Commish's Corner© is a highly detailed and in-depth make believe look into Forx Hockey Leagues weekly matchups and other current events. Some of the names and locations may have been changed for no reason in particular...
Thank you to all the players this season for your continued sportsmanship and support for the league. Respect for fellow opponent week after week does not go unnoticed. It feels odd for the end to come this early in March but the calendar works in mysterious ways. Many players had career years and penalty minutes were at an all-time low for the league. It was a pleasure seeing some of you thrive while most the rest of us continued to get worse. As always, thanks to the referees and to your weekly commitment. I look forward to seeing a couple of you during the offseason but to the other 99%...it can wait until next November. Enjoy the break... see you soon.
The final pick is in....
Week 17 Playoff Pick
Ground Round/Broods vs. Red Pepper
The bond between beer league man and beer league squad is something that can’t be explained to our wives/girlfriends. And that pain, sweat and comradery we endure for 17 weeks usually comes with a heavy sacrifice, i.e. more excruciating family time, expanded chores list, less than normal video game time allotment … The bond the Broods have built over the last few years shows how strong their connection is. With star D-man, R-Doose out of the line-up last week as he and his family welcomed another future Forx’er, the comfort and care shown by fellow teammate B. Johs seconds before the baby was born brings a tear to even the manliest beer leaguer, shown here. That wasn’t the end for candid picture taking. With media day frenzy taking place early in the week, Forx Hockey photographers were able to catch a completely original, unsuspecting picture of the Broods as they left their Tuesday ice session, seen here. Pepper followed up with a structured, more serious approach? These two squads have a long, competitive history. Splitting the season series, RP has overall lead with a 6-5-1 record in their 7th year, with one of those wins being a championship victory a year ago. These teams are unique in different ways. Broods are a deep team that win as a team and utilize contributions from all 11 skaters. RP has dominated the field of teams this year primarily feeding off Johnson, Uglem and Lund up front. Each team had 4 players representing the Forbey list as the leagues top players. Pepper will lean on Forbey winner Johnson to continue what he’s done all season as Broods will counter with the leagues top goaltender in Bradbury. I went an astonishing 61-12 on my weekly picks this season…although I’ve never made it past the GR junior varsity squad…GR blood still pumps in the Commish’s veins…hope I go 61-13 to end the year.
Red Pepper 5-4
During week 13, the final week of the season, a wild series of events needed to take place for Rumors to move from the 4th position and overtake Golf Center in the 3rd seed. GC was ahead in the standings and had a 9-goal lead in overall goal differential. A tie break situation commenced...
-GC had to lose to Pepper- lost 10-6... -4 goals
-Rumors had to win against GR-M - won 8-3... +5 goals (GR-M scored with 14 seconds left on a hailmary to avoid having to play GC)
- Head to Head... GC beats Rumors 4-3 11/16/22 Rumors beats GC 4-3 1/25/23
- Goal differential- tied at 30
- In front of a crowd of nearly 600 Forx Fans….. See for yourself
**Disclaimer** The site was chosen by a GC representative. The Commish had lobbied for a neutral site, i.e. under the point bridge; yet Rumors was chosen, clearly giving Rumors team a competitive home field advantage.
Week 16 Playoff Picks
GR Matt Fac vs. Red Pepper
2 masterful storied franchises with plenty of history behind the rivalry. This is the 2nd appearance these two teams have met in the semifinals. The first meeting took place 7 years ago in the inaugural season… which led to the controversial Peppergate? Just saying it makes more hair fall out of my beautiful head. The rivalry brought upon these old memories and the resurfacing of old videos as well, seen here, to help pave the way for the next generation of beer league heroes. The Pepper has been amongst the top of the pyramid for much of the year. GR reaching the next round off a limited roster and an uncharacteristic penalty ridden quarterfinal. The GR’s are the underdawg’s yet again, can the miracle run continue?
Red Pepper 9-5
Rumors vs. Broods
Rumors 2nd half surge continued after last weeks instant classic against AE2S after pulling away with 2 late 3rd period goals. The Broods coasted to the semi’s with another dominant game with contributions from Wurden and J. Doose. These two only met once this season and that game featured a late surge by the Broods to force a shootout which they ended up winning. Arguably two of the best goaltenders to net mind in this one. Broods Bradbury, who is the only current player in the league with webbed feet but not the first, finished the season with the leagues best goals against average. This game features 6 bros that made the Forbey Baker list in what should add to the semi-final excitement. Broods has the late game push again.
Week 15 Playoff Picks
Johnny’s vs. Red Pepper
The round of 8 begins here. Johnny’s nearly escaped having to play a Red Pepper team with Forbey finalist G. Johnson in the lineup. Johnson had planned for years to utilize this day for him and his girlfriend to spend their valentine’s day, hot-air ballooning the gorgeous North Dakota countryside. Due to unfortunate hurricane force winds and recent national security concerns, this plan was grounded and Johnson is expected to be in uniform. Johnny’s is a huge underdog here and they have not beat the RP’s since 2019 but……theres always a but. Johnny’s did accomplish a quarterfinal defeat in March of 2019 after putting up 5 goals in the 1st period and holding on to win 5-4, a game in which Sauve was a magician in net. But theres another but… the RP’s have a loaded roster and that likely squanders any hope…
Red Pepper 9-3
Adams vs. Broods
Science states that when you combine pressure and heat you create a diamond. Beer league science states that when you combine Busch Light and laziness you create a beer league gem, something Adams team captain T. Grinde references well. Adams was able to knock off #10 Bonzers sending them to their 4th straight toilet bowl championship. The Broods square off against Adams in their 3rd installment of the season where they have outscored Adams 18-4 on the year. Adams has had the most fluctuation in their lineup all year but can be dominant when the bench is full. Broods is the deeper team despite their bench being the smallest roster-wise in the league. Broods potentially short-handed with Adams picking some help in net this week… could add to the story line?
