I’m sitting about 20 rows up at the Peterborough Memorial Centre watching the Petes take on the visiting Windsor Spitfires on a typical Thursday night of OHL action. I never went to many games, but when CHE councillor and family friend Steve Webb was in town with the Spitfires it was as good a reason as any. And finally, midway through the 3rd period, a quiet skirmish in the corner quickly erupted as Webby and Petes tough guy Matt Johnson squared off at the far end of the ice. Giving up 7 inches and 25 pounds, little Webby (comparative term) did more than hold his own as he fired his fists as quickly humanly possible for a minute or so until both players fell to the ice on top of a pool of blood. “Looks like Webby caught him.” said my dad as both players left the ice in front of a roaring crowd, the home town boy having beat up on the local teams goon. Until we ran into him after the game, we had no idea how wrong we were. “Got a fresh zipper Crow.” Steve says to my dad in a wraspy voice with a wry smile and a wink. He was never the biggest, fastest or strongest player, but there’s one thing that Steve Webb figured out early and did really well: stuck to his roll.
Drafted 176th overall to the Buffalo Sabres in 1994, it took just 2 years for Webby to make his mark in the NHL with the New York Islanders where he quickly gained the respect of his team-mates and the local community. His hard nosed, blue collar style was exactly what the Long Island fans were looking for after years of sub par teams. But it was during the 2002 playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs the he really made his mark, much to the chagrin of the Maple Leafs faithful. He made such an impact with the Islander fans a packed Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum chanting his name after he annihilated Darcy Tucker into the boards. (Tucker had earlier taken out Islanders captain Michael Peca who missed the rest of the series). For a self proclaimed ‘slow skater, bad passer and poor shooter” he had a fantastic career in Long Island. And some dedicated fans have even compiled a video of his impact (literally & figuratively) here. (NSFW + volume)
These days, Steve has taken his desire to help out his team mates and transferred those skills and desires to helping out people in need in his community. He started to take part in organizing fundraisers for student athletes, super long bike rides for cancer and all kinds of community activities. He founded the W20 Foundation in 2007 in order to help student athletes in need be able to attend the college or university of their choice. W20 is encompassed within Team Up 4 Community and continue to help local athletes take the steps necessary to achieve their dreams. (http://www.teamup4community.org/) He also works with the NHLPA as a divisional representative and from time to time he even graces us with his presence at one of our Adult Hockey Tournament or Camps. Usually he goes to Lake Placid…he really likes Lake Placid.
URGENT…LIMITED SPOTS LEFT… CALL OUR OFFICE AND REGISTER YOUR TEAM! I am currently in Jasper, Alberta and looking out at Lake Mildred Pond from the out-door pool at the Jasper Park Lodge, in the Rocky Mountains. Current temp is -20 and powder snow covers the mountains. This could be you in February when you participate in our 1st Annual Pond Hockey Challenge here in Jasper that runs from February 7-9, 2014. Grooming has begun on Lake Mildred to prepare the 4-large rinks. This tournament is 4 on 4 and each team is guaranteed 4 games on this breath taking Lake Mildred Pond. Fire Pits, ice benches, the smell of hot dogs and peanuts over the fire, doesn’t this sound inviting? The Jasper Park Lodge will host the site of this tournament and will be catering to every player’s needs and desire. All you need is 6 players, skates, helmet, shin-pads, stick and gloves and you are set to dangle around on the 4 beautiful ice surfaces that this tournament will be using. Is there a better way to say you are Canadian then playing in an outdoor pond hockey tournament in the Rocky Mountains? On Saturday Night CHE will be throwing a Meet and Greet Party starting just after 7 PM, where appetizers, beverages and lots of laughs and stories from the day’s events will be held inside the Jasper Park lodge.
The Jasper Park Lodge offers not only breath taking views inside and out but it has its own beautiful salt water heated pool, with amazing spa, plus restaurants and shops all throughout the building. You really need to come and check out this place, it is time you treat you and your family to some relaxation…
The Jasper Park lodge is only minutes from downtown Jasper, where incredible shopping and night life at “O’Shea’s Pub” and “The Jasper Brewing Company or if you are up for dancing the night away, head to The Atha-B Nightclub! For all the boarders and Skiers, venture out to Marmot Basin Ski Area, where the mountain and snow will simply amaze you. Bring the family and make it a vacation, there is something to do for all ages in this town.
Don’t miss out, we are offering an early bird discount if registered before December 15th, 2013, call our office at 1-800-461-2161. What is holding you back from this amazing Canadian vacation? See you on the pond, bring you’re A game!
For many years here at Canadian Hockey Enterprises we’ve run a small tournament, maybe 12 teams, that ran in November each year in Las Vegas. We’d always had a fall event in Montreal, but decided in the early 2000’s to offer something in Las Vegas to give our western teams an option for tournaments in the fall, at least an option with cheaper flights. Then 5 year’s ago, with tournament enrolment hitting a record low with just 4 teams teams, we decided the November Las Vegas tournament needed a makeover, and the Tournament of Champions (TOC) was born.
The premise is simple; create an event where each division is made of of teams who either won or placed 2nd within that same division at a different tournament the previous spring. As if people need an extra incentive to head to Vegas, we decided to give a discount to all teams that make it into the finals during our spring tournaments. Teams that win their division receive a $500 discount and teams that finish 2nd in their division receive a $250 discount. So in the spring of 2010 we began handing out our TOC letters to championship teams at all of our spring tournaments, and the “Let’s go to Vegas” banter began almost immediately.
It was pretty obvious right away that our teams loved the idea. Come November 2010 and the tournament that had just 4 teams the previous year had 24 teams ready to compete for the championship trophy. The it grew to 28 teams. Then 32 teams. And as of tomorrow morning, our 4th Annual Tournament of Champions will have 39 men’s & women’s teams competing for their shot to hoist the Champions Cup.
