August 21 1999
SOAP OPERA RENEGADES
Our championship season
The Inverness Pub Renegades won their first ever CBHL championship by†
sweeping the defending champion My-T-Fines, who were looking for their
sixth consecutive championship. In game 2, the Inverness Pub Renegades
jumped out to a 4-0 first period lead with goals by Sean Marcellin, Steve
Bleau† (2) and Chris Nadeau, who scored with 1 second remaining on the
clock. The hulking defenseman finished the season with 4 goals in his
last 5 games, an "out of control" accomplishment, to use Nadeauís favorite
expression. The Renegades goaltending was second to none; Billy Mark
(Game 1) and Regent Proulx (Game 2) were absolutely brilliant. The
My-T-Fines made their usual late game comebacks but Mark and Proulx held
the fort for the Renegades. Championships are all about good goaltending.
This is the Renegades first championship since 1996-97, when they took
the CASC league in its inaugural season. They only lost one game all year
amidst a tough schedule; they played 6 of their 12 regular season games
versus the Reservoir Dogs and the My-T-Fines, the 2 toughest opponents by
far; the Renegades tied the Fines 3 times (0-0-3) and lost 4-1 to the
Reservoir Dogs in week 9 of the season (1-1-1) The Renegades went
undefeated versus the bottom 3 teams: Chez Body (1-0-1), the Squadron (2-0)
and the Scoop (2-0).
In spite of losing only 1 game all year, the Renegades had a very
unspectacular regular season; thatís what 5 ties can do to a team. Had we
played with a little more fire and intensity in late game situations, those
5 ties could easily have been reduced to a pair. On three occasions, the
Renegades blew a 2 goal lead with about 6 minutes remaining in the game,
twice versus the My-T-Fines and once versus the Reservoir Dogs. Blowing a
2 goal lead late in a game, not once, twice but three times, ruined our
team morale. Joe Lazzara had seen enough after the third time it happened
(in week 11 versus the Reservoir Dogs) as he quit the team immediately
after the game "Iíve played my last game for this team" said Lazzara in
the runway, as we weíre unlocking the dressing room door. Captain Peter
Knapp was still on the playing surface when Lazzara made his bold
The Renegades held a one goal lead with about 2 minutes left to play in
that game when captain Peter Knapp called a timeout during a shorthanded
situation and pulled Lazzara and linemate Philippe Gaudreau in favor of
Paul Iacurto and Billy Gorsky. Gaudreau and Lazzara were livid. The
Reservoir Dogs won the face-off in the neutral zone (between our blue line
and the redline) and scored on a weak 50 foot screen shot that Billy Mark
was late to react on. Watching from the stands, Billy Gorskyís girlfriend
noticed that Lazzara and Gaudreau applauded the Reservoir Dogs tying goal.
It was midway through the 1998-99 CASC season when Joe hinted that he would
like to form his own team for the 1999/2000 season. Joe didnít like the
direction the Renegades were taking especially after Peter had Michel Iorio
coming down as a sub for several games in mid-season, at a time when we
desperately needed more firepower to defeat the Bluedogs, who had stocked
themselves up with Keith Myers and Darren Robers in the off season. Joe and
I knew all too well that Iorio wasnít going to improve the Renegades. Later
on in the season, Peter called a team meeting and it would be agreed
that Michel would not come back. But Joeís desire to form his own team had
probably not lessened.
And with Philippe Gaudreau playing for the Four Aces, I had a very strong
premonition that Joe would leave the Renegades to play on the same team as
his brother in law. (Gaudreau played 3 games for the Renegades early in the
1998-99 season but left for the Four Aces since we had no full time room
for him) I believe that Lazzara had ulterior motives to quit the Renegades
and used the Reservoir Dogs fiasco as a springboard to leave the team.
I wasnít at all surprised to see Joe jump ship; it was the timing that
caught everybody off guard.
