One year, six months and nineteen days. That's how long it's been since VRH has last hit the pavement of Ambleside, or any Burton Hockey has been played for that matter. After a Murphy-ish year in 2016, and only the second attempt to even organize a session this year (due to several factors), it would take nothing short of a miracle for this session come to fruition. But indeed the stars would truly align on this day; not only would Sam happen to be in town for just this weekend, but numbers would work out near-perfectly, and after an early morning scare (a change in the forecast for the worse and showers on the radar) Murphy would take a break on this day and we'd be blessed with a moderate mix of sun & cloud which couldn't have been better for hockey.
The first game would see Rob-Stefan-Tony-Bernie-Dom(G) face Darrel-Ryno-Ollie- Sam(G). Play was fairly even but Team Dom would win it on the back or a Rob hat-trick and a 4 point effort from Tony. Of course it wouldn't be VRH without a chance for redemption, and indeed Sam would provide some great goaltending to backstop his team to a 5-3 win, while Darrel would lead the offensive charge with 5 points. It would only be fitting that the “rubber match” would go to sudden death OT. While team Sam outplayed their opposition, Dom's non-stop highlight reel antics kept his team in the game, but eventually Rhino would put it away for the series win. After one more game and over 2.5 hours of hockey total, the exhaustion was evident and the session would end.
Props to Laura for being stats keeper and driver today!
Though it was great to get another session in the books and the game itself could not have been more enjoyable, what truly made this session special was the friendship & camaraderie that Burton Hockey brings, and seeing some familiar faces again (it's been far too long!).
While the general short-term outlook doesn't look great (people out of town / busy, not enough goalies etc.), VRH will always be ready, waiting in the wings, ready to pounce the moment ol' Murph looks the other way!
Thanks, Bern (and Laura)! Both of them also took some photos of the day's action which may or may not show up below based upon whether Flickr's API even exists anymore. I can't believe my eyes – they got the band back together, kids, even if just for one day. Time to dust off the old stats book (which still bears the 17-year-old imprint of a certain write-up author sitting on it with a calculator trapped inside) and see if I still remember how to do this. In a session with lots of scoring over just four games, taking first start honours was Rob at 7G-5A, edging out Ryan (7G-4A) and Ollie (4G-7A) by a point. In goal, the ever-present Dom recaptured his form of yore with .807, while Sam shook off the rust of the first game and recovered to finish at .783. I have no idea when or if this will happen again, so I just want to thank everyone for the fun throwback today.
Sam Darrel Oliver Ryan def. Dom Rob Tony Stefan Bernie 2-5 5-3 5-4
Oliver Stefan Rob Sam def. Ryan Tony Darrel Bernie Dom 5-3
Length of session: 2h 30 min
Season Stats: Well, wouldn't those be nice. Obviously, this session's stats are the season stats, so this section is a bit redundant.
SDF/GDF: With over a year-and-a-half of inaction in Burton Hockey, the SDF and GDF are entirely reset (no session more than a year old can be on the rankings), which means that the rankings are identical in order to today's scoring and goaltending rankings, meaning that Rob leads the SDF for the first time in his storied career, and Dom leads the GDF for a 28th time.
On the All-Time Front: Oliver needs 22 points to reach the magical 3,000 mark... Bernie needs one more point to become the fourth player with 1,800... Rob needs 20 points to become the ninth player with 1,300... Ryan becomes the 13th member of the illustrious 1,000 point club... Darrel jumps up two spots to 21st on the all-time scoring list... Bernie still needs one more goal for 750... Ryan passes Pat Elischer for 11th in goals... Tony needs 11 goals for 500... Darrel needs 19 goals for 300... Oliver needs three more assist to become the first player to reach 1,800... Rob is six assists behind Andrew Smart for sixth and needs nine more for 700... Oliver needs 35 shots on goal to become the second player with 6,000... Darrel needs 34 shots for 1,500... Sam passes Joern Hornhardt for ninth in saves... Oliver passes Stefan for sole possession of second in three-star points and fourth in total star points at 925... Bernie's consecutive session streak rises to 30 (the ninth-longest ever) and dates all the way back to July 2013 thanks to Burton Hockey's hiatus... With the cessation of all activity in BUSH after May 2015's session, we can now officially declare Seamus O'Connor's consecutive session streak defunct at 12... Stefan, Bernie, and Oliver have played in all 17 seasons of Burton Hockey.
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