Yorba Linda Yowlers MLD team thread Topic

Yorba Linda Yowlers
Arena: Yorba Linda Ice Palace, Yorba Linda CA
Team colors (home): Brown with Gold, Black and Red trim
Team colors (away): White with Brown, Black and Red trim
Minor league affiliate: Anaheim Hills Anacondas
6/21/2010 7:54 PM (edited)
All-time records (through season 29):      
Goals, one season: Markus Levy (81)      
Goals, career: Eric Leclerq (222)      
Assists, one season: Sparky Clemons (73)      
Assists, career: Jan Brady (416)      
Points, one season: Markus Levy (111)      
Points, career: Jan Brady (621)      
PIM, one season: Kaspars Torppala (311)      
PIM, career: Kaspars Torppala (1039)      
+/-, one season : Jarmo Bethere (+91)      
+/-, career: Jan Brady (+452)      
PPG, one season: Markus Levy (10)      
PPG, career: Sparky Clemons (26)      
SHG, one season: Six tied (3)      
SHG, career: Walter Schanin, William Sanderson (6)      
Wins, one season: Tim Armstrong (57)      
Wins, career: Anton Boucher (247)      
Shutouts, one season: Anton Boucher (19)      
Shutouts, career: Anton Boucher (67)      
Games played, career: Jan Brady (782)      
All-time awards (season):      
Markus Levy: Hart (1), Richard (1), Clancy (1), Masterton (1), Selke (3)  
Sparky Clemons: Masterton (2, 3, 7), Conn Smythe (1), Hart (3), Art Ross (3,7)
Pauli Ermakov: Calder (2, 3)*      
Anton Boucher: Vezina (2, 3)      
Russell Moorehead: Richard (5)      
Ethan Fabrell: Calder (7)*, Jennings (18, 24)*      
Jesse Tillanen: Conn Smythe (9)      
Erik Leclerq: Calder (17)      
Tim Armstrong: Vezina (19)      
Walter Schanin: Norris (19)      
Darrell Ylara: Calder (23)      
Alexsey Varenko: Calder (24), Vezina (29)      
2/16/2012 5:21 PM (edited)
Current Roster-Season 29    
# Name Position Years Completed
2 Vail, Arthur D 0
3 LaFleur, Remi D 0
5 Brun, Cully D 1
7 Zhou, Jim LW 0
8 Brice, Leon D 0
10 Worthington, Eustice LW 3
11 Ikeno, Tetsuo RW 0
12 Holopainen, Pekka RW 3
13 Martniku, Ty RW 0
14 Tikachuk, John Paul LW 2
16 Topachuk, Michael LW 0
17 Norokopi, Rob RW 2
18 Moyakovsky, Sergei RW 0
20 Morehouse, Forbes RW 2
21 Ylara, Darryl D 4
22 Bergh, Patsy D 7
23 Salmenius, Ken D 0
24 Jurgen, Nils C 3
25 Kadlec, Red D 0
26 Holstein, Shaone RW 0
27 Boroda, Evgeny C 0
31 Lacroix, Stephane G 0
32 Rodenberg, Jonathan G 0
33 Goyette, Pascal G 0
34 Tenkula, Saku G 3
36 Armi, Jerry C 0
37 Ater, Tom D 4
38 Palochuk, Jake C 0
39 King, Neal D 0
41 Hordachuk, Vic LW 5
42 Ahlman, King D 2
85 Nodl, Elmo LW 0
99 Buller, Andre C 0
2/16/2012 5:19 PM (edited)
All-time records:
W L T OTL Points GF GA
Season 1: 58 18 4 2 122 437 303 Won cup
Season 2: 53 21 8 0 114 280 166 Lost round 1
Season 3: 58 14 10 0 126 263 141 Lost round 2
Season 4: 36 36 10 0 82 157 152 Lost round 2
Season 5: 45 29 5 3 98 173 151 Won cup
Season 6: 32 35 11 4 79 152 167 Out of playoffs
Season 7:  44 24 9 5 102 214 143 Lost round 1
Season 8: 42 21 18 1 103 180 126 Lost round 4
Season 9: 43 30 8 1 95 172 132 Won cup
Season 10: 43 24 13 2 101 176 140 Lost round 1
Season 11: 38 24 15 5 96 163 141 Lost round 2
Season 12: 39 34 8 1 87 183 174 Lost round 1
Season 13: 42 28 8 4 96 203 154 Lost round 1
Season 14: 37 31 12 2 88 179 168 Lost round 3
Season 15: 25 38 19 0 69 149 178 Out of playoffs
Season 16: 45 26 8 3 101 269 218 Lost round 1
Season 17: 55 19 6 2 118 283 163 Lost round 3
Season 18: 49 24 8 1 107 272 175 Lost round 3
Season 19: 64 12 5 1 134 322 129 Lost round 2