AE2S vs. Rumors
AE2S might be a sleeper team. Its been stated before how they disappear against the bottom half of the league but then rise to the challenge when matched against top half. After a management change in the offseason, Wuitschick has the fellas peaking at the right time. Rumors is also peaking at the right time, after coasting into the Christmas break with a 3-3-1 record and sitting in 6th place, they have won 6 consecutive games, catapulting themselves into the 3rd seed. This should be the game of the night and has the ingredients to brew up an instant classic. Quarterfinal coinflip.
Rumors 6-5 OT
GR-M vs. Golf Center
The GC’s are playing as the 4 seed on paper but dominated the field for much of the season. After 2 late season losses, they dropped in the standings and many considered the young fellas to be playing their worst hockey since their 2nd year of Squirts. Last weeks ‘offsides heard round the worl…..rink’ sparked their 5 goal, exhibition comeback and possibly put some life back into their game. Not good for the Mattress Men, not good at all. After losing a top scorer in J. Brown to bilateral ankle weakness surgery and token inspirational locker room guy in K. Cooksey, the GR-M’s have struggled to find their new identity. The GC’s have the depth to move on here. The GR’s will need more than a few bounces to go their way.
Week 14 Playoff Picks
BWW vs. Johnny’s
The postseason begins. BWW the underdog in this contest as they have a last-ditch effort to salvage some life out of a tough season in the locker room personnel. With the losses of Verke on the blueline, Breidenbach being traded for 10 pucks and a water bottle to Golf Center, and a goalie that mysteriously never came to fruition, the BWW squad has yet to find a forward reach double digits in points as their scoring woes have continued. Its not all bad news for the BWW’s, they have a great sponsor which is known for ice cold beverages and a large, delicious menu according to Marilyn Haggerty’s: Eat Beats. BWW has never beaten Johnny’s in league play. They are 0-8 all time (won last year in a post season exhibition). Johnny’s enters the post season with plenty of firepower to go up early with regulars Reed-O, rookie Z. Murphy and Reslock. BWW’s Butters in net has done his job the 2nd half of the season. He’ll need the guys to do some work 200 ft away. Has the making for an instant classic.
Bonzers vs. Adams
The refs did everything they could to try and give Bonzers the competitive advantage in their final regular season game last week against Johnny’s to get that first win of the 2020’s.(insert, annoyed face cause I was reffing and getting barked at and made it worse by instigating further bark fests between periods, emoji). Adams has had their own ups and downs with roster attendance this season but have leaned on their tenured workhorses in Bacskai, Grinde and Litzinger on the blue line, with the GPS line and unlikely hero J. Andrade posting a career high in points, up front. Bonzers will have their backs against the wall again here. With arguably one of the best goalies in the league in their net, they’ll need the hockey gods to provide them a few bounces. Adams has the depth to move on.
Week 13 Picks
Bonzers vs. Johnny’s
The Playoff picture is narrowing in and a few teams still have the ability to move about the standings in the final hurrah.. Both teams here are set for next week for Play-in contests with Bonzers in desperation mode to remove the longest running zero in the W column in modern-day sports history. Johnny’s will play BWW next week regardless of the outcome this week. Bonzers has more to play for here but Johnny’s needs to scrub a 5 game winless streak before next week.
Red Pep vs. Golf Center
Playoff implications continue here in this doozie of a regular season finale. The GC’s went 0-1-1 in their last two games and have some wild scenarios that could have them finish in seeds 1-4 when the night concludes. A win will secure them a 1 or 2 seed where a loss could leave them at the 3 spot or possibly drop to 4th with a Rumors win via a tie-break situation. The red guys control their own fate with a win to secure the regular season title, possibly celebrating their last accolades before joining the NCHC this next upcoming season. Both teams have something to play for with plenty of talent on both teams. A Forbey candidate in G. Johnson and a goalie of the year candidate in rookie, A. Meland.
Red P 8-7
Broods vs. Adams
Broods has the chance to move to #1 with a red army loss. Broods won the first go around with Adams back in November with a dominant, 5-goal, 1st period led by R-Douce, Wurden and Uncle Chuck. Adams likely to be playing Bonzers next week to start the playoffs as they have the slimmest of chances to move to the 6 seed. Adams can be a sneaky team but need bodies on the bench to do so. Broods rolls.
GR-M vs. Rumors
The mattress makers found and utterly exploited Rumors goaltending weakness a few weeks back. Playing Decker in his 3rd game and saving all your energy for the 3rd period and hoping you haven’t given up 3+goals in doing so. The plan works but GR-M will be missing key figures in their 2nd attempt at doing so. Rumors was a machine last week with 8 skaters on hand and shockingly had the legs to hold off a loaded GC squad. Rumors could find themselves in the 3 seed with a win, or playing this same matchup again in 2 weeks.
AE2S vs. BWW
The Engineers are in the driver seat to secure a 1st round bye with a 6th seed finish this week. Something they’ve only accomplished once back in the 2017-18 campaign. Their consistency going into the playoff portion of the calendar will be key, as they play top teams tough but sloppy and lazy ass’ed against bottom tier. BWW has one regular season game left to find their scoring offense which ranks 9th in the league. A little momentum would be nice going into next week but would need a couple bounces to go their way to find a spark of success this week.
