Shockers Screw Up Another Promo With Error-Filled Kids’ Book

The Saskatchewan Shockers, to put it mildly, have had a rough time coming up with successful promotions.  In 2015, there was Japanese Night, in which the team started a sumo wrestler in goal; the result was an awkward embarrassment.  Last season, there was the Kazoo Night fiasco; that game nearly turned into a riot, with fans chucking malfunctioning kazoos onto the ice.

This season, the Shockers decided to try a simpler, less dangerous promotion: Kids Night.  In an effort to draw in younger fans, the Shockers offered discountered tickets for fans 12 and under.  In addition, they raffled off the opportunity for kids to work in a variety of positions, including on public address announcer, in-game entertainment crew member, usher, reporter, and ceremonial first puck dropper.  To cap it all off, the team offered a giveaway: a Shockers-themed activity/puzzle book.

The day itself largely went off without a hitch.  The PA announcer repeatedly mangled the name of LW Tadeusz Adamczyk, and the puck dropper accidentally flung the biscuit onto the bench instead of dropping it on the ice, but otherwise things went smoothly.

The trouble started when the kids got home and started looking at their activity books.  The book was riddled with errors and problems.  For instance, the word search was missing several of the terms that kids were supposed to find, and the grid spelled out multiple curse words.  The scramble that was supposed to contain the names of Shockers players instead contained strings of letters that didn’t spell anything.  Multiple pages were printed upside down, and the page that was supposed to list the answers was missing entirely.

Irate parents took to social media to vent their displeasure with the book.  “My kid cried for 45 minutes bc he couldnt get the word scramble right,” said one fan.  “Turns out it was all garbage, like this team!!”  Another highlighted the obscenities in the word search and tweeted, “So I guess u think this is ‘appropriate’ 2 give 2 kids???”  The Shockers initially claimed that “some fans” might have received misprinted copies, but it quickly became clear that all of the books contained the errors and omissions.

Heinz Doofenshmirtz

It turns out that, rather than hiring a professional company to design and print the books, team owner Heinz Doofenshmirtz outsourced the job to a relative who “wants to make kid’s books someday.”  He never provided proofs of the work before printing, and the Saskatchewan front office apparently never asked for any.  Nor did they check the finished books before handing them out.

“Yeah, we had a few problems there,” said Doofenshmirtz.  “The one time I really needed a self-destruct button, we didn’t have one.  How ironic.”

The Shockers have destroyed all remaining copies of the book, and are reportedly looking for a way to compensate the children who may have been upset or traumatized by the event.  “I was going to put a bouncy castle on the roof of our arena and let the kids play on it,” said Doofenshmirtz.  “But it turns out there are some liability issues with that, and our insurance company dropped us after the whole Kazoo Night thing.  So we’re working on it.”

At least one person from the Shockers had no problem with the promotion.  “I don’t see what all the fuss is about,” quipped coach Myron Beasley.  “I found the word search very educational.”

Mango Hat-Trick Selfie Ignites Controversy

Seattle Sailors RW Vince Mango has emerged in his sophomore season as one of the SHL’s top scorers and most colorful personalities.  His vigorous and theatrical goal celebrations have drawn both admirers and detractors.  However, this week Mango’s showmanship crossed the line, as he snapped an on-ice selfie after scoring a hat trick.  His act inspired a violent retaliation and sparked a league-wide discussion that led to the creation of a new rule.

Vince Mango

When Mango’s Sailors hosted the Michigan Gray Wolves on Tuesday, few expected much in the way of fireworks.  Michigan’s smothering defense seemed likely to shut down Seattle’s attack.  But the speedy Mango proved adept at skating past the Wolves’ blueliners.  Just more than a minute into the game, he banged home a low slapper past Michigan goalie Dirk “The Bear” Lundquist to put the Sailors up 1-0.  Mango celebrated by “playing” his stick like a guitar, which drew a sharp rebuke from Wolves LW Vladimir Beruschko.

Less than a minute into the second period, Mango scorched a shot past a screened Lundquist to give Seattle a 3-1 lead.  That time, he skated past the Michigan bench, using his stick as an imaginary tommy gun and “shooting” at them.  The Wolves responded with curses and upraised middle fingers.

Finally, about four and a half minutes into the third, Sailors D Benny Lambert fed a perfect outlet pass to Mango, who took off on a breakaway.  He deked Lundquist, then went top-shelf to complete his hat trick.  Mango dropped his stick to the ice, then reached into his sock and pulled out his cell phone.  He stuck out his tongue and flashed three fingers, then snapped a selfie with the Wolves goalie sprawled in the background.  He then posted the shot to his Instagram account.

Vladimir Beruschko

Before Mango could celebrate further, he was confronted by an angry Beruschko, who slammed his stick into Mango’s head and freight-trained the Sailors star into the boards.  Mango suffered a concussion, a bone bruise on his shoulder, and several loose teeth.  He was taken off the ice on a stretcher, and is expected to be out of action for at least the next couple of weeks.  Beruschko was ejected from the game, which the Sailors won 4-2.