Season 20: 49 23 9 1 108 304 199 Lost round 2
Season 21: 49 21 12 0 110 280 166 Lost round 3
Season 22: 52 20 9 1 114 297 192 Lost round 1
Season 23: 56 17 8 1 121 364 178 Lost round 3
Season 24: 53 18 7 4 117 300 162 Lost round 2
Season 25: 57 12 11 2 127 334 146 Lost round 1
Season 26: 49 24 8 1 107 325 175 Lost round 3
Season 27: 34 42 5 1 74 252 273 Out of playoffs
Season 28: 45 26 9 2 101 309 201 Lost round 1
Season 29: 57 18 7 0 121 325 164 Lost round 4
Totals: 1349 709 270 50 3018 7317 4977
Averages: 46.5 24.4 9.3 1.7 104.1 252.3 171.6
2/16/2012 5:19 PM (edited)
Yowlers season 4 preview
"Accountability. Expectations. Excellence." Those are the words hanging above the doorway to the Yowlers locker room this season. After an extremely disappointing season 3, Yowler coach yogsloth had them installed with riveted steel. Training camp is still a few days away, but we contacted coach yog to get a sense of what OC hockey fans can expect for the upcoming MLD season.
"Anger. Lots of anger." Blunt and truthful as ever, coach yog no room for misunderstanding when discussing his feelings over last season's early playoff exit. "We've worked very hard to build a winning tradition in Yorba Linda, and for whatever reason, we let the fans down for the second season in a row. You look at our squad and the Lions squad on paper, and there's no contest - there's no way we should have let them take it from us. Some of our guys played like superheros in that series, and some played like whipped dogs. They know who they are."
What about the amazing run the Lions had? Yorba Linda wasn't the only squad to be upset.
"Well, but exactly... you look at Helsinki last year, and the thing was... they wanted it. Those guys had heart for miles. Not a lot of talent on that squad, but they had a burning passion. You look at all the OT games we played against them it was just clear that they were sacrificing, doing all the things a team has to do to come together to win. I don't want to take away anything from those guys... I just want to see our team playing like that, the way we did when we won the MLD championship in the first season."
Let's talk about the upcoming season. Any major changes in store?
"Other than putting my foot up some butts a little more? Not too much. Things are going to get shaken up a little bit, but really more because of the MLD retirement rules than anything else. Our team has been a little guilty of not planning for seasons 7 and beyond, but we're going to be paying attention to that a little more."
How so?
"Well, and you have to give major credit to our amateur scouts on this one, but we think we've found our franchise goalie for many, many years in a kid named Branislav Hanhimaki. He's this Czech-Finnish kid that's strong as a bull and quick as hell. We're going to break him in really slowly... this is still Anton Boucher's team... but we're just amazingly stoked to get this kid. He was the #1 ranked goalie prospect by drg sports, and the best goalie prospect by far. Yowler fans will see a little bit of him, but really, he'll probably spend most of the season in Anaheim Hils."
Any other changes?
"Yeah, you know, we've got a few veterans who are probably going to be chased out of jobs by some of our youngsters. We have some real concerns about our depth on the blueline, and we may be forced into playing some kids just to have someone for seasons 7 and beyond."