Week 12 Picks
Golf Center vs. Rumors
What a week last week as a couple instant classics were played and both teams here were a part of the beer league magic. Rumors hanging on to win with a late 3rd period tally by Bekkedahl ended up being the difference. Meanwhile, Golf Center showing how weak they are without M. Stjern in the lineup as they battled to a boring tie vs. AE2S. Rumors is looking to continue a 4-game win streak and shake up the standings, while GC has a 10-game unbeaten streak of their own on the line.
Bonserz vs. AE2S
The Engi-nerds showed just how scary they can be. With a full roster including a pair of Czech’s (Solc Twins), they are able to wear a team down physically and verbally by form of foreign language use. Bonzers looked promising vs. Adams but 3 back breaking goals all in about 3 minutes deflated the momentum. Bonzers Ironman J. Shafer out of the lineup last week snapped a 78-game attendance record, an appeal has been filed by Shafer to keep the streak active, as he was present on the bench slamming bee…beverages, likely assuming coaching duties for the game.
BWW vs. GR-M
Rest and recovery still underway for the BWW camp as a rampant, highly contagious illness made its way through the lineup last week. Known by League Doctors as the Pepper Flu, it appears to be a 24-hour bug and typically makes its presence once…maybe twice a year. With that being said, GR-M prepared themselves at practice all week as if they will see the full 20-man BWW roster in action.
Adams vs. Johnny’s
The top 5 teams are able to shuffle around but are locked into a first round bye. The bottom 5 teams still have some shuffling that can happen as the battle for the 6th and final seed to secure a first round bye. Johnny’s has played well as of late and have the tools to be a sleeper squad come playoff time. Adams continues to play inconsistently but are another team that shines when the full roster is on display. These two teams scored 14 collectively last time out. Johnny’s looks to split the season matchup.
GR-B vs. Red Pep
The RP’s finish out their regular season with two top teams in an attempt at one last ditch effort for someone to slow down their run at number one. The first game these guys met displayed the breakout performance of the RP’s Johnson and Uglem after scoring 9 points between the two. The GR’s score by committee and will need to do so again. GR rarely ever an underdog at any point of the season but are in this contest.
Red P 7-5
Week 11 Picks
Bonzers vs. Adams
If you’re looking for high action, high caliber hockey…then you may want to wait until later in the night. But it could be a decent opportunity to see plenty of goals as these two squads are unfortunately on the bottom of the goals against per game department. The Adams squad has the edge in this contest being led by longtime veteran, T. Litzinger. Described by teammates as the only player tough enough to still be playing at his age range. Toughness displayed only by a guy who likely seasons his meats with smelling salts…
BWW vs. Red Pepper
Speaking of smelling salts. Butters will reportedly be the first goalie in league history to wear his Sleep Apnea mask linked to a steady stream of smelling salt mist to keep him on his toes as he prepares to see a steady onslaught of shots for 51 minutes straight. Pepper players will need to aim for the hoses that connect to Butters apparatus… similar to how Batman defeated Bane in the Dark Knight Rises?? Not sure what we’re talking about…
GR vs. GR
The 2nd installment of the battle of the GR’s. GR won the 1st time these two met back in late November. Sitting at 3 and 4 in the standings, GR looks to get back on track after a loss to a bunch of teenagers, while GR is looking for some sort of miracle to continue their 3-game win streak. GR’s last win against GR came back in week 2 of the 2019 campaign. The Broods went on to reclaim the inter-rival popcorn trophy on week 11 of the same season, which was the last time the Commish showed any love or care towards trophy. Due to lack of care and poor construction, it’s now at the bottom of the ocean somewhere. GR-M likely feels the effects of a huge loss in their lineup after losing J. Brown for the season after a required…yet poorly timed scheduled ankle surgery to fix his weak ankle syndrome.
AE2S vs. Golf Center
The GC’s look dominant. Riding a 9-game rip, they look to battle for the top overall seed with a key matchup forthcoming in a couple weeks. The GC’s success stems from their ability to produce offense from the top and bottom. Nicknamed the law firm line, contributions from Kratochvil, Kratochvil and Johnson have been the norm with their steady play. The engineers continue to hover around the middle of the pack and despite having a next to nothing chance of victory here… have the ability to play their final weeks of the season with a chance to secure the 6 seed. AE2S can keep scores low early… they need to find their legs for the back half of the contest.
Rumors vs. Johnny’s
Johnny’s surprisingly kept things very close with a loaded Red Pepper team last week. Very encouraging for the life of their squad but could put a little fear into their opponents to close out the season. The reunion tour continues marking the 367th time Sauve and Decker will stare at each other from either end of the ice. Rumors will need to lean on newbies Edevold and Bekkedahl during the final stretch with the assumptions experienced, Knudson and Aikens continue their tallies each night. Johnny’s is getting some additional help for Reed-O as Reslock and Otremba have been producing regularly. Rumors has the edge but not by much.
Week 10 Picks
AE2S vs. Rumors
With week 10 upon us, that means all teams have had the chance to ‘get a sniff of each other’s jock straps’ as we now turn the page to the back half of the season. These two teams split right on the Mason-Dixon line in the standings at 5 and 6. Their first affair was an instant classic ending in a one goal final score difference with Rumors on top. Speed and two solid tenders on either side. Setting up to be another beauty.
