Denver Hockey Tourney


Well…it’s off to Denver for Steph’s women’s hockey tournament. Boarded the plane in rainy-nasty San Jose and sat down next to a woman who was so filled with self importance that she had a once sided conversation on her cell phone un until they they started taxiing. We heard about her trip to the Netherlands, her 10 million dollar proposal, and how she did something for some guy and he certainly isn’t going to forget about it. This lady was annoying and loud. She just kept yapping—I’m positive that the person on the other end of the deal had already hung up the phone. Cheez.

Anyway…talk about a L-O-U-D flight. The air conditioning in the plane was cranked and people were yelling over it just to hear one another. Our ears were ringing when we landed in warm and sunny Denver (Yes….warm and sunny compared to cruddy San Jose weather).

Spent the afternoon wandering around 16th street in downtown Denver. Got a super sweet room on the corner with a full wrap-around window!!! Also got a to witness a full-on broad-daylight mugging outside the Walgreens. Lovely, really.


Got to meet up with a long-time friend, Sarah, and her super sweet and ultra-cute son Thomas. Thomas is going to be a lady-killer, guaranteed!!! We had a tasty yummy breakfast at the “world famous” Eggshell in Cherry Creek. Sarah said that Thomas was a little tired and sort of “grouchy” because he hadn’t had his nap. I figured it was because Thomas simply wanted more flirting time with Steph…..Anyway for a “grouchy” guy he certainly was quiet and amazingly smiley.

Steph and I decided to hang a couple of hours at the Botanical Gardens. Lucky for us it was plant sale day and admission was FREE!! First off, su-ke-nah! The place is sweet and massive. It must be at least 300 yards long and at least 100 yards wide. Plants, flowers, cactii OH MY! I’ve never seen so many bright orange tulips and large expanses of purple flowers. There were themed areas and water fountains and ponds and benches and shrubs and more. Suffice to say that after an hour and a half we were dragging our feet (it was warm outside in the sun) and ready to head on our way. So we drove on up to Westminster, checked into our sweet suite (free internet!) and grabbed some lunch.

After lunch, it was off to the butterfly pavillion. At $8/person it was pricey, but almost worth it! Here are a few photos.

And now it’s time for the pre-game nap. Steph’s first hockey game is at 5:30……we’ll see how it goes.

Game 1 Post Game Report

Well, the Burninators played 3 great periods of hockey. They outshot the other team (whosiewhatsits?) 35 to 10 and had at least 6 dynamite scoring opportunities. They dominated in the 2nd and 3rd periods and really brought it on. Unfortunately, the goalie on that other team (whatstheirnamesits) was standing on her head. She was a butterfly goalie with the ability to slide from post to post and catch even the most difficult of wrap-around attempts (in a beginner division no less). The Burninators even screened the goalie (to no luck) in an attempt to get the biscuit in the basket. Final score, 1 – 0 in favor of the whatsiwhosits. Regardless, well-played, I say….well played. Stay tuned for game 2, tomorrow morning.

Preparing to Burninate!

Steph in gear.

Post game 1 mixer

Striking a pose


A late morning and down for a nasty “Continental Breakfast” a la the sweet suites. There were equally sized flat round objects in biscuit, waffle, sausage and egg flavors. We were invited to stack these round objects on top of one another and add some flavor with our condiment of choice. Unfortunately, the round breakfast foods were all semi-cold and the only condiment was ketchup. Blech.

Got to skate a little while on my new goalie skates…..which was an interesting shift. Almost fell on my ass a couple of times trying to do crossovers and stops, but eventually got the hang of the wide flat blades and was feeling almost natural (for a beginner that is). And then… was Burnination time.

Game 2 Post Game Report

Looking a little tired this morning, the Burninators fought it out for three periods against the Cliffhangers 2 team. The Cliffhangers made it a point of turning the game into a check-fest. In fact, #31 on the Cliffhangers got called for a boarding penalty and a full on frontal check penalty and a trip. The frontal check was a brutal hit that nocked a burninator entirely off her feet.

Needless to say, the ref’ing in this game was sub-par and perhaps a little bit biased towards the local team. As the game wore on, the Burninators got worn down and unfortunately frustrated. They had some geat shifts from every line, putting pucks towards the net, running it up the ice, holding it in the zone…but just couldn’t seem to do it. Unfortunately, Game 2 was a 2-0 loss…..

But on fun notes, the post-game feast was a massive spaghetti fest for the entire time. Yum yum, sausage marinara sauce and salad oh my. I’ll admit…..I was so tired from cheering (at altitude) that I grubbed down.

Looking forward to Burnination in Game 3!

Posing for Burnination!

Fangorious Stephinator.

PreGame 2 Mixer.

PreGame 2 Mixer 2.

Game 3 Post Game Report

The Burninators came out and dominated. I’ll update this section in a little bit. Suffice to say the game ended in a tie (3-3) with the Burninators scoring 2 of those goals in the last 5 minutes. The big scare of the night came when one of the (I will keep it clean…for the children) “women” on the Northern Lights (### to be specific) completely boarded one of our D while going at full speed. This left the Burninator (Heather) on the ice for several tense minutes and the Northern Light ### in the box. It was a nasty disgusting and totally ridiculous hit for AN ADULT AMATEUR LEAGUE!!! In my opinion, ### should be suspended from USA Hockey for that type of hit.