A furious Sailors coach Stewart “Popeye” Corrigan attempted to jump onto the ice to attack Bersuchko as he headed to the dressing room.  Corrigan was restrained by several of his players and was unable to get at the Wolves winger.

After the game, Corrigan called for Beruschko to be suspended.  “If he did that outside of the arena, he’d have been arrested for assault,” the Seattle coach fumed.  “My guy was just celebrating a job well done, and he gets knocked into next week by this thug.  Vince had a shot at the scoring title, but this [injury] might cost him his chance.  Berzerko better hope he doesn’t cross my path in the parking lot, or I’ll take care of him.”

In response, Wolves coach Ron Wright blasted Mango’s selfie stunt.  “Look, what Vlad did was over the line, I’ll grant that,” Wright said.  “But I’m getting sick and tired of Mango’s punk moves on the ice.  A lot of teams around the league feel the same way.  He should get hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for those idiot celebrations he does.  But the league just looks the other way.  And now he’s pulling out his goddamn phone on the ice?  It’s childish and irresponsible and dangerous.  Vlad shouldn’t have hit him as hard as he did, but do I understand why he did?  Absolutely.  Somebody’s got to draw the line.”

The SHL reviewed the incident and assessed Beruschko a one-game suspension.  The league also passed a rule forbidding players from bringing phones onto the ice during a game.  “It’s a player-safety issue,” said SHL Commissioner Perry Mitchell.  “When players are on the ice, they need to be alert, and if they’re on their phones, they’re not paying attention.  We also don’t want to see any copycat incidents in the future.”

For his part, Mango said that he has no regrets.  “It was a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and I’m glad I got it,” the Seattle star said.  “And thanks to the new rule, no one else will ever get a shot like that, so that’s cool.”  Asked if he had a message for Beruschko and the Wolves, Mango said, “They owe me a new phone.  Mine got broken when I got hit.”

Mascot War Rekindled: Wally Wolf Hacks Rival’s Twitter Account

It was supposed to be over.  During the 2015 season, the Anchorage Igloos‘ Petey the Polar Bear and the Michigan Gray Wolves‘ Wally Wolf were proxies for the rivalry between the West’s two top teams.  Both mascots feuded throughout the season before finally burying the hatchet during an on-ice sumo wrestling match in the last week of the season.  Since the mascots made nice, members of both teams (including Michigan LW Vladimir Beruschko and Anchorage coach Sam Castor) have insisted that the hostilities were dead and gone, never to resume.

Petey the Polar Bear

Looks like the declaration of peace was a bit premature.  When the Igloos and Wolves clashed on Friday at Arctic Circle Arena, Petey’s official Twitter account was hacked.  Upon investigation, the hack was discovered to be the work of Michigan’s mascot.  Not only is the Petey-Wally rivalry back, it has entered a new frontier.

Wally traveled with the Wolves for Friday’s much-anticipated showdown.  It’s unusual for a mascot to join a team for road games, but the Wolves said that they had brought him as “a good-luck charm” and “to give him a chance to catch up with his friend Petey.”  The two mascots met for tea on Friday afternoon at an Anchorage cafe; video of the rendezvous appeared on both teams’ websites.  All seemed normal.

But during Friday’s game, a series of unusual tweets appeared on the @IgloosPetey account.  Typically, the Anchorage mascot doesn’t tweet much during games, apart from a few pro-Igloos messages and the occasional selfie with fans.  During this game, though, Petey was atypically active.  In addition, the content of his messages was far different than his standard fare.

“My butt itches,” @IgloosPetey tweeted about six minutes into the games.  From there, he issued a series of tweets predicting that the Igloos would lose the game, adding insults directed at several Anchorage players and even the city itself.  After C Jake Frost pushed a slapshot wide late in the first period, a tweet reading “Frost is overrated” appeared on the account.  Later, @IgloosPetey issued the following slam: “Anchorage is a two-bit town that smells like rotten fish… ugh!”

Igloos officials became aware of the situations when fans began tweeting complaints to the account.  At first, they thought the culprit was a disgruntled employee, but they later realized that the account had been hacked.  The team quickly took steps to regain control of the account, and by the end of the game (a 3-2 Igloos win in overtime) the offending tweets had been deleted.

Wally Wolf

When the front office discovered that the account’s password had been changed to “W@llyRuleS!”, they were able to identify the culprit.  Apparently, during the seemingly friendly lunch, Wally got hold of Petey’s phone and was able to change the password to his Twitter account.

Anchorage GM Will Thorndike took umbrage to the hack.  “I am deeply disturbed that Wally Wolf would resort to cyber warfare,” Thorndike told reporters.  “And to take advantage of a friendly get-together to launch his nefarious plan… that’s so low, I have no words.  But if that’s the way he and the Wolves want to play it, we can do that.  The mascot war is back on!”