Broods vs. Golf Center
Speaking of instant classics and what could be. Buckle your belt straps, lace up your sneakers and get your buns on down for this feature presentation. GC riding an 8-game win streak with their last loss coming to their opponent here week 1. GC continues to feed off their youth, skill, and parents’ income as they look poised to battle deep into the playoff season. GR in similar fashion is on a 6-game win streak and will ride the wave into 2023 using their experience and their ability to wear opponents down, 17 minutes at a time. Broods enters with the 2nd best scoring offense in front a goalie of the year candidate, Bradbury, posting the league’s lowest Goal Against. GC’s with the T-3rd highest offense and 2nd best GA. Tailgating starts at 12:00pm in the South parking lot by the garbage dumpster.
Red Pepper vs. Johnny’s
Red Pepper dominated the round of 9 with quick hands, tiny fingers, G. Johnson lighting up the record books. Finishing the first half with a landslide win over a short-handed Adams squad, which saw everyone from the Pepper lineup contribute in the game, except for former Mr. Irrelevant award winner E. Tofte posting 0 points. The Adams team may want to consider that some kind of a win? Johnny’s has their hands full here yet again despite the fact Red Pepper is considering benching G. Johnson to rest their star player in preparation for playoffs a mere 5 weeks from now.
BWW vs. Bonzers
If the folks tailgating forget to come in, don’t fret, one last chance on the night to see the battle of the cellar dwellers try and keep their head above water. The standings reflect an interesting scenario for the teams in 4th thru 10th. Each respective teams win amounts were the teams they beat below them in the standings. BWW in 9th has one win coming against Bonzers. Whereas AE2S in the 6 seed has 4 wins beating 7 thru 10. Not sure if that’s really anything out of the ordinary or relevant but it was great filler for the lead up to this 9 vs. 10 contest. Could this be Bonzers best opportunity to end a nasty streak??
GR/MF vs. Adams
Based on my previous boring assessment of the standings, we will let sports science do its thing and the GR vs Adams game will be simulated. GR wins the game and both teams win in life by avoiding the 9:00pm graveyard game.
Week 9 Picks
Red Pepper vs. Adams
Seems like it was a year ago when the last game was played…. Pepper dominated the first half and likely will finish out as the #1 as we finish out the last round of the league circuit. Unless the Grinch stole G. Johnsons hockey twigs over the holiday, Pepper will be a slight favorite in this contest. Adams record isn’t great… but between attendance woes and playing bad, they have the tools to be a playoff sleeper down the stretch. Pepper rolls on.
Johnny’s vs. Golf Center
Carbon copy to the previous script? The GC’s have made things work all season feeding off their, next muscly armed man up, mentality. They are a deep team and led by R. Johnson who is nearing the century mark on the coveted, All-Time leader board in points. Johnny’s will likely close out the first chunk of the season with 2 wins still looking to bond some consistency between the old and new bros on the roster. GC’s move on.
Bonzers vs. GR Matt Fac
The mattress factory workers had high expectations last year after a slight roster rebuild…took a year to take effect as this season has been more enjoyable in the standings than the last. As we know standings are just a number and we all make the run for the silver bullet. Bonzer folks thankful for that fact as the woes continue again this year(s). Predictions show another a lot vs a little on the scoreboard as Bresina will be busy yet again.
BWW vs. Rumors
BWW likely to start some fresh legs in net after the rumors have been swirling for weeks. But, as mentioned weeks ago, their scoring needs to be addressed before they can lean on a quick chested tender between the pipes. Rumors has had some success with their replacements this season in Edevold and Bekkedahl. BWW’s new guy gets tested early, and often.
Broods vs. AE2S
For the first time in 1150 days there is a new leader atop the All-Time Leaderboard. League Iron Man David Hovet has shadowed and chased long time leader M. Lukkason until now. With Lukkason’s matchup this week, could it be short lived? Hovet is planning to skate all 51 minutes this week to offset any attempt. But now so is Lukkason after reading this. Nothing wrong with a friendly competition, especially with Peppers Johnson literally 3 games from catching them at this pace. Meanwhile the Engineers get their 2nd dose of Popcorn in as many league weeks with another round of GR’s on the schedule. This might be the only game of the week to have some close scoring but predictions have GR pulling away in the 3rd as they are accustomed to doing.
Week 8 Picks
Johnny’s vs. Broods
Broods coming off what was arguably the game of the year last week against Rumors. A defensive battle that took extra innings to end the affair, where Broods, goal when you need one, J. Deuce made the difference in the shootout. Sauve has been known to cause fits for Broods in the past but their last win against them last happened in 2019. Johnny’s has their weapons with Reed-O, Reslock and new to the watercooler gang, Otremba, but their D will be busy… and so will Rico.
AE2S vs. GR/Matt-Fac
AE2S’s Jarda Solc has had one game marked on his calendar since early November. His Peewee team he coaches is set to play Thief River Falls in 6 days. But if he had any crayons left, he would surely mark this weeks game as his 2nd choice. AE2S has been better than expected and sit 4th amongst the leaderboard. GR’s strength of schedule as of late has had them playing some of their best hockey but in losing efforts. This is a coinflip pick as 2S’s youth may show advantage. It took 7 weeks to see our first shootout last week, perhaps back-to-back?
GR 7-6 S/O
Rumors vs. Adams
It’s a sad day in the Rumors camp. After giving himself his own nickname of ‘Forx Jesus’, Rumors R. Breslin has cut his hair after logging 0 haircuts since joining the league in 2019. The league now forced to adjust to the new elements by calling the artist formerly known as ‘FJ’ as… Rob…just plain old… Rob… Whats next?? I know this; the league will insta-fold if Danny Wurden ever decides to shave his beard. Adams can expect some extra fan fare as Breslin’s family likely disowned him now and will be rooting for the opposition. Both teams are fairly even skill-wise and have some power forwards that can bury the biscuit. The difference here is the goaltending as Adams netminder has yet to show the catlike reflexes the Peoples goalie possesses. Adams GPS needs to keep it close.
