December 31, 2016

Shrimp Ring Bowl could be frozen out

The annual Shrimp Ring Bowl is still eight days away, but the odds against it happening are piling up.

More snow is falling on the road hockey courts, which are a tundra of crusted snow and ice. Only an extended thaw will make them playable, said the Living Legend, who dropped by Saturday to assess their condition.

“There’s about six inches of snow on the court, and it’s so hard you can walk on it,” said the fellow founding father. “It’s beyond the help of a shovel brigade; it would take a pick-axe army to clear it. Or a week of monsoon rains.”

But the weather forecast for the coming week is for continued sub-zero temperatures and, possibly, even more snow by next weekend.

That’s bad news for the roadsters, whose season has been on pause for nearly a month after a series of winter storms buried the courts and resulted in the cancellation of two games before the traditional holiday break.

If next week’s Shrimp Ring Bowl is put on ice, it won’t be the first time. In 2009 the roadsters weren’t able to launch the back half of the season until Jan. 19 after record-setting snow and cold froze the schedule for five weeks. And even then it took a heroic two-hour shoveling effort to clear the concrete.

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December 15, 2016

Season on ice until Shrimp Ring Bowl

Sunday's game is canceled.

With the road hockey courts already a frozen moonscape of ice and packed snow, and more snow in the forecast for Sunday morning, commissioner and fellow founding father Living Legend said it's best to shutter the season until the new year.

Warmer temperatures and rain are forecast beginning Monday. And with the league already scheduled to be dark the following two holiday Sundays, that gives plenty of time for Mother Nature to get the concrete surfaces back into playing condition.

"It's a busy time of year anyway," said the Legend. "It doesn't make sense to have people come out only to be disappointed that getting the court playable would require a huge effort."

The next scheduled game will be Jan. 8. It's also the Shrimp Ring Bowl, the roadsters' traditional celebration of the new year. The last game was played Dec. 4.

That means the league will have been dark for more than a month by the time play resumes, which could be good news for fellow founding father Wink, who's missed several weeks recovering from an injury. But he's been at the courts the last two games participating in warm ups and shoot arounds, indicating he's likely almost ready to return to action.

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December 11, 2016

Slushed away

The Living Legend may have been overly optimistic.

The fellow founding father was the only roadster to show up at the slushed-in hockey courts Sunday morning, hopeful the game would go on after a vigorous shovelling brigade. It didn’t happen.

Two snowstorms and a week of cold weather had deposited about four inches of snow and ice on the concrete courts. On Friday, the prospects for a game looked bleak.

But when rain rolled in and temperatures warmed, the Legend said he was confident the game could be played. He put a call out for roadsters to report with shovels.

“It would have take us about an hour to get the court in playing shape,” he said. “We’ve done it before.”

Indeed, the roadsters have a storied tradition of digging their way out of adverse conditions to ensure the weekly game could go on. They’re undaunted by torrential rain, bitter cold, snow and ice.

But as conditions improved in the neighbourhood around the hockey courts, the effects of the week’s weather lingered further afield. That may have kept many of the roadsters from committing to a long and treacherous commute. Had they ventured out, they would have encountered trouble parking near the courts, as surrounding streets were still awash with thick and slippery slush.

“We probably would have ended up having to push a few guys out,” said the Legend, who erred on the side of caution by parking along a major thoroughfare that had been properly plowed and salted.

Sunday’s snow-out may reverberate into the new year.

With sub-zero temperatures forecast for the balance of the coming week, the four inches of undisturbed slush and snow on the courts could freeze into a solid block of ice. If that happens, and prevents next week’s game from being played as well, the next time the roadsters convene would be for the Shrimp Ring Bowl on Jan. 8. The league will be dark Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

“That would make it one month without road hockey,” said the Legend. “I don’t think we’ve ever lost an entire month of a season.”

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Game on!

Warmer temperatures and steady rain have melted enough of the snow and ice to make Sunday's game possible. But roadsters will have to report to the courts with as many scrapers and shovels they can muster.

