Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Green Beer And Hockey

I don't have much time to scribe a long-winded article on St. Patrick's Day and its impact on the hockey world, most notably in the fashion department. For you see, I am going to be partaking in a little of the green bubbly while watching a plethora of games on the vacuum-tubed picture box tonight. Lots of games are being played in the NHL, so it's a solid night of action no matter where on this continent you are. If you're serving green beer tonight, though, keep a close eye on the intake of your patrons. If you're indulging in a few green barley sandwiches, make sure you know your limit, and do not drink and drive, people. HBIC is all about safety - mandatory visors in the NHL, for example - and I want to see everyone enjoying a great Irish ale while dancing to their favorite tune. Shillelaghs are encouraged at tonight's festivities!

Just to make everyone feel a little better about today's topic, the Irishmen actually can hold their heads high after their Under-18 program brought home its first medal in international play. Ireland defeated Bulgaria by a 6-3 score to earn the bronze medal at the IIHF World U-18 Division III-B Championships last night in Erzurum, Turkey.

After having no team at this competition for the last 10 years, this accomplishment is definitely something that should be celebrated. The Irish team has only been together for two years, so their growth in the game and the speed of their learning is a great feat for these young men. Head coach Sean Dooley and assistant coach Kenny Redmond deserve a lot of praise for molding this team, and GM Mick Cummins did a heck of a job in finding the twenty players for Dooley to work with. Well done, gentlemen!

On the players' side, Colin Grimason led the way in scoring for the Irish squad with ten goals and one assist in five games, and earned the accolade as top forward in the tournament. Aiden Morris was the top-scoring defenceman for Ireland with two goals and an assist over those five games. Scott Bickerstaff and Adam Pepper split the goaltendng duties through the five games almost evenly. Pepper played 60% of the minutes over Bickerstaff's 40%.

Well done to Team Ireland for their bronze medal showing! Savour the victory, lads, and have a green beer for the entire country of Ireland. The fans are behind you 100%.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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