase people again and still ended up with several unpaid spots last session.... Thanks in advance for your cooperation and understanding on this.... If you haven't yet signed the remembrance page for Dan, please take a few moments to do so as it will mean a lot to Erica and the family.

08/20/08 - New schedules are posted for both regular FNHL and Sundays. Money is well past due so if you still owe for this session please expect to pay George prior to stepping on the ice. I am on vacation this week so I will see everyone on the 29th.

08/13/08 - Our second Friends and Family Night is officially in the books and based on the feedback I've gotten it seems like it was a great success. Thanks to everyone who helped make it possible including Liam Curry and the referee crew, Patty Ryan and (Owen) Nolan Kokkoris the scorekeepers, George, and of course the friends and family members who came out and supported us. Having the bar open upstairs made a big difference and we appreciate the rink's efforts to help us out as well. My understanding is that Tasha is back now so the bar should be open most Fridays. Hopefully everyone will stop by for at least a while after their games so we can provide enough business to keep that going..... This Friday is the last week of the current session and of course, money was actually due last week. If you still owe, please pay online or find George at the rink before your game to get that taken care of. With the new session will come updated rosters so please keep George advised if you would like to join a team or need to take a session off. It's very difficult to keep things rolling when guys just stop showing up and/or don't pay but haven't told George that they are dropping out. I know that a few spots went unpaid last session and the league (meaning George) is not in a position to just eat those costs. Thanks as always to the majority of the group that does pay on time, it is appreciated.... If anyone has any ideas for the next ABC session feel free to drop me a line... Finally we did hear that longtime FNHL player Mike Pardee will be out for an extended period of time due to a serious knee injury. Mike is a real pain in the butt on the ice (especially if he's on the other team) and has a dubious sense of fashion as he proved last week, but overall he's a good guy and a friend to many of us here in the FNHL. We wish him a speedy recovery and also send our condolences to his wife who will undoubtedly be seeing a lot more of her husband for the next few months...... See you Friday!!

08/07/08 - We are all set for tomorrow night and it should be a lot of fun. The rink has promised that the bar will be open and I believe there will even be some food available as well. The owner of the rink checked in with George  to see what they could do for us which was a nice gesture on their part. Hopefully we will have a representative group of friends and family in attendance and things will go well. One small concern is that a few teams still owe money and that must be paid before the games so that we can cover the refs and scorekeepers. I tried to collect $5 per person for several weeks now and unfortunately in some cases that has not happened. So the bottom line is that the teams that owe have to come up with the balance somehow - I don't care how. The teams affected are Black ($40), Orange $40 and White ($25) and I sent them a separate e-mail earlier in the week. Also, just a reminder that the presence of refs does not change the usual code of conduct that we play under. There is still no checking and fighting will absolutely not be tolerated. Let's do what we can to make sure everyone has a good time and most people go home with the same number of teeth that they arrived with. Also please remember that the regular FNHL money is due tomorrow. We moved the specials week ahead to the date when we could have two early games. I haven't heard from many players regarding the need for subs so I can only assume that the teams will be full tomorrow. Please e-mail me asap if you can't make it or think your team will be short. See you all tomorrow!

07/31/08 - The plans are just about complete for our annual Friends and Family night. The refs are scheduled and George is working with the rink to determine what will be open that night. I hope we will see a good turnout and have some fun with it. Last year's games went well and it's nice at least once a year to play a game in front of a crowd with refs, stop time, penalties, etc. On the business side though I really need to collect the rest of the money this Friday. At the moment about half the league is still unpaid. I will be at the rink for the 9:15 game tomorrow so captains please make sure that all spots are paid and someone makes the effort to get the money to me. This includes people who have a spot but are not going to be at the games that night. This is the only night each year that we ask for the extra $5 and it is critical that every spot is paid for because the budget vs the expense is almost a perfect match. If you are having someone sub for you that week then feel free to recoup the extra $5 from them directly. The goalies are also asked to contribute for this one evening and that is appreciated as well. See you Friday!!! 

07/08/08 - The new schedule is posted and I am please to announce that we are finally able to run the Friends and Family Night on Friday, August 8th. On that night we will suspend our usual routines and invite as many people as possible to join us for games with refs and stop time, penalties, etc. We did this once last year and it went over quite well. On that night we will run two early games - 8pm NHL and 8:15pm Olympic and then one at 9:30 on the NHL. Because of the extra costs involved with hiring refs and a scorekeeper for each game we will need to collect an additional $5 from each player for this session. Please do not wait until the week of the games or we will not be able to do it. I will collect the additional $5 starting this week. Also in the area of finances, George has advised me that we still have 9 unpaid spots for the upcoming session. That is due to both unpaid players and a few that have dropped out and are yet to be replaced. Obviously George can't (and shouldn't be expected to) finance the balance of the league for us. If you still owe, don't bother to show up this week until you find George and pay him. And, if you know of someone who might be interested in a spot this session please call George at 436-6882 and let him know. Finally, on a personal note - many of you know that I have been working to get my house ready to put on the market. This coming weekend should be the last phase of that project. Saturday I need to move a bunch of boxes and stuff out of the house and into a nearby storage facility. I know that Auburn is not exactly close for most of the group but if anyone is available and can help me out I would greatly appreciate it. You can e-mail me here or call me at 246-2940 and let me know.....

07/02/08 - We are off this week so please help get the word out. On behalf of George and the FNHL we wish everyone a safe and happy Independence Day weekend..!!! I will post the schedule for the next session as soon as it becomes available. One other note to pass along from Liam Curry regarding a friend of his who is participating in an MDA fundraiser. See below

From: Beth Sellers
Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2008 8:45 PM
To: Curry,Liam
Subject: Beth Sellers needs your help

Liam Curry, I'm proud to tell you that I'm being locked up...that's right, I'm going behind bars to help Jerry's Kids© and MDA. To be released on good behavior I have to raise bail and I need your help! All you have to do is click here to make a secure, online donation before 07/22/08. Your donation will help families living in our community and help guarantee me an early release. I can't wait to add you to my list of contributors. Thanks in advance for your help. Don't hesitate to call or email me with any questions.

Together we'll make a difference,

Beth

P.S. I'm counting on you, click here to donate. If the link above does not work, please cut and paste the address below into the address bar of your Internet browser. https://www.joinmda.org/syracuse2008/beth_sellers/

06/24/08 - It's been a while since the last update so there are a few things to catch up on. First of all, the 6th Annual Golf Tournament went very well. I've posted some pictures and a brief recap on the Golf Tournament page..... The schedule for this week is posted along with tentative rosters. I have a feeling there will be some adjustments made before Friday so please check back later in the week to confirm. I will try to e-mail or call anyone who is switched later but that is not always a perfect system. Please do not e-mail me on Friday for changes because I won't get the message prior to the games... Also, George has asked me to post a few reminders especially due to the fact that we've had an influx of new players recently. Since we play without refs, we depend on each player to follow the rules and keep their temper in check. Under no circumstances is fighting permitted and anyone who does fight should expect to be suspended and/or even kicked out of the league. Things have been good for quite a while but I guess there have been some incidents recently and we want to prevent anything further from occurring. The bottom line for us is to have some fun, hopefully drink some beers either at the bar or elsewhere since the rink has not been opening the bar for us lately and most importantly that no one gets seriously injured. There is no checking allowed and this includes cross checking when a player tries to set a screen in front of the net. It's a penalty in the NHL and it's not permitted here either. That being said, everyone needs to keep in mind that hockey is a fast game and there is no way to completely eliminate all contact. Each player needs to do the best that they can to keep themselves under control and apply a little perspective to the situations that occur. Just because someone bumps into you does not mean you can or should retaliate or drop the gloves. If you can't control your temper on the ice - go home and stay there. Also we have always had a no slapshot rule. That has been relaxed a bit in the last year or so but it's probably time to go back to it. It's one thing to wind up from outside when it's just you and the goalie but we've seen too many instances recently of players taking slapshots into traffic and/or with defensemen between them and the net. There's just too much really important stuff we have to do off the ice to justify someone getting injured because they took a slapshot to the face (or ankle for that matter). And last but not least is the subject of line changes. Everyone pays the same amount to play and no one should not have to sit on the bench for several minutes at a time because the person they are changing with refuses to come off. Whatever the reason is, it is not good enough - skate a shift and get off. If you're not tired after two minutes or so, skate harder next shift. Although we all want to win, your team will be ok without you on the ice for a couple of minutes. If you've been bottled up in your own zone for the whole shift that does not mean you can stay on the ice when the puck finally leaves your zone. Oh, and "I didn't realize how long I was out there" is not an acceptable excuse. Common sense and common courtesy should not be that difficult. If you want to play 9 or 18 then go play golf.........But I digress...... In other news, the money was due last week so if you still owe then you need to find George and pay him before playing this week. The replacement system has been working well but it's far better to have people pay on time rather than having to replace them..... I am still waiting for confirmation on the Friends and Family week but it should happen next session.... Finally, we got some sad news recently that former Black team player Greg Fragola has been having some serious health problems lately. We wish him well and hope that he is able to overcome them and get back on the ice at some point....   

05/23/08 - The Golf Tournament Paypal links are now up on the payments page. As always, a small service charge is added to cover what Paypal charges us.

05/20/08 - Tentative schedules have been posted for the next session for both the regular FNHL and the Sunday group. I expect to confirm the Friends and Family night very soon and will update as soon as things are in place. Money is due for the Golf Tournament and there will be a Paypal link available later this week or you can pay George directly. The cost is $55 per person and it should be another great event. If you still want to play but haven't registered, there may still be room so please see me or George on Friday. Rosters will be updated this weekend to reflect the most recent changes and replacements. If by some chance you still owe, make sure to pay George or call him to avoid losing your spot.

05/13/08 - First of all the start times this week are different from the usual start times so please check it before you head to the rink....We are still in need of a few foursomes to fill up the Golf Tournament. If you have already registered, I got it - the error message is a phantom and can be ignored. Several people have promised to register but have not done so yet. Please take care of that asap. George did say that the cost this year is expected to be $55 per player and which is about what it was last year and includes a steak dinner and lots of door prizes. Also the FNHL money was due last week but quite a few guys still owe. Please find George this week and take care of things so that we can avoid a new round of replacements. I've been quite busy lately so there hasn't been much time to update the website. I am working on the Friends and Family Night and fully expect it to happen in the month of June so watch for updates on that in the coming weeks. For those who don't know, during that week we hire refs and a timekeeper and play stop time (hopefully) with friends and family looking on. Also, George is planning to have refreshments upstairs after the games...... In other news, the FNHL entry in Steve Olson's tournament to benefit the Pediatric Emergency Room at University Hospital managed to do quite well. We won all three preliminary games - first 10-4 over the NY State Police, then goalie Carl Bratt pitched a rare tournament shutout leading the team to an 8-0 win over the Vermont Enforcers. A 6-3 win on Sunday morning clinched a spot in the finals against Syracuse Clean Gear. Unfortunately FNHL defenseman Pete Jervis had to catch a flight that afternoon and I had to drive him to the airport so we weren't able to play in the finals. Jesse Nistico and Adam Blackbird subbed in and that helped out a lot, but the team came up just short losing 4-2. It was a good experience for a good cause and we'd like to thank Steve for the invitation and for all his efforts in putting the event together. It was well run and a lot of fun to be a part of. Our team was very solid with Carl Bratt in goal, Bill Hopkins, Dave Cornell, Pete Klem and Pete Jervis on D and Dave Cavallaro, Chris Baldwin, Chris McKenzie, John Albanese, Chip O'Connor and Dan Jervis on the forward lines. We look forward to future tournament opportunities as they are always a good time.....Finally we'd like to wish a slightly belated happy birthday to FNHL season ticket holder #004 Jenna McKenzie who even managed to get husband Chris to miss a Friday night game to celebrate......Now that's devotion!!!  

04/24/08 - We are happy to announce that the 6th annual FNHL Golf Tournament is set for Saturday, June 7th at 1:00pm. George hasn't gotten the final cost figure yet but it should be similar to last year's cost. Rain or shine this has always been a great event with lots of door prizes. We have quite a few new players this year and I hope everyone will be able to make it. The tournament is strictly a fun event, captain and crew format and open to all, players, friends and family members. There is a link to the event page in the menu on the left and a registration form is included. As soon as the final cost is determined I will add a Paypal option on the payments page. It seems like every year we have a number of people who wait until the last minute to register. Let's change that this year and try to get all the foursomes registered early!!..... In other news, there are some schedule changes in the upcoming weeks for both our regular FNHL sessions and the Sunday group. I've posted what is known at this time and will post additional updates as they become available. Please make sure to check the schedule closely as there are changes to the rink (NHL or Olympic) as well as the start times. One key change is that there will be no "ABC" week this session. The response to our Friends and Family event last year was great so we are going to do that again but we have to wait until a week or two after the conclusion of the current session in order to get the times we want. Starting next session we will be in summer mode and games will start at 8:00 on both the NHL and Olympic sides with one later game at 9:30 and no 10:15 starts. For those who are new to the FNHL, the Friends and Family week games will have actual refs and stop time. Players are encouraged to invite anyone and everyone to the rink that week and last year the stands were actually quite full. George is working with the rink to arrange for pizza's and other refreshments upstairs. There is an additional $5 per player cost for this to cover the refs and timekeepers. We will let you know when that money is due. At this point it looks like we will be holding the Friends and Family games on the first or second Friday of the next session - possibly the day before the Golf Tournament but I will post that information as soon as we can confirm it.... Well another year of the Montreal Tournament is in the books and although the FNHL team was not as successful as last year's team, it was still a great time with many memorable moments. On the ice we faced a much better group of teams this year, all from the Toronto area and managed a win on Friday 8-6. Chip O'Connor provided the highlight reel by scoring not once, but twice right from the faceoff!! Those type of goals happen about as often as a hole in one in golf so to score twice like that in one game is pretty amazing. But after a long night of celebration after that win, the team couldn't get started in the early game on Saturday and dropped a lackluster 3-1 game to a team we probably should have beaten. John Albanese certainly raised some eyebrows that morning by showing up to the rink missing a good portion of his eyebrows..... The last game on Saturday was a close one and we were down 4-2 with just over a minute left when Dan Jervis tapped in a loose puck to make it 4-3. The last minute of that game was probably the strangest minute in any tournament game we've ever played in. The FNHL offense kept up the pressure and with about 15 seconds left, Jesse Nistico took a pass and charged in on a breakaway only to be tackled by the defenseman and pushed into the opposing goalie. As the pile cleared, the goalie actually kicked Jesse ("below the belt") with his skates and was ejected from the game. Our opponents were allowed to place a defenseman in the goal wearing goalie gloves. Unfortunately, time expired as the last FNHL shot was deflected just wide of the goal. Overall it was a good effort and we came within a goal of having the chance to defend our titles. With no game to play on Sunday, we had even more opportunity to enjoy the Montreal nightlife on Saturday and took full advantage. Plans are already in the works for next year and we are even discussing the possibility of looking for a new, warmer destination in 2009. Hawaii, Florida and Las Vegas are on the short list and hopefully a decision will be made soon. As always, if you're interested in being part of a tournament team please let me know asap. I can't promise that we will be able to accommodate everyone but the more people I know are interested, the more options we have..... Congratulations are in order to the younger team from our area who was also at the Montreal event. Time Warner made short work of all their opponents and finally were able to win their division and bring home the cup. FNHL'ers Dave Cavallaro and Craig Martin were on that team as well as former FNHL players Pete Klem and Derek Crowley... Notably absent from Montreal this year were Bob LaBarre and Bill Hopkins and they were sorely missed. My brother Pete did wear Bob's #32 proudly (and baldly) but it just wasn't the same. We were also saddened to see the end of an era at the Peel Pub where Petra was nowhere to be found. On the other hand our waitress at Thursday's - Donna (I think) was a real character and though she's certainly no Petra, she was memorable for her off color and politically incorrect jokes and endless trays of beer...Good times...... Anyway, this week Steve Olson is hosting his tournament to benefit the Pediatric Emergency Room at University Hospital at Cicero and the FNHL will be back "in da house." My brother Pete is flying back tomorrow and we should have a pretty good team this year..... Finally, Lenny Slack asked me to mention that he is planning to place an order this week with Hockey Giant. If anyone wants to get in on that with him the order can be combined so shipping will be free. I know they are running some good sales right now so if you are interested, drop Lenny a line at lenslack@hotmail.com or call him at 569-8120. 

04/10/08 - Rosters have been updated to reflect spots that are paid for. Per George, the rest of the spots will be filled on a first come, first served basis. It's unfortunate that this replacement policy is necessary but hopefully the message will get through to those who need to hear it. If you have any questions or problems call George at 436-6882. Do not e-mail me because I will be in Montreal and by the time I can contact George the spot may have already been filled.... Also I was able to confirm that this Sunday the start time will be 8:30am.

04/09/08 - The new schedule is posted. Rosters will be updated as soon as George has a chance to get me the replacement list. If you are in the Sunday group, please check with George about the correct start time for this week as I am not sure whether it should be 8:30 or 7:00. It should be a very light week this Friday and Sunday since it's Montreal week and a large number of regulars will be out of town.... Once again last Friday was "ABC" week and despite a different shuffling of the teams, the no show, no call list was large. This is really frustrating for everyone and we would like to get some feedback on what's going on. In the next week or so please take a few minutes to send me an e-mail with your feedback and/or suggestions as to what changes we can make to bring up the excitement level and reduce the no show rate. This session I am planning to see if we can arrange a second annual Friends and Family night where the regular FNHL teams play against one another but with refs and stop time. Last year we had a great time with this one and actually managed to get quite a few people in the stands. We do have to charge an extra $5 per player to cover the extra expenses but it seems to be worth it. I will post more details as I am able to confirm them..... In other news, Steve Olson is planning to rent some ice time on April 21st @ 7:30pm for a scrimmage in advance of his University Hospital Pediatric Emergency benefit tournament. He's looking for players who might want to skate that night. The cost will be about $10. If you're interested, see Steve or drop me a line and I will forward it to him. He may have one other date in mind for another scrimmage and I will let you all know if that comes together.

04/02/08 - The rosters are now posted. Thanks to all who responded. I tried to make sure that all responses were accounted for. As always, please let me know asap if you have been omitted or will not be there. As the headline suggests, this weeks team scrambles are courtesy of Joe Gracz. It was time to get away from the ABC format for at least one session. If anyone else has an idea and wants to try it out in a future session, please let me know. I have gotten some requests for a reprise of last years Friends and Family Night games complete with refs and (maybe) fans. Let me know what you think.

03/31/08 - The rosters for this week are ready to go. Thanks to a suggestion from Joe Gracz we are going to move away from the ABC format and try a different mixing of the teams. He put a lot of thought into it and it should be fun.....However I really don't know who is in and who can't make it this week. Please drop me a line asap and let me know if you can't make it. If you're not on a regular roster and want to play, let me know that as well and I will fit in as many as I can. Last session the no-show, no-advance notice rate was way too high and everybody suffered. Along those lines, I know that a few people have mentioned to me verbally that they are in or out this week but have not sent me an e-mail reminder. Unfortunately my memory is getting more and more like Bob LaBarre's each week so I most likely will not remember without an e-mail.... Thanks in advance for a quick response on this. Finally George just wanted me to remind everyone that money was due last week and since there were quite a few guys not there, quite a few people still owe for this session. Please find George and pay him on Friday or call him this week at 436-6882 to make arrangements. Rosters will be updated with any necessary replacements by the middle of next week.

03/27/08 - Just a quick reminder that the money is due this week. Things went quite well last session due at least in part to the "pay or be replaced" policy. Hopefully the need for that will be a thing of the past very quickly. Also the Sunday group will start at 8:30am instead of 7am for at least the next few weeks.

02/27/08 - The schedule is posted for the next session and the rosters have been updated based on the latest info from George. If your name does not appear on a roster but you think it should that probably means you have been replaced for non-payment. If you think there is a mistake please call George right away at 436-6882 to get things straightened out. As I have mentioned several times recently, George is done chasing guys down for payment and there are a number of players who have expressed interest in playing but we don't have a spot for. If you don't find George and pay when the money is due it is likely that you will lose your spot. Have I beat that subject to death yet??? Ok, moving on to my next rant....... Last week we had 20 guys scheduled for the middle game and as far as I can tell we had a total of 5 or 6 of those scheduled show up. Each ABC week I ask who is in and who's out so that we can plan and schedule that week. When 60-70% of the scheduled teams don't bother to show up and also don't bother to let us know in advance then the whole week goes down the tubes for everyone. In the future, please send me an e-mail in advance if you can't make the ABC week. If you don't like the teams and want to give it a shot I will be happy to step back and let you take over coordinating those weeks. In every game I try to match up players evenly and that sometimes means players who don't think they belong in a particular game get put there anyway. No offense intended and if you really have a problem with it then please let me know (as several have done) rather than just skipping it altogether..........

02/20/08 - The tentative schedule and rosters are posted for Friday. As always, if you're not going to make it please let me know asap. Also if you have been omitted, please contact me so I can make the adjustments. E-mails are ok on Thursday but on Friday's I don't always have a chance to get to the web so please call me at 246-2940. Thanks to all who pointed out that the website was down temporarily this week. It was a glitch and should be ok moving forward. Although I rarely get the time anymore for commentary but it is worth a mention that longtime Red Team member Mike Tully has now joined former Black Team leader Bob LaBarre on Yellow. It's not uncommon for newer players to switch teams but a veteran signing like this is certainly an exception. Yellow now has two players who wear blue helmets, skate the puck in wide circles, and (occasionally) score a goal or two (no, not you Bob)....how will we tell them apart....???

02/18/08 - First of all, thanks to the majority who found George and paid on time. It was the first week in a long time that I've seen George in a good mood on collection day. For the few who still owe, make sure you find George this week to avoid replacement. Also, I will be posting the ABC rosters and schedule asap. Please send me an e-mail if you can't make it. Also if you want to play but are not listed on a regular roster let me know.

02/14/08 - Just a quick reminder to remember your money this week. George was very serious about replacing rather than chasing guys who don't pay. Hopefully this will not be necessary.......

02/07/08 - Unfortunately some sad news to pass along. I Just found out recently that former long time Red team player John Griffith's father passed away in late January. Our sincere condolences go out to John and his family at this difficult time.

02/05/08 - We are back to our regular Friday night sessions as of this week. Please remind your teammates and make a note of when the money is due.

01/29/08 - Surprisingly slow response rate so far and we're getting down to the wire. If you do want to play at 10:15pm this week but haven't sent an e-mail please do so right away.

01/26/08 - Based on the number of inquiries last week there is enough interest for us to rent ice next Friday (02/01/08) at 10:15pm. Depending on the response we will rent one or two sheets. Keep in mind that this is not part of our regular FNHL session so the cost will be $10 per player. I am putting together a list starting now. The sooner you send me an e-mail the better your chances of getting a spot. Once it's filled I will make a reserve list in case someone backs out. I will e-mail the rosters as soon as the spots are filled.

01/24/08 - Just a reminder that we are off this Friday and next. Also remember that the Sunday group will have an 8:30am start this week instead of 7. Rosters have been updated and are current as far as I know. The Sunday roster has also been updated. Please keep in mind that we do have sub opportunities on some Sundays but it is not a drop in session. If you're looking to sub on a Sunday please call George to confirm rather than just showing up. Also in the housekeeping details department, George asked me to post a reminder that all drinking should be confined to the bar upstairs and not the locker rooms or parking lot. We're pretty sure there this is not an FNHL issue but I guess the rink thought (mistakenly) that there may have been. Anyway I just wanted to post the reminder since we have had an influx of new players recently. Also on the subject of new players, we have gotten quite a bit of interest lately and that has been good for the league as a whole. George has decided that he will no longer chase down players who fail to pay on time so if you are not paid within one week of the due date and have not made arrangements with George, your spot will be replaced. We're sorry that it has come to this but George just can't keep running things otherwise. Bottom line is simple - pay on time or you track George down and make suitable arrangements. It's not the majority of the league that causes the problem but it's been enough each session to be a real source of concern. In other news, we recently got word that long time FNHLer Jamie Sassenbury slipped on an icy sidewalk and severely injured his back and ribs. Unfortunately Jamie will be out for some time as he recovers and we wish him all the best at this difficult time....

01/17/08 - I just got word from George that we are off next Friday 01/25/08 and again the following Friday 02/01/08 due to scheduling conflicts at the rink. We do have regular hockey this week 01/18/08. Also the Sunday group will have a late start at 8:30am one week from this Sunday 01/27/08. Please make a note of these changes and pass the info along to others who may not have web access. I don't know yet if George is planning to rent one sheet on either of the weeks we have been bumped.

01/01/08 - Happy New Year to all on behalf of George and the entire FNHL. Remember that we are off this week. I got an e-mail recently from Ron Maydole. He says, "The Infinite Jesture is playing at The Fireside Inn in Baldwinsville on Jan 4th starting at 9:30pm. Stop out if you are looking for something to. I know the guys would appreciate having more people in the crowd. And I wouldn't mind playing in front or some familiar faces. Hope to see you then." So if you're looking for something to do on Friday since we're off the ice you could stop by an see Ron and his band.

12/29/07 - George was just informed that we will not have hockey this week (01/04/08) due to a tournament. The schedule has been revised accordingly. Please pass this message on to other members of your team who may not have web access. Also, congratulations are in order for Orange team member Steve Olson and his wife who recently celebrated the birth of their 4th son Nicholas. Best wishes to all on behalf of the entire FNHL. Steve did mention that he will be holding another benefit tournament for the Pediatric Emergency Department on April 26th and 27th. If there is enough interest I will coordinate an FNHL entry into the event. The cost is generally quite reasonable and it's a good opportunity to get some tournament experience locally and help a good cause. Please e-mail me asap if you are interested.

12/24/07 - The schedule for the next session is posted. Please make sure that George is paid immediately if you still owe. On behalf of George and the entire FNHL family I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy and safe holiday celebration.

12/16/07 - It's very evident that we will have a lot of people unavailable for this week's ABC games. If you are planning to play or would like to play (if you're not on a regular roster) please take a minute to send me an e-mail. If you know of the status of other guys who may not have access to e-mail then please let me know that as well. I will post the rosters as soon as I hear from everyone. Thanks in advance for the help. Also if you still owe George, please be sure to pay him immediately.

11/14/07 - First of all some sad news in the FNHL. Red Team goalie and our good friend Chuck Austin's father - Charles R. Austin passed away late last week after an illness. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chuck and his entire family at this difficult time. Although it seems rather inconsequential at this moment, we still have a league to run and unfortunately things are not going well. As of this afternoon George still has 14 unpaid spots and he is seriously considering the need to reduce the number of FNHL teams. This is not a new issue and it simply is not getting any better. It's my understanding that George is planning an open FNHL meeting soon to discuss our options. I know a lot of us really care what happens to the FNHL but it seems like not quite enough to avoid some big changes. I will keep everyone posted as soon as I hear what's on the agenda. Also we would like to congratulate Yellow teamer Adam Rufa and his wife on the recent birth of their twins. Finally, I got an e-mail this week from Ron Maydole about his band. Ron writes

We will be playing Sparky's Cove in Berwerton on Sat 11-17 starting at 9:00pm. This is our first time there are trying to recruit as many of our family and friend's to some out. We haven't had too many opportunities to play locally so we hope you can make it out. We have been traveling to Utica, Owsego, Marietta, etc recently and would like to see some familiar faces for a change. Hope to see you then. Ron Maydole  

11/07/07 - The schedule and rosters for the ABC week are posted. As always, if you see any guys who won't be there and/or any omissions please let me know asap.

10/19/07 - I have finally had a chance to update the rosters so please take a look and let me know if anything does not seem correct. As we have mentioned in the past, there have been some changes to address both competitive and reliability concerns. Overall I think we have some pretty good balance on paper, but that also depends on who shows up each week. In other news, Del Hoyt asked me to post a notice that he is again looking into getting FNHL jerseys and/or socks. If you are interested in ordering please see Del at the rink or you can send me an e-mail and I will pass it on.... There was some initial response to Montreal but it has already died down. If you think you might be interested please remember to let me know.

10/03/07 - After the fiasco of last session we had hoped that the payment situation would improve but it honestly (and sadly) has not. In fact it's actually gotten worse. After last week, which was one week after the money was due, George still had 22 spots unpaid. That is not a misprint - 22 unpaid spots. Bottom line this week is very simple. If you owe, don't go on the ice without paying first. I don't know what else to say..... In other news, George and I will be updating the rosters soon and hopefully we will be adding some new players who want to play and will pay on time and quite possibly cutting some guys who are consistently late payers. Several new players have joined the league recently and with a few personnel moves we should see a better competitive balance overall and a little quicker pace. Finally, I am already starting to think about next year's Montreal Tournament. We finally broke through and won the tournament for the first time last year and are looking forward to defending that title. As always, I would gladly consider bringing 2 (or even 3) teams if we can get enough interest and commitment now. There's no way I am willing to wait until the last minute this time around. That trip has been great every year win or lose and I'd encourage you to read back through the News Archives from late April to early May of each year to see what I mean. Jesse did make a good point last week in mentioning that new passport requirements will be in effect so anyone who plans to go in 2008 should probably begin the application or renewal process now. If you have an interest in going, please send me an e-mail and I will start a mailing list.

9/26/07 - At the moment we are very short this week due to numerous cancellations. The schedule and rosters - such as they are - have been posted but are absolutely a work in progress. I will get in touch with George and see who else he has available to fill out the games on the NHL side. If you are not going to be there or have been omitted from the rosters and are available to play,  please call me at 246-2940 asap or send me an e-mail so I can make corrections. Also if you want to play two, let me know that as well and I will try to work it in. In general I apologize for the recent slowdown here on the website. As most of you are aware, I'm now working in Albany full time and it's getting tough to keep everything in balance.....

8/31/07 - The Sunday Group is back to the regular 7am start effective immediately. If you're in the group, please make a note of it and also pass it on to those who may not have web access.

8/24/07 - George was advised that we are back to our regular schedule effective immediately. What that means is tonight's game on the Olympic Ice - Red vs Yellow will not start at 8:00pm as planned but be moved back until about 9:30. All future games on the Olympic side will be at 10:15pm as they were prior to this summer. I have updated the schedule to reflect this and apologize for the short notice however we just got the word on this ourselves.

08/21/07 - I spoke to George and he is understandably upset. At this point there are still 16 spots left unpaid and we are supposed to begin a new session on Friday. This is the worst it has ever been and the small reserve usually provided by the sub money is basically gone as well. I will post the new schedule tomorrow but if you still owe don't even bother to show up if you don't have the money with you. I don't mean to sound unduly harsh but the situation has truly reached crisis level and simply cannot continue. The problem is a combination of guys who just have not paid, those who were on the last session and decided not to show up, pay or tell anyone, and a couple of truly open spots that we need reliable players to fill. We are planning a captains meeting soon to hopefully come up with a permanent solution. In other news, I have accepted a promotion at work but unfortunately the job is based in Albany. I'm not sure how that will affect me as far as hockey goes but I'm taking it day by day. Check back tomorrow for the new schedule......

08/15/07 - Thanks to all who responded to my request for info, unfortunately a large number of those responses were negative. This distinct lack of players has caused me to be very creative this week and I have had to schedule several players in both the early and late games. If you are on the list to play two but can't do it, please let me know. Also if you are not on the list but want to play a second game, either send me an e-mail or just hang around after the early games and see if there's room. This week we will not be playing an "ABC" format due to the lack of manpower. I just tried to shuffle the group and divide the players to create (on paper anyway) three good games. Also the rosters for both the regular FNHL and the Sunday Group have been updated. As you will see, we are short a couple of players for the next session and there are also a couple of question marks noted for guys we're not sure of. I know George would like to fill those spots with guys who are willing to show up and pay (it would also be nice if they can skate).... Along those lines we are still experiencing problems with spots going unpaid and also it seems that the collection of sub money has not been as consistent as it should. Some teams have been excellent but others.... not so much. We would like to get a captain's meeting scheduled sometime around the end of the month to address the issue so captains please let me know what dates are best for you. In the meantime, all we can do is try to see to it that we pay on time and collect from all subs. It's nice to have an extra body or two on the ice but it's also not possible to have guys come and skate for free (or on George's tab in reality). Finally I would like take a moment and congratulate the FNHL's newest (great-great) grandfather Bob LaBarre on the birth of his (great! great!) grandson Mason Edward Stott. Mason was born on Sunday August 5th and weighed in at 9lbs 4oz (or just slightly smaller than Bob's bald head). We are told that both mother (Bob's daughter Kristy) and baby are doing fine. Congratulations and best wishes to all on behalf of the FNHL and special thanks to "Grandma" Patty for the update and picture which is posted in the Fun Photo Gallery and is officially the first un-retouched photo of Bob in the gallery (my apologies for that in advance).

See you Friday!

08/08/07 - My apologies for the typo - the ABC week is indeed NEXT friday and that is the date I am asking for responses on. Thanks...

08/07/07 - I'm working on the rosters for this week's ABC games and am faced with the usual problem of trying to figure out who is planning to be there next week. If you can e-mail me and let me know one way or the other it would be appreciated. One of these days George and I will get the rosters updated but we've both been busy so for now I'm flying blind. Also I got a note from Steve Olson this week. He's running another tournament at Lysander August 18th and 19th and needs one more team. If there's enough interest I will help get the group together but I need a very quick response. Don't wait until Friday because I am probably going to miss at least a week due to injury. Also I got an e-mail from Ron Maydole asking us to help his band out with an internet ranking. The letter is posted in the Letters section so please take a look.

07/10/07 - The new session schedule is posted. George mentioned that there are still people who owe money. You must get that paid prior to stepping on the ice Friday. I did get a note from Mark Schumacher who unfortunately will have to take another session off due to a back injury he suffered on the ice several weeks ago. We wish him the best in his recovery. Also Bill Hopkins sent along an e-mail from Rob Conrad with an update on the triplets. I've posted it in the Letters section if you'd like to check it out. It sounds like things are going reasonably well and hopefully Rob will be able to stop by on a Friday to say hello. Finally I've been asked to say a few words about a problem that's been happening more and more lately. When you jump on the ice take a second to glance at the clock. There seems to be a few guys who don't understand that you're not supposed to "skate until you're tired." If you are not tired after about two minutes (max) then you might as well get off the ice anyway because you're not helping your team by skating in slow circles. I've seen a lot of five, six and even seven+ minute shifts and the bottom line is that it's rude and incredibly frustrating for the guy who has to change with you. Everyone can have a lapse every now and then but there are several guys who consistently refuse to change and it's simply got to stop. Get on the ice, skate hard and get off - it's not a difficult concept and there's no good reason to do otherwise. If you want to play nine or eighteen, take up golf.....

See you Friday!

07/05/07 - Just a quick update. The C game at 8:00pm still has about four openings but as far as I know the other 2 games are covered. If you or someone you know would fit into that game please send me an e-mail and I will adjust the rosters. There have already been a few minor changes made so it would be appreciated if someone could print out the final lineups just before leaving for the rink.

07/04/07 - Thanks to all of you who took the time to send me a response about this week. I've done the best I can to schedule a normal "ABC" week. As you will see, there are some holes to fill, especially in the "C" game at 8:00. If anyone has people who would fit in that game and want to play, please let me know immediately. There are also some open spots at 9:30 but hopefully we can round that out with guys from the earlier game(s). If you've been omitted from the rosters or are scheduled but won't be there, please drop me a line.

See you Friday!

07/02/07 - This week is the "ABC" week but it's very difficult to put anything together because I know that many of us will be out of town or otherwise celebrating a long holiday weekend and therefore not on the ice. I will figure something out and get the schedule and rosters posted as soon as possible but it would really help me out if I had some idea of who was planning to be there. Please take a minute and send me an e-mail to let me know if you are planning to play this week or not. Also if you are not on a regular roster but would like to play, let me know that as well. Thanks in advance for helping me out with this, and if you know the status of someone who does not have internet access you could pass that along also.

On a sad note we learned that tragedy struck very close to home this past week. Last Friday, Jeffrey Ianuzzo of Liverpool was killed in a tractor-trailer accident on Rt. 81 in PA. Jeff was the brother-in-law of our good friend and FNHL player John Albanese. In addition to his wife, John's sister Jennifer, he also leaves behind two young children. This is truly a sad time for everyone and on behalf of the entire FNHL I extend our sincere condolences to the entire Ianuzzo and Albanese families. According to the local news website A fund has been setup for donations to the Ianuzzo family if you'd like to contribute you can send donations to:

Vincenzo and Dante Iannuzzo Education Fund
C/O AmeriCue Credit Union
7474 Oswego Road
Liverpool, NY 13090

06/04/07 - The 5th Annual FNHL Golf Tournament is in the books and as expected, it was another great event. Good weather, good food, good friends, cold beer and bad golf just seem to go together. For the third (?) year in a row the team led by Jesse Nistico and Brian Banks took home the title but the real showstopper this year was Rick Cummings 8 year old son Eric who not only looked like a golfer, he can actually play the game (probably better than most of us out there). Eric chipped in for birdie from several feet off the green on hole #7 and has the natural swing that bodes well for early retirement for his father. If not for the sun bouncing off Bob LaBarre's head in all directions like some psychotic lighthouse in the foursome ahead of us I'm sure the kid would have had a hole in one. As always, George did a great job putting the event together. There were tons of door prizes and no one left empty handed (or hungry). Patty Ryan also helped out both on the course running the bootleg beer car and in the clubhouse coordinating the teams and raffles. I don't know all the people who donated door prizes but I know that John Corrigan and Phil Valeriano were two of them. Thanks to everyone who helped put the tournament together and/or played this year. We're already looking forward to the 6th annual in 2008.... In other news, there is one very important announcement. George was just advised by the rink that this week's game on the Olympic ice - originally scheduled for 8:00pm will not start until 9:45pm. I don't know the reason for the change but it's my understanding that this will be only for this Friday, June 8th. If you are on team 2 or team 3, please make a note of it and pass on the change to your teammates.....

Have a good week..!!  

05/30/07 - Well the schedule for the new session has been posted but things in general are not so good. Unfortunately the payment situation has seriously deteriorated lately and George is (understandably) upset about it. Money was due not last week but the week before and as of the last time we spoke, there were several spots unpaid. It's getting to the point where if things don't turn around immediately the whole league could be in jeopardy. We all know the schedule and know when money is due. On those nights George makes it a point to be at the rink and available to accept payments. He doesn't hide and he shouldn't have to chase people down. If he happens to be on the ice you can give the check to me, or your team captain or walk over to the bench on your way out. Also the internet Paypal option is available 24hrs a day for a small fee. One way or another it's up to all of us to find George and pay him on time - this is true for subs as well. Lately sub money has been sporadic at best. Please pass the message on to those without internet access and let's see to it that the problem ends now. The problem certainly is not with everyone and we appreciate those of you who do make it a point to pay on time, but it's enough of an issue that George has seriously considered giving it up. I really want to avoid that at all costs because I doubt that there's anyone else willing to devote the time and effort to keep things going that he does...... On a better note, the golf tournament looked dicey for a few weeks but we now have the teams we need and are looking forward to Saturday. Thanks to everyone for their assistance in registering and recruiting teams on relatively short notice. Rain or shine we always have a good time with plenty of door prizes, food and of course beer and this year will be no exception. Remember that the start time is 1:00pm so please be there a few minutes early to sign in and get organized....

See you Friday!! 

05/23/07 - Schedules and rosters for Friday are posted. Please make note that the game on the Olympic ice will be at 8:00PM and not 10:15. The rink has decided not to hold teen nights anymore (at least for the summer) so we will no longer have a 10:15pm game. Until further notice, the games will be 8:00pm NHL, 8:00pm Olympic and 9:30pm NHL.

05/22/07 - I have the rosters and schedule for this week just about finished but I really need to know who can't make it. This is especially true if you are either listed on a roster but haven't played in a while and/or usually miss the "ABC" week. Also if you are not listed on a roster but want to play, I need an e-mail so I can see if I can pencil you in. Please respond immediately and if you know the status of other guys who may not read the web, let me know that as well. I am planning to post everything tomorrow (Wednesday) around dinner time so the sooner the better. Also the money for the Golf Tournament is due by Friday. It looks like we will have (just) enough teams to hold the event but there is still room to sign up if you haven't done so yet. A couple more teams would be ideal. Payment can be made to George on Friday at the rink or you can pay here on the web via Paypal - just go to the Payments page. Please do not forget to bring the checkbook to the rink if you plan to pay George because he has to pay the course asap. The price is $52 per person or $208 per foursome. If you pay via Paypal there's a small fee of $3 per player to cover the fees we are charged. Thanks in advance for everyone's cooperation.

See you Friday!!!

05/16/07 - We got a few more registrations this week but are still in need of more if we are going to be able to hold the event. It's really down to the wire at this point. Someone sent in a blank registration on Monday. If that was you, please resubmit. I know that several people who said they were planning to participate have yet to register. In other news, the Sunday group will start at 8:00am until further notice. I've heard rumors that there may be changes on Friday as well but I'll wait until they are confirmed before posting. So in conclusion, have I mentioned that the Golf Tournament is coming up on June 2nd and we still need foursomes??? Register..!!

See you Friday..!!

05/11/07 - The 5th Annual FNHL Golf Tournament is scheduled for Saturday June 2nd at the Greenview Golf Club. The info and registration form have been posted for about 10 days now and so far we are really light on registrations. Since the time frame is tight we've got to get moving on this right away. The tourny has always been a great social event and a rare chance for us to get together outside of the rink. George is never short of door prizes, the food is good, and the beer is cold. Also the event is open to everyone, not just FNHL players. Spouses, friends, co-workers, children - all are welcome so if you want to fill out your foursome, feel free to get creative. The bottom line, and I can't stress this enough, is that we need to get the foursomes signed up and paid right away. Please do not wait until next week or later because if we don't have enough groups to fill the course we won't be able to hold the event. Let's pull together and get things in place. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.... 

05/02/07 - We've been going to Montreal for 5 years now and we've always had a good time and even had some success by making the finals but could never quite find that last victory. All that changed this weekend and for the first time, Team FNHL returns from Montreal with the trophy as tournament champions!! Our first game was against a team from Wells, ME and thanks in large part to the goaltending efforts of Chuck Austin we were able to pull away in the third period and take home a 4-0 win. Chuck played great throughout and earned our first ever shutout. Goals were scored by Dan Jervis (2), Ron Morgan and Jesse Nistico. In the second game vs. a team from NJ a similar pattern emerged as we blew open a 1-1 game in the third period and came out with a 5-2 win. John Albanese scored twice in this one and Tim Hart, Ron Schlicht and Dan Jervis added solo tallies. Chuck was solid once again and allowed us to be in it long enough to win it. Our final round robin game was against a team from Long Island and this time we didn't wait until the third period to get going - a quick flurry early in the 2nd was enough to take the fight out of our opponents and Team FNHL coasted to an 8-1 victory. Jesse Nistico was on fire and led the team with 4 goals. Dan and Pete Jervis added 2 each. With the round robin complete it was on to a second night of drinking the town dry and then a final game on Sunday which turned out to be a rematch with the team from Maine. The game started slow as the Jervis brothers made a fashionably late entrance but Rob Niemeier, making his first trip to Montreal, finally put the FNHL on the board. Quick goals by Ron Morgan and Jesse late in the 1st period put us up to stay. Maine tried to rally in the 2nd period but Austin was up to the challenge and 2 quick goals by Niemeier and Dan Jervis late in period two sealed the 6-3 championship victory. Throughout the tournament our defense was solid and our opponents found little room to work with (at various times) Bill Hopkins, Bob LaBarre, Pete Jervis, Jesse Nistico, Ron Morgan and Tim Hart challenging every play. Overall it was a great experience both on and off the ice and winning the event was just the icing on the cake. Thanks to everyone who attended and special thanks to Rob Niemeier's wife Robin who went along and supported us at every game, even managing to recruit an entire cheering section for one of the games! I have posted the final stats on the Tournaments page and will post a team picture soon. If Jesse and Ron send me their collection of cell phone pictures I will post them as well including the obligatory John Albanese asleep the the barstool shot..... We were not the only FNHL players at the tournament last weekend. Dave Cavallaro, Pete Klem and Derek Crowley were part of a younger CNY team that also attended the event but played in a younger (and faster) division. The boys did very well also and managed to make the finals before losing a tough one on Sunday. Congratulations to that group as well - I know they also made the best of the trip and have some memories from the weekend that will last a lifetime (if they can manage to remember them after all the partying they did).... In other news, Rob Conrad checked in with us and sent a letter that is posted in the Letters section. I've also posted the pictures of his new triplets in the Fun Photo Gallery and we continue to wish them the best..... Former FNHL'er Mark Lasinski checked in with us here recently and asked me to forward his new e-mail address which is nlasinski@comcast.net . Mark moved last year shortly after being injured in a tournament so it's good to hear that he's recovered and things are going well for him and his family..... Remember that this week's games will start late again the the NHL side. This is the last schedule change that I know of for this session. I will post an updated Sunday schedule as soon as I get the info from George.... Finally, my brother Pete had a great time this weekend and is still interested in looking for a job in the area. He's a college grad and his specialty is workforce education and development but he's willing to look at any good opportunity. If anyone knows of any possibilities, please let me know.

See you Friday!! 

4/25/07 - Just a reminder that the games on the NHL side will start at 9:00pm this week and next. Quite a few of us will be away at the Montreal tournament this Friday so I'm sure subs will be needed. Check with George if you're interested since I won't be in town to check the e-mail. Also the Sunday group will start this week only at 6:30am instead of the usual 7:00am.

Have a good week!

4/19/07 - I got a lot of positive feedback about last week's tournament style games and Friends and Family Night. It was a good time and certainly strange to actually have fans in the stands (even if they were mostly rooting against my team). Thanks to everyone who helped make the night a success. Special thanks to Liam Curry for arranging the ref's and also for working two of the games himself. The scorekeepers also did a nice job and I would thank them by name but of course I can't remember that detail right now. I was only able to stay for my game which was a good one. Congrats to the Orange team on their hard fought comeback victory. If anyone has info on how the other two games went or any other feedback, feel free to drop me an e-mail. Since I'm on vacation right now it may be a few days before I check the mail again but I will be back on Sunday night. The new schedule is posted and it should be noted that there will be a late start (9:00) on the NHL side for the weeks of April 27th and May 4th. No changes for this week though as far as I know. The Montreal trip begins next Friday the 27th also so there will probably be quite a few open spots that week....

Aloha...!!!

4/1307 - Tonight's the night..... hopefully everything will be alright as we move into uncharted waters by actually playing games with refs, stop time, penalties and maybe even a few fans. All the pieces are in place so all that's left is for people to show up. Remember that this week we have to start the games on time in order to get them in so please make it a point to be at the rink and ready to go by game time. Also, if you still owe George, you must pay him before stepping on the ice. I know last week several people promised to pay online but only one person actually did so far this week.... Finally, belated congratulations are due to Rob Conrad and his wife on the birth of  triplets Gretchen Estelle, Theodore Nicholas and Olena Cecilia Conrad. They were born March 30th and as far as I know, mother and babies are doing well. Best wishes to Rob and his (now much larger) family and we hope to see them all at the rink sometime for a visit. I will post pictures in the Fun Photo Gallery as soon as I can.

See you tonight!

4/04/07 - First of all a reminder - MONEY IS DUE THIS WEEK. Please do not forget your checkbook, allow your dog to eat your wallet or spend all your money on internet "services"... The payment problem had been getting better for awhile but lately things have been slipping so George asked me to slip a subtle note into the update.... enough said. Also next week (4/13) marks the debut of our tournament style games with refs, stop time and (hopefully) some fans as we also host our first ever Friends and Family Night. Since we are playing regulation games with stop time and penalties, etc we will need to start on time. The plan is to put 5:00 on the clock for warm-ups at the scheduled start time and then immediately begin the game. Those of us who tend to arrive a few minutes late should probably make it a point to get to the rink earlier for those games or risk missing some time.... Finally, Del Hoyt asked me to remind all the jersey and sock order people that he will be collecting money for that this Friday.

Have a good week!

3/29/07 - Not too much to report this week. George will be out of town this weekend so please don't call him with any last minute cancellations. I can be reached at 246-2940 if something major (such as a goalie crisis) comes up. Unfortunately George told me that his dog had to be put to sleep this week and I'm sure we all can appreciate how difficult that can be.... On a better note, I am happy to report that Rich Fleischmann was able to come out and skate with us this past Sunday. He made a good accounting of himself and even scored a goal on yours truly. It's been a very tough road for him in his recovery from the fall and we wish him continued success...In other news, I was advised that Rob Conrad has been replaced as goalie for the White Team by Carl Bratt due to the impending birth of his triplets (yes I said triplets). We will miss Rob and thank him for being a part of the FNHL family over the years. He's a nice guy who always gave a good effort in the nets and we wish him and his wife well as their family expands exponentially. Along those lines I am also pleased to welcome Carl "Phil" Bratt as an official card carrying member of the FNHL. Carl has been skating with us for a while now and I'm sure he'll fit in very well as a regular. I am personally looking forward to beating him like a rented goalie the next time our teams meet..... Remember that April 13th is fast approaching and that will be the week we play our first ever "tournament style" games with refs and stop time. That is also the date for Friends and Family Night so try to invite some people so we can enjoy the full "real game" experience...(hey it's free and there's a bar...) I know that some people from my office are planning to attend and help scrape Lenny off the ice afterwards.... For the Sunday group, we do have ice on Easter (April 8th) with an 8:30am start time...

See you Friday!

03/13/07 - I am going to submit the names of people who are interested in jersey orders this week. If you've been thinking about it but have not sent me an e-mail yet, please send one now. George gave me the list of people who have still not paid, but I am on the road and don't have access to it right now. If you still owe George money for this session do not step on the ice until it is paid. I've asked him to resend the list and I will post names this week if I get them. Also, Steve Olson is looking for skaters and at least one goalie for a 9:00pm skate on Thursday at the Onondaga Nation rink in Nedrow. He says that anyone is invited so if you want to get some extra ice time this would be a good opportunity. I don't know about the cost. His email address is ignots21@hotmail.com . Don't forget that April 13th is the week we will be playing tournament style games and also our Friends and Family night. Let's see what it would be like to actually play in a rink that does not echo... Invite a few people and let's have some fun with it..!!

See you Friday!

03/07/07 - That's the good news.... unfortunately George has advised me that there are still a number of unpaid spots for the new session. He's planning to send me the list tomorrow and I will post it here. Anyone who has not paid prior to the start of the games on Friday should not be on the ice. In other news, Steve Olson sent me an e-mail this week saying that he does still need one team for his tournament in Cicero at the end of the month. If you are interested in being part of an FNHL entry for this event please e-mail me asap or see me on Friday. It's not overly expensive, for a good cause, and we've always had a good time participating.... Also, I have gotten a couple of responses on the FNHL jersey order but we could probably still use some more. Drop me a note if interested. Finally, as mentioned before, the ABC format for the sixth week will be replaced with "tournament style" games using refs and 15 minute stop time periods. I'm not going to scramble the teams but simply use the regular rosters. The schedule for those games is already posted as well and I'd like to suggest that we declare that week "Friends and Family Night" and invite some people we know to visit the rink and catch some of the action. Since we're going to have refs and scorekeepers I figure we may as well have some fans to go along with it. There's already been an e-mail invitation sent to everyone in my office and I know at least a few people are planning to show up...just a thought.

See you Friday!

03/01/07 - As of this writing the rosters posted for this week's ABC games are accurate. There are a couple of empty spots that George is working on filling. It would probably be a good idea for someone to print out the rosters to avoid confusion at game time. Hopefully things will go well. I tried to keep things as even as possible but if key guys fail to show up it could get ugly.... Phil Valeriano asked me to mention the Crunch Classic game which is scheduled for Saturday, March 10th. I guess they are still in need of players and due to the late date, are willing to reduce the number of Crunch tickets you need to sell in order to play for free. Phil will be at the rink tomorrow so if you're interested please talk to him.... There has been some interest expressed recently in ordering FNHL jerseys for those who don't have them. I think it's a good idea and will continue to keep track of who is interested. I'm not sure about the final cost but I know they are good jerseys and well worth the investment. Please send me an e-mail if you might be interested. No obligation of course to inquire.... Rob Conrad posted some goalie equipment in our Classifieds section so please feel free to take a look and also send the link to other people you know who might need some goalie stuff. I'd like to see a little more activity in that section so if you've got some equipment to sell feel free to email me an ad along with any pictures for posting.... I hope to be back on the ice next week and am already working to set up the tournament style ABC games for next session which will be on 4/13/07.

See you in a week or so!

02/26/07 - Schedule and rosters for this session's ABC games are posted. It should be a very colorful week. The theme for these games is simply to mix things up. I've tried to keep things as even as possible but of course this depends on who shows up. If you've been omitted or can't make it this week please let me know immediately so subs can be found. Unfortunately I will not be there myself this week so someone will have to let me know how it turns out. Remember that next session we will be trying Nick Julian's idea and playing the games with refs, stop time, etc ("tournament style") which will require an extra $5 from each player. In other news, we finally have some action in the Classifieds section and surprisingly it was not Brian Banks who broke the ice but rather White goalie Rob Conrad. We also got a letter from Nick Smith with some thoughts on the ABC weeks. As always, thanks to everyone who takes the time to contribute to the website..!! Speaking of which, I finally added the News Archives sections so if you want to take a trip down memory lane, all the updates are there right from the beginning in 2003. The schedules for the next session should be posted soon. Finally, Del Hoyt mentioned that he wants to get FNHL jerseys made and if there are other people who also need a set (Lenny comes to mind) then see him and a group order can be made. Obviously, the bigger the order, the better the price.

Have a good week! 

02/22/07 - George asked me to remind everyone that the money is due tomorrow. He will be at the rink to collect so please don't forget. Next week will be the "ABC" week and I've decided that for this session I will move away from the "ABC" format and simply shuffle the teams so that guys who don't usually get the chance to skate together will have the opportunity to do so. As always if you cannot make the game or are not on a regular roster but would like to play please e-mail me asap. Next session I am going to give Nick Julian's idea a try and schedule games "tournament style" with ref's and stop time since there seems to be a lot of support for the idea. That does mean that the next session will cost an extra $5 per player so you can pay that to George tomorrow or get it to us in the next couple of weeks. A couple of new letters have been posted including a moderately amusing one by Lenny which will certainly cost him in the long run.... For those on the Montreal roster, please remember that the money for that is due as well this week if possible. I'm very close to finalizing the roster so hopefully we will soon be all set with that....

See you tomorrow!

02/15/07 - With all of the snow we've had lately things have been pretty quiet on the FNHL website. I did get a few more letters regarding the ABC week which I've posted in the Letters section of the website but that's about it. Thanks again to those who did take the time to write in. At this point there is growing support for Nick Julian's idea to play the ABC week as a "real" game with ref's and stop time, etc but I don't think we can put that in place quickly enough for this session. Also since there would be a small additional cost involved I'd like to get a bit more positive feedback before making a commitment to it. Steve Olson also sent a brief note on his tournament and it sounds like he has all the teams he needs but might need some individual players. I'm still trying to finalize the Montreal group but hopefully that will happen soon.

See you tomorrow..!

02/07/07 - Sorry for the lack of contact lately, I've been out of town and unable to access the site for updates. On the bright side, it is presently 64 degrees here in Fort Lauderdale and I just had dinner outside. For those of you who know my brother Pete, he says hello and hopefully will be able to make the trip up north soon to skate with us again. He's actually considering moving back to the Syracuse area so if anyone knows of good job opportunities please let me know. He's got a bachelors degree in workforce education and several years of experience with Coach and Michael's. I can get his full resume if need be. In other news, Phil Valeriano sent me some info on a tournament in Elmira next month - March 9th and 10th. He's hoping to field a team in the 40+ division. He also included some documents from the tournament and they are posted in the tournaments section along with a brief Montreal update. Speaking of tournaments, I also am pretty sure that Steve Olson will be hosting another tournament in Cicero at the end of March. I will post that info if and when I get it. The only other thing I can think of right now to report is on the subject of the next ABC session. Nick Julian and Brett Boismenu responded to my request for suggestions and I've posted both of their letters for the group to consider. Thanks to both for their ideas. We do need to make a decision on that soon so if anyone else has an idea, please email me asap. If all goes well on Friday my flight will arrive in Syracuse in time for me to make the early game. If not I guess I'll stay warm a little bit longer....

See you Friday!

01/24/07 - All good things must end and even some that were not so good. In this case I'm talking about the Team Experience vs Team Cheval series. Game 6 looked good on paper but the translation was somewhat lost on the ice as the young guns scored early and often then held on for an 11-7 series clinching win. With the conclusion of the series comes an opportunity to change things up for the next session. If anyone would like to submit an idea on how we can shuffle the deck it would be appreciated. It seems that even the C++ and A/B mix games have gotten a bit stale so let's try something different in March. 

01/16/07 - The rosters for this week's ABC games are posted on the schedule page. As far as I know, everyone who should be included has been. If you are scheduled for a game but can't make it, please let me know immediately. Also if you've been omitted, please let me know that as well so I can correct it. Due to the combination of players leaving the area and those who cannot make it this week, the C++ game is scheduled very thin at the moment. I have left it that way for now rather than plug in guys from other games who might cause an imbalance. If we lose more than one C player this week, it could get ugly..... Also, the goalies will be posted as soon as I talk to George and get a handle on who is in and who is out.

1/11/07 - Plans are in the works for the next round of ABC games which could include the last game of the Cheval vs Experience series IF Cheval can manage to win one more - I agree, not very likely, but you never know.... As always, if you can't make the games that week please let me know sooner rather than later so subs can be arranged. Now that the new website is up and running I'd like to begin collecting the info for the player profiles pages. Over the next couple of weeks, please send me some ideas on what information you'd like to see on them and I will design a form that can be completed and submitted online... If you're planning or considering Montreal this year, please take a look at the latest update on the Tournaments page. Finally, slightly belated congratulations go out to Rich and Melissa Fleischmann on the birth of their daughter Raechel Elizabeth Fleischmann who was born on 12/21/06 and weighed in at 8lbs 2oz!! Both mother and baby are doing well which is always great news. Raechel brings the number of Fleischmann children to an even four and the pool has already started to determine when number 5 will arrive.... Once again, congratulations and best of luck to Rich, Mel and family!!!

See you Friday.

1/4/07 - Welcome to the new and (I hope) improved FNHL website. I'm in the process of bringing all the pages up to speed and adding a few new items including a classified's section where people can post equipment, etc that they have for sale, player profiles - as soon as I get the info from each of you, and a tournaments page specifically for news and info regarding upcoming events we may want to participate in.

12/11/06 - The schedule for the new session has been posted. Please pay special attention to the time and rink noted as there have been several temporary shifts due to high school games. Feel free to send me an e-mail if you have any questions. Also it's time to get serious about Montreal. I got an e-mail from Canadian Hockey Enterprises saying that the dates are filling up quickly. They also sent along an informational brochure. I've posted their letters and info in the Ice Chips section so everyone can check it out. Bottom line is we need to pick the week we want, get the players and the money together and confirm our spots asap. The plan has always been to send two teams this year, one to play in either the 40+ or 35+ division and one in the open division (any age). If there is enough interest we could even field a novice team as well.... I will be happy to coordinate the group as always but I really don't have time to chase people down. Quite a few of us have now played in these Montreal events and we always have a good time both on and off the ice. If you're interested for this April we need to know now.... Finally, I got a letter recently from Germain LaPointe checking in. Unfortunately his mother has been quite ill lately so he wasn't able to make it back for game #5 of the Experience vs Cheval series. I've also posted his letter in the Ice Chips section. Of course we wish Germain and his mom well and hope that the circumstances will improve and he'll be able to come back and absorb the beating he is due at the hands of Team Experience to even and/or win the series. A series, by the way, that originated after Germain himself had a couple too many in Montreal last year and ran his mouth about how the younger guys on the team would have no problems teaching their elders a lesson or two on the ice.....

See you Friday!  

12/06/06 - Lineups for the one sheet at 10:15 Friday are

White - Chip O'Connor, Dan Jervis, Dave Cavallaro, John Albanese, Duane Pardee, Brian Banks, George Fleischmann, Bob LaBarre, Pete Thompson, Rob Niemeier, Chuck Austin.

Blue - Jesse Nistico, Tony Pompo, Brian Pompo, Mike Comartos, Terry King, Joe Gracz, Steve Kokkoris, Steve Olson, Ron Maydole, Nick Smith, Phil Valeriano.

See you then!