Any chance fan favorite Kaspars "The Torpedo" Torppala gets some more action? What about Pauli Ermakov, who has utterly dominated the minors the last 3 seasons and has improbably won the Calder trophy the last 2 seasons in the MLD?
"Those two guys are both in excellent standing to take a job from somebody. We've really been working with Kaspars to try and limit those attempt-to-injure penalties. If we can keep him from intentionally breaking too many guys' femurs, he can really be a strong presence for us. Either that or we'll trade him to Kingston. Ermakov has shown some flashes of brilliance, but we're still not completely sold on his durability for a full season. It's really up to him how bad he wants it. If he plays like he did in the season one playoffs, he'll be a star."
Our thanks to coach yog for his candid responses. Our next installment will feature interviews with several of the players to talk about season 3 and their personal expectations for season 4.
1/18/2007 9:00 AM
For immediate release:
Yowlers aquire all-star Tarnojeff, prospect
After intense negotiations lasting most of the off-season, the Yorba Linda Yowlers are pleased and excited to announce the aquisition of all-star Butch Tarnojeff from the Yorkton Millers.
Coach and GM yogsloth had this to say:
"Today we are incredibly excited to add Butch to our lineup! This is a guy that's had a lot of success in the MLD. Even with the increased importance of defense league-wide, he's still been able to put the puck in the net with over 100 career goals. He can make plays, he plays the physical game, he can take faceoffs... this guy can do everything. Lack of offense was what killed us in the playoffs last year, and we really believe Tarnojeff is going to go a long way towards fixing that problem."
There had been some grumbling for a while from Yorkton that Tarnojeff was unhappy with the direction of the franchise. Likewise, it was well-known that Yorkton GM drg330 was less-than-thrilled at Tarnojeff's playoff performances, even as Yorkton was busy winning the MLD championship in season 2. Will any of this be a distraction in the Yowler locker room?
"We really don't think so at all. Sometimes a guy just needs a change of scenery. We don't see any problems with his performance in the past - if anything, he's learned to sacrifice personal stats in the playoffs to help the team win. Yorkton have always been winners, and we'd like to think we have the same type of team-first attitude here in Yorba Linda. We think he'll fit right in."
Also included was prospect Ray Perto.
"Ray is a young defenseman with a lot of potetntial. He's really raw, but he reminds me of a young Scotty Walden. A guy that can be a capable #5 or 6 D-man, if he puts in a lot of work. He's ticketed for Anaheim Hills this season, however."
And going the other way?
"Well, you have to give to get. We're losing a couple of really important guys in Kleemola and Lipponen. We analyzed our roster and broke the players down into tiers - our core players, our first-level support guys, and our second-level support guys. Both of these players have been big contributors, but we felt that they were both in that first-level support area. Lipponen is an amazing playmaker, and Kleemola was by far our most improved player for season 3, but we just felt that if we had the chance to add an elite player like Tarnojeff, we had to take it. We wish nothing but the best for those guys, and we know that they're going to help make Yorkton a better team."
When contacted for a comment, Tarnojeff said:
"I'm really ecstatic right now. Yorba Linda has a long tradition of winning, and I'm busting at the seams with excitement. The chance to play with superstars like Sparky Clemons and Markus Levy is just amazing. I can't wait to win another cup with Yorba Linda!"
Yowler Season tickets are still available. Please call your ticket rep at (714) 777-YOWL.
1/21/2007 5:46 PM
Yowler Player Profile: #9, Center Markus Levy
In this edition of YPP, we take a look at current Yowlers' leading scorer, assistant captain Markus Levy.
Although team captain Sparky Clemons is the one player most easily idetifiable with the franchise, it is perhaps center Markus Levy that has been the franchise's most recognizable and controversial player. Levy entered the MLD a virtual unknown in the professional hockey world, as did most all of the players recruited to form the new league. He soon had people taking notice, however, as he utterly dominated the MLD scoring charts the first 3/4 of the inaugural season, scoring well over a goal-per-game.