After the Reservoir Dogs game, Peter Knapp, Chris Nadeau, Sean Marcellin
convened at the Inverness Pub. I immediately informed Peter of the Lazzara
statement, that I referred to as a bluff. No way could Joe leave the
Renegades so suddenly. I was convinced that both Lazzara and Gaudreau
(who always come to the games together) would be back next week. I thought
that Joe would wait until the end of the season to leave the Renegades.
Sean Marcellin dropped a brownie on the table and started drinking. 1
large Bud, 2 large Buds, 3 large Buds and so on...Sean had a bad game that
night (he played on a line with Lazzra and Gaudreau) and blamed Knapp for
not putting his line on at the same time as the Nadeau/Knapp defensive
pair, who were always on at the same time as the Iacurto-Gorsky-Bleau
line. It wasnít premiditated but Sean wouldnít understand that, especially
after his 4th or 5th large Bud. Sean played with Knapp on the summer
Dragons and knew that Peter would give him that quick pass up the floor,
which is so vital on the large surface at Concordia. He also though that
the Iacurto-Gorsky-Bleau line got preferential treatment all game long,
since they were on for all the power play situations. That wasnít
premeditated either but Sean would not understand beacuse he was already
tanked . It is also speculated that one of the players on the
Marcellin/Gaudreau/Lazzara line wanted to purposely slap the ball at our
bench midway through the game, just to send a message of their discontent.
Sean continues his assault on Knapp by telling him that he should
reconsider the line combinations for the next game versus the My-T-Fines.
Sean called Knapp a dictator on several occasions. An angry Knapp fired
back at Marcellin telling him that itís not easy to manage a team when
players ask to be paired together, referring to Paul /Billy, and
Joe/Philippe. I had never seen Peter so upset before. It would be agreed
that the line combinations for the next game would be
Marcellin-Iacurto-Knapp and Vineberg-Gorsky-Lazzara. Defenseman would be
Gaudreau, Nadeau, Bleau, DíAgostino and Foster.
Two hours and 6 large Budweisers later Sean was gassed, and broke. Thatís
what happens when you try to drink on an even keel with big Chris and when
you handle his tab. Chris is the #1 power drinker in the league and he can
drink (and burp) anyone under the table. I drove Sean home and he didn't
show up for work the following day. Too hungover.
Lazzara quit the Renegades the next day
For our next game versus the My-T-Fines, the first line remained intact.
Gaudreau moved up from defense to the second line. Ian Foster did not play
due to injury. To replace Lazzara and Foster, two substitute players from
the Dragons (Jamie and someone else whose name I donít remember) suited
up for this all important battle for first place. The end result was yet
another tie (3-3), but for the first time in the season the Renegades
played with attitude, determination and desperation. It was an omen
of things to come for the playoffs.
The Renegades defeated the Reservoir Dogs 6-4 in the first round of the
playoffs and swept the My-T-Fines in the final, by scores of 4-3 and 4-2.
The 1999 playoff Renegades is the best or second best ball hockey team I
have ever played on. The other nominee is Uppershelf 1994 (CBHL). Billy
Gorsky and I know just how "sick" that team was. It's a tough call. In any
case, I had the privilege to play on a line with Sean Marcellin for all 3
playoff games, which has been one of the greatest thrills of my ball
hockey career. In restrained terms, letís just say that Sean and I pass the
ball together very well. Steve Bleau added fire and intensity to our line.
His hard work paid off with a pair of goals in game 2 of the final.
While their styles are totally different, the Darryl Vineberg, Billy
Gorsky and Philippe Gaudreau line played solid hockey, especially in game
2 of the final. Darryl likes to handle the ball in the open floor and blast
to the net with reckless abandon, Gorsky is more of a finesse player whoís
deadly in the slot and Gaudreau it at his very best when causing commotion
in front of the net.