12/05/06 - The spots for this Friday have been filled. I'll post the teams tomorrow or Thursday. If you're on the list and can't make it please let me know so we can fill in. It was a dark day last Friday as Team Cheval just managed to squeak out a 5-4 overtime win over Team Experience. Adam Rufa was the hero for the young team "roofing"  Experience sub goalie Carl a few minutes into the extra session. All in all it was a great game and a lot of fun to be a part of. Carl filled in admirably for regular goalie Chuck Austin and allowed Experience to rally from a 4-2 deficit to tie the score and force the extra session. John Oakes also played well in the nets for Cheval and earned a bit of redemption following two tough games prior. Cheval will have the opportunity to end the series in six when the teams meet again. Something tells me this one will go to seven.... Stef Boutin sent a letter inviting everyone to a live nativity scene that will be performed at his family farm in the next few days. See his letter in the Ice Chips section for details. I will post the schedule for the next session beginning Friday 12/15/06 as soon as I get it.

Have a good week...! 

12/02/06 - Just a quick update. There will be no regular hockey this Friday 12/08/06, but one sheet at 10:15pm is open. We are putting together a list of guys who want to play. If there are 20 names on the list by Wednesday, George will go ahead and rent it. If you want to get in on that please send me an e-mail right away. Also the regular rosters and Sunday schedule have been updated. 

11/27/06 - Schedule and rosters are posted for this week. As always, please e-mail me asap if you can't make it or have been omitted. I'm still waiting for confirmation on a couple of the goalies and there were one or two skaters I wasn't sure about so it is possible that a few last minute changes will be made. George asked me to mention that there are quite a few people who still owe money so please take care of that this week, I also heard that Matt Marchitto's young son was severely ill recently but is (hopefully) doing better now. Also Germain LaPointe will not be able to make it back this week because his mother is in the hospital. Best wishes on behalf of the entire FNHL to both the Marchitto and LaPointe families. Some good news also as George mentioned that Rich Fleischmann is back to work. He still has a long way to go in his recovery but it's nice to hear that he's making progress... As for me, I'm sharpening up the new elbow pads in anticipation of what should be a very interesting game 5 of the Experience vs Cheval series.... Lenny keep your head up!!  

See you Friday!

11/22/06 - On behalf of George and the entire FNHL family I'd like to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. Just a reminder that we are off this week, both the regular Friday night games and the Sunday group. George sent me a message this week that the games for the ABC week on 12/1 will start 1/2 hour late on the NHL side. I've updated the schedule page and should have the final rosters posted for those games soon. As always, please let me know asap if you can't make it for those games or if your name does not appear on the roster but you are available. My elbow is healing much slower than I'd hoped for but I'm still planning to be available the next time we hit the ice. Until then....

Happy Thanksgiving...!!!

11/14/06 - Sorry for the lack of updates lately. Things have been rather quiet around the league and I've been on the road as usual. Also my elbow problem flared up again and will keep me off the ice until December.... hopefully just in time to help Team Experience take the lead in the series with Cheval. Not too much news but Carl Erickson did ask me to mention that if anyone is interested in getting FNHL jerseys, please let us know. I don't know how many people they need to fill an order but this has been mentioned before by a few other people so maybe it's a good time to get it done. Maybe Lenny will be interested... I've always said he needs to get a set...... Speaking of Len, we did have the pleasure of meeting his sister Kate and her friend Tiffany after our game two weeks ago. They've promised to return on 12/1 to witness another big win for the good guys (and then drink and dance the night away)... If we could get all of our fans together on one night it would almost fill one section of the bleachers - or at least a row at the bar... In other news, Dave Rigg checked in recently and I've posted his letter in the ice chips section. Also, Rich Berlinski sent a link to his Sunday night league which I've posted on the home page for anyone who'd like to check that out.... Planning for Montreal in April has already begun. As of right now, we are hoping to send two teams - 1 in the over 40 division and 1 in the open division. Cavy and I are working on the rosters for the two teams and intend to have everything in place by early next year rather than waiting until the last minute. If you are interested in going this year, please let us know asap. I don't have the exact date but the flyer is on my table at home and I'll bring it to the rink in December. It's usually around the end of April and is always a good time both on and off the ice.... Finally rumor has it that the Yellow team is on an unprecedented three game losing streak and is considering a name change - to the Pink team. At least Bobby stopped wearing the ridiculous ski hat and is back to a more suitable baseball cap.... Remember we are off on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Feel free to drop me an e-mail if there's anything to report in the next few weeks....

See you on 12/1...!!

10/25/06 - Not much to report this week. George did mention that unfortunately Rich suffered a setback and would require back surgery due to his injuries. I believe that was scheduled to happen this week. I haven't gotten any calls this week so hopefully it was a success. Other than that, the only news is that the mission statement and player conduct guidelines are now posted. Special thanks to Joe Gracz who put a lot of work into the text. Also thanks to the other committee members for their input as well. One important point about these items is that the FNHL was, and continues to be a self-policing league. Nothing should change with the posting of the mission statement and conduct guidelines other than offering a clear understanding to all of what we stand for and expect from our players. Committee members are not expected to be referees on the ice and it is our sincere hope that the number of incidents they actually have to review are few. Hockey is an intense, fast paced game and things happen in every game. People occasionally run into each other, or get tripped, people get mad at each other, etc. The bottom line is intent and self control. We have no plans to "referee" every issue in every game, only to deal with specific behaviors or patterns on behavior that are far outside the bounds of what's reasonable as posted in the guidelines. If everyone makes it a point to take care of their own actions, there should be little need for further intervention by the committee....enough said. Finally, I've updated the team rosters with the most current info that I have. Please look them over and let me know if you see any mistakes. Thanks

See you Friday!       

10/18/06 - It was a pretty good week overall for the ABC games. From what I was told in the bar both the A/B mix and C++ games were decided by one goal. In the late game, as predicted here, Team Experience maintained the momentum from last sessions 14-3 trouncing of the kids from Team Cheval and took home another lopsided victory, this time by the score of 9-5. Dan Jervis, Dan Jennings, and Chris Baldwin each chipped in two for the good guys while Bill Hopkins, George Fleischmann and John Albanese added singles. Chuck Austin had the answer in nets for what little offense team Cheval could muster. With the series now tied at 2, things can't look any worse for the young guys. Germain Lapointe has now moved on to his new job (though he says he'll be back for the next game), Cavy is knee deep in motherhood, Lenny is in a fog, and several key players just don't bother to show up. Swami sez this series should not last much longer..... On a more serious note, George sent me an e-mail to recap the unpaid spots. Money was due the week before last Friday and at this point we have no choice but to list the spots that remain unpaid and therefore cannot play again until it is resolved. The list is as follows; Orange - Wayne Morse, Steve Olson, Open Spot #9, Open Spot #10. Black - Ron Morgan, Mike Davidson. Red - John Griffith, Nick Julian Sr. Blue - Mike Masello, Greg Caldera, Rich Berlinski. Remember that you can pay your captain, me, George, or use the payments page here on the website. Obviously it's not fair to expect George to cover these unpaid spots and it puts all of us at risk of not being able to continue if everyone doesn't pay. If you see an error in the list, please let me know asap or call George at 436-6882 to discuss it. Also, as you can see, we've lost a few guys recently and have a need for some new blood to fill out the rosters. If you know of someone who'd like to join (or return to) the league, please let George know...... Rich Fleischmann is resting at home now but still faces a tremendous challenge on his road to recovery. Hopefully people will continue to keep in touch with Rich and let him know that we're behind him all the way.... New schedules are posted for both regular FNHL and Sundays. It should be noted that this Sunday's start time will be 8:30am instead of the usual 7:00am.

See you Friday!

10/11/06 - The rosters for the ABC games are posted. As always, please let me know asap if you can't make it or have been omitted. I don't have my regular cell phone with me this week but you can try 315-224-4500. Also George mentioned that there were quite a few people who did not pay last week, Please make it a point to pay George, me, or your captain this week. We start a new session a week from Friday and unpaid spots will not play. Finally, Melissa Fleischmann sent a letter updating Rich's condition. I've posted it in the Ice Chips section of the website. It sounds like he's up to getting some phone calls and visitors so hopefully we can help to keep his spirits up. That's about all for now. Big game #4 this week in the Experience vs Cheval series!!!

See you Friday!

10/08/06 - This is just a quick update, the regular news will go up later in the week. Very bad news today from George. His brother Rich was doing some work around the house and was severely injured when he fell from his roof. George said that Rich suffered (at minimum) a broken back (L2) and and very bad gash to the back of his head from the fall. Doctors are still trying to get a handle on the full extent of his injuries but as you can see, it's a very unfortunate situation and the road to recovery will be long indeed. At this point (thankfully) George did not think paralysis was going to be the end result since there does seem to be movement in Rich's arms and legs. Rich has been a good friend and member of the FNHL family for as long as I can remember (and more I'm sure). I don't know what we can do at this point except keep Rich, his wife Melissa, their children and the entire Fleischmann family in our thoughts and prayers. George said Rich is at University Hospital, room 5116. I will post more info as it becomes available.

10/03/06 - The rosters are in progress for the ABC week next Friday. I've heard from a couple of people so far about availability. If you are not going to make it, please email me asap so adjustments can be made... Brad Beran sent a letter which I've posted in the Ice Chips section.... The Sunday group will not have ice this week at Cicero however, there is ice at 7am at Lysander. If you want to play, please e-mail me asap. As always, the first 20 guys to contact us get the spots.

Have a good week!

09/27/06 - Not much going on right now in the FNHL. I am trying to get the agreed upon mission statement and conduct guidelines posted for the Committee. My apologies for the delay but hopefully it won't be much longer. Also I've gotten very little feedback as far as the possibility of posting player profiles and/or any other suggestions for the 2007 version of our little place here in cyberspace. On the ice things were about the same. Tempers seem to be running a bit high in some cases and hopefully this will not escalate any further. Just because we haven't officially posted the guidelines yet shouldn't mean that it's open season. This is true for all teams and not directed at any one team or player..... I did learn this week that Len Slack and Heather have officially called it quits (for the 12th time now I believe). Fortunately this new lack of a love life has not changed anything on the ice as Len was once again on the losing end of yet another horribly lopsided score due at least in part to yours truly. It's nice to see that some things never change. He did have an assist though (and still nobody cares)... We did get some bad news recently. It seems that our own Germain (CHEVAL!!) Lapointe will be departing the FNHL soon to take a new job downstate. Of course we wish Germain the best in the future and hope that he'll stop in whenever he does come back to town. I also have it on good authority that his final game will be very memorable as his Team Cheval will receive a thorough beating from surging Team Experience. Between Germain jumping ship and Len slacking off, the series is not looking good for the younger guys. Maybe Cavy (aka Mr.Mom) will return to lead his team to victory (yeah right).... Since I am starting to look at the rosters for the ABC week, please let me know asap if you can't make it. The rosters have been updated recently so those are the players that I'm planning to include. If you're not on a roster but want to play that week (Oct 13th) let me know and I'll try to work you in.

See you Friday!!

09/21/06 - Not much to report this week. One noteworthy item though is that we do have hockey this week. The original schedule showed us as being off, but that was corrected. Also, last week George asked me to remind everyone that helmets do need to be worn at all times (including warm ups) and pucks should not be shot on the ice until the rink staff if clear and the door closed. I guess we've had some minor problems recently with that so please keep these little common sense points in mind.

See you Friday!

09/14/06 - A pretty slow news week overall. Dave Rigg sent a letter that I posted in the Ice Chips. It was nice to see him back on the FNHL ice if only for a visit. Bob's party was a great success last week and I'm sure he appreciated all the people that stopped in to wish him well. I thought the cake was exceptionally good - probably better than he deserves but at his age I guess he's earned it.... I did find out last Friday that Jesse's girlfriend is named Lynn. Once again, my apologies for the oversight. It was probably all Jesse's fault anyway. I've decided to leave the headline up for at least one more week just to make sure that Team Cheval doesn't forget.... Also, the schedules and rosters have all been updated now. Notable is the fact that we do have hockey next Friday. It was originally listed as an off week. The Sunday schedule has been updated as well.

See you Friday!

09/05/2006 - Trivia question for everyone - What does last Friday's Cheval vs Experience game have in common with The Alamo and Custer's Last Stand?? The answer of course is - nothing because at least Custer and the boys at the Alamo kept it close for awhile..... It was bound to happen sooner or later. Young Team Cheval had managed to squeak out wins in the first two games of the best of seven series but their luck finally ran out. Last Friday the series shifted to the home ice of Team Experience and they responded by posting an overwhelming 14-3 victory. I could run down the scorers for Team Experience but it would be quicker to go over who did not score..... no one... well that was easy enough. Brian Banks, feeling generous and a bit greedy even tipped one into his own net just to make the kids feel a little bit better. Of course the endless trail of excuses has already begun and I'm sure there will be dozens more before our next meeting. The number one excuse so far for Cheval is that several players were missing, which may be true, but from our perspective that was secondary to the fact that most of the players on the ice were MIA as well. Lenny slacked off, Woody was soft, Oakes was blown over, Rufa was flat..... I could go on but you get the idea. When John Albanese finishes a perfect three-way you know you're in trouble. So enough about that for now.... The other games last week were pretty good as well (and a heck of a lot closer). The A/B mix game was nearly a sellout thanks to the fact that Jesse's girlfriend (whose name I apologize for not remembering) showed up. Jesse did not disappoint, scoring six of his teams seven goals in the very entertaining 7-7 tie. The C++ game yielded a surprise as well because Dave Rigg was back for a visit and between the pipes to do battle with his arch rival - sub goalie Del Hoyt. Unfortunately I didn't get to see the entire game but it looked like Rigg's team was in the lead when I left. It was nice to see Rigg back on the ice and hopefully he'll be able to stop in again sometime..... In other news, a new session starts this week and I will post the schedule as soon as I get it. George did send me updated rosters and they are now posted. Please take a moment to look them over and let me know if there are any errors or omissions... A good suggestion was made for the website recently and I think it could be done if there is enough interest. Matt Marchitto suggested that we post player profiles - age, occupation, hobbies, family info, contact info, etc. Basically whatever people want to share with the group. Please give me some feedback on this as I am presently working on a new version of the website and plan to have it in place by the end of the year. If enough people like the idea and are willing to participate then I will make it happen. Thanks Matt for the suggestion.... My status for next week is questionable right now due to a pain in the foot but hopefully I will be able to make it.... Mark Lasinski did e-mail me recently and said that he is on his way to recovery after suffering a broken nose and 14 stitches due to taking a slapshot in the face during Steve Olson's recent tournament. He was at least a little bit lucky because surgery was not necessary and his eyes and teeth are still intact. We wish Mark well in his recovery and hope to see him back on the ice when he's ready....

Have a good week!!

08/21/06 - Unfortunately I have to pass along some bad news this week. Mark Lasinski was seriously injured on Sunday during the finals of the tournament. He was subbing in for Steve Olson's team and I'm told he took a slapshot directly on the nose. That's all I know at this point but I'll post additional details as they become available. It was a pretty hectic few days with our regular games on Friday and then the tournament. As has been the case recently, our FNHL team held it's own and managed to win a few periods but no games. Regardless of that, we had a good time and wish to extend out thanks to Steve and his group for pulling things together. In other news, the ABC games are a week from this Friday and I'm starting to put the rosters together. If you can't make it, please let me know asap. Also if you are not sure of your roster status but would like to play, please drop me an e-mail so I can take that into consideration as well. I'm in Houston again this week and won't be there this Friday but George will and the money is due. As far as I know the payments situation has improved so let's please keep that going. The FNHL Committee met last week to discuss the recent incidents and expects to have some decisions and written guidelines in place in the near future. Thanks to all the members for their participation and their continuing efforts to keep the FNHL the group that we all enjoy being a part of. Finally, the Sunday group gets to sleep in a bit this week as we will be starting at 10:00am (this week only) instead of our usual 7:00.

Have a good week...

08/10/06 - It's only been two weeks but it seems like much longer. While I was away I got word that my teammate and good friend Dave Cavallaro (Cavy) and his wife Megan celebrated the birth of their first child. Mason (aka Molson) Cavallaro was born at the end of July and (except for a bit of sleep deprivation) all is well, mother and baby are both doing fine. So congratulations to the Cavallaro family on behalf of the entire FNHL. Dave claims he'll be back on the ice in the near future so hopefully we'll see him again before too long. He's also promised to supply all the details and photos so I will post any and all updates as soon as I get them. On a less happy note, George reminded me that this will be the last week on the ice for Brad Beran as he is leaving to start his new job in NC. We'll see if he can net a few goals tomorrow to take with him on the trip. Finally there were apparently a couple of incidents during the last two weeks and, regrettably, we will have to get together for our first official FNHL Committee meeting in the very near future to decide what action, if any, will be taken..... Anyway, it will be good to get back on the ice tomorrow and I hope to see everyone there (yes, even you Bob)....

See you tomorrow..!! 

07/25/06 - I'm off for vacation for the next two weeks so this will have to be quick. The new schedule is posted for those who have paid. If you still owe George, please see him or pay your captain prior to stepping on the ice this week. Hats off to Team Cheval as they moved one game closer to drinking from the coveted "Cheval Cup" with a well earned 8-7 win over Team Experience. Next session the games shift to the Experience Arena and I am certain that being down 2-0 in the series will only serve to motivate the veterans.... If anything needs to be posted while I'm away, feel free to drop me an e-mail and I will get to it asap...

See you in 3 weeks!!!

07/18/06 - The rosters for this weeks games are posted. George will be out of town so don't call him if there are any changes. Please e-mail me here or give me a call at 315-246-2940. Thanks to those who did respond to my e-mail request. I've tried to cover all the games based on the info I got. If you were left off the list or put on by mistake the sooner I know, the better. One other note from last week. I almost forgot to mention that Red goalie Chuck Austin somehow managed to coax (coerce?? blackmail??) two special guests into the stands for his game. Of course we routinely draw such large crowds that I can't always mention our fans by name, but thanks to Kelly and Pam for their support (even though I still suspect a wrong turn may have been involved). The big question this week is since Len's team is due for a big loss will Heather show up to console him......

07/16/06 - It's been a pretty slow in terms of news for the past few weeks and I've been quite busy so the updates aren't coming as quickly as usual. We did get word that long time Blue team member Brad Beran has accepted a job in Charlotte, NC and will be leaving us in a few weeks. Brad was a member of the famed "Civil War Veterans" line and has been a fixture in the FNHL group for a lot longer than I can remember. Though not known for his blazing speed, Brad has always been a quick thinker and often manages to find a way to knock the puck past an unsuspecting goaltender. His presence will be missed on the ice, in the locker room and (of course) in the bar each Friday. Also, due to his departure, the gap between Bob LaBarre and the next oldest FNHL player has just risen exponentially (I think it's about 30 years now).... Anyway, on behalf of George and the entire FNHL I'd like to wish Brad all the best as he begins his new adventure down South and say thanks for his many (and I do mean many) years as a teammate and friend here in the FNHL. With all the recent departures it may be time to start a FNHL Hall of Fame....???  In other news, we've had a lot of the usual summer sub games recently but there has clearly been a much better feel to the games compared to the problems we had last month. It's evident that everyone is at least trying to keep things in perspective and that makes a big difference. Hopefully we can keep that going in the right direction. Along those lines, money was due last week and George will be out of town this weekend so if you do still owe please pay me or your captain by Friday, The fee per session is now $55 and I will be updating the payments page on the website this week, We are planning to enforce the no pay, no play rule for any spots not covered by the beginning of the next session.... Finally, I am in Houston again this week but should be able to post the rosters for this weeks games in the next day or so. Because of all the comings and goings as well as George and I being generally busy, the rosters have become somewhat outdated. If you are reading this, please take a minute and e-mail me to let me know if you will be there or not on Friday (7/21). If you know the status of someone else who doesn't have access to the web, please send me that info as well. I don't usually need so many e-mails from people, but in this case it would help a great deal. Thanks in advance....

See you Friday!!

07/04/06 - First of all I'd like to wish a happy 4th of July to everyone. Last week's games were a lot better overall and I sincerely hope that the problems we've experienced recently will be a thing of the past. Along those lines though we are happy to announce that the FNHL Committee has been established. The members are;

Joe Gracz - Blue
Bill Hopkins - White
Chuck Austin - Red
Brett Boismenu - Orange
Mark Schumacher - Black
Pete Thompson - Yellow

All of these guys have been involved with the FNHL for years and know what the league is all about. Their task will be to handle any disciplinary matters that may arise during our games. In addition they will be provided with a list of unpaid spots at the beginning of each session and will see to it that our "no pay, no play" rule is enforced. The same goes for outside sub money. In the event that an incident occurs during a game and disciplinary measures are needed, the committee will gather information and meet to decide what, if any, action will result including suspension and/or expulsion from the league. Each member has one vote and George will cast the deciding vote if there is a tie. Their decisions will be final. As I said before, we hope that this group will not have to meet very often. Thanks to each of them for being willing to help out!!!

In other news, I've been a bit busy lately and haven't had a chance to post some info that came in from our readers recently. Congratulations are in order for the Marchitto family as they recently celebrated the birth of a baby boy. Brandon Matthew Marchitto was born June 24th and I'm sure will be skating circles around us in just a few short years. Matt sent a photo which is (finally) posted in the fun photo gallery. Also Tom Ferrara sent in a letter regarding an adult skills clinic that USA Hockey is hosting in Rochester the weekend after next. Again, my apologies for the delay in posting the info but you can check out the details in our Ice Chips section.

See you Friday!!

06/28/06 - Overall not a great week here in FNHL land. I've been around here for a few years now and in all that time I don't think I've seen George as upset and ready to throw in the towel as he was on Sunday. Having just completed a very difficult negotiation with the rink where we narrowly avoided a large jump in price as well as a (potentially) equally expensive insurance demand, we get some details on the ugly game #2 last Friday between Red and Orange that apparently ended with a brawl or near brawl. I've heard several points of view on the subject and the only thing that's entirely clear and the only thing that really matters is that those types of incidents should not occur and in fact must not occur if we want to keep the league going. I've tried to make that point abundantly clear over the past few months and sadly the message just is not sinking in. Everyone involved has an excuse and what they consider to be a justification but the bottom line is that there is no excuse and there are no justifications for this crap and it's time for people to go. To make matter worse we are already two full weeks through the new session and there are several spots that remain unpaid. George doesn't have time to hunt people down and understandably is not interested in paying for them from his own pocket so once again the only solution appears to be getting rid of the problem(s) once and for all. Effective immediately, if you fight, you're out and if you still owe for this session do not step on the ice until you have paid. Future sessions must be fully paid when due or the same rule applies. George is not hard to find and in his absence you can pay me, your captain, or use the payment link on the website. Plenty of options, none of which involve skating your game and disappearing before George has a chance to ask you for the money. This goes for sub money as well. If you get an outside sub, collect the sub money before they play - no exceptions. I don't know what the final resolution will be with regards to the game last week, but moving forward we are putting together a committee to handle disciplinary matters of all types (not just fighting). At George's request I have been working on getting that in place and hopefully it will be done very soon. The plan is to have one representative per team and their decisions will be final. In the event of a tie on an issue, George will cast the deciding vote.

I apologize to the 50 or so guys who really don't need to read this, but the other 10 or so between stupidity on the ice and/or lack of payment really need to get the message. We've got a good thing going and hopefully will not allow a few bad individuals to ruin it. Finally, as I alluded to earlier, the rink did push for a large rate increase but that was largely avoided. Beginning next session, the rate will go from $52 to $55 per person.  

06/22/06 -  The 4th Annual FNHL Golf Tournament is in the books and by all accounts it was a great success. The weather was hot but no rain was a plus. The food was great and there were more door prizes than I've ever seen at any tournament anywhere. My father in-law and I enjoyed the opportunity to golf with Bob and Patty. We would have done better though if Bob had kept a hat on. With the sun bouncing crazily off his head in all directions it's a wonder we all weren't blinded by the end of the round. Thanks to everyone who participated and also to those who helped organize the event and/or donated the door prizes. Special thanks to George Fleischmann who, as usual, went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that everyone had a great time. We look forward to next year and the 5th anniversary edition..!!.... The new schedule is finally posted. It took a while for the rink to confirm the dates but we are now back on track. The Sunday group schedule is also posted for what remains of the session. Next step is to work on the rosters.... I have gotten a new letter or two and will post them when I have a chance. Also I am seriously considering adding a "classifieds" section where people can offer equipment, etc that they have for sale. If that is something you think would be worthwhile please let me know.

See you Friday!! 

06/14/06 - George has been very busy with work but he gave me the schedule for this week. The rest of the session, Sundays and updated rosters should be posted soon.

06/13/06 - I haven't gotten the new schedule and updated rosters from George yet. As soon as I do they will be posted. The Golf Tournament is this Saturday and we are scheduled for a 1:00pm start. I've heard that the weather is supposed to be good so let's keep our fingers crossed. It should be a great time and we hope to see you all there. Last weeks games were good overall. The kids of Team Cheval did manage a hard earned upset 5-4 win over Team Experience but as they will learn soon enough... nothing's over. We'll see you at Game #2 in six weeks and Bob just might not remember to wear his helmet.... The A/B mix game was also a success with White finally sealing the 10-8 win with an empty net goal in the closing seconds. As for the C++ game, all I can say is people please check for late roster changes. In a perfect world I would know well in advance who can make it and who can't but this is not a perfect world it's the FNHL and therefore things happen. Last week Mike Olin, for example,  was switched to Blue because of some late cancellations but he never got the memo. The bottom line was an uneven game that could have been avoided (maybe)... Anyhow, I repeat, someone please print the rosters just before leaving for the rink on ABC weeks to make sure that everyone is aware of what side they are scheduled for. Sorry to be so brief but I'm studying for a promotional exam that just happens to fall the morning of the Golf Tournament.

See you Friday!!

06/07/06 - First of all the rosters for this week's games are posted. I've avoided the term "ABC" this session because it really does not apply. Thanks to a challenge issued in Montreal by Germain (CHAVAL!!!) Lapointe and seconded by Cavy, our opening game this week will pit a team of players all over age 40 against a team of the youngest players we have in the league. I know we tried this once before with not so great results for the older guys but we are confident that this time around things will be different. The only exception to the age requirement was goalie John Oakes who will join the kids for this game as we really don't have any young goalies at the moment. For the other games this week I just tried to divide the groups as evenly as possible. One game should have a bit quicker pace than the other but hopefully both will be good. As always, there was no intention to slight anyone in the team selections and if you can't make it or were not placed on a team but should have been please e-mail me immediately so that I can make the necessary changes..... In other news, with great disappointment I've got to announce that this will be goalie Dave Rigg's last week in the FNHL because he's moving to the Albany area. Dave successfully made the tough transition from forward to goalie not that long ago and has continued to improve each week. Besides that though he's an all around good guy and fellow Flyers fan and always good for some beers and conversation after the games. On behalf of George and the entire FNHL family I'd like to take the opportunity to wish Dave and his family nothing but the best as they undertake their next adventure..... Also, due to my present schedule crunch I'm going to have to temporarily suspend the regular game recaps. I apologize for this but things are very hectic for me right now and I just don't feel that I can devote as much time to the website as I'd like. I will continue to post current news, schedules, etc and special features as time permits and advise the mailing list when new things are posted. Along those lines, the schedule for the next session will be posted as soon as George is able to hammer out the details with the new owners. I guess there's been some bumps in the road lately and we're hopeful that everything can be resolved.... Ron Maydole contacted me recently to advise that the planned Adult Skills Clinic had to be canceled due to a lack of registrations. We haven't given up on the idea completely and will see what we can do to eventually make this happen..... Finally, the 4th Annual FNHL Golf Tournament is less than two weeks away. All payments should have been made by now but if you still owe, see George this week,

See you Friday!! 

05/23/06 - We are back to our regular schedule beginning this week and hopefully it will stay that way. Ron Maydole sent me an e-mail this week asking me to remind everyone about the adult skills clinic planned for June 7th, 14th and 21st. So far registrations are rather slow and he needs at least 20 guys to be able to make it work. If you're interested but haven't signed up yet please e-mail me asap. Also the golf tournament money is due so please see George this Friday to settle up on that if you haven't already. Otherwise it's been a pretty cold and slow week so I'm going to cut the update short. George did ask me to remind the Sunday group that we will be starting at 8:00am this week. Please make a note of it.

See you Friday!

05/18/06 - Final List and lineups for the informal skate at 10:15. If you are on the list and can't make it please let George know right away. Thanks
 

WHITE BLUE
Bill Hopkins George Fleischmann
Brian Banks Joe Gracz
Terry King Rich Fleischmann
Scott Goodrich Del Hoyt
Germain Lapointe Dan Jervis
Chris Baldwin John Albanese
Ron Schlicht Mike Tully
Nick Smith Brad Beran
Steve Olson Dave Cavallaro
Dave Rigg Ron Maydole
John Corrigan  
Chuck Austin John Oakes

05/17/06 - Last week was our "on again" week but since I had the late game there's only one write up which we'll get to in a moment. First of all I want to remind everyone that this is the last of the off weeks on the schedule. Beginning next Friday we should be back to normal. There is a 10:15 sheet this week but the list is already full so if you haven't e-mailed us already then unfortunately it's too late. The 4th Annual FNHL Golf Tournament looks to be all set thanks to a recent flurry of registrations. It should be a great time and if you haven't signed up yet it's not too late but please contact me immediately. Money for the golf is already due so if you still owe George, please pay him asap. You can also pay by credit card here on the payments page of our website but there is a small fee to cover the costs we are charged by Paypal. Last week's games seemed to range from great to awful. I heard Yellow trounced Black but don't have any other details. Same with Red vs Orange. I believe Orange won 10-3 and Rigg was outstanding but that's it. In the late game it was Blue vs White and that proved to be a good one....

Blue 14 - White 13 (ot) - Talk about a seesaw battle... After (sub) Matt Marchitto got the first goal for White, the Blue offense jumped to life. Cavy and George scored to give Blue the lead and then Rich Fleischmann scored a nice goal by deflecting a hard cross ice lead pass from Duane Pardee into the top corner of the White net. Cavy added another before the end of the period and Blue was rolling 4-1. But in period two the tide shifted - and shifted quickly. Blue sub goalie Del Hoyt who was great in the 1st period suddenly forgot to do...... well anything... and White roared back. Bill Hopkins started the rally and before it was over he would score again, as well as John Albanese (2), Chris Baldwin, Jason Vogel (2) and Matt Marchitto. In the span of about 15 minutes, thanks to eight unanswered goals, the Blue 4-1 lead was now a 9-4 deficit. But the period was not yet over and Blue began to tip the scales back towards even on goals by Brad Beran, Dan Jervis and Dave Cavallaro (his third). After two periods, White lead only 9-7. Blue continued with the momentum to start the final period. George Fleischmann scored his second of the game to close the gap to one and then Cavy tied it. Rich Fleischmann put Blue back in the lead with a nice wrist shot and Dan Jervis made it 11-9 midway through the period. But White was far from done and John Albanese completed his hat trick to make it 11-10 and Chris Baldwin tied it at 11 shortly thereafter. Another goal by Dan Jervis put Blue ahead again 12-11 but giveaways in the defensive zone allowed Baldy to score 2 more for White and it was 13-12 White. With just seconds left to play Brad Beran tied it for Blue from in close and this marathon was going to overtime. White had some chances early in ot but Del made some nice saves to keep the game alive. With just under three minutes left, Jervis skated around the White goal and tossed a pass out to Cavy which he buried in the twine for his fifth goal of the night and (finally) a 14-13 Game of the Week victory for Blue and goalie Del Hoyt.

In other news the game tapes have been reviewed and here are the final stats from Montreal.

Montreal Stats   G A Pts PM
Matt Moran F 3 2 5 0
Dave Cavallaro F 2 3 5 0
Derek Crowley D 2 1 3 0
Dan Jervis F 1 2 3 0
Cheval LaPointe F 1 1 2 2
Ron Schlicht F 0 1 1 0
Pete Klem D 0 1 1 0
Bill Hopkins D 0 0 0 0
Bob LaBarre D 0 0 0 0
John Albanese F 0 0 0 0
         
  GP GA GAA ENG
Chuck Austin G 3 9 3.00 1
         
         
vs Shots (L 5-3)          
Cavy   Moran      
Crowley   Lapointe   Schlicht    
Crowley   Jervis   Cavy    
         
vs Predators (L 3-1)        
Cavy   Jervis   Klem    
         
vs Calgary (W 5-2)        
Moran   Cavy   Derek    
Lapointe   Moran      
Jervis   Cavy      
Moran   none      
Moran   none      

It was a great time and one that those of us who can remember it will not soon forget. Long live the third wheel lesbian.....!!!

05/09/06 - What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.... fortunately we were not in Vegas last weekend but Montreal so I'm free to do my best to try and recap the festivities. I think it's safe to say that there were more memories made off the ice than on. Our first game Friday night was against a team from Toronto. Despite having an average age of 37 and 6 guys over 40 (including one over 90) we ended up in the 25 and over division and the pace was quick. The game was a good one and close throughout but we simply didn't get the bounces. Chuck Austin was great in net and Dave Cavallaro scored our first goal from a strange angle to keep us within reach. But two third period goals on slapshots by Derek Crowley were not enough to avoid a 5-3 defeat. The game was fun but that evening things picked up considerably. We wandered through what felt like half the city before we finally found the bar - Cheers - that we were looking for and made the most of their $2 beer special. Since last call is sometime around 4am it was quite a long night. John Albanese managed to catch a nap on a bar stool towards the end of the night and some might even say he looked damn good doing that (I can't agree but oh well.....) Germain also had quite a night and even though he walked into the bar as the smallest player on the team, he left as "Cheval...!!!." After a greasy late night meal at some diner I can barely remember it was back to the room just before sunrise for some more beer, and free hotel movies. A 12:30pm game seems like a pretty good schedule but considering sunrise was a little after 6am and I was still up it was evident that our next game would be a challenge and it was. This time we played a team from just outside Toronto (Woodbridge ON) and once again they were young and even a little faster than our last opponents. Chuck and the defense as a group kept us in it and this one went right down to the wire. Cavy knocked in his second goal of the tournament with an assist from yours truly and we started the 3rd period trailing only 2-1. But that was all the scoring we could muster as the opposing goalie played very well and even held off a last minute flurry with the goalie pulled. They added an empty net goal for the 4-1 win. There was a minor altercation late in the game because my stick somehow ended up a little high on the face of one of our opponents (accidentally of course) but order was quickly restored. Sometime during that game we realized that we had the biggest cheering section of any team in the tourney thanks to the presence of quite a few of Germain's local relatives. They were a welcome sight indeed - some more so than others... but I digress... The final game of our tournament was not until 6:30pm so we had some time to reflect (and/or sleep) in between. Determined to go out winners we took the ice against a team from Calgary and they had about 16 guys on the roster. This time we put it all together. Matt Moran opened the scoring for us to tie the game at 1 in the 1st period. From there it was all FNHL - Cheval LaPointe went wide and finally got a goal with his family cheering him on and we took the lead for good. Dan Jervis added what would prove to be the game winner with a quick wrist shot past a sleeping Calgary netminder (think Rigg roast). Calgary got one back in the third but Chuck was outstanding for the third straight game and they were done. Hopkins, LaBarre, Klem and Crowley played solid D and Matt Moran got two more goals to finish it off. Final Score - FNHL 5 Calgary 2...!!  So at this point it might seem that the weekend was over - but it was just getting started. With no game to play in the morning the entire team took full advantage of all the famous Peel Pub had to offer. After several gigantic pitchers of beer and several dozen wings we were offered shooters and let's just say that business picked up a bit. I'm sure several people won't have much recollection of the night past this point.... but it's not often that the waitress agrees to drink 10 shots if the group buys 1 each, but she did, and continued to keep up with us for the balance of the evening (don't worry ladies, her mother actually picked her up from work). She did rub Bob's bald head for luck late in the evening but I'm sure that was just the bad judgment brought on by too many shots on her birthday.... Bottom line, it was a good tournament and an even better weekend with friends. Out of six teams we had the bad luck of drawing the two teams that would eventually meet in the finals but everyone played well and if a couple of bounces had gone our way it could have easily been a different outcome on the ice. Off the ice, all I can say is that no marriages were harmed in the making of this tournament but there is now a significant shortage of beer in Canada... Thanks to everyone who made it memorable!!! We conclude this special edition of the news with my tournament top 10 list.

10. The smell in the hallway of our hotel - took me back 20 years at least.....
 9.  Our neighbors and their large Korean mascot...
 8.  Dan's meeting on our bench during the Calgary game....
 7.  The chat with the movie critic....
 6.  Germain's cheering section
 5.  John catches a nap at Cheers
 4.  A big win over Calgary..
 3.  Chuck's goaltending all weekend
 2.  Petra and the birthday shooters
 1,  CHEVAL...!!!..........!!!....

We still need a couple more teams for the golf tournament and George is planning to collect the money this Friday so please don't forget.....

Have a good week!!!

05/02/06 - First of all the registrations for the golf tournament have begun to pick up but we still need approximately seven teams to fill the course. I spoke to a lot of people on Friday and I know there are more teams out there that haven't registered yet. Thanks to everyone who did take the time to submit the form. If you still haven't registered please do so now. A few people told me to "put them down" for it on Friday but I have no idea who that may have been so please fill out and submit the form. As I've said in weeks past, this has always been a lot of fun whether you're a "golfer" or not so we'd really like to keep the tradition going. George would like to collect the golf money a week from this Friday on May 12th. If you want to pay by credit card you can do so on online using our payments page. Also I got word this week that Ron Maydole has taken the lead and scheduled ice time for an Adult Skills Clinic. Here's what he had to say.

I reserved ice for June 7th, 14th & 21st at 7:40pm to 8:55pm for an adult skills clinic. I am going to post a flyer at the rink so it's not exclusively for the FNHL group (this should help pay for the ice rental).  I would like to have at least three instructors (one for each zone to run station drills and enough to work one-on-one if necessary). I'm thinking the price will be 30.00 per person (paid up front for all three dates). If we have 20 players the ice is paid for.

Several people have mentioned this in the past but we never had anyone to take the lead so thanks to Ron for his efforts in getting this together. It should be a good opportunity for guys to work on many of the fundamentals that just don't get enough attention on game night. If you want to participate you can send me an e-mail here and I will forward them to Ron, or feel free to speak to him directly at the rink. Hopefully this will be a success and something we can run from time to time in the future. I will post more details as they become available. As with the golf tournament, please don't wait until the last minute to register...!!!

Still more news to pass on this week. We are off again this Friday but George and Brian Banks will be renting the 10:15 slot and are looking for players. As always, the first 20 guys to contact them will get the spots. I am leaving for Montreal on Friday but will be in town until then so you can send me an e-mail here and I will be happy to forward them to George and Brian or just give them a call.

Plans are in the works to update this website and I'm looking for your feedback and suggestions on things you'd like to see or any other comments people have. Along those lines, does anyone still use the mirror site I set up at www.dailygripe.com ? A few people asked for it because they were blocked from this site at work. If people are using it then I'll leave it up but if not then I'd just as soon not keep updating two sites. Thanks in advance for your input.

Finally and unfortunately we need to once again mention that our main goal here at the FNHL is to get together and have some fun and friendly competition (and beer of course). Last week was marred by yet another ugly incident and the situation has gotten to the point where the next step is for George to kick a few individuals out. We really don't want it to have to come to that but when a few players can't seem to "get it" and continue to act like idiots then there's no other choice. Probably 95% of the players in the league don't need to read this but the other 5% are truly on "thin ice". We have always had a no checking rule and most people try to follow it. No checking does not mean no contact of course since that's pretty much impossible but it also does not mean that you can take a guy down by grabbing him or "slew footing" him as he goes around you, or by "rubbing him off" along the boards or by pushing or (worse) cross checking someone who sets up a screen in front of your goalie. Even the NHL has severely cracked down on that type of play and clearly this isn't the NHL. We play without refs and that means people have to take it upon themselves to play within the rules. When that doesn't happen then things start to get out of hand and the nonsense that we've been seeing more and more of starts. By the same token everyone needs to realize that it's not a perfect world and people will occasionally (hopefully unintentionally) do stupid things. That does not mean that you've got license to retaliate and "teach someone a lesson". We don't know or care how tough you are and if I hear someone say "you have no idea who you're messing with" one more time I think I'll puke. Bottom line is that a few players need to get over themselves and let the rest of us have a good time. If you want to prove that you've "still got it" (even though you never had it) then go somewhere else. Enough said - probably too much over the last few weeks and I doubt that George will have much more to say other than "goodbye" if things don't change...

Remember we are off this week so our next regular session will  be Friday, May 12th. See you then!

04/25/06 - The new schedule is posted and has a few holes in it which are beyond our control. We had a pretty good off week skate last Friday on the Olympic ice with the majority of the Montreal team notching a hard fought win over a team led by Jesse and Tony Pompo. Unfortunately for the Montreal group Chris Baldwin, who is not making the trip, led the team in scoring with 6 or 7 goals. Predictably, Jesse led the opposition with about the same number. Dave Rigg had a good outing in the nets for the bad guys despite the loss. We are back on for this week and the on again - off again rotation continues for a while longer so please check the schedule closely before making the trip to the rink. The registrations for the Golf Tournament have continued to trickle in and we definitely need more players. Remember that you don't have to be a "golfer" to have a good time in this event. If you want to play but don't have a foursome you can register as an individual and we will pair you up. George told me this week that he'd like to have the money for the tournament during the first week in May. You can pay here on the website or catch up to him in the bar after the games on Friday.

04/18/06 - I spoke to George and there will be no regular FNHL hockey this week. We do have the one sheet available at 10:15pm and Bill Hopkins has offered to coordinate the rental. Same as always, only 20 spots and 2 goalies available - first 20 guys to contact Bill are in. His e-mail address is hopkinswr@cdm.com or you can reach him by phone @ 458-7379 (w) or 434-3230 (h). Please contact Bill directly as George will be at the Crunch playoff game that night. Unfortunately it looks like we will be "on again, off again" for the next few weeks. George is trying to get in touch with the new owner to try and iron out the situation but there may not be much he can do. As soon as the final schedule for the next session is available I will post it here. The registrations for the 4th Annual FNHL Golf Tournament have begun to slowly roll in but we need many more to fill out the event. The date is Saturday, June 17th and I'm sure it will be a lot of fun as always. Click here to go directly to the information and registration page and remember this is not just an event for the "golfers" in the league. The Captain and Crew best ball format ensures that even the occasional duffer or first-timer can participate and have a good time.

04/12/06 - The schedule for this week is posted but that's all for now. George has been having some difficulty getting a straight answer from the rink and is dealing with that immediately. As soon as things are finalized we will post the rest of the schedule. Of course there is no Sunday hockey this week due to the Easter holiday.... On an important note, the money was due two weeks ago and as of a couple days ago 8 people still had not paid. That's over 10% of the league and that's just not acceptable. George already puts in enough time keeping the league running and absolutely should not have to chase people down weeks after the money is due nor should he have to front the money out of his own pocket. Bottom line is he shouldn't have to chase people down at all. The money due dates are clearly posted on the website and we also have an internet PayPal payment option available that a few people use regularly with no problems. If you still owe from the last session please see George immediately to get this resolved. At this late date, don't step on the ice if you still owe. Most people do pay regularly and on time and that is much appreciated but the few guys that consistently don't puts the whole thing in jeopardy..... The ABC games went pretty well last week but I didn't get much of anything in the way of details to report. Russ Cole was outstanding in the A game leading Blue to an 8-6 win over White..... George has gotten quite a few opinions on last week's comments regarding changing up the teams and no firm decisions have been made yet. I think there will probably be an open meeting held sometime soon to hash things out. If you haven't had a chance to voice your opinion yet please feel free to drop us an e-mail and let me know if you want it posted for the group. That's all for now, since I'm on a bit of a vacation I won't be at the rink this week. As always, if anyone wants to e-mail the game recaps I will post them.

Have a nice Easter...!   

04/05/06 - First of all I was mistaken last week when I said the scorekeeper experiment had faded. I did receive the scoresheets from Patty but I haven't had time to post any more this week. I'm still not sure if this will end up working out in the long run but I hope we don't give up too soon. It's been a great help for me and as a player I've appreciated being able to look at the scoreboard and have it be accurate during the game. I know Patty was out of town last week and since I was gone as well all I can post is one recap graciously provided by an anonymous observer - lets just call him "The Schu"...

Black 10 Green 9  - 1st 3-3 2nd 8-4 Black Final 10-9

Black Black scoring, Germaine 3, Ed 2, Schick 2 (classic Schumachian style, he is learning from the master), Schu 1 (typical deflection off the defenseman's facemask and over Riggs shoulder), Matt 1, Rob 1. That's the best I can remember.

Started out as a goaltender duel for the 1st half of 1st period with both making good saves, Rigg had some pipe help also. Lots of good scoring opportunities throughout this game. Into start of second Black started to pull away and had a 5 goal lead at one point until green got a late tally. The third period was wild with green making a strong push that just fell short. Rigg stoned Cavy on at least 5 prime scoring chances, so Dave was likely having nightmares of that. Overall pretty well played with some late drama in the end. Green pulled the goalie and put on a furious finish, however, could not dent the net late for the equalizer.

Thanks to "The Schu" for providing the lone update this week. Maybe he'd like to follow in the footsteps of the illustrious "Smith" and the Bar Napkin Report..??? That would be some big "Schus" to fill.....

Enough bad jokes for one week - now on to the serious stuff. We've gotten some feedback lately on last weeks comments regarding sportsmanship and competitive balance. As always, I've forwarded them to George and they are definitely thought provoking. Here are some excerpts from those e-mails...

"I have noted that there seems to be a wider imbalance in the league with respect to the various teams as there was a year or so ago. In particular some of that stems from goaltenders. It is evident that weaker teams seem to all have the weaker goaltenders while the stronger teams all seem to have the top goaltending and more top players. This coupled with the fact that some teams are more weighted with A players than others appears to be affecting game quality as a whole."

"Typically on any given night there may be one close game with the others being blow outs. In the past most games were much closer. The teams getting blown out seem to be consistently the same week in and week out. This disparity seems to be taking a toll as some games are getting to a point where its not even worth playing anymore or where they are getting very chippy."

"While the game was well in hand in the third yellow continued to pour it on needlessly with some of their play. This type of situation makes me just want to skip that game next time around because its not fun to play in that type of game and in general the sportsmanship of some involved is lacking a lot. End to end rushes with a few minutes left in a game with a 10 goal gap are just uncalled for."

"The hack and slash, cross checking etc. being demonstrated on a regular basis by a limited few is also making some of these games worth passing on. Some contact may happen in these games, its hard to avoid, but some of the blatant stick work lately is really bothersome and will eventually lead to some serious injuries."

"The answer to your latest question on the web site is simple - if guys continue to be jerks with chippy play, etc. kick them out. There's no excuse. I suspect that it is one or two guys as usual."

"Perhaps its time to form a management committee to handle things like possible suspensions and roster changes. It would also take the pressure off of George."

The bottom line in all this is that it's probably time to make some changes. The whole point of the FNHL is to have fun, socialize and try not to take ourselves too seriously. Win or lose, if it's not fun it's just not worth doing because absolutely none of us are getting paid to be here. George has taken the recent feedback very seriously and is willing to do whatever it takes to keep things positive. If that means reshuffling the teams or the goalies then that's what will be done. At the present time the idea is to completely reshuffle the teams for the summer session and then put them back together in the fall. But that's just one idea and we certainly welcome additional comments and suggestions. I know George will be in the bar after the games this week so feel free to talk to him directly. There is a good possibility that he will try to get a meeting of at least the team captains together soon. Thanks to everyone who has already responded with comments and/or suggestions.

Finally, as mentioned last week, the Golf Tournament is set for Saturday, June 17th. I should have the registration and payments pages posted here by the end of the week,

See you Friday!

03/28/06 - Unfortunately, despite some good effort it appears that the scorekeeper experiment is already fading. Speaking of fading, the Blue team is starting to become very familiar with that lately and the only recap I can offer this week pretty well sums it up.

White 9 - Blue 6 - All signs pointed to a big week for Blue. My brother Pete was back in town to celebrate a birthday and play some hockey and was in uniform for Blue. White, on the other hand, was missing several regulars including captain Bill Hopkins and had only seven skaters until Blue defenseman Duane Pardee agreed to swap jerseys. Period #1 did nothing to change the outlook as Blue allowed a quick goal by Chris Baldwin but quickly answered with three of their own, two by Dan Jervis and one by Cavy. Matt Frackelton pulled White back within one but Jervis again scored and Blue lead 4-2 after one. White wasted little time in the 2nd period getting goals from Baldy and Frackelton again to tie the score. Then Pete Jervis nailed a nice one timer to give Blue their last lead of the night. Two more White goals by Baldwin put them up 6-5 at the end of two. The final period continued pretty much as the second had ended. Cavy did get a quick one for Blue to briefly tie the score at 6 but White goalie Rob Conrad would allow no more and was outstanding throughout the final periods. Terry Young scored what would prove to be the game winner midway through the period and Baldy added two more (his fifth and sixth goals of the game) to complete the White victory. For the second straight week Blue starts strong and then just fades away - this time to watch the Baldy and Conrad show....

Other News - Since I have no scoresheets to draw from I can't add any other info about last week's action. If anyone wants to e-mail some details I will post them here..... George has advised that the 4th annual FNHL Golf Tournament has been scheduled. We will be back the at Greenview Golf Club in Central Square on Saturday, June 17th at 1:00pm. The cost will be a very reasonable $50 per person and will include a steak bake. I will post a registration page and add Paypal payment options to this site in the coming weeks. If anyone can give George a hand with the planning and securing of door prizes etc, please e-mail me or talk to him directly at the rink. We've always had a good time with this event and I'm sure this year will be no exception so please mark your calendars now and get your foursomes together. If we have players who need help finding or rounding out a foursome please send me an e-mail and I'll be happy to play matchmaker..... Steve Olson's tournament was held this past weekend and things went very well overall. Unfortunately our FNHL entry didn't have much success on the ice but we did manage to play a lot of hockey and consume large quantities of assorted beverages. Congrats and thanks to Steve for his efforts in organizing the tournament which was held as a benefit for the Pediatric Emergency Unit at University Hospital. Rumor has it that an encore in August is planned..... Finally I got a letter today from one of our players pointing out some things that several other people have commented on recently. One of the main topics was sportsmanship and along with that, the competitive balance (or imbalance) that seems to have emerged lately. Certain teams are not only winning a lot lately, but they are winning by a wide margin and the reader questions how many players are really having fun playing those games. Also, when you're up by 10 goals is it really necessary to go end to end for yet another? It was suggested that we might want to consider shuffling some players or at least rotating the goalies (as some are beginners and some quite experienced) in an effort to keep things from getting out of hand on the scoreboard. Also it was mentioned that the scoreboard isn't the only place things have been getting out of hand as instances of chippy, physical play and just plain stupidity are on the rise. I honestly don't know what the answers are but would welcome any feedback and/or suggestions that people care to send. George has said many times that this is not "his" league, it's ours and the object is to get together, compete, have fun and a few beers after. If a few guys can't manage to keep that in perspective then maybe it's time to make some difficult but necessary changes. Bottom line though is that if we, as a group, want to make some changes then the best place for everyone to start is the mirror. George doesn't have the time or the desire to be a policeman and he shouldn't have to.

Have a good week!

03/21/06 - Hockey on St. Patrick's Day last week and although they no longer wear Green there were clearly some Irish eyes smiling on the Orange team.

Yellow 9 - White 2 - Tax season has been particularly taxing on the White team who remain without resident sniper and CPA Gregg Evans. A date with Yellow last week was probably about as much fun as an audit. But hey, some people enjoy audits..... as long as you're giving and not getting. But I digress - anyway the game started out badly for White and went downhill from there. Chip O'Connor and Jeff Ward put Yellow on the board in the first period and White failed to score. Chip added two more in the second period to push the Yellow total to a (relatively) modest four but only Chris Baldwin managed to slip the puck past Yellow goalie Russ Cole and the deficit grew to three after two. Baldy got another goal for White in the third but unfortunately that was all they got. Yellow on the other hand added five more goals, three by Jesse and two more by Jeff Ward en-route to the 9-2 final. Three hat tricks for Yellow on St. Patty's day, not quite a four leaf clover, but not bad....

Orange 11 - Blue 10 - Blue is planning to publish a book in the near future on how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in one easy period - or at least they should. They are getting really good at it. Kind of a strange one from start to finish this week. First period ended in a 1-1 tie on goals by Dan Jervis for Blue and Scott Budynas for Orange. The 2nd period was all Blue as they exploded for seven goals, four more by Jervis, and one each by Ron Schlicht, (sub) Chris McKenzie and George Fleischmann. Orange captain Jamie Sassenbury did manage to score 2 for Orange but Blue was leading 8-3 heading into the final period. Then Scott Budynas scored one of the best goals this reporter has seen in a while somehow spotting an opening over John Oakes left shoulder and "roofing" it short side from a tough angle. Orange still trailed at that point 8-4 but the momentum clearly shifted and the "Rigg Roast" was over. Orange goalie Dave (Dr. Jekyll and Mr.) Rigg suddenly started stopping the puck - much to the dismay of the Blue offense while the Orange wave was just getting started. Dan Jennings scored three goals including the game tying 10th goal. Steve Olson, Jamie Sassenbury and even Len Slack also found the back of the net during their furious rally late in the game. These offset earlier Blue goal by Mike Masello and Chris McKenzie and we go to overtime where Orange gets a Woody (so to speak). Bill Wood - defenseman Bill Wood - pokes in a loose puck during a scramble and somehow Orange celebrates while Blue can only shake their heads in disbelief. First Lenny scores a goal without hitting someone else in the leg and then they lose to Orange.... a sad day indeed. Hats off to Orange on a hard earned Game of the Week victory.

Black 8 - Red 7 - The night ended with another good game as Black took on Red. Mark Schumacher found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (probably from 6" or less) in the 1st period as did Rob Niemeier. Carl Erickson scored for Red to round out the session with Black up 2-1. Lots of scoring in period #2 for both teams. Black got six, two each by Niemeier, (sub) Dave Neuner and Germain LaPointe. Red had half as many, all by different players - Tony Pompo, Brian Banks and Stef Boutin and Black led 8-4. Red dominated the final period, at least on the scoresheet and almost managed to pull off the evenings second come from behind win, But one more goal each from Banks, Pompo and Boutin weren't quite enough and Black went home with a win.

Other News - Attendance was back up last week as Len's girlfriend Heather was in attendance and was joined by Wayne Morse's girlfriend Jamie. Together they managed to drink quite a bit and watch none of their significant other's game. Len took it in stride of course - although he did seem to spend quite a bit of time later in the evening at Dailey's with John Albanese..... Maybe I'm just reading too much into that (then again, maybe not).... Perhaps it was just a coincidence but there were an awful lot of "threes" last week. 3 hat tricks by Yellow, 3 goals by Jennings, 3 by Sassenbury, a pair of goals by 3 different scorers for Black and 1 goal each by 3 different people in two straight periods for Red..... Next week should be interesting in the FNHL as my brother Pete will be back in action subbing in for us prior to Steve Olson's tournament next weekend. And finally, I am very happy to report that my daughter Ashley gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Tuesday. Nicholas Phillip Rogers weighed in at 7lbs, 8 ounces and I've posted a picture in the Fun Photo Gallery. I expect him to begin skating in the next few weeks and plan to teach him the basics of stick-handling past Bob LaBarre before moving on to something more difficult.....

See you Friday!  

03/14/06 - Another decidedly average week here in Cicero. It appears that we will have to rename our version of March Madness - tone it down a bit. Maybe we'll try "March Mildness".... maybe not. Anyway there were games played and that means games to recap. Thanks once again to our new scorekeeping team of Patty and Chris.

Yellow 8 - Red 4 - Seems like it was a decent game for two periods. A goal by Jesse for Yellow and one by Tony Pompo for Red was the extent of the damage after one. Period two saw more of the same with 2 goals by Jesse, matched by Red scorers Tony Pompo and Mike Tully. The third period was where it all went South for Red as they were outscored 5-1 and that 3-3 tie after two became an 8-4 loss. Jesse added his fourth of the night for Yellow before yielding to some relief goal scorers including Chip, Pete Thompson, and Jamie Shuler. Over on the Red side only Tony Pompo could dent the twine in the third to complete his hat trick. Yellow keeps on rolling.....

Orange 16 - White 9 - Surprise result of the week as the usually strong White team was without several regular players including captain Bill Hopkins and took a major crushing from Orange. The scoresheet on this one was a little tough to follow (more on that later) but it looks like this one was a rout from start to finish. Sub Mark Lasinski scored two goals in the 1st and Orange led 4-0 after one. Period two was more of the same with Lasinski adding at least 3 more and two each from Bill Wood and Wayne Morse. White did finally get on the board with goals from Chris Baldwin, Jeff Janofsky and (sub) Mike Tully but trailed roughly 12-3 to start the final period. John Albanese, Darren Karn and Chris Baldwin did enjoy a mini "Rigg Roast" in that period scoring two goals each to draw White within a touchdown but more scoring from Lasinski (making at least 7 on the night!!) sealed the deal for Orange. Notably absent from the scoring column was Orange regular Len Slack. Rumor has it that he also failed to score later that evening despite a hasty exit from the bar with Heather.....

Blue 12 - Black 9 - No matter how you look at it, Black and Blue are just plain ugly together and this was no exception. The fact that LaBarre was in uniform for Black just made it that much worse. The game started out with goals by Rob Niemeier and Germain LaPointe giving Black a 2-0 lead. Dan Jervis and Dave Cavallaro answered for Blue to tie the score but Black sub Dave Neuner scored to send Black into the intermission with a 3-2 lead. Cavy caught a break early in the 2nd when Black goalie Rick Cummings had trouble handling a rolling puck and the Black defense couldn't recover in time to stop him from jamming his 4th rebound attempt into the net. But that miscue provided some temporary inspiration for Black. Goals by Greg Schiccitano, Bob LaBarre and Germain LaPointe put them out in front 6-3 with about 7 minutes left. Blue quickly answered that flurry with one of their own on goals by Duane Pardee, Dan Jervis and Ron Schlicht leaving a 6-6 tie after two. They continued to hold the hot hand early in the third with goals by Jervis, Schlicht, Cavy and George and Blue led 10-6 with 10:50 to play. And then the bottom nearly fell out. Black rallied to close the gap to only 10-9 with just over 3 minutes left on goals by Pat Salvador, Rob Niemeier and Mark Schumacher. Fortunately for Blue this one was all Cavy all the time and he scored two more to put it out of reach. Germain LaPointe was awarded a questionable penalty shot in that 3rd period but failed to put it past Blue goalie John Oakes.

Other News - The new scorekeeper/statistician plan is working out great but we really need everyone's help to make it as good as it can be. Patty and Chris have done their best to run the clock, put up the goals and provide me with the scoring details but that's tough to do when you don't know for sure when a goal was scored, who got it and who assisted. I've already spoken to most of the team captains about this and am requesting that the teams provide a little bit of assistance before and during the games. Please take a minute or two to go over the rosters with them before the game starts. During the game itself please make sure they know when the puck actually went in the net, who scored it and who assisted. Obviously we don't maintain formal standings or stats and these details aren't critical but it does help me out a lot when trying to write the weekly recaps and it would at least give us the option of having some stats to use when adding or moving players to/from teams, etc. As a player I think it's been good to have the actual score posted as the goals are scored. This definitely cuts down on the disagreements late in games...... In other news, the Sunday group has been moved up to a 6:15am start again this week due to some scheduling problem at the rink. Mike Pardee, please make a note of this. Finally we end up this week on a sad note as the FNHL family extends our sincere condolences to the Banks family on the recent passing of Brian's father Stephen. Our thoughts and prayers are with you...

03/07/06 - Not a bad week, not a great one for the FNHL last week. Given the 80 degree weather this week the update will be mercifully short and sweet.

Yellow 12 - Orange 5 - I didn't see the game but Patty was on the spot and filled in the details. It appears that Yellow was never really challenged in this one. First period goals by Jesse (2), Jamie Shuler and Adam Rufa and none for Orange meant a 4-0 lead after one. Orange did get on the scoreboard in the second period as Dan Jennings, Steve Olson and Bill Wood lit the lamp but Yellow managed five goals themselves, two more by Jesse, two by Jeff Ward and one by Chip to lead 9-3. The third period was all Chip for Yellow as he had three goals, Mike Olin and Len Slack (??again??) scored for Orange to put this one out of its misery. I did hear in the bar that Orange sub Mark Lasinski took out the nets on several occasions but wasn't able to put the puck in any of them. Also it was reported that Dan Jennings "played with passion" for Orange (Rigg just can't quit you Dan). Speaking of Rigg, he was outstanding despite the loss (just ask him) while Russ Cole was "just ok" for Yellow in goal.