Somewhere after the 3/4 mark however, something started to go wrong with Markus. "There were some off-ice issues. I can't really talk about it too much. Family stuff," the all-star center apologized when contacted. "It made it really tough to bring my best to the ice every night. You know, unfortunately, sometimes real life gets to be too tough to ingore. It was a really tough time in my life." Levy finished the season with 81 goals, still good enough to tie for tops in the league. In the playoffs, his production was noticeably lowered, and it was the excellent all-around play of the team that carried it to the inaugural MLD championship, with Levy really only coming allive for the finals. Despite his difficult season, however, Levy still captured the Hart, Clancy, Richard, and Masterton trophies - an amazing feat.
His performance ultimately convinced his older brother Bates to make himself eligible for the MLD draft, going to the Henderson Hornits (where he is a star in his own right, with over 100 points in his first two seasons).
Season 2 started with much more difficulty for Levy. "It was terrible. I couldn't shoot, couldn't score, couldn't get my mind into the game at all. About 1/3 of the way through the season, I was about ready to just pack it all up and go home." Instead, Levy wound up being traded to the powerhouse Roswell Aliens for goal-scorer Russell Moorhead and a first-round pick. "I had a meeting with coach yog, and after a lot of talking, and a lot of tears, we agreed that a trade would probably work out best for everybody. I hated leaving, but at that time, I felt that a fresh start would be best for me."
Things wouldn't work out quite the way he hoped, however. "Things just never worked in Roswell. At all. I was still a bit of a mess, mentally, and those guys just didn't know what to do with me. Russ had been a pretty popular guy, and I think they viewed me as being an outsider. I just couldn't seem to find my place. I even managed to miss my very first game because I couldn't find the arena... I got there halfway through the 2nd, so of course, I had to be scratched at the last minute. That pretty much summed up my stay in New Mexico, I think." At one point, Aliens' coach rammers even had Levy playing defense. "Yeah. That's how bad it got." Levy only scored 3 goals in 31 games in Roswell. "Including 2 in my very last game! At that point, I knew I was being traded again, and who knows why... but it was by far and away by best game in Roswell!"
Levy wound up being dealt after the game back to Yorba Linda. "I'm incredibly glad coach yog was able to get me back. Things were much better. I had time to kind of get my head together in the desert, and I came back feeling much refreshed." Levy finished with 19 goals on the season, but the Yowlers struggled in the playoffs and were crushed in 6 games, with Levy putting up only 2 points and a -4.
Season 3 began, then, with Levy coming into camp as a total unknown. Would he be the dominant player he was for the first three-fourths of season one? Or would he be the disorganized, sometimes brilliant, sometimes awful player he was for the next 1¼ seasons?
Turns out, Levy came in with a steely determination to completely re-vamp his game. "I was NOT going to have a season 3 like I did season 2. I worked harder in the offseason than I ever have, by far and away. If you looked at the progression in the league overall from season 1 all the way up to the present, you could see how important defence was becoming. I was determined to be the best player I could be in that environment." And he certainly did - the dominant goal scorer became the dominant defensive center in the league, capturing the Selke Trophy, while still managing over 40 points. In the playoffs, the Yowlers once again struggled, although Levy was one of the few bright spots, scoring 6 goals in 11 games.
Thus far in season 4, Levy has continued his excellent two-way play, with 7 points in 10 games and a +4. Yowler fans have come to depend on his consistant play, usually paired with the very man he was once traded for, Russell Moorehead. "I tell you what, I would trade every one of those trophies in for another championship, though. That's all I want for this season. Hang all the individual awards... it's championship or bust. That's really the attitude we have in this locker room right now. You look at how active management has been in trying to aquire top talent, and it gives you a lot of confidence."
Indeed. Thanks to Markus, coach yog, and the Yowlers' organization for their assistance in this article.
Yowler Season tickets are still available. Please call your ticket rep at (714) 777-YOWL.