Bonzers vs. Pepper
Not much to chat about here. David vs Goliath. But where David is starting his 2nd year of squirts and Goliath just finished 4 years of Division 1 hockey. There’s a 76-goal differential between these two and it will only inevitably grow. Mercy rule in effect.
BWW vs. Golf Center
Mercy rule game 2? The GC’s speed is a constant conversation piece and will be again here. The GC’s have been on a 6 game win streak after losing week 1. The streak likely began after 4th line, R. Johnson, replaced M. Stjern on the top line. Since the move, Johnson has gone on to score 12 goals and 2 assists leading his fellow Roughriders. Stjern since the move has registered 0 points and averaged 4 minutes of playing time per game. GC’s coast into the holiday.
Week 7 Picks
BWW vs. Adams
7 vs 8 in the earlier riser contest. BWW is bleeding out with 5 straight losses since winning their opener. Adams looking to snap a 2-game skid and win their next two games to get back to .500 before the break. Adams GPS (Greene, Pochatek and Sage) line has come forth again as the go-to point getters. BWW still searching for a breakout player(s) from a large list of potential candidates. Adams has the edge based on stats.
Golf Center vs. GR/Matt-Fac
When B. Montgomery finished college, graduating with a degree in mortuary science, he came back to GF looking for a team. He submitted a highlight tape, replicating some of the drills he was taught back at Concordia, seen here. Forx Hockey was only able to show 17 seconds out of a 3 ½ hour video due to file size constraints. After many teams skipped over his free agency, GC’s R. Johnson claimed his rights, commenting, “how can you not want that fella, he’s adorable”. GR hoping a sponsor change can spark some life as they battle against a contender for a favorite to be the #1 team. GR is 1-4 vs the GC’s with their last win coming when Covid was -17. GC’s speed is the difference.
Bonzers vs. Johnny’s
Bonzers may lack glorious highlight reel plays that deserve mid-day watercooler talk week in and week out, but they had one last week. Down 7-2 and nothing working offensively…or defensively…, they pulled their goalie with 30ish seconds left in the 2nd period with an offensive 4-on-4 faceoff. Winning the draw, Navarro was able to bury one. Might sound like nothing but not only did the building generate a little buzz with the uproar, but I’m fairly positive both teams applauded the play in the end. The Commish, reffing the affair, instantly became overwhelmed with emotion in the beautiful moment. Johnny’s displayed a strong comeback effort with Reed-O putting a 4-goal night together. Unfortunately, too much time was lost between tickle fights during the late stages of the 3rd and fell a couple goals shy of putting together a 2-game streak. Johnny’s expected to bounce right back here.
GR-B vs. Rumors
Rumors Edevold had himself a day. Scoring 7 goals and tallying 9 points total. Although some might argue it being against a Bonzers squad that has given up the most goals to opposing teams, he was sniping corners from everywhere on the ice that had Bonzers Bresina baffled in net. With that, Rumors is in an unfamiliar spot in the standings and their record doesn’t reflect the team and its staff. With a tough matchup against a Broods squad that currently has the top offense, Rumors is still on pace to finish the first chunk of the season above .500 once week 9 commences. As for tonight, Broods will rely on their season differential by feeding of their goal scorers and pesky D pairings that have allowed a league low in 20 goals allowed on the season. Broods pulls away late.
Red Pepper vs. AE2S
Pepper piled it on against the artists formerly known as the Daydreams squad. A blindfolded G. Johnson was still able to bury 7 points as called out in last weeks pick. They are tough around the goal crease as half their goals were from point blank. They continue to be a solid team and they beat up on a GR team that was optimistic coming into last weeks game, and for those reasons…I will continue to not accept any of their pending friend requests. AE2S has a great opportunity to hang with the Red Army, being it’s the 9:00 game, and it’s very likely Pepper will be without Miskavige, Robinson, and Tofte due to interruptions with their sleep cycle. But then Uglem and Johnson log another handful of game minutes which offsets. Pepper moves on.
Week 6 Picks
Bonzers vs. Rumors
It is widely known that Chris Decker is the Peoples Goalie and his 3 games per night have become a weekly norm. He’s an ageless marvel and seems to be defying time through some sort of reverse osmosis. The GR-D’s may have discovered his only vulnerability a week ago. If you can save your best shifts for the 3rd period of his 3rd game which would be right around 9:43 of the 9:00 game, you may have a chance. GR-D exploited it, scoring 5 goals in that span. With that knowledge, Bonzers has elected to sit Usiak, Navarro, Propp, Moriearty, and Mendal until the 3rd period hoping they can make it work during the 6 o’clock hour… It doesn’t work.
GR-D vs. Red Pepper
Broods, RP, GC and Rumors have been top 4 powerhouses the last 3 seasons at the end of the regular season. GR-D’s win last week vs. Rumors was the first ‘bottom 6’ team to beat a ‘top 4’ since Johnny’s knocked of the Broods the 1st week of the 2019-20 season. GR-D likely to be without top goal scorer M. Lukkason in this one but in a sportsmanship gesture, RP’s G. Johnson volunteering to wear a blindfold where he will still likely register at least 7 points. Another pesky week of Decker for GR-D to overcome.