Replied Michigan GM Tim Carrier, “I am disappointed to hear these accusations against Wally on the basis of very flimsy evidence.  But if the mascot war is back on, so be it.  Oh, and in case the Igloos intend to try something when they come to town: Wally’s Twitter account has two-factor authentication.”

2017 SHL Week 8 Team Stats

Team Totals

Team             GP    SH    G    A  Pts   PP%  +/-
Anchorage        40  1721  152  285  437  20.0   51
Dakota           40  1788  151  280  431  18.7   17
Hershey          40  1471  133  246  379  22.2    1
New York         40  1570  128  243  371  20.0  -27
Saskatchewan     40  1294  127  236  363  19.4    0
Washington       40  1472  122  222  344  24.1   22
Seattle          40  1296  118  220  338  20.8  -62
Hamilton         40  1333  111  209  320  19.0  -14
Michigan         40  1299  109  199  308  16.0   36
Quebec           40   974   71  128  199  13.0  -24

Team             GP   W   L   T   GAA   SH   SV    SV%   PK%  PIM
Michigan         40  24  12   4  1.70 1171 1102  0.941  87.1  351
Anchorage        40  24  10   6  2.42 1308 1210  0.925  84.6  352
Washington       40  25  15   0  2.44 1301 1203  0.925  82.9  404
Quebec           40  12  22   6  2.78 1265 1152  0.911  77.0  374
Hamilton         40  18  21   1  2.86 1418 1303  0.919  86.5  352
Saskatchewan     40  16  22   2  3.10 1557 1432  0.920  80.2  319
Hershey          40  20  14   6  3.13 1306 1179  0.903  77.9  288
Dakota           40  18  21   1  3.56 1490 1346  0.903  72.7  327
New York         40  15  23   2  3.90 1743 1586  0.910  78.2  364
Seattle          40  13  25   2  4.36 1659 1483  0.894  78.6  343

Continue reading “2017 SHL Week 8 Team Stats”

2017 SHL Week 8 League Leaders

Ericsson       ANC     58
Koons          ANC     57
Frye           HAM     51
Karlsson       DAK     50
Valentine      HSY     50
Frost          ANC     49
Smyth          HAM     48
Alexander      HAM     47
Sweet          HSY     45
Barnes         SAS     43

Frost          ANC     32
Alexander      HAM     30
Valentine      HSY     30
Koons          ANC     29
Manning        NY      27
Mango          SEA     27
Beasley        SAS     21
Thurman        WSH     21
Airston        DAK     20
Karlsson       DAK     19

Ericsson       ANC     51
Smyth          HAM     42
Lidjya         DAK     37
Barnes         SAS     35
Frye           HAM     34
Winchester     NY      34
Karlsson       DAK     31
Sweet          HSY     31
Milton         HSY     31
Cherner        DAK     29

     Penalty Minutes     
Hendricks      DAK     78
Madison        MIC     75
Gromov         HSY     66
Zhzhynov       QUE     65
Hogaboom       WSH     64
Collins        ANC     63
Kalashnikov    QUE     62
Warriner       WSH     59
Nurmi          NY      58
Tollefson      MIC     56

Frederick      ANC     31
Koons          ANC     30
Frost          ANC     30
Ericsson       ANC     30
Keefe          ANC     26
Douglas        MIC     20
Kronstein      MIC     17
Madison        MIC     16
Lunsford       MIC     16
Citrone        ANC     15

       Goalie Wins       
Lundquist      MIC     19
Worthington    ANC     17
Orion          WSH     16
Colt           HSY     14
Carson         DAK     12

Tiktuunen      QUE   1.46
Lundquist      MIC   1.47
Worthington    ANC   2.01
Orion          WSH   2.33
Wampler        HAM   2.66

         Save %          
Tiktuunen      QUE  0.953
Lundquist      MIC  0.951
Worthington    ANC  0.935
Orion          WSH  0.928
Zagurski       SAS  0.923

SHL Player of the Week – Week 8

Ron Mason

The SHL selected Washington Galaxy G Ron Mason as its Player of the Week.  The 33-year-old backup appeared twice this week, and both times he turned in a splendid performance.  On Sunday, Mason stopped 27 shots as the Galaxy stuffed Seattle, 7-1.  Then on Tuesday, Mason blocked all 33 shots he faced as Washington notched a 1-0 win over Anchorage.  Mason’s play was a key part of the Galaxy’s undefeated week, which helped them take over first place in the East.

For the season, Mason has been excellent, going 9-4-0 with a 2.68 GAA and a .918 save percentage.  The only backup in the league with better numbers is Hamilton’s Dennis Wampler.  Washington’s goaltending tandem is tied for the league’s second-best save percentage and is third in goals-against average, trailing only Michigan and Anchorage.

“People tend to ignore backup goalies,” said Galaxy coach Rodney Reagle.  “But having two quality netminders is great for a team.  If your main guy gets hurt or needs a breather, you know you won’t miss a beat between the pipes.  Ron’s a cagey vet, and he knows all the angles.  He never gets caught out of position and he doesn’t let in cheapies.”