For the final, the Renegades went with the defensive pairings of Victor
Pajor/Chris Nadeau and Peter Knapp/Angelo DíAgostino. Nadeau finished the
season with 4 goals in his last 5 games, including a first period buzzer
beater in game 2 of the final. He played the best ball hockey of his
career in the second half of the season. The key to his success was
keeping his slapshot low, which was something he could not manage in the
CASC league. I still have nightmares of Chris shooting too high and
hitting the graffiti board at Westmount High. I've told you about this
many times, Chris. He changed his slapshot technique and it paid immediate
An ecstatic Chris Nadeau was asked to comment on the Renegades championship
victory: "I would lose the CASC season five years in a row to win the
Concordia league once. This is the real thing. Paul works with a hoard of
18 year old girls and is banging a different one each week. Every time I
call Paul, I always get his answering machine cause heís too busy banging.
Paul need to find a girl who could clean his apartment and then bang
Ian is banging about 50 girls a month. No wonder his groin hurts. Paul,
Sean and Ian are magnets to women. These guys just sit down at the bar and
all the girls come to them"
If you want that quick pass up the floor, Peter Knapp is the man for the
job. Heís a true sniper who has the best one timer on the team. Angelo
DíAgostino, who postponed his vacation one week to play in the CBHL final,
was solid around the boards and made few mistakes in the defensive zone. I
enjoy watching Victor Pajor play; he has deceiving upper body strength,
and is the best on the Renegades for taking out the body in the defensive
In the last 2 years, I have played more games with Ian Foster than any
other player. He and I are the only Renegades who have good taste for
music (rap, hip-hop, R&B, reggae). After the game, we enjoy blasting the
tunes in the car. Hey Gorsky, what's with that heavy metal shit you listen
to? Rock music, especially metal, is nothing but mindless guitar slinging
garbage. Ian and I don't listen to that shit. Ian is a class guy who has
given his heart and soul to the Renegades and the CASC league for a number
of years and itís very unfortunate that he could not participate in the
CBHL final due to injury. Hereís a man who agreed to play for the Four
Aces in the inaugural year of the CASC league, so the Renegades wouldnít
be too strong. Darryl Vineberg did the same thing by playing for the
Playground Bullies. Out of respect to Foster and Vineberg, we called
ourselves the Screaming Maniacs that year. The Renegades cannot be called
the Renegades without Foster and Vineberg. Winning the championship must
have been a very special feeling for these 2 multi talented players.
It has always been said that solid goaltending is the key to championship
hockey. Billy Mark, who told me that heís lost some motivation for ball
hockey, was at his absolute best in game 1 of the final. His brilliant
glove save early in game 1 set the tone for his masterful performance. In
game 2, Regent Proulx (who I consider a Renegade) picked up right where
Billy Mark left off in game 1 and stopped a barrage of shots, especially
in the second period. Everybody makes fun of Regentís tiny pads but heís
a top level performer and thatís the only thing that matters.
I can relate to those tiny pad comments since everybody makes fun of my
short stick. (go measure yours. I'm 5"8 and play with a 51 inch stick)
Heck, 5í0 tall Cynthia Deserantis plays with a longer stick than I do. A
short stick does wonders to your stick handling; Keith Myers and I
understand this.(Keith plays with the second shortest stick in the league)
And as for you John Wong, quit playing with that telephone poll you call
a hockey stick. Do you work for Bell? Get the saw out of the tool box and
start cuttin'. Your stick is way too long. No wonder you're always
sliding; you keep tripping over your stick
In my opinion, last yearís Concordia Renegades would not have won the 1999
championship. Some key acquisitions vastly improved our talent chart.
Victor Pajor, Billy Gorsky, Phlippe Gaudreau, Sean Marcellin and Regent
Proulx are the players that put the Renegades over the top.
I look forward to teaming up with you in the CASC league, Sean. Maybe not,
maybe so, yes, no , maybe, perhaps, not for sure, guaranteed, oui, non,
peut-etre, je le sais pas, je le sais plus, this is confusing.
I'll explain the Marcellin sweepstakes in my next article.
††††††††††††††††††††††† *** The 1999 CBHL Renegades ***
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Captain: Peter Knapp
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Billy Mark (G)
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Regent Proulx (G)
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Steve Bleau
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ian Foster
†† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Philippe Gaudreau
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Billy Gorsky
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sean Marcellin