This year we have teams coming from all over North America and you can keep up with scores and results through our website. Here’s a list of the teams attending.
Santa Barbara Rasputins – Santa Barbara, CA
Beaumont Fogduckers – Beaumont, AB
Dofasco Penguins – Hamilton, ON
Varsity Wings – Calgary, AB
OC Labatt – Santa Ana, CA
Moberly Lakers – Kamloops, BC
Las Vegas Hot Shots – Las Vegas, NV
Strange Brew – Caledonia, ON
Jadaco – Toronto, ON
Himark – Edson, AB
Pilot Butte Old Timers – Pilot Butte, SK
Iron Sheiks – Richmond, BC
Ipsco Junior Ingots – Regina, SK
Red Wings – High Prairie, AB
Drumheller Ratz – Drumheller, AB
Vipers – Holly Springs, NC
Chiefs – Victoria, BC
Warriors – Salmon Arm, BC
Millet Mulishia – Leduc, AB
Bulyea Bandits – Strasbourg, SK
Puck This – Las Vegas, NV
Those Guys – Concord, NH
L.A Chill – Malibu, CA
Highrollers – Stony Plain, AB
Hosers – Edmonton, AB
Phat and Slow – Calgary, AB
Blackhawks – Coquitlam, BC
Hinton Old Warriors – Hinton, AB
Scouts – Levittown, NY
Cyclones – Tampa Bay, FL
Ice Aged – Rossburn, MB
Hawks – Calgary, AB
White Rock Aces – Richmond, BC
Krumbs – McKinney, TX
Hatrick Heroes – Newport Beach, CA
Canadian Bacon – Caledonia, ON
Molson Canadian – Culver City, CA
Crimson Kings – Orange County, CA
Chicago Hawks – Chicago, IL
From everyone here at CHE we wish all participating teams the best of luck this weekend, and if you happen to be in Las Vegas, head over to the Las Vegas Ice Center and check out some of the action.
With over 100000 subscribers, the world of http://www.reddit.com/r/hockey is a great place to go for all things hockey, but every once in a while someone really bright will put something together that just has to be shared. One such redditor created this incredibly detailed interactive draft history site where you can see how your teams draft choices have paid off over the past 45 years. It takes a bit of playing around to figure out exactly what all of the infographics are saying, but once you do it’s extremely informative and interesting.
We’re going back….way back….all the way back to Halloween 2011.
For this weeks Throwback Thursday we’re going to keep it in the family for the Halloween edition with a hockey twist. It was October 30, 2011 and my little 4 year old nephew Owen was pumped about the spiderman costume he was going to wear the next day. A little too excited. He was literally bouncing around the rec room displaying his natural ability to shoot webs from his wrists and subsequently end up at that location that his energy and exuberance got the better of him. A one foot wide table/bar, placed against the back of the couch would be little spidey’s undoing. As he tried to pull himself onto this table he so recently caught with his webs, the narrow bar leaned back until it overcame Owen, knocking him on his back and landing right smack on his tiny, tiny nose.
The result was less than pleasant and young Owen was rushed to the hospital with a broken nose, a small cut requiring some stitches and a couple of beautiful shiners. And the worse thing was, his face was too sore to wear the spiderman mask. Luckily Owen comes from a family with a rich history of bloody noses and black eyes. He comes from a hockey family and soon the tragedy was turned to triumph as the red and blue spidey costume was replaced with the red, gold, black and white of an Ottawa Senators jersey, and just like that, a hockey goon was born.
By far the most rewarding part of my job is the interesting people I get to work with and for throughout the year. Over the years at Canadian Hockey Enterprises we have created a stable staff members so incredibly varied and interesting it’s always great seeing some long time friends in the hotel lobby. Whether it’s listening to Gilles Gilbert complain about light beer, or seeing Murray Price stroll through the lobby in Banff wearing strictly neon apparel, our unique staff members are what makes our tournaments so great.
Then there’s Rob Ralph, or Ralphy as he’s affectionately known.
Seen here in his natural habitat, a young(ish) Rob Ralph, sporting a beautiful red suede brimmed CHE souvenir hat, tries to convince a flock of females to give him their leftover food.
Rob has been with CHE since the beginning and it’s his sense of humor and exuberance that makes him a pleasure to work with. Always willing to play the roll of class clown, Ralphy always has that timely story, joke or commentary to cut the tension in the room., most of which revolve around food. When he’s not working tournaments you can find him replacement workers on buses past picket lines, selling hot dogs in Bracebridge or dancing to disco…anywhere he can find it. If you’d like to see a little bit about Ralphy you can friend him on facebook here and see some of his hilarious and valuable insights, or take a look at this article about his sons, but mostly talks about Rob’s history (here) including his time performing as Ogie Ogilthorpe/bus driver in a live action Slap Shot Tour.
It’s not something you see everyday, but we may see it again soon.
As the perennial top 2 teams in Womens Hockey, Team Canada and Team USA opened their 6 game Olympic tune up series in Burlington Vermont on October 12th. As with all previous Olympics, the two teams are the overwhelming favourites to battle for the gold medal in Sochi this February. That said, between the two, there’s not a lot of disparity and their match-ups are often intense and physical, but I don’t think anyone saw this coming. Canada held a 3-2 lead with just over 3 minutes left in the third period when USA’s Monique Lamoureux drove hard to the net, taking out Canada’s Sharon Szabados in the process, leading to an all out line brawl.
Canada ended up holding the USA off and winning the game 3 – 2. The two teams will square ff again tomorrow night in Boisibriand, QC and 4 more times before the new year so expect to see some more fireworks between these well matched squads as they tune up for the Olympics. Click here for a list of game dates and locations.