"It's going to take some work to get the court in game condition," said fellow founding father Living Legend.

The clean up is as much about next week's game. With a cold snap expected for the balance of the week, any softened snow and slush still on the court will freeze into a solidified moonscape of jagged ice that may prove impossible to clear without a prolonged thaw.

"If we clear the court this week, we'll be able to get in some semblance of a game this week and likely next week as well," said the Legend.

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December 09, 2016

Sunday's game in doubt

Sunday's game is in doubt.

Two snow storms and a deep freeze have turned the road hockey courts into a moonscape of jagged ice and crusted snow, compacted by the excited stomps of school kids during recess and lunch breaks.

"It looks pretty rough," said fellow founding father and acting commissioner Living Legend. "If we don't get a major thaw on Saturday, I don't think we'll be able to play on Sunday."

While the roadsters have a long history of working to scrape and shovel the court after adverse weather to ensure the game goes on, the Legend said the current condition of the court would take a "heroic effort and a lot of rock salt." Local stores are reportedly out of the melting agent as residents were caught unprepared for the double whammy of snow and ice.

While temperatures are expected to moderate by Saturday afternoon, more snow is forecast for the evening and Sunday.

"A lot of roadsters travel to make it to the game, so it might be unfair to ask them to risk slippery roads when there's no guarantee we can have a game," said the Legend.

Stay tuned for updates posted here, or on the Sunday Morning Road Hockey Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2016

Another big loss rattles Joker

Shot early. Shoot often. Get into Joker’s head.

That’s exactly what Bam Bam and his mates did in Sunday’s game; and for the second time in three weeks, the veteran shotstopper stormed off the court in frustration midway through a 20-8 drubbing.

Joker returned. So did the onslaught.

“We tested Joker right away,” said Bam Bam of his side’s dominant play. “We created some chaos and rebounds that Joker couldn’t control and that stirred up his mindset a little.”

In fact, with a lead that grew as large as 11-1, the winners were even able to weather the sudden departure of Colonel, who aggravated an ankle injury he suffered last week.

“They just had too much talent,” said Holt of the powerhouse opposition.

The scoring started quickly and never let up, as the winners used speed, sharp passes and aggressive forechecking to knock their opponents back on their heels.

“We played an all-around team game,” said Bam Bam. “We forechecked well, we back checked well and we had a solid goaltender.”

Indeed, Kid 2.0 has yet to loose since he strapped on the pads to reinvent his road hockey career. Much to the dismay of opposing snipers. Twice he robbed Living Legend on clean-cut decks with his glove hand.

“You’ve got to respect his patience,” said Holt, who was also stymied on several scoring chances. “He’s quiet out there, he’s nice and calm. He takes up a lot of the net.”

That confidence stokes Kid’s teammates, giving them license to press the play forward at every opportunity.

“You know whenever you’re on his side, you’re confident,” said Bam Bam. “We knew we could take our chances, but we didn’t take our defensive responsibilities for granted.”

Well, that’s not entirely true.

A late game sag allowed their overmatched opponents a run of scoring chances that brought the margin as close as nine goals.

“It’s only natural,” said Bam Bam. “You get a big lead like that and you get a little complacent.”

But they were able to shake their stupor and close it out with three straight goals.

“They realized we were getting some chances,” said Holt.

Not that Bam Bam and his mates were ever really worried.

“The game was pretty much over by half time,” he said.

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:29 PM | Comments (1)

December 01, 2016

Holiday schedule announced

Sunday Morning Road Hockey will go on a two-week hiatus to celebrate Christmas and New Year's. Both holidays fall on a Sunday.

The last game of 2016 will be played Dec. 18. The schedule resumes Jan. 8 with the annual Shrimp Ring Bowl. That game will not only celebrate the first game of the new year, it's also the birthday of one of the league's founding fathers, the Living Legend.

Posted by jaysuburb at 07:40 PM | Comments (3)