White 6 - Black 3 - Looks like this was a decent game until the 3rd period. Terry Young and (sub) Alex Ryan got White on the board in the 1st period. Sub George Fleischmann scored for Black with an assist from fellow sub and Blue team member Dave Cavallaro. Just one goal apiece in the next period - Chris Baldwin for White and Mark Schumacher for Black so it was tight going into the final period 3-2. Coincidentally, as with the first game, the winning team got exactly three goals from one person in the final period. Last game it was Chip, this game it was Chris Baldwin with the hat trick for White. Evev more coincidental was the fact that both Baldy and Chip finished their respective games with 4 goals, one in the 2nd period, three in the third and none in the first.... wierd. George added the final goal for Black but it was just not enough and White takes home the win.

Red 7 - Blue 5 - Blue had this one wrapped up until they actually stepped on the ice..... With Austin out of town and Ricky subbing in goal and down to one Pompo Red simply stepped up and took this one. Tony Pompo started the scoring early with a nice move in close and Stef Boutin added a second a few minutes later to set the tone. George Fleischmann picked up right where he left off from the earlier game by scoring the first goal for Blue. With under a minute left in the period Dave Sabatino scored on a breakaway to push the Red lead to 3-1. Blue did wake up and play for at least one period in the middle of this one. Steve Kokkoris scored from the point through a screen to cut the deficit to 3-2 and then Dave Cavallaro got two in a row to give Blue a 4-3 lead which goalie John Oakes held to end the period. But period number three was pretty much all Red and sub Rick Cummings was very solid in net when called upon. Carl Erickson tied the score at 4 early in the 3rd and then went one better and scored again to put them in front. Dan Jervis trickled one in off Ricky's glove to tie the game at 5 with 8:30 to play. But Tony Pompo took over from there scoring twice to cement the win for Red.

Other News - Still very little feedback on either Montreal or the local tournament hosted by Steve Olson. I am entering one FNHL team and have a few guys lined up. We may need a couple more so if you're interested send me an e-mail soon. So far the statistician and timekeeper experiment has been a great success as both Patty and Chris have done a nice job. We're using this session as a trial run to work the kinks out but hopefully it will be a regular thing. The additional info that they can provide would allow us to do things like keep some basic stats, etc that we've never been able to accurately track before. Fantasy FNHL may just be on the horizon after all. In addition it's a lot easier to write these reports when I have some idea of what actually happened. Please help Patty and Chris out by letting them know when a goal has been scored and who scored and had the assists. And of course, please remember to take care of them after the game. A buck or two per player every other week is a very small investment that is well worth the effort.

Have a good week!

02/28/06 - This week marked the debut of FNHL official statistician and timekeeper Patty Ryan. For those who haven't heard, Patty has agreed to "man" the booth on the NHL ice and make sure that the games stay on schedule and the stats and score don't get lost in our post game fog of beer and fried foods. I believe that Chris Hoyt will do the same for the late game each week. George has asked that a few players from each team throw in an extra buck each week to provide them with a little something for the service. Personally I like the idea and welcome the help that they will provide both during the games and for the website each week. Hopefully, with your support and cooperation this will prove to be a nice enhancement to the "FNHL experience." Despite my absence last week, the ABC games went on and since Patty did score sheets on the first two games, I have some details to pass along.

A Game - White 10 - Blue - 4 - White jumped out to a 3-1 lead after one period on goals by Wayne Morse, Chris Baldwin and Pete Klem. Jesse had the lone goal for Blue. More of the same in the second period - 3 goals for White (Baldwin, Pompo, Hysell) and 1 goal (Shuler) for Blue making it 6-2 White after two. Jesse got two more for Blue in the third but that was it and White added four more (Pompo 2, Cavallaro, Marchitto) to complete the somewhat surprising drubbing.

B Game - White 5 - Blue 3 - This one looks like it must have been quite a defensive battle. Period one ended with the score tied at 1. Pete Thompson scored for Blue while White sub (?) Murray evened it out. Both goals in the second were scored by White, first John Albanese and then Scott Budynas so the final stanza started out 3-1 in favor of White. George Fleischmann and Steve Olson lit the lamp for Blue in the 3rd but so did Stef Boutin and Len Slack (can this be right??!!) and White held on for the 5-3 victory.

For the recap of the nights final contest we are happy to welcome back the ever popular "Smith" and another installment of the Bar Napkin Report.

Bar Napkin Report (actually Paper Plate Report)
The C-Game BLUE GOONS – 9 WHITE GRINDERS– 7

Hard to determine which team deserved which name with all the shuffling of rosters, but the tradition of close C-Games returned after the previous blowout as the Goons (wearing blue) defeated the Grinders (in white) in a game that stayed within a one- or two-goal margin the entire time. White jumped out to a 1-0 lead on the first shift thanks to a shot from the blue line by Frank Rathburn, but Blue scored the next two to take the lead. The teams then pretty much traded goals, with Blue tending to hold the lead and White scoring to tie or get within one. Fatigue was clearly a factor for both teams on the big ice, particularly for the Grinders, playing two men down.

Sunday Morning call-up Dan McCarthy had another strong C-game, notching a hat trick for the Goons, while Ron “Zamboni” Maydole and Mark Schumacher scored a pair each (including an atypical 30-footer by Schu that broke goalie Dave “Hexy” Rigg’s heart). Rounding out the scoring for the Goons were Terry “The Instigator” Young and and Drew Liszewski. Jeff Janofsky had a hat trick for the Grinders and was clearly the teams MVP. Chris Hoyt scored a pair of goals, while Nick Smith and Frank “The Tank” Rathburn chipped in singletons. The Grinders defensive unit, which consisted of Mike Matyasik, Frank Rathburn, and Steve Kokkoris played very solid in front of Riggy, but didn’t have the backchecking support from the barren group of tired forwards (missing venerable team leader Brad Beran) needed to pull off a victory. The Goons were missing key defenseman Terry King, but a core of Joe “Amazing” Gracz and Keith Benjamin, along with others got the job done for goalie Rob Conrad. Goons Len Matyasik and Del Hoyt and Grinders Mike Pardee and John Corrigan didn’t factor in the scoring, but each made some plays to help their teammates find the nets or keep the opposition at bay.

The bar crowd seemed to be pretty good sized, although many were gone or on their way out by the time the late game concluded. Good to see Ashley on duty, as various rumors have been floating around about staff changes due to the new ownership. Schu mentioned that he has never been on the losing side during ABC week, despite the shuffling of rosters. Can anyone else say the same?

Thanks again to Patty and Mr. "Smith" for filling in the details this week!!

Other News - The Montreal Tournament money is due asap and I will be collecting this week. Speaking of Montreal, Ron Maydole is still very much interested in getting together a group of B/C players to enter the recreational/novice division. Time is definitely running out to get this together so if you're interested, please let us know asap. As I said last week, we've been going to Montreal for the past three years and it's always a lot of fun in addition to the hockey. Also Steve Olson's tournament is scheduled for the weekend of March 25th and I haven't gotten much feedback from people about putting together another FNHL entry. I hope that you will give it some additional thought as it is for a good cause and would be a nice opportunity for guys who haven't had the chance to play in a tournament to give it a try. Finally, George asked me to mention that the change in ownership at the rink has been very positive for the FNHL. We've been treated very well in all aspects (including price) and would like very much to maintain this positive partnership. One simple thing everyone can do is make sure the locker rooms are picked up when we leave. It's not a big thing to ask and goes a very long way in terms of goodwill. This isn't to say we've had any problems in this area but just to remind everyone to please be aware of it. Thanks for your continued help and cooperation,

Have a good week!  

02/20/06 - Unfortunately last week was scuttled by the weather and some bad information given to George by the rink. For most of the afternoon we were advised that the rink did not have power and the ice probably wouldn't be available. George waited as long as possible to see if that would change before reluctantly deciding to cancel around 6pm and making as many phone calls as possible. Shortly after that we got word from a friend who happened to be at the rink that they actually did have power and did have ice. By then it was too late to un-cancel the evening so those who did show up played a (rather crowded) pickup game. Due to these problems the ABC games will now be held this coming Friday, the 24th. This means I need to revise the rosters in a hurry. If you were not going to be able to make it last Friday, but can be there this Friday (or vice-versa) please send me an e-mail today. As soon as I know who's in and who's out I will revise the rosters and post them.

In other news, the Montreal tournament has been confirmed and I need to start collecting the money for it asap. We are doing the package this year and the cost is $320 per person based on double occupancy. I have asked about the cost for a single room but don't have an answer on that yet. If you are going this year (and you know who you are) please get the money to me asap. I will be out of town this Friday but will be back Sunday. You can also mail me a check, the address is 106 Swift St. Auburn NY 13021. Ron Maydole had asked if there was a recreational division in this tournament and I finally got a positive reply on that. If there is enough interest we can send a second FNHL team of B/C players and place them in that division. It will have to come together in a hurry so if this interests you, please let me or Ron Maydole know in the very near future. The Montreal trip has always been a good time and I would encourage everyone to consider it...... Also, Steve Olson is still planning to run his local tournament at the rink in Cicero during the weekend of March 25th and 26th. We are already planning to enter the Montreal FNHL team in Steve's tournament but I am pretty sure he could still use at least one more team. The entry fee is only $400 per team (less than $40 per person) and it benefits a good cause, the Pediatric ED at University Hospital. Since it's local and not overly expensive it might be a good opportunity for guys who haven't had the chance to play in a tournament to do so. If you are interested in joining a second FNHL team for this tournament send me an e-mail and/or let Steve Olson (Orange team) know and I will be happy to coordinate the group..... There was even more tournament news this week as Dave Rigg e-mailed me about a tournament in Bethlehem PA on June 2nd - 4th and Jamie Sassenbury also e-mailed saying that he is planning to host a tournament in Las Vegas sometime in October. I have posted both of their letters in the Ice Chips section of the website and you should be able to download the information from there. Since I will be away this week, if anyone wants to e-mail me with the details of the ABC games I will post them with next week's update.

Have a good week!

02/14/06 - First and foremost I'd like to wish a happy Valentines Day to all the lovely ladies of the FNHL including but not limited to Patty Ryan, Len's girlfriend Heather, Chuck Austin's mom, George's wife Christine, of course Ashley our bartender.... and the list goes on. Without their support (or at least their indulgent indifference) we couldn't do whatever the heck it is we do out there each week. Now, due to minor technical difficulties (a dead battery in the fancy new voice recorder) I give you the abridged version of the recaps.

Black 7 - Orange 5 - I was not in attendance for the opener this week but the report in the bar afterwards was this game featured some good goaltending on both sides. Sub Phil Valeriano for Black did his best to fill Ricky's shoes and then went a step further, leading the team to victory. On the other side Dave Rigg was also steady and might have come away with the win if not for the performance of Black sub Duane Pardee who had his own personal "Rigg roast" netting a hat trick.

White 8 - Red 4 - I didn't see this one either but the following details were generously offered by an anonymous "Bald" man. White came out strong in the first period scoring 4 vs. Reds 1. The second period slowed down with a lot of back and forth skating with each team only putting in one goal. In the third period, White wore down the Red. White's line of Matt Frackelton, Jeff Janofsky and Alex kept the pressure on which allowed White to score 4 vs. Red's 2 goals. Both goalies played tough in the net. White's scoring was spread out with Terry Young scoring 1, Frackelton with 1, John Albanese 1, Alex 1, Baldy 2, and Jeff Janofsky 2. It was reported later that night in the bar that Red's goals came from John Griffith, Stef Boutin and 2 from Pete Klem. Thanks again "Baldy" for the update!

Yellow 8 - Blue 6 - Yellow was "Chipless" and Blue seemed ready to take advantage of the situation. But unfortunately, no one sent Jesse the memo and Yellow rallied from an early deficit to take control by the 3rd period and hang on for the win. The Blue defense of Kokkoris, Gracz, Fleischmann, and Pardee were tough and John Oakes was good as well (mostly) but the Blue offense just couldn't get going. Dave Cavallaro and Duane Pardee each had 2 for Blue while Dave Stage and Mike Masello had one apiece. Jesse led Yellow with 4 goals, Adam Rufa had two, Jeff Ward and Jamie Shuler rounded out the score sheet with solo tallies. The game was marked by some unfortunate self control lapses in the 3rd period and a series of long and loud verbal tirades by a certain Yellow player that had his teammates ready to jump ship. Come to think of it, one actually did. All this reporter can say in both cases is - guys lighten up..... a couple of brain cells can go a long way if used properly.

Other News - George had a nice conversation after the games with the new owner of the rink. I believe his name is Jason Palmer (???). In any case, he was very complimentary to our league and even dropped a $100 bill on George to buy us some drinks. There was a good turnout in the bar that night and I'm sure it did not go unnoticed. After a brief discussion it was agreed that George would use the money to put on a buffet after one of our weekly sessions (I'm not sure if it will be this week). We have good reason to believe that our situation will not be adversely affected by the ownership change and look forward to maintaining the rink in Cicero as our base of operations. Finally the ABC schedules and rosters are posted. As always there were a few changes between the games and these were not meant to offend anyone. If you are on the list but can't be there or you know someone else who can't make it, please take the time to drop me an e-mail. Thanks to the people who have already let me know, it makes planning the games much easier!!

See you Friday!

02/07/06 - Overall this was a better week on the ice with one game ending in an OT tie and one that went down to the last few seconds before being decided.... and then of course there was the Yellow team game - oh well,,,

White 6 - Blue 4 - This self-proclaimed "non embellished report" was graciously provided via register tape by an interested party - we'll call him "Mr. Bill", and is presented without commercial interruption. Scoring summary - White - Jeff Janofsky (1), Matt Frackelton (1 en), John Albanese (2), Gregg Evans (2).  Blue - Brad Beran (1), Dave Cavallaro (1), George Fleischmann (1), Dave Stage (1).  Period scores - 1st 3-1 White, 2nd 4-3 White, 3rd 6-4 White. Notes - Blue scored first (Cavy) nice feed @ White blue line beating Rob Conrad 1 on 1. White D suddenly wakes up and shuts down Blue until late in 2nd when 2 goals by Blue (Beran and Stage) within 1 minute gave Blue reason to come back our for 3rd period. Goal by White (Jeff Janofsky) midway through 3rd gave White a little comfort zone until late in 3rd. Pressure by Blue in 3rd kept White pinned down for several minutes until nice feed to George made it 5-4. Blue pulls John and pressures White but Matt Frackelton gets open netter. Thanks again to Mr. Bill for the contribution. Hopefully this tale of the tape will not be a "one timer."

Yellow 11 - Black 2 - I didn't see the game so all details were obtained in the bar afterwards. Yellow scoring was a little more evenly distributed this week with Drew Liszewski, Jeff Ward, Len Matyasik (2) and even Mike Comartos lighting the proverbial lamp. Chip had a goal or two and I'd wager that Jesse had the rest. Per his teammates, Russ Cole was "just ok" in goal..... Not much to say about Black - Bob LaBarre was on the ice and yes, he's still old and bald - I guess that's something anyway.....

Red 9 - Orange 9 - Orange was without Wayne Morse and Dan Jennings but added sub Dan Jervis for the game - and what a game it turned out to be!! Things started badly for Orange as Red jumped all over them in the early going. Tony Pompo had a hat trick in the 1st period and Mike Tully and Dave Sabatino were also among the scorers to pace them to a 6-2 lead after the 1st. Jervis and Steve Olson had the opening goals for Orange. Period two looked like it would be more of the same as Sabatino ran the lead to 7-2. Jamie Sassenbury brought Orange back within 4 (7-3) but Tony Pompo sandwiched goals number 4 and 5 of his night around another by Steve Olson and the period ended with Red up 9-4 and seemingly ready to make the final stanza academic. But what they didn't realize was the Orange actually had them right where they wanted them. Goalie Dave Rigg buckled down and did not allow another goal for the rest of the game. Two goals by Jervis closed the gap to 9-6 and then Bill Wood blasted a nice wrist shot past Red goalie Chuck Austin to make it 9-7. Orange kept up the pressure and it paid off as Jervis scored again to make it 9-8. Scott Budynas knocked in a rebound on a shot by Len Slack to complete the rally and tie the score at 9. From that point on it was a goaltenders battle as Rigg and Austin alternated big saves. Regulation time ended with a tie and even a 5 minute overtime with plenty of scoring opportunities couldn't change things and both goalies were outstanding. There was a shootout after the OT which Red won 2-1 but it was deemed unofficial as many of the Orange forwards had already gone to the locker room. This was a true FNHL classic that came out of nowhere and easily earned this week's "Game of the Week" honors.

Other News - Money is due this week. Please don't forget as George has had to put in a lot more effort collecting lately than he should have to. Also he asked me to remind everyone that pucks are not to be on the ice until the zamboni doors are closed, and also all players must wear their helmet at all times on the ice, even during the warm-ups. We haven't had any problems with the rink on this but I guess some of the other leagues have and we'd like to avoid unnecessary hassle. Also, the planning for the 4th Annual FNHL Golf Tournament has already begun. George is looking for people to help with planning and door prizes. Please let him know if you can help out. It's always been a good event and we look forward to this year's installment.

See you Friday!

02/01/06 - Not a bad week, not a particularly great one either for the FNHL.... with one big exception. The opening game Blue vs Orange was played before the largest crowd that I can recall. There must have been at least a dozen fans in the stands at various times. Duane Pardee's parents and family boosted the count some but there were others including the return of Len Slack's girlfriend Heather and (I think) a few kids who wandered in from teen nite....Yes, electricity was in the air.

Blue 12 - Orange 3 - A Rigg roast was promised and it was delivered. Blue got a jump start early as Dan Jervis slipped two wrist shots past Rigg. Wayne Morse answered for Orange but offense was hard to come by as John Oakes was tough in goal all game for Blue. Goals by Brad Beran, Dave Cavallaro, and a nifty backhander on a breakaway by Mike Masello left Blue with a 5-1 lead after one. The second period was more of the same as Jervis scored in the opening seconds followed by Dave Stage. Steve Olson did score two in the period for Orange but Cavy matched that for Blue and the lead was 9-3 to start the third. Maybe it was the large crowd, maybe frustration, maybe a full moon... I don't know but things got a little tense in that final period. There were several minor skirmishes capped off by a gloves down dance between Cavy and Dan Jennings. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and the game was completed. George Fleischmann finished a nice passing play to run the score to 10-3 and Tom Gridley and (sub) Germain LaPointe added the exclamation points for the 12-3 final. Orange has a lot of good things developing and they are starting to show some of that grit and chemistry that their predecessors had as the Green team but goals are just hard to come by right now. Rigg is improving and I believe that in time they will pull it together. Oh and by the way - earth to Lenny - shoot the damn puck when you're open.....

Red 11 - Black 9 - I didn't see any of this one as I made a quick run to the bar to prepare for the next game. It must have been a decent game based on the final score. I did see Brian Pompo upstairs and he was in good spirits and optimistic about a possible return. We continue to wish him well and will update his status periodically.

Yellow 11 - White 7 - This game started out with promise but Yellow has just been too much for anyone to handle lately. Dave Cornell was back for White but nursing a leg injury and that's not a good thing when Jesse is on the other side. Chip got the first goal of the game for Yellow and Jesse quickly added two more before Gregg Evans scored to get White on the board. Matt Hysell pulled off a spectacular move splitting the Yellow D and then beating Russ Cole to close the gap to 3-2 Yellow after one. Period two was a back breaker for White. Jesse got a quick goal to make it 4-2 but (sub) Dan Jervis narrowed the gap to 4-3 and then the floodgates opened. Jesse scored two more goals (his 4th and 5th) and then Mike Matyasik found his mojo nailing not one, not two, but three one timers from the top of the circle. Brother Lenny couldn't let Mike have all the glory and got in act scoring a goal himself. Nick Smith found the back of the net for White later in the period but the damage had already been done and Yellow was in command after two 10-4. Period three was pretty much an afterthought in this game. Pete Thompson flipped in a shot from a bad angle to round out the scoring for Yellow. John Albanese got a goal for White and Dan Jervis added two more but there would be no rally and the 11-7 final confirmed that Yellow is back on top in the FNHL.

Other News - Steve Olson e-mailed me this week and said that he is putting together an adult tournament to benefit the Pediatric ED at University Hospital. The tournament will be held March 25th and 26th at Cicero and the entry fee is $400 per team. Steve has invited the FNHL to enter a team or two and hopefully we'll be able to do that. I'm not sure about the number of games but I can tell you that the entry fee is very reasonable for a tournament. It might be a great opportunity for the Montreal tournament team to get together and get some experience before heading north. If anyone is interested in playing let me know and I will be happy to help coordinate our team(s). For those of you who don't know, Steve is a member of the Orange team and I'm sure he'd be happy to talk to you about it before or after his game.

See you Friday!

01/24/06 - It's been a pretty busy week for me so I'll have to be brief. Overall last week was not one for the ages although we did have a massive attendance jump for the late game thanks to the presence of three lovely young ladies from George's neighborhood. One of these days we've got to get all of our fans to one game (not to watch Germain though......) Since I had the late game there is very little to say about the first two games.

Yellow (a lot) - Red (a few) - The big news here was not the game itself, which was lopsided, but some bad news for one of our FNHL players. It appears that due to his recent work related neck surgery, Brian Pompo may be forced to retire from hockey altogether. If this info is correct it is truly a tough break for one of the nicest and most talented players the FNHL has ever had. Well known as a clean player and the high scoring master of the toe-drag on the ice, Brian is also a dedicated family man who often has his kids with him at the games. I know I speak for the entire FNHL in wishing Brian a quick recovery from his surgery and nothing but the best for whatever the future holds for him.

White (Yes) - Orange (No) -   Enough said.

Blue 8 - Black 7 - This was a good game from start to finish - maybe due to the increased fan support? Pat Salvador scored first for Black on a pass from Peter Malone. Brad Beran answered for Blue shortly thereafter and then George Fleischmann knocked home a nice pass from Cavy to put Blue in front 2-1. The lead didn't last long as Germain Lapointe went coast to coast and tucked home the tying goal for Black. Rob Niemeier closed the period with a buzzer beating one timer and Black led 3-2 after the first period. Cavy tied the game early in the second only to have Black answer yet again, this time a classic "Schumachian" goal by Mark Schumacher himself, followed by another one for Pat Salvador and Black was up 5-3. After a Black goal was disallowed due to a blatant hand pass, Blue made a comeback. Dan Jervis scored to make it 5-4 and then sub John Corrigan got just enough on a one timer pass from Cavy to knock it off the post and in to tie the score at 5 with 5:08 left in the period. Jervis added one more goal for Blue to give them a 6-5 lead after two. Blue looked like they might wrap it up early in the third when goals by Jervis and Dave Stage gave them a commanding 8-5 lead but Black wasn't quite finished. Germain LaPointe scored his second goal for Black to close the gap and Rob Niemeier scored late in the period to bring it back to within one but that was where it ended. Both goalies, Rick Cummings for Black and John Oakes for Blue had great games and were two big reasons that this was the Game of the Week.....

Other News - The Montreal Tournament is set for the last weekend in April. As of now it look like the roster is almost full. There are a couple of guys who were not sure if they could make it and I need to nail it down asap. If you are still interested but haven't spoken to me about it yet, now is the time. This week's early game features Blue vs Orange which can only mean one thing - Rigg Roast!! One other quick note, if anyone knows of a job opening for someone with a degree in workforce education and development, my brother Pete is interested. He was in the corporate training unit at Coach leather goods distribution center for about 5 years and is also a pretty good hockey player. He's willing to relocate and he owes me money so please let me know if you hear of any leads. Thanks!!

See you Friday!!

01/17/06 - A couple of decent games and then one clunker. As the song says "two out of three aint bad."

White 11 - Black 8 (or 9) - Missed this one so all highlights courtesy of bar patrons. Black jumped out to a quick lead with 3 goals on the opening shift, two by Mike Pardee. White came back to tie it at three by the end of the 1st period. Second period was still rather tight defensively (by FNHL standards) ending 6-5 (White??). Things opened up a bit in the third to get to the final score. Blue team was well represented in this one as well with sub Cavy netting a hat trick as a White sub while Duane Pardee scored two subbing for Black. Other goal scorers included Chris Baldwin (3), Gregg Evans (2) and Matt Hysell (2) for White and Greg Schiccitano (2 or 3) for Black.

Blue 8 - Red 7 - A close game throughout. Stef Boutin opened the scoring for Red knocking in a pass from Dave Sabatino who caught Blue goalie John Oakes roaming. Dave Stage scored for Blue to even things up briefly and Dan Jervis made it 2-1 Blue. But the lead was short lived as Sabatino and Tony Pompo tallied for a 3-2 Red lead. With about 5 minutes left in the period Jervis scored again for Blue to tie it. In the second period Sabatino struck again and then again to put Red up 5-3 but Blue found the answers again (and again) this time on a pretty pass from Germain LaPointe to Cavy who later returned the favor and LaPointe made it 5-5 with 12:00 left in the period. Tom Gridley nailed a nice one timer on a pass from Dave Stage to put Blue in front 6-5 and then Cavy scored to extend the Blue lead to 7-5. Tony Pompo pulled Red close at 7-6 with 13:00 to play but Joe (Amazin) Gracz scored what would prove to be the game winner a few minutes later. Tony Pompo got a spectacular spin-a-rama goal with seconds left but it was too little, too late and Blue claimed the Game of the Week victory. Both goalies, Oakes for Blue and Chuck Austin for Red played well in this one. The ending was a bit perplexing to Brian Banks who must have run out of fingers when the score was 5-5. As has been suggested before, there should be no questions about the score if the team on the scoreboard side would simply put up the goals as they are scored.

Yellow (many) - Orange (few) - I have no idea what the score was in this one and neither did anyone else. It's probably better that way. Jamie Shuler returned to the Yellow team and our resident MD injected several goals into an already pumped Yellow attack. Yellow looks poised to reclaim their undisputed status as top dog in the FNHL yard. Orange, on the other hand, was without captain Jamie Sassenbury, Dan Jennings and Len (my "hip" hurts) Slack and turned in a runt of the litter performance. Goalie Dave Rigg was under siege all game and alternated between hero and goat with alarming frequency. Scott Budynas did notch a nice goal late in the game for Orange but no one really cared by then.....

Other News - The revised rosters for the Sunday group have been posted so please take a minute to look them over. As always, if you cannot make a Friday OR Sunday session (for those in that group) please let us know as soon as possible. We have quite a few subs available and can usually fill the spot with at least a little advance notice. Sunday skate was quite good this week as teams played mini games to 5 and then reset.

See you Friday!  

01/11/06 - We were back for our first ABC week of the new year and the games were marked by some outstanding individual performances and one pain in the a$$....

A Game - White 14 - Blue - 10 ---- More like a typical football score than a hockey game score thanks largely to the play of Jesse Nistico for White. If this were a football game he would have thrown for a touchdown, run one or two in, caught one, kicked a field goal, drop kicked an extra point.....well you get the idea. All Jesse, all the time (just sickening folks), Game opened with a goal by guess who for White and was answered quickly by Matt Hysell for Blue. Jesse quickly added two more for White to put them up 3-1. Blue held tough as Cavy went top shelf from in close to make it 3-2. But goals by Jamie Shuler and Jesse again ran the score back to 5-2. Brian Banks gave Blue some momentum by blasting one past Russ Cole with 10 seconds left in the first to cut the deficit to 5-3 and they briefly rode that wave into the second period. Matt Hysell got another one and then Banks tipped a high shot by Bill Hopkins into the net for the only tie score of the evening 5-5. But second period goals by Jesse, George, Jesse and Jesse for White put them in front for good. Cavy got his second of the game for Blue but the score was 9-6 White after two. In the third period White kept up the attack and got a goal from Dave Sabatino, two from Germain Lapointe and two more from Jesse (for a total of 9), Blue kept trying to mount a comeback as Dan Jennings and Wayne Morse scored on nice individual efforts but even the completion of hat tricks by Cavy and Banks were not enough. While the Blue team did outscore Jesse 10-9, when added to the rest of his team's total it was a 14-10 victory for the White team.

C Game - Blue 10 (??) - White 3 --- I didn't get to see much of this game but based on the score and the comments in the bar it wasn't pretty. Dark got some dominating play from Jeff Ward and even a goal by Chris Hoyt past his father Del en-route to an easy victory. George stepped in for both teams but spent most of the game with White and did manage a nice top shelf goal but it was too little, too late. Blue was boosted by a nice performance from their sub goalie (whose name I didn't catch) while Del continues to struggle in his new role. Next session I can promise a very different distribution of players and hopefully a more competitive outcome. But it was still hockey and the beer in the bar was still beer so we are assured that life will go on for at least another six weeks.

B Game - Blue 10 - White 9 --- This game started out looking like a slam dunk for White as Mike Tully(2) and Steve Olson put them up 3-0 early. Sub goalie Mark (??) for Blue was a little late getting on the ice and also a little late making saves to start the game. But the tide would turn and just like in the first game, one player did most of the damage. The "A" game may have had Jesse, but this game had Jamie. Jamie Sassenbury, Orange team captain and one man wrecking crew for the Blue team. Jamie scored his teams first three goals and only a Scott Budynas goal for White kept them in the lead at 4-3. Stef Boutin scored with 12:40 to go in the 2nd period and White thought they would take this one home, but it wasn't over yet. Tom Gridley and Dave Stage scored for Blue to tie the score at 5-5. Another goal by Boutin put White back in front and then Mike Tully completed his hat trick (I can't believe I'm even saying this) to once again give White a two goal lead 7-5. At that point Sassenbury again stepped up and scored two goals for Blue, one with only 12 seconds left in period two to send the game into the third period tied 7-7. Sadly, Len Slack then had to leave the game for White. I am pretty sure he aggravated his "hip" injury during a first period collision with teammate (the returning) Ian Webber (who clearly has not missed a meal since his last FNHL game). Anyway, Lenny's pain in the "hip" may have been subliminally transferred to his team in the third period. First Tony Pompo got on the board for Blue crashing headlong into the net and carrying Mike Comartos, Dave Rigg, and most importantly the puck into the net with him. Mike Masello then flipped a backhander past Rigg to give Blue a 9-7 lead. Bill Wood scored for White to make it 9-8 with 11:30 to play. The teams then battled back and forth for the next 10 minutes but neither Blue goalie Mark or White goalie Dave Rigg would allow a goal. Finally with 1:45 on the clock Jamie Sassenbury fittingly notched what would eventually be the game winner (his sixth of the night). Ian Webber did get a goal for White with about 30 seconds left and the goalie pulled but Blue survived a furious final rally to earn the comeback win. It was a great game, fun to watch and easily the Game of the Week. One giant win for Blue, one big pain in the "hip" for White.

Other News - The schedule for the next session has been posted and the new rosters are in effect so please take a few minutes to look things over. Speaking of a few minutes, rumor has it that if Bob LaBarre lasted half as long at home as he does on the ice, Patty would be much happier. (We'd even be willing to bet on it)..... George has mentioned that we have a number of players who would like to rejoin or enter the league and the sub list is quite full. This past week we once again had several no-show, no-call guys and that seems to be a consistent problem. In this day and age there is no reason that we should be running into this so often. Please take a few seconds and pick up the cell phone if you can't make it to a scheduled game. That goes for the Sunday sessions as well (for those of you in that group). Also on Sunday's especially we've noticed a few players tend to stay on the ice for very long "shifts". Please be courteous to your fellow skaters and get the heck off the ice after a reasonable couple of minutes, not when you are "tired". If you're not tired after 3 minutes, you're not skating hard enough.... So that's my mini rant for the week. On a better note, we broke our all-time attendance mark last week thanks to the Baldwin and Hopkins families who did a great job running the scoreboard during the "A" game (Jesse kept them busy of course).....  Dan Jennings has suggested that we try to get a group together and visit the Winterlude Festival in Ottawa. It sounds like a good time so if you're interested let Dan know. The festival runs from about Feb 3rd to the 19th and they have a website at www.winterlude.ca. Steve Olson has built another impressive rink in his backyard and I will post some photos soon. Maybe we should hold an FNHL game there Steve??

See you Friday!   

01/04/06 - New Year = New format for the recaps. Also you may have noticed that this page is considerably smaller. In an effort to keep page loading times down I've deleted prior years news. If you do want to look something up you can click on the links on top to re-visit years past.

Blue 13 - Orange 11 - A roller coaster ride to start the new year. Blue rolls out to an early 5- 0 lead including goals by Gridley (2), Beran, Jervis and sub Spencer (for hire). Orange rallies behind Boismenu, Budynas and Olson to close the gap. Jervis adds one more to close the period at 6-3. Orange starts strong in period 2 with goals from Jamie Sassenbury and Scott Budynas and it's 6-5 with 9:20 to go in the period. Spencer and Jervis team up for two more for Blue and then (sub) Jason Vogel scores for Orange - 8 to 6 after 2. The line of Stage, Spencer and Jervis stay hot for Blue and run the score back up to 12-7 and this one is over...... or maybe not??? Budynas, Olin and Olson answer and with 4 minutes left it's 12-11..!!! Finally with just over a minute left, Duane Pardee beats Dave Rigg like a rented goalie and Blue can breathe again, escaping with a 13-11 win.

White 20 (?) - Red 6 - Started out with scoring on both sides. Matt Hysell opened for White but Brian Banks answered. Chris Baldwin scored to put White back in front before (sub) Dan Jervis hit two in a row to give Red their only lead of the night 3-2. Baldwin, Albanese and Evans (2) then notch 4 straight to put White in the lead for good 6-3. A late one-timer by Stef Boutin from Tony Pompo ends the period with White up 6-4. At that point this reporter left the building and, rumor has it, so did Red goalie Del Hoyt. By all accounts White scored early and often - or maybe the better term would be "at will." Evans ends up with about 6, Baldwin about 5, Albanese maybe 4 and Nick Smith buried 2. Ron Maydole was held scoreless in his first game back after pneumoina but not due to lack of opportunities. Del of course is new to the position so hopefully he'll bounce back from this one ala Dave Rigg of a few weeks ago....enough said.

Yellow 9 - Black 6 - No roller coaster in this one, just great action from start to finish. Sub goalie Chuck Austin was outstanding for Black as was the Bob LaBarre led defense. Yellow had all their guns and they were firing but couldn't beat Austin. Finally Adam Rufa and Mike Matyasik scored for Yellow to answer the goal by Black's Greg Schiccitano and the period ended 2-1. Second period was more of the same with Yellow pressing but Black holding and stepping up on offense when the opportunity arose. Jesse and Chip each scored for Yellow but they were more than answered by Black with Pardee, Rob Niemeier and Schiccitano scoring (again) to carry a 4 - 4 tie into the last stanza. The game was still tight until about the midway point in the period when Jesse and Pete Thompson each scored two goals to put Yellow in control. Greg Schiccitano did complete his hat trick for Black (who knew???) and George Fleischmann added one late but it was not quite enough. Matt Marchitto had the last goal for Yellow. With all due respect to the opener, this was, the Game of the Week. I'm going back to Texas next week with a new respect for the Alamo....

Other News - Due to the holidays, George did not press people for money last week. Please remember to pay him this Friday. The Sunday group money is also due and this week will be the last week in the session. I will post new schedules as soon as I get them. There have been a few player trades made and the changes will take effect next week with the start of the new session. It might be a good idea to take a look at the rosters and let either George or I know you have any questions.

See you Friday!

01/03/06 - The schedule and rosters for the ABC games this Friday are now posted. As always, there was no intent to slight anyone in terms of placement. I did once again shuffle a few players between the various games to try to keep things interesting and fun for all. Please let me know immediately if you cannot make your scheduled game or if I have accidentally forgotten to put someone on the list. Special thanks to everyone who already e-mailed me about availability. Since it's quite late already tonight, the regular game recaps will be posted tomorrow. Also, please take a look at the new letter in the Ice Chips section. Steve Olson is still looking for two players to participate in the pond hockey tournament in Lake Placid in mid January.

12/27/05 - George has advised me that we will have regular FNHL hockey this week. Since there was only one regular week left in this session, those games will be played Friday and the ABC games will be next week. As always, if you already know you can't make it for the ABC week (1/6/06) please send me an e-mail asap as I will be putting the teams together very soon. Thanks to everyone for you patience and cooperation as we adjust on the fly to the scheduling issues thrown at us. I can assure you that these issues don't originate with us and all George can do is try to get as much notice as possible when things happen. Unfortunately he is rarely given that courtesy by the rink. At this point I do not believe that the Sunday morning group will have ice until Jan 8th but if anything changes I will let everyone know. No game recaps this week with the holiday break.... A few of us did get together for a skate at Lysander which Brian Banks and Mike Comartos were kind enough to arrange..... My brother and I have been talking quite a bit recently about tournament options and I hope to make some commitments soon so if you think you might be interested, please see me or drop me an e-mail so you don't get left off the list. Just expressing interest doesn't bind you to anything so feel free to speak up without final obligation rather than being overlooked. I am fairly certain that we will have some roster changes next session with Jamie Shuler moving back to Yellow, Matt Marchitto and Germain LaPointe joining Black and Dan Jennings returning to his former team, now known as Orange. Also we're very happy to welcome back Dave Cavallaro to Blue following his injury a while back. So in conclusion I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and look forward to seeing you back on the ice this Friday. I think it may be a very Blue New Years Eve Eve for Orange....

See you Friday!

12/21/05 - Very important news this week - due to repairs and maintenance at the rink we will be off this Friday and possibly next. I was under the impression that everyone was aware of this but learned today that may not be true. Please make sure that everyone on your team knows there's no hockey. Once George gets final word on next week I will update the schedules. Since I had the late game last week there's very little to report. I heard that in the opener Black got a strong outing from goalie Rick Cummings and pulled out a two goal win over Red. I'm not sure on the score, maybe 10-8? No word at all on the second game, Yellow vs Orange. Feel free to e-mail me with the details and I will post them. The late game could have been a good one. Blue vs White is usually a pretty good game but White goalie Rob Conrad had a different idea in mind. Or maybe I should say out of his mind because that's how he played this week. Rob put together one of, if not the, best games he's played in the FNHL. Close shots, far shots, low, high, breakaways - you name it, he stopped it. On the other side, White sub Brian Pompo found the back of the Blue net early and often and this game was over before it really got started. I could ramble on with the sad details but it would only be depressing. Final score was White 11 - Blue 4 and it wasn't as close as the final score would indicate. On behalf of George and the entire FNHL I'd like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Hopefully we will be back on the ice without too much delay.

.....And to all a good night!

12/13/05 - It's pretty cold here, must be down around 60 degrees right now... Anyway hockey was played again last Friday with mixed results. The opening game was Yellow vs White and it must have been a good one - too bad I didn't see it. The only report I got on the game was that White pulled out a 9-8 victory. If anyone has more info, feel free to send it in. The second game of the night was Blue vs something vaguely resembling Red. But this was no ordinary Red team. Adding subs Derek Crowley and Pete Klem to the already strong group including the Pompo brothers, Dave Sabatino, etc turned that team Crimson. Blue gave a tremendous effort all the way around and managed to stay with the new unholy powerhouse for about a period and a half. Dave Stage scored for Blue to tie the score at 3 but that was about all the gas in the Blue tank. Not even the presence of Mike Tully on offense could slow the Crimson attack. I think Tully even scored a goal and at that point you just knew it was over. The final score was approximately Crimson 11 - Blue 3. A better game than the score would indicate and a nice effort by Blue but there were just too many horses on the other bench. The last game of the night was a coming out party of sorts for the Orange team. For several weeks now I've noted that rookie goalie Dave Rigg has made some good saves but not managed to put enough pieces in place to secure the win. All that changed on the Olympic ice last week. For two periods Rigg was outstanding and pitched a shutout while Len Slack was among the scorers who gave Orange about a 4-0 lead into the 3rd period vs an undermanned Black. But it was at that point that reinforcements arrived from the second game with Dan Jervis and Germain LaPointe stepping in to sub. The tide could have turned, and it did somewhat as Rigg's bid for a shutout was foiled. But that was just a footnote - captain Jamie Sassenbury battled hard for a goal late in the 3rd period and a late rally by came up short. Do you believe in miracles??? YES!!! Orange plays tough and wins, Rigg is outstanding the crowd went wild. I think the final score was about 7-5 although there was some heated (and pointless) argument about this after the game. Whatever the final score was, Orange did earn the victory..... One observation, it would seem like a fairly simple solution to these what's the score controversies if the team on the scoreboard side of the benches would just mark the goals as they are scored. Hopefully we all realize that in the end it really doesn't matter who won or lost but we also know that in the heat of the game - it does matter to some degree. So why not just keep the score up to date on the board and end all the ridiculous arguments? But I digress..... Anyway, in other news, George has informed me that there are likely to be some more player movements made in the next couple of weeks in an effort to adjust for guys who have either officially quit or just stopped showing up. We know it's a real problem on one or two teams in particular and I know George will do anything he can to keep the league fun and the competition balanced. But it shouldn't be all on George to handle it. Bottom line is if you want to be on a team and play then show up. If you can't make it then call your captain so a sub can be arranged. Sorry to rant a little tonight but these types of problems should be easily solved and yet consistently they recur....... Last but not least I have heard from some people about next years tournaments and it's getting very close to decision time. If you want to participate in Montreal or any other tournament we can agree to go to then please let me know asap. Even if you're not sure, I'd rather have you on the list than not hear from you at all. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and allow me to return from Houston on time...

See you Friday!

12/06/05 - Last week turned out rather black for Orange as they faced White in the opening game. By all accounts, new goalie Dave Rigg continues to improve and make some outstanding saves but consistency remains elusive. I didn't see either the early or late games this week so all I have to go on is the after game banter in the bar and a few tidbits from Lenny. Anyway, the final score of that first game was unknown although there was no doubt it was very one sided. Let's just say 12+ to 3 and leave it at that. Heather was once again in attendance and was most likely chatting with Ashley while Len scored his lone goal.... Game #2 was a good one with Black taking on Blue and marked the return of Dave Cavallaro to the Blue team. Cavy is still recovering from his injuries but did a nice job on D for Blue - switching places with George Fleischmann who jumped up to the wing (which is where Duane thinks he usually is anyway). Black was more Grey this week with the addition of several subs from the White team, most notably John Albanese and Gregg Evans who contributed quite a bit of offense to the effort. Black jumped out to a quick lead thanks to the aforementioned Mr. Evans and was up about 3-0 before Blue realized that the game had actually started. Blue finally did get on the board and for the next two periods the teams played "cat and mouse" with Black pulling away then Blue almost catching up and then Black scoring again. The third period was a different story however as Blue finally pulled within one at 10-9 thanks to goals by Tom Gridley, Dave Cavallaro and Brad Beran. With only minutes to go Dan Jervis stuffed his own rebound around Rick Cummings to tie the score. Then with less than 10 seconds left Jervis took a pass from Duane Pardee and was off on a breakaway. After a deke, the backhand shot tricked past Cummings just as the horn sounded. It was decided that the goal was too late so the miracle finish was erased. But not for very long as Tom Gridley scored the game winner on the first shift of overtime to (finally) conclude the comeback win for Blue 11-10. Dan Jennings, (sub) John Albanese, Mark Schumacher and Ron Schlicht were among the other scorers for Black. George Fleischmann and Germain Lapointe also had goals for Blue in this certified Game of the Week thriller.... Not much detail at all to report on the late game. I know that Yellow with only 6 players managed to post about a 10-7 win over Red with sub Del Hoyt in goal. Nothing else at the moment that I can think of to throw at you except that I really need to get a voice recorder so I can remember more details of the games. Each week I feel more and more like Bob LaBarre - older and with a severely diminished memory.....

See you Friday!

11/30/05 - I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving holiday. It's a slow news week since we were on vacation. I do have one update to pass along. Actually I had the info in my wallet since the game last Friday courtesy of "Smith" but in this hi-tech era I had forgotten that the Napkin went back to its roots in printed and abridged form. Anyway, the game was White vs Black and things started badly for the men from the dark side. White took a 7-2 lead after two periods and threatened to run away and hide. But Black was not quite done and launched a furious rally to close the gap to 7-6. Thanks to White goalie Rob Conrad, who made a bunch of big saves late, the rally came up just short and White escaped with a one goal win. Jeff Janofsky scored twice in his debut for White, Chris Baldwin and Gregg Evans also had 2 and captain Bill Hopkins added 1 himself. On the dark side, Dan Jennings played well and scored a couple and Greg Schiccitano, Germain Lapointe, George Flesichmann and Ron Schlicht had the others. Based on the details I'd have to say this qualifies for a (belated) Game of the Week. My apologies to "Smith" and the teams involved for the delayed posting..... The only other news at the moment is that I have received a brochure from Russell Hockey regarding the Montreal tournaments. They have really thrown a curve at us this year. There will be a small tournament in Montreal on May 5th - 7th however it will be at a different rink near the one we usually play at. Since they have only 1 sheet of ice they are limiting the entries to the 1st 16 teams who send in a deposit. If we want in, we need to make a commitment quickly. There will be a regular tournament at the 4 Glaces Rink, but not until August 25th - 27th. That might be the better one to try and bring two teams to. I will try to remember the brochure this week. If you are at all interested in being a part of our tournament team(s) please don't wait to contact me.

See you Friday!

11/22/05 - I just got word that we do have the 10:15pm slot this Friday and we also do have ice for the Sunday group this week as well. Good news indeed for those of us who will be trying to quickly shed the excess Thanksgiving Day pounds. As always, there are 20 spots available for Friday and two goalie spots - please e-mail me immediately if you want in. George will not be there this week so please don't call him to save a spot for you. This week's updates will be quick since the games themselves really weren't that memorable. In the first game Blue added super sub Jeff Fisher, who played well and scored a couple, but simply didn't have the horses to keep up with an energized Yellow squad. Goal of the night had to be Jesse angling his way to the net with a Blue defender draped all over him and still managing to drop a nice backhand behind John Oakes. Chris Rousseau was back this week as a sub for Yellow and got the win in goal despite allowing a lapse in concentration to translate into a goal for Brad Beran from the Red line. The final score was about 12-8 (or something like that). The second game was White vs Black and I didn't get an e-mail with any details. I am pretty sure that White managed to win the game. If anyone has additional info, feel free to send it here and I'll post it. The late game was another one that will be quickly forgotten. The Red team welcomed Dave Sabatino to their roster and he teamed with Brian Pompo and sub Dan Jervis to form a line that the Orange defense had no answer for. Red scored early and often en-route to an 8-2 first period lead. Nick Julian got into the act as well with a goal and an assist. For that matter pretty much every member of the Red team got on the scoreboard at least once including defenseman John Griffith with a nice shot from the slot. Over on the Orange side goalie Dave Rigg continues to work hard to improve his game and he did make some really good saves, despite the lopsided result. After being under siege for most of the first period and a half they did find a way to put a few shots past Red goalie Chuck Austin. Wayne Morse and Bill Wood were solid but the absence of Jamie Shuler clearly put a damper on the Orange attack. Also notable was the presence of Len Slack's girlfriend Heather for the third week in a row. Since there was little traffic in front of the Red net, Len was not able to bounce in any goals off defenders legs and was held scoreless. The final score was irrelevant and I honestly have no idea what it was. But the night was not a total loss for Heather since she wasn't really there to see Len anyway. She received an autographed game puck from the games high scorer to mark the occasion, which will likely wind up bringing in a large sum on e-bay next month.... In other news, Dave Cavallaro was back on this ice this Sunday morning and we were happy to see him although we hope he's not trying to come back too soon. I don't think he will be ready for Friday's for a while yet but it's evident that Cavy will not be out as long as originally feared...... On behalf of George and the entire FNHL I'd like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday and we will be back to regular action a week from Friday....

Have a good week!

11/16/05 - Sorry for the delayed update but my personal odyssey continued this week and there was not even cell phone service in the small town we were banished to. Last week marked the return of the ever popular ABC games and it appears that they were a success again this time. The opening game was the B game and I wasn't able to attend so there are few details to pass along. I was told that the White team with Rob Conrad in goal won the game by about 11-7 and Len Slack and Mike Masello worked well together on offense. Also a couple of people mentioned that the game was well paced and closer than the final score would indicate. Heather was back for the second week in a row and since she didn't have me to cheer for she passed the time talking to Ashley in the bar - I understand completely, with Len on the ice there's sure to be lots of idle time between missed opportunities.... Game number 2 was the C game and with the lack of true C players right now it featured several new faces who apparently had a real positive impact on the competition. With that said it's time to turn the column back over to "Smith" who did come through with another installment of the Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

The C-Game
 BLUE GRINDERS– 8
WHITE GOONS – 7

The rosters were shuffled, but the tradition of close C-Games continued as the Grinders (wearing blue) rebounded from a slow start and defeated the Goons (in white) in should be a Game of the Week Contender. White jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first, but Blue adjusted their strategy and dominated the mid-latter portions of the game, tying the game at around 5 or 6. The teams then traded goals, with the final go-ahead goal scored with around a minute to play. The game ended with White (net empty and extra attacker on the ice) jamming at the puck in the Blue crease. Play got a little intense/borderline chippy in the third, but it was all good heat-of-the-moment stuff that you get in close games.

Nick Smith had a hat trick for the Grinders, including the game winner off a nice feed from Ron “Zamboni” Maydole. Drew Liszewski scored a pair of goals, while Terry “The Instigator” Young (top shelf), Pete Thompson, and Keith Benjamin chipped in singletons. Mark Schumacher had a few good scoring chances in his first C-game in several months, but couldn’t quite put in one of his signature goals. The Grinders defensive unit, which consisted of a core of Joe “Amazing” Gracz and Keith Benjamin, with Pete T. and Rich Fleischmann alternating time between D and C, was solid in breaking up the Goons rushes and setting up some going the other way. Keith in particular played a strong game – on top of his goal, he had another strong shot from the point that I thought was tipped just across the line, but the review from the booth said no goal. After a shaky start, Dave “Hexy” Rigg woke in the net, making enough big saves to earn the “W”. Hit of the night honors go to Rich for a mid-ice collision with a White forward, who had to leave the game with a possible shoulder injury – hope everything is okay.

 The Brothers Matyasik (Len and Mike) led the Goons with three or four goals between them, while Scotty Budynas also scored two. Not sure who rounded out the scoring for White, think it may have been one of the many new guys that were playing in this game. Goalie Del “Hanrahan” Hoyt had Blue stymied early on and stopped a lot of shots to keep the score close. Terry King, Frank Rathburn, Brad Beran, and Nick “Senior” Julian were solid in the defensive zone, and were a key factor in keeping Blue off the scoreboard in the early going.

 The bar had a decent crowd as usual after the ABC games, but was relatively quiet as most of the players that showed were kinda wiped out from the intense games. Ashley was in fine form, as always. Can’t say the same about the slow pouring Labatt’s tap, but Saranac Pale Ale is now in the rotating tap and was going down pretty good. Not much talk about the alternate jersey idea going on. Maybe we also need to come up with a league motto/slogan to help guide what ends up on the jerseys.

Thanks as always to "Smith" for his usual fine job of reporting. Based on your recommendation I will go ahead and make it official as the Game of the Week.... But there was one other game played and it was a good one as well. The A teams found a lot of ice to deal with thanks to 4 of the scheduled 20 players winding up as no shows. Blue traded Jesse Nistico to White prior to faceoff in an effort to even up the sides and it worked well, almost too well. Jesse thrives on the Olympic ice and in an 8 on 8 game chasing him around can get very tiring very quickly. Blue defenders Duane Pardee, Bill Hopkins, Wayne Morse and Dan Jennings certainly earned their post game beers as did goalie John Oakes. The game was fairly even - Jesse got White on the board first but then Blue managed to knock a few past Russ Cole to take the lead. It was a seesaw battle from there on, I think about 6-5 going into the third period. By then everyone was tired and it was just a matter of who could connect and hold on. White had chances but Blue made them count and took home a well deserved 9-7 win. Dave Sabatino had about 3 of the White goals and Jesse had the other 4. Chris Baldwin, Tony Pompo, Germain LaPointe, and Dan Jervis were among the scorers for Blue.... In other news, the new schedules are posted and of note is the fact that we have no hockey the day after Thanksgiving.... Also, the alternate jersey idea has been tossed around but we'd still appreciate some more input on that.... A few B and C players have talked to me informally about Montreal but if we're going to send 2 teams we'll need a few more than that. It's a good time and I hope more guys will consider it....Finally, Cavy sent a letter which I posted in the Ice Chips section. It sounds like he's improving and anxious to make his return. We hope the good news continues.....

See you Friday!

11/08/05 - Some pretty good action on the ice this week and a pretty good turnout in the stands as well... Maybe it was due to all the pre-game hype but I'm pretty sure that the opening game of the evening, Blue vs Orange shattered previous FNHL attendance records. At one point there were as many as six spectators including Mike Masello's wife (with her ever present novel) and Len's girlfriend Heather (rooting for Blue of course). Well a "Rigg Roast" was promised and since it was me who promised the feast I felt obligated to not only cook, but also stuff and carve the fledgling Orange netminder. Thanks in large part to the hustle of linemates Dave Stage and Germain Lapointe (making his Blue debut) the plan came together early and before Mike's wife could finish a chapter, Blue jumped out to a 3 or 4 to nothing lead in the first period. It would have been easy for Orange to let the wheels fall off at that point but much to their credit, they did not allow that to happen. Jamie Shuler and (to my dismay) Len Slack (still bouncing weak goals off other peoples legs) paced a nice comeback while the aforementioned goalie Dave Rigg buckled down and held the fort. I don't remember the score at the end of two periods but I know it was close. The key point in the game occurred in the 3rd period when Orange sub Bob LaBarre (how perfect is that?!) mishandled the puck at the blueline and allowed me a breakaway which somehow just got past Rigg and into the Orange net. The final score was Blue 10 - Orange 8. Stage, Lapointe, Tom Gridley and George Fleischmann each scored a goal for Blue. I'm not sure who else scored for Orange but they got some strong play from Jamie Sassenbury, Scott Budynas and Steve Olson. A good win for Blue but a pretty good outing for Orange as well. They are starting to develop some chemistry as a team and should have success down the road if it continues...... I was hoping for another installment of The Napkin to fill in the details for the second game - White vs Red but unfortunately the demands of new fatherhood seem to have gotten the best of our ace reporter "Smith". I did hear in the bar that White was the winner and a special guest appearance by Dave Cornell helped to keep the Pompo brothers in check. We're still seeking a new ace to fill the semi vacant reporter spot so if you'd like to give it a shot just send me an e-mail with whatever you think was worth mentioning and I'll post it.... The final game of the night was Yellow vs Black. Surprisingly Yellow had their complete roster in attendance while, not surprisingly, Black did not. When you're facing the high powered Yellow offense and at least half your undermanned team of 8 has already played a game (including all 3 defensemen), you know it's going to be an uphill battle. Black was bolstered by the addition of speedy Dave Sabatino who scored a couple of goals in his FNHL return. But Yellow was hustling and moving the puck well and took the early lead. I'm not sure who all scored for Yellow - I think Chip, Matt Marchitto, Jesse, and Pete Thompson were a few. Black made a good comeback attempt in the 2nd and drew the game to within a goal (6-5) on goals by Sabatino and Lapointe. I even managed to bounce a "Slackian" goal off someone's skate to cut the deficit to one. But the 3rd period was pretty much a disaster for Black as Yellow rattled off several quick goals to put the game out of reach. The final score was about 11-7. Although they don't score a lot of points, the hustle of Yellow players like the Matyasik brothers, Drew Liszewski and Mike Comartos certainly helped wear down Black and secure the win for their team. All things considered it was a fitting end to the evening...... In other news, the ABC rosters and schedule for this week are posted. Please make sure that anyone who doesn't have access to the web knows what time they are playing and let me know if anyone can't make it.... Finally I am beginning to think about the Montreal tournament team for 2006. Last year's FNHL entry made it all the way to the finals in their division and I see no reason they can't win it all this time around. I don't have any specifics yet as far as dates go but it is usually the last weekend in April or the first weekend in May. If you are interested in playing this year please let me know. The tournament has many different divisions including novice and if there is enough interest we can even enter two teams. From past experience we know that it's always a lot of fun and the competition has been pretty evenly matched. The cost is usually about $165 plus hotel, etc..... Well it's about 85 degrees here in Houston and tomorrow will probably mean more sunshine so I will muddle through as well as possible until I can fly back to cold weather and grey skies.... No further news on Cavy but I will pass along whatever I hear in the future.

See you Friday!

11/07/05 - The rosters and schedule for the ABC week this Friday are posted. Note: There is a distinct shortage of true C players. As always I have attempted to get three good games together and did not intend to offend anyone by their placement. For the C game specifically there are several players who could easily compete in the B game. I tried to balance them on each team so that the game is competitive. If you are not on the list but feel you should be, please e-mail me. Also if you can't make it this Friday please let me know that as well. The regular weekly update will be posted later in the week.

11/02/05 - Hopefully everyone enjoyed their week off. We are back to business this Friday and I know the Blue team is looking forward to their primetime matchup with Orange. Blue has promised to deliver a "Rigg Roast" and I wouldn't bet against them... Another sub-plot for the evening will feature Len (hands of granite) Slack squaring off against yours truly.... Len's girlfriend Heather has promised to be in attendance - but who will she be rooting for?? My money's on Blue..... In other news, Bob LaBarre is still old and bald and Cavy is still injured but fortunately getting at least a bit better. We were happy to see him at the rink last week and look forward to a return visit Friday.... The poll has ended and by the slimmest of margins the ABC games emerged victorious. I will be posting lineups and schedules for them as soon as George and I confirm the rosters. As always if you already know you can't make it next week (November 11th) please let me know asap. If you are not on the regular rosters but would like to be considered available to sub that week let me know that as well..... We have had discussions recently about getting an alternate jersey FNHL jersey made. Steps are already being taken to make that happen and we are looking for artistic type people to submit ideas for a new FNHL logo to be used on these jerseys and also featured here on the website. George has said that there will be some prize awarded to the designer of the winning logo but we haven't finalized the details yet. Of course you don't have to be an FNHL player to submit a design. Once all the ideas have been submitted I will post them here on the site (I can scan a drawing if necessary) and the winner will be decided by vote.... Finally, there was some positive feedback submitted regarding Nick Julian's suggestion about using real ref's and a timekeeper for the ABC week. Due to the short time frame I've decided against that for this session but I'd really like to get some additional feedback in time to schedule it next time (if that's an idea more people want to try).

See you Friday!

10/26/05 - The rosters for Friday at 10:15 were finalized this afternoon. Teams are as follows -

White - Germain Lapointe, George Fleischmann, Dan Jervis, Brian Banks, Duane Pardee, Chris Baldwin, Mike Tully, Terry King, Steve Olson, Rich Fleischmann, Dave Rigg (G).

Blue - Brian Pompo, Brad Beran, Chip O'Connor, Del Hoyt, Bill Hopkins, Nick Smith, Bill Wood, Stef Boutin, Bob LaBarre, Gregg Evans, Chuck Austin (G).

Unfortunately we only have the one slot which filled up quickly.

One other quick note for the Sunday morning group. George confirmed tonight that we do have our regular slot this week at 7am. The rink has been kicking us off promptly at 8:30 so we really need to get started as early as possible.

10/25/05 - After a nice visit in Jacksonville I arrived back in Syracuse about 12 hours before my next flight on Monday to Connecticut (which is where I am now). For those of you from the Montreal group, Pete and Cinker and the rest of the Jax crew send their regards. I did get a couple of updates from last weeks action so, as promised, here they are.

Too many subs on Blue to write up a report, I'm sure someone will fill you in on the Blue details. Score was about White-9 over Blue-5. Pretty close most of game, except for a part of the 2nd when white scored on several consecutive shifts. Blue seemed to be tiring, but got their wind back and played well in the 3rd. John Albanese and Chris Baldwin had hat tricks, Jason Vogel, Darren Karn, and Matt Hysell scored singles. John was player of the game: besides the hat trick, he flat out hustled, including going down to block a shot.

Thanks to "Smith" for that update, not quite a "Napkin" but certainly more than a tissue... and now on to what could be the next big thing here at the website as Rigg checks in "From the Crease"..

From the Crease - The Yellow Team beat the Orange Team in a game where two periods (the first and third) were evenly played, but the second period was owned by the Yellow Team, and was the difference in the game. The game started quickly, and at the end of the first period the score was 2 to 3 (favor Yellow). However, Yellow ran away with it in the second, and kept the Orange back on their heels. In the second period Yellow outscored Orange approximately 6 to 1. The third period was evenly played, with each team scoring 2 or 3 goals. Scoring for the Yellow was evenly distributed, and Jesse was held to only 2 goals but lots of assists. Pete Thomson scored a couple, and Mike and Matt may have also scored a few. For the Orange Team, Bill "the Sniper" Wood fired in a couple bullets. The Orange Team defense including Brett, Wayne, and the "subs" did a great job of holding the Yellow Team in check and preventing a blow-out. Despite all the scoring, both goalies (Phil for Yellow, Rigger for Orange) played well.

Not a bad effort for a forward turned goalie... Thanks Rigg for taking the time to send in the report. Hopefully he can be convinced to join the staff here on a weekly basis.