(update 6/05: The injured Burninator player finally returned to play this week, nearly a month after the boarding by Northern Lights ###)

We got the hit on video (we were taping the game) and showed it to the organizers of the tourney…who agreed….foul play. I’m hoping to put the video up as an example of why adult team sports can suck so bad. Turns out this same player (###….) had already gotten herself into hot water several times during this game with a few two-handed slashes on the Burninators. Her prior history and the irrefutable video tape evidence damned her to expulsion from the tourney. In the video, Northern Lights ### can be seen clearly putting her elbow on Heather’s back as Heather is slowing down going into the boards. As ### pushes down with her elbow, Heather is sent head and neck into the boards at modest speed. It is a miracle that we did not have to take Heather off in a stretcher.

(note, 6/05: The NL player was a damn good skater. She could skate circles around any of the Burninators. This hit was either (a) intentional or (b) completely avoidable by the better skater.)

A trip to the Hospital and several hours later and Heather is okay (for this bit of good news, The Burninators appear incredibly thankful). The bad news is that the Burninators are “Out in 3”.

<<RANT>> In my opinion and from what I saw….women’s hockey in the Denver area is as dirty as it comes. I saw more nasty slashes and cross checks today than in any coed game I have watched in the Bay Area. For simply lifting the stick (a legal move) the Burninators would get a shin (or back of the leg) slash in return. Going after the puck in the corner would get you boarded or cross checked. A breakaway would merit you a slash on your skate (forget the puck). This was ugly-ugly-ugly hockey by some agro chicks (and i use that term loosely). What made matters worse, is that the referees were local and knew many of the players….This resulted in a bias towards looking the other way and issuing “warnings” as opposed to actual penalties. Dear Refs…keep the game in control EARLY in the 1st and we would all be thankful! Being an adult of injury-prone-ability, I would recommend others of my type to avoid the Denver tourneys (until proven otherwise). <</RANT>>

<<RANT 6/05>> Those of you reading this understand that my frustration stems from the fact this is ADULT RECREATIONAL HOCKEY. These teams Pay to Play. They have Jobs to go to on Monday. Teams simply shouldn’t tolerate bad behavior from the 1 or 2 “bad apples” on their team…as this gives their entire team a bad rep. Regardless of what team you’re on (Burninators, Northern Lights, etc etc etc) its simply not necessary to play (good) hockey this way. <</RANT 6/05>>

(update 6/05. Since I have been informed that Northern Light’s players frequently change numbers, I have chosen to remove all references to the offending player’s number in the above text. For the record, at this tourney (and only at this tourney), she was wearing #17)

Checking in for Game 3 with the grim shirt on.

The zamboni freshening the sheet…..boy they paint ’em cool here. Almost looks like a 2-ton shopping basket.

Jena puts her game face on.

Yes…. Liz has red pants!

The San Jose Burninators prepare to take the ice for Game 3.

Get a load of how short that ref is on the right hand side. He’s like 10 or something!

Final score: 3-3. Great comeback!

A woozy Heather is helped off the ice (and on to the hospital) after the viscious boarding by Northern Lights Nasty#17.

5/8/05 A Day at the Zoo & A Flight Home

Well, with the trip drawing to a close, it was a late night discussing the nasty hit by NorthernLights#17. We all got to commiserate with a drugged up Heather (after several hours at the hospital…) and recount the events.

This morning, several of us ended up going to Waffle House in order to avoid the pancake shaped egg-like objects. What a tasty plate of cheese grits and bacon. Mmmmm. Soopahviv had never had grits….she seemed to enjoy them (score 1 for cheese grits).

After waffle house, it was off to the Denver Zoo where I did not take too many pictures. Many funny moments….from the sign-picture-taking-Vivo to the butt-sniffing Lion (followed by a puzzled yawn-growl-face). Oh, and the hoof-ed beasts with the 14″ long tongues were intriguing (as were the smelly giraffes). Sad to see those bears pacing in schizophrenic misery….and the ultra-bored (too small a pen) elephants were disheartening as well. But, the geese were cute, and all the other babies were entertaining. The tropics exhibit…and the bushmasters…pretty cool.

Cap the exhausting day off with a stop at Good Times on “Hofax” avenue (darn tasty “frozen custard” spoonbenders….mmmm) and it was off to the airport. In line for the security strip search, good ol’ Andrea got cut off by the biggest *ahem* in tight leather pants. Funny thing was, we still emerged in front of them on the other end…..the world is just full of “the wrong kind of people”, eh?

And then…an overbooked flight (United, of course) and a bumpy ride home, a shuttle bus that would never show up as we waited in the rain…and 7.5 hours after we left Good Times, Steph & I finally got home and crashed. Great weekend.

Thanks for having me as your “Groupie”, San Jose Burninators!

Beware the evil Mother of Fairy Tales Funny how this picture was taken on Mother’s Day.

Look really close into my eye and I will bite your nose off. Just exactly what are those two dudes looking at anyway?

I’m a poser, eh?

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