GR-B vs. BWW
Broods thankful to have team captain and longtime veteran, Jacobi back on the active roster after he abruptly retired via the teams group text last week. After potting a career high 6 points, a GWG, and earning the Top Bro of the Week, Jacobi then rejoined the team for a run at another keg hoist. Meanwhile, Beer league rumors swirling around 47th Avenue South this week as to who will be between the pipes for BWW this week and possibly their long-term solution after former starter, Butters, went on sabbatical. Great news for the BWW, but that doesn’t fix their goal scoring problem.
AE2S vs. Johnny’s
In years past, this has been that point in the season where AE2S is hanging around… kind of like that annoying neighbor kid you give a 2nd chance to join the pedal bike gang. But they end up blowing it and are shunned to those other weird kids on the street that chase ants all day. This year has a different vibe for the engineers and with expectations high; could have them fighting for a 4th thru 6th seed come the final week of the regular season. Johnny’s got the monkey off their back with their first win of the season. A monster 3rd period, led by usual suspects, Tommy Reslock and Reid-O, catapulted the 8-5 affair. A lot to like in this grinder battle, with two solid goaltenders on either end. Turf wars with the pedal gang.
Adams vs. Golf Center
I am never wrong about anything, unless it’s an argument with Mrs. Commish or my Red Pepper picks. But the GC’s proved beer league science wrong and pulled ahead in the late stages against RP last week. Winning their 1st head-to-head regular season game since 12/4/19 in OT 9-8, they had been outscored 39 to 6 in their last 3 meetings. (After further research, Yes… GC did roster a goalie in all 3 of those games.) Adams is the clear underdog here but do have weapons in Boyle and Pochatek that can change the script quickly. The science prevails.
Week 5 Picks
BWW vs. Johnny’s
Johnny’s is 5-0 in the regular season in their last 5 meetings vs the boys in black, 2 of which ended in a 1 goal difference. Johnny’s record does not reflect the team on hand, losing to GR-D and Adams which could have gone either way. BWW needs to find some offense as an unlikely hero leads the way in their clubhouse with veteran B. Hutton, tallying 4 points thus far. It’s early, but the losses of Co. Aarvig, Breidenbach and Verke thus far on the Blueline have created some growing pains with new recruits yet to contribute. Johnny’s get their 1st win.
Bonzers vs. Ground Round/Broods
Broods were challenged last week but again showed defensively they can shut down as great of a team as GR-D can be…and is. Bonzers turned heads with new jers….outfits in their Pre-Thanksgiving kickoff. Breathtaking is the best way to describe those beer league beauties. Unfortunately, incredible taste in color schemes and fashion don’t win you games, and 3 of their next 4 weeks are against top-4 powerhouse squads. Beast beats beauty. GR-B rolls on.
Ground Round 11-1
Adams vs. AE2S
Two, 2 and 2 teams, 22 goals-for for AE2S and a 22% average body fat percentage for an Adams squad face off in week 5. Its not the size of your gut that matters, it’s the size of the jersey. Despite being fat and slow, Adams has put together a 2-game win streak but matchup against a youthful bunch of guys good at math and protractor angles. Brains this week beat the broad side of the barn.
Golf Center vs. Red Pepper
Game of the week… perhaps the game of the season thus far?? Another edition of muscly armed, good-looking guys squaring off against loose skinned pepper men. The GC’s on a 3-game win streak after coasting through a week 1 loss. The RP’s have shown why they are 4-0… or at least one guy on RP has shown everyone why… G. Johnson continues to put up silly numbers with Uglem at his side adding contribution. With that being said… the RP’s cant be stopped with that tandem.
GR-D vs. Rumors
There’s nothing worse than someone bragging or boasting about themselves and then utilizing a platform that they only have access to, to do so. But the Commish is coming off a week that many were talking about at the Turkey Day dinner table and later into the weekend. The Commish scored an incredible backhanded, deflection goal late in the GR rival contest against none other than the Peoples Goalie in net. Folks around the league could not stop talking about how open he became and how natural his limp-wristed play was executed. **NOTE: The goal would have been the game winning goal if the Broods hadn’t scored 4 previous goals.** Then to top it off, in an OT type atmosphere at a Friday holiday hangover noon skate, he deflected another shot to end that friendly contest. The only thing missing from the week’s résumé was saving a puppy from a burning building. Hard to follow up on Rumors after that, so I’m sure they played someone and things happened… The GR’s will face off against the People’s G for what feels like the 5th time already this season with a Rumor’s squad that has some guys that can bury the puck. GR-D needs their goaltender to stand on his head again this week. Rumors has the extra firepower this time out.
Week 4 Picks
AE2S vs. Golf Center
Golf Center picked up their 1st win since the 2019-20 campaign against a top-4 opponent (GR-B, Pep, Rumors). After going 0-3-2 in ’20 and 0-4-1 in ’21 in the regular season, they were able to lean on B. Montgomery’s 2nd GWG in as many weeks and Schaefers 2 goal night. AE2S toy’ed around for the 1st period but then generated a 5 goal 2nd period to breeze past the Bonzer folks. Warner and Kjenstad appear to be clicking under first year operator, Wuitschick, after previous team manager J. Solc nearly sent the team to the dumpster. A lot of youth on either bench. The GC’s are a little deeper based off Forx Analytics. Coinflip.
