Championship Week Box Scores (Spring 2023)

Julie’s Football Club vs I Just Blue Myself

3rd Period:
JFC (1-0) – Dave Liang (3) (PPG) (assisted by Amit) (10:12)

GAME NOTES: A classic defensive battle as blue had the better of possession and more overall chances by far, but orange had a few grade A ones including a couple posts/crossbars. It took a late powerplay goal by Dave Liang that snuck through traffic to break the tie and send orange to the championship game.

3rd – Dave Liang (1G)
2nd – Phelps (1 GA)
1st – Zisser (W, SO)

Hungry Hippos 2.0 vs Green Street Hooligans

1st Period:
HIP (1-0) – Hogg (2) (unassisted) (10:07)
2nd Period:
HIP (2-0) – Satok (3) (assisted by Tom White) (0:16)
HIP (3-0) – Tom White (1) (unassisted) (1:39)
GSH (1-3) – Stern (1) (assisted by Neil) (9:59)
3rd Period:
GSH (2-3) – Yehuda (1) (assisted by Russo) (0:31)
HIP (4-2) – Evan (1) (PPG) (assisted by Hogg) (6:08)
GSH (3-4) – Amanda (1) (assisted by Neil) (7:03)

GAME NOTES: After a super tight, quintessentially playoff game, this one was just wild. Black jumped out to a 3-0 lead less than two minutes into the 2nd period before green stormed back to cut the deficit to 3-2 with basically the entire 3rd left to play. At this point the public was just hammering the Hooligans live line, but once black got a four minute power play and a quick PPG, the game appeared over. But then Amanda came back with a super weird goal and all of a sudden green was right back in it. A lot of Hippo hearts were skipping beats but aided by some late green penalties and some late AJ saves, black was able to hold on and escape this one with a 4-3 win.

3rd – Tom White (1G, 1A)
2nd – Neil (2A)
1st – Evan Larkin (W, SO)

Julie’s Football Club vs Hungry Hippos 2.0

2nd Period:
HIP (1-0) – Tom White (2) (unassisted) (5:17)
JFC (1-1) – Dave Liang (4) (unassisted) (12:40)
3rd Period:
HIP (2-1) – Dewey (1) (assisted by Abby) (11:38)

GAME NOTES: Much like orange’s first game of the night, Zisser and his opposing netminder (AJ) put on a show. Although both teams were able to create chances throughout, the score held firm at 0-0 after one and 1-1 after two…for orange, Zisser and Dave Liang were the stories of the playoffs, Liang with 4 goals in 3 games and orange’s only goal scorer on the evening while Zisser made a number of fantastic saves and actually made me consider giving the Conn Smythe (aka Adam Banks) to a goalie in a losing effort…orange fans and bettors can only dream about what this game might have looked like had Tash, the Player Of The Year runner-up, Ladies’ Scoring Champion and Brian Leetch Award winner, not had to travel for work. This absence was known as far back as draft day but is still a huge what-if for the league annals…the story of this championship traces its roots back to the Summer of 2022, or what looked like it was going to be the permanent last ride of the Hippos as Hicks committed the OT turnover and then stepped down as captain shortly thereafter.

Needing a season off the captaincy game, he requested to go to a number of teams: blue, purple, even green. What he got instead was a season on black in which he publicly (aka anonymously) demanded trades on Twitter pretty much every other day, even while leading the league in scoring and picking up the scoring crown. That account, by the way, was the most popular on D5 Twitter slightly edging out Adam Herman.

After losing in round 1 to the eventual champion Muskies and with Jenn stepping down from captaining black, the stage was set for a revival. Personally, I think he wanted to captain the black team just so he could stick it to Jenn if he led them to a finals appearance. Whatever the reason, Hicks went with the sex change color change and with it, Hungry Hippos 2.0 were born. Step 1: he had his best draft in years. There’s a reason they were listed tied for 1st in the opening prop lines

…and 1st overall in the preseason power rankings

Mr Meatbox clearly knew it as he declared to me that his draft was “him” a phrase I didn’t even know was possible.

For those who may not be aware, the HIM came from this playoff goal…

…which was apparently part of wild celly night on the Hippos…

At this point, I’d like to take a complete sidebar and introduce you to the Chronicles of Dewey, formerly the thorn in Hicks’ side and now inexorably linked to him forevermore. Dewey was on the Hippos in Summer/Fall 2021 but not even drafted by them: he was picked up by a different team that then somehow drafted more guys than was allowed and had to drop one of them right after the draft, then they dropped him even though they had drafted other people after him and one of the captains had played with him before. Then he ended up on the Hippos where he proceeded to ghost them and miss the first month+ of the season when they could’ve really used him. At this point, many of them were pissed at him. Then one day, he showed up in the scorer’s box and I didn’t recognize him at all because he now had long hippie hair. I introduced him to Hicks and the first thing he did was ask if Hicks brought a stick for him to use. Hicks immediately was even more pissed at this guy than he already was. And then, he actually played pretty well that game and said he was in for the following Friday. And then, ladies and gentlemen, D5 history…

Dewey showed up and absolutely balled out, much to the delight of the crowd and his teammates. He had done it! After missing the first several weeks of the season he had against all odds won everyone over with his strong play that night. The Hippos suddenly looked like a threat. And then, like the Phantom of the Opera, he was gone. That was the final game he would show up for that entire season as the Hippos were eliminated by the Hooligans in the 4/5 game.

He would not return until this season when things were, shall we say…a bit rocky. But there he was, after missing the playoff game last week, out there in the final two minutes of a tied championship game. A lot of trust in my grizzled former mofo teammate. And then…history…

This electric goal also doubled as the single greatest crowd moment in D5 history, much more exciting for me than last week when I thought that homeless dude was going to jump on the rink in the middle of play and Joe and I were hoping Nestor would befriend the man. Seriously, I mean what a sign, even if Wagner apparently almost fucked it up by forgetting markers.

Late in the game the tension got so insane that Hicks, screaming for a clear, destroyed his vocal chords and went through puberty in a span of 3 seconds.

And yet, for fans across the Upper East Side and the greater Detroit area, the Hippos held on and won the championship. After a 1-2 start, they won their final 10 games in a row, beating every team in the league at least once, a truly remarkable achievement. And of course, the sign made its way to the bar.

Truly an evening for the ages.

Photo cred for this one goes to Sarah, aka the woman who was kept awake by Hicks celebrating til 5 AM and going on a personal bender.

But, of course, still making time to send out supplement referrals for his friends even mid-Dorrian’s celebration.

Hicks notoriously answers texts faster than anyone on the planet except maybe Zisser so when he hadn’t responded by 1 PM the next day, I felt there was cause for concern.

Thankfully, he appears to have lived to tell the tale. Well, at least for now.

Congrats to the Spring 2023 Hippos!

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