The Vancouver Wellwoods, PITB’s official womens’ road hockey team, were in action over the weekend, competing in Play On!’s regional division championships. Decked out in their fancy new duds, sponsored by BC Diabetes and local bachelor Ken Johnson, they took the title. They also wrote about their success in a guest post for Pass it to Bulis. Here’s Captain Morgain Tierney, detailing how it all went down.
By Morgan Tierney, Vancouver Wellwoods
As you’ve probably already heard from all the local papers and media outlets, yesterday the Vancouver Wellwoods were crowned Hockey Night In Canada Presents Play On! 4-on-4 Street Hockey Burnaby Regional Elite Female Division Champions (ah, the coveted HNICPPO!4O4SHBREFDC title).
Like all of our tournaments, this one was an uphill battle filled with drama and intrigue. Let me break it all down for you in excruciating detail.
Going into the weekend, I felt like I had everything together. I planned to come straight home from work on Friday, eat a healthy dinner, and go to bed early. Needless to say, things did not go according to plan. My office ended up having a fairly large party on Friday, with unlimited beer and lots of plates of bacon strips (a.k.a. my kind of party). By the end of the night, I was stumbling around drunk, I had lost my phone, and I was stuffed full of an unholy combo of cured meats, cheeses and sushi.
And to cap it all off, I ended up with a mild case of food poisoning that had me waking up and running to the bathroom all night. I blame the steak tartar.
(Life Lesson #1: avoid eating raw beef as your pre-game meal.)
We had our full team on Saturday morning, and aside from me still being a bit green around the gills, everyone was in reasonable condition. We were playing Alkali Lake, a talented, physical team that beat us in the round robin last year. We came flying out of the gate and were up 4-0 at halftime. They mounted a comeback in the second half, but we ended up winning 8-4. Over the years, we’ve had a history of slow starts, so it was nice to actually play a decent first game this year.
(Life Lesson #2: when playing on a sloped surface, choose the end of the rink facing uphill so you’ll feel faster on the backcheck.)
Game 2 was against a team we’d never seen before. They were called the EI BAMFS. I don’t even want to know what that means. They had custom shirts with Peter Griffin saying “YEEEAAAHH!” on them, and one of their girls had a killer top-corner snapshot. We beat them 12-2 by the mercy rule, which is a good thing because they were much younger than us, and their 19-year-old enthusiasm was beginning to wear us down. Fun fact: during the post-game handshakes, a group of guys walked by and yelled “HOW’S KEN JOHNSON??” confusing everyone in the surrounding area.
(Life Lesson #3: when in doubt, pass it to Kristie. Our designated sniper Kristie Sykes scored eight goals in our 12-2 victory, with a total of 19 on the weekend. To quote Abraham Lincoln, “That’s bananas.”)
Editor’s note: Pass it to Kristie is the name of PITB’s women’s issues blog.
We had a bit of a break before game 3, so after watching Haleigh Callison play in the celebrity game (in which her team narrowly beat Florida Panther Mike Santorelli’s team), we used the extra time to play our own special game: Wellwoods vs. Bottomless Steak Fries.
Street hockey makes us fairly ravenous, and Red Robin had no idea what hit it.
This is when the day got really interesting, because three of our players had to leave to go to weddings in the afternoon. This meant we played our last game of the day with only three players and a goalie – no changes for the entire game! Kim Allan, Kristie Sykes, and Sawa Matsumura gave it their all, but we still ended up getting whacked by the Wack Attack, a team of Chilliwack firefighters (I think).
They love to shoot from literally everywhere, which is kinda stressful for a goalie because the potential for Cloutier-esque beach ball goals is high. I think the final score was 10-5 for them, but it was hard to keep score while weeping softly into my goalie mask. Later that evening, I took my sadness out on a “Darby Burger” – for those keeping score at home, that’s a beef burger with pork ribs on it. I regret nothing.
Our 2-1 record put us in 2nd place overall going into Sunday, so we advanced to a semifinal rematch vs. Alkali Lake. The girls who had weddings the night before were looking pretty haggard in the morning, but our day was brightened by the arrival of a very special visitor: the man, the legend, the one and only Ken Johnson.
After meeting with Ken, we are more determined than ever to find this nice young fellow his lady bird. He’s a Canucks fan, loves animals and the outdoors, and if you’ve been a passenger on the Spirit of BC lately, odds are you have Ken to thank for steering your ship to Swartz Bay safely. He even volunteered to carry my goalie bag for me. This guy’s a catch, ladies!
Our semi-final ended up being a really, really close game. Chances were traded at both ends, and we just managed to squeak out a 5-3 victory to qualify for the finals. We actually had a group of really great fans for that game – they cheered us on, yelled instructions, and gave Kim Allan a rousing ovation when she blocked a slapshot with her right ovary. (a standing ovary-vation?)
We had just enough time before the final for our muscles to become extremely sore. Fittingly, our opponent in the finals was the Wack Attack, and we did not want to be the victims of a second whacking (wacking?).
We held a narrow 2-1 lead at halftime before we finally managed to break through. We won the final 5-2, despite me letting in a goal on a dump-in from centre (i.e., a Cloutier special) that I probably should have been paying attention to. The win wasn’t nearly as climactic as our come-from-behind shootout victory over the Hawks two years ago, but it feels just as good knowing that we’ve qualified for Nationals again.
What’s next for the Wellwoods? Quite a few things, actually. We’ll be playing in Five Hole For Food downtown on July 21st, then Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer in October. And hopefully, if we really save our pennies for the next few months, we’ll all be able to fly to Niagara Falls for the street hockey Nationals at the end of September. That trip would make for quite a documentary.
We’ll be raising money for cancer throughout the summer. Follow us at @thewellwoods for all the details!Tags: pitb's official women's road hockey team, Road Hockey, Vancouver Wellwoods