I did get an update on Dave Cavallaro and spoke to him myself recently. Unfortunately in addition to the bruised kidneys Dave also severely tore his groin and will be out for an extended period of time. As always, our thoughts are with him and we hope that his recovery will be complete regardless of how long it takes. Finally, the good news is that we do have the 10:15 slot this Friday, the bad news is that there are only 3 spots left to fill. The next three people to e-mail me will get them and after that I can only send regrets. If you want in, please don't wait any longer to let me know....As soon as the roster is set I will e-mail that group the teams.

See you Friday!

10/18/05 - A word of advice. If you have a cruise scheduled shortly after an FNHL game you may want to consider taking that week off. Having personally taken a cruise in a cast in 2002 and then this summer narrowly escaping disaster in the form of an epic FNHL collision the week before my departure, I speak from experience. If there are any doubters left out there then I must present exhibit #3, my good friend Dave Cavallaro. It seems that Cavy and his wife Megan were scheduled to depart last Saturday morning for a cruise to celebrate their 1st anniversary. But of course before that departure was our regular FNHL game at 9:30. As fate would have it, disaster struck. Early in the game Cavy was trying to chase down a pass near the end boards in the Red team's zone when he lost his balance and crashed hard into those boards. I was still in the locker room and even from there the thud was sickening. Sadly, Cavy suffered a bruised kidney and at least two other injuries. Needless to say, the trip insurance came in handy and the cruise will have to be rescheduled. Was it glare from Bob's bald head? Chips on the ice from Lenny's hands of stone? We may never know for sure what caused the accident... but the lesson is clear - cruisers beware.....  The bottom line this week is that after our friend went down, the rest of the action pretty much became irrelevant. Red and Blue did finish their game with Mike Tully, Chuck Austin and the Pompo brothers leading Red to a 6 - 3 victory. The D for Red was very solid as well. John Oakes and the Blue D were very good but the team simply had no spark..... I didn't see either of the other games last week. It was reported that Yellow took the early game over White and Orange got their first win as a franchise over Black. If anyone would like to add the details for either game, feel free to drop me an e-mail and I will post them..... I will be out of town this week so there will be a break in the updates unless someone volunteers to step in.... The new poll is going strong and I will have to wrap it up soon. If you haven't had a chance to vote yet, please take a moment and do so. Along those lines there have been a couple of interesting suggestions made for possible alternatives to the "ABC" week. To date I haven't gotten much feedback on them. As a follow-up to Nick Julian's suggestion I recently got an e-mail from Liam Curry offering to help arrange the refs if that's the way the group wants to go. I have to make a decision on this session very soon so if you've got an opinion on the subject please share it..... The deadline for getting something together for the Hawaii tournament is quickly approaching. At this point there has been some interest but not enough to commit to it.... As the schedule notes, we are off next Friday, October 28th. No word yet from George if there will be a 10:15 slot available. Not much more to say at this point. Last update was that Cavy will be out of action for at least a couple of months. On behalf of the entire FNHL I'd like to wish Dave a speedy recovery. We all realize that risk of injury comes with the territory but that never makes it any easier when something really unfortunate occurs.

See you in a few weeks...!

10/11/05 - The good, the bad and the ugly. This was the theme of last week's games and not a reference to beer, Lenny's hands and Bob LaBarre's bald head... ok well maybe them too. First up on the recap list this week is The Good and it came in the form of our opening contest, Yellow vs Blue. Surprisingly, both teams were playing with their regular rosters. It was the first time that has happened in a very long time. Yellow started strong and directed a lot of pucks at Blue goalie John Oakes but Oakes was up to the challenge and kept his team in the game. Jesse did finally manage to get a couple of goals late in the first or early in the second period but things stayed close. On the other side, Russ Cole didn't see much action in the Yellow goal as the Blue offense had trouble getting the puck on net. When Yellow defenseman Matt Marchitto put one past Oakes midway through the second period for a 3-0 Yellow lead the game looked like it might turn bad or ugly, but Blue was not done yet. Thanks to Oakes and some very solid defense by Gracz, Kokkoris, Fleischmann and Pardee the powerful Yellow attack was held at bay. Tom Gridley finally got Blue on the board followed by two from Dave Cavallaro. Yellow got some strong play from Pete Thompson and the returning Mike Matyasik while Jesse added two more goals to his tally for the night and the score was 5-3 in favor of Yellow late in the third period when things got even more interesting. With a few minutes to go in the game Dan Jervis beat Russ Cole with a backhander to the top corner and we had a one goal game. Then with only about a minute left on the clock the puck went to the corner deep in the Yellow zone to the left of their net. Chip O'Connor picked up the puck for Yellow and was immediately pressured by Cavy and Rich Fleischmann. Chip went to calmly flip the puck out of the zone but failed to notice yours truly, Dan Jervis lurking at the top of the circle to glove the clearing attempt. Two steps and one quick shot later the game was tied and this Game of the Week classic went into the books that way. A great game all the way around and a lot of fun to be a part of.... Game #2 by all accounts was not a bad game per say, but when the powerful White team has only half their team in attendance, that's bad. And when Bob LaBarre is on the other side, that's automatically ugly. Since I was slated to play again in the late game I didn't get to see much of this one. Although I did see a nice one-timer goal for White by a new sub who's name I have already forgotten. Apparently there were not enough highlights for the sub-laden White Boyz who ended up on the short end of an 11-8 score..... So we've reviewed the good, the bad and some of the ugly but with the final game of the night following a teen night brawl on the Olympic ice there was sure to be more.... and there was. Orange with newly converted goalie Dave Rigg faced off against Red with newly converted sub-goalie Del Hoyt playing for the absent Chuck Austin. Orange had inadvertently scheduled an extra sub for the evening and after the first shift I was traded to Red. So you have the Pompo brothers, the Olympic ice and two rookie goaltenders - which, you might think could lead to a high scoring game.... and you would be correct. This one got ugly in a hurry as Orange goalie Rigg struggled and the Pompo brothers soared. By the end of the first period I think the score was already 7 (or 9) to 2 for Red. The second period didn't get much better for Orange because they simply couldn't seem to get the puck past Del and into the net. Lenny (hands of granite) Slack, Jamie Shuler, Scott Budynas and Jamie Sassenbury all seemed to take turns hitting Del squarely in the chest or shooting wide. By the end of period two this game was all but over. Orange did make a bit of a comeback in the final period and Rigg settled down in goal but by then it was far too little, far too late. The final score is anyone's guess but since this is my column I'll guess it was about 18-8 and, at least for this week, Red was on the winning end of a shootout..... and yes, it was ugly!.......

In other news, we were disappointed by the second straight week of absence for Len's girlfriend, Heather and the proposed scantily clad FNHL cheerleaders but were happy to welcome back Tom Gridley's wife Kathy. Mike Masello's wife was also in attendance, novel in hand, to cheer on the Blue team. Finally it occurred to me as I sat down to write the column this week that I have been consistently forgetting to mention the continued presence and support of the lovely Patty Ryan. My apologies to Patty for the oversight. Anyone who can watch our games week in and week out and then go home to Bob's bald head certainly should be considered a candidate for sainthood (or therapy... or both)..... I am back in Houston this week so hopefully the flights will be on time and I will see you Friday! 

10/04/05 - The new session started with much anticipation and sub-plots galore so let's get right to it. In the opener we saw the debut of John Albanese for the White team, ironically (or intentionally???) facing his old mates from the former Green team, now known as Orange. On the other side we've got newly converted full-time goalie Dave Rigg in his first game as the regular Orange netminder against none other than his former teammates in White. Also veteran Jamie Sassenbury returned to the ice after a lengthy absence to take over the captain's duties for the quasi-expansion Orange now featuring Steve Olson, Wayne Morse and Bill Wood. Since I was (and still am) expecting a Bar Napkin Report on this one I must confess to taking no notes. But since I've always said that the truth will never interfere with a good story the show will go on. The game, as I recall was pretty good and relatively even for the first period. The newly formed line of John Albanese, Chris Baldwin and Gregg Evans clicked immediately for a couple of goals and Darren Karn and Bill Hopkins kept the pressure on from the blueline as well. Orange goalie Rigg played well but seemed to be under almost constant fire. In the other net, Rob Conrad also had a good game stopping most of the very few shots Orange could get through Hopkins, Karn, Jason Vogel and sub Dave Cavallaro. By the middle of the second period, White was up by quite a few and it looked very bad for Orange. But to their credit they did not give up and showed a lot of heart in mounting a comeback. Scott Budynas, Jamie Sassenbury, (sub) Dan Jervis and Bill Wood (I think) were able to light the lamp for Orange. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Lenny (Romeo) Slack who chose this game to end his improbable consecutive game scoring streak. In the end White held on for a well deserved 11-9 win. John Albanese figured prominently in the scoring for White while Dave Rigg had a solid, if not completely successful debut in goal. White looks to be a real powerhouse this session if they can keep up the strong play. Orange has good potential but needs to find consistent offense in order to end up on the winning side of the scoreboard. Notable by her absence was newly crowned season ticket holder #001 - Len's girlfriend Heather. Last time I spoke to her, she had some really good ideas for how to spice up the FNHL including scantily clad cheerleaders (in addition to scantily clad bartenders) and team names that were a little less boring than our colors of the rainbow... Hopefully she will be back next week...... The second game was Blue missing George Fleischmann and Tom Gridley, taking on Black missing.... well pretty much everyone. They say "Once you go Black you never go back" but in this case a better saying would be "Once you go Black you rarely show up." At least captain Bob LaBarre was happy to get some phone calls this time so he had time to beg, borrow and otherwise shanghai a colorful cast of subs including Len Slack and Gregg Evans. Most notable in this one was the long awaited return to the ice for Mark Schumacher. Mark had been out for several months after suffering a serious shoulder injury in his last FNHL game. It didn't take long for him to resurrect the "Schumachian" goal, not once but twice - the only twist was that this time the goals were from a bit further out than his usual six inches. On the Blue side, Rich Fleischmann, Dave Cavallaro and Dan Jervis were reunited as a line - and yes it did feel so good. Each player scored two goals and had other opportunities stopped by either Black goalie Rick Cummings, or the post(s). Mike Masello also had a pair for Blue, but the goal of the night had to be Steve Kokkoris' shot from the blueline that somehow found it's way through a screen and into the top corner of the Black net. As with the opener, the team trailing (in this case Black) refused to go away. Sub Len Slack did nab two very weak goals for Black but Blue had just enough gas in the tank to keep Black blue and send them home with a 9-8 loss.... I didn't see the last game Red vs Yellow but I got two very different opinions on how that one went. It was agreed that Yellow scored an insane number of goals and trounced Red by a score that isn't even worth repeating. From the Red point of view the game was not much fun because a certain Yellow player was determined to run up the score. From the Yellow perspective they did all they could to even things out by moving their forwards to D. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle but who knows. All we are left with is a "he said - he said" standoff and the knowledge that there will be more hockey and beer this week......I did get a couple of letters that I will post later in the week..... The new poll is going well and if you haven't had a chance to vote, please register your opinion asap.

See you Friday!

09/27/05 - Since we were off last week this will be a quick update. Most importantly, the new schedule is posted. Please note that this week we will be delayed on the NHL side due to a junior game. We expect to start around 9:00pm with the second game at about 10:30pm. George will be out of town this weekend so please don't call him on Friday afternoon to say you can't make it. If there is a last minute problem either call your team captain or call me at 246-2940. We are pleased to announce that the new Orange team has its first captain. Veteran Jamie Sassenbury returns after a one session break and will take over the leadership role. John Albanese, the longtime captain of the team (when it was known as Green) will make his debut in White this Friday. I saw John last week at the 10:15 pickup game and he looked like a new man. White jersey, clean shaven - I hardly recognized him. Anyway, it's nice to see John embrace his "Whiteness" and I'm sure he will find the move a good one.

See you Friday!

09/20/05 - The Goalies Choice games went pretty well. Some were more competitive than others but the general feedback from the group was positive. Once again, thanks to everyone who helped put things together. The opening game was Team Rigg in white vs Team Oakes in Blue and of all the games last week it was the most lopsided. Team Oakes added sub Dave Cavallaro in place of Greg Sniffen and that coupled with the return of Jamie Shuler proved to be too much speed and savvy for the hard working Team Rigg defense to handle. Cavy and Shuler teamed up with Gregg Evans to lead the impressive and relentless Blue attack but they were not the only scorers that night. Scott Budynas, who has picked up his play lately, also scored and Del Hoyt even managed to knock in a pair from close range. Del would have had a hat-trick but fell victim to the Hands of Lenny curse and deposited a point blank shot with the goalie out of position into the boards behind the gaping net. On the other side, Team Rigg had no answers offensively and John Oakes solid in goal when called upon. Though I was able to muster a couple of goals, my most impressive move was probably a brief dance with Del at the blueline. Neither of us fell, but we couldn't decide who should lead so we quickly went our separate ways. Stef Boutin and Wayne Morse did score for Team Rigg late in the game but it was long over by then. The final score was Team Oakes 11 - Team Rigg 4. New goalie Dave Rigg played much better than the score would indicate and despite the outcome, it was fun to be a part of team Rigg - great hustle and attitude all the way around. Some days you just get beat by a better team. Good thing there's always plenty of beer upstairs.... The second game was Team Cummings in White vs Team Conrad in Blue. I wasn't able to watch this one so I can only relay the few details I got in the bar afterward. It was reported as a 9 - 6 victory for Team Conrad with Mike Masello, Adam Rufa and Tony Pompo leading the winning attack. Defenders Duane Pardee and Terry King also chipped in with a goal. On the other side it was agreed that Matt Marchitto had a notable game for Team Cummings scoring 4 goals from his defensive position. I am hoping that this positive comment may win me some "brownie points" with Matt's wife (hint, hint)..... With two games in the books it was left to Team Cole in Blue and Team Austin in White to provide the finale. A little subplot developed before the game as Chip O'Connor and Darren Karn couldn't make it for Team Cole and were replaced by subs George Fleischmann and yours truly, Dan Jervis. This meant another game for me vs the infamous Man with Hands of Stone - Lenny Slack. Too add to the drama, Len's girlfriend Heather (who has recently been promoted to the coveted season ticket-holder #001 slot) was in attendance. Could this extra inspiration help Lenny and Team Austin to victory??? No - no way, no how. Lenny did manage to squeak yet another weak goal in to extend his improbable scoring streak but Team Cole was just too strong to be denied. Jesse Nistico was the catalyst on offense for Team Cole scoring three goals while Matt Hysell, Jason Vogel and Dan Jervis added the rest. Nistico, Jervis and Hysell worked especially well together in the 1st period to help Blue jump out to a big early lead. Dave Cavallaro and Brian Pompo tried to spark a comeback netting three goals to add to the weak one Lenny got but it was not enough. The final score was Team Cole 7 - Team Austin 5. In the bar after the game Len failed to score points yet again by arguing against the merits of taking ones girlfriend out to dinner. Not a smart move when she is standing right there Romeo...... In other news, the 10:15 slot available for this Friday is filling up fast (remember we have no regular hockey this week). Once the last few spots are filled the list will be closed so if you want to play please e-mail me immediately. Our next regular session will begin the following Friday, 9/30 and with the new session comes the question of what to do with the "ABC week." I would really appreciate some feedback on this question. Would the group prefer to go back to the ABC format (if so I think we need to re-vote on the rankings) or should we do a re-match of the Goalies Choice games? or should we try something else? E-mail me and let me know what you think. Finally, just when you thought this update was finally over - it's not - not even close. I am pleased to announce that "Smith" is back - with a vengeance as he recently submitted the following memorable edition of the famous Bar Napkin Report. I will sign off for now and leave you with the unedited version, in all it's glory. Have a good week!
 

BAR NAPKIN REPORT – George Thorogood Edition

 

Wanna tell you a story,

About the house-man blues

I come to the rink one Friday,

Had to tell the webmaster I'd-a lost my report

He said “That don't confront me,

Long as I get my update next Friday.”

Now next Friday come I didn't get the report sent,

And out the door I went

 

So I goes to the webmaster,

I said, "You let me slide?"

I'll have the report for you in a week.

Next I don't know

 

I come to the rink one particular evening

The webmaster said, "You got the Bar Napkin Report yet?",

I said, "No, I got a new kid"

Therefore I ain't got no time to write up the scores

He said "I don't believe you're tryin' to write no report"

Said "I seen you today you was standin' in the goal crease,

Leaning up against a post"

I said "But I'm tired, I've been workin' all day"

He said “That don't confront me,

Long as I get my update next Friday.”

Now next Friday come I didn't get the report sent,

And out the door I went

 

So I stop in the upstairs bar you know people,

I go to the bar, I ring my coat, I call the bartender

Said "Look Ashley, come down here", she got down there

And then she was so nice,

Loh' she was lovy-dovy

 

So what you want?

 

One bourbon, one scotch, one beer

 

ONE BOURBON

 

August 26, 2005:

White Boyz – 11 (or 13)

Mello Yellow– 7

 

In what was probably the Game of the Night, the White Boyz jumped to an early 5-3 lead, gave it up at 7-7, and dug deep in the third to score a huge win over the Yellow Dogs. 

 

Chris Baldwin had Del’s number tonight and scored 5 goals, while Greg Evans, Bill Hopkins, and Darren Karn chipped in a pair apiece.  Dave Rigg and Dave Cornell rounded out the Boyz scoring.  The Fightin’ Whitey’s also got some strong play from Matt Hysell and Matt “Fricken” Frackelton, who wins the FNHL Humanitarian Award for catching and releasing a mouse that was living in his skate, rather than pulling a Scott Mellanby and taking a hockey stick to it like 99% of the rest of the league would’ve done after that locker room surprise (although the mouse was eaten by an owl later that night).  Yellow got their usual bunch of goals from Jesse Nestico and Chip O’Connor.  Pete Thompson scored as well, along with providing his usual hustle.  Not sure on the rest of the Yellow scoring - I think Matt Marchitto and another sub named Matt (lot’s of Matts in this game) may have scored. 

 

The two biggest stories in this game were Rob Conrad, stepping up huge in the third for the Whitey’s after the skaters allowed Yellow back into the game.  Once the game was tied, Rob didn’t allow another goal as his team pumped in 4 (by the scoreboard) to 6 (by the total number of goals claimed) unanswered scores.  The second highlight was the play of Yellow sub Carrie (sorry, didn’t get a last name), who will be playing on the Northwestern women’s team in the future.  She played an incredible game on D, absolutely owning the White team in general and Dave Cornell in particular.  The only player to get the best of her was Dave Rigg, who snagged an errant clearing pass off the back of the net and slipped it by Del.

 

 

ONE SCOTCH

 

September 2, 2005:

Blue Man Group 7

White Boyz – 6 (OT)

 

Dan already wrote up the highlights of this dramatic, come from behind, Game of the Week, victory for Blue.  I’ll just add that there were two solid Hit of the Night Contenders.  The first was between Dan Jervis and Bob Labarre as Dan leveled Bob while returning into the White zone after a failed clearing attempt, sending Bob’s helmet flying and the resulting glare blinded both spectators in the stands in the process.  Later in the game, Dave Cornell attempted one of his patented end to end rushes and entered the Labatt Blue zone with a full head of steam and a plan to split the defensive pairing of Joe Gracz and George Fleischman (I think).  Joe was having none of that and pulled a Ray Lewis, filling the hole and sending Dave sprawling.  Two worthy contenders, but I gotta go with Joe’s hit as it eliminated a quality scoring chance, while Dan’s was just a case of players losing sight of the puck.

 

 

ONE BEER

 

September 9, 2005:

Red Menace 13

White Boyz – 9

 

A big victory for a severely-undermanned Red squad playing with only one sub, including a rusty Mike “All-American” Tully making his return to the FNHL after taking the summer off (congrats on the citizenship Mike, the “Butterfly” nickname has been retired for tonight).  The extra ice time helped Mike get his legs back quickly and he did manage a goal in his return game.  Of course, the lack of subs for the Rednecks meant that the Inbred Pompo Line saw a lot more action than usual and they mad the most of it, especially Steph Boutin who had a big game converting several shots from the slot set up by his cousins Brian and Tony.  With so few players, Red faced a lot of odd man rushes and the defensive pairing of John Griffith and “BC” Brad Mullen were up to the challenge, stuffing the White attack and setting up their forwards going the other way. 

 

The White Trash first line did have a productive game -- with Baldy scoring his usual 4, Darren Karn with a hat trick, and Greg Evans putting in a pair -- but without any help from the second line and defensemen, it was not enough to outscore the Red Rockers.  Unfortunately, no one on White was able to set up Dave Rigg in his last game skating out before becoming the new goalie for Gang Green, err, Orange (now I gotta come up with a whole new set of nicknames for those guys). 

 09/17/05 - Just a couple of quick notes for now. First of all, the final player changes have been made for the next session and new rosters are posted. Veteran John Albanese moves from his role as captain of the Green team and joins Bill Hopkins and company on White. Steve Olson will replace John on the roster and this team will now be officially known as the Orange team. A captain will be announced shortly. Also, remember that there is no regular FNHL hockey next Friday (9/23) so the new session will begin on 9/30. For those of you in the Sunday group there is no hockey tomorrow 9/18 or the following week 9/25. George was able to get the 10:15pm slot for next Friday 9/23 so if you want to skate, please e-mail me asap and I will add you to the list. The first 20 players to contact me will be in. A new poll will be added very soon regarding what to do with the extra game for the upcoming sessions. I've already gotten a few suggestions and welcome any additional comments on the subject.

09/13/05 - Sadly, it looks like the return of The Napkin was a limited engagement. I'm sure with the new family responsibilities "Smith" has had to make some choices. Of course if and when he is able to resume his prolific writing career there will always be a place for him here. This does increase the need for a new "Ace Reporter" to supplement the increasingly aimless ramblings of yours truly. Insomniacs, the unemployed and the mentally and/or emotionally unstable (or any combination thereof) are encouraged to apply. Literacy is preferred but not required, substance abuse is optional. As for the games last week, the pattern of games following patterns followed that same pattern yet again. The first game featured the Blue team taking on the remnants of the team formerly known as the Green team. Notable at the start was the fact that Dan Jennings and Dave Cavallaro, former Green standouts, were both wearing Blue for this one. It wasn't a bad game overall, Blue jumped out to an early lead on a nice goal by George Fleischmann. Tom Gridley, Dave Cavallaro and Dan Jervis also scored in the first or early second period to increase the lead. But Green wasn't quite done. Lenny Slack continued his incredibly improbable scoring streak by bouncing a weak shot off the legs of several players in front for a Green goal and Bill Wood buried a nice wrist shot to close the gap to 4-3. But that was as close as it got, Blue goalie John Oakes was tough throughout and held Green to a lone goal in the third while Cavy and Dan Jervis netted three more for Blue and Tom Gridley finished off the night with a sweet shot off the post and in. Final score was Blue 8 - Green (Orange??) 4. Perhaps the highlight of the night was Dan Jennings now in Blue sparring with former protege Keith Benjamin..... I didn't see the next game - White vs Red so I've got little to offer as far as highlights. The Red team was severely undermanned with only 1 sub on the bench most of the game but I heard in the bar that they still managed to pull off the win thanks to the scoring of Brian Pompo.... The last game of the evening Black vs Yellow went much like the first.  Black had several subs and seemed poised to take a run at their Chipless opponents. But they learned very quickly that it is difficult to win a game when you consistently put the puck in your own net, Bob LaBarre led the scoring for Yellow with two goals into his own net while George Fleischmann and Frank Rathburn added one each. Of the players actually in uniform for Yellow, Adam Rufa was outstanding scoring a couple of restaurant quality goals and Jesse Nistico notched a couple as well. I spent most of the game picking myself up off the ice after repeated collisions with Mike Comartos and Matt Marchitto. Black made a brief run in the 2nd period but it was too little, too late and Yellow rolled to a 12-6 win..... So far I have only heard from one person (Darren Karn) who will not be there this Friday. As I mentioned previously, the goalies choice rosters are already thin so if you won't be there or know of someone else who can't make it, please let me know asap. If you are not scheduled for the games this week but would like to play please contact me as well and I will try to find you a spot. I am in Houston this week and will be in transit on Friday so please don't wait until the last minute.... Another reminder that the Hawaii tournament info has arrived. Several people have expressed interest in this once in a lifetime trip and if we're going to do it we should make plans soon. I did a little checking on the web and flight prices look like about $700 if you don't have frequent flier miles to use.... The schedule for the new session beginning Sept 30th will be posted soon. Remember we are off on Sept 23rd.

See you Friday! 

09/10/05 - The rosters for next weeks "Goalies Choice" games are now posted. Since we are already a few guys short for these games, please notify me as soon as possible if you cannot make it. If you were inadvertently left off the list for these games, let me know and I will find you a spot. These rosters should be pretty firm but I will let everyone know if any adjustments need to be made due to no-shows and/or add ons. Thanks to everyone who participated in getting these games together. There were certainly some surprises on draft day but all in all, the teams are well distributed and hopefully we can have some fun with the matchups next Friday. Also, the rosters for the next session are tentatively posted but there are likely to be a few more changes before we get underway on September 30th (remember we are off on Friday the 23rd). I will post the rest of the regular update later in the week.

09/08/05 - Two important items - The goalies choice draft for next Friday is getting underway (slowly). If you are not going to be able to play or you know someone on your team who can't play next Friday the 16th please let me know right away. Also there are still a couple of goalies I haven't heard from yet. If possible, give me a call on my cellphone 246-2940 as I won't be in the office tomorrow. Secondly, George was advised recently that there will be no hockey the following Friday the 23rd so the next session won't start until September 30th.

09/07/05 - The vacation was nice and needed, but it's always good to get back on the ice after some time off. The action was pretty good for this last week of summer vacation but with all the subs involved it just keeps getting more difficult to remember who actually played in what game. I apologize in advance for the numerous inaccuracies to follow...... The opener was Black vs Red and in this case, No Pompo = No Problem for a Red team that hadn't had much success over the summer. Things seemed to be going well for Black at the start as they jumped out to an early 2 - 0 lead but then the Black offense sputtered, the Red offense started to click and Chuck Austin buckled down in the Red goal. The final score was about 10-5 in favor of Red. I have little recollection of who scored for either team but I believe Brian Banks and sub Chip O'Connor scored for Red.... Game number two was Yellow with Del Hoyt subbing in goal vs what remains of the team formerly known as the Green team. I was only able to see the first period of this one but it was a good period that ended up tied 3-3. Lenny Slack continued his unprecedented hot scoring run by getting Green on the board first. Billy Cummings also scored for Green by crashing the net and poking a rebound past Del. Jesse and Chip promptly answered for Yellow. The report in the bar afterward was that Yellow eventually prevailed by an approximate score of 10-8. There have been some suggestions that the Green team label be officially retired and a new color chosen (maybe Orange?). Clearly a change of some sort is in order as the mojo just isn't there anymore..... This week we saved the best for last. I was hoping for a Bar Napkin Report on this one, but so far none has arrived. The White team was missing captain Bill Hopkins and Chris Baldwin but who needs skaters when "The Rigg" is in goal? On the other side, Blue was equally shorthanded and fell behind early (3 or 4 to 1) thanks to some nice offense by Gregg Evans and other White players whose specific names I cannot recall. John Oakes had a rough start in the nets for Blue but settled down by the second period and gave Blue the opportunity to get back into the game, which they did - slowly, VERY slowly. Late in the third period White still lead 6-5. I had personally thrown everything including the kitchen sink at Rigg but to no avail. Then with about 42 seconds left, Dave Cavallaro took a nice pass from Mike Masello (I think) and beat Rigg low to the glove side to tie the score at the end of regulation time. But a game this good could not be allowed to end in a tie so a 5 minute OT was started and Blue had the momentum. About two minutes into the OT George Fleischmann hit yours truly, Dan Jervis in stride and a few quick seconds later the puck was in the White net and Blue celebrated a dramatic, come from behind, Game of the Week, victory....... In other news, MONEY IS DUE THIS WEEK. I believe the plan is for each team to pay their captain and the captains will pay George. Please make sure to take care of this promptly. Last session there were far too many spots unpaid and George even had to contribute from his own pocket to cover the temporary shortage. Obviously this should not have to happen and we can't expect to continue on that basis.... I am working on the rosters for the Goalies Choice games and will post them as soon as they are finalized. There should be quite a few roster changes for the next session and several suggestions have been made including a complete re-shuffle of the rosters or at least of a few teams. If you are planning to return to the FNHL or take time off please make sure to see George to verify your status and team for next session. Also if any of our readers have suggestions or comments on how to best revise the current rosters please send me an e-mail. All suggestions/comments will be confidential unless you ask me to post them. One recent suggestion was to establish a volunteer Board of Directors whose job it would be to handle the day to day operations of the FNHL and address any problems that come up to take some stress off George's back. It is certainly worth considering... Finally I did get the information packet from the tournament in Hawaii. The dates are April 23rd through 26th of 2006. The costs are very reasonable as far as tournament fee and hotel goes (I'd estimate about $375 per player based on double occupancy). Of course the airfare is something that could be a challenge but I know there are discount fares to Oahu and some of you may have frequent flier miles to use as well. Several people have approached me on this already and I think it would be a blast to make it happen. The tournament has several different divisions and I'm confident that they will match us up appropriately based on the players we bring. Please let me know if you think you might be interested. If we're going to make it a reality I need to have a commitment and deposit by the end of the year but please don't wait until New Years Eve to let me know. 

See you Friday!

08/27/05 - Well I am back in the Continental USA and with any luck, tomorrow night will be home. My apologies for the lack of updates lately, between my usual travels, family emergency and the vacation it's been very hectic to say the least. Since I haven't been at the rink lately I can't offer any game updates, but "Smith" has been in da house and I am happy to present not one, but two episodes of the famous Bar Napkin Report covering the last two weeks. So, without further adieu....

MEN IN BLACK – 9
WHITE BOYZ – 6

There have been several blowouts for one side or the other in the relatively even in terms of W-L series between Light and Dark. The 9:30 game looked to be another one as a loaded Dark Side team jumped to about a 5-1 lead after the first and dominated play through most of the 2nd. However, White goalie Rob Conrad shook off the slow start and made some big saves and his forwards threw in two goals on the last shift of the period, stealing the round and cutting the lead to 6-3 at the intermission. A re-invigorated White team saw that they were still in it and managed to pull within two goals in the third. But then Black dug down as well and pulled ahead to preserve the victory.

Ron Schlict, “Pesky” Jermaine Leclaire, and Mike Pardee shot in two apiece for Black, while Greg Schiccitano, Andre Chamberlain, and Greg Sniffen also scored for the Blackjacks. Mike had the goal of the game in a sequence where his stick was knocked out of his hands by the White D, he kicked it forward as he skated by the D, picked it up, regained control of the puck and fired it home. The Black defensive unit of Bob Labarre, Frank Rathburn, Duane Pardee, and George Fleischmann stifled several White chances, with Frank playing a particularly strong game.

The White Trash forwards had a tough time getting the puck past sub goalie Chris Rousseau (making a surprise return to the ice after a long absence), as half of their scoring came from defensemen Bill Hopkins, Dan Jennings, and Jason Vogel. Darren Karn-age mangaged a pair and newcomer Matt Hysell fought off the urge to revisit his Happy Hour hordeuvres (at least until after the game) and earned a goal in his FNHL debut.

There was a decent crowd upstairs and an even bigger crowd on the NHL rink after the game, as the long-awaited re-lining of the ice got underway. It looked like an Amish barn razing/bring your own tool party out there, with people going to town with torches, shovels, lawn mowers, and the zamboni – should be interesting to see how it turns out. Ashley relayed a story of how she gave a Russian Sleigh Ride (no takers on her offer to demonstrate) to some perv that was in the bar earlier in the week. In the process, she revealed that she wears some sort of frilly granny panties under her mini-skirts.

Note on gripes about the accuracy of these reports: Like Dan, I never let the facts get in the way of a good story and the number of goals claimed by players rarely matches the final score of the games. Some teams have been updating the scoreboard after each goal, which helps keep the count more accurate than just doing it between periods (plus controversies are addressed right away). It’s not perfect, as usually only a couple players per team can figure out the rocket science of the scoreboard (unless someone’s 10 year old kids are on hand to man it). So some goals don’t get marked right away if the operator is on the ice, but they usually go up eventually after the next shift change. So the final scores are getting more accurate lately, but I don’t know what to do about people who don’t remember how many goals they scored (wish I had that problem) or when 8 players claim goals when their team only scored 5. Would be nice to see some more detailed accounts from the other teams so some of the blanks could be filled in.

(and now from the week before)

White Boyz – 13
Gang Green – 12

The White Boyz dug themselves out of a big hole for a stunning come-from-behind victory over the sub-laden Greenies in the early game. Due to a travel commitment, Jesse Nestico was traded to Green for one night only and made an immediate impact, notching 6 or 7 goals in the first period, which ended at about 9-2 in favor of the shorthanded Green Machine. It looked to get worse as Green started to accumulate subs in the second (Bob Labarre) and third (Dan Jervis) periods. However, White whittled away at the lead, and finally tied the game with about 5 minutes to go in the third. Ron Maydole then slapped home an easy goal after a goalie miscue, which was soon followed by another goal for the Boyz. Green cut the margin to one in the closing minute or so, but time ran out before they could mount a comeback. About 5 minutes of game time were lost due to a running clock between periods while the goalies took their time getting in position and during a minor altercation during an intense third period.

After a horrid first period, Rob Conrad woke up and turned in an outstanding performance in net for the Boyz, limiting Soylent Green to only 4 goals the rest of the way. Russ “Diva” Cole was solid in net for Green, except for a couple mis-timed handlings of the puck (and excessive primping between periods). Darren Karn-age and Chris Baldwin each had hat tricks for the Fightin’ Whitey’s, while Dave Neuner notched a pair, and Jason Vogel, Steve Saya, Nick Smith, Terry “The Instigator” Young scored singletons, in addition to Ron’s game winner. Jesse scored most of the goals for the Green Machine, but Scott Budynas and Dan Jervis (and maybe John Albanese) also found the net. The story of the night for Green would have to be the scoring outburst of the beleaguered Len Slack, who scored a pair of goals, but was foiled in his bid for a hat trick when his nemesis “Jinx” Jervis stepped onto the ice to help fill out Greens roster.

There was a pretty light crowd up in the bar and Ashley was feeling a little lonely. I had to leave early, so hopefully it picked up after the later games ended. I’ve heard a rumor that approximately half the league has yet to pay up for this session. C’mon people, it was due three weeks ago!! Look for a new collection system to be implemented and possibly some players to be replaced if this doesn’t improve.

Thanks, as always to "Smith" for his usual fine set of reports. I would like to second his suggestion that some additional info on the other games (from someone other than me) would be appreciated. We're not asking for a lifetime commitment here, just an e-mail with a few details. Anyway, I know that when I left there were some problems with payments, player drop-outs, and "no-show, no call (or very late call)" guys. These were understandably causing George a great deal of stress and frustration. Hopefully things are already starting to work themselves out, but we all need to step up and do what we have to to make this league work. George already has more than a full-time job running his business and there's no good reason that he should have to spend so much time and energy putting out fires for the FNHL. Pay on time, show up or call as far in advance as possible, have a few beers, etc - not difficult stuff....... but we, as a group need to get it together..... I'm hoping to hold the draft for the upcoming "goalies choice" games as soon as possible. If you are one of the goalies for week 6 of this session, please send me an a-mail or catch me in the bar next Friday.

See you Friday (finally!!!)  

08/09/05 - There was a twist in this sessions "ABC" games as the teams (for the first two games at least) were comprised mainly of younger players vs older players. Would wisdom and experience triumph over youth and exuberance??? ..... well, no. Sadly for those of us in the (well) over 30 crowd, what we learned was that chasing a bunch of younger players around the ice is challenging for about 20 minutes and then it just gets old - fast. The opening game looked like it might stay competitive thanks primarily to the heroics of Blue goalie Russ Cole. Chip O'Conner scored the game's first goal to put the older Blue Team in front but I'm pretty sure that was our only lead of the night. Andre, Jesse, Cavy, Brian Pompo, Adam Rufa, etc, etc, etc were all flying (especially Andre who continues to be a boy among men). This resulted in too much time spent by White in the Blue zone and too few opportunities for Blue once they did manage to clear the puck. Midway through the second period the score was about 8-3 for White. But somehow, little by little, Blue did manage to make a game of it by capitalizing on a good percentage of the chances they did muster. Chip, Tony Pompo, Dan Jervis and Chris Baldwin led the offense and even managed to tie the score at 10 midway through the 3rd period. If we could have called the game at that point I think we would have. But the game went on and the young punks proceeded to punk out the valiant veterans. Cavy, Jesse and Andre went on a scoring rampage and the final score was about 14 (or 15) - 10 (or 11). Blue defensemen Dave Cornell, Bill Hopkins and George Fleischmann did their best but collectively lost about 47 pounds by the final buzzer. Game number two followed the same format and not surprisingly, ended up with a similar result. Defense was the order of the day in this one as the young White team was led by the Marchitto brothers, Jason Vogel and Steve Smorol. Those four individually and collectively managed to keep the Blue forwards away from their goalie Chuck Austin for most of the game. Austin made the most of the unusual show of support by stopping the Blue chances that did get through. Only (sub) Dan Jervis and Brian Banks were able to find the back of the net and, as the saying goes, you won't win an FNHL game if you only score two goals. Offensively, the White team was led by Stef Boutin, Bill Wood and Steve Olson. Ironically, Stef was traded from Blue to White shortly before the game began. The final score was about 8-2 for White. Perhaps the biggest news of all from this game was the realization that the "Curse of Lenny" has now ended. Len Slack had not been on a winning team in months and though he did all he could to keep the streak alive by passing when he should have shot and missing open nets when he did shoot, it was all for naught. Despite his best efforts to the contrary, on this night, Lenny was a winner.... At least Blue did convincingly win the tripping contest for the evening. Steve Olson was dumped at least 37 times by the Blue defenders with Lenny a close second at about 29 times. So we move on to the late game which was not able to be put in the old vs young format since most of those players are already pushing Bob LaBarre for the title of Oldest Player Ever (just kidding Bob - no one even comes close to you in that dept). While "Smith" was not in the house due to the recent birth of his baby daughter, which we congratulate him on, there was another ace reporter in the house. So without further adieu, we are happy to present a guest column - spell checked for your protection and "Rigged" for your pleasure.....

The "C"

The C game was a battle that left both benches exhausted. Blue team jumped out to a quick lead with an end-to-end rush by Pete Thompson, a topshelfer from the circle by Pete Thompson, a breakaway by Pete Thompson (you get the picture). Brad Beran also tapped in a bouncer from in close. The blue team was up 4-0 and it looked as though the home team would be hitting the showers early. That was when Rick Cummings decided to shut things down, he got in the groove, and stymied the Blue team. Terry "The Instigator" Young started running people down, and Nick Julian Sr. gave some rebel yells that would have sent the bluecoats running off of Little Roundtop. The White guns started firing their cannons, and the momentum shifted. I am not sure who got the goals for White, but I know that Rich Fleischmann got one, Scott Budynas fired a laser over Rob's shoulder from the blueline, and the defense trio (Mr. Boston College guy, Joe Grazc, and Number 18) may have gotten a few as well. The Blue team would not be denied victory, however, and came back with a goal by Terry King, who intercepted a pass (and I mean intercepted), tucked the puck under his arm like a cornerback, ran the length of the field, and put the puck down at the 5-yard line before firing in the shot. Rigger also scored on a nice feed from Brad, beating Ricky over the glove (I think the water bottle may even have moved a little). Defense on both sides kept things close. Steve, Keith, and Terry were awesome at anchoring the D for the Blue Team, while Joe Gracz, Mr. Boston College guy, and Number 18 dude broke up plays for the White guys. Final (Approximate) Score: Blue Team 7; White Team 4.

Thanks to the ace cub reporter who "Rigged" that entertaining combination of hockey and history..... Perhaps the most memorable thing about the evening was the true family atmosphere on display last week. Our attendance was through the roof thanks to the Marchitto family who turned out in force for the festivities. I had the pleasure of meeting the entire family in the bar after the game. If I hadn't made the mistake of inviting Matt to the Hawaii tournament it would have been a perfect evening. Thanks to my well intentioned but ill timed invitation, Matt's wife has vowed that there will be no more brownies for me.... go figure. I offer paradise and get no brownie points for it. We also once again enjoyed the presence of the Pompo children, and Chip's son was there as well. They had a great time as always. I'm pretty sure the Cornell family was also in the stands and maybe a couple of others but I can't remember them all for sure. To me, this sense of community is what makes our league stand out and a big part of the reason we come out week after week (thanks George). Finally, along those lines, we got an e-mail and some pictures from Duane Pardee who is traveling out west with his wife and also some pictures of the new baby from Melissa Fleischmann. Duane's letter is posted in the Ice Chips section and all of the pictures are posted in the Fun Photo Gallery. George has sent me the new schedules but he also said that we need several players to fill the the next session and quite a few people still owe him money which is disappointing. If you are in this group, please square this away with George immediately.

See you Friday!

08/02/05 - The rosters for this week's games are now posted. You may notice that I have totally abandoned the use of the "AB" terms because at this point they really don't mean much. There are quite a few players in each game who could easily fit into the "A" or "B" categories and this includes the goalies. The goal, as always, was to create interesting and competitive matchups. This week's theme is to match up teams of primarily younger players against teams of their older (wiser??) peers and also to mix up some of the usual FNHL combinations and goaltender assignments. Since I don't know everyone's age I had to make some educated guesses. I have no doubt that some will turn out to be incorrect and apologize in advance for any misplacements. You will also notice that as of this writing, the second game is overbooked by one player per team and there is one open slot in the last game. Please let me or George know asap if you won't be able to make it this week so that the rosters can be adjusted. Next session I'm considering a "goalies choice" format which would involve knowing who the goalies were going to be and having them draft their own "dream teams" from across the entire FNHL. The matchups would be determined in reverse order of the draft itself. For example if Chuck Austin drafted last, he would have first choice of opponent. Anyway, that's the idea, feel free to let me know what you think.

Last week "Smith" was out of town so The Bar Napkin Report goes back on hiatus as well. I'm sure both will return for this week's action. On the ice our "Summer of Subs" was still going strong as each game included many players not on the regular rosters. The opening game was Red vs Black and Red started out strong in this one jumping out to a nice lead (5-2??) on the scoring of the Pompo Brothers and Dan Jervis. But then the bottom just fell out and Black came roaring back. I wish I could remember who did all the damage but at the moment I'm drawing a partial blank. I'm pretty sure Germain Lapointe scored a few as well as Mike Pardee, Rob Niemier and Pat Salvador. Bottom line was Black took a three goal lead and each time Red would score to cut it to two, Black would answer. Only in the closing seconds was Red finally able to cut the lead to a single goal but by then it was too late. Red takes another tough defeat and their summer of frustration continues. The final was a one-goal (12-11??) victory for Black.... Game #2 was Yellow vs Green and it was a meeting of two other teams that have not had a lot of success this summer. Yellow was "Chipless" for the contest but added one of their regular younger subs who was able to find the net early and often. Green was without new dad Jamie Shuler and just couldn't seem to get their offense in gear. Lenny Slack managed to get back from Dallas in time for the entire game but the black cloud that has been following him for months was still very much in place. I left after the first period with Yellow already leading about 5-1. It was reported to me afterwards that the final score was about 13-5 in favor of Yellow. The nightcap saw White with sub Bob LaBarre but minus captain Bill Hopkins and Nick Smith take on a bizarre variation of the Blue team that included a sub who hadn't played in 20 years and two other subs who weren't even 20 years old. Throw in Del Hoyt as the sub Blue goalie and you've got the makings of a very unusual contest to say the least. Blue started out strong thanks in no small part to Andre who continues to be a boy among (old and slow) men. The line of Cavy, Andre, and Dan Jervis threw in several goals and midway through the second period Blue looked like they would walk away with it leading 9-4. But in true bizarro fashion, one bad (really, really bad) shift later we have a tie game. From that point on, the goals just kept on coming for both teams. With only a few ticks left on the clock White was leading 17-16 and Blue was swarming. Dan Jervis takes a backhand shot from close range that could go in the net but White defenseman Jason Vogel is lying in the crease. Jason blocks the shot then covers the puck with his hands and rolls on top of it. In what's sure to go down as one of the most controversial finishes in FNHL history a rare penalty shot is awarded and Andre deposits that behind White goalie Rob Conrad to tie the game at 17. A few seconds later the game is over........but the controversy rages on. Was it a fair and reasonable outcome?? I don't know,  but the truth is that it really doesn't matter - it was fun to play and beer was served afterward.... which is really what the FNHL is all about.

In other news, I did get an e-mail from injured FNHL legend Mark Schumacher saying that his shoulder injury is progressing and he hopes to be back in action for Black before too long. We look forward to the Mark's return and the opportunity to once again use the term "Schumachian Goal". Finally it was brought to my attention that in some cases, the final scores reported here may not always be accurate. Though I do try to get as much correct info into this column as possible it is entirely possible that some details may be reported to me incorrectly and/or I may not be able to remember the details myself when I sit down to write the updates. Rest assured that I will never let the truth get in the way of a good story and certainly do not mean to slight any player or team through inaccurate reporting (except Bob LaBarre and Lenny of course). George and I have discussed getting a small voice recorder to help out a bit in this area but it's doubtful that these pages will ever contain the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

See you Friday!!

07/27/05 - It was good to be back on the ice last week. I've been on the road so much lately that I can hardly keep up with things back home (hence the late update this week). As is the norm this time of year, last weeks games were filled with subs and the action was good at times and just plain ugly at others. In the opening game it was a match-up of White vs Red and we are very pleased to announce that "Smith" looks like he may be back to stay. He was in attendance for the game and filed the ever popular Bar Napkin Report.

WHITE BOYZ – 14 or 15
RED MENACE – 6 or 7

Subs-a-plenty as the White Trash ran away with a victory over the Rednecks in an 8 on 8 game (after the Whiteys exiled sub Alex Ryan to the Commies) at 8 o’clock. White jumped to a big lead in the first period, weathered a brief red run in the 2nd, and held onto a healthy lead to seal the deal. The ice was in much better shape than the previous week, which contributed to some fast-paced play. White was impressive on the ice, as well as in the locker room – just ask the hockey moms who came in to help their kids from the earlier game that put their gear in the wrong room.

Greg Evans and Darren Karn threw in 3 or 4 goals apiece, Dave Rigg had a pair (including the goal of the game on an airborne 2nd attempt after a breakaway) while Terry “The Instigator” Young, Bill Hopkins, Matt “Fricken” Frackelton, and Nick Smith rounded out the scoring for the Fightin’ Whiteys. A refreshed Rob Conrad made his return to the nets after a couple week break and the Red Rockers for most of the night (especially after they got a read on the Toe Drag). “Bubbles” Frackelton also looked sharp considering he hadn’t skated since March, or even taken his moldy gear out of his hockey bag.

After being stymied by Goalie-For-Hire John Oakes in last weeks game, the Boyz had a better read on him this week. John still made a bunch of big saves to prevent the game from getting further out of reach. Brian Pompo put in his share for the Red Rockers, as did Mark Lasinski, and Brian Banks was an offensive threat from the blue line. A few more players for Red stood out, but I don’t know their names yet (and the rosters are out of date so I couldn’t figure them out – sorry).

Since all of the games seemed to be shorthanded, there wasn’t much of a crowd in the bar. Most of the people that hung around the rink were playing in multiple games. Those that made it upstairs either watched the late games or an Austin Powers flick and were also treated to another story of Ashley losing clothes while tubing. The teams are always missing players over the summer. However, I’ve seen weeks where subs wanting to play were turned away because the usual teams they sub for are full. We should look into new ways of matching subs with teams, maybe captains could post an e-mail on the website if they know they will be short and the subs could contact them. This assumes that the no-show players are letting someone know that they won’t be making it. Unfortunately from what I hear, many people aren’t providing this simple courtesy to their teammates and we end up with games like the 6 on 6 on the big ice like they had in the late game.

Thanks, as always, to "Smith" for another fine installment of The Napkin. We are certainly glad he decided to make a comeback...... In the other games last week Yellow and Blue squared off on the NHL ice and the stars (players with only 1 name) were out in force. Jesse and Chip were ready to change the fortunes of the Yellow squad which have been on the decline lately. Unfortunately for them, Andre never got the memo. The Blue team has certainly enjoyed Andre's presence on the ice and this game was a prime example. Andre and I combined to score a total of 8 goals on the night (I had 2). John Oakes was solid in goal and Joe Gracz and Steve Kokkoris continued their steady work on defense. On the other side, Jesse managed to set the modern record for most goalposts hit in a single game (about 27) but those are technically not even shots on goal. Sub goalie Dave Rigg was really the lone bright spot for Yellow. Rigg was impressive, squaring up to the Blue shooters and he even threw in a few "Hasek" style sprawl saves for good measure. But despite his best efforts the outcome was never really in doubt. Blue was up about 8-3 after two periods and coasted home to about an 8 or 9 - 6 win. The conclusion of that game brought some needed reinforcements to the late game which was already in progress with 6 skaters aside. Dan Jervis and Dave Cavallaro joined the Black side while Andre (and ??) joined Green who was without Ron Morgan and trailing by quite a few goals. The portion of the game that I saw was pretty even. Jamie Shuler had a nice goal for Green and Andre did his best to try to aid in the comeback but they were too little, too late. Germain Lapointe showed some nice speed for Black and Ron Schlicht continues to have the hot scoring touch. I have no idea what the actual final score was, but it was probably around 10 - 6 for Black. So ends another week in the FNHL..... In other news, the rosters for the "ABC" games should be posted soon. I'm considering mixing things up a bit this session but I need to get the rosters from George before anything is finalized. It might be interesting to try to match up a group of the better young players in the league vs a group of the grizzled old veterans. Along those lines, if you already know that you won't be there for the games on 8/5/05 please e-mail me or let George know asap.... Also, if you think you might be interested in the Hawaii tournament next April please let me know. I am in Houston again this week so hopefully the flights will land on time.

See you Friday!!

07/21/05 - I did get another "amazin" update in the e-mail yesterday. It said

FYI, the Blue team defeated the Green in the 8 PM game 7-6. No Andre, so we had to play with 3 D. The curse of Lenny continues for the Green, even though he didn't show up until the 3rd period. And the 10:15 game had to end with 15 minutes left in the 3rd period because the rink operators said their time was up (around 11:45). Yellow was losing at the time. So you might want to post a message for everyone to be ready at 10 PM for the late game and have a quick warm-up so the games can end on time going forward.

Thanks to our anonymous "amazin" contributor for "graczing" us with that info. So many new questions are raised by it... Will the Curse of Lenny ever end??? Where was he for the first two periods??? Since their game was called - did the Yellow team officially lose....again?? What is the rink thinking - kicking us off at 11:45??? Will they also finally take control of the ridiculous traffic in front of the building at 10pm??? Stay tuned folks....

07/19/05 - First and foremost I'd like to send out congratulations to Rich and Melissa Fleischmann (and family) on the birth of their son Richard Paul Fleischmann who was born Monday and weighed in at 9lbs 1 oz (wow, I guess he takes after his dad for sure!). Rich has really become quite the "scorer" since he joined my line. You might remember that just over a year ago, Rich and Mel celebrated the birth of daughter Rosemary. No pictures of baby Richard yet (Bob) but I'm sure there will be at some point. The only question left is will they go for the "Hat Trick" and have another one next summer???..... Since I am out of town this week there's not much else to say. Fortunately for all you FNHL News junkies, "Smith" did come through yet again and file the Bar Napkin Report.

MEN IN BLACK – 8
WHITE BOYZ – 4

The Dark Side used a balanced attack to take it to the Fightin’ Whiteys in a physical matchup in the 9:30 game. The ice condition was horrible (some sections still probably haven’t frozen over yet), leading to a lot of bouncing pucks that all seemed to hop over the white sticks and land on the black ones.

Ron Schlict, Pat Salvadore, Rob Niemier (on a nice breakaway), and Greg Schiccitano (empty netter) scored for Black, among others. Didn’t catch all of the scoring for the Blackjacks since so many different players found the nets, some of them being new faces as well. Steve ___(?) also played a very good game and put one or two in the nets. The White Trash forwards had a frustrating night, as all of their scoring came from defensemen. Dave Cornell had a pair of goals, while Bill Hopkins and Jason Vogel notched singletons. Each team used sub goalies as Russ Cole and John Oakes faced off for the second time that night. Although Russ played well, John was absolutely on fire after looking a little shaky in the opening minutes and notched the victory. The hit of the night award goes to Bob Labarre, either for his center ice collision with Terry “The Instigator” Young or his goal crease pileup with Greg Schiccitano and Ron “Zamboni” Maydole that left Bob wearing the proverbial crimson mask when his visor slammed into his nose.

There was a decent crowd upstairs but not much highlight worthy action, just the guys (and Ashley) hanging out. Aside from the ice condition, the beer cooler was another casualty of the power outage earlier in the week, as the Labatts drinkers found out the hard way. Luckily, there was ample cold Molsons to go around.

Thanks to "Smith" for keeping the faithful at least partially up to date. If anyone has info on the other games feel free to send me an e-mail and I will post it. There is a chance that I will be back in town by Friday but given the condition of my leg it's still doubtful (or at least questionable) that I can play. Hopefully the ice will be frozen by then.

Have a great week! 

07/13/05 - Sorry for the late update, my internet connection was out last night. That's pretty typical considering the way the last week has gone. We were back in action last Friday and the new look Blue team seemed to be moving in the right direction. Black was the opponent and for the first period it was all systems go. Dave Cavallaro connected twice and Andre also found the twine to give Blue the early 4-1 lead. But then the wheels fell off... Not just the wheels, really it was the entire vehicle. Sub Dan Jennings was traded to Black to even out the sides and the momentum shifted. I apologize because I can't remember the actual scorers for Black (it was all pretty much a blur) but by the end of the 2nd period Black was in the lead by about 7-5. Ricky had a good two periods in goal for Black and Blue could not recover. Some late pressure made it interesting and there were a couple of disputed plays that Blue thought might have gone in, but it just wasn't meant to be. Black went home with a well deserved come from behind 9-8 victory.... The second game of the night was Red vs Green. Green was still looking for their first win since the recent player movements were made. Well, they found it - in a big way. The key to this game had to have been the now famous "Curse of Lenny" which was transferred this week to me (since I was subbing for him). Just before the start of the game I was traded to the Red team and on paper it looked like an even matchup. But on paper and on the ice turned out to be two totally different things. Ron Morgan and Jamie Shuler were "N Snyc" from the start for Green and each scored quite a few goals. Scott Budynas scored two early but was unable to complete the hat trick. Even Billy Cummings got into the action netting a goal of his own. On the other side, Red just could not get things started. New dad (for the 3rd time) Brian Pompo did manage to find his mojo in the third period but when you're trailing 12-3 after two, there's not much more that can be done. Russ Cole was solid for Green in the nets while Chuck Austin was thrown to the wolves on the other side... The final score is anyone's guess. Probably about 15-6 in favor of Green, but by that time no one could remember or care. Good thing we have plenty of beer in the bar..... Speaking of the bar I am pleased to present another installment of the famous Bar Napkin Report. This most popular feature disappeared a few weeks ago and was fondly missed. Will this be a one shot deal or does it signal a full return for the mysterious "Smith"?? Only time will tell.

White Boyz (and Girlz) – 9
Yellow Dogs – 6

On the same day that Michelle Wie fell just short on the PGA Tour, another teenage girl showed that she could hang with the men of the FNHL. With goalie Rob Conrad missing, fourteen year-old phenom Carly Dominick-Sobol (aka “The Wall”) stepped into the nets and led the Fightin’ Whiteys to a shocking victory over league power Yellow on the big ice. Carly was not intimidated at all by the Yellow lineup, stuffing Jesse Nestico on at least one breakaway attempt and snagging several hard shots. After White jumped to a 3-0 lead, Yellow scored in the closing seconds of the first to cut the margin to 2. They never got any closer as the teams traded goals the rest of the way in a very well-played and intense game.

The Boyz top line of Chris Baldwin, Greg Evans, and Jason Vogel continued their resurgence after a recent slump, notching 7 of White’s 9 goals, including hat tricks for Baldy and Vo-Diggity. Terry “The Instigator” Young and Darren Karn tallied the other two goals. The key to the game was the strong play of the White defensive unit of Bill Hopkins, Dave Cornell, and Darren Karn. Those three stepped up big time to support The Wall, clearing any loose pucks and not allowing many clear chances by the Yellow skill players.

Adam Rufa scored half of Yellow’s goals with a hat trick, while Jesse Nestico (2 goals) and Chip O’Connor rounded out the scoring for Mellow Yellow. Pete Thomson played a pretty strong game along the boards as well. Substitute Yellow goalie Rick Cummings made some nice saves – usually holding a team under 10 goals is a good night in the FNHL, but it wasn’t enough tonight.

Up in the bar, Ashley told how she accidentally showed off her tan lines over the holiday break, followed by invitations to go tubing by every boat owner in the league. Sounds like she’s only into California guys though, sorry hosers. 

Thanks as always to "Smith" for his fine report..... I will be out of action for the next two Fridays due to some laser surgery that I had yesterday on my right leg. If anyone is able to send me the recaps I will post them. The rink had a compressor problem on Sunday which cancelled our usual session but as far as I know, everything has been fixed. Finally, there is a tournament held in Hawaii every year and I asked them to send me the info. The dates next year are April 23rd - 26th. I've mentioned this to a couple of people who said they want to go. It would be awesome if we were able to actually put a team in this event. Let me know if this is something you might be interested in. They have a website at www.icepalacehawaii.com .

Have a good two weeks and I will see everyone on 7/29!!!

06/30/05 - Just a quick note. I got a letter from Tony Pompo letting us know that Brian Pompo's wife Amourelle gave birth to the couples 3rd child - a girl named Isabella. The letter is posted in the Ice Chips Section. On behalf of the FNHL I'd like to send congratulations and best wishes to the Pompo family. I'm sure we'll see Isabella in the scorers bench before too long cheering on her dad and uncle.

06/28/05 - It was the start of a new session for the FNHL and there were quite a few new faces and/or old faces with new teams. The theme for this week's action was lots of goals but few scorers. For the most part, those who did manage to connect did so early and often. The opening game was the debut of the new look Blue team vs Red. With Duane Pardee on an extended leave of absence and "General" Ron Morgan now captured and serving time in the Green POW camp all eyes were on the reinforcements Cavy and Andre. At the start of the game the Blue discussion was focused on what the new lines should be and Tom Gridley insisted that his line with Mike Masello and Brad Beran (fearsome combination that it is) be left intact. That request was granted and Gridley immediately proved that he was 100% correct by scoring the first goal of the game. But he wasn't done there, not by a longshot. Gridley proceeded to score three more times for a total of 4 on the evening. Only his wife was possibly disappointed as the 50+ forward left everything on the ice that evening. Andre and Cavy did both perform well in their debuts but neither scored as many as Gridley. Blue jumped out to a huge 8-2 lead before Red managed to muster a "too little, too late" comeback attempt. Brian Pompo did most of the scoring for Red and they were cheered on by the Pompo childrens choir from the scorers bench, but no amount of Pompo could solve the Gridlock. The final score was about 11-9 for Blue. I didn't see the second game of the night which was Yellow vs Black so I have few details to report. I was told that Yellow won and Chip took a puck in the back of the head courtesy of his own teammate (we hope he is ok). Anyway, it appears that Yellow did manage to avenge their loss to Black from a few weeks ago, The final game of the night marked the debut of the new look Green team led by the line of Ron (Corporal) Morgan, Jamie Shuler and John Albanese. On the other side was White with new defenseman Darren Karn and your truly subbing in on a line with Gregg Evans and Chris Baldwin. This started out to be a very close game as the teams had very evenly matched lines. Things started to look good for Green in the 1st period as Morgan, Shuler and Albanese (twice) all found the back of the net. White had been slumping as of late and trailing 4-1 was not their idea of how to best start this matchup. But White hung in there and goalie Rob Conrad (who had a great night) made some big saves to allow them to get back in the game, The line of Baldwin, Evans and Jervis started to click and that was bad for the Greenies. By the end of the first the score was tied 4-4. The second period belonged mostly to Conrad and the White defense which managed to hold Green scoreless. Morgan and Shuler were denied the opportunity to move freely with the puck and new addition Lenny (my shirts are Polo but my hands are Granite) Slack passed when he should have shot and hit either the goalie or the boards when he did shoot. On the other side, Jervis and Baldwin continued to beat Green goalie Russ Cole like a rented goalie including a sweet top shelf goal by Baldy that brought the crowd to its feet. At the end of 2 the White team led 7-4. Probably the pivotal moment of the game happened at the start of the 3rd when White gambled and changed the line matchups. That gamble paid off big with a back breaking goal to give them an 8-4 lead. Scott Budynas and Bill Wood did score for Green but Darren Karn notched a couple for White on top of his nice job defensively and this one was history. Only three players scored for White but together they scored 11 times (Jervis 5, Baldwin 4, Karn 2) and that was good for an 11-6 victory..... One big item in other news - we are off this week due to a tournament at the rink. No hockey Friday or Sunday. Hopefully the heat wave will pass and we can all enjoy a weekend off. We will be back in action on Friday 7/8/05. Have a great holiday!   