1/22/2007 3:51 PM
Yowler Player Profile: #4, Defenseman Sparky Clemons
Captain. All-star. Franchise player. MVP. These are the names that have been give to Yowlers' superstar defender, Sparky Clemons. Yet even these superlatives can't come close to describing the man and the player that has come to personify the Yowlers' franchise.
"Growing up, all I ever wanted to be was one of those tough, physical, two-way defenseman that could score, pass, and hit. One of those guys that could carry a team," began Clemons, when contacted for this article. Guys with a bit of a wild streak... that could score on you in the first period, QB a power play in the second, and then get a wild hair up their *** in the 3rd and drill you through the glass into the hot blonde in the second row. Guys like Scott Stevens, Rob Blake, and Chris Pronger. In fact, it was those guys that inspired me to wear number 4 thoughout my career."
Clemons arrived in the MLD with a lot of buzz behind him. Rumor was that he turned down an ECHL contract to join the expansion league. "Well, you know, after you've been turned down by the NHL, AHL, ECHL, CHL, SJHL, whatever they're calling the Quebec senior league these days, RHI, your local rec leagues, and your own NBC sitcom, it's every hockey player's dream to get to play in a league like the MLD," he told us without a trace of irony or sarcasm in his voice. "I mean, why ride the buses in the ECHL when a guy can have a chance to fly to so many incredible places in the world in the MLD! Do you have ANY idea what kind of a bus ride it is from Reading to Long Beach? In the MLD, I get to see places like Helsinki, Roswell, Gotham City... hell, we even get to cross Bifrost 8 times a season!"
That's the type of good humor and positive attitude that has led Clemons to donate his time tirelessly to the "Yo-Yos from Yowlers" program, a charity he began shortly before season one that donates used Yo-Yos to underpriveliged children in need throughout the OC. Along with teammates Claire Strauss, Jaromir Lemieux, and Mal Pokela, YYfY estimates they've given out over 4 dozen Yo-Yos since the program began. It's largely this effort that has led the MLD to award Clemons an amazing two consecutive Masterton trophies.
"Well, you would think the King Clancy would be more appropriate... I still have no idea how Marky won that thing... but it's an incredible honor. I came from a pretty underpriveleged family myself. There were times I would be standing in the checkout line at my local skate shop with half a dozen sticks, a skate sharpener, some new pads, and a carton of stick tape, just crying inside... you know what I mean? All the other kids had really cool chinese finger-traps, plastic spider rings, Superman stickers and such to play with, but my family just couldn't afford those things. I swore to myself back then that if I ever had the opportunity, I would help kids I came across who were in the same situation. On off-game nights now, we hop in the Hummer and drive to local hospitals and adult book stores, looking for kids in need. You should see their eyes lite-up when we give them a slightly-used Super Flier or a vintage Night Crawler. It makes it all worth it."
On the ice, of course, Clemons' numbers speak for themselves. In season 3, he put up almost 20 points in his final 10 games to win the scoring title by 10 points. He's one of the all-time leading scorers in the MLD with over 260 points. His 34 points in the season 1 playoffs are still a record. His trophy room is equalled only by teammate Markus Levy. He remains an electrifying player, seemingly unaffected by the league-wide scoring drought that has been steadily worsening in the MLD since its inception.
"I just want people to come out and watch us play. We've gotten off to a rocky start this year, but we still have a great team, and we're determined to win a championship this season. No excuses."
Thanks to Sparky, coach yog, and everyone at the YYfY foundation.
Yowler Season tickets are still available. Please call your ticket rep at (714) 777-YOWL.
1/24/2007 6:28 PM
Yowlers Player Profile: #15, Defenseman Kaspars Torppala
One of the newer faces on the Yowlers this season is blueliner Kaspars "The Torpedo" Torppala. Along with LW Pauli Ermakov, Torpedo has actually received significat looks from Yowlers management in each of the first three MLD seasons, but has yet to cross the 20 game mark and register a full season.
Torpedo is known for one thing and one thing only: busting heads. His tendency to snap on the ice and physically assault opponents has made him a huge fan favorite for the Yorba Linda crowd, especially given the normally pacifist nature of the MLD.
