After a more than 2 year absence it would only be fitting that VRH would hit the pavement again in its 15th year anniversary (and 20th year anniversary of Burton Hockey). Huge props should be given to Ryno (aka The Rhymenoceros) for not only being the initial impetus for re-invigorating VRH, but also co-organising this session and miraculously finding three more, much needed, skaters at the last minute. This would be a unique session featuring the youngest player ever to join VRH (Alex's 10 year old son Allister), two new players and a couple long absent players. The numbers overall ended up just perfect with a sub on each team.
While the sun was shining with warm but moderate temps, the day begin with some trepidation as the rink was full of soccer players in the midst of a game. But as more and more VRH players arrived, it was as if a the universe had ordained hockey to be played on this day: tragically (for them) the soccer players' ball went over the fence and was immediately struck by a car and destroyed. And that was the signal for hockey to begin!
Sticks-in-the-middle produced a balanced looking matchup of Ryno-Bernie-Alex-Scott-Dom(G) versus Markus, Allister and the two Johns with Stu in net. Indeed, the teams would prove to be very even, with the first game being decided in sudden death OT by a rifle of a shot from Scott, to go along with a 4 point effort from Alex. It should also be noted that this first game dragged on for over an hour, and featured some absolutely incredible goaltending from both Dom and Stu.
The second game in the series would also go to OT and again would result in a team Dom victory, with Bernie potting the winner this time and Ryno providing a 5 point performance.
Normally at this point the series would be over and the team's changed but Markus wanted redemption and dared team Dom to a triple-or-nothing game. With the lure of winning 3 Stanley Cups team Dom agreed. But as Alex wanted to play with his son (and vice versa) the teams were modified slightly, with the two John's being traded for Alex and Ryno. Suffice it to say, Marcus would not achieve much sought after redemption with Dom stepping up big allowing only one goal and John Chou putting up 5 points and a hat-trick.
With the hour getting late and tiredness and soreness setting in, the session seemed close to finished, but Markus still hadn't had enough and dared team Dom to a quadruple-or-nothing game. And lo and behold, the 4th time would be the charm giving team Stu a much coveted victory.
Despite the massive age gap Allister managed to hold his own and pot 2 assists. Might we be witnessing the very beginnings of the next generation of Burton Hockey?
This was a very wide open offensive session with many glorious chances, which was exceedingly fun, but it should be noted that the goalies certainly had their work cut out for them, and their stats may not accurately demonstrate just how solid and often spectacular they were.
With everyone enjoying themselves immensely it was tentatively agreed to hit the pavement again next weekend, so look for more VRH to come!
Thanks, Bern! 20 years, 2 months, and 1 day after the first Burton Hockey session, Burton Hockey has returned. Should the gang indeed get together next weekend, come July VRH will have actually lasted longer than BUSH, the original flavour of Burton-style hockey-based mayhem. For the second session in a row (nearly three years later, but still...), Ryan takes first star in scoring on an evenly-balanced 6G-6A, edging John Chou (7G-4A) by a point, though John still picks up his first-ever star points. Scott rounds out the offensive three stars with 6G-3A. In goal, Dom was brilliant as always with .860, while Stu had a fine day as well at .827. Both goalies picked up 86 saves.
Ryan Bernie Alex Scott Dom def. Markus Allister Johns Stu 5-4 5-4
Scott Bernie Johns Dom vs. Ryan Allister Alex Markus Stu 5-1 3-5
Length of session: 3h 00min
Season Stats: Being the first session since 20-bloody-17, the session stats are the season stats.
SDF/GDF: The SDF is designed based upon having a full complement of sessions on board to work with. When you haven’t played in nearly three years, guess what happens? Everything gets reset. Thus, Ryan takes the top spot on the SDF for the first time in his long Burton career. This is the first time that Oliver Koth-Kappus has not appeared in an SDF ranking in Burton Hockey history... Dom, as always, holds the top of the GDF; it’s his 30th career ranking led.
On the All-Time Front: Ryan is one goal behind Justin Gordon for 10th all-time and needs 20 more assists for 500... Dom needs 55 saves for 11,000... Ryan is one game behind Nathan Robson for 15th in games played... Dom becomes the first player to goaltend 700 games, while Stu passes 150 games goaltended... Dom needs ten goalie star points to become the first goalie with 1,000; he also passes 1,000 total star points and is the third player to do so... Stu sets makes history by tying Bron Mach for the longest streak of .800 save percentage sessions ever at 1; he is sixth all-time overall at 27 (Dom, by the way, sits at 28)... Dom records his 60th career .810 session, while Stu now has five in a row... Dom has 52 .820s while Stu becomes the sixth goalie with 20... Stu’s streak of .830 sessions (which dates back to the last time he played, which was in 2015) ends at four... Dom has back-to-back .850s, a mere 31-and-a-bit months apart... This was Dom’s 73rd 80-save session (the next closest player is at 37) and Stu’s 20th... Bernie has the seventh-longest consecutive session streak ever at 32, dating back to 9 June 2013, while Dom has a current streak of seven.
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