06/21/05 - By all accounts, the 3rd Annual FNHL Golf Tournament was a huge success, The weather cooperated with us even if our swings (and my sense of direction) didn't. For the few of you who may not have heard yet, I had the dubious distinction of leading my foursome onto the wrong course at the start of the tournament and we ended up playing 4 holes before we realized the problem. What can I say... No nets on the holes, no goalies... how's a forward supposed to know where to be?? Anyway, we had a total of 18 foursomes, significant quantities of beer, good food, LOTS of nice door prizes and a some nice bonus prizes including - a new cell phone graciously donated by Mike Masello and Cingular Wireless. I don't have all the official results here but I do remember that the winning mens team was led by John Oakes and Ian Webber. Jesse Nistico won the mens longest drive competition with a monstrous shot on a par 4 that actually reached the green and my team, despite the strange start, managed to win the mixed division thanks to a tiebreaker. Bottom line is that this was the perfect finish to what was already a great FNHL weekend based on the ABC games.... Speaking of those ABC games, since I was in the late game I don't really have a lot of details about the first two games but there was a lot of positive things said in the bar afterward, The B game opened the show and ended in a 7-7 tie. There were quite a few subs in this one and Lenny Slack, though held scoreless, was happy to break his personal losing streak. His winless streak continues however.... Next up was the C game and there were quite a few new faces scheduled here as well. As I said last week, because we really don't have enough C players anymore, this game was more of a mixed BC game and it also was quite competitive. There seemed to be some controversy about the final score in the bar later that night. It was either the second 7-7 tie of the night, or an 8-7 final. "Smith" was in attendance and said that he might just resurrect the Bar Napkin Report for this one. If he does, I will post it right away... With two good games complete it was up to the A group to make it 3 for 3 and they did not disappoint. Things didn't look good early as the Blue team led by Jesse, Chris Baldwin, Mark Lasinski and Andre jumped all over White early. The score was 4 or 5 to 1 for Blue before White woke up and found the back of the net. The line of Ron Morgan, Jamie Shuler and Dan Jervis scored a bunch of goals from in close (Shuler had 4 and Morgan 3 on the night). Not to be outdone, the Pompo Brothers and Dave (Pompo) Cavallaro also pumped in a few of their own (when they weren't busy watching Jesse and Andre score that is). Even the defenseman on both sides got on the scoresheet in this with with George Fleischmann scoring for Blue while Bill Hopkins, Rob Griffin and Dave Cornell (2) tallied for White. If this is starting to sound like a lot of goals, it should, because it was a LOT of goals. After Blue took their big lead, White chipped away until early in the 3rd period when Morgan, Shuler and Jervis took the ice for White trailing 12-9 and left the ice tied 12-12 at the end of the shift. By the time the final buzzer sounded, both goalies (Austin for Blue and Oakes for White) were in therapy and the score was tied 15-15. But there was no way the drunken horde upstairs was going to leave without seeing a winner. So the teams played a 5 minute sudden death session. Blue had good chances early in OT but Oakes was equal to the challenge. With about a minute left Brian Pompo finally put an end to the game and an exclamation point on the evening converting a pass from brother Tony to give White the improbable come from behind victory 16-15. The only thing missing from this shootout was the OK Corral..... Finally, the new schedules are posted and there are some big roster moves to note as well. The Green team will have a new look next session as Ron Morgan and Len Slack join the team along with a friend of Ron's. Jamie Sassenbury and Dan Jennings are taking the next 6 weeks off and Dave Cavallaro goes to the Blue team to join Andre who is taking the place of the vacationing Duane Pardee. Also newcomer Darren Karn joins White and Germain Lapointe will be added to the Black squad in place of Ian Webber who is taking some time off. I know there are a few more changes and I'll post complete updated rosters as soon as I get them. For now it's past 3am and I am tired so - that's all folks...

Have a good week!

06/13/05 - The rosters for this week are posted. Due to players coming and going it's getting harder to consider these true "A,B,C" games anymore. There are quite a few guys playing in a different game than they are used to. The goal was to create three balanced games based on the players available and not to inflate or deflate anyone's ego. As always, these rosters will probably change based on who cannot make it. If you are not going to be there or know of someone listed who can't make it, please e-mail me or call George immediately and I will update the rosters. Also if I missed anyone who expected to play, let me know that as well.... The 3rd Annual FNHL Golf Tournament is all set for this Saturday, June 18th. If you still owe George money (for hockey or golf) please make sure to bring it Friday or pay here on the web via credit card. The golf tourney is always a good time and we look forward to seeing everyone there at the Greenview Golf Course in Central Square. Arrival time should be about 12:30pm so we can start on time. Thanks again to George for all the work he puts in to make it happen. Since I was in Toronto last weekend getting my butt kicked all over the ice by guys younger than my daughter I don't have much to offer as far as game recaps go. I did hear that Yellow defeated Blue (mainly because Blue failed to trade Lenny again) and that White lost again - this week to a new look Red team. Reliable sources blame the slumping 1st line for Whites sudden lack of spark. Also I have heard a strong rumor that there will be a blockbuster trade announced for the next session. We'll just have to see where the chips fall on that one... I am back in Houston so hopefully the plane will land on time.

See you Friday (and Saturday)!!

06/07/05 - The golf tournament is less than 2 weeks away and I know that there are quite a few payments still due. Please get them in this week. Also I believe we may still need a team or two in order to reach a full roster and allow them to close the course for us. If you know of anyone who might be interested please contact George immediately. Last week saw some pretty good action overall. The first game was Blue vs White and Blue was happy to welcome back Dave Stage for a special guest appearance. They were even more happy because they remembered to trade Lenny Slack to White before the game started. Both moves worked out well for Blue. Stage promptly scored the game's first goal and Lenny endured yet another night of frustration hitting the post solidly and failing to score despite several point blank opportunities. The line of Morgan, Fleischmann and Jervis had another solid outing scoring 9 of Blue's 12 goals. John Oakes was steady in goal as usual and got a lot of help from his defensemen Joe (Amazin) Gracz, Duane Pardee, George Fleischmann and Steve Kokkoris. Over on the White side it's tough to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. Chris Baldwin was back and had a nice game including at least one goal, They fell behind early 5-0 and just never got the ship righted. Hopkins, Cornell, Evans, etc were all there - the lights were on but there was no one home. Final score was about 12-4 for Blue, It's probably just easiest to blame it on Lenny.... The second game of the evening was a classic and I was fortunate enough to be able to participate. Normally Yellow vs Black = bad day for Black. But this week was one of those rare exceptions that keep us coming back for more week in and week out. Black goalie Rick Cummings played an inspired game and I found out afterward that he had good reason. His infant granddaughter Jade is battling a serious illness and he dedicated this game to her. Black jumped out to an early lead paced by the first time line pairing of Ron Schlicht, Steve Olson and (sub) Dan Jervis. Pat Salvador also got a nice goal for Black with an assist from Bob LaBarre. Mike Pardee was a defensive force throughout the game frustrating Yellow forwards over and over. Yellow had scoring chances early on but could not find a way to get the puck past Ricky (how often do you hear that???). The score kept going up and at about 5-0 the Black bench sensed that this upset could really happen. But anytime you play Yellow you know that with Jesse and Chip on the ice defeat can be snatched from the jaws of victory at any time. As the game progressed Yellow did finally manage to get a few goals. Jesse scored most of them but Chip and an unknown younger sub also found the twine. Early in the 3rd period the big Black lead had dwindled to a 2 goal margin. At this point it looked like it was only a matter of time before Yellow finished the comeback and 9 out of 10 times they probably would have - but not tonight. The Black D (LaBarre, Rathburn, Schiccitano and Mike Pardee) got tough and Ricky buckled down and it was lights out for Yellow. I thought the final score was 9-7 although I heard a few different opinions in the bar. Bottom line in this one - Black got a total team effort and beat Yellow to the puck, to the net and on the scoreboard for a rare, sweet and well deserved Game of the Week victory. One other nice personal note on this one. Chip's son was in attendance for the game and looked like he had a great time. I'm pretty sure I even saw Chip smile once or twice....... I didn't see the last game and it appears that was a good thing. Green played Red and rumor has it that things got ugly due primarily to a goalie's slashing incident and a lack of self control on his part. Hopefully whatever action is necessary to prevent future problems will be taken. The game itself was not close with Red taking the big win. Green probably did not help their cause at the start by trading speedy sub Chris Gonyea to the undermanned Red. There seemed to be a lot of frustration in the bar about this one and I think there is an answer as long as people hang in there. Speaking of the bar, our official NYS licensed massage therapist Patty Ryan was in the house and got rave reviews for her 10 minute chair massage sessions. I can personally recommend that if you haven't tried one, it's well worth it. Patty will probably be there most weeks so tell her Dan sent you. I will be out of town this week so if anyone has a chance to send in game recaps I will print them. Also I will talk to George this week about the rosters for 6/17.

 Have a good week!

05/31/05 - First and foremost we need to send out congratulations to the Shuler family. Jamie, of the Green team e-mailed me this week to say that Ryan James Shuler was born on 5/25/05 at 9:39am. He was 8lbs 8oz and as far as I know, mother and baby are both doing well. I will post the pictures he sent in the fun photo gallery later this week. Sorry Bob, no time to fit you in.....yet. As for the burning question, I still have no answer. Another week has passed and there is no Napkin to be found. If this is the end, it's a dark day indeed for the FNHL. We still hold out hope that "Smith" will come through.... The golf tournament is right around the corner and we still need a couple of teams. If you are on the fence, it's time to get down, go to the computer and register. Also, George has asked me to remind everyone that the money is due for the golf tournament this Friday. Please remember to bring your money or you can pay here with a credit card via Paypal. Just go to our payments page. It has worked out well so far. The games last week either went very well, or horribly wrong depending on which jersey you were wearing. In the opener it was Green vs Blue. Oddsmakers in Vegas had this as a "no-brainer". Blue has been riding high and destroyed Black just a week ago, Green has been in disarray and just lost their regular goalie, not to mention that Jamie Shuler was not available. But that's why we play the games - well that and the beer of course. Blue started strong with Jervis, Morgan and special guest star Brad Beran finding the net early and often. But Green was far from done. They had a couple of secret weapons this week with Andre and Bob LaBarre subbing in and new goalie Mark (??) between the pipes. They settled down and got back in the game. Cavy started the comeback with a nice top-shelf goal and Billy Cummings tapped in a rebound. Bill Wood had a strong game defensively. The game became a seesaw battle with Green moving ahead only to have Jervis and Morgan tie it up and then give Blue the lead in the 3rd by a 7-6 score. But Green goalie Mark buckled down, stopped some tough chances and Andre added a goal or two and Green retook the lead for good midway through the 3rd. The final score was about 9-7 Green and they earned it. Even though Andre was in the house, this was not his game. The entire team, including the new goalie stepped up. So much for the start of my weekend.... Game #2 was Black vs Red and I only saw a period which ended with Red up 2-0. I was told in the bar later that Brian Pompo had a great game and Red went to on win by a few goals. Not a lot of details on that one but if anyone has anything to add, feel free to e-mail me. The last game was just plain ugly. If there is anything worse than LaBarre in a speedo ugly, this was it. White met Yellow and just could not catch a break, or a pass, or anything else for that matter. Thank goodness they didn't have to catch a plane because I'm sure they would have missed that too. Yellow, on the other hand, was sharp even though Chipless and playing with only 6 or 7 skaters but they managed to continually knock the puck past goalie Rob Conrad. I don't have too much in the way of details but I'm pretty sure that just about everyone scored a goal. The final score was bad and that's all I can tell you for sure. Sorry to cut this one short but it's quite late....

See you Friday!

05/24/05 - The question I'm sure is on everyone's mind will not be answered here tonight. Does the Bar Napkin Report live??? I don't know... I saw "Smith" last Friday and he promised a double-shot to make up for last week's absence but so far this week - nothing, zip, nada. We can only hope for the best.... Since I had the late game I also cannot answer other burning questions of the week. How did Red fare against Yellow?? I don't know (although you can probably figure this one out fairly easily). Did Green manage to pull it together and beat White?? I don't know.... I did hear that Andre made his FNHL debut as a goalie this week for Green but how did he do?? I don't know... I think you're sensing the pattern by now so I'll move on to what I do know even though Bob LaBarre wishes I didn't. Blue played Black in the aforementioned late game and this one was not pretty folks. I'm talking LaBarre in a speedo ugly. The Blue line of Ron (The General) Morgan, Rich (The Sniper) Flesichmann and Dan Jervis was finally reunited and yes, it did feel so good. For the second consecutive week Jervis played the role of garbage man and returned five pucks to their rightful place in the back of the net. Morgan and Flesichmann had a ton of assists and four goals or so. Tom Gridley made a successful return to the ice after taking a session off and tallied a nice goal. To make things worse for Black, John Oakes was solid in goal and rode a shutout for almost two full periods supported by solid defense from Joe (Amazin) Gracz, Duane Pardee and Steve Kokkoris. Black was simply undermanned, outworked, outplayed, outwitted and outlasted. Even the second straight week of jersey swapping by Lenny (Polo) Slack did little to change the outcome - proving that a Slack in Black yields little extra power in either AC or DC. Sub Matt Marchitto did finally break the shutout with a nice shot late in the 2nd period and I think they got another one in the 3rd but by that time even the cleaning crew had packed up and gone home. So what was the final score?? I don't know....

In other news, the golf tournament registrations continue to trickle in but I am pretty certain we still need a few more foursomes to fill out the roster. If you are still waiting to register, please don't wait any longer. Just click here and register now. Finally, the planned Skills Competition has been postponed for now because it was going to be held on Father's Day. George will let us know the new date as soon as it is determined. I should have an update soon on the ABC week rosters for this session. I'm in Houston again this week trying to survive excessive sunshine and 80+ degree temperatures. Hopefully the flight on Friday will land on time.

Have a good week!

05/17/05 - Well it was back to regular action this week after our long break and, if this week's games are any indication, it will take a while to get the legs back. The opener was White vs Black and I was not in attendance. I thought "Smith" might have been there but since there was no Napkin in the mailbox he may not have been. I think Black was the winner in this one but I'm not even sure about that. I will post any updates that come in later this week. Game #2 was a meeting of Blue and Red. Red was quite shorthanded missing Tony Pompo, John Griffith and Stef Boutin. To their credit, especially that of goalie Chuck Austin, the Red team hung tough. They got a little extra manpower during the game as Len Slack and Brad Beran switched jerseys to help even out the sides. But the bottom line in this one was that Red had no answer for the line of Dan Jervis, Ron Morgan and (sub) Gregg Evans. That line moved the puck well for Blue and I was in the right place at the right time five times to help put the game out of reach. Morgan and Evans each added one for a total of 7 for the line on the night. Len Slack also scored for Blue before "jumping ship." The final score was about 11 or 12 to 8 but it could have been a lot worse if not for the heroics of the newly unattached Austin (aka Kim Who). The final game of the evening brought together the Yellow and Green teams. Most notable in this one was the fact that both Jesse and Chip were absent for Yellow. But that turned out to be no problem as Andre was back, in Yellow and he was flying. Not even the late addition of both Dan Jervis and Ron Morgan could do anything to change the outcome here. I'm not sure of the final score but it was similar to the 12-8 result in game #2. After the game it was rumored that Green goalie Rouss has decided to call it quits. I haven't been able to confirm that but if it's true we thank Rouss for his contributions to the FNHL over the years and wish him the only the best for the future. He is truly "one of a kind"!!.... Up in the bar we had a new bartender but the big story was the birthday celebration for the lovely Patty Ryan, our favorite licensed massage therapist and the long suffering companion of Bob (Disco Ball) LaBarre. Happy Birthday Patty from all of your friends here at the FNHL!!!.... In other news, I have spoken to George recently and there is a possibility that we may need to shuffle a few players for this summer session in order to maintain the stability of the league and the competitive balance. If this is necessary, George will contact the players individually.... Finally and last but not least we are getting down to crunch time for the golf tournament. At the moment we have registered just slightly over half of the foursomes needed to fill out the roster. Based on the last poll, there should be more people out there who are planning to go so please register right away. This has always been a good time, one of the few that we get to enjoy away from the rink together and, as always, George has done a heck of a lot of extra work to get the event planned. Let's get moving and help make it a success. Also there was a lot of interest in an FNHL Skills Competition and I know that George has spoken to the rink about getting ice on Sunday, June 19th (the day after the tournament) so we could have it. Since I posted the announcement, no one has come forward to confirm that they want to participate or to help plan it. We really need some immediate feedback on this so we know whether or not to actually go ahead with it.... Thanks in advance for your response!

Have a good week!!

05/03/05 - Maximum hockey was accomplished this past weekend at the Montreal Tournament as both teams made it to the finals in their respective divisions and earned rematches with the teams that had beaten them in the round robin. Unfortunately the puck did not bounce either teams way on Sunday. Jacksonville went first this time and faced the "Flyers" from Toronto who were relatively young, quick and hungover. They were also missing a goalie for the first few minutes of the game. That should have been enough to jumpstart things but Jacksonville was equally hungover but not as quick and failed to capitalize. The game turned into a very even and fast paced battle. The Flyers led 3-2 midway through the 3rd period when Jax's Sandy Chapin passed to Dan Jervis in the slot who put it home for the tie. After the rest of regulation and a 5 minute OT failed to yield another goal the game went to shootout where the Flyers finally won the battle 2 goals to one. Next up was our own FNHL team facing the Greyhounds also from Toronto which I joined already in progress. The score was 2-1 in favor of Toronto when I arrived, Jesse Nistico had our goal. Then in the 2nd period, Dave Cavallaro buried a one-timer and the score was tied. Both teams battled and had scoring opportunities for the remainder of the game but neither could capitalize until there were about 7 minutes left and Toronto scored on a point blank shot. Despite a great effort from the FNHL team, they could not knock in another one and Toronto iced the game with about a minute and a half left for the 4-2 win. Despite the fact that neither team was able to pull it out on Sunday I'd have to call this as a very fun and successful event for all who went. I have some pictures to post soon and I'd also like to experiment with posting some video clips as well. Thanks to everyone who participated and I'm already looking forward to next year.... In other news, George e-mailed me to say that we do have the 10:15pm slot this Friday and he has room for 20 skaters. Call him or e-mail me here asap if you want to get a spot. We will resume our regular FNHL schedule on Friday, May 13th.

04/30/05 - The Montreal Tournament has been a lot of fun and a great success for our teams. Friday, after a long and interesting day of travel (ask Chip about his "detour") the FNHL team faced a team from Toronto and took an early lead only to lose steam and fall to a 5-2 defeat. I can't add much detail because I was playing on the other rink at the same time with basically the same result. Team Jacksonville started strong but could not solve the goalie from Toronto and lost 4-2. So both teams backs were against the wall going into this mornings action and both teams responded well. FNHL went first and put together a solid effort against a team from (???) parts unknown and skated away with a 4-0 victory. Chuck Austin pitched the shutout and Jesse Nistico, Chip O'Connor and Ron Morgan (I think) all scored for the FNHL. It was an unusual game because the opposing goalie was injured late in the 2nd period and the opposition had to play with an extra skater but no goalie for the remainder of the game. Next up was game two for Jacksonville vs a tough team from NYC and by the slimmest of margins, Jacksonville held on for a 2-1 win. The opposing goalie in this one was outstanding and kept his team in the game. None other than yours truly, Dan Jervis notched the game winner for Jacksonville from in close - a very "Schumachian" goal. Round two on Saturday once again was led off by the FNHL and with the chance to advance to the finals tomorrow on the line they responded with a total team effort. John Albanese had an outstanding game defensively and Jesse, Chip, Ron Morgan and Cavy took care of the scoring. The final score was 6-2 but it was never really that close. Also Chuck Austin was solid in goal and the defense of Dan Jennings, Bob LaBarre, George Fleischmann and Pete Klemm made sure that this team from Welland Ontario would have very few chances to score. To finish the evening it was up to Jacksonville to make it 4 for 4 on the night and they responded in a big way against a very fast and young team from Ontario wearing Mighty Ducks jerseys. Dan Jervis opened the scoring for Jacksonville with his second of the tournament from in close. Trailing 3-1 after a brief letdown in the 2nd, the line of Pete Jervis, Mike Marcinkiewicz and Craig Taucher let loose a flurry to ensure a 6-3 victory. Not a bad day for our groups overall, 4 games, 4 wins, 2 trips to the finals - Maximum Hockey!. Special thanks to Patty who brought her massage table and has done a lot to make sure that the boys are able to answer the bell.

04/21/05 - The new schedules are posted. I spoke to George yesterday and it seems that a significant number of people still owe him from two weeks ago. Please get this cleared up immediately and do not wait until we are back in action!!! If necessary you can even pay here via credit card on our payments page. Also I have the Montreal schedule for both Cicero and Jacksonville. It is as follows;

Cicero FNHL - C Division

Friday - 4/29/05 - 7:15pm vs Toronto On Greyhounds - Rink #3
Saturday - 4/30/05 - 11:00am vs Team Koffler (city unknown) - Rink #4
Saturday - 4/30/05 - 2:15pm vs Welland On Sabres - Rink #4
Sunday - 5/01/05 - 10:45am - C Division Finals - Rink #3

Team Jacksonville - 35+ B Division

Friday - 4/29/05 - 7:15pm vs Toronto On Flyers - Rink #2
Saturday - 4/30/05 - 12:00pm vs Red Hook Dancin Bears - Rink #3
Saturday - 4/30/05 - 5:30pm vs Montreal Machine - Rink #3
Sunday - 5/01/05 - 10:30am - B Division Finals - Rink #3

04/20/05 - As the headline on the main page says, we are on an involuntary spring break until May 13th due to tournaments and tryouts at the rink. I have the new schedule and will post it later this week. There may be ice available in the 10:15pm slot on the days we are off although I am pretty sure there are no spots for this week. Next week many of us are in Montreal so George will be looking for someone to coordinate the Friday 10:15pm slot if it is available. Registrations for the golf tournament are starting to come in, but very slowly. If you are planning to participate, please don't wait until the last minute to register. Since I was out of town last week I don't have anything to offer as far as updates. "Smith" was in attendance and checked in with the Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz – 4
Yellow Dogs – A hell of a lot more than 4

After suffering a stunning loss in the prior meeting, Yellow got some payback in a major way over the White Boyz on the big ice Friday night. The game didn’t look good on paper (Yellow dressed a lineup of exclusively A and B players against a White team consisting of 4 C-players, 2-A’s and a couple of B’s) and was never in doubt on the ice as Yellow ended the 1st with 8 or 9 goals and continued to pump in goals for the rest of the game. White only had one goal in the first two periods, and tacked on three more meaningless goals in the 3rd by emulating the cherry-picking strategy used so successfully by their opponents.

Yellow got their usual bunch of goals from Jesse Nestico and Chip O’Connor, including a few nice ones nestled in with the 3 line pass breakaways. Several of the Boyz mentioned that Adam Rufa played a very strong game as well. Yellow goalie Russ Cole pretty much stymied any White scoring chances, although Dave Rigg managed to convert a couple long bomb passes in the third into a pair of goals. Sub Dave Neuner and Matt “Fricken” Frackelton chipped in singletons to round out the Boyz scoring.

Up in the bar, ESPN was replaying the same K-1 kickboxing tournament that seems to be on every week, where are the NHL playoffs when you need them? Most everyone feasted on treats provided for Dan’s “celebration”. Gonna have to do some extra roadwork to be ready to play after the upcoming two week layoff.

Thanks to "Smith" for another excellent report. A few of you have sent in letters and/or pictures for the Ice Chips section and I hope to get that up to date later this week as well.

04/12/05 - Once again the ABC games were quite successful. The first game was the B game with a twist as neither of the scheduled goalies could make it. Fortunately John Oakes and Chuck Austin were able to pull a double, double and the crisis was solved. The game was close the whole way. Mike Tully continued his unheard of scoring antics notching two goals for White, and they got a couple more goals that went in off Blue players in front (I'm not sure who gets credit for those). But the big story and the difference in this game was the solid play of the Blue defense. Greg Schiccitano, Brett Boismenu, Jason Vogel and Mike Comartos consistently frustrated the White attackers and, Chuck Austin was there to make the saves when needed. Blue got two goals each from Pete Thompson, Jamie Sassenbury and Scott Budynas (I think) on route to a 7-5 victory. Game #2 was the C game and "Smith" was in attendance and returns with gusto to filed his own, un-ghostwritten blow by blow description of the events. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

The C-Game BLUE GOONS – 9
WHITE GRINDERS – 4

The Goons (wearing blue) finally got off the schneid and defeated the Grinders (in white) to get their first victory in the fourth game of the series between these C-Level squads. The Goons used their size advantage to rough up the smaller, but faster Grinders. Stretches of this game looked more like a rugby scrum with 10 guys clustered around the puck, but some sweet plays were also made once the teams decided to use the whole ice.

The Triple X Line for the Goons finally gelled, with Len Matyasik and Nick Smith scoring a pair of goals apiece and Dave Rigg chipping in one, as this line spent most of their ice time in the offensive zone. Len served as the setup man on all of his linemates goals with a display of pinpoint passing not usually seen in this game. Team captain Brad Beran had the goal of the game smashing Rob’s cookie jar on the top shelf, and Sunday Morning call-up Chris Hoyt buried one as well. Scott Powlin made his FNHL debut and hustled into position for several good scoring chances and came oh so close, but couldn’t quite find the back of the net. Despite the offensive production, the key to the game was the strong play of the Goons defensive unit of Frank Rathburn, Joe Gracz, and enforcer Keith Benjamin. Those three smothered most of the Grinders rushes and made the puck carriers pay, especially anyone named Terry. On the few defensive miscues made by the Goons, Rick Cummings was there to back up the D in the nets, making some big saves that got the crowd in attendance (well, the players on the bench) whooping it up. Frank also popped in a pair of goals, including an empty netter to seal the deal at the end.

Terry “The Instigator” Young led the Grinders with two goals, including a nice end-to-end rush. After his hat trick in the prior C-game, the Goons put a shadow on Dan “The Reverend” McCarthy (the Grinders Sunday morning representative), and held him to a single goal. Drew Liszewski rounded out the scoring for the White C’s, while Del Hoyt and Ron “Zamboni” Maydole worked the boards (Ron – is it too late to take you up on the wager for this game?). Not sure what was up with Ron jumping on Riggy’s back – save it for the showers, guys. Terry King, Steve Kokkoris and Nick “Senior” Julian worked hard in the defensive zone keeping the Blue onslaught away from goalie Rob Conrad. Rob stopped a bunch of pucks, only letting some well-placed shots get by him.

The bar had a decent crowd as usual after the ABC games, but was relatively quiet as most of the players were pretty spent and Jessica’s perkiness wasn’t enough to get the dead crowd going. Cavy took over the leg breaking duties while George was out, collecting the fees for the next session (pay up soon if you haven’t yet). The main talk of the night concerned whether we can continue the ABC games over the summer sessions, when up to about a third of the players are missing on any given night and the subs might outnumber the regulars on some teams. We can work around this on this for regular games since the rosters are well-sorted skill-wise and a few subs here or there won’t skew the balance of power like they would in the ABC games. The top idea at this point is to select six captains to redraft the teams for a week, possibly appointing all of the captains from the same regular FNHL team to ensure that the rosters will be mixed up.

Injury update on Mark Schumacher: Some cartilage damage was found in his shoulder during the MRI and he will have to go under the knife. This will keep him out of action over the summer while he recovers from the surgery. Hopefully all will go well and we’ll see Schu slamming them home from the goal mouth next fall.

Thanks to Smith for that fine report. Last week's special guest columnists were great, but, as the song says, there's nothing like the real thing baby....

Now on to the final game of the evening where Austin and Oakes were ready for round two. Looking back in the archives I found that White had not yet won a game in this series and also that after our last loss, I guaranteed that the rematch would be better. Fortunately for my long forgotten guarantee, it was. Jamie Shuler personally made sure of that. Our resident MD turned into White's resident scoring expert notching four goals on the evening. Chris Baldwin and Tony Pompo added two goals each for White as well. Those eight goals, combined with some clutch goaltending by Oakes down the stretch proved to be just enough as Blue kept the pressure on right until the final buzzer. Jesse Nistico had three goals for Blue, Mark Lasinski had two and Adam Rufa also had two on some very nice tip in plays. The final score White 8 - Blue 7 and by the slimmest of margins, White is finally on the scoreboard for the series.

In other news, the Golf Tournament info and registrations page is up and should be running. Please don't wait until the last minute to sign up. Also since we are planning to have an NHL style skills competition that Sunday, June 19th, we could use a few volunteers to help set up and run it. Please send me an e-mail if you are interested. We will have a signup sheet for that online once the framework is in place. Finally, I have added two new payments to our Payments Page. One for the Golf Tournament and one for regular FNHL 6 week sessions. Keep in mind that there is a small additional fee that we are charged by PayPal for the service so the actual amount you pay will be slightly higher to cover it. Many schools are on break and it sounds like we may be missing quite a few players this week. Please remember to call someone as soon as you know you can't make it to a game. It's very frustrating for George and the captains to scramble for subs at the last minute. I will be away starting tomorrow to join my brother at the USA Hockey 30+ National Championships in Tampa FL so hopefully someone will e-mail me with the game updates.

Have a good week!!

04/06/05 - The Bar Napkin Report has arrived. Though "Smith" was not in attendance for last week's festivities a couple of very capable ghost writers "Hopped" to it and "Rigged" this weeks version for your information and pleasure. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

Bar Napkin Report - Late Edition

Fightin’ Whitey’s – 7
Red Menace – 6

The Fightin’ Whitey’s fell behind early to the Red Menace and looked to spoil the debut of Rigg, “the goalie”. Griffith and Tony Pompo both blasted the puck into the net behind the rookie early in the game and it looked like Red was off to the races. Red skaters were minus the Pompo Combo but still had the horses to run away with the game. The Whitey’s never lost hope though and made a few adjustments between the first and second periods hoping to tip the ice back to level. Meanwhile, Rigg figured out where the goal posts were and played respectfully for the remainder of the game. Helping out the Whitey’s was Gregg “the tax man” Evans making an appearance during his 6-game self imposed hiatus. Also helping out for the Whitey’s was Sal Giolando in town for the much anticipated BBL vs. OBG game the following day. A mad flurry of goals in the second and third periods for the Whitey’s found them on top by a couple late in the game. Red pulled Chuck for a last minute attempt at pulling even, but White would not be denied. 4 goals by Chris Baldwin and one each for Ron Maydole, Dave Cornell and Gregg Evans kept Chuck busy for the Red especially in the third period. Red goals were by Griffith, Tony Pompo, Jamie Shuler and others not remembered by the Whites as they came in fast at times. Rigg is certain that he shut Mike Tully down though even with the pre-game taunting and threats. Stay tuned for the future return of Rigg between the pipes.

Bar action saw Ashley subbing in for Jessica. Reports of a rat behind the bar were not founded as the only rat in the place could be found at the opposite end of the string. A feeble attempt by any stretch.

Thanks to our anonymous special guest columnists for maintaining the fine tradition of The Napkin. I must however take exception to the nickname bestowed on Gregg Evans. The next time White meets Blue, Len and I will be sure to conduct a very thorough audit.

04/05/05 - Last week I mentioned that many of our weeks seem to follow a similar pattern. This was true again last Friday (at least in two of the games). The first game of the night was a meeting of the suddenly rejuvenated Green team taking on the largely absent Black who may now be known as "sub central". Absent for a second straight week was none other than our favorite elder statesman, Bob LaBarre. The cry of "where is LaBarre" continues.... anyway it started out as a pretty good game with both teams finding the net often. Green was led by Jamie Shuler Dan Jennings and Dave Cavallaro who were flying. Scott Budynas also had another strong game and Defenseman Bill Wood was solid as well. Black got nice performances from newcomer Steve Olson along with Rob Niemeier and Pat Salvador and at the end of two periods the game was close or tied (about 7-7). But that was as good as it got for Black on the evening. As they have done lately, Green came out and dominated the third period. Rouss, whose first and second period performances were "a little pitchy," was right on key in the 3rd and he brought the house down on Black. Final score was about 13-8 and no voting by America was necessary to determine the winner..... Game #2 was Red vs White and much to our collective dismay, "Smith" was not able to attend. Due to this unfortunate turn of events I have no Bar Napkin Report to present, as always, in an unedited version. An update was promised in the bar and it was rumored to have been "Rigged", but nothing has appeared in my inbox to date. If it does show up later this week, I will post it here. I did hear that White was the winner in a close game but that's about all I've got for now...... The nightcap pitted Blue against Yellow and what might have been the marquee matchup (Ron Morgan vs Jesse Nistico) didn't happen because neither of them were there. We know that Ron is still recovering from surgery but no word on Jesse. The assumption in the Blue lockerroom was that he must have been just plain scared. Despite that, the game was well played and competitive, for two periods at least. Yellow was undermanned with only 7 but they hung in there and had quite a few good scoring chances. Drew Liszewski scored on a nice one-timer and Pete Thompson and Adam Rufa also found the back of the net. But the big guns for Yellow, Chip O'Connor and sub Dave Cavallaro were held scoreless by John Oakes. In the third period, following the pattern set in game 1, Blue finally solved the Russ Cole riddle, took a 3-3 or 4-3 game and ran away for an 8-3 win. Dan Jervis, Duane Pardee, George Fleischmann and Mike Masello each had two goals for Blue.

In other news, the ABC rosters have been revised yet again and they are probably not done. I would REALLY appreciate it if everyone would look them over and let me know who can't make it. If you know of some guys who don't usually check the web, someone please give them a call and confirm as well. Right now I still have two players not placed on a squad. One way or another, I will get them on the ice and I'd rather not have to "overbook" the B game, but it's either do that or screw up the C game by moving a couple of B players down. There are always a couple of guys who can't make it each session and I just need to find out who they are this week. Thanks in advance for some help on this one..... Also, I added a Payments Page to the website so that people who want to pay for things by credit card can do so via PayPal. The Montreal tournament is the first event there and as long as there are no snags, I will add the regular FNHL ice payment and the Golf Tournament there soon. Since PayPal charges me a small fee for the service, I've had to include that in the cost...... The Montreal tournament team is all set but there are still quite a few people who owe me for the first night's hotel deposit. I need that this Friday please!!..... George mentioned that the Golf Tournament is all set for Saturday, June 18th at 12:30pm. It will be at the same course in Central Square but on the other 18 than we've played in the past. The cost will be $50 and includes a steak bake. This has always been a great event (rain or shine) and this year should be no exception. As always there will be plenty of door prizes and it should be a lot of fun. Thanks to George for all his hard work in planning this and we hope to see you all there. As an added bonus that weekend we are also planning to have the long anticipated FNHL Skills Competition that Sunday afternoon, June 19th. We may even move that session's ABC games to Friday the 17th to make it a full scale gala weekend event (won't our wives love that!!). In the next few weeks I will post some additional pages with all the details as well as registration pages and credit card payment options.......Money is due this week and George will be out of town. Cavy from the Green team will be collecting in his absence..... Finally, I believe that congratulations are in order for Blue team long term sub Len Slack who was the winner in our office NCAA pool. Guess who's buying the beer this week Lenny???

See you Friday!

03/30/05 - We got back to business this week in the FNHL and, all in all, business was good. It's kind of strange the way that many of our weeks turn out 3 different games that all seem to be following the same basic script. Such was the case this week. In the opener it was Blue, still without "The General" Ron Morgan who is recovering from surgery, taking on White. "Smith" was in the house and checks in with the ever popular Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

BLUE MAN GROUP – 10
WHITE BOYZ – 6

The Blue Men won their second in a row against White after suffering a prolonged losing streak to the Boyz. White jumped out to an early lead against an undermanned Blue squad, but once the late-arriving Blues Travelers got on the ice, it was a different game. There wasn’t much fight in the Fightin’ Whiteys and Blue took advantage of every White miscue to jump out to an insurmountable lead.

Not sure on the scoring for Blue, but Mike Massello played a good game and John Oakes was his usual solid self in goal. I’m sure Dan will have more details on the game in his write up. Also, according to a certain Blue sub, his play in the game warrants a change in nickname from “Butterfly” to “Terror”. However, the Bar Napkin does not utilize self-made nicknames, so I’ll have to go with Mike “Mothman” Tully. For the Whitey’s, Steve Beam stopped into town to assimilate with his teammates in the upcoming BBL-OBG game (see below) and popped in four goals in his first on-ice action in quite a while. I think Baldwin and Cornell had the remainders, but it didn’t really matter as White just didn’t have it tonight.

A decent turnout, but not a lot of action up in the bar. Most of the attention was directed toward the NCAA games, although Jessica regaled the non-hoops fans with her tales of Jello wrestling exploits. The fourth annual BBL-OBG game will be played on Saturday April 2nd at 1:45 – see the posters at the rink. Several FNHL players will be competing for one of these two teams and the chance to get their names on the prized Aroclor Cup. The proceeds of this game benefit the John J. LaManche Memorial Scholarship Fund at Marcellus High School, established for John (a former OBG employee) who unexpectedly passed away much too young three years ago. There will be raffles, giveaways, and, new this year, there will be a skills shootout in the shooting room across from the bar, where you can purchase pucks and will have 45 seconds to shoot at a points board. This competition is open to kids and fans in attendance, while players in the game will be in their own category. Contact Rob Niemier from the Black team if you have any questions about this game or would like to purchase raffle tickets to benefit this worthy cause.

Thanks to "Smith" for his usual fine job of reporting. I must add that the reason "Smith" probably doesn't remember the specific scoring for Blue is because most of it was done by the unlikely line of Tully, Rich Fleischmann and Brad Beran. That unit accounted for 8 of Blue's 10 goals. Tully lead the way with 4, Fleischmann proved he is a "Sniper" with or without "The General" scoring 3 and Beran added 1. This game set the tone for the rest of the evening with both teams matching up lines. The "first lines" played basically even which was all that was needed, while the Blue "second line" simply dominated....... I didn't see the second game Black vs Yellow, but I was told later that it followed a similar pattern. In the end, Yellow was victorious by about an 11-8 margin (??). Most noteworthy about this game according to my sources were the surprise absences of Chip O'Connor for Yellow and Bob LaBarre for Black. Still, I am told that Yellow managed to be plenty chippy even though they were Chipless while Black was bare without LaBarre. This reporter just hopes that LaBarre is not still wandering the streets of Cicero trying to remember where the rink is. At his age......... Anyway, back to the action and the final game of the evening where Green was missing several players, most notably Captain John Albanese, for their game against Red. But the addition of subs from Blue helped fill in the gaps and yielded another good game. Red was ready to go and full of Pompo as the game began. Season ticket holder #001 Kim was in the bar (presumably watching boxing or basketball) and Chuck Austin was in goal. But the story on the ice to start the game was all about defense - specifically Red defenseman John Griffith who gave his best Bobby Orr impression scoring on not one, but two end to end rushes to electrify the crowd. The Pompo line was clicking also and added two or three goals. Despite all of these positives, the game would end badly for Red. I received an anonymous e-mail this week which pretty much spells out the particulars on how Green pulled off the win so here it is.

New Captain Scores A WIN!!!

There is a new captain for Green and his name is Dave Cavallaro. By unanimous decision John Albanese has been fired as one week away and green wins big. The subs were picked perfectly, the lines were matched up evenly and the chemistry was all there for green. Green blew past Chuck Austin winning 10-5. Green received big goals from Rich Fleischmann, Dan Jervis, Dan Jennings, and Jamie Sasenbury but who could forget the big game from Scott Budynas. With the score 5-5 going into the third period Rouss shut the door in the third period and had a solid game in nets. The morale of the green team was at an all time high!!

So there you have it - and the burning question now becomes - do we have a "quarterback controversy" on the Green team?? Only time will tell...... I got an update from Mark Schumacher of the Black team who was injured a couple of weeks ago. Mark says that he is making some progress in his recovery but he still has a way to go. The knee is getting better, but the shoulder is still problematic. We continue to wish him well and hopefully he will be able to return to the FNHL in the not too distant future..... Finally I got word this week that we may have special guest referees at one of this weeks games. Liam Curry and Bob LaBarre will be refereeing the upcoming BBL-OBG game and want to work a game together prior to that, so they may show up for the 9:30 or 10:15 game this week (assuming poor Bob can actually find his way to the rink, of course).

See you Friday!!

03/24/05 - It looks like I picked a good week to get out of town. Hopefully the snow will be over for good when I get back tomorrow.... Anyway, last week the focus was not on hockey but on people as the FNHL celebrated some milestones. George and Rich Fleischmann both have birthdays in March and with this year being 40 for George and 30 for Rich there was no way they were getting away quietly. Their wives and families planned and hosted a combined surprise birthday party at the rink which was well attended and a good time was had by all. Then on Saturday, I had the privilege of attending another surprise birthday party, this one (a big 5-oh) for Blue team member Tom Gridley and his wife Kathy. It was another great party and the couple was clearly touched by all of the love and support it represented. Congratulations to all from the FNHL and best wishes for many more happy years to come!!!

After the festivities it was off to Jacksonville where I somehow managed to endure excessive amounts of sunshine and warm temperatures and still play a couple of games of hockey (and consume a few cold beverages). But now the visit to Oz is ending and it's back to reality. As long as my flights and my luggage both make it home on time I will see you all tomorrow. There's no place like home........Yeah Right..!!!

03/16/05 - After an off week, the FNHL roller coaster took a definite upward turn and we saw three very good games in a row. I'd love to give you all the details on the first game, where I know Yellow was upset by the resurging Red Devils but a promised update from one of our more Canadian players did not arrive.... The second game was another good one and "Smith" was there to file the famous Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

Gang Green – 8 or 9
White Boyz – 7 or 8

Three games in one tonight as the Mean Green Machine pulls out a last second squeaker over the White Boyz in what would normally be a game of the night if there wasn’t an OT tie on the big ice later on. The first period was relatively even, then the Boyz jumped way ahead in the second but got a little complacent, thanks in part to a scoreboard error that showed them even further ahead than they actually were. The Greenies rallied in the third to tie the game late and put in the winner (with a little help from White captain Bill Hopkins) with three seconds left on the clock.

 Both goalies (Chris Rousseau for Green and Rob Conrad for White) played solid games with only a couple of lapses, as Rob saw his hot streak come to an end. Jamie Shuler and Dave Cavallaro scored most of the goals for the Green Machine, with Jamie playing a very good all-around game. Bill Wood and Scott Budynas also found the back of the net. Subs Mike “Butterfly” Tully and Tim Miller, making a return to the ice after about a year off notched hat tricks or close to it for the Fightin’ Whiteys, while Chris Baldwin, Matt “Fricken” Frackelton, and Dave Cornell also may have scored. [The goals don’t add up to the final score, but it’s the best I’ve got in my hazy recollection after a festive St. Pats Parade weekend. Sorry if I missed anybody.]

Up in the bar, Ashley responded to Jessica’s jello wrestling challenge. She’s a little intimidated by Jessica’s gymnastics skills and prior experience (Quote: “She’d probably pull some Matrix stuff on me”), but suggested that if held, the match should be topless. Somebody make this happen.

Thanks to Smith for his continued fine job on the Napkin....The final game of the evening looked like it would be anything but a Game of the Week. For two periods, the Blue team with "General" Ron Morgan and "Sniper" Rich Fleischmann back in the fold simply dominated the Black. Morgan and Jervis teamed for 5 goals and Masello and Beran added one each to lead 7-3 heading into the final period. But the funny thing about this game is that there are in fact 3 periods and not just two. Black obviously remembered that and launched a furious comeback to not only make it close but actually tie the score at 7. Rick Cummings, on the comeback trail for Black had a nice game and a great finish to make sure that Blue would not lead again on the evening. With the score tied at the end of regulation, a 5 minute OT was played and Cummings was again sharp and got just enough help from the post to keep it that way. Black got goals from six different players including Greg Schiccitano, Ian Webber, Rob Niemeier, Bob LaBarre (Oh how it hurts to say that!), Ron Schlicht and Pat Salvador (2). All in all it was a gutsy effort on the part of Black and, though I'd rather win, it was a good game and lots of fun to have been a part of. Based on the effort put forth by both teams, but especially the "Back in Black Comeback", this one is officially the Game of the Week.

Remember that our regular session has been cancelled this week but George has the Olympic sheet at 10:15pm. Please e-mail me or call him to see if there's still space available. I am going back to Jacksonville next week so I won't be in the house next Friday 3/25/03. Hopefully someone will fill in the details for me in addition to the Napkin...

Have a good week!!

03/08/05 - So after such an outstanding slate of games a week ago, what would the FNHL do for an encore??? Nothing....absolutely nothing. In the roller coaster world that is FNHL hockey, the past week was definitely a low point.... in fact it was more like being stuck in a loop on the tracks in the rain while the person stuck above you gets sick. Now that may seem just a bit over the top, even for this reporter, but I would submit that the combination of guys who failed to show and or call, the guys who remembered to call but still didn't show, and the guys who did show but forgot how to play hockey makes it a fairly accurate statement. The night started out on a bad note when I got a phone call from none other than "The General" Ron Morgan saying that he had a bothersome abdominal injury that would probably require surgery so he would miss our game this week and probably several more weeks.... All I can say is - get well soon Ron (VERY, VERY SOON!!!). On that note it was off to the rink where the opening game was already in progress. "Smith" happened to be in attendance and graciously comes through with another installment of the famous Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

WHITE BOYZ – 13 or 14
BLACK FLAG – 4

Thanks to a locker room mixup, the White Boyz debuted their contrasting socks uniforms and defeated the sub-laden Dark Side in the early game. The game played much closer than the lopsided score indicated as Black moved the puck well and had several good scoring chances, but could not solve White goalie Rob Conrad, who continues his torrid hot streak. Chris Baldwin, on the other hand, could not seem to miss the back of the net as he almost single-handedly outscored the rest of the players on the ice.

Baldy apparently applied a healthy dose of his infamous pixie dust to his stick and had lucky 7 for the Fightin’ Whiteys, including the goal of the game – weaving through several defenders and launching a backhander from behind the redline that had enough English on it to find the net. Dave Cornell, Matt “Fricken” Frackelton, Ron “Zamboni” Maydole (immediately after returning from a mid-period locker room "visit"), Nick Smith, and sub Pete Thomson rounded out the scoring (think I may have missed one also). Ian Webber and Bob Labarre put goals in for the Black Eyes, not sure who tallied the other two. Rick Cummings made a bunch of big glove saves, but White was able to capitalize on some rebounds and got a bunch of well-placed shots past him.

Upstairs, the Boyz again came through with 100% attendance at the bar (once players that doubled up finished their 2nd games). Some of the other teams had pretty good turnouts as well. Bartender Jessica offered to perform some feats of gymnastics, but quickly raised her asking price once it became clear that the initial rate could be raised by passing the hat. Jessica also revealed that she was once a finalist in a Jello wrestling tournament and stated that she could take Ashley, at which point Art quickly left for Sam’s Club to grab an inflatable pool and a pallet of mix. Stay tuned to see how Ashley reacts to being called out.

Thanks, as always to "Smith" for another fine report and thank God that all Art left to grab was an inflatable pool and a pallet of mix!! We will all wait anxiously to see how this drama in the bar unfolds.

So after that one sided contest, there was another battle to be fought on the NHL ice, but as the saying goes - if you want to win the battle, shoot the officers first. Although the Red Devils couldn't take credit for it, the damage was already done as Blue team General (and Emperor in waiting) Ron Morgan was out of action. To make matters worse, Sniper Rich Fleischmann was also MIA. Gazing across the ice at a Red team stocked with Rob Griffin, Mark Lasinski, All three Pompo brothers, etc, etc, etc Blue knew it would be a long night - and it was. Red jumped out to a big lead early in the game and never really looked back. I wish I could remember the specific scorers and circumstances of their goals but I have managed to completely block that period out of my mind. Blue did manage to score a few goals and the impressive FNHL debut of sub Steve Olson, combined with some nice offensive play by George Flesichmann and Mike Masello were bright spots in an otherwise bleak night for Blue. The Red defense got a little relaxed towards the end of the game and settled for a 14-11 victory but the outcome was never really in doubt. When Red puts the lineup they had Friday night on the ice with Austin solid in goal, they can compete with any team in the league........ So we move to the nightcap and on the Olympic ice it was a severely undermanned Green team struggling to stay close with the powerful (and no longer Chipless) Yellow team. Despite the late addition of subs from the second game, this contest was another lopsided affair. Jesse and Chip paced the attack for Yellow while Russ Cole handled most of the opportunities Green could throw at him. The end result was a final score of (about) 9-3 in favor of Yellow. Outmanned, Outgunned and Outscored, Green - the (Yellow) tribe has spoken.....

In other news, George confirmed that the regular session for Friday, March 18th has been cancelled. I am pretty sure he will be able to get the 10:15 slot that night so if you want to play, please e-mail me or contact George directly asap....Also, if you are in the Sunday morning group, this week's ice will be at 6:30am at Lysander.... The Montreal tournament is coming together and, as long as no other catastrophes occur, we should be set. I sent an e-mail yesterday regarding the hotel money so please remember it this week. The weather here is about 75 and sunny and there is actually green grass and trees in bloom....

See you Friday!!

03/01/05 - One of the best weeks we've had since I've been a part of the FNHL..... Three games, two relatively low scoring ones that ended tied and were decided by shootout and the other a one-goal game in regulation. By all accounts, the ABC format worked as intended and was a lot of fun to be a part of. Now I just hope I can remember enough details to do them justice.... In the opener it was the A game and both teams clearly brought their "A" games. The White team was riding a two game win streak so the teams colors were switched for the pivotal game 3. The jersey color didn't seem to matter initially as the new Blue team got off to an early lead. Jesse Nistico and Matt Marchitto got a few past White goalie John Oakes and the game could have easily turned into a runaway. But White kept skating and was finally able to get a couple by Chuck Austin. The line of Baldwin, Jervis and Evans combined for about four goals in the game and helped keep things from getting out of reach. By the middle part of the third period, the tables were turned and it looked like White just might pull out a win. But even late goals by Dave Cavallaro and Jamie Shuler were not enough to seal the deal for White as Greg Sniffen, Rob Griffin and Jesse Nistico answered for Blue and the game ended in a tie at 7-7. So it was on to our first ever shootout and after 5 shots apiece the tally was even at 2. But in the sudden death phase it was Adam Rufa who was the hero putting the game winner past Oakes and putting a dagger in the hearts of White fans worldwide..... I'm pretty sure even Bob LaBarre shed a tear at that finish. Bottom line on this one was - great game all the way around - goaltending, defense, offense etc.... The rematch will be even better - I guarantee it...... Next up on the NHL side was the C game and "Smith" was in attendance to file the Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

The C-Game

WHITE GRINDERS – 5
BLUE GOONS – 3

In a classic contest of size versus speed, the Grinders (wearing white for a change) again defeated the Goons (in blue) to take a 3-0 lead in the series between these C-Level squads, with each victory by the slimmest of margins. This won’t win Game of the Night honors since both the Mid-Level and Fancy Boy games went to shootouts, but was another close matchup between these two teams. With a score this low on Friday nights, you know that the defense and goaltending played solid games and that was indeed the case here.

Sunday Morning call-up Dan McCarthy tallied a hat trick for the Grinders (including a gift-wrapped empty-netter in the closing seconds). Somebody should sign this guy up on Fridays. Rounding out the scoring for the Grinders were Terry “The Instigator” Young and Ron “Zamboni” Maydole. Terry King, Steve Kokkoris and Nick “SR.” Julian manned the defensive zone for Blue and got some backchecking help from Del Hoyt, Al Moisan, and Drew Liszewski. No ringers were used by the Grinders for the Goons to point to this time around, unless you count late-arriving substitute A-Team goalie Chuck “Face Man” Austin (not sure who was in the nets for the first few minutes, B.A. Barracus maybe), who stopped several pucks.

For the White Goons, team captain Brad Beran, Dave Rigg, and Nick Smith supplied the scoring (Way to represent White Boyz! Four out of the six goal scorers in the game!). Riggy had the goal of the night, sending Chuck’s water bottle flying, while Brad paid homage to injured Grinder Mark Schumacher with a backander from the goal crease that he eventually learned had found its way across the goal line. Len Matyasik and Rich Fleischman supplied the hustle for the Goons and did the dirty work that allowed these goals to happen, although The Sniper saw his personal scoring streak come to an end. Bill Cummings gave his all every time on the ice and made a bunch of nice plays despite needing the oxygen tank after each shift. The Goons defensive unit of Frank Rathburn, Joe Gracz, and enforcer Keith Benjamin worked the three-man rotation and kept the score down low enough to keep the Goons in contention. Frank especially stood out in his first C-Game. Rick Cummings made an impressive return to the ice after a lengthy stint on IR and stood tall in the nets, showing no rink rust and only letting in a couple well-placed shots.

As usual after these events, the bar was pretty well packed this week. Ashley made an impressive Friday night debut behind the taps, probably convincing a few to try to play on Wednesday and Sunday nights when she usually works. The scuttlebutt of the night dealt with the increasing abuse of our ice times. Basically, people are getting on the ice late, taking too long to warm up, putting up more time per period than is available, then taking prolonged rests between periods. We’re lucky that no one is waiting for the ice after us or this could cause some problems. Look for George to take some proactive steps to keep the games moving on time before an issue develops with the rink.

Thanks, as always to "Smith" for his usual fine job of reporting..... Those two great games were a pretty tough group to follow and given the shaky history of the B game it looked the game Game of The Week had already been played - on paper anyway. But that's why they play the games.... Things started off about the same as they had in the past with Blue jumping out to a quick lead on goals by Jamie Sassenbury, Pete Thompson and Scott Budynas (I think). The first period ended with a score of 3-1 for Blue. But the White team came to life in the second and stormed back to take a 4-3 lead. I wish I could remember the specific scorers - but I can't.... I'm pretty sure that Dan Jennings, Pat Salvador, Matt Frackelton and Bill Wood were involved. In addition to scoring three goals, White also held Blue scoreless for the period thanks in large part to an outstanding outing from goalie Chris Rousseau. So we go to the third period with White in the lead by a goal, but that wouldn't last long. First Blue ties the score and then gets a second goal in the period to retake the lead 5-4. But just as in the early game we were far from over. Matt Frackelton skated hard down the wing and slipped a pass in the slot to Pat Salvador and the game was tied and it would end that way. So for the second time on the night (and ever) we go to a shootout. Just as before in the early game, the regulation phase of the shootout ended in a 2-2 tie. And now it's time for someone to play hero and who, of all people, should step in to fill that role but Black team defenseman Greg Schiccitano. Schiccitano made a nice move and slipped the puck past Chris Rousseau to end the game and give Blue the Game of the Week win. After a rough start in this ABC format, it was especially nice to see the "B" game so close and well played throughout.

Just a couple of other news items to mention this week. First of all, George has been advised by the rink that there is a conflict on March 18th and we will be out of action that week. We can probably rent the 10:15pm slot and George will let me know exactly what the details are as soon as they are confirmed. Also, if you are in the Montreal group, I still need rooming lists and hockey resumes from most of the team - like yesterday....

Have a good week!

02/21/05 - Just a very brief update since we were off last week. First of all, the rosters for the ABC games are in the process of being modified based on what I know about players who can't make it. Please check them a couple of times this week as there are still a few more changes to be made as soon as I am able to touch base with George. Also, the schedule for the next session has been posted.

02/15/05 - Not really a banner week both on and off the ice for the FNHL. First of all we'd like to extend our sincere condolences to Chris Rousseau's girlfriend Tonya, Rouss himself,  and the family due to the recent passing of her mother after a long illness. Our hearts go out to all of you in this most difficult of times..... Also we'd like to wish a very speedy recovery to Black team member Mark Schumacher who was injured pretty seriously on Friday night. Mark got tangled up with a Green team player along the end boards and fell hard on his left side. I believe he suffered a dislocated shoulder and will be out for quite a while. I'll pass along any updates as they come in... Finally, as hopefully everyone is aware of by now, we have been bumped from our regular hockey this week due to a junior game. The ABC games will be played next Friday, 2/25/05. George will be renting one sheet at 10:15 this Friday and there was originally room for 20 skaters. At this point it is filling up very fast so don't wait to either e-mail me here or call George to see if there is still space available.

There was some hockey played this week and though it wasn't necessarily the best we've seen here, it did have its moments. The opener was another installment of what may be the hottest FNHL rivalry at the present time - Yellow vs White. Fortunately, "Smith" was in attendance and filed the ever popular Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz – 17
Yellow Dogs – 9

What started out as a possible Game of the Night turned into a rout as the White Boyz stormed back from a first period deficit to score a big victory over the Yellow Dogs. White’s first line gave Yellow goalie Bill Smithson a rude reception as he made his return following an extended layoff. Greg Evans and Chris Baldwin each scored 5 or 6 goals apiece and their linemate John Tardiff chipped in a pair of goals and about thirty falldowns (sorry John, but the "Zamboni" nickname is already taken). Dave Rigg (with a twofer), Dave Cornell, and Nick Smith, among others, rounded out the Boyz scoring. The Fightin’ Whitey’s also got some strong D-play from Cornell, Bill Hopkins, Jason Vogel, and Matt “Fricken” Frackelton, who was making his FNHL debut. Yellow got their usual bunch of goals from Jesse Nestico and Chip O’Connor, and Pete Thompson converted a sweet one as well – not sure on the rest of the Yellow scoring. Rob Conrad, who continued his run of coming up huge in the nets for the Whitey’s, was aided by his new bestest friend - Lefty McGoalpost - who also made a ton of saves (probably about a dozen on Jesse alone).

 Up in the bar, Jessica backed off from her “experimentation desires” expressed a couple weeks ago. Drinkers beware: she may snap a few candid shots with her picture phone and forward them to the website. Writers beware: she took down the link address and is going to check out the website [Dan – please rig up and post a new favorite bartender list ASAP]. Missed a bunch of bar time due to a special FNHL episode of Rescue 911, as Black garbage goal specialist Mark Schumacher was carted off the ice with assorted shoulder and knee injuries. I’ve heard about six different and very contradictory “eyewitness” accounts about what happened. But Mark ended up with a separated shoulder and no major damage to the knee, which is good news. Here’s to a speedy recovery. Payments for the next session were due last week, make sure you find George ASAP and settle up if you haven’t paid yet. Round III of the ABC games are up next, but when they will be played is in question – I’m sure Dan will have more details posted.

Thanks to "Smith" for another fine report. Unfortunately, I don't have much info on Schu yet but if anyone gets the info I will post it here.

The middle game was a meeting of Blue and Red. Rob Griffin was back for Red to add a little jump to their lineup but Chuck Austin was frolicking on the beach in Florida with our lone season ticket holder, Kim and Brian Pompo was absent due to illness. Unfortunately for the Red team, not enough Pompo usually = not enough goals on the scoreboard and this was proven true again in this game. Things started well enough for Red as Tony Pompo and Rob Griffin did manage to get them off to a nice 4-1 lead after one period. But that was as good as it got on the evening. Mike Masello scored the lone goal for Blue in the 1st on a sweet snap shot top shelf. The second period was a complete change as the Machine Gun line for Blue finally stopped misfiring and connected on several nice passing plays. The Sniper, Rich Fleischmann, Dan Jervis and The General, Ron Morgan combined for several goals in the period and all nine goals that Blue scored the rest of the way to complete the victory. I think the final score was about 10-7. Mike Tully scored late for Red but any possible comeback was stopped by goalie John Oakes who had a very solid outing after a shaky start.... The conclusion of the evening was the aforementioned game between Green and Black. I did not really see any of the game so there's little to say except that I heard it was a close game and, of course was not finished due to the injury to Mark Schumacher. Though I don't believe that Mark's injury was caused by any specific dirty play by the Green team, I did hear that the game seemed to be getting quite physical at times. I know that we all like to compete and sometimes things can get rough on the ice but I sincerely hope that everyone tries to keep in perspective the fact that what we do is strictly for fun. When someone goes down, regardless of the circumstances, it is not fun at all and can have a major impact on real life outside of our little hockey paradise..... just a thought.

For those of you going to Montreal, I need to get the money collected asap. If you won't be around this week, please get in touch with me so we can make arrangements. Also I still need hockey resumes from almost everyone and a list of how many hotel rooms to reserve..... I should have a new schedule to post soon. George is still having some problems getting it finalized with the rink and fighting as hard as possible to keep us from getting bumped too often in March. For the Sunday morning group, that schedule has been updated.

Have a good week!! 