"Off the ice, I'm a pretty even-keeled, loquacious kind of guy. On the ice, I'm normally the same way. I'm a student of the game. I love watching game tapes, studying strategy and technique. I try to play a solid, defensive game... helping out my goaltender, covering for my partner, moving the puck up ice. I don't know what it is, though... every once in a while I just lose it and want to beat the holy living f*** out of the next guy I see," related Torpedo when contacted for this profile.
"He's actually very good defensively," coach yog told us. "If defensive awareness were on a 1 to 100 scale, Torpedo is... well, easily at least an 80. We'd love to use him more heavily. He just has this little problem."
A little problem that involves head-butting, kneeing, boarding, eye-gouging, and in one memorable incident in junior hockey, taking his skate off and attempting to stab somebody with it. "What can I say," he shrugs, "I guess I watched 'Happy Gilmour' too many times."
When asked about the subject of the lack of fisticuffs in the MLD, Torpedo gets quite animated: "Jeez, you know, it's crazy. This is hockey, not ballet school. I can appreciate a crisp pass and a nice deek as much as the next guy... but all these Finnish-Hungarian players that have invaded the league act like their gloves are sewn to their hands. When was the last time anybody got in a fight in the MLD? I can't even remember my own. I think I'd probably be in a lot less trouble if I could find somebody on the other team to drop 'em with. Maybe it would help when I get that uncontrollable urge to smash somebody's trachia. Even the guys that are supposed to be fighters are p***ing out these days. What the hell happened to that Sweese guy? Somebody hide his tampons?"
What about your former teammate and roommate in Anaheim Hills, Hib Talanen? "Ah man, I love that guy," he laughs. "We had some amazing times the first couple of seasons. One year, we combined for over 700 PIMs! When he got traded to Roswell, I had a lot of mixed emotions. I had been recalled by Yorba Linda but wasn't playing much. I was looking forward to getting back on the ice with Hib in the playoffs for the Anacondas. But I'm really glad he got a chance to play. I know he's only made it into one game this year, but it's great that he's still with the big club. I was really looking forward to playing him in a few days. I guess that's not going to happen now, though."
Unfortunately for Torpedo and his many fans ("Torpedoheads", according to fan site www.letsgoyowlers.com), the rugged rearguard took a slapshot to the foot in a recent game, breaking two bones. "Yeah, some fourth liner. He took a shot, I blocked it... I tried to play through it, but one of the bones was actually sticking out through my skate."
This could spell really bad news for Yowlers fans hoping to see the Torpedo launched over the course of the season, as he was just sent down to the farm team in Anaheim Hills to rehab at their facility. (Defenseman Rey Perto, aquired in the Tarnojeff trade, was recalled.) It seems likely that Torpedo will require a long rehabilitation, and may not even see ice time the rest of the season. "Well, I think I can get back. It's probably just going to be yet another season where I play less than 20 games." He sighs. "At least I'll be eligible for season 10 now."
Yowler season tickets have now sold out, but 4-game "mini-packs" are still available by calling (714) 777-YOWL
1/29/2007 4:56 PM
Season 4 update:
Nearly one-third of the way through MLD season 4, the Yowlers find themselves in an unfamiliar place: 2nd. As in, 2nd in their division - a division they've won every year by an average margin of 10 points. The season three last-place Valhalla Vikings have been playing excellent hockey, and are now 3 points ahead of the Yowlers in the standings.
"It's been a tough year so far - a lot of unexpected challenges," relayed team captain Sparky Clemons. "Injuries have been nagging at us all year. We're going through the same scoring drought that everyone is. Bouchy [goaltender Anton Boucher] struggled early on, although he's found his groove lately."
Indeed, it has been a season of unexpected happenings. Injuries and inconsistent play have let not only to a lackluster 14-8-4 record (only two points ahead of last place Okanagan), but have caused a staggering 30 different players to suit up for the Yowlers this year. Some of the players we previewed before the season have struggled: fan-favorite Kaspars Torppala shattered his foot blocking a shot, and minor-league sniper Pauli Ermakov was benched after only 8 games due to defensive indifference.