Ground Round vs. Ground Round
Great news from the GR’s, the Commish’s status moved from doubtful to probable after suffering an inadvertent puck to the ‘nuts’ in last weeks game. After immediately administering an EPI Pen for the pain, C. Wood, a firefighter with general medical knowledge advised the Commish of incorrect and wrongful use. Meanwhile, A. Theisen making headlines again after another unfortunate injury that will leave him as a game time decision, after a failed but penalty drawn, sidestep move. A picture of the injury was documented, and with viewer discretion advised, teammates still deciphering what part of the body this actually is, seen here. Ground Round is off to a solid start and are looking to keep rolling. Also, Ground Round is off to a solid start and look to keep rolling. GR will be looking for a quick start and fast pace and will need to limit GR’s chances. GR a favorite here. Sticks in the middle.
Ground Round 8-5
BWW vs. Red Pepper
Peppers G. Johnson showing significant signs of ‘slowing’ down on the ice. Fellow teammates taking notice of his lack of effort after only registering 5 points in week 3. “Careers over”, stated blueliner, Cieklinski. Logging 0 minutes this season thus far in defensive zone, Johnson will look to get back on track after his season low effort. BWW’s goaltender, Andrew Butters gave his thoughts on the Johnson drama, “Yeah, I’m out this week”. Pepper takes an unbeaten record into the holiday.
Bonzers vs. Adams
A lengthy and at times emotional interview took place over the weekend with Bonzers top forward, Johnny Ryan, after returning back into league action last week. Ryan, who centers the ‘Party Line’, described the heart and soul behind the Bonzer squad that has seen multiple sponsor changes and jersey swaps that no one knows who the hell they are one year to the next but still… continue to play the game they love. Ryan is hoping to share a winning experience with his children one day despite the fact his team has yet to register a win since before they were born, ages 3 and 5. Adams got lucky and won with Sauve’s rare showing. An interesting matchup here against a quirky roster the Adams team may or may not have. Adams pulls it off if they have the numbers.
Rumors vs. Johnny’s
It seems I pump Sauve’s jets week in and week out and last week was more of the same, yet unfortunately, a rare off-night squandered the evening. Sauve at times became the other teams (Adams) best player after assisting on two of Adams goals with untimely, turnover passes. Sauve has gotten a look at every team in the league already after just 3 weeks into the season with all of his spot-starts due to goalie absences. He’ll stare 190 feet to the other end of the ice at his opponent, The People’s Goalie, as Decker will tend for Rumors who has done the same legwork this season as well. Rumors has the extra couple weapons.
Week 3 Picks
Broods vs. Pepper
The Wednesday Matinee features a rematch of the 2021-22 Championship. Tickets to the game have a face value of $199 for Red Pepper fans and will be seated in the Rydell and will then rely on various crowd noises to determine whats happening next door… all Broods fans tickets are free and available to choose any seat in the Judd. The matchup is loaded with point getters. In his 3rd campaign, J. LaDouceur is averaging 3 points per game, 2 points from 100 in his career. In 33 games to date, he has already reached the top 5 among the All-time leader race. Meanwhile, G. Johnson for the RP’s is averaging 3.25 PPG and scoring goals at a 2 to 1 ratio. Cracking the top 25 in just his 2nd year. Goalies beware. Pepper rolled last week as they had no blueliners to stop them. Lazur, Kuntz, R-Duece and P-PL, the Four Horsemen, are the difference.
Golf Center vs. Rumors
Rounding out last years top 4 features what should be the fastest game of the year. Rumors skated in a game last week and based on what I witnessed, looked as if there was 5 forwards on the ice for both teams the entire game. There had to have been 100 total shots taken between the two teams (Pepper). The GC’s controlled most their game in time of possession but found themselves down early in the 1st period to a never-say-die Bonzers squad. B. Montgomery making headlines 2 weeks in a row after a 4 goal, 1 helper night. The 4 goals consisted of 1 PPG, 1 SHG and 1 GWG. Was one penalty away from completing the first ever, ‘Top 5 Bros’ cycle. In irrelevant news, Sam Bye expected to be a game-time decision on what team he’ll skate for. Rumors has a tiny bit more firepower.
Adams vs. Johnny’s
Adams sporting or at least doctoring a roster form of 18 able bodied skaters but have disappointingly begun the season with 9 and 7 players the first couple weeks. Combat that with a few injuries, weight gain, and gray hair growing in weird places; needless to say, it’s been a tough start. They’ll battle against Sauve between the pipes who played out of his brains last week which surprises no one. Johnny’s also has added some line mates that can feed Olson on their top dawg line. As a bonus, Johnny’s even had a Mutscher score a goal last week, which is typically followed up with the question, was it the one with or without glasses? Without… Johnny’s has the right pieces to set Adams in an 0-3 rut unless their compadres clock-in for a few shifts. Coinflip.
BWW vs. GR-D
BWW had a full complement of players on their bench. They still have some work to do as the new recruits will be heavily leaned on with the absences of Lothspeich, Verke and the departure of Breidenbach who left for greener pastures. GR-D squeaked out a W with another heroic moment for long time co-captain, A. Theisen. During a power play situation, he used his face as a method of declining a zone clearing attempt by a Johnny’s player. The morning after, Seen here. Using Charmin 2-ply toilet paper to realign his jaw, it was a simple miracle in its own right there was enough toilet paper left in the house after a nights worth of Ground Round Pretzel Rods and cheese at 11:30PM earlier that evening. A guy who puts that salt’n’pepper-speckled caterpillar above his lip in jeopardy like that is worthy of a Forx Hockey League salute any Wednesday of the year in my book. No further comments…
Bonzers vs. AE2S
A potential goaltender dance off here. 2S’s Wuitschick is making a name for himself with big, timely saves in clutch moments and Bresina makes about 50 backdoor saves a night and possibly gets overlooked based off the B’s team record. Theres a couple bros coming to life on the Bonzers team… but might not be enough in the short run. The 2S’s have some sneaky speed with some tall forwards that make it a nightmare when the backcheck with their pesky reach. AE2S applies the pressure.