02/14/05 - I'll have the rest of the update tomorrow, but for now there is one very important announcement. George was just informed that the rink will be taking our NHL slots this week, 2/18/05 for a junior game. Therefore the ABC games will NOT be held until the following Friday - 2/25/05. George will be renting one sheet this Friday at 10:15pm on the Olympic and there is room for 20 skaters. Please e-mail us or call George immediately if you want to play. Also, since not everyone follows the website, please let everyone know about the switch. Thanks!!

02/03/05 - The rosters for the ABC games are posted. There have been a few changes, partially to keep things fresh and partially to accommodate the roster changes made during the last session. As always, no changes are made with the intention of slighting anyone nor should they be taken personally. Please contact us as soon as possible if you can't make it so we can arrange comparable subs. Also the last poll has ended and a new one started. We had a really good response to the last poll. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to participate.

01/31/05 - Since I was away last week suffering through 70 degree temperatures and all that damn sunshine, I have very little to report this week. I did hear that despite the absence of Jervis and Morgan, Blue managed to keep the score very close vs Yellow - but in the end, Jesse managed to chop out a win. Cavy did tell me the results of the Green vs Red game and I know it was also close but I can't remember who won. Bottom line is that if anyone wants to add some details feel free to e-mail me and I will post them here. I did manage to play some hockey last week and here is a link to the recap from the Jacksonville Hockey site. http://www.jaxhockey.com/9739.html. I realize that this report seems a little sketchy at the moment but fortunately "Smith" will now step in to save the day with the ever popular Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

WHITE BOYZ - 7
BLACK HOLES – 3

On a rare night with a full 10-man lineup, the White Boyz defeated the Dark Side on the big ice. Rob Conrad continued his recent hot streak in net, stopping several quality Black scoring chances. The score was tied at 1 after the 1st, then the Boyz blew the game open in the 2nd, once the Baldwin, Evans, and Cornell/Tardiff line got cranking. Each team used the whole ice very well for the first 2/3 of the game. However, the 3rd period could best be described as dog sh!t as both teams appeared worn down and played some ugly sloppy hockey.

Greg Evans had a hat trick for the Fightin’ Whiteys, and Chris Baldwin, Dave Cornell, Bill Hopkins, and Nick Smith rounded out the scoring. John Tardiff played a strong game for the Whiteys, starting out on D before moving to forward and figuring in on many scoring plays for his linemates. Ian Webber knocked in two goals and Bob Labarre put the other goal in for the Black Eyes. White nemesis Mark Schumacher was held scoreless for a change -- no garbage goals tonight (although he dropped back to D for the second half of the game so it was hard for him to camp out in his favorite location in the goal mouth). Russ Cole made a bunch of big glove saves, but White was able to capitalize on some rebounds and got a few well-placed shots past him.

Prior to the game, the Big Race was held. In order to conserve energy, the contest was reduced to a simple up and back the length of the ice. Dave Cornell overcame a slow start off the line and skated to victory over Bill Hopkins and Chris Baldwin (in a distant 3rd). The Black players were rooting for an immediate re-match, but that will have to wait for another day. Challenges were made in the bar for another run – will anyone else step up to test Dave?

In other news, the skills contest idea seems to have gotten a positive response and we should maybe discuss specifics on how to make it happen. Also, we’ve secured a radar gun to measure a hardest shot contest, so you can start working on cranking them out. [Note to Rouss: Looks like you’re off the hook. And by the way, you were only selected as a possible judge due to your innate puck stopping ability – otherwise we wouldn’t be able to tell the speed of shots that got by the goalie. It had nothing to do with how well the bruises would show up on your pasty white body.] To get a better image in your heads, bartender Jessica admitted that she’d like to go through an “experimental stage” for a bit after having some bad luck with recent boyfriends.

Thanks to "Smith" for that fine piece of reporting. I agree that there has been decent interest in a skills competition. Sounds like a good topic for this week's after game bar discussion - that is unless Jessica is serious about her intentions anyway..... There should be another update later this week for the ABC games....

See you Friday!

01/26/05 - Sorry about the delayed update. This has been a busy week in the Sunshine State. Let's get right to the recaps....The first game last week was Green vs White and fortunately "Smith" was in attendance and has the details in the ever popular Bar Napkin Report. No "mailing it in" this week. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz – 7 or 8
Gang Green – 5

On a cold night at the rink, the White Boyz took an early lead and pretty much held onto it the rest of the way for a win over the Greenies in a fairly evenly matched, but slow-paced game. Both goalies turned in strong showings, but while Chris Rousseau had a couple of lapses for Green, Rob Conrad turned in an outstanding performance in net for the Boyz and made some incredible saves to thwart some good scoring chances for the Gang. Bill Hopkins and Chris Baldwin each had a pair of goals for the Fightin’ Whitey’s, while Greg Evans (maybe 2?), Nick Smith, and Terry “The Instigator” Young notched singletons. Terry also backed up his nickname by tripping at least ¾ of the Green players during the course of the game. Dave Cavallaro scored most of the goals for the Green Machine, but Brett Boismenu and Jamie Shuler had the highlight reel goals though.

 There was a pretty good crowd up in the bar as Jessica put her stamp on the menu by concocting buffalo tenders (highly recommended). Former bartender update: Rumor has it that Nicole is expecting and due in June. If the baby is born bald, Bob LaBarre is gonna have some ‘splainin to do to Patty, based on the evidence in the fun photo archives.

Thanks, as always to Smith for another fine report and though the Bob comment was good, we all know it's just not possible....right??? I shudder to even imagine.... Anyway, in other action, the Blue team has been on fire since the addition of The General, Ron Morgan and that roll continued this past week with a nice win over Black. The final score was 10-3 but it was never really as close as the score would indicate. The Machine Gun Line continued to click scoring about 7 of Blue's 10 goals. Marksman Rich Fleischmann continues to light it up from in close. The Line Formerly Known as the Civil War Veterans also chipped in two nice goals - Masello to Gridley on the first one and (I think) Beran had the second. The goal of the night was scored by none other than defenseman Joe (amazing) Gracz on a one-hopper from the point. Goalie John Oakes carried a shutout into the third period before Mark Schumacher scored on a breakaway to spoil it. Rob Niemier also scored for Black on a nice one-timer from Pat Salvador. Schumacher rounded out the scoring for Black with a typical Schumachian goal but by that time the game was long over. Blue faces Yellow this week and both Dan Jervis and Rich Fleischmann are out of town. It should be interesting and hopefully someone will send me a writeup......In the final game of the night Yellow was Chipless. I know they have been accused of this many times in the past but this week it was true. Red did their best to take advantage of this and kept it very close well into the 3rd period but it was not close enough. I only say a very small portion of the game but it was enough to see Yellow put the game away for good. Jeff Ward, Pete Thompson and Len Matyasik looked like they were having pretty good nights. I don't know what the final score was... maybe 10-6??? It was nice to see our one and only season ticket holder Kim back in attendance this week even if she only pretended to watch Chuck's game while the boxing match was on.......I will post the final ABC rosters very soon...... I'm skating with my brother's team tonight in "Game 8" of a seven game playoff series...no pressure there....Hopefully I will be back home by Saturday.

Have a good week!!

01/17/05 - Even with the snow today, you've gotta love these long holiday weekends!! It was another good week for the FNHL so let's get right to the recaps. In the first game of the evening - delayed thanks to a junior game - the Green team took on Yellow. This was supposed to be the debut of Jamie Shuler against his old team but somehow he ended up playing for them. I'm still not clear on all the details but it appears that Green had 11 skaters so one person (Jamie) ended up going Yellow. This probably wasn't the best trade selection and made for a predictably lopsided result. I didn't see the game but heard that the final score was about 16-6 for Yellow. It was also reported that Pete Thompson and Len Matyasik played well for Yellow...... The second game of the night turned out to be the 10:15 game on the Olympic side. This was another rematch of a former player and team and fortunately Blue offered White no generous player returns. "General" (and soon to be "Emperor") Ron Morgan was in the house and quite simply this made White very blue indeed. Blue continued their rejuvenated play with a complete three period effort. The combination of passing, skating, defense, goaltending and even a smidgen of back-checking was just too much for the usually powerful White squad to respond to. The Machine Gun line was clicking again, led by Morgan with 4 or 5 goals, the unit chipped in a total of about 8 on the night. Rich Fleischmann nailed a couple from in front and has certainly been a big contributor on the line. Also The Line Formerly Known as the Civil War Veterans made their presence felt with a nice Masello to Gridley goal and a solid plus-minus rating. Oakes and the D were excellent as usual. I would usually offer some highlights for White as well but outside of some nice saves by Conrad and a goal by Al Mosian, they were just miserable. A demoralized "Smith" did manage to compile a Bar Napkin Report though he readily admits it is not one of his best. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

Here the report (Whiteys - feel free to contact Dan with additions &/or rebuttals - I kinda mailed it in this week):

BLUE MAN GROUP – 8 or 9
WHITE BOYZ – 4 or 5

The Blue Men broke a losing streak to White that extended back to before the time that Dan began to guarantee wins. White rallied in the second period to pull close, but otherwise Blue just outworked White (except for Terry Young who was all over the place) on both ends of the ice. A lot was mad of Blue snagging Ron Morgan from the White roster, but he didn’t seem to be much of a factor. However, some guy named “Captain” Mmpophmod was clearly dominant on the ice teaming with Dan Jervis and Rich Fleischmann. I’m sure Dan will have more details on the game in his write up.

Jessica made a strong debut behind the bar, revealing all of the vitals (age, piercings, undergarment preference, cheerleading background, etc.) and correctly guessing the ages of most customers (much to the dismay of the 40 and near 40-something crowd). Looks like she’ll fit right in if she sticks around.

Place your bets now in the Hopkins/Cornell Challenge. It might’ve been the beer talking, but Bill Hopkins and Dave Cornell have agreed to a race next time both are around. It will be suicides, which after extensive negotiation will be goal line to red line and back, then to opposite goal line and back (I think). Chris Baldwin may have also joined in to create a three-way contest.

Thanks, as always to "Smith". Even on a bad day you always appreciate The Napkin.

This brings us to the final game of the night - Red vs Black (???). Although, due to the late start it turned out to be a meeting of Red vs 3 Black and 6 Green guys (and this time Shuler was with them). This game promised to be a strange one and if any fans had stayed late enough to see the ending, they wouldn't have been disappointed (except for maybe Chuck Austin's girlfriend Kim who was conspicuous by her absence). I joined the action late in the first period and at that point it was all Red. Brian Pompo had a new stick and for the first two periods he flat out owned Black goalie Russ Cole. I'm not sure, but I think that several of the moves Pompo put on Cole are still illegal in several Southern states. At the end of two periods the score was Red 9 (or 10) - Bleen 4 and we all thought it was over. But the Bleen team had other ideas and decided to perpetrate some goaltender abuse of their own. First it was Jamie Shuler (MD) who gave Red goalie Chuck Austin and his net a very thorough exam. Austin must have thought Shuler was wearing latex gloves under his hockey gloves. Suddenly the game was close and then it was Cavy's turn. Dave got more action from Austin in the last five minutes of this game than he's gotten in 4 months of marriage. Cavy notched a stunning natural hat-trick to close out the game and send Bob LaBarre home happy with an 11-9 (or 10) Game of the Week win. It was also good to see young Rob Griffin back in action for Red, despite the unfortunate outcome.

Not much else to report this week. It looks like we will continue the ABC games based on the way the poll is going. George and I should have the rosters posted for that soon.... Ian Webber sent in a clip of a good hockey fight that I will try to post later in the week..... Finally we have heard some complaints recently (again) about some players who refuse to come off the ice during games. Frankly we are a bit uncertain of what (if any) action to take. George does a lot of work keeping the league running and it's not fair for a group of adults to ask him to also be a babysitter/policeman. On the other hand, since we are all here to have a good time and all pay the same amount of money to play it's completely unfair for some guys to refuse to come off the ice. I would like to get some feedback on this problem. Please e-mail us and tell us what you think. Can this situation be resolved internally by the affected team(s) or should the League (meaning George) take action???

Have a good week!!

01/10/05 - First of all, I just got word today that we will be delayed on the NHL ice this week due to a junior game. Rather than cancel a full week, George decided to just change the start times. The 8:00 game (1 vs 5) will not begin until after the junior game - probably about 9:30pm. The next game (2 vs 3) will be after that - probably about 11:00pm. We apologize for the inconvenience but it was completely out of our control. Please make sure that everyone on your team knows about the switch. Now, on to business.... It was back to action for the FNHL after a nice holiday break and there were some changes to start the new year. Frustrated by a lack of promotional opportunities on the White team "Captain" Ron Morgan abandoned ship and signed a contract with the venerable Blue team for $3.75 million (old Turkish Lira). Once on board, the "Captain" was immediately promoted to "General" and he paid immediate dividends in their match up with Green. The Green team was also sporting a new look with the welcome addition of Jamie Shuler. All the signs pointed to a close game but it just never developed that way. General Morgan teamed with Dan Jervis and Rich Fleischmann and the new "Machine Gun" line clicked immediately scoring a total of 10 goals on the night. Tom Gridley also added a nice tip in goal on a pass from new line mate Mike Masello to round out the Blue scoring. Since Dave Stage has retired and Masello replaced him on that line we must also retire the "Civil War Veterans" nickname. They will now be called "The Line Formerly Known as the Civil War Veterans". But I digress, anyway, back to the game - Green actually played a decent game and their offense had numerous scoring chances but couldn't seem to put the puck past Blue goalie John Oakes often enough. Oakes was in his second game of the evening and won them both (with a pair of 5's no less). Rouss made quite a few big saves for Green and got some help from the post as well but the Machine Gun Line just fired too many pucks his way. The difference in the game may have just been the defense. Joe Gracz, George Fleischmann, Duane Pardee and Steve Kokkoris were very solid for Blue. I can't quite remember who did score for Green, but I think it was Cavy, Jamie Shuler, Dan Jennings and John Albanese. My apologies for the bad memory, but I was a bit overwhelmed to be on the winning side of the scoreboard for so long. The final score was 11-5 in favor of Blue. On a personal note, I am happy to report that I have not been on a losing team so far this year!..... In other games, the Yellow team with new defenseman Matt Marchitto took on a frustrated Black squad and did nothing to help them start the new year off right. I didn't see the game but I was told the final score was about 16-7 in favor of Yellow, Jesse scored a ton of goals, Schumacher was shut out and Black was missing at least Sniffen and Salvadore...... The other game, which was actually the first of the new year, was a rematch of White vs Red. Fortunately "Smith" was in attendance and filed the ever popular Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.
 

WHITE BOYZ – 9

RED MENACE - 5

 

The White Boyz opened the new year with a victory over the Red Menace by a score of 9-5.  Both teams appeared to have had too good of a time over the holiday break and it showed in the quality of play during the first period, with several missed passes and each team scoring off of a defensive miscue by the other.  In the 2nd period, the “scoring” lines for each team were matched against the opposing “checking” line and the Boyz pulled away to a healthy lead.  The final period saw another switch in the on-ice line matchups and the teams traded goals, with Red unable to reduce the deficit.

 

Chris Baldwin threw in 4 goals, while Dave Cornell, Greg Evans, Bill Hopkins, Al Moisan, and Nick Smith rounded out the scoring for the Fightin’ Whiteys.  The real story of the game was the White defensive wall of Bill Hopkins, Dave Cornell, and George Fleischman that stymied the Red Rockers for most of the night (especially after they got a read on the Toe Drag).  On the few occasions where Red managed to break past this unit, they then had to deal with Goalie-For-Hire John Oakes, who played an incredible game.  One sequence in the second had John breakdancing in the net and making saves like the Labatt’s Blue Bear.

 

As usual, the Inbred Pompo Line racked up a bunch of goals for the Rednecks, with Brian carrying most of the load. Brian Banks also had a disputed goal and Terry King played a good game from the back lines.  Chuck Austin stopped a lot of pucks in net, most of them with his left heel it seemed. 

 

Michelle was definitely missed in the bar, although there was a decent crowd on hand and the beer was flowing nicely.  Tina did make a brief visit, but only as a guest after working the door for the open skate.

Thanks to Smith for his usual fine reporting. We look forward to another year with "The Napkin" on our tables.

In other news, the Montreal Tournament team is almost full and based on the group committed so far, this should be a very good year for the FNHL. I got word from my brother that he is bringing a full team this year so the FNHL squad should include Jesse, Chip, Ron Morgan, Greg Evans, Jamie Shuler, Cavy, George and Chuck Austin. There are a couple of other guys that I'm not sure about so if your name is not on the list but you plan to go please contact me immediately. Also, as I've said all along, this tournament has a lot of divisions and there is always room for another team. You don't have to be an "A" player to participate. I know that Rouss (goalie) would like to go so if there are other players that want to sign up I will be happy to bring two teams. I'm sure that anyone who's gone in the past will tell you that they match up the competition very well and it's a lot of fun off the ice too. If that's going to happen though we need to get commitments asap........ George is looking into getting ice for the FNHL skills clinic. Hopefully we can put this together in February and it should be both fun and beneficial for all who attend. Our instructors Pete and Cinker both have pro hockey experience (Pete was a goalie), as well as coaching experience...... Dan Jennings also introduced me to a gal from the Utica area who is a power skating coach. She has offered to hold a power skating class for the FNHL in Westmoreland at some point if we want. Let Dan or I know if you'd like to go. The cost should be no more than $20....... The poll so far is running far in favor of keeping the ABC games format. I'll leave it up there for another week or so. If you haven't voted yet, now's the time. Thanks to everyone who has already voted......

12/24/04 - The new schedule is now posted. Also George and Christine Fleischmann sent along holiday greetings which are posted in the Ice Chips section. Finally, here is a list of the future poll suggestions that were submitted in the last poll.
  • MVP of each team
  • NHL style awards, top offensive, top defenseman, top goalie, lady bing, most PIM, etc..
  • What's the biggest rivalry game in the FNHL?
  • Aside from your own team, which team would you most like to play for?
  • Who is the dirtiest player in the league?
  • Who is: fastest skater/hardest shot/best moves/best passer etc. in the FNHL?
  • Who is the biggest puckhog
  • best one on one goalie.....
  • Which bartender has had the best breasts and why.
  • If you had to switch teams, which team would you want to play for?
  • Would referees improve the game? We could have a player from another game serve as a referee, not so much to call penalties, but to blow the whistle and have face-offs.
  • Best Forward Line in the league
  • Best Defensive Line in the league
  • Hardest Shot
  • Fastest Skater
  • Toughest Skater
  • Biggest Baby
  • Should we have refs?
  • do we like the ABC game (poll already posted this week)
  • The last poll that was taken from us was Mark Lasinski. We'd like to have hum back on our team! (English is obviously a second language for this guy).
  • yes or no ? age bracket games,20 oldest/20 youngest/and the 20 leftover brackets

There are some good suggestions here. One theme that seems to emerge is that we should vote on some "awards". Some of those suggestions are more humorous while others lean towards the serious side. I could put something like this together and open it up for voting but we'd need to nail down the categories to vote on. Also the question of "refs" or at least someone to drop the puck and call basic offsides and icing etc was mentioned by two people as were questions about what team people might like to play for other than their own. In the coming weeks, please consider the suggestions that have been made and give me some feedback - either in person or by e-mail and we'll make a decision. Thanks as always to everyone who took the time to participate.

12/21/04 - First of all I'd like to take the opportunity to say farewell and best of luck to a class guy, Dave Stage who has decided to retire from the Blue team. I know I speak for the entire FNHL in saying that it has been a pleasure to skate with you and we hope you will stop by every so often to share a beer with us..... In a related story, the remaining members of the famous Civil War Veterans Line will be attempting to land Bob LaBarre so they can rename themselves the Revolutionary War Veterans.....Due to the departure of Dave and a couple of other comings and goings (including the return of Dave Cornell) we've had to do a small amount of player reshuffling. There are only a few players involved but hopefully these few changes will help to even out the competitive balance in the FNHL and make the games a little more interesting, as well as fun (which is why we all come out each week). The current team rosters are now posted.....Also, I have the new schedule and will post it a little later this week. We do not have hockey this Friday (12/24) or next (12/31) and will start a new session on 1/7/05.......

Last week marked the second installment of the "ABC" games and some exciting play went right along with some strange twists of fate. In the opener it was the "A" game, this time on the smaller NHL ice surface. The teams were very similar to those of 6 weeks ago (Dave Cornell and Jamie Shuler were welcome additions on the defense for Blue) and the Blue team was out to avenge a heartbreaking 7-6 OT loss. Unfortunately the White line of Jesse Nistico, Chip O'Connor and Ron (Captain) Morgan didn't get that message and proceeded to start the game with a flurry of offense that would continue throughout the contest. That line accounted for the games first goal or two before Dan Jervis and Tony Pompo were able to answer for Blue. Both goaltenders - Russ Cole for White and John Oakes for Blue played very well and the game was close for most of two periods.  But it was only close for MOST of two periods. From that point on, White took control. I can't remember who (in addition to Jesse, Chip and Ron) actually scored the goals but I know that Adam Rufa, Ron Schlicht and Doug Tracey are all possibilities. Late in the second period Dan Jervis caught a bad clearing pass and converted to cut the White lead to 6-3. We thought it would be De-Ja Vu  all over again as this was exactly the scenario 6 weeks ago to start the third period. But there would be no great comeback in this game. Each team added one goal in the final period and White skated away with their second straight win by the score of 7-4. Still it was a good game and a lot of fun to be a part of........The next game was the rematch in the "B" division and there were several roster changes on both sides. This game was looking like a certain Game of the Week with tight checking, solid defense and goaltending. Mike Comartos scored from the point for the Blue team late in the first period to tie the game at 1-1. Midway through the 2nd period Stef Boutin for White finally put one past Chris Rousseau but (after quite a few minutes of discussion) it was agreed that he had started the play by knocking the puck down with a high stick and the goal was taken off the board later in the period meaning the 3rd would begin with a 1-1 tie score. The first half of that final period was much more of the same. Rouss and John Oakes (pulling a double) were outstanding in preventing any more scoring. But then the bottom simply fell out from under the Blue team. First Stef Boutin scored and this one counted giving White a 2-1 lead. Next it was Len Slack scoring his second career FNHL goal (his last one was 6 weeks ago in the "B" game) to make it 3-1. The game then quickly slipped away from Blue as John Albanese, Scott Budynas and what seemed like very other player on the White found the back of the net. Blue did get one more goal late (Tom Gridley I think) but this one was history. From 1-1 midway through the 3rd period the game ended up about 8-2 in favor of White. It was a tough ending for an otherwise competitive game. On a personal note I was FINALLY on the winning side of the scoreboard!!!!!!.... Our final game was the "C" game on the Olympic ice. "Smith" was in attendance and filed the ever popular Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

The C-Game

BLUE GRINDERS – 11
WHITE GOONS – 7 (8 if video replay was in effect)

In the long-awaited C Game rematch, the Blue Jacket Team again defeated the White Coats to take a 2-0 lead in the series between these squads. No neutral zone traps in this game as very little time was spent between the blue lines by either team. The faster Grinder team jumped out to an early lead on the big ice and never really looked back, despite a late rally by the determined Goons led by Tony Bird, who overcame cramps to join the rush from his defensive post.

Pete Thomson was sent down to replace B-game call-up Jeff Ward and showed up with a point to prove. Pete was a one-man wrecking machine, carrying the puck end to end like he was skating around cones and ending up with a hat trick (seemed like he scored more than that though). He even managed to come up with a well-timed knee “injury”, stopping play just as Dave Rigg caught a breakaway pass inside the Blue zone without a defender in sight. Mark “Schu” Schumacher also tallied a hat trick from his usual perch around the goal line. Rounding out the scoring for the Grinders were Terry “The Instigator” Young (with a pair of goals), Drew Liszewski, Al Moisan, and Terry King. Terry King, Del Hoyt, Steve Kokkoris and Nick Julian manned the defensive zone for Blue and got some backchecking help from Ron “Zamboni” Maydole. Rob Conrad was the winning goaltender and even had the opposing bench applauding some of the stops that he made.

For the White Goons, Dave Rigg and Len Matyasik led the scoring with a pair of goals apiece, while Tony Bird and Bill Cummings also had nice goals. Another goal was scored by either Tony, Bill, or team captain Brad Beran (not sure which), while Nick Smith put an in & out shot off the back support of the net that wasn’t counted during the game, but confirmed as a goal by barroom spectators. The Goons three-man defensive unit of Tony Bird, Joe Gracz, and enforcer Keith Benjamin held their own for most of the contest. Keith demonstrated the use of his stick as a “Schu-horn” to clear the crease, which led to a heated discussion on the specific stick placement of the technique. Rigg and Young also got into a tickle fight along the boards, but the giggles coming from each player indicated the good nature of the altercation (get a room, guys). White was playing a man short due to two key B-game callups who may have made a difference in the game (Rich and Scott), although Chris “Clyde” Hoyt was brought up from the Sunday Morning “Iron League” to fill one of the vacant spots. Mark Deseraux was again called up from the minors to work the net for the Goons. He made some excellent saves, but there always seemed to be a Blue player on hand to slam one home (usually Schu).

The bar was pretty well packed after the games this week. Michelle broke out her pocket pants, but most people were too spent after the fast-paced games to provide much in the way of commentary. There’s talk that the next Week 6 game may be broken into age groups. Sounds like it’s worth a try, but the Goons definitely want another shot at the Grinders somewhere down the line. Maybe we could do a whole session of the age bracket teams (so every age plays everyone else) and still have the A-B-C games at the end. I'm not sure if that was the intention all along, or if the idea was to do it just for one game on the final week.

We’re now off for two weeks of holiday celebrations. Have a good one and don’t come back too fat in January.

Thanks as always to "Smith" for his fine reporting. I do want to address one thing that he mentioned regarding the next Week 6 game. It's true that there has been a suggestion made to do something other than the ABC games - such as break up the league by age groups. At this point we would like to get your feedback. I know that many people have really enjoyed the ABC format while others - not so much. No decisions at all have been made on what we will do next session and I've posted a new poll to see what you think. Please take a minute to cast your vote and once George has the results then I'm sure he will make a decision consistent with what the majority of the league wants. Thanks in advance for only voting once. Finally I do have the suggestions from the last poll and will post them along with the new schedule later in the week. Thanks to everyone who responded.

Have a happy and safe holiday break and I look forward to seeing you for another great year in 2005!!!

12/15/04 - We made it back from vacation after a marathon session in flight. What a wonderful feeling to land in Syracuse and see all the snow..... no, just kidding - what I meant to say was - what a miserable sight!!! and the temperature - don't get me started... We have to face the fact that we are really just a bunch of very pale Eskimos. But on the good side, at least I can get back to hockey and my elusive quest to finally be on the winning side of the scoreboard. I only got one update on last week's games. The ever reliable "Smith" checked in with the Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

 

White Boyz – 17

Yellow Dogs – 16

 

In the Game of the Night between the top two teams in the latest power poll, the White Boyz scored a last second victory over Yellow Dogs, despite missing three key players (Baldwin, Evans, & Hopkins).  The Whitey’s led most of the game (11-8 after 2 periods), but Yellow mounted a furious comeback in an INTENSE third period to tie the game at 13 and tacked on three more goals after that.  White caught back up around the two minute mark and Jason Vogel scored the game winner with a long range goal with only 20 seconds left on the clock.

 

White’s first line of Dave Cornell, sub Dave Cavallaro, and Ron “Captain” Morgan (who swam ashore from the ocean in his basement to play one last game for the Boyz before being traded for the next session) supplied most of the scoring:  each player had between 3 and 5 goals apiece.  Vogel had a second goal in addition to the game winner and Al Moisan completed the scoring for White, burying a rebound “Schumachian style”.  Yellow was working the three line pass move to Jesse Nestico all night long and got a bunch of goals off of it.  Chip O’Connor also threw in a few goals, playing keepaway with the puck until maneuvering in position for a shot.  Jamie Shuler played a good all around game and connected on a rocket shot from past the top of the faceoff circle (I think he had some more goals also).  Although a lot of goals were scored, you gotta look past those numbers since the game was tight and action filled.  In that respect, the two substitute goalies, Russ for White and Phil for Yellow, kept their heads on straight and each made several key saves.  Otherwise, either team could’ve been in the 20s in a route.

 

Up in the bar, Jessica was called up from the snack bar to stand in for Michelle.  Most of us were on our best behavior since it was couples night and several wives/significant others were on hand for the big dice game.  From a glance at George’s roster sheet, it looks like most people have made their payments on time for the next session, except for one team in particular. Hopefully they caught up after I had looked.  All you stragglers, make sure you find George ASAP and settle up.  Next week is Round II of the ABC games, should be another set of good games.  Medics will be on hand as the C players take their game to the big ice.

Thanks as always to "Smith" for another top notch installment of The Napkin. I look forward to seeing everyone on Friday - especially since no one has e-mailed to tell us you can't make it.

12/06/04 - The housekeeping items were addressed yesterday so we can get right to the updates. In the first game the Blue team planned to get back on the winning track this week but then they realized it was Yellow they were facing. Not exactly an ideal matchup when you need to get back in the win column. Overall the game went pretty well and, thanks largely to goalie John Oakes, the Blue team kept it close for a while. Brad Beran connected with a sweet one-timer on a pass from Tom Gridley (who also scored a goal himself) and George Fleischmann also blew one past Yellow sub goalie Phil Valeriano. Joe Gracz played some inspired D for Blue, BUT (and I say again - BUT) Jesse, Chip, Jamie, the Matyasiks and the rest of the leagues top team would have no part of being upset. They pumped in a total of about 12 goals which was more than enough to top the Blue team's 6. For those of you keeping track at home (and I know some of you are) that loss keeps my personal futility record intact. I honestly can't remember the last time I was on the winning side of a game. But then again I am writing this from my hotel room in Hawaii where it's about 80 degrees so I guess it all evens out.... Game #2 was a meeting of Black and White. "Smith" was in the house for this event and checks in with the famous Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

BLACK SABBATH - 9
WHITE BOYZ - 8
The White Boyz made the managerial blunder of the season by loaning sub
Dave Cornell to the dark side before all of their players arrived at 
the
rink, then ended up playing the game short one player.  Rob Conrad made
a ton of saves to allow White to stay within striking distance as the
flow of the game on the ice was heavily in Blacks favor.  The score was
3-1 after the 1st (although it seemed like it would be a lot worse
before the score got posted on the board), then 7-3 after the 2nd. 
Following a motivational speech and bench door adjustment by Jason
Vogel, White began a comeback in the 3rd period, but fell just short of
tying the score and forcing OT.
Mark Schumacher opened the scoring with a typical garbage goal from the
goal mouth off a nice pass from Ian Webber, who chipped in two goals of
his own.  Their linemate Dave Cornell put in two goals also to get back
at the team who sent him packing for a night.   Ron Schlict had a hat
trick, including a backhander into the roof that was voted goal of the
game.  Bob Labarre (I think) rounded out the scoring for the Black.   
The Black defensemen played a very aggressive game, deflecting many of
Whites shots and asserted themselves on the O-side as well.  Russ Cole
held his ground in net for most of the game against any shots that did
get through the defensive wall.  Chris Baldwin, Greg Evans, and Bill
Hopkins scored a pair of goals apiece for the Boyz, while Dave Rigg,
Jason Vogel, and Terry Young chipped in singletons.  Ron "Zamboni"
Maydole was all over the ice (literally) for the Whiteys and credited
with several takedowns.
Dave Cornell was also MVP in the bar for coaxing Michelle out of her
coat (it looked real cute on him).   After downing some free grub left
over from an earlier party, the league power brokers huddled in one
corner to hash out the final tweaks to the ABC lineups (see the 
schedule
page and contact George ASAP if you can't make it), while the rest of
us caught the Paris Hilton South Park episode.

Thanks again to "Smith" for another fine report. That sounds like at least a tie for Game of the Week honors .... The last game of the night gave me one last chance to get a win before vacation. The Green team was in need of a couple of subs so George and I suited up for their game against the Red team. Red has only 8 players but they made the most of them. Brian and Tony Pompo seemed to score from everywhere and Stef Boutin and Brian Banks did some damage as well and before Green could even get started, the Red team lead by about 5-1. But there was still a lot of hockey to be played and Jamie Sassenbury was "en-fuego". Jamie nearly single handedly led a massive Green comeback by notching six goals (Cavy assisted on many) and in the closing minutes the score was actually tied. BUT (there's that BUT again) Red still had enough gas in the tank to net a couple more heartbreaking goals and walk away with an 11-9 win. John Griffith played some great D throughout the game, and especially in the last few minutes was instrumental in keeping Red in the win Column.

So there you have it, another week in the books. Since I am on vacation this week I'd ask that some of our other special guest reporters step up and provide me with the highlights for next week's update. I presume that "Smith" will be there for the Yellow vs White rematch but the other two games are wide open. Mahalo in advance!!

 

12/05/04 - IMPORTANT - we got word late at the bar on Friday that next weeks games on the NHL ice will be delayed by 45 minutes. That means the 8:00 game won't start until 8:45 and the 9:30 will go at 10:15. Please let everyone know about this change.....Also, the rosters for this session's "ABC" games are posted. There have been some changes made necessary by guys either leaving the league or saying that they can't make that game. The bottom line is that we have a pretty normal distribution of players and that translates to more "B" players than A and C. Hopefully no one will be offended by the moves we made to try to compensate for this and keep the games competitive as intended. Basically we went back to the original votes and then factored in the new players. Please check your rosters and game times so there is no confusion. Also, please (Please!!!!) let us know asap if you cannot make it so that we can get appropriate subs. The "A" game will be at 8:00 this time on the NHL ice and the "C" game will be 10:15 on the Olympic.....Finally, there was a suggestion made in the locker room this week that instead of an "ABC" game, in some future session we try matching up players by age group. Of course that would mean we'd have to get a list of everyone's age and then find some way to compensate for the way Bob LaBarre's age would screw up the averages. Let us know what you think of this idea....I will post the regular weekly update later in the week. Aloha!!

11/23/04 - I'm sure we've got quite a few golfers out there so let me set the stage for this weeks update with this analogy. Your approach shot is off line and now you're 30 feet from the hole, putting uphill, with a water hazard below you - but - make the putt and you win the game. So you take your time, line it up and hit with a nice smooth stroke - as the ball moves towards the cup you realize you've read the break perfectly. The ball rolls slowly but steadily uphill and gets within one turn of dropping into the hole. But joy turns to horror as it then stops and rolls back down the hill and into the water. Welcome to my world. This week was to be the week that the Blue team got back in the win column. Facing arch rival Black in the late game, things started slowly. Black raced out to an early 4-0 lead, but then the game changed. Blue, who hasn't been able to generate much offense lately, rallied. Rich Fleischmann and Duane Pardee scored and Dan Jervis scored twice and by the third period the score was tied. Then Blue did the unthinkable and took the lead on Pardee's second goal of the game. It stayed 5-4 until late in the game and things looked good, But Greg Sniffen took a loose puck in the slot and converted it to tie the score. Then Black came right back and went ahead 6-5 on a goal by Ron Schlicht (I think). But this game was far from over. Blue had one last rush left and George Fleischmann managed to crash the net and knock a rebound past a stunned Russ Cole to tie the score with seconds left on the clock. So we go to overtime and Blue continues to pressure the Black defenders but Blue make one little mistake and get caught with 4 players deep in the Black zone. One quick move later and sub Dave Cavallaro is off on a breakaway for Black....he shoots...he scores!!!....game of the week over....Blue nightmare - continues..... In other games, Yellow continued their winning ways by defeating Red by the score of about 18-8. I didn't see the game and a promised e-mail update didn't arrive so I don't have much to offer in the way of details.... The week opened with a meeting of White and Green. Fortunately "Smith" was in attendance and filed his ever popular Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

WHITE BOYZ - 15
GANG GREEN - 10

The Boyz won their second in a row after a brief losing streak. They controlled most of the action, except for the last couple minutes of the second period when Green pumped in a slew of goals to draw within one. But the Whitey’s pulled ahead in the third and never looked back. The “Mad Hatter Line” of Chris Baldwin, Ron “Captain” Morgan, and Greg “Pee Wee” Evans decided that their new name suits them. Each had at least a hat trick as they accounted for about 13 of their team's goals. Nick Smith and Al Moisan (with a little help along the goal line) had the others. Dan “Deerslayer” Jennings and Bill “Woody” Wood did most of the scoring for the Green Machine. Dan may have had a single shift hat trick during the rally at the end of the second period. Keith Benjamin also earned some props after the game for noticeably improved play. But he needs to work on in his treatment of subs after lacerating Bob LaBarres lip open, possibly in an attempt to reduce the glare. Rob Conrad took a shift or two off in the 2nd (along with the rest of his team), but otherwise made a bunch of stops to get the W. Rouss also stopped A LOT of shots in this game, most of the goals came on second efforts from in close. Even though Michelle was behind the bar, most of the early evening attention was paid to the SU-Memphis hoops game that was on. I had to leave early, so hopefully someone else will step up with any bar scuttlebutt that went on after the two late games finished.

Thanks as always to "Smith" for that report. I was in the bar later but there was little to add in the way of scuttlebutt since we were mainly trying to drink the game off of our minds.

We have no hockey this week so we can all over-indulge in our Thanksgiving feasts without having to face the music of over-exertion on Friday night. Of course this also means we will be that much heavier and slower when we do get back to action a week from Friday.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the Montreal tournament. So far there has not been much of a response. I should have some info from Russell Hockey on this soon and I'd still like to be able to put a team together. Please let me know if you might be interested. We had an excellent time last year and I'm sure this year would be just as good or better now that we know better what to expect.

There are a couple of new letters posted in the Ice Chips section and they are pretty good so please feel free to take a look. Also, the rosters for this session's ABC games should be posted soon. I know the poll is way overdue for a change and I hope to get to it this weekend.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and while I'm on the subject I'll take the opportunity to thank George for all his hard work in keeping the FNHL going despite the frustrations that go along with that. We've got a great hockey community here with great people and that's something that I am personally very thankful for.

See you NEXT Friday!!!

11/15/04 - I got back from my Houston trip just in time to play a little hockey, work on the remodeling project, more hockey, repack and catch a plane to NYC. The hockey part was fun, but I have to admit that it would be nice to be on the winning team at least once in a while. Anyway, we had some decent games this week (for the most part) and yet another FNHL goaltending debut for the Yellow team. This week it was Mike Matyasik filling in for (sub) Rob Conrad who had to leave due to a family emergency. We sincerely hope that everything turned out ok for Rob and family. In the first game it was the rematch of Blue and White. Since I have nothing good to say about the game I'll take my mom's advice and say nothing at all. Fortunately, "Smith" was in attendance and he has plenty to say in his famous Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

The "Double or Nothing" Game

WHITE BOYZ * 9 (double)
BLUE MAN GROUP * 7 (nothing)

The White Boyz got off the schneid after losing two in a row with a
close win over the Blue Man Group in a back and forth contest.  Blue came
to play and outworked White in the first half of the game, but the Boyz
had a lot of scoring opportunities and converted enough to grab the W.

The Mad Hatters Line of Chris Baldwin, "Captain" Ron Morgan, and Greg
Evans supplied all of the scoring for the Whiteys; each player had a hat
trick.  Bill Hopkins played some inspired D, even risking it all to
sprawl out and block a shot Mike Ramsey style.  The rest of the White
defense was also solid with part-timer Jason Vogel, Dave Rigg, and
conscript Terry "the Instigator" Young, who debuted his breakout to the redline
move without a stick.   Rob Conrad shook off a puck to the knee and
made some big saves in the third to preserve the win.  And Bill managed to
fit his hockey bag along with Rob's goalie gear into the Mini Cooper.

Dan Jervis was desperate to avoid choking on a second consecutive
guaranteed victory prediction and pumped in about five goals for his cause,
including a couple bombs from near the blue line.  But it was not
enough to salvage a win or a couple pitchers of beer (conveniently offered
up as the team was leaving, but promised for next week).  Aside from
Dan, several White players commented that Brad Beran played an outstanding
game.  Mike Masello (on offense) and Duane Pardee (on defense) also
stood out for the Blues Travelers. Sub goalie Russ Cole had to make
several brilliant stops to limit the Baldwin/Morgan/Evans line to nine goals,
as they were really clicking.

Michelle was a welcome sight back behind the bar and it's good to hear
that all is well with her.  "They" were also in attendance, but the
night's discussion was focused on other "assets" and whether back pockets
would change the appearance of a pair of painted-on jeans.  Art was a
less than useful subject for comparison purposes.

Thanks to "Smith" for another fine report and I must tip my hat to the White team. We have now decided that every meeting between Blue and White will be a two pitcher game. I am nothing if not stubborn.... The second game was Red vs Black and I was only able to see one period of that one. The score was tied 3-3 after one but it was reported that Black managed to take home a close win by the score of about 10-8. If anyone wants to e-mail me with more details, I will post them.... The nightcap saw Yellow with new goalie Mike Matyasik taking on Green. Mike did an admirable job, making quite a few good saves while the high powered Yellow attack swarmed all over Rouss and the Green team. Rouss actually played a decent game but this was just not the Green team's night. Yellow only had seven skaters but that just meant more ice time for Jesse and Chip. I'm pretty sure that every one of the Yellow team players figured in the scoring but who can tell. I lost count somewhere in the second period. I would guess that the final score was something like Yellow 21 - Green 14. A good score for a football game but pretty dismal for hockey.... Sorry for the short report this week but I am pretty tired. I think George wants a new poll regarding the last week of the session so there should be another update later this week.
 

11/08/04 - The first week of ABC games was in the books and the FNHL was back to the regular grind. This week's games were not exactly what you would call exciting, but there were just enough twists to at least call them interesting. In the opener it was Black vs Yellow. The twist in this one was the FNHL goaltending debut of yours truly, Dan Jervis. As some of you know, I was a goalie for many years in youth hockey, high school and through a year of college, but that was many years ago (back when Bob LaBarre was just considered "middle aged"). It would take a strong defensive effort by the Yellow team if I was going to follow in the footsteps of George Fleischmann and get a debut win. Fortunately, they were up to the task. Thanks largely to the solid defense of Mike Comartos, Jamie Shuler and Jesse Nistico not too many Black shots reached the net. Things didn't look good early on as Ian Webber scored for Black on the first shot of the game and Ron Schlict also scored early on a nice breakaway move. At the end of the first period the score was tied at 2-2. But from that point on, Yellow owned the game. Russ Cole played well for Black but the Yellow attack of Jesse, Chip, Jamie and company kept coming in waves and by the end of two it was about 8-2 Yellow. The final score was about 13-2....Game #2 was Blue vs Green. Green has been struggling a bit lately but you'd never know it based on their performance this week. For the second game in a row, the first period was very close (2-2 I think) but then, just as in the early game, one team took control. In this case it was Green finding their mojo while Blue could barely seem to find the puck. John Albanese stepped up and was superb at both ends of the ice, netting a hat trick and also back-checking hard to help his D. It would have been fun to watch if it wasn't me that he was usually targeting. From my perspective it was rather annoying. Anyway, John wasn't the only Green player to have a good game. Dave Cavallaro also had a hat trick and Jamie Sassenbury and Scott Budynas  were among the scorers as well. Billy Cummings and Brett Boismenu also had good games but I'm not sure if they scored. For my money, the performance of the game was turned in by Chris Rousseau who didn't let a couple of early Blue goals rob him of his focus. Rouss had his head in the game for the entire 3 periods and that was trouble for Blue as he stopped all but one of the remaining shots Blue took and turned what could have been a closer game into a rout. Green was simply the all around better team on this night and took home a well earned 13-3 win. The last game was Red against White and "Smith" was in attendance to file the ever popular Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

REDNECKS - 14

WHITE BOYZ - 10

The Boyz dropped their second in a row after a long unbeaten streak. This week it was the Red Menace that got some payback from the last time these teams met. The story of the game was that Red exploded with a flurry of fast break goals in the second period. The score was tied at two after the 1st, then 11-5 after the 2nd. White won the 3rd period, but not by enough to make up the deficit.

The “Line That I Can’t Come Up With A Name For” of Chris Baldwin, “Captain” Ron Morgan, and Greg Evans chipped in about 5 goals, with Ron doing most of the damage. Nick Smith had a hat trick, scoring two “Schumachian” garbage goals and a third off of the back crossbar that wasn’t confirmed until rehashed in the bar after the game. Dave Rigg brought in a buddy from Philly, John “Missing” Link, who played some aggressive D, scored a pair of goals, and promised to leave an upperdecker in the Rigg household. White welcomes teammate Al Moisan back to the fold after taking the summer off. He passed the offseason conditioning test by still standing after playing center on the big ice in his first game back. Apart from a meltdown in the 2nd where he faced several breakaways and odd-man rushes, Rob Conrad played well enough in goal to keep his team in the game.

The problem was that the opposing goalie and made a ton of huge saves. Although Chuck Austin didn’t have his female support group in the stands tonight, he was clearly all hopped up on Vitamin E and quick to exit the arena afterward. The Inbred Pompo Line racked up a bunch of goals for the Rednecks, but Mike “Butterfly” Tully and Brian “Jesse Jr.” Banks also had a thang going on, moving the puck real well and scoring 4 or 5 goals.

The bar scene was a little disappointing as Art was tending the taps in place of our regulars, although some degenerates from either the Red or Blue teams stepped up and harassed him about showing some man cleavage. Late arrival Stephanie(?) showed some potential in the closing minutes, but wasn’t around long enough to generate anything newsworthy.

It seems the Boyz have a target on them lately after blowing through the last couple sessions. Next week is the long-awaited rematch with the Blue Man Group. Last time around, Dan Jervis had to eat crow after guaranteeing a Blue victory. But that didn’t stop him from going “double or nothing” on the rematch. We just need to figure out what is on the line, besides what is left of Dan’s pride (and maybe a pitcher or two).

Thanks again to "Smith" for that report. Hopefully my flight will land on time this week but there should be no big concern over what's at stake in that game because it's double or nothing. You'll have to take nothing and like it.

A few updates to pass along. The proposed FNHL skills clinic has had to be postponed because the ice was not available when we needed it. The response was good so we are looking into early next year to reschedule. Also, in order to get at least some of the pictures processed and on the web I've had to delay the start of "Fantasy FNHL" until the next session. For those of you who hadn't heard, I'm planning to launch this new game to at least partially fill the fantasy sports void left by the NHL lockout. Finally, it's getting to be tournament time again and I'd like to begin getting a handle on who might be interested in going back to Montreal. I don't know the details yet but we had a great time there last year. We could even bring two teams this year if the response is good. This tournament is not just limited to experienced players. They have many divisions and I'm certain that we could field a second team in one of their novice divisions if we had enough interest from our "C" division players. Let me know if you're interested.

It's about 75 degrees here in Houston so it wouldn't necessarily break my heart if the flights were delayed on Friday but chances are I'll end up back in the cold. I will hopefully change the poll later this week.

See you Friday!

11/02/04 - As anticipated, "Smith" checked in with the famous Bar Napkin Report and he's got a lot to say this week. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

The C-Game:
BLUE GRINDERS * 9
WHITE GOONS * 8

In what was shaping up to be the Game of the Night until the pretty boy A-game went into overtime, the Blue Jacket C Team narrowly defeated the White Coats in an evenly-matched game that left each team looking forward to a rematch. Each team played nine to a side as Frank Rathburn and Gerry Benkoski were MIA, but the purity of the game was maintained as neither team resorted to grabbing subs/ringers (not that some didn't try). It was a back and forth game throughout, with Blue eventually jumping ahead by a couple of goals. The Goons tried to overpower the Grinders in the 3rd by forming the ¾-Ton Pickup Line (R. Fleishmann, Smith, L. Matyasik, Rigg, & Gracz), but fell short in it's comeback attempt.

The My Two Dads Line of C+ Player Jeff Ward, Ron Maydole, and Drew Liszewski did most of the damage for Blue with 7 goals (3 by Jeff and 2 each for Ron and Drew). Mark Schumacher rounded out the scoring for the Grinders with a pair of goals. Amazingly, neither was a typical "Schumachian" garbage goal * one was from greater than 3 feet away and the other, while shot from the goal mouth, was a backhander that involved a couple of slick moves by Schu to get there. Terry King worked as the point guard for Blue, anchoring the D (along with Steve Kokkoris and Nick Julian) and carrying the puck while his teammates set up in the offensive zone. Del Hoyt and Terry "the Instigator" Young were held off the scoreboard, but were involved in several plays for the Grinders. Rob Conrad was the winning goaltender and had the hot hand in net with several big saves that left White players shaking their heads.

For the White Goons, Dave Rigg was the clear player of the game with five goals. Although held scoreless, Len Matyasik was also a key two-way player from the center position. Chris Hoyt, Bill Cummings, and Nick Smith chipped in a goal apiece. Team captain Brad Beran was kinda sorta involved in the scoring, but unfortunately it was a deflection of a blue shot off of his skate into his own goal. The Goons received solid backline play from defensemen Rich Fleischmann (who assisted on the initial goal of the game), Joe Gracz, and Keith Benjamin. White imposter/cameraman Duane Pardee was well-positioned, but did not catch a single pass or loose puck despite many opportunities in the 1st period. Hopefully he got some good action shots though. Minor league call up goaltender Mark Deseraux was a late fill-in in the net for the Goons. Like all quality rookie goaltenders, he played an aggressive style that stymied several Grinder scoring chances.

There was a pretty good crowd in the bar to watch the matchups this week. Fill-in bartender Angela Bird kept the brews flying, but as an FNHL wife, was off limits to the typical bartender harassment (couldn't get any good dirt out of her about Tony either!). One topic that came up was that about 20% of the league has not paid their fees for the next session, even though they were due LAST week. It is ridiculous that George has to go through this collection BS every six weeks. I can understand occasionally forgetting to bring a check on the night its due (even though it is clearly stated on the league schedule), as people have forgotten skates, helmets, cups, and shin guards in the past * it happens. But to then not make an effort to call or track down George the next week to settle up is incredibly irresponsible. With winter approaching, more of our "seasonal" players should be returning and the waiting list for FNHL spots will grow again. I think George would be completely justified to take a harder line approach on replacing the deadbeat players with paying customers.

Thanks as always to "Smith" for another fine installment of The Napkin. His last paragraph merits a long hard read and is right on target. Special thanks also for his comment about the "pretty boy A-game". That's the first time I can recall that anyone has associated me with the word "pretty" and I am touched. I may even trim my moustache and wash my equipment just to feel like I fit in......Nah, not really.

See you Friday!

11/01/04 - By all accounts the much anticipated week of ABC games was a success. I heard a lot of feedback in the bar after the games were complete and it was all positive. Was it the beer talking?...maybe, but that's not important right now. What is important is that we took a chance, mixed things up a bit and ended up with some pretty good hockey games. Things started off a little on the slow side with the "B" game at 8:00. The Blue team was missing George Fleischmann who was called up earlier in the week for the "A" game (more on that later) and was also missing Pat Salvador. Despite being down a man, Blue looked good early and I thought we'd still have a pretty close game....I was wrong. Rouss was in the nets for Blue and I give him all the credit in the world just for being there based on what he's been through recently, but this was simply not his night. White scored early and often with Mike Matyasik, Stef Boutin, and Jamie Sassenbury leading the attack. In short order it was 4-0 and the rout was on. White passed the puck well on offense and the defense led by Bob LaBarre, John Griffith and Brett Boismenu didn't allow many opportunities. The few shots that did get through were handled by sub John Oakes. Matyasik ended up with a hat trick for White and Pete Thompson, John Albanese and Len Slack also scored. For Lenny it was his first career FNHL goal. On the Blue side, Bill Wood and Greg Schiccitano did finally manage to score, but that was the extent of the offense. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you can't win an FNHL game if you only score two goals. The final score was White 12, Blue 2. I'm sure there will be some payback on tap next time these two teams meet..... Game #2, the "C" game was perhaps the most anticipated game of the night. It was definitely the most requested. Guys like Nick Smith and Joe Gracz have been suggesting this format for a while now and their suggestions are the primary reason it finally happened. Unfortunately I only got to see a small part of the game and since the Bar Napkin Report is still in transit I can't give all the details yet. I do know that the final score was Blue 9 - White 8 and that Dave Rigg and Nick Smith scored for White while Drew Liszewski scored for Blue, but that's about all I can tell you. Hopefully "Smith" will get the Bar Napkin Report to me and I'll post it as soon as possible. I did see that Jeff Ward was playing in this game and this was probably one of the few voting mistakes that was made by the jury. Next game we will make some adjustments and that will undoubtedly be one of them. Anyway, I know it was a good game and the guys who played had a good time - that's what really matters.....The last game of the night was the "A" game and it was filled with sub-plots. Oakes vs Austin in goal, Jesse and Chip on one side, the Pompo brothers on the other. Webber, Sniffen and Schlicht were Black in White but would Hopkins, Jennings and Banks turn them Black and blue?? Late additions on the defense for both teams - Bob LaBarre for Blue and George Fleischmann for White rounded out the contest and the stage was set. The game itself did not disappoint. It started out with a lot of fast skating, close checking but missed opportunities. Both goaltenders were very good throughout the game but Austin had a his "secret weapon" again this week - a female fan (Kim) in the stands. You'd think he'd be exhausted by now (especially as out of practice as he was) but this was not the case. White struck first as Ian Webber blasted a shot past Oakes. This was followed by another Black goal for White as Ron Schlicht put in a nice one-timer. Then Ron Morgan turned on the jets to score and White was leading 3-0. But this game was far from over. Tony Pompo scored to get Blue on the board and Dan Jervis rolled a rebound past Austin and the game was close again. But Morgan struck again for White to make it 4-2 and then again for a hat trick and a 5-2 game. Late in the 2nd period after several chances, Jesse finally got on the board by putting a breakaway chance in the back of the net (and right back out) and it was 6-2 with one period left. Game over right?....not even close!!! Oakes shut down the White attack and Blue chipped away. Dan Jervis got his second rebound goal of the night early in the 3rd and then it was "Cavy time". Dave Cavallaro, who had been quiet to this point scored an unprecedented natural hat trick - 3 goals in a row, the last with only 49 seconds left and the goaltender pulled to tie the game at 6. So we go to overtime with more back and forth action and who of all people should finally nab the game winner... none other than George Fleischmann - just added to the roster - rips a shot that bounces off the glove of Oakes and into the net. Poetic justice (on several levels) or just a fluke??? You decide... bottom line - White 7 and Blue 6 Game of the Week over....

As many of you know, both Duane Pardee and I were taking pictures last week and I am planning to completely update the Game Action Photo Gallery. I have fallen a bit behind lately with the pictures thanks to travel and a massive home improvement project (probably breaks Bob LaBarre's heart), but I will get this done soon.

See You Friday!!

10/25/04 - We rebounded to some better games this week with two of the three being decided by just a couple of goals. There seems to be a nice buzz surrounding the upcoming ABC games as well so this week should be even better. In the opener it was Green vs Black, a meeting of two teams who have seen their share of struggles lately. After a scoreless first few minutes, Black goaltender Rick Cummings suffered a bad muscle pull and had to leave the game. With no other FNHL goalies on site at that point George Flesichmann volunteered to step up and strap on the pads for only the second time ever. Coincidentally the first time George played goal was back on July 11th - subbing in for Ricky and winning in a game against who else - Green. Would there (could there) be another miracle win for Black??? It looked possible in the early going as the teams traded goals but finally the clock struck midnight and this Cinderella sequel turned into a very rotten pumpkin. George played well again but not quite well enough to repeat the outcome from his first game. John Albanese, Brian Banks (sub), and Dave Cavallaro were among the scorers for Green who managed to get a total of 6 goals past George while Black could only muster 4 and Green gets a welcome victory to take into the next session. Black at least can go away with the fact that most of their team showed up for the game and even without their starting goalie they played in this week's Game of the Week... The second game looked good on paper with the FNHL's two hottest teams - White and Yellow squaring off. But looking good on paper and actually being good were proven to be two totally different things. "Smith" was in attendance and checks in with the ever popular Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz - 1
Yellow Dogs - 0 (if we played first goal wins. But we didn't so:)

Yellow Snow - pushing 30
White Trash - 2

Forget the poll, Yellow proved a point tonight in handing White their first loss since August (which was also against Yellow). Pick your description, Domination / Annihilation / Drubbing. It was UGLY. Jesse & Chip got more than their share tonight & props to Jesse for snagging every long pass or loose puck anywhere near him. Jeff Ward also threw in 5 goals for Yellow & Mike Matyasik scored a couple. The Fightin Whiteys somehow ended up with an extra player and the line rotation turned into a chaotic clusterpuck on the bench. Greg Evans & Nick Smith supplied the only goals for White (off sweet passes from Ron "Captain" Morgan & Dave Rigg). Russ Cole stopped everything else for Yellow. Rob struggled in net, but stood tall in the 3rd with some nice saves. Kelly made an impressive return to the bar, revealing intimate grooming habits and diagramming the "Kelly Sutra" (Dan may have a link posted).

Thanks as always to "Smith" for another fine report. We'll leave the poll up anyway and I'll see what I can do about that link without running afoul of the FCC.

The late game was Red against Blue and featured a preview of the goalies for this week's "A" game - Chuck Austin for Red and John Oakes for Blue. True to form, both of them showed why they were voted into that game as neither team had much success putting the puck in the net. The difference tonight was that Chuck Austin actually had two female fans in the stands for the game. He knew that if he played well he might finally see the end of a very long (non hockey) drought. And Chuck proved just how thirsty he was by allowing Blue only two goals for the entire game. He also got some excellent help from his defense led by John Griffith to ensure that this would not be his only action for the evening. The final score was Red - 5  and Blue - 2. I can't remember who scored for Red (my apologies) but all but one (an empty net goal) were all early in the game. After a rough start, John Oakes blanked Red for the better part of two periods but got no help from his offense. You can't win an FNHL game if you only score two goals.

There have been a couple of adjustments to the ABC game lineups so please double check them to make sure you know which one you're scheduled for. Also we got word that Rouss' grandmother passed away Saturday. I know that Mike Tully also lost his grandmother recently and our sincere condolences go out to both of them and their families.

See you all Friday.

10/18/04 - Well, I'm on the road again and fairly tired so this one will have to be brief. Fortunately there really isn't that much to talk about based on the games last week. If I may borrow from my daughter's vocabulary for a moment, the word that comes to mind is "Yuck". Three games, none particularly stood out and I was on the losing team for all three. The opening game was Green vs Red and the recent struggles for Green just continued. Nothing seemed to click and frustration is clearly setting in. The Pompo brothers were moving the puck well for Red and they converted on a number of opportunities allowing Red to take a big lead early. Chuck Austin was very solid in nets to ensure that Green couldn't close the gap. I can't even remember the final score but I think it was about 11-6. Game #2 followed a similar pattern with Yellow defeating Blue by a similar (or worse) score. Blue jumped out early to a 2-0 lead but it was all Yellow from then on. Ron Maydole had a very nice goal for Yellow and Jamie Shuler was very strong at both ends of the ice as was Pete Thompson. Several people have commented to me lately that Pete is one of the most improved players in the FNHL. The last game was our last hope for a Game of the week but only half of the Black team showed up and they were no match for White. "Smith" was back this week and files the ever popular Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.


WHITE BOYZ:  ~12

BLACK HOLE:  2

 

The surging White Boyz handled an undermanned Black team fairly easily on the big ice to continue their 2-month long unbeaten streak.  Only about half of the Black players showed up, many without letting their teammates know they would be missing.  Luckily, Red Menace icons Mike “Butterfly” Tully and Brian “Jesse Junior” Banks were available to step in to help Black field a team with actual subs on the bench.  Additional reinforcements arrived after the 9:30 game for the 3rd period, but by then the game was out of reach.

 

The top White line of Ron Morgan, Greg Evans, and Chris Baldwin put on a puck movement show and pumped in several goals, while role players Dave Rigg and Nick Smith also scored a couple apiece.  Bill Hopkins and John Tardiff anchored the D for the Whiteys and held White nemesis Mark Schumacher in check (none of his namesake Schumachian goals from the edge of the crease tonight).  Chris Hoyt played solid along the boards and Terry Young got some breakaway practice in (although Rick was up to the challenge each time).  Rob Conrad wasn’t tested often in net, but played shutout goal for 2-plus periods.  Pat Salvador got Black on the board in the third and the 2nd goal was put in by Mike Pardee (I believe), who played a good overall game, hustling until the end. 

 

Michelle had to leave the bar to tend to a family emergency (we hope everything is okay).  I didn’t catch the name of her replacement, who I’ll just refer to as “Some Dude”.   Despite the obvious shortcomings, “Some Dude” kept the beers flowing like a champ.

 

Thanks once again to "Smith" for another fine installment of the Napkin..... The ABC rosters are posted on the schedule page. Please let us know asap if you can't make it so we can get subs to keep the games as intended. Those games should be a lot of fun and I know people are looking forward to them. Also, I wanted to mention something that has been frustrating for several teams lately. If you're not going to make it to a game please take a few seconds and pick up the phone and tell someone. There seems to be more and more no show, no call situations happening and the rest of the guys are left holding the bag (puck?). A little common courtesy would mean a lot....Finally, George and I were trying to finalize the proposed FNHL skills clinic. The response was pretty good so we are targeting the last Saturday in November (I think it's the 27th) as the date. I will let you know as soon as I hear if that's going to happen for sure.