This has lead to 8 different prospects finding themselves in the lineup at one point or another (including 4 who have made their MLD debuts). Injuries to long-time centers Pit Dolva and Abe "Junior" Gates, as well as rookie defender Lex Rheume, have combined to create the unusual personell situations.
Perhaps most startling of all is the sudden absence of star RW Butch Tarnojeff. After being acquired with much fanfare, Tarnojeff's locker was cleared out after only 19 games. "Butch was struggling to find his game. We didn't trade away a top defenseman to get somebody who scores 2 goals in 19 games," coach yog told us. "After meeting with Butch, we decided it was best to 'warehouse' him for the year. We have him and Scotty Walden acting as player-coaches with our minor club in Anaheim Hills. Unfortunately, that's just part of the results of the retirement system we have here in the MLD. Every team is doing it, and we just really felt it would be in Butch's best interests to take the rest of the year off - that way, he can kick some serious *** for us in season 7."
A couple of rookies that have made a positive difference so far this year are the aforementioned Lex Rheume and goalie Branislav Hanhimaki. With Dirk Kleemola traded to Yorkton and Scotty Walden being held in reserve, that opened two spots on the Yowlers blueline. One went to Torppala (since filled by a variety of stand-ins, including rookie Rey Perto, acquired in the Kleemola/Tarnojeff deal), and the other to new first-round pick Lex Rheume.
"I just try to play a steady game. Nothing fancy. I try to make the safe play," he told us. Being paired with emerging star defender Kevyn Vantanen has elevated his game. "Yeah, playing with Kev is great! He takes care of the puck-moving stuff. He's always looking for the open forward. It lets me drop back and cover the zone. It works great." Despite a 6-game injury, Rheume has managed 5 points and a +3. Great things are expected from him in the future.
In goal, people just can't stop talking about Branislav Hanhimaki. "I swear to god, I didn't even mean to start him that first time," laughs coach yog. "I thought I had started Mal [Mal Pokela, longtime backup goalie]... it wasn't until I looked over to the end of the bench and saw Mal and Bouchy talking that I realized that I f'd up, ha ha! I must have hit the wrong button." Hanhimaki only responded by posting a shutout. In fact, In his only two starts, the Czech/Finn has not allowed a goal! "We still want to take it slow with him," coach yog continued, "It's pretty amazing that he hasn't allowed a goal yet, but you can't keep that kind of expectations up forever. Make no mistake - this will be his team in the future, but not quite yet."
Confidence remains fairly high in the dressing room despite the injuries and scoring woes. Leading goal-scorer, second-year player, and former first-round pick Tomas Sillinmaki told us, "We just have to pick things up a little bit. We're really close to being where we want to be. When you look at the bumps we've had this year, it's pretty amazing that we are where we are. Right now we're all just looking to cross Bifrost and whip those Einherjar into shape!"
We'll see how things play out. No matter what, it will be another exciting season in the MLD.
Yowler tickets have now sold out, but you might want to check Craig's List.
2/1/2007 10:39 AM
For immediate release:
Yowlers swing pair of trades
Coach and GM yogsloth has done it again. Keeping Yowler fans on their toes, the team swung a pair of trades yesterday aimed at providing some quick help to the squad.
In yet another step in the byzantine series of deals between Yorba Linda and Roswell, right wing Lars Hosio finds himself back in a Yowler uniform. Hosio was part of the deal to re-aquire center Markus Levy, and like Levy, was dealt back to the Yowlers after failing to master the art of the anal probe with the Aliens.
"We're very comfortable with Lars. We know what he brings to the table. He's never going to be a star player in this league, but he brings a veteran presence to our lineup." Going the other way was recent draft pick Bryan Aardman. "Bryan is a solid prospect, but with all the veterans we have, he just wasn't going to crack our squad. He'll be given a better chance to play in Roswell. We really feel this deal helps out both teams and both