Week 2 Picks
Bonzers vs. Golf Center
With rosters being submitted and new players being uploaded, the names to faces game begins as the Commish discovers the next generation of beer league bros. A pleasant surprise from the GC camp as addition B. Montgomery joins the squad, following the footsteps of his brother Logan. Like his brother and fellow siblings, B. Montgomery lacking a hockey background, comes from a family of decorated gymnasts. It was just a short 4 years ago when Logan introduced his memoir: Pummeled by the Pommel Horse. A wizard on the floor exercise routine, B. M. is expected to release his own work later this season: Bend It Like Brock, which features an in depth look at flexibility. …Bonzers new name, same result. With a full effort and late game push fell a goal short in the opener. Bonzers will have their hands full this week in a tilted affair.
Red Pepper vs. Rumors
The RP’s followed up their banner hanging opener with a dominant win displaying 3 top 5 bros of the week. Most noticeable of the 3 was E. Tofte who once was the award winner of the ‘Mr. Irrelevant”. Which takes into account a players skill and IQ and compares that to their lack of points in the league. Potting 5 points last week and the eventual game winner, this game will likely prove the science that lightning does not strike twice for Tofte. Rumors may have been caught off guard by last weeks opponent but had the lungs to outlast an instant classic league opener. No surprises here for either team. Likely a speed first, ask who just dusted by you later… game. Plenty of goals on the board here.
AE2S vs. BWW
The Engineers turned heads last week. They looked fast and have some guys that can bury it with open looks. BWW forgot we started last week as 7 players opened their group chat in time to get the memo. The 2S’s have a habit of playing up or down to their opponents level. Based off week 1, the Engineers need to find the same level of intensity to get their first win. BWW needs bodies, or they’ll be chasing all night long.
GR-D vs. Johnny’s
Johnny’s has a massive family connection. The Mutscher brothers incepted the team and with that have rostered a set of Clauson’s, the Aarvig twins, the Roinila’s, the Halverson’s, and possibly the Garritson bros??, and now the Thingvold’s continue the really weird tradition. I’ll assume all the pairings are brothers and if not… it’s a hell of a coincidence. The GR-D’s had a strong representation snapping a pesky losing streak against Adams. R. Huttunen led the way with a rare GR-D top 5 bro appearance. They’ll need it again to get the edge early on former Forbey winner,(Rico) Sauve, between the pipes for Johnny’s.
GR-B vs. Adams
Things become increasingly more difficult for the Adams squad as they get their 2nd dose of free popcorn from a Ground Round team that looks poised for another deep run into the post season. Adams returns many of their roster regulars who can score and Pochatek looks like a freight train once he gets a step ahead. It’s a tough draw for week 2.
Welcome back…. Some of you were missed. Year 7 commences. The picks are in.
Week 1 Picks
AE2S vs. Rumors
The offseason roster moves across the league are always fun to track during the summer, whether its hearing the chatter at the softball diamond, or at robotics club for the AE2S dorks. Both teams will introduce fresh faces week 1. AE2S’s most notable changes come in the form of a managerial move as J. Solc will hand the duties over to J. Wuitschick, meanwhile the Commish will be firing his Czech Republic language translator and hiring in a German translator. Rumors begin the season without playmaker S. Bye and M. Nevala, but replace in the form of R. Bekkedahl and R. Edevold. Rumors picks up right where they left off… speed kills.
Broods vs. Golf Center
Rinse and repeat for the Broods squad. No fancy acquisitions, no position changes, no number swaps, and no more losing to the bad guys. Finishing with a near perfect season, the Broods will again feed off a pesky D-core and power forwards up front to pick up where they left off. Arguably the game of the week here as the GC’s rounded out the top 4 in the league and will again rely on their teenage youth. Broods 3rd period antics make the difference.
GR-D vs. Adams
The GR-D’s season a year ago was one to forget. The Commish had high hopes but learned turning 40, means you begin to suck at recreational sports more than ever… the GR-D’s need the days of old to spark any glory. They’ll lean on the current All-Time league leader in points, M. Lukkason, to miraculously get in shape earlier in the season, after waiting until week 11 of last season to show signs of life. Adams will add some youth to their lineup this season, and return a new member to the AARP membership with T. Litzinger completing another hockey waiver. Adams swept the GR-D’s a year ago. GR-D will need a week or two to get the mechanics back.
Red Pepper vs. Johnny’s
Johnny’s roster is still coming together after a monster rebuild last season. Bottom line is they need support for Olson up front. Olson was the only member of the squad to post double digit point totals. Pepper members still relishing a championship season a year ago but coming to grips with rising player fees entering this season. Disappointing sales were the downfall leading into this season as they sold halloween costumes as a fund raiser activity (seen here). There were 0 costumes sold. Pepper continues to be loaded up.
Johnny’s Key Returners: R. Olson, T. Mutscher, A. Sauve Pepper Key Returners: None
BWW vs. Bonzers
BWW is another squad that needs to find some puck bury’ers. Ca. Aarvig was the only player to reach double digits in points with his twin brother, Cody, chasing the family expectation. It was a surprise for the entire Aarvig family as up until this past year, Cody had been the spectacle of the twins. The artists formerly known as the iSights look to board the plane with no parachutes under a new alias… goaltending has been their base the past few seasons, not allowing 30+ shots a period will be step one into getting the new Bonzer regime a little momentum out of the gates. BWW is known for low scoring affairs. They net enough week 1.