 

Have a good week!

10/11/04 - The player ratings poll has ended and I think that the results were very representative. Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote (special thanks to the person who voted me a "C" player). I e-mailed the results to George earlier today so I'd imagine that the lineups for the ABC games will be posted very soon. This week was a little better on the ice with at some solid individual efforts and one photo finish game. In the opener, Black had some jump in their legs early and took a quick 4-1 lead over Blue. Blue seems to make a habit of falling behind early but they also have a habit of coming back. This was no exception. Once things settled down, Oakes took root in the nets and Blue battled back tying the game at 4-4. The teams then traded goals back and forth with Blue eventually taking a 9-8 lead late in the 3rd period. But somehow you just knew it wasn't going be that easy and sure enough Ian Webber blasted a shot past Oakes to tie the score. The buzzer sounded and by mutual agreement the game went to overtime. Black had the first chance but Sniffen was stopped by Oakes, then with the puck deep in the Black zone, Dan Jervis picked off an errant clearing attempt and shot it towards the net where Tom Gridley tipped it in for the winner. The crowd went wild (both of them) and Blue was finally going to the Stanley Cup finals!! (not really, but it was still fun). Ian Webber did have three goals and Pat Salvador four in a nice effort for Black and for Blue every member of the Civil War Veterans line scored (Stage, Beran, and Gridley). Blue sub Len Slack was back vs Black and played a nice game on D, proving that there is always room for one more slacker in the Blue lineup. This was definitely the Game of the Week......... The late game pitted the streaking White Boyz against Green. In case Chuck's mom is reading this I should clarify - the White Boyz weren't actually streaking (thank God!!). Anyway, in an unusual turn of events, "Smith" was not in attendance this week. Because the Bar Napkin Report is just too important to skip, something had to be done - we knew it had to be Rigged. Submitted now for your consideration and Rigged for your pleasure is the unedited version.

White Boyz vs Green Machine

The White Boyz and Green Machine went head to head in an exciting game, The White Boyz took an early lead and had the Green Machine plugging away until the end, but couldn't catch up. The game was close through two periods, until the JEB line (Jervis / Evans / Baldwin) scored in a flurry to pull ahead for good. The Green Machine had some good goals by Cavallaro and Jennings. Budynas also scored a "Schumachian" type goal from three feet out. The White Boyz had great goals with Terry Young's breakaway and an over the shoulder bullet by the Rigg. Both goalies also played well, with Rouss's glove and Conrad's waffle stopping lots of shots. Final score approximately 13-6. Michelle continued to shuck beers in gorgeous fashion, although she was preoccupied by her dirtbag boyfriend who would rather drink beer by the bonfire than take her away on a romantic weekend (can you imagine).

Thanks to our special guest reporter for that Rigged version of the Bar Napkin Report..... The final game of the week - actually game #2 on the NHL side was a high scoring affair by all accounts and Yellow got a measure of revenge over arch rival Red. What is not clear is exactly how many goals were scored. I spoke to several people after the game and never have I gotten such a wide range of opinions. I heard everything from Yellow 13-8 to Yellow 16-12 and even got one 23-18. Bottom line is that I have no idea what the final score was and neither does anybody else, including the people who played in the game. I did hear that Len Mataysik had 4 goals for Yellow. The best part of the whole situation is that it really doesn't matter what the final score was. Guys skated, had a good time and drank beer afterwards and that's what the FNHL is here for.

I got word today that Green team member Rob Smith actually suffered several broken ribs in his crash into the boards last week and will be sidelined for several weeks. He appreciates everyone's concern and may even show up at the games next week to take some pictures so we can update that section of the website. Once again I want to wish Rob a very speedy recovery, he's a good player and a great individual and we look forward to his return. The response to the proposed skills clinic has been pretty good so far and hopefully we can make that a reality. Please continue to let me know if you are interested. It should be both fun and helpful for all who attend.

See you Friday!!!

10/06/04 - I knew I'd forget something.... George and I and a few others were talking in the bar recently and we discussed the possibility of having a skills clinic for those FNHL players that might be interested. All of us in attendance that night seemed to think it would be a good idea (and I'm sure we were still reasonably sober) so I thought I'd throw it out there for everyone to consider. Several people have mentioned that while we do get together and play each week, there is very little opportunity to work on skill development and get some real coaching from people who actually have enough experience to know what they are talking about. The basic idea would be that we rent some ice over a weekend (2 - 3 hrs on a Saturday night was the consensus) and invite all interested players and goalies to attend. Our target number of participants was about 30 and we would likely divide up into two groups to allow for differing needs and levels of experience. My thought was to run a 1hr 15 minute session followed by an ice cut, chalk talk break and then another 1 hr 15 minute session. The primary instructors for the session would be two people many of us already know, my brother Pete and Mike Marcinkiewicz (Cinker). Both of them have played professional hockey (see below) and continue to play at the highest levels in adult hockey. Pete was also the Coach and GM of a championship Junior A team. Both have also coached youth hockey in Jacksonville. Since Pete was a goalie in his younger days and won an ACHA National Championship with Iowa State in 1992 he also can offer some real insights to the goaltenders who choose to attend. More importantly, these are two guys that many of us already know, have skated with and are comfortable with. I think they can teach us a lot in a single session. I've spoken to them already and they would be able to come down in late November if we want to try it. I'd like to get feedback from as many people as possible so if this sounds like something worthwhile, please either e-mail me or talk to me tomorrow night so we can get an idea on the numbers. Exact cost will depend on how many people we get, but I know it would be very reasonable. I've posted Pete and Cinkers pro stats below from hockeydb.com. See you all tomorrow!!

Mike Marcinkiewicz
Left Wing
Born Jan 26 1966  -- Granby, PQ 
Height 5.11 -- Weight 210 -- Shoots L
                                            --- Regular Season ---  ---- Playoffs ----
Season   Team                        Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM  GP   G   A Pts PIM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1983-84  Chicoutimi Sagueneens       QMJHL  46   14   18   32   52  --  --  --  --  --
1984-85  Chicoutimi Sagueneens       QMJHL  10    2    2    4   11  --  --  --  --  --
1984-85  Granby Bisons               QMJHL  48   40   38   78   49  --  --  --  --  --
1985-86  Shawinigan Cataractes       QMJHL  59   27   33   60  101
1988-89  Johnstown Chiefs            ECHL   53   32   41   73  171  10   8   7  15  43
1989-90  Nashville Knights           ECHL   41   21   20   41   79   4   2   2   4   4
1989-90  Johnstown Chiefs            ECHL    9    2    3    5   42  --  --  --  --  --
1990-91  Winston-Salem Thunderbird   ECHL   20    5    5   10   41  --  --  --  --  --
1991-92  St.-Thomas Wildcats         CoHL   54   39   21   60  115  12   3  10  13  17
1992-93  Green-Bay Ice               AHA    25   22   27   49   83
1992-93  Jacksonville Bullets        SuHL   20   16   20   36  118   4   5   0   5   2
1993-94  Jacksonville Bullets        SuHL   46   36   27   63  105
1994-95  Jacksonville Bullets        SuHL   30   23   17   40   74
1994-95  Lakeland Ice Warriors       SuHL   13    6   11   17   12
1995-96  Jacksonville Bullets        SHL     1    0    0    0    0  --  --  --  --  --
1995-96  Daytona-Beach Breakers      SHL     6    3    2    5   22  --  --  --  --  --
Peter Jervis (G)
Goalie
Born Mar 29 1969  -- Tarrytown, NY 
Height 6.01 -- Weight 185
Season   Team                        Lge    GP   Min   GA  EN SO   GAA   W   L   T   Svs    Pct
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1993-94  Jacksonville Bullets        SuHL   33  1906  123   1  1   3.87  21  11   0   918  0.882
1994-95  Jacksonville Bullets        SuHL   35  1992  137   2  2   4.13  20  11   1  1095  0.889
1995-96  Jacksonville Bullets        SHL     6   296   22   0  0   4.46   3   2   1   125  0.850
1995-96  West-Palm-Beach Barracuda   SHL     2   120   12   0  0   6.00   0   2   0    77  0.865

10/04/04 - Well, my theory about the weather outside impacting the level of play inside held up about as well as my guaranteed win - not at all. We had great weather last Friday but pretty much all of the games were sub par. I must tip my hat to the White Boyz on a nice win. They played great D and got a very solid effort from Rob Conrad in goal to earn the victory. But, of course, you know the story won't end there. Bill Hopkins and I have already agreed that our next meeting will be a double or nothing game (as soon as he can tell me what I bet on the last one besides my dignity and self-respect). Moving on... We've had several unfortunate occurrences both on and off the ice in the last week or so within the FNHL family that should be mentioned. Last week, Rob Smith fell hard into the boards in his game vs Yellow and was clearly injured. I will post more info as I get it and I know that all of us wish him a speedy recovery. I was also advised that Rich Fleischmann's wife Melissa lost her grandfather recently. Our sincere condolences go out to Mel, Rich and the entire family. Finally, as previously mentioned, Chris Rousseau's girlfriend Tonya has a close family member who is battling a very serious illness. We continue to keep them in our thoughts as well at this difficult time. I also want to clarify my statement from last week in case anyone reading got the wrong idea. I did mention (jokingly) that Cavy "had his priorities in order" because he showed up for Sunday morning hockey after his honeymoon trip was delayed. I also was unaware of the situation Rouss and Tonya were dealing with and questioned Rouss's absence from that same Sunday skate. In no way did I intend to connect or imply that Cavy's presence and Rouss's absence were a reflection on them as people or that one had any better priorities than the other. Plain and simple the comments were intended to be unrelated to each other and, the goal was light hearted humor rather than any sort of personal judgment or attack. Rouss and Cavy (and Chip & Jesse, Mark Schumacher, Mike Tully, the Civil War Veterans) and all of the other people that I have a little bit of fun with here on the web  are all people who I respect, consider friends and hold in the highest regard (yes, even you Bob LaBarre). It is never my intention to offend anyone here and I apologize (in some cases in advance) if that is ever the case........ Now, I have delayed this long enough and much as I would like to forget the games of the past week, it is time for the recaps. The first game was the long awaited guaranteed win showdown between the Blue and the White. "Smith" was there and filed an extended version of the famous Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz - 6
                                    The Guarantee Game
Blue Man Group - 2

Dan Jervis' ill-advised guaranteed victory prediction was looking good after 1 period as the Blue Meanies jumped to a 2-1 lead, breaking a 1 all tie at the buzzer on a goal by Gridley, possibly tipped by Stage. But it was not to be as the WEB Line (Whyland/Evans/Baldwin) was in place tonight and threw in 3 goals on a single shift in the second, including a beauty tic-tac-toe play set up by a Greg Evans drop pass to Mile Whyland at the blue line. After that the Whiteys didn't look back. Whyland & Chris Baldwin had 2 goals apiece & Bill Hopkins & Nice Smith rounded out the scoring for White. Dan had Blue's initial goal & also attempted to cash in on the alleged bounty on himself by twisting an ankle after tripping over the red line. Both goalies (Ron Conrad & John Oakes) made a bunch of saves in a game that easily could have been a shootout. Ron "Captain" Morgan & minor league call up Chris Hoyt made strong debuts on White's roster, & Bob LaBarre subbed in to solidify the D. For the Blue Men, Joe Gracz had a good game on D, along with Duane Pardee. Michelle was pouring the new Magic Hat in the bar, but Dan, once you're done singing the blues, we'll take our pitcher in LaBatts.

Thanks again to "Smith" for another fine report. About your last sentence - as I said earlier, next meeting double or nothing and this time the sequel will be better than the original. Guaranteed!!!

The second game was the Yellow team taking on a severely depleted Green team. If I remember correctly, the "Green Team" this week was actually only Rouss, John Albanese, Jamie, Bill Wood and Rob Smith supplemented by four subs from the Blue team who had just finished game #1. Things started off well for Green as there was still some gas left in the tank for the subs but once Rob Smith suffered his injury, what little wind was left in the Green sails went with him and Yellow rolled to a big win. I honestly can't remember the exact score but it was quite one sided. Maybe 14-7??? or more...who knows. Two bright spots for Green were John Albanese who had about 6 assists in the game and Rouss who really made some nice saves to keep an already lopsided game from getting any worse. On the Yellow side Jesse and Chip (of course) and sub Ron Morgan connected often and Ron Maydole and Drew Liszewski scored nice goals as well. I was told after the game that every player on the Yellow team scored (except Mike Comartos who had several assists and somebody had to play defense right?). Mercifully, the slaughter did come to an end and I'm sure it will be fresh in the Green teams mind the next time these two teams get together...... I didn't see the last game of the evening but it was a meeting of Red and Black and was also reported as very one-sided. I am pretty sure that Black won by the score of (about) 9-3. The only highlight reported to me was that the "typical gimme goal" streak is back as Mark Schumacher scored from his usual perch atop the opposing goaltender's shoulder pads. I am considering starting a fantasy FNHL contest (since the NHL is locked out) and Schu might just be one of those players you need to have in your lineup. As the saying goes, you can't stop him, you can only hope he wakes up.

In conclusion, I'd like to welcome a new player, Len Slack to the FNHL. Len is a friend of mine from work and subbed in on both the first and second games last week. It's been 3 years since he skated but it didn't take long for him to shake the rust off and contribute....Also, we got a letter from former Red team young gun Rob Griffin who is starting a new season with Liverpool H.S. You can check that out in the Ice Chips section.....This is the last week for the player ratings poll. I will tally the final results Thursday night and hopefully the rosters for the ABC games on 10/29/04 will be posted with the next update...Game of the Week honors will be carried over til next week. See you there!! 

09/29/04 - I did get word this evening that Rouss was absent from the Sunday morning session because he was helping girlfriend Tonya attend to a very serious family matter. A member of her immediate family is seriously ill and we wish Tonya, Rouss and the entire family much love and strength in this difficult time. 

09/28/04 - Due to the week off, this will be a quick update. Of course the big event was the wedding of Green team member Dave Cavallaro and I'm happy to report that it was a great success. Dave and Megan were married in Canastota and there was an open bar at the reception!!! Rouss remembered the rings and generally did a nice job as Best Man (hockey stick limbo kind of fizzled though). Unfortunately, Hurricane Jeanne was scheduled to arrive in Florida at about the same time their cruise ship was set to depart therefore the newlyweds were forced to reschedule their honeymoon plans and Cavy even showed up for Sunday morning hockey. It's nice to see he's still got his priorities in order (although we are still wondering what happened to Rouss). Hopefully the rest of the trip went on as planned. I do have some pictures from the wedding and I will post them as soon as they are "ready" (get it Bob?). Once again, on behalf of the entire FNHL I'd like to wish Dave and Megan congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy life together!!

The player ratings page has gotten a good response. I will leave the page up for a few more days so if you haven't gotten that done yet, please get to it asap. We are expecting a sellout crowd for the 8:00 game this week. Will the White Boyz continue to ride high or will Blue turn them into White Trashz??? See you there Boyzzzz!!!

PS - Yes Dan Jennings I have the pictures you requested including one interesting limbo shot.
PS2 - No, my wife still has never seen the website.
PS3 - This column is now sponsored by the Miss Oneida Lake pageant

09/22/04 - As promised, the anonymous player ratings form has been posted. Just click on the link on the main page and you should go right there. Please rate as many players as you know. If you don't know someone well enough to give an opinion then please make the effort to check "don't know" rather than just leaving it blank. Once again, this is meant strictly to help create the rosters for the "ABC" games and not to embarrass or offend anyone. The final rosters will be posted asap based partially on these results and partially on the player needs of each game. Thanks for your help!!!

09/21/04 - It would appear that there is a definite correlation between the weather outside and the action inside the rink. This past Friday brought a return of the wet, dismal weather central NY calls summer and the great action we'd seen for the last two weeks was pretty much washed away. In the opener Black went into a matchup with Yellow minus captain Greg Sniffen and Ian Webber....not a good idea. I didn't get many details on this one but the final score was reported as an 11-6 victory for Yellow. I'm sure that Mike Comartos was solid on defense for Yellow and Jesse and Chip probably both scored (often). The big news from this game, however, is the end of the month long "typical gimme goal" streak. After losing his mind last week and scoring 3 goals, Mark Schumacher (aka Schu) was held scoreless by Yellow. I'm sure he's disappointed but, just like the lousy weather, you knew the streak had to go away sometime - it just lingered a lot longer than the rest of us would have liked..... The next game picked up right where the first one left off and provided the second straight 5 goal difference of the night. "Smith" was in attendance and filed the ever popular Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz - 13
Red Menace - 8

Early domination by White (10-3 after 2nd) followed by inspired 3rd period by Moscow Dynamo that fell a little short. The Boyz owned the low post with a bunch of "Schumachian" goals and back door betty's. The Cornell / Evans / Dwyer line put on a passing clinic & finished several. Rob Conrad absolutely stood on his head for 2 periods & much of the 3rd. The Pompo Cubed Line (Tony, Brian & cousin Steph) had some nice tic-tac-toe passing & put a few in but was left shaking their heads on some Conrad saves & shots into the posts. Chuck clamped down in net for Red in the 3rd to help the comeback attempt. Newcomer John Tardiff, Jason Vogel & Bill Hopkins (in Chip's lucky helmet) keyed the D for the Boyz. Quote from Michelle "I don't have any meat!" (some may disagree) and "They" are confirmed as 34C.

Thanks to Smith for another fine installment....The last game of the evening was also our last hope for a Game of the Week candidate. Jamie Sassenbury, Dave Cavallaro and John Albanese (on a nice breakaway) threatened to turn this into a rout early on, and with Green leading Blue by a 7-3 score late in the second period, things didn't look good. But suddenly, for some unknown reason, fate smiled on Blue and the tide turned. John Oakes shut down the Green attack completely and Blue battled back to 7-6 on goals by Dan Jervis, Brad Beran and George Fleischmann. Then a most unlikely hero emerged for Blue in the form of sub Jerry (I can't remember his last name so we'll just call him Seinfeld). Seinfeld converted two nice passes into two goals from in close (completing his hat trick) and Blue took it's first and only lead of the night 8-7. Rouss was great in goal for Green in the 3rd period and gave his team plenty of chances to tie it up but Oakes was up to the challenge. Finally the buzzer sounds, Blue has a win and we've got a Game of the Week.

A couple of other items to cover this week. First of all, congratulations to Green team player Dave Cavallaro who will marry his fiancée Meghan this Friday. In honor of the event, we will not have our regular FNHL schedule this week, although Mike Tully does have ice at 9:00 (see note below) for those who want to play.....Second, I want to mention that Patty Ryan is putting her NYS license as a massage therapist to use and has opened a location inside the To Do Hair Design shop in Brewerton. The address is 5501 Bartell Rd and the phone number for appointments is 676-7243. If you, or someone you know needs a massage (and who doesn't???) I'd highly recommend that you call Patty......White team captain Bill Hopkins was gracious enough to share a pitcher with me last Friday and we realized that the next time the FNHL officially takes the ice - 8:00pm on 10/01/04 the "ill-advised" guarantee will be on the line as White meets Blue. White has been on a roll lately but how long can they maintain that level of play? I'm thinking not one more week. In any case it will be a good game. I guarantee it...... Finally, as you have probably seen by now, the last week of this session 10/29/04 will be used for a trial run of the "ABC" games. Hopefully by tomorrow I will have worked the bugs out of the ratings page and will invite all FNHL players to sign on and help (anonymously) rank the players. Once we have a consensus on the rosters for the games I will post them. Please let George know asap if you won't be able to make it that week. Remember, the intent of these games is to have some fun and allow everyone to compete in a game against players of similar skill levels. We have already figured out that there are probably more "B" players than "A" and "C" therefore a few guys will probably end up in a different game than they might have expected. If you really feel strongly that you don't want to play in the game you're scheduled for, let me or George know and we'll try to correct the situation. I will let the e-mail list know as soon as the rankings page is posted.

Have a good week and I'll see some of you Friday at the wedding or on Sunday. I've posted the official Sunday group roster below the schedule - call George if you have any questions. Thanks!

09/19/04 - Just a brief note today. There is no FNHL hockey this week, however, Mike Tully has reserved the ice on Friday at 9:00pm. He is looking for the first 20 players who want to skate to call him at 698-0080 to confirm. The regular update will be posted tomorrow or Tuesday.

09/15/04 - I forgot to mention that last Friday was also the birthday of Red team goalie Chuck Austin who apparently celebrated by beating the Yellow team in a close game. Congratulations on both counts Chuck! Hopefully you will still be going strong in the year 2107 when you reach Bob LaBarre's present age. One other note, the Sunday morning group has had some problems lately with too many guys showing up. George has said that effective immediately, the players who are officially paid and on the 20 man roster will have priority and if we get too many guys, the extras will have to go to skate and shoot. This is not to say that subs are banned, but they will only be welcome if there is room. The weekly sub fee is $10 for the 1 1/2 hr session. Please check with George if you plan to invite someone and/or you are not in the group but would like to skate.

09/14/04 - It was another really good week on the ice so let's get right to the recaps. In the opener the White Boyz continued their recent run of success vs Green. I didn't see the game but "Smith" did and checks in with the Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz - 7 or 8
Gang Green - 3

After a slow start, White stormed back with a bunch of unanswered goals to grab the victory. Goalie for Hire John Oakes was almost fired after letting in the first two shots, but clamped down & didn't let another in until midway thru the 3rd. Chris Baldwin had a hat trick, Dave Cornell & Greg Evans had a couple goals for the Boyz. Terry Young & Bill Hopkins (with the Mystery Stick) also scored. Rouss played a hell of a game in net for the Greenies against relentless pressure or it could've been a lot worse. Cavy skated like crazy for Green, probably trying to drop some pounds before his Vermont wedding. Green details are sketchy (Jennings & Cummings scored) since not even Michelle & her assets were enough to get any of them up to the bar.

Thanks to "Smith" for another fine report. Buzz in the bar says that this White team is for real and may unseat Yellow as the team to beat in the FNHL. Also it should be noted that last week I inadvertently omitted the words "ill advised" from the Report in reference to my guaranteed win next time Blue meets White. My apologies for the omission (but not for the guarantee of course).

The second game was a battle from start to finish and was (appropriately) a meeting of Black and Blue. This was definitely a Game of the Week candidate and had a little bit of everything from close checking to great goaltending to outstanding offense (both team and individual efforts). The final score was a win for the Black by the score of 6-5 and unlike last week, it was close the entire way. There were several lead changes and I don't think there was a lead of more than 2 goals the entire game. Tom Gridley scored twice for Blue and John Oakes was tough in his second game of the night but in the end it came down to a "Schu" that just didn't fit. Incredibly Mark Schumacher scored not one, not two, but three "typical gimme goals" including the game winner for Black late in the 3rd period. As was previously noted in this column you know you're in trouble when Schu scores two. That statement can now be amended to add that you are officially dead in the water when Schu scores more than that. Russ Cole also had an outstanding game in goal to seal the win. All in all it was a lot of fun to be a part of and Black earned the win.

The last game was a rematch of the controversial Red and Yellow meeting of  few weeks ago that turned ugly. I'm happy to report that we have a special guest columnist checking in with the report on this one and though I won't divulge his identity, the column is titled "From the outer Banks". Here is the unedited version.

Red opened to a 3-1 first period lead that stretched to 8-4 after 2 ....yellow put on the pressure to start 3rd and got it to 8-7 before Rob Griffin tallied eventual game winner on a sweet feed from Ron morgan....yellow punched one more to make it close but red held on in "war to settle the score" from previous outing.......(remember we played 3 weeks ago in the head banging/cross checking ugly incident game)....one curious note, the game was extremely clean and there was the conspicuous absence of Mike Comartos...Hmmmmm , I wonder if that was a coincidence.......there was no tripping, slashing, hooking or cross checking  of any of the Pompo brothers.....Scoring highlights...Red...Line of Tony, Brian and Steff put in some sweet passes and scores and Ron Morgan tallied afew himself......Rob Griffin is being sent to the upper leagues for a few months and played in his last Friday night game for a while....BUT, That leads to another BREAKING NEWS STORY OF THE SEASON.....Mike Tully returns to the red team......that means, no more passing, more turnovers in the defensive end, less shots for us and the great inspirational locker room speeches return.......Some yellow highlights...screw jesse and chip (you know they scored)...Lenny had 2 nice goals, Drew had a beautiful tip-in in front of the net and Phil played excellent in the nets...Chuck had a solid game in goal for red team to shut down the vaunted yellow attack...

Based on that information I'll have to bestow Game of the Week honors to game #3 and give an honorable mention to Black vs Blue.... I don't have a new schedule yet but I will post it as soon as I get it. I do think that we will be trying the "ABC" games in the last week of the upcoming session and I'm planning to post a page where we can assist in ranking players (anonymously) to help decide who should play in each game. This concept has been requested by a number of people and should prove to be a nice break from our usual routine.... One final note, we almost had an ugly incident after the games last week when Russ Cole's goalie sticks suddenly came up missing. Fortunately all concerns were put to rest when it was discovered that a disgruntled player from the Blue team had swiped them in retaliation for Russ stoning him on several breakaways and other point blank opportunities. Ultimately the sticks were returned unharmed and all was well that ended well. Hopefully Russ will not repeat his behavior in future weeks and we can put the incident behind us.

See you Friday!

09/08/04 - I have just been informed that our favorite dirty old man has just become a dirty even older man. Congratulations to Bob LaBarre on yet another birthday!!! Since we weren't able to properly celebrate last week, we will be holding a belated birthday celebration this Friday and will need everyone's help to make this event a success. The following is a list of items Bob would like for his birthday. If you can provide any of them, please bring them to the game with you.

1.   False teeth (he'd prefer gold of course)
2.   Viagra (LOTS of it)
3.   A walker and/or cane (fashioned out of hockey sticks)
4.   An original copy of the Declaration of Independence (to replace the one he lost shortly after signing it)
5.   A horse (like the one he rode to his first job)
6.   A Ford Model-T automobile (replaced the horse)
7.   One hearing aid (Deluxe extra strength model only)
8.   A United States flag (with all 13 stars on it)
9.   A dignified white wig (like the men wore when he was young)
10. Flowers for Patty (He'll never remember them himself but he'd be lost without her)
 
Thanks again for your assistance with this and remember the Black team's motto - "Bob's fallen and he won't shut up!!!"

09/07/04 - The power was back on the ice this week until ironically the rink suffered a brief power outage while games 2 and 3 were in progress. Fortunately the rink lights came back on and the great games were able to continue. In the opener, Bill Hopkins led the still surging White team into a meeting with Red. I did not see the game but fortunately "Smith" was there and checks in with the Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz - 10
Red Menace - 10

Game of the Night (even though Blue vs Green is getting close as this is written). Red had an 11-7 man advantage for the first 2 periods & led most of the way. Reinforcements arrived for the 3rd allowing the White forwards to get some rest & they responded with a big comeback to tie the game. Ron & Jamie were all over the ice for Red. Chris Baldwin & Dave Cornell had 3 or 4 apiece for the Boyz. Whites comeback was keyed by an all sub D-line of Jamie Sassenbury, Dan Jennings & Duane Pardee (who also scored). Rob & Chuck each made some huge saves. Brian "Jesse Junior" Banks handled the bench whining for Red, per their captain. White captain Bill Hopkins denies putting a two beer pitcher bounty on Dan Jervis in response to his guaranteed win, says "Don't sing it, bring it."

Thanks to "Smith" for another fine report. We'll get back to that last line in a moment. For now, let's continue with the recaps. Game #2 Blue vs Green was one of the games briefly interrupted by the power outage and that break was basically the split between two totally different games. In the first half, Green was dominant scoring early and often while Blue couldn't get anything started. Dan Jennings, Dave Cavallaro and Jamie Sassenbury were among the scorers that helped Green take a 7-1 lead. After the lights came back on, Blue finally woke up and realized there was a game to be played. The unlikely line combination of Dan Jervis, Brian Banks and Mark Lasinski accounted for about 8 goals while Green's offense sputtered. It came down to a 12-11 game with 34 seconds left and Blue pressing but Dan Jennings blocked a shot at the end and time expired. Despite losing the second half by a score of 10-5, Green escaped with the win. The player of the game was clearly Jamie Sassenbury who scored about 5 goals, one batted out of mid-air near the side of the net and another scrapping in front without his helmet. Blue attempted to invoke the LaBarre Rule but was unable to because Jamie is not bald therefore there were no dangerous light patterns to distract the other players...... In the last game, a desperately under-manned Black team met up with the Yellow team minus their "human spark plug" Jesse. Only six skaters and a goalie dressed for Black but they managed to keep it close. Ron Schlicht and Mike Pardee were among the scorers for Black and Schumacher kept his "typical gimme goal" streak alive as well. But while they kept it close, they were never able to quite catch Yellow and Chip provided the spark in Jesse's absence scoring 6 goals in the 8-6 win. I was told that Chip was on a breakaway when the lights went out (and yes, he did shoot - wide). Finally, during the conversation at the bar about this game it was also reported by Michelle the bartender that "They" are real. I wish I could remember exactly how "They" worked their way into the conversation.......

Finally, I was glad to hear that Bill Hopkins denied putting a two beer pitcher bounty on my head for the guaranteed win prediction in our next meeting. I'd hate to be responsible for denying the rink any sales after the game......

See you Friday!

08/31/04 - It was a dark and stormy night..... well that cheesy line about sums up this past week in the FNHL. There was definitely more electricity outside the rink than on the ice. All three games seemed to follow the same pattern. The games start out reasonably close and then one team pulls away. This was the case in the opener as the Green team (with a lot of Blue subbing in) took on Yellow (with Blue goalie John Oakes subbing in). Ron Maydole had a nice tip in goal for Yellow and Scott Budynas answered for Green from the slot. But late in the second period Yellow got a sub (name unknown) who was pretty good and had fresh legs (just what they needed right??) and John Oakes was having a great game in the nets. The sub turned on the jets along with Jesse, Chip and Jamie Schuler and they turned out the lights on Green. Dan Jennings also got a goal for Green but it wasn't nearly enough. The final score was something like 13-7. I didn't see the second game but I heard that it was much the same. I know that Black walked away with a win and that Mark Schumacher had not one, but two of his signature "typical gimme goals". As the saying goes, you know you're in trouble when Schu scores two. I believe the final score was in the neighborhood of 13-4. The result was a bit surprising because it sounded as though Red was well stocked with their regular weapons and had a few good subs as well. Maybe LaBarre took his helmet off and blinded them?? The nightcap was just miserable as Cornell and the rest of the White team took Blue "back to school" a few days early. Fortunately I don't have to talk about it any further because "Smith" checks in with the famous Bar Napkin Report". Here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz - 13
Blue Man Group - 7

A tired Blue team with several key players in their 2nd game of the night were no match for the well-rested Whiteys on the Big Ice. Chris Baldwin with his usual 4 goals, Dave Cornell threw in a hat trick & Jason Vogel added 2 goals. Player of the Game Bill Hopkins added some offense to his steady D, with a goal & a couple of nice assists. Rob Conrad made several nice saves to preserve the lead. John Oakes hung tough for Blue to keep the game close most of the way. Terry "the instigator" Young had an out of control collision with George into the boards & followed it up with a tripping call. Dan Jervis had 5 of Blue's 7 goals, Brad & Steve had the others. Duane & Rich skated hard and caused some havoc. And Michelle looked rather fetching behind the bar.

Based on the generally one sided nature of all the games we will have to once again suspend Game of the Week honors. Hopefully this week's games will get us back on track. In the hope of adding a little excitement to the next session I have decided to go out on a limb once again and make a bold prediction. Next time Blue meets White, Blue will win the game...I guarantee it (of course the "No Andre" rule is in effect).

See you Friday!!

08/24/04 - All three of this weeks games were good - for the most part anyway. In the opener, Black met Blue for the first time since the guaranteed win game and managed to get some revenge. Having sub goalie Kathryn Hedges in the nets didn't hurt either. She played very well as usual and led the team to a 9-7 (or 6) win. Black passed the puck extremely well and their puck control was probably the difference in the game. Bob LaBarre had a good game defensively and I think he may have scored a goal as well. If he keeps playing like this he may even get an endorsement contract from the AARP!! The offense was led by Ian Webber, Ron Schlict, Pat Salvador and Greg Sniffen. I can't remember the specifics on the goal scoring but I know that Mark Schumacher did score his "typical gimme goal" on a bad clearing attempt. Dave Stage and (I think) Tom Gridley were among the scorers for Blue....The second game on Friday, Yellow vs Red,  had everything - both the good and the bad. The game itself was one of the more exciting we've seen with Yellow falling behind early but then rallying to take a commanding lead, only to see it dwindle late in the 3rd period to a 10-10 tie. In the end, Adam Rufa scored to make it 11-10 and Chip O'Connor somehow got a nice shot through traffic and past Chuck Austin (who did play well) for a 12-10 lead. Brian Pompo scored again for Red to make it 12-11 but that was all Red would score on the night. What was also good about the game was that several Yellow team players (not just Jesse and Chip) stepped up especially Adam Rufa who scored at least 3 goals including a phenomenal end to end rush. Pete Thompson nailed a nice one-timer and Drew Liszewski scored a goal as well. On the Red side, they held Yellow to a one goal game without Andre on the ice and the line of the Pompo brothers and Stefan (last name unknown) had an excellent outing. Young Rob Griffin also chipped in with a goal and an assist. BUT, there were also some negative elements to this game, that at least partially overshadowed the great action. Bottom line was this game turned ugly. There were a lot of reasons for this and I don't intend to waste a lot of time rehashing them but the end result could have very easily been people getting seriously injured. We all want to compete and we all want to win and I think those are both good things. I've said it before and I maintain that no checking does not (and never will) equal no contact. If you are mad because you think you shouldn't be touched, get over it!! But just because you are competing, and even if you are wronged, that's no excuse for common sense to be thrown out the window. Frustration does not justify banging a guys head into the boards or landing a vicious cross check and does not mean you are then free to go blasting slapshots at anything that moves. We have no ref's and depend on the honor system. If you commit a penalty make sure the other guy is ok and give up the puck. Finally, since we all pay the same amount to play, being in a close game is not an acceptable reason to sit your weaker players for the last five or six minutes while you secure the win. There is nothing worse than sitting on the bench for extended periods of time because the guy on the ice won't come off. It's not fair to the rest of the team and there's no place for it here. Sorry for the editorial rant now back to the action. There was one more game played this week and it was another good one. "Smith" checks in with the Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz - 8
Gang Green - 7  (OT)

Game of the Night

Physical game that went to 40 seconds left in sudden
death O.T.  Dave Cornell with 5 or 6 goals, including
the game winner. Linemates Greg Evans & Alex Ryan put
in the rest. White bolstered by subs George & the
Pardee boys. Rob Conrad made some key saves & Green
sub goalie Steve had an excellent game. Chris & Woody
stood out for Green w/ hustle & boardwork (Rob Smith
too) & John Albanese had a nice goal.


This week was also family night as much of the after game crowd was about 1/10th of Bob LaBarre's age. As I've said before, the fact that we have good hockey AND a great extended family atmosphere is what make the FNHL what it is. I urge everyone to do whatever it takes to keep it that way. I can't think of a worse result than having a kid accompany his or her father to the emergency room because somebody couldn't manage a little self control.

See you Friday!

08/17/04 - Another summer week down in the FNHL and the action was pretty good for most teams, with the exception of Black who played the role of Florida to the White teams Hurricane Charley. Rumor has it that White even looted the Black locker room and then charged them $75 per beer after the game. I had the pleasure of bringing my daughter to my game but the action on the ice really couldn't compare to the Full House marathon running on the tv upstairs. Special thanks to Patty for looking after her, and to everyone who stopped to say hello. I can't think of any other league where it would be a good idea to bring the kids but we've got that and I think it's an excellent reflection on the FNHL as a whole. On to the recaps.... The first game was Red vs Green and was probably the Game of the Week but unfortunately I didn't see it and can't tell you what happened. The final score was reported as a 12-12 tie. If anyone wants to fill in the details, feel free to drop me an e-mail. The second game was the aforementioned Black and White massacre and "Smith" checks in with the ever popular Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz vs Black Eye

The White team took it ot the Black team with a final score of 17-4. The line of Baldwin, Whyland and Evans dominated the game with tic-tac-toe passing. The White team defense played well, and kept most of the Black team away from the net. Russ did the rest with some sweet saves. Rob and Liam did manage to squeak some through for Black. Ian tried to figure out his new skates. Shoe-maker was flapping his gums and forgot to camp in front of the net for his typical "gimme goal" of the night.

In the nightcap it was a rematch of Blue and Yellow. In their last meeting, Yellow rolled over Blue and that fact was not forgotten on the Blue bench for sure. This game was a little bit different thanks to the fact that Andre stayed for the whole game. He scored several times as did sub Cavy and Dan Jervis to lead the Blue to a stunning 14-9 upset win. Blue also got solid goaltending from our new first lady in the nets (whose name I obviously do not know) and  nice sub efforts from Amy (whose last name I also don't know) and Tony Pompo. In addition to Jesse and Chip I think Lenny Matyasik and Adam Rufa scored for Yellow who obviously missed Bill Smithson and his unique method of scorekeeping.

08/12/04 - Sorry about the slow update - the connection here stinks. Since I was away last week I don't have much to offer in terms of game recaps. Fortunately, "Smith" was on the job and submitted the ever popular Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

Yellow Dogs – 12

White Boyz – 10

Yellow gains a measure of revenge for upset loss three weeks ago and puts a halt to White’s recent victory streak. The first period was marred by a missing goalie due to a miscommunication of game times (I won’t name any names - George). Steve Watson (I think?) gets the He-Man Award for the night for covering the empty goal in the first period without any protective equipment, even making an ill-advised glove save on a rising wrister from Dave Cornell. The pace picked up significantly once goalie for hire John Oakes and finally Russ Cole stepped into the crease for the Dogs.

Jesse Nestico scored A LOT of goals for yellow, while Pete Thomson also played a strong game battling for loose pucks. For the Boyz, Chris Baldwin put in four goals and linemates Greg Evans and Mike Whyland also contributed a few. White goalie Rob Conrad returned from a multi-game absence and showed a little rink rust, but made several stops to keep the game close.

Lastly, so long to Kelly and welcome to our new bartender Michelle

We did get a letter from a fan with some commentary on expanding the proposed LaBarre Rule. You can check that out in our Ice Chips column...And finally, the slapshot poll has ended. Once I eliminated the extra votes including one person who voted 10 times and another who voted 12, the final tally was 30 in favor (52%) and 28 opposed (48%). This is not a binding vote so don't go out tomorrow and start cranking up the slapshots just yet. I will pass along the results to George and he can make the decision. We also held another "shuffle the teams poll" in this column a few weeks ago and the voting was even closer with 17 opposed (52%) and 16 in favor (48%).

 As long as my plane isn't terribly delayed I'll see you tomorrow.

08/04/04 - This will be a "quickie" since I'm on vacation this week (and last weeks games just weren't that memorable). In the opener, the Green team met up with a bunch of subs (and Brian Banks) calling themselves the Red team. It was actually a pretty good game, with a lot of back and forth chances. Green got off to an early 3-0 lead but "Red" came back quickly with 4 of their own to take a lead they would never relinquish. Both goalies played well and Rouss finished the game despite suffering an injury in the 3rd period. The final score after a late but futile rally by Green was about 8-6. If Green had not hit the post repeatedly in the 3rd, it might have been different. It seems a shame to call this a Game of the Week, but like I said, I'm on vacation so there it is..... In the second game, the Blue and Yellow teams met and the final score was something ridiculous like Yellow 14 Blue 6. It was only 2-0 after the 1st period but then Andre left and the gates of hell opened on Blue. Enough said....Finally I am pleased and honored to welcome back the famous Bar Napkin Report for game #3. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz - 12
Black Flag - 5 (or 6)

White continues recent hot streak despite missing Baldy & sub Cavy as both deferred to their better halves instead of playing. Nick Smith w/ hat trick, Dave Cornell & Terry Young w/ 2 apiece (including beauty tip-in on pass from Bill Hopkins) & several other Boyz scored. Russ played great in goal, holding Black to one goal thru two periods, until 3rd period rush keyed by several laser-like goals by Ian for Black. Ricky also made a lot of saves, but White passing attack led to many odd man rushes & open shots. Good to see Dave Riggs back!!

I have not received new schedules to post as of yet and since I'm away, I haven't had a chance to find out what's up with that. I will post them as soon as they are available. Have a good week and I'll see you a week from Friday!!

07/25/04 - What a difference a week makes! The stitches are out, the knee is ok and the curse of LaBarre has been lifted. So what's the lesson here.... If you have an unfortunate encounter with LaBarre, remember that it's annoying, even painful at times, but it gets old fast and doesn't last very long ...... We are happy to welcome a new junior reporter to the staff this week. Though he has been called many things, to preserve his anonymity we will call him "Tully", and he's got the recap of our first game. Here is the (slightly edited) version.

Red vs Yellow
Final score - Yellow 10 Red 8.

Red had two open net missed opportunities which would have tied the game. Pompo's were there usual dominance. Chuck played a great game. Red had numerous subs. Yelllow goalie kept them in the game. Hopefully Bill is back in net before we play them again. Chip and Jessie were for the most part kept in check however the rest of the Yellow team was left to run wild. I think you get the gist of the game...

Well, not exactly Hemmingway, but not bad for a first report. Thanks to "Tully" for the update. Since this column presently has no title, we would welcome any suggestions from our readers. Please e-mail me if you'd like to submit one.

The second game of the night saw a mix of Green and White. "Smith" once again checks in with the ever popular report formerly known as the Bar Napkin Report. Here, as always, is the unedited version.

Parking Lot 12-Pack Carton Report

White Boyz * 8 (47 shots on goal)
Gang Green * 4 (37 shots)

The Boyz continued their recent hot streak and got a measure of revenge from their prior shutout loss to the Greenies. Once Green subs Duane and Mike Pardee left for their regular game on the other ice, all hell broke loose. The 3rd period was almost as chippy as the ice was at the start of the first.

After a shaky start, Russ Cole clamped down in goal for the Boyz. The opposite was true for Chris Rousseau, who extended his shutout streak to four periods against White until the tide turned in the 2nd and 3rd periods. Coincidentally, this is when White made the strategic move of shifting Andre Chamberlain from defense to forward. Andre pumped in 5 or 6 goals during his two periods up front and the other White goals were scored by Nick Smith, Jason Vogel, and Mike Whyland. Jason and Terry Young played some scrappy D, while Bill Hopkins was able to cover up for sub Mike Tully on the other D-line while Mike was busy chasing butterflies around the ice.

Green was paced by Wes Hadzor, who had two or three goals (and a kick-in) and Chris Gonya, who skated hard and had a highlight reel goal. Lots of new faces in the Gang this week. Thanks to future FNHLer Fletcher Whyland for running the scoreboard during the game. The first game also had real-time scoring, which helps avoid controversy between periods and is good for the few fans watching the games or walking by. So if you have any “prospects” in your family that can run the clock, bring ‘em out.

There were about 15-20 players hanging out in the parking lot after the games, plus a bunch that went to the Waterfront or elsewhere. But since the BAR WILL BE OPEN ON JULY 30th, look for the return of the Bar Napkin Report next week. Please stop up after your games to help justify this decision and, for you deadbeats, TO PAY GEORGE for the next session.

Thanks to "Smith" for that report, and yes - the rumors are true - Tully was chasing butterflies during the game, but more importantly the bar will be open next week so let's take advantage of it and raise a toast to the return of the Bar Napkin Report - tentatively sub-titled "It's That Time of the Month...Again!!!"

And last, but not least, we have the final game of the evening. This was a rematch of Black and Blue with a twist, a guaranteed win on the line - promised right here a few weeks ago. It was a close game in the early going with Black drawing first blood on a goal by Ian (Paine) Webber. Then Blue bounced right back and took the lead. By the end of two periods it looked like Blue would cruise to victory leading 6-3. Rich Fleischmann, Brad Beran, Mike Masello and Rob Smith were among the goal scorers. But Black battled back, as they have a nasty habit of doing. First Ron Schlicht scored to make it 6-4 and then Greg Sniffen added one to make it a 6-5 game with plenty of time left. With this reporters credibility on the line, Blue regrouped and John Oakes made some great saves to preserve the lead. With about 5 minutes left, Dan Jervis found a way to slide a rebound under the Black goaltender to make it 7-5. Ian scored again with under a minute left but it was not enough. The final score of this Game of the Week classic - Blue 7 - Black 6 and though John Oakes was the #1 star for Blue, it was fun to score the game winner...I guarantee it.

By the way, it was nice to see Rob Niemier back on the ice for Black. He had been out of action for a while with a pretty serious illness...Finally, we got a letter this week from a member of the Syracuse Crunch's sales staff regarding tickets or packages for next season. The full letter is posted in the Ice Chips section. I (seriously) wonder how she found our site?? If anyone knows the answer, please let me know.

Have a great week! 

07/17/04 - I've been home for about 10 days. In that time I've had major dental work, sprained my MCL, and taken a puck in the face for seven stitches. I have become a walking, talking, co-pay. If you see me, ask me how I'm doing. I may hand you $12 just out of habit. I'm calling this streak "the curse of LaBarre" because we all know that somehow Bob is behind it. Needless to say, I will be taking some time off from playing (at least until the knee heals) but on the positive side I will have some more time to work on catching up on the photos. I got a few done tonight and you can check them out in the fun photo gallery. I would apologize to Bobby, but let's face it, we're way past that by now. But enough about me - there was hockey played this week, so let's get to the recaps... In the first game, the Black team had the misfortune of running into Yellow - fresh off last weeks drilling and with a new goalie who actually stopped the puck. Black really didn't play badly under the circumstances but there was no way that Yellow could be stopped on this night. The final score was something like 14-8 (??). Ian Webber did score a pair for Black and sub Mike Tully scored a sweet goal top corner on the backhand after making an unbelievable move around Jesse. But the majority of the highlights went to Yellow with Jesse, Chip, Adam, and company controlling the puck and the play most of the time and converting on chance after chance....In the second game, Green renewed hostilities with the Blue team and picked up the victory in a close game by the score of 4(or 5) to 2. This game left me in stitches (literally) as my face met the business end of a puck early in the 1st period. I am told that Steve ("I'm not a forward" )Kokkoris scored for Blue on a nice one timer and Jamie Sassenbury and Dave Cavallaro were among the scorers for Green. With such a low scoring game, I'm sure that both Rouss and John Oakes must have been solid in the nets. In the final game of the evening, the White Boyz continued their recent success with a win over Red. "Smith" checked in with the report formerly known as the Bar Napkin Report and here, as always, is the unedited version.

Parking Lot 12-Pack Carton Report

White Boyz - about 7 or 8, depending on if a controversial "offsides" goal counted
Red Menace - 5

The shorthanded Boyz, helped by Red defector Mike "Kournikova" Tully, won a close one due to three unanswered goals in the 2nd period, while the 1st and 3rd periods were more or less even. Chris Baldwin led White with 4 goals. Russ Cole was solid in net for White, as was Chuck for the Menace. Russ brought up his bodyguard/brother Randy from Florida, who chipped in two goals and provided the assist to Greg Evans on a 2-on-1 that was voted goal of the game. As usual, the White D of Bill Hopkins, Pete Klemm, and Dave Cornell was solid, highlighted by Pete predicting and stuffing the infamous Toe Drag. Rob "the Kid" Griffin played a tough game for the Red Menace and Tony Pompo was tripped about 27 times, establishing a new FNHL record. As for post-game socializing, about 8 or 9 stuck around in the parking lot after the games. How many more wound up at Tully's, Hooters, or elsewhere that could've been spending their money at the rink bar?

It sounds like we have a close race for "Game of the Week honors" so we'll have to make FNHL history and split the award between the last two games.

Quote of the night goes to Mike Pardee who accused me of trying to create my own red line. I promise to do my best to avoid that in the future.

Finally I want to seriously thank everyone in the FNHL for all your assistance, not only now but all the time that I have been lucky enough to be a member of the group. So many people have gone out of their way to help me and/or call to see how I was doing during this recent string of bad luck. Even Dan Jennings called to see if he had won the "how many stitches" pool. It was touching. I would name everybody, but I don't have enough space here (or that long an attention span either). Bottom line is that there are a lot of hockey leagues out there but few, if any, that have the true sense of family and community that we have. Thanks to George for keeping it together and to all of you for making it what it is. From age 15 to 50(something) I'm proud to call all of you friends.

See You as soon as possible!! 

07/13/04 - As promised, Smith checked in with his report on last week's game. Here is the unedited version.

Since the bar was closed, no bar napkins were available for this weeks report:
In a game likely to be overshadowed by George's debut in goal and
victory over Gang Green (despite their wearing of the Retro green
jerseys), the White Boyz shocked the Yellow Dogs by a score of 16-1.
Goalie for hire John Oakes was outstanding in net, pitching a shutout
until about the five minute mark in the 3rd period.  He was supported by
the formidable defensive line of Bill Hopkins, Dave Cornell, and Pete Klemm.
Offensively, Chris Baldwin, Andre Chamberlain, Dave Cornell, and Nick Smith
all had hat tricks for the Boyz, while Greg Evans, Alex Ryan, and
Terry Young kept Yellow on their heels with tenacious forechecking and 
chipped in the remaining goals. Chip O'Connor threw in the lone goal for
Yellow during an action-packed 3rd period as the Dogs rallied to get on the
scoreboard.  Jesse Nestico, snakebit with several shots off the goal posts,
was held scoreless during the game.

Hopefully, the bar will re-open (or we can pick a new place to meet up),
so the Bar Napkin Reports can resume.  Otherwise, be on the lookout for the
debut of the less-catchy Parking Lot 12-Pack Carton Report next week.

07/11/04 - ...You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Twilight Zone!.... I can think of no better opening for this week's news report. Rod Serling himself could not have scripted the show that we saw - 3 episodes, each more bizarre than the next and a surprise ending not to be believed....In the first game, the Red Menace jumps out to a 2-0 lead and then they vanish. The Pompo brothers...gone, the toe drag....gone, Chuck's hamstring....gone, Mike Tully...just an illusion. Brian Banks did play well defensively for Red, but he was all alone. The Blue team took full advantage of these bizarre circumstances, stormed back and posted a well earned victory. I believe the final score was about 11-8. This is not to say that things were normal for the Blue team either. I submit for your consideration the following: Joe Gracz scores a goal, Brad Beran scores two (almost three), sub Andre scores only one, and my first two shots nail the ankle of my line-mate (and new dad) Rich Fleischmann.... So, you might ask, what could possibly happen in game two that would be any more strange than the events in game 1?? On paper this game looked like a really good matchup, the White Boyz were well stocked with Bill Hopkins, Pete Klemm, Dave Cornell, Andre, Chris Baldwin and the return of Gregg Evans (good to see him back!) but they were facing league power Yellow with Jesse and Chip in the house. Odds makers in Las Vegas had this one handicapped as a "pick em" and potential Game of the Week. But, even in Vegas, they could not have predicted that the "Jesse and Chip show" would turn into Siegfried and Roy with the White Boyz playing the role of the white tiger. The final score was reported to me as a 16-1 mauling. I didn't see the game but it sounds as though the White team simply sunk their teeth into Yellow and dragged them around the ice for a full three periods. Hopefully a Bar Napkin Report will be issued with the full details and I'll post it when it arrives.... If that was all that happened Friday it would be a good story, but there was still one major twist yet to come. Rick Cummins is scheduled to be in the nets for Black as they meet the rival Green team, but at 10:15pm, Rick is nowhere to be found. With no other healthy goalies available, George Fleischmann volunteers to strap on Chuck's pads and play goalie for the first time ever. After a few warm up shots it looks like it will be an easy night for Green and they indeed take a quick early lead. But then, all of a sudden, George becomes a real goalie, stops the Green offense and the Black team buckles down and plays like a team possessed. They did everything well, passing, hustling, shooting, blocking shots and at the end of two periods they lead 6 (or 7) to 3. But it's not over yet. Green recovers enough to come back and tie the score 7-7, then Black scores to make it 8-7 and Green answers again to tie it at 8. With just over a minute to go in the game Ron Schlicht launches one past Rouss (who had also played well) for his third goal of the night and "Do You Believe in Miracles???" YES!!! The Black team with George in goal wins a 9-8 Game of the Week thriller over Green. Greg Sniffen also had a hat trick for Black and Bob LaBarre and Greg Schiccitano were outstanding on D.

One other note from this week, I think we need to adopt a new rule in the FNHL. During the Black vs Green game, Bob Labarre's helmet came off but he continued to play. As a matter of safety, I don't think we can allow this. The way the light reflects off Bob's head creates a very hazardous condition for all the other players on the ice. The lighting on that rink is terrible anyway and with Bob's head exposed and the light reflecting off of it  -  it's like trying to play hockey while a disco ball spins overhead. I'm not saying that this caused the upset over Green but it certainly may have been a factor. So from now on, if Bob's helmet falls off, let's stop play until he puts it back on...

Finally, there was a lot of discussion after the games about options we might have to shake things up during these summer sessions. Since there are always a lot of people out of town and the games usually involve a lot of subs it was suggested that - for the next 6 week session only - we shuffle the teams. This would give everyone a break from their normal routines and then in the fall, when most people are home, we can put the regular teams back together. George has asked for a special poll to see if there is interest in this, so you can cast your vote below and also feel free to e-mail us with your thoughts on the topic.

Should we shuffle the teams for the next 6 week session only?

Yes, let's give it a try

No, leave everything as it is.

 

Have a great week!

07/07/04 - Well I finally get home and the next day have a major dental procedure - oh how I missed central NY. Anyway, I did get an update on last week's games from an anonymous fan in the stands and here it is.

Team 6 beat team 4 in a great game subs on both teams but in a close game till end both teams had fun. I don't know much about this (the next?) game but I think red took the game by 4-5 goal margin. The last game was I thought was the game of the night, missing was Jessie, Ron, John, for yellow, for the green missing Dan, Jamie, Brett. The yellow took the lead then bursts by the green mounted a comeback to a lead to yellow with a charge back to a tie in regulation. On to overtime 5 min sudden death about 1-3 min in a break in on the left side by Chip with a green defender between him and Rouss trying to center a pass to George coming in the slot the pass hit the defender skate and went past Rouss for the overtime win . Congrats to both teams on a great game.

No Bar Napkin Report this week so I can only assume that "Smith" was out of town... I got an e-mail yesterday from George regarding the bar at the rink. Here is what he said.

"Dan, Numbers are down at the bar and last week they asked me what to do and I told them if they have to shut it down so be it . I told them I have no control how many guys go up after games as much as I like going up and visiting everyone I told them the decision is theirs. Jess told me that they would get back to me ."

So there it is. I don't know exactly how many people the rink is looking for on any given night but it is evident that if we want to continue to have the bar open, we need to make an effort to go up there for at least a little while after the games.

Finally, the last poll is now ended and it looks like there would be interest in an online payment system if we can work out the details. I have set one up for my brother to use with his group in Jacksonville and it's worked out for them so I will talk to George and see if he wants to set something up for us on a test basis.

06/27/04 - Lots of news and info to report on... Lets start with the important stuff. Here is the complete update on Rich and Mel Fleischmann's new baby girl.

Rosemary Judith Fleischmann - 7 lbs, 5 oz - Born Thursday, June 24th at 8:32 pm
Everyone's home and doing fine, daddy and big brother Bryce will be at Hockey Sunday morning.
She has her daddy's monkey toes, so if anyone knows a good custom skate manufacturer, send it on! According to Uncle George and Aunt Chris, training for the pros starts next week...

Once again, congratulations to the Fleischmann's from the FNHL!!! Mel also sent along 3 pictures which are posted in the fun photo gallery..

Next we have the golf tournament results - Everyone I've spoken to said it was a great day (Thanks George!!!)

score 67-  Jesse Nistico, Brian Galle, Brian Banks, Chuck Banks
score 69 -  Will Luvadis, Pete Roberts, Ken Ryant, Jason Rogers
score 70 - Ron Maydole, McKay1, McKay2, Ian Webber
score 70 - Pat Salvadore, Sub, Mat Sullivan, Greg Sniffin
score 71 - MickTetrault, Nelson Falardeau, Sub1, Sub2
score 72 -  JamieSasenbury, Geo Houghton, MarkCongdon, JoeMalara
score 74 - Rick Cummings, Chuck Austin, Roger Hicks, Greg Scicchitano
score 76 -  Dave Stage, Duane Pardee, Tom Griddley, Mike Pardee
score 78 - John Corrigan, Bill Corrigan, Chad Harrison, Tom Dispirito

now for co-ed teams
score 70 -  Chris Baldwin, Jeanne Baldwin, Bill Hopkins, Terry Hopkins
score 74 -  Bob Labarre, Patty Ryan, Fred Ryan, Jim Bellso
score 77 - Nick Smith, Kelly Smith, Mark Schumacher, Tracy Schumacher
score 77 - John Albanese, Karen Albanese, John Caninno, Paul Moretti
score 79 - Ron Jennings, Carol Jennings, Charlie Abulencia, RuthAbulencia
score 82 - Geo Fleischmann, Christine Fleischmann, Brad Beran, Dan Jennings
score last place 85  - Rich & Mel Fleischmann, Chris Rousseau, Tanya Semchenko

And now on to the game reports. The first game was a good one with Black vs White. Let's go straight to the Bar Napkin Report for the details:

White Boyz - 7
Black Plague - 6

-Probable game of the night - Balanced attack for White, goal of game was Mike Whyland converting a pass from Duane Pardee on a 2 - on - 1. - Terry Young managed to finally slam one home after whiffing on a few. - Strong goaltending by Rob & Rick. - Rob & Ian had 2 goals apiece, Pat Salvadore threw a nice shot in & Schumacher had his usual P.O.S. Goal from 6" out for the Plague. - He Man Award goes to Jason Vogel who played without shin guards & chipped in with a goal. The over/under was 7 shifts before an injury & he lasted the whole game.

Just a few quick notes from me about that game - first, it was indeed the Game of the Night by a long shot, and second - I happened to score the winning goal (get used to it Black)... Finally, It was good to see Ian Webber back in black.

Unfortunately, the last two games were nothing like the first. In game 2, the Red team jumped out to a 7-1 first period lead and went on to win by a large margin over Green. Brian and Tony Pompo looked like brothers out there scoring from every possible angle (and a few impossible ones as well).... Last (and certainly least) was Blue vs Yellow on the Olympic ice. In that one Adam Rufa made a case for adding him as a co-star in the "Jesse and Chip Show" by scoring quite a few nice goals. I would mention the highlights for Blue but there really weren't any. I think the final score was around 18-7 but who can tell at that point?? We got a lot of exercise anyway.....

On a more serious note, I know that George is concerned about all the spots still left unpaid. We need to get those caught up right away. I will be out of town again this Friday so have a great week and let me know the results!!

06/22/04 - Well since I didn't hit it big in Vegas, I'm back....I heard that the golf tournament went very well and I should have some results to post here soon. As far as the games last week I know that Green defeated Blue but no other details. Here is the famous Bar Napkin Report.

Red Menace - 16 White Boyz - 15 -Shootout with Jesse making a rare sub appearance for the Red team. - Nick Julian Sr. tossed in two goals for the Menace, and the Pompo Bros.& Cos. and Rob Griffin had solid games . - White had a furious rally at the end of the game. The line of Andre Chamberlain/Alex Ryan/Mike Whyland/Kevin Dwyer/Pete Klemm pumped in four goals on the last shift as time ran out on the Boyz. The rebound of the last shot at the buzzer went right to Kevin, but the horn had sounded before he could throw it back at the net for a possible tying goal.

New schedules are posted.

06/14/04 - This will have to be a quick update since I am on my way out of town. Good thing none of the games this week were particularly interesting. In the opener we found out what you get when you mix Black with Green - a really ugly game. The final score was about 7-3. Ricky played well in the nets and got a lot of help from his defense...oh yeah, they had Andre too...Next game - Blue vs Red, better colors but not a better game. It looked like it could be close for a while but then Mike Tully had the game he's always dreamed of scoring 4 goals and putting to rest any hopes of self respect that the Blue team might have had that night. Chuck played well in goal for Red as well. The scoreboard showed a 10-5 final score but we're going to have to invoke the rule that says if Tully scores more than twice in a game it must never have happened... Finally we have the White team with new member - Andre vs Yellow. From the Bar Napkin -- 

Yellow Dogs 12 (16 according to BS)  White Boyz 9  - Jesse & Chip vs Andre & Andre showed up late - That's about it. 

I think it's only fair to suspend Game of the Week honors for tonight, although we did have a quote of the night from Rick Cummins in the bar afterward "I can be as gay as I want to be, as long as we win". Rick had some friends in the bar with him Friday - counting those three people, our non relative fan base has just increased to three (the FNHL thanks you). Also, I can confirm that Bill Smithson (aka BS) did report the score of Yellow vs White as 16-9... I hope you all have a great time (and good weather) for the Golf Tournament this weekend. If anyone has a chance to send me the recaps from this Friday I will post them. I still have Montreal pictures to post and will do that as soon as I can...sorry for the delay. Have a good week and Happy Father's Day!! See you all next Friday (unless I happen to win big in Nevada in which case you will never hear from me again)

06/07/04 - First of all, congratulations to the Tampa Bay Lightning for winning the Stanley Cup. Also congratulations to the one person who picked them to win it all in our poll. I still don't know who that was. This week's game were all over the board, much like our recent weather. Some teams were hot, some were cold (and one was just right). Let's start right out with the first game Blue vs White and go directly to the Bar Napkin Report.

White Boyz - 12  Blue Man Group - 10  - Thanks to low turnout by the regulars, White won the Andre sweepstakes for the first game. - Nick Smith w/ 1st period hat trick, then done for the night. - Pete Klemm, back after a layoff, chipped in two & played some solid D. - After a slow start, John caught fire in net for the Blue Men & White had to struggle to hold the lead.

Thanks, as always to "Smith" for his report. I would add that Dave Stage, Mike Masello and Rob Smith scored for Blue...Well White was hot, but Green was absolutely on fire. In the second game we had one of the strangest FNHL games ever played. The Green team got some help from subs Andre and Dan Jervis and absolutely annihilated the Yellow team with both Chip and Jesse "in the house." I have no idea what the final score was, but there were a LOT of goals scored in this one. For two periods this was true of both teams. There was some controversy over the score throughout but Green was "up 3" according to Bill Smithson at the end of two periods. That's when Rouss stepped up and shut the door on Yellow. Green took the opportunity and filled the net with pucks at the other end. A rough estimate on the final score is maybe Green 26 Yellow 14 - who knows - anyway next week Yellow faces the "White Boyz" and will certainly be gunning for redemption (since Green has already given them religion).....The last game sounds like a game of the night but unfortunately I didn't see it. Black was cold, scoring only two goals while Red was just right with 5 for the victory. Word in the bar was that Chuck Austin and Rick Cummins both played well in goal and Tony Pompo for Red and Greg Sniffen for Black led their respective teams. 5-2 on the Olympic ice means either a really close game or really bad shooting. We'll give them the benefit of the doubt....

Finally, people I can't stress this enough - we need just a couple more foursomes for the golf tournament. There must be some people out there who have yet to register - or maybe you can find someone panhandling outside of your office - at this point it doesn't matter - just grab someone (and/or yourself) and get them registered.

FNHL Money is due this week (golf tournament money was due last Friday). Have a good week!!

06/01/04 - I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. We have now officially slipped into warm weather mode and the subs are out in force at almost every game. This can prove fun or frustrating depending on which team Andre plays for. In the first game last week, the fun factor was definitely in play as Andre joined Wes and Rob Smith on the Blue team for their game with Yellow. This was the game of the night and was very close all the way through. Ron Maydole scored twice for Yellow while Andre and Rob joined regular Blue teamers George and Mike Masillo on the scoreboard. It looked like Yellow might just take the loss -  But the hockey gods were just toying with us.....Brian Banks (subbing for Yellow) took a nice pass from Chip and beat John Oakes to tie the score at nine in the closing seconds. How weird is that?? Brian Banks plays for Yellow?? Chip passes to someone not named Jesse??? Ron Maydole scores twice???? Go figure.... In the second game, the Green team looked to continue their recent string of success but no Rouss = no luck for the Green vs a sub laden Red squad. This game was more of a seesaw with Red going up early then Green got some scoring from Cavy and John Albanese to take a 4-2 lead and then the wheels fell off. Red scored three quick goals and never looked back enroute to a 10-5 win. Tony Pompo, Rob Smith and Rob Griffith led the way for Red. I guess the Green team was unnerved by the silence behind them. For the next game he misses, I think Rouss should leave a CD of his best trash talk and they can play it over the PA system. The final game was a battle of Black and White. Our faithful anonymous reporter "Smith" once again submitted the ever popular Bar Napkin Report on that one and here, as always, is the unedited version.

White Boyz - 12   Black Plague - 7   -   1/2 White team AWOL helped by subs Alex, Kevin & Ron (White w/ 7 vs Black w/ 8 or 9) - Balanced scoring by White, All but one player scored (Sorry Kev) - Spectacular goaltending by Rob, Rick made some nice stops for Black also. - Play of the Game was Alex Ryan from the corner to Andre behind the net to Chris Baldwin in the slot. So Slick it makes motor oil look like tar. - Ron Schlicht w/ sweet backhander for the Plague.

The golf tournament is coming up very soon and we still need a team or two to round out the roster. I know I've heard several people say they were going to register, but still nothing. Please get that done this week. Also payment for the event is due to George this Friday. See you then!! 

05/24/04 - The payment ($45 per person) for the FNHL Golf Tournament is due a week from this Friday - on June 4th. Please see George on or before that date to get this taken care of. As always, he's done a lot of work putting a great event together so let's not leave him hanging for the money til the last minute. Thanks in advance!! One last note. Due to the unfortunate turn of events on Saturday, the Flyers will not win the Stanley Cup this year. Please observe a moment of silence at your convenience and reflect on what might have been. Somehow I know Bob LaBarre is behind this and he will pay!!!

05/19/04 - George has the 10:15pm slot again this Friday. As usual, the first 20 guys to contact him get the spots. Call him asap at 436-6882 if you want to skate. As far as I know we still need a couple of foursomes for the golf tournament. Have you registered yet???

05/11/04 - For the first time this year we have a shutout!! Rouss stopped absolutely everything the White team threw his way to lead the Green team to a big win over the White. The last shutout I can find was last September when John Oakes blanked the Green team 5-0. Congrats to Rouss and the entire Green team. It just so happens that "Smith" was in attendance for that game and submitted his "Bar Napkin Report". Here is the unedited version.

Gang Green - 13  White Boyz - 0
- Taken to woodshed
-Big defensive effort by Green, with Rouss pitching a shutout
-despite score, Rob Conrad had a strong game for White
-White was actually more like the Random Warriors with subs from many teams (George, Rich, Wes, Ron) who all played well
-Late appearance by capt. Bill Hopkins not enough to crack the scoreboard
-Line of John, Chris, Jamie did most of the scoring for the Greenies

In the other games, Black and Blue met on the NHL ice and played the game of the night. It was close throughout and Blue looked like they would win it on early goals by Mike Masello, Dave Stage and George Fleischmann and sub Bill Hopkins. But alas, it was not meant to be. Russ Cole got tough in net and Black steadily chipped away at the Blue lead. Very late in the game, with Blue leading 7-6 Black scored to tie it (either Sniffen or Ian got the goal). So we go to overtime and Ron Schlicht continues his Montreal scoring rampage putting the game winner just past John Oakes. Blue fans everywhere rioted in the streets in protest....In the nightcap, it was another game of the night candidate as an undermanned but determined Red team held the powerful Yellow squad with Jesse and Chip to an 8-8 tie. Chuck Austin was outstanding in the nets and his glove hand left Jesse shaking his head on more than one occasion. Red was leading late in the game but Jesse did manage to get a goal or two late for the tie. Overtime was not played in this one, I'm not sure why. Either way it was a very good game.

In other news, we are off for the next two weeks. George did e-mail me and said that he does have the 10:15pm slot though. If you want to skate, give him a call asap at 436-6882. The first 20 guys to commit will have the spots. I will be out of town again until next Friday 5/21/04. If you haven't registered for the golf tournament yet, please do so now. The date is getting closer and we still need a few foursomes to round out the group. Even if you don't have four players, you can register as an individual and George will pair you up with someone. It's going to be a great time and we look forward to seeing everyone there!!

I have the pictures from Montreal and will post them soon (thanks Patty!). In conclusion I've got a little message for the Black team. You may have been pretty Schlicht last Friday but here's what I'm Sniffen. Next time we face each other make sure your Schiccitanos are well covered because Blue will bring the pain (Webber) and take home the win, I guarantee it. And whether you have a lump of Cole in net or not, you will have to grin and LaBarre it. And just to show you how certain I am, I'm going to Disney World (in advance). See you all in a few weeks!! 

05/04/04 - This additional report from Friday just arrived in the mailbox. Schu Sizes up the action.
Black Victorious in Close Game 1st Period Black 4 - Yellow 3 2nd Period Black 4 - Yellow 5 Final Black 8 - Yellow 6 The game was tight throughout with the undermanned Black team getting the upper hand later into the third period. Black skated with 7 for 2 periods against a full yellow squad, missing of coarse Jessie and Chip but with able subs. Black did not miss having Jessie or Chip on the ice this night but it appeared that the absence of those two affected yellow. Black was led by the scoring (hat trick) by Greg Schiccitano whom usually misses more than hits except on this night. Unfortunately now he thinks he is a forward, but alas next week its back to D for Greg. Some nice goals were scored by both sides and there probably would have been more had the goalies not played well. Each side had some nice plays throughout the night amidst some grind it out play. The best hit of the night was thrown between two yellow players who had a bone crunching collision at the Blue line. After some recovery time everyone was okay and back at it. Overall an evenly matched and well played game that was enjoyable.

How bout them Flyers!!!

05/03/04 - Just finished watching the Flames oust the Red Wings - great hockey! Speaking of great hockey, the Montreal tournament was held this weekend and though Team FNHL left Montreal without a victory, they gave an excellent accounting of themselves and proved that we can compete with our counterparts from north of the border. Every game was either tied or within one goal late in the third period. Ron Schlict, Chip O'Connor, Dave Cavallaro and Dan Jennings led the way offensively with help from Mike Tully, Rich Fleischmann, and John Albanese. Dan, Bill Hopkins, George Fleischmann, and Bob LaBarre were solid on D against some pretty tough (and young) opponents. Chuck Austin played three strong games and was the victim of some bad deflections and opportunistic forwards. It was mentioned to me several times during the event that next year we will find a way to get the team skating together sooner and that will go a long way towards turning those heartbreaking losses into wins.

Over on Team Jacksonville, Jesse and I had the opportunity to skate against some pretty good competition as well. Chip also made a special guest appearance in out third game and scored a breakaway goal to seal that win. We were able to win 2 of our first 3 games over teams from Ontario and lost (badly) on the Olympic Ice to Team Nunavut - from the Yukon Territory of Canada (near Greenland). Most of our opponents were under the age of 25 and as luck would have it, our rematch with Nunavut for the championship was also on the Olympic ice. We gave a better effort but their goaltender was outstanding and goaltending made the difference in the 8-2 game. Jesse had a great tournament for us on D and managed to get in a few good shots during the "no checking" games.

Thanks to everyone - players, families and friends who participated or supported us in the tournament!! The scheduling didn't work out as well as I would have liked but we still got to watch some parts of each other's games and mingle with guys from my brother's group. All in all I think it was a great success and look forward to doing it all again next year.

Back on the home front, there was hockey played in Cicero as well. I got another e-mail from our anonymous reporter "Smith". He's becoming a regular feature on this site with the "Bar Napkin Report". So here's what he had to say.

White Boyz: 11 Red Menace: 6

Close game thru 2, White pulled away with 4 unanswered goals in the 3rd. The ice was in bad shape with several cracks that had to be repaired before the game. Luckily, no one was injured due to the ice condition. - Line of Kevin Dwyer (4 goals), Chris Baldwin (3), and Mike Whyland (2, including goal of the game on backhand spinaroonie) did most of the damage for the Boyz. - Red had tough time cracking the defensive wall of Dave Cornell, Jeff Budzich, & Liam Curry (Bill Who?) - Rob took a while to warm up in goal, but came up huge for White in the 3rd. Russ played tough for Red with several highlight saves. -Bartender Kelly credited with an assist after walking up bleachers in mini-skirt, causing a botched line change and easy goal for Red (who had their backs to the action). - John Griffith played a good game on D for Red and chipped in on O with a couple end-to-end rushes.

If anyone has info on the other games, feel free to drop me a line and I'll post it. One bad bit of news, George mentioned that the money (over)due situation seems to be getting worse. If you are behind, please make sure to get it cleared up immediately and more importantly, let's see if we can prevent this problem from continuing in the future. It's not fair to expect George to run the league AND finance it but every six weeks we have problems. We all need to step up and keep our league running smoothly.

04/27/04 - There are a few spots as yet unpaid. These are noted on the roster sheet as usual with a $$. Please see George asap to get everything caught up. The Montreal tournament is this weekend so I'll need someone to send me Friday game recaps. The Stanley Cup Poll has ended and the FNHL favorites are playing each other right now - the Maple Leafs and the Flyers. At least some of you know a good team when you see one. As for those of you who voted for the Leafs - better luck next year, EH!!! We'll start a new poll shortly.Have you registered for the golf tournament yet???

Here is the schedule for Montreal

Team FNHL - Division 35+ D - Molson Dry Oldtimers Division

Fri - 4/30/04 - Rink 2 - 7:15pm vs Ottawa Our Souls - Nepean ON

Sat - 5/1/04 - Rink 3 - 10:15am vs Hammers II - Toronto ON

Sat - 5/1/04 - Rink 3 - 4:30pm vs Hammers I - Toronto ON

Championship

Sun - 5/2/04 - Rink 3 - 9:45am

Jacksonville Vultures - Division Open - Molson Big Bubba Division

Fri - 4/30/04 - Rink 1 - 7:30pm vs Chiefs - Hamilton ON

Sat - 5/1/04 - Rink 4 - 2:15pm vs Team Nunavut - Iqualuit NU

Sat - 5/1/04 - Rink 3 - 7:45pm vs Horsemen - Bolton ON

Championship

Sun - 5/2/04 - Rink 4 - 11:30am

Good luck to all this week!!
 

04/20/04 - The new schedule is posted. Golf tournament registrations are going well but I'm sure there are more yet to come in. Things in Tampa didn't end up as well as we'd hoped as we lost in the finals to a team from Idaho that had several ex-NHL players on their roster. It would have been nice to win it all but it was a great experience anyway. I did get one more write up from last Friday's games and here it is:

8:00 NHL

2 (Black)  vs 3 (Red)

Red team won 12-5

3-1 after 1
5-3 after 2
12-5 after 3

3 stars
*        Chuck Austin
**        Tony Pompo
***        Greg Sniffen

No hockey scheduled for this Friday 4/23/04. Have a good week!!

04/18/04 - This will have to be a quick update as we have one more game to play here in Tampa in the morning. Not too much to say since I'm out of town but our anonymous reporter "Smith" came through again with one report. Here is the unedited version.

From the bar napkin:
 White over Blue by 6-4 in what was probably the game of the night.
 -Stellar goaltending on both sides (Rob Conrad and John Oakes).  John stopped several breakaways and odd man rushes.
 -Balanced scoring for White (Baldwin, Hopkins, Smith, Vogel and Whyland for sure and either Klemm or newcomer Alex Ryan for the other), who were helped out by two "own goals" by Joe Gracz.
 -Bill Hopkins stood out on D and also scored one.
 - Rich Fleischmann put in a nice wrister for Blue.
 -Sub Rob Smith played a good game for Blue despite getting tripped at least 4 times and spit on once by Dave Rigg and friends

Please register for the golf tournament if you haven't already. Have a good week and I'll see you on Friday!!

04/11/04 - The golf tournament info has been posted. Also on that page is a form you can use to register either a foursome or individual player(s). Feel free to use that form and then George will collect the money. The final date for payment is 5/19/04. The cost is a very reasonable $45 per person even with the addition of the steak dinner. Please don't wait until the last minute to sign up so George can get an accurate count. It should be a great time!....There were two good games and one not so good this week. In the opener, the Blue team just could not put it together and spent most of the evening watching Jesse and Derek Crowley skate up the ice and score for the Yellow team. The final score was 16-6 but the game was never as close as the score would indicate. With Chip MIA the Blue team hoped to keep it close but Jesse flat out dominated. Bill Smithson had a good night in net for Yellow as well....The second game was much better as the Green team (with coach DiCicco on the bench) battled the Red. Russ Cole subbed in goal for Red allowing for a rematch of last week's Russ - Rouss showdown. And a showdown was exactly what it turned out to be as both goaltenders were outstanding and Rouss earned a measure of revenge with a 7-6 victory for Green. The game went right down to the wire and Red managed to score once with the goalie pulled but couldn't get the tie. Dave Cavallaro scored the game winner for Green, Jamie Sassenbury and Scott Budnyas had nice goals as well. Red had a solid team effort and got especially good games from Griff, Tully, Pompo and Bird. (Sorry, I can't remember the specific goal scorers)....The last game between the White and Black was good as well and once again we have a write up!!! Our anonymous reporter (let's just call him "Smith") says that it was a close game thru 2 periods but Black pulled away in the 3rd. Pete Klemm scored the best goal of the night but it didn't count due to a controversial offsides call. Jason Vogel got a couple of goals that did count for White. On the Black side I'm told that recent addition Wes (I need a haircut) Hadzor was the player of the night with 4 goals. The final score was reported as 8-7 though it could have been a goal or two more than that. Rick Cummings and Rob Conrad were the goalies and both played well....I will be out of town this week joining my brother's group at the USA Hockey over 30 Nationals. I will be on the roster as a reserve (team "American Express"). Last year they were the runner's up so it should be a lot of fun. Click here for a link to the USA Hockey tournament page. Also I will let the Stanley Cup Poll run one more week so if you haven't voted yet, please do. Good luck to all this week and hopefully someone will send me the info on the games.

04/04/04 - A good group of games this week and I actually got a write up on one that I didn't see!!! (Thanks Bill, Nick). The first game was a close defensive battle between the Green and White teams. White emerged victorious by the score of 6-3. Anytime there are less than 10 goals scored in one of our games you know the defense must have been good. There were a lot of subs in this game on both sides and the goaltenders - Russ and Rouss (try saying that a few times fast) both had good games. Jamie Sassenbury scored a nice goal for Green picking the puck out of mid-air and Terry Young scored for White with a sweet tip in on a pass from Nick Smith...In the second game the Blue team with a pair of Oakes took on the Black and the result was another 3 goal game with Blue coming out on top by the final score of 8-5. John Oakes was great in the nets as usual and his bother Pete (good name for a brother) helped out as a forward. Dave Cavallaro subbed for Blue and had a hat trick and Rich Fleischmann had some nice assists as their line contributed all eight goals on the night...The last game was rumored to be close as well, although that depends on who you talk to. I was told that the Yellow team beat the Red by a score of 10-8 and Pete Thompson had an excellent game scoring 4 goals for Yellow. There seemed to be some question about that score in the bar after the game as several members of the Yellow team remember a slightly bigger margin. Bottom line - it doesn't really matter and we, as a league, had a pretty good night...In other news, the golf tournament is set for June 19th and there will be steak on the menu based on the results of the latest poll. The cost will be $45 and I will have a page set up very soon where you can register. A new poll has been setup in honor of the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Please vote soon as it won't be up that long. Why do I sense that there will be a huge number of votes for Toronto (ahemm..Mike Tully) ??? Finally I have added a notation at the bottom of our homepage to show when the site was last updated. The e-mail list which advises people when a change has been made will also continue so click here to join. Just write the word Update in the subject field. See you on Friday!!

03/26/04 - First thing on the agenda this week is schedule changes. George was just advised tonight that there is ice this Sunday 3/28/04 for the regular Sunday group at 7:00am. Since this is a last minute switch, please call and let him know if you can make it. If you are not a member of the regular group but would like to skate please call George immediately at 436-6882 to see if there's an opening (it's pretty likely). Also the games on the NHL ice this coming Friday 4/2/04 will start after the Junior tournament. The anticipated start time is 8:45pm but if they really run late it could be as late as 9:30pm. It's not an ideal situation but we have no control over any of these changes.

The games this week seemed to go pretty much with the weather - a bit on the dismal side. I don't have much info on the first two games but I guess the opener was the game of the night with Yellow skating past the Black team by a score of about 14-11. I was told that Jesse and Chip did most of the damage for Yellow (of course you probably could have figured that out on your own). The second game was a rout for the re-energized Red team as they rolled over the White by a score of about 11-3. Red clearly has their Pompo back and seems fully recovered from their recent struggles. White was missing key player Greg Evans who suffered a serious knee injury last Sunday. Greg has become a big part of the FNHL family recently and we wish him the best in his recovery. In the nightcap, Chris Diccio scored one of his trademark goals in his last game vs the Blue team - 5 hole on John Oakes, and Cavy had a goal and two assists, but that about covers the highlights for the Green team. The rest of the game was all Blue team as Duane Pardee (playing center for Gridley...who??) scored 4 goals, Dave Stage had 3 and Brad Beran 2. Also both Fleischmann brothers scored and Dan Jervis added a few as well....Bottom line, not a good night to be Green. The final score was around 15-3. As always, John Oakes was great in the nets for Blue and the defense of Fleischmann, Gracz and Kokkoris was solid. Finally I want to wish George a very happy birthday on behalf of all of us in the FNHL. Contrary to popular belief, he did not turn 50 (yet, but the rink is aging him fast with all these schedule changes).

3/16/04 - I spoke to George this afternoon and he said that there is ice available this Sunday morning at the War Memorial from 7:00am - 9:00am. The Montreal tournament team will use this time as a tune-up and they need another 10 skaters and a goalie as opponents. Considering that we are off this Friday and the regular Cicero Sunday session is also off, this would be a great opportunity to get a skate in this week. Please call George asap at 436-6882 to reserve a spot. He needs to know right away because the ice has to be paid for in advance. Thanks

3/14/04 - The 2nd annual FNHL golf tournament has been scheduled for Saturday, June 19th at the same course in Central Square we were at last year. In the next few weeks I will post a tournament page with additional info and a spot to submit your foursome. I'm sure it will be a lot of fun again this year and hopefully the weather will be better also. Please let George know if you can help out with door prizes, etc. There is a new poll on the website to determine if we have the same hamburgers and hot dogs menu again or spend about $15 per person extra and enjoy a steak and buffet - please take a second to vote, even if you don't feel that strongly about it....The Montreal tournament roster is set and I will be collecting the balance of the tournament fee (another $100) on Friday 4/2/04. If you have not made hotel reservations yet, make sure to do so no later than March 30th. The response was excellent and we're looking forward to another great experience there. If we can keep our FNHL players from having any more children this year we might even be able to place another full team in the tournament next year. At least the guys are scoring regularly somewhere..... This week, the big story on the ice came in the first game where new Yellow team member John Corrigan scored 2 goals in his teams 11-3 win over the Green team. John is one of our newest and least experienced players so it's nice to see him improving and enjoying some success. Dave Cavallaro (Cavy) of the Green team took a puck between the eyebrows that left a nasty cut but returned to play (with an ugly looking tape job on his face) and we're glad he's ok. No other details were relayed to me on the game....... Ditto with the second game where I was only told that the Red and Black teams skated to an 8-8 tie and that Mike Tully would dispute this result. So far I haven't heard from him on it. It must have been a pretty good game.... In the late game, the Blue team pulled a complete reversal of their performance of last week and defeated the White team by about 15-10. The game was close most of the way with Blue scoring in bunches and then White catching up. A late flurry in the third period sealed the deal for Blue. Both Rich Fleischmann and Mike Masello had hat-tricks for Blue, George Fleischmann had two goals and Brad Beran got one as well. Bill Hopkins had a nice goal for White and I'm pretty sure Greg Evans had a couple. The White team had some new players who also scored but I'm not sure if they were subs or new regulars.... Remember we are off this Friday 3/19/04... Have a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day - See you on the 26th!!

3/6/04 - The games were good again this week but not quite as close overall. The opener was described to me as a "typical Yellow team game." This description came from a member of the White team so what I gather from that is the Yellow team scored a lot of goals and came away with a relatively easy win. I believe the final score was around 14-6. Since I didn't see either of the early games this week, I don't have a lot of details to add....The second game takes game of the week honors this time as it appears that the Green team, playing the Black,  snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the closing minutes just as the Blue team did last week. The final score was reported as 8-7 for Black with Ian Webber and Greg Sniffen getting late goals to turn the tide.... As often happens with sequels, the much anticipated rematch between Blue and Red turned out to be much less than the original. Blue got the first goal early on a nice pass from Rich Fleischmann but Red took control from there scoring 4 unanswered goals to lead 4-1 at the end of 1. They would add another 8 goals in the next two periods and though Blue rallied briefly -  Dave Stage scored to make it 10-7 early in the third period, it never got any closer. Mark Lasinski and Brian Pompo each scored a few nice goals to lead the offense for Red and Rob Griffin and Brian Banks anchored the D. The final score was about 12-7. Chuck Austin also played well for Red in goal. It was another good game, but Blue was always just a step behind.... We did get word last night that Patty Ryan, the lovely lady in Bob LaBarre's life, successfully completed her New York State certification and is a duly licensed massage therapist. Congratulations Patty on this big accomplishment from all of us here at the FNHL!!!

3/4/04 - George sent me an e-mail recently with updates to the FNHL rosters page. The new rosters are now posted. We have several new players and on behalf of the entire FNHL it's my pleasure to welcome them into the league. Also, on the rosters page is an indication of who still owes money for the current session. These are noted by a $$ next to the name. Obviously the new players will be on the list but there are also several veterans as well. Please see George immediately to get things squared away. The Montreal Tournament teams are all set. Most people have also paid the $50 deposit and the last few I will collect on Friday. The down payment has been made to Russell Hockey already. Hotel reservations should be made already as well. If you haven't done this yet, please remember to take care of it. The last thing we need to do is complete a skills assessment sheet so the organizers know what division to put us in. I have the sheet and it asks the following;

Name
Age
Highest Level Played
Current Level Playing
How many total years playing

All confirmed players should send me the answers to the above questions in an e-mail asap and I will get that form done. From there we should get a schedule. It should be a great trip!! See you tomorrow...

3/1/04 - It was a really good week of games this past Friday. In the first game, the Green team got goals from about 9 different players including Scott Budynas and a nice one timer by John Albanese to defeat a pesky Black squad by the score of (about) 10-7. Green went up early and threatened to run away with it but Black held tough led by the return of captain Greg Sniffen and Ian Webber. Both Ricky and Rouss were sharp in the nets. The unofficial highlight of the night occurred when Scott's daughter - who was serving as timekeeper - felt sick and got just as far as the Green bench before leaving the evenings dinner on the floor. We hope she feels better this week and also hope it was neither our play on the ice nor the smell of our equipment that caused her upset stomach... Game #2 was another fast paced contest with the Yellow team facing White. Yellow's Len Matyasik took a nice feed from Chip O'Conner and scored on a breakaway in the first period to set the tone (no Lenny, it was not a dream!!). Both Rob Conrad and sub Rick Cummings made some big saves to keep it close. Unfortunately I only saw the first period but I believe the final score was about 11-8 in favor of Yellow... The last game on the Olympic ice completed the evenings hat-trick of great action as the Blue team squared off with a "new and improved" Red team. It was the first time in quite a while that Red had more than 7 players to start the game and they made the most of it. The game was very close the entire way with each team taking turns going up or down by a goal or two and then catching up. George Fleischmann fed Dan Jervis a restaurant quality pass in the slot late in the third period which he converted to give Blue the lead and it looked like Blue was going to pull it out. But Brian Pompo scored on a nice individual effort with about 3 minutes left to tie it and then Mike Tully broke free and scored the game winner with just over a minute remaining to complete the comeback victory for Red 7-6. Russ Cole deserves a lot of credit also as he made some huge saves for Red in the win. Much as I would have preferred to be on the winning side, it was an awesome game with excellent efforts by both teams and a lot of fun to play. The Blue team is looking forward to the rematch which is rumored to be coming as early as this Friday.... In other news, I haven't gotten the schedule yet from George for the next 6 weeks but will post it as soon as I do. I know he is still owed money by more than a few people so that needs to be addressed asap. The Montreal tournament team roster is just about complete and we are looking forward to a good time there. If you are on the team and have not yet made your hotel reservations, please do so as soon as you can. The instructions are in the article below. Each player will need to complete a skills assessment sheet and then the tournament will match us up appropriately and generate a schedule. I will collect the balance due for the tournament fee during the first week in April.

2/24/04 - Montreal Tournament Update - We've gotten a great response so far. At this moment, I have only two slots open and would like to finalize them as soon as possible. The tournament is run by Russell Hockey and you can check out their website at www.russellhockey.com . I have played in this tournament before and it's always a good time. Although we are putting in our own FNHL team this year, we will once again be meeting up with my brother's group from Jacksonville FL for fun and socializing before and after our games. They are a great bunch of guys (good players too) and there is never a lack of excitement when we get together. It's my understanding that many of the guys from both teams will be bringing their wives/girlfriends (or both??) and kids are invited as well. This is intended to be a social event with some good hockey mixed in, and Montreal is a great city with lots of things to do. The tournament runs from Friday 4/30/04 - Sunday 5/2/04. There will probably be one game Friday night, two on Saturday and then the finals on Sunday (if you win and advance). Also I was advised that you do not need to be over 35 to participate. We can fill the roster, regardless of age, and will be matched up appropriately based on overall team experience. The tournament fee is $150 and I will be collecting a $50 deposit from all confirmed players this Friday. We are doing the hotel separately because most of our players and the Jacksonville players want single rooms (the tournament usually books quads or doubles). I have set up a group rate of $116 (CDN)/night at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Montreal. Each player must make his own reservation and will pay for the hotel on his own. To make reservations, call the hotel directly at 514-844-8855. Mention our group code - HOCS - and my name (Jervis) to be sure you get our rate. Our contact person at the hotel is Georgia Kapsopoulos if they have any questions. Our room block is being held until March 30th so please be sure and call them right away to make reservations. If you want to go and still haven't confirmed your spot with me send me an e-mail asap or call my office 315-428-4674 and let me know. Mike Tully, George Fleischmann, Bob LaBarre and Chuck Austin went last year and can probably answer most questions you might have also. I hope to see you there!!

2/23/04 - It was a pretty good week on the ice this week. In the opener the Pompo children got a win in their coaching debut and the Red team (at least part of it) finally shed its "struggling" tag scoring a well earned win over the White team. The final score was about 11-8. Chuck Austin made some big saves to secure the win for his team which consisted of only Brian Banks, Nick Julian, and Brian and Tony Pompo. Subs Dan Jervis, George Fleischmann and Duane Pardee rounded out the squad. Greg Evans and Chris Baldwin led the White team in a nice effort. Rob Conrad made some great stops as well in goal. Game #2 was another classic Blue-Green showdown and lived up to expectations. Defense took top billing in this one as the Blue's Steve Kokkoris, Joe Gracz, Duane Pardee and George Fleischmann took turns frustrating the Green offense. When they were able to get a good scoring chance, John Oakes showed why he was just voted the top goalie in the FNHL by shutting the door. Scoring at the other end was not much easier as Chris DiCicco was back in action and Rouss got a piece of almost everything shot his way. Unfortunately for the Green team though Rouss got a piece of a couple of shots by Dan Jervis but they still managed to sneak through to put Blue in front early 2-0. The game went back and forth from there and Blue lead only 3-2 at the end of two periods. Sub Brian Banks scored twice for Blue and the defense held on for a 5-2 final. I did find out after the game that Chris DiCicco has accepted a new job in Alabama and will be moving there in a few weeks. Chris has been a member of the league for a long time and is well known as a tough competitor. We wish him and his family much success in the future....In the last game the Yellow team simply skated over, under, and through the Black team. I can't say what the final score was, but it was really ugly. Drew Liszewski (and everyone else, I think) scored for the Yellow team. Russ Cole could have fallen asleep in the Yellow net and I doubt that anyone would have noticed. It was a tough welcome back for Rick Cummings in the Black nets but good to see him back anyway....George has asked me to mention that we have several open slots that we need to fill. Players have been dropping out and teams are left short. If we don't have enough paid slots obviously we can't continue running a 6 team league. If you know of players who would like to step in, please let George know right away. Also, money was due and (sadly) as usual there are a lot of guys who still owe. There was a suggestion that we should post the delinquent list here on the web so everyone knows who's not keeping up....

02/15/04 - We will be back to regular games this Friday 2/20. The schedule for the next two weeks is posted. I will post the new schedule once I get it from George. Money is due this week for the next 6 weeks. All unpaid accounts will be turned over to Mike Tully for immediate collection action. Trust me, you don't want Mike teaching you about his "fight strap" so please pay on time. We've gotten a great response to the Montreal tournament announcement and are just about filled up. Please let me know asap if you are still interested and I'll see if we have a spot open. I'm still waiting for confirmation from a couple of people so there might still be time. Also, I need a $50 deposit from all confirmed players by Friday 2/27 to send to the tournament director. Thanks - see you all on Friday...

2/3/04 - Bad news today - once again due to circumstances beyond his control, George was advised that we will not have our regular FNHL ice this Friday 2/6 or next 2/13. We will be offered the late (10:15pm) spot on the Olympic ice only so if you want to play please contact George. His cell phone # is 436-6882 or you can e-mail him at gfleisch@twcny.rr.com . Please let your teammates know about this unexpected schedule change. Thanks

2/1/04 - There were some pretty good games this week so let's get right to the recaps....In the first game the Blue team faced the Black and the goaltenders ruled the day. John Oakes for Blue and Russ Cole for Black were both outstanding. Black got a goal early but Blue answered with goals by George Fleischmann and a pair by Dan Jervis to take a 3-1 lead. Black tied it up again (my apologies for not remembering who did the damage) only to have the Blue's "Civil War Veterans" line of Beran, Stage and Gridley score 2 more and Blue held on for a 5-4 win as Oakes stood tall once again. In the second game the still struggling Red team got their Pompo back and took the Yellow team for one heck of a ride before finally falling late in the third period. It was a 3-2 game late in the third period thanks largely to Red goalie Chuck Austin who played a phenomenal game and Tony Pompo who scored a goal and played some great D in his return to action. But you just knew that Jessie wasn't going to tolerate two losses in a row and he scored 5 goals and sparked a late flurry by Yellow to seal a 6 (or 7) - 2 decision. In the late game the White team continued their winning ways of late and defeated the Green team. I'm not sure of the score but I heard that it was fairly close - maybe 11-8 (??). It was mentioned that the combo of Dave Cornell and Andre scored quite a few goals for White. Tournament Announcement - Last year a few of us from the FNHL joined forces with a few guys from my brother's group from Florida (www.jaxhockey.com) and played in the Russell Hockey Tournament in Montreal. It was a great time and we would like to enter an all FNHL team in this years event. The tournament is going to be in late April so we need to get things organized as soon as possible. It can be fairly competitive but we will are planning to enter in a C or D division bracket (over 30 or over 35) so we should be able to keep up just fine. Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested and I'll get all the details to you. We are looking for a total of 10 skaters and a goalie. Since I will be out of town for this week's games feel free to e-mail your interest to me. Mike Tully, George Fleischmann, Chuck Austin and Bob LaBarre all went last year and can probably fill you in as well. Finally, since I will be away this week I will be relying on you to send me the results for the column. See you in 2 weeks!!

1/26/04 - We've already gotten a pretty good response to the goalies poll. I'll leave it up for another week or so and then post the results. George asked me to mention the golf tournament again. We need to decide if we want to return to the same course as last year and also if we want to look into a buffet or stick with the hamburgers and hotdogs. He didn't mention it specifically but I know that he could use some help getting door-prizes, etc. It was an interesting week on the ice Friday night. In the first game Derek Crowley made a special return appearance and helped the White team to a big win over the Blue. The final score was around 10-6. Sub Andre helped out with the offense and the White D was outstanding with Bill Hopkins, Pete Klem, Dave Cornell and Dave Rigg making it very tough for Blue to get good shots. Also Rob Conrad made some big saves to keep Blue from catching up. Tom Gridley was able to score for Blue late in the game with his wife and daughter in the stands. Our official attendance report for that game coincidentally was 2 - the FNHL thanks you...(both). The second game was yet another tough one for the struggling Red team. Bob LaBarre was back in Black and his team proved that they don't need Moses to find the holy land (or at least the back of the net) by defeating the Red. I'm not sure of the score but I think it was close - maybe 9-7?? Anyway this reporter hesitates to label any team as "slumping" after the fiasco with the Green team over the summer (and fall) but.....we'll just stay with "struggling" for now. Nothing a healthy dose of Andre can't cure. Speaking of Andre - he's been having a big impact in the past few weeks and certainly none bigger than in the nightcap. An epic battle took place between the Green and Yellow teams. The Green team was missing key players Chris DiCicco, Dan Jennings and Matt Mills but added subs Andre, Dan Jervis and George Fleischmann and proceeded to hand the Yellow team their first loss of the new year by a score of about 13-10. Dave Cavallaro had the hot hand and led the game in scoring with about 7 goals. Scott Budynas and Bill Cummings also had good games for Green. Pete Thompson, Adam Rufa and Chip O'Connor scored some nice goals for Yellow but it was not enough. George still has a few spots open for Super Bowl Sunday night - check with him if you're interested. Also the rosters have been updated. If you see a misspelling, feel free to send me the correct one. Thanks!

1/17/04 - The first poll has finished and the results were very close (for the most part). Once duplicates were eliminated there were a total of 37 votes counted. Based on the votes it looks like the Blue and White teams were the co-winners with Red, Black and Green all not far behind. Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote! This month we have a new poll so feel free to help us answer the burning question about which of our outstanding FNHL goalies is the best. One vote per person please (yes Mike Tully, this means you!!!). This week's games were generally better than last weeks. In the opener the White team enlisted the help of super sub Andre and proceeded to engage the Yellow team in a shootout. I didn't see the game and so I don't have any individual performances to comment on but the word in the bar was that a LOT of goals were scored by both teams and in the end the Yellow team had more firepower. The second game was apparently the game of the night in which an undermanned Black team posted an exciting come from behind 9-8 victory over the Green team. Green jumped out to an early 4-0 lead but Black battled back and scored the game winner late in the third period. Some of the individuals mentioned to me as key in the win were Rob Niemier, Pat Salvador, Ian Webber, and Ron Schlicht. I also heard that Rouss played well in the loss for Green and suffered an ankle injury which we hope is not serious. In the late game, the Red team officially confirmed that the wheels have come off suffering a 10-3 defeat at the hands of the Blue team. Mike Masello opened the scoring with a nice top shelf shot and added another goal later in the game. Rich Fleischmann had some nice assists also. John Oakes was solid in goal as usual and Joe Gracz led the D. The Red team had only seven players for most of the game and needs to get their roster back in order before goalie Chuck Austin suffers a shell-shock induced breakdown. Finally, George asked me to mention that he can get ice on Feb 1st (Super Bowl Sunday) if there are enough guys who want to play. I don't have any info on possible times yet, but if you think you might be interested, please contact him immediately.

1/10/04 - Thanks to everyone for your feedback on the new look of the site. I have also changed the host server in an effort to minimize the annoying downtime we had been experiencing. You may have noticed that I added a User Poll section that we can hopefully use as another way for you to express your opinion on things here in the FNHL. Please take a few seconds when you're here to submit your vote on the current question. All responses are anonymous. I can tell if someone is trying to "stuff the ballot box" but I cannot identify (nor do I want to) specific user info. Your privacy is respected and protected here. It was nice to be back in our regular routine after the holidays. The games this week all seemed to follow a common pattern - can you say "Blowout". In the opener, the Green team got great goaltending from Rouss and offensive spark from the line of Cavy, Dan Jennings, and Jamie Sasenbury and rolled to big win over the Red. The Red team is still trying to get their roster stabilized and key players healthy. In the second game, the Yellow team rang in the new year by rattling the cage of Blue goalie John Oakes. As usual, Jessie and Chip did a lot of damage but they also got great games out of their entire roster including Adam Rufa, Mike and Len Matyasik, Art Chamberlain, Pete Thompson and newcomer Drew. Bill Smithson didn't have a ton of work in goal but made some really good stops on shots that could have made it closer. The final score was....well let's not even go there.... Blue will look to rebound next week against Chuck Austin and the Red team. I don't have too much info on the last game but from what I heard in the bar, the Black team broke open a close game in the 3rd period and completed the one-sided night by trouncing the White team. Trade winds were blowing involving some key FNHL players but at this point it looks like there won't be any major shakeups. Also we were disappointed to hear that regular Black team goalie Rick Cummings was injured at work and will be out of action for a couple of months. We wish him well and hope he returns to the ice as quick as possible. I have a few short new letters to post and will do that as soon as I can. I would appreciate some feedback on whether there is any interest in team and/or individual photos. I have some experience with photography and a decent digital camera setup and would be willing to provide the service if people want it. I can also make some gift type items such as keychains for kids, spouses, etc. Finally I hope that everyone adds to their new years resolutions remembering to bring their checkbooks when the money is due and stopping (at least once) to thank George for all the work that he does to keep us on the ice. This is a great group, I'm proud to be a part of it and look forward to another year!!

12/23/03 - George has been advised by the rink that we will only have 1 slot available this Friday therefore we won't be able to run our usual FNHL schedule. I think it's due to maintenance on the Olympic ice. Please contact George asap if you want to be included in the group to skate at 10:15pm. Another week of action on the ice with a very wide range of results. In the first game the Green team scored a win over the White team. I don't have any info on that game except the unfortunate news that Chris DiCicco left the game after suffering a knee injury. We hope it is not serious and wish him a speedy recovery. The second game was an exceptional contest between the Blue and Black teams. Black went up 3-0 early in the game but that was all the scoring that goalie John Oakes would allow for the evening. Thanks to the goaltending behind them the Blue team had time to chip away at the lead and their efforts finally paid off in the third period when George Fleischmann scored from point blank range to tie the score. Dan Jervis added the game winner a few minutes later and the game ended with a 5-3 victory for Blue despite being outshot by a decent margin. Ricky also played well in the nets for Black. On the other end of the spectrum was the last game where an undermanned Red team just didn't have the Pompo to stay with an energized Yellow team. The game was close for the first period but that was it. After that it was all Yellow all the time. Enough said (although I'm sure Brian Banks could add a few thoughts here). I will post a new schedule as soon as George can confirm it with the rink and e-mail it to me. Quite a few payments are still outstanding so please get them in asap. Duane Pardee has been taking game action pictures and I will add them to the site as soon as I can. I have a few projects to catch up on during the holidays. Happy Holidays to all...!!!

12/16/03 - It's been almost a month since the last update and there has been a lot of opinions expressed in the letters column. Follow the link to see what some of your teammates and opponents think and suggest. It was good to be back on the ice last week in spite of the lousy weather. I don't have much info on the first game but I believe that the Red team scored a victory over the White. Goalie Rick Cummings played in the first of what turned out to be 3 games that night. In the second game a missing goalie snafu prematurely ended what was shaping up to be a pretty good game between the Blue and Green teams. Ricky filled in for Green as long as he could but had to leave during the second period and the game turned into more of a scrimmage. The nightcap turned out to be the game of the night as the Yellow team was shorthanded and facing a determined Black team (also shorthanded). Subs arrived at the end of the 2nd game and both teams got needed extra bodies. In the end, Mike Pardee provided the spark that the Black team needed and Ricky made the saves send the Yellow team to a rare 10-8 defeat. Black was up a few until the end when Chip led a furious rally to make it very close. It was good to see the return to action of Rich Fleischmann who is recovering from the loss of part of his finger in an off ice accident. Also we want to send continued thoughts and best wishes to John Neuberger who is still out of action due to an injury suffered back on 10/5. The latest word is that he is healing, but slowly and probably won't be back around until March. I'm sure he'd appreciate hearing from his friends here in the FNHL. George has also mentioned that it's not too early to start planning for this years FNHL Golf Tournament and he would appreciate some help in securing door prizes. Please see him when you have a chance and let's all do what we can to contribute. Last year's event was dampened a bit by the rain but we're hoping for better weather and we know it will be a great time, rain or shine. I have been given updated rosters and will post a new page with them when I can.

11/23/03 - I was out of town this week and I only got one game recap. Thanks to Mike Masello for the following update on the Blue vs White game.
Here is the information from tonight's game.  George's team won 7 to 3.  John played an exceptional game in net stopping a couple of breakaways.  George's friend Chris subbed for us tonight and scored two goals.  Cavy also subbed for us as and scored two goals also.  Dave Stage, Tom Gridley and Mike Masello scored one goal apiece to round out the scoring.  The other team scored a sweet goal off a nice pass right in front of the net, John never had a chance.  Sorry but I am not sure who scored the goals for the other team.  It was a well played game for both sides and Rob Conrad played a strong game keeping them within reach until the very end.  He stopped a point blank blast from George Fleischmann on a breakaway to keep his team in the game

The most important news this week is our upcoming break in the action due to the holidays. There will be no hockey at all this Friday 11/28. George can sometimes get the 10:15 slot for a pickup game, but the rink is running a tournament on 11/28 so it's not available. On the following Friday 12/5 there are also no regular FNHL games but the 10:15 slot should be available. Check with George if you're interested. We've gotten some good feedback in the letters column. Thanks as always for your input.

11/16/03 - It was a bad weather night in Cicero and there was plenty of bad weather on the ice as well. Some teams were prepared for it and managed to have a good outing but the others......it was a very long night. In the opener, the Blue team with Rich Fleischmann in attendance finally broke out of their close game routine and scored quite a few more goals than their opponent. Mike Masillo and George Fleischmann got some help from subs Dan Jennings and Dave Cavallaro in leading the way to a 12-5 win over the Black. Lot's of one-timer goals in this one and Ricky had a piece of most of them - but not enough to keep them out. In the second game the Yellow team with the addition of a very talented sub (just what they needed right??) were still held to a close game by the Red team. I didn't get the individual stats but I was told the score was about 10-8. Lots of controversy swirling over this latest "out of league" sub incident. We'll see what develops....George has mentioned that we may be in need of a league meeting to try to decide on a policy to deal with such situations. You can always e-mail us with your feedback at any time. In the late game things started out good for the new look White team. Herrick Teeter, Chris Baldwin and sub Steve Kokkoris scored to get them an early lead over the Green team. But then the Green team scored...and scored....and scored....and scored...and scored...etc. What had the makings of a close game fell apart into a really lopsided affair. Bill Cummings led the offense for the Green, but pretty much everyone added their share as well. Rouss allowed only one goal after the first 8 minutes to ensure that there would be no comeback. The Green team noticed afterward that they are now 3-0 without Dan Jennings in the lineup....hmmmm. I will be out of town next weekend so hopefully someone will let me know how things go. Finally, George may still have a couple of openings for the Sunday morning group (7am-8:30am) at Cicero. I will be posting a schedule for that group here in the next week or two. It's a good skate and for $5 a week you can't beat it (even if LaBarre manages to pull himself away from his young harem to attend). Talk to George asap if you're interested.

11/09/03 - We are getting closer (some teams more than others) to having the regular teams back in place and the rivalries are definitely starting to heat up. In the opener, the Red team did indeed win in their game with the Green team. Unfortunately for them they did not win the game. What they won was the respect of those involved by hanging close and making a nice comeback despite being very shorthanded (7 players I think). Tony Pompo flew solo without brother Brian and led the comeback. Ricky did a nice job filling in for Chuck in the nets. In the end, the Green team refused to lose and held on for a 6-4 (or 7-5) win. Rouss was strong in the nets and Jamie Sassenbury, Chris DiCicco, and Dave Cavallaro provided the spark they needed when it mattered. I didn't see much of the second game but I heard plenty about it later. The Black team got an excellent performance from the line of Moses Rivera, Mark Schumacher, and Ian Webber who scored three goals on a shift twice in the game to help deliver a 13-8 win for the men in black. Al Molsan earned a Molson for the White team scoring 4 goals in the loss. Herrick Teeter did not score for the White team but apparently made enough of an impression on the Black team that I was asked to mention it here. Teeter did mention that Schumacher's range is anything inside of 6 inches - beyond that, forget it. In the nightcap the Blue team reverted back to their "close but no cigar" mode and dropped a one goal game to the new look Yellow team. The final score was either 9-8 or 10-9. Dan Jervis scored 6 goals for Blue and Dave Cavallaro, filling in for Rich Fleischmann, added two. Jesse and Chip each had some nice individual efforts for the Yellow team. Unfortunately I don't know most of their roster anymore so I can't add much more than that. Finally a couple of new photos have been added to the fun photo gallery...Thanks to Nicole for her contributions!!

11/02/03 - I would have liked to open this weeks news with the story of a close win by the Blue team but unfortunately that is now but a footnote. Sunday afternoon Rich Fleischmann was injured while moving to his new house. Apparently the injury is quite serious and cost him part of one of his fingers. This is obviously terrible news for Rich and his family and I know I speak for the entire FNHL in wishing him a speedy recovery. As a fellow Blue team member and friend and line-mate of Rich's the news is especially tough to hear. Rich is a class act and easily one of the most improved players in the league. Hopefully he will return to the ice at some point, but it will be a long road back...Anyway we did play the games this week and as noted the Blue team finally won one of the close games they have been playing 6-5 over the Red team. Rich had one of his best games of the season scoring three goals including the game winner with just over a minute to play. Brad Beran also scored again for Blue and John Oakes was outstanding in the nets. In the second game on the NHL ice the Yellow team was simply too much for a small collection of regular White team players and an assortment of subs. I'd like to list the scorers but let's just say it was pretty much everyone. I don't know what the final score was, but it was not pretty. On the Olympic ice the parade of Halloween subs continued. Jesse and Chip (making a rare special guest appearance) helped get the Black team off to a big lead over the Green, before joining their regular team, and then the few remaining Black players led by Greg Sniffen and Ron Niemier scored just enough to hold off a determined Green squad. Dave Cavallaro, Chris Mills and John Albanese sparked the Green comeback. The final score was about 13-12.

10/29/03 - Due to Halloween, the early game (4 vs 5) on the NHL ice for this Friday has been moved to 10:15 so it now becomes the late game. Teams 6 and 3 will start on the NHL ice at 9:15 instead of 9:30. Please make a note of it and remind your players of the change. Thanks

10/26/03 - "How the hell did we wind up like this and why weren't we able, to see the signs that we missed and try to turn the tables." (Nicklelback, 2003). The above quote pretty much sums up the week for the "primary color" teams of Red, Green and Blue...In the opener, the White team was hitting on all cylinders and out-gunned the Green team by a score of about 12-7. Chris Baldwin had four goals and Tom Ferrara added a nice breakaway goal while Bill Hopkins and Dave Cornell anchored the defense. The Green team skated hard but had a little too much Christmas spirit turning the puck over several times in their own zone and White made them pay....The pre-Halloween horror continued into the next game where the Blue team, facing the Black, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and squandered a nice effort by goalie John Oakes in the process. It was an excellent game, very even throughout. Black jumped out to an early lead, Blue answered with goals by Brad Beran and Dan Jervis and took a 5-4 lead into the last two minutes of the game. But it was not to be. Black's captain Greg Sniffen tied the game with a great individual effort skating around the defender and beating Oakes on the ice off the far post. Then Moses Rivera broke the hearts of Blue fans everywhere (yes, both of them) by scoring the game winner about 40 seconds later. Rick Cummings secured the victory by stopping Dan Jervis on a semi-breakaway with 15 seconds left....In the late game, the Red team had been on a roll lately and held the Yellow team to a 3-3 tie in the first period but it was all downhill from there. Jesse was not in the house for the Yellow team but Andre, Chip, Derek, Pete, Len and Mike were more than able to pick up the slack. I'm pretty sure that all of them scored at least once in the final two periods (at least it seemed that way). The final score was around 11-5, enough said....

10/18/03 - I have heard that at least some of the people who were blocked from our site are able to get to the alternate location www.dailygripe.com . The schedule for the next six weeks should be posted soon. This weeks big story happened in the late game as the Blue and Green teams squared off. Green got off to a quick start when John Albanese and John Koninos each took advantage of bad clearing attempts by the Blue team and just like that it was 2-0. Chris Dicicco added another goal in the second for a 3-0 lead while Rouss was outstanding in the nets stopping several point blank Blue opportunities. But the game was far from over. Blue goalie John Oakes shut the door on Green time after time giving Blue a chance to recover. In the 3rd period, Dan Jervis, Steve Kokkoris, and Tom Gridley scored for Blue and George Fleischmann had two assists and suddenly the score was tied. The game went back and forth until there were about 4 minutes left. Then Dave Cavallaro threaded a sweet pass to Chris Dicicco who made no mistake on his one-timer and Green was back in the lead 4-3. Rouss made sure that the lead would hold up from there despite several excellent chances for Blue and an empty net goal with 13 seconds left sealed the deal. The Green team did what the Red Sox and Cubs could not - they found a way to win and finally put an end to the "slumping Green team" curse. All in all it was an excellent game and a great example of why we come out and play here each week. In the second game the Red Team continued to win, topping the White team by a score of about 12-4. Nick Smith and Moses (?) were among the scorers for the White team. Nick Julian Sr. returned to action and scored for Red and Frank Wilson scored his second career FNHL goal. Mike Tully and the Pompo brothers also scored for Red and Brian Banks was solid on D. Chuck Austin had a strong game on the nets from start to finish  Thanks to Mike Tully who e-mailed me with the highlights. In the early game I know that the Jessie's absence could not prevent the Yellow team from winning as they beat the Black team by an unknown score. If anyone wants to e-mail me with the highlights I will add them later this week.

8/23/03 - Next week's games on the NHL rink will be delayed due to a junior tournament. We expect to start at 8:45pm with the second game at 10:15pm. Some good games this week, depending on which bench you occupied. The Black team with several subs was too much for the definitely slumping Green team winning by a score of about 14-4. Ron Schlicht, Moses (??) and Andre in his final FNHL game of the season led the offense. Ricky played his third strong game in a row. In the middle game, the White team with subs Andre and Charlie Chamberlain and Moses posted a big win over the Yellow team 11-6. Hopefully we will get some more detailed commentary to post from the players as several mentioned that they would like to contribute to the site. In the nightcap, an undermanned Red team held tough and skated away from the Blue team in the final period. The score was about 10-5. It was tied for most of the way until the Pompo brothers helped break it open. Blue had several chances but just couldn't get the puck past Chuck often enough to hang on. Brian Banks anchored the defense for the win.

8/20/03 - Finally had a chance to revise the website and post the game photos that I have. Last week's action was pretty good. In the first game, the Blue team hung tough for 2 1/2 periods before falling to the attack of the Yellow team. Ricky played well in net subbing in for Blue. In the middle game it was reported that the Red team won a close one over the (slumping??) Green team. Finally in the nightcap the Black team played very well and earned a victory over Bill Hopkin's group and some pretty good subs. Ricky turned in his second good game of the night including a "highlight reel" glove save to keep the victory secure. But it was definitely a team effort as Ian, Sniffen, Needles (aka Rob Niedermayer) and Moses and Mike Pardee all played well...On a serious note, George asked me to post a brief reminder to everyone that the whole point of the FNHL is to be a place where we can skate, socialize and have fun. Things usually go well, but every so often the competitive side can cause tempers to flare and create a bad situation. Please try to keep things in perspective when you're out on the ice....Remember that Friday's games will start at 8:00 not 8:15.

8/15/03 - Two very important announcements to pass along. I spoke to George this afternoon and he advised that the rink has power and tonight's games will go on as scheduled. Also, it appears that there was a slight error in the last printed schedule. It stated that the games on the NHL rink would start at 8:15pm. That was incorrect, the games on the NHL rink will start at 8:00 and 9:30 as usual. If you happen to see this before then, please make a couple of phone calls to remind the affected team mebers. Thanks!!

7/30/03 - FNHL games continue to look like an episode of "The Replacements" as teams scramble to fill the spots. But this can also make for some interesting games. Last week's late game was a prime example as the Green team scored a come from behind overtime win against a tough Black (white?? yellow?? I need a roster sheet George!!) team with Jesse, Derek Crowley, Moses (??) and others as subs. Add that group to Ian, "Needles" (what the heck is your real name anyway??) and Ricky in the nets and you've got a pretty tough team to beat. But the Green team was up to the challenge. Throughout the game, Green stayed close and a nice shot by John Albanese tied the game with little time left on the clock. The overtime was short-lived as Green sub Dan Jervis' shot from the high slot somehow found a way to trickle through Ricky's pads and just over the goal line. Rouss was solid in net as usual as was the Green team defense including Brett, Dan Jennings and Chris DiCicco. On the NHL rink, the Red team gained a bit of revenge on the Blue with a convincing 12-7 win. The Fleischmann brothers were away as were several other Blue regulars. Chuck Austin played well in goal for the Red team and I think it's safe to say if Blue never sees Andre again it will be too soon. No report on the early game but I'll go out on a limb and say it went something like this....Jesse and Chip score, Derek anchors the D and their team wins by a touchdown....Pretty close???

7/21/03 - Pete's FNHL debut was a success as the Blue team defeated Black by a wide margin. Unfortunately Bob LaBarre injured his shoulder and has been out of action ever since. We wish him a speedy recovery. Just for the record, Pete had nothing to do with it......or did he??? Thanks to vacations and injuries it's been hard to tell the players without a scorecard but the games have continued. Last week Andre made another guest appearance and Bill Hopkins team gained some revenge on Blue with a 9-6 (?) victory. We're still looking for a couple of people to volunteer to e-mail a more complete recap of their games each week. Please let George or Dan Jervis know if you are interested. We also now have some real (un-edited) FNHL photos and will be posting a gallery as soon as time permits. Thanks to Chuck Austin for volunteering to take a few pictures. The Blue-Green rematch is scheduled for August 8th, should be interesting.

6/23/03 - First and most importantly, congratulations and best wishes to Rich Fleischmann who was married this past Saturday. We wish you a lifetime of success and happiness (and of course hockey!!!). Rich also had quite a week on the ice. He netted a hat trick in leading the Blue team to an impressive 7-2 victory over their arch rival, the Green team. Dan Jervis, Mike Masillo and Tom Gridley also scored for the Blue team and John (last name??) had an excellent night in goal, pitching a shutout until late in the 3rd period. Rouss played well in net for the Green's but it was just not their night. Wearing the green uniforms was a nice touch, but no substitute for putting the puck in the net. In other games last week, Bill Hopkins team (with a special guest appearance by Andre) came through with a huge offensive outburst and rolled over the Red team. I'm not sure of the final score, but it was rumored to be about 15-8. Oh and here's a big surprise....Jessie and Chip score a ton of goals helping their team to a 2 touchdown win over the Black team.....the final score was somewhere around 24-12. Next week, Pete Jervis makes his FNHL debut for the Blue team in the 9:30 game vs Black. He's heard that Bob LaBarre's been talking trash for weeks now and will be out to make sure that Bob remembers the evening.

6/1/03 - Despite the weather, which was lousy, our first annual golf tournament was a success. We had a great turnout and quite a few teams managed to finish the course in spite of the rain. Congratulations to Chris DiCicco,  Dan Jennings and their partners on being the inaugural champions!! It was a nice opportunity to get together and socialize and meet the friends and family members of our teammates (and opponents) on the ice. Special thanks to George for putting the tournament together. It took a lot of hard work to get everything in place and I know it was appreciated by all!!! As promised, there were plenty of prizes for everyone, check with George if you had to leave early because I think there may be some prizes reserved for those people. We're already looking forward to next years tournament and a warm sunny day!! 

5/10/03 - If only the rest of the tournament had gone as well......Despite a great effort by all, it was not to be as Team Jacksonville/FNHL couldn't get past a team of college and junior players from Lewiston ME. In the last game of the round robin bracket a late comeback fell just short. The final score was 7-6. Dan Jervis scored two goals and Mike Tully added one in the near comeback. The two teams met again in the finals and surprisingly they shut down our usually high scoring attack. The score was 1-1 until late in the 3rd period when our opponents exploded and won the game 5-1. Chuck Austin was outstanding throughout the game and Bob LaBarre and George Fleischmann were solid on D. All in all it was a great experience and we hope to be able to put more FNHL tournament teams together in the future. Let us know if you're interested.

5/3/03 - We are happy to report that our FNHL representatives on "Team Jacksonville" are having a good time and holding our own in the tournaments top division. Last night we beat a team from Montreal 8-6. Chuck Austin came up with some big saves late in the game to secure the win. Dan Jervis added a goal in the victory as well. After a night of celebration that ran to about 6am we were back at the rink by noon to face a team from Ontario and managed to win another one 10 - 5. Mike Tully had a goal and Dan Jervis had a goal and an assist. Once again Chuck made the key saves. George and Bob LaBarre have been solid on D in both games. Today was tough because one of our "ringers" from Jacksonville had to leave so we were down to 3 defenseman. We play again tonight at 6:45 and are already assured of being in the championship game tomorrow at 10:15am. It's been a great time so far and the opportunity to join up with the Jacksonville group has been a pleasure. Those guys are awesome and move the puck to the net with amazing speed and skill. Many thanks to our new friends. So that's the story. Win or lose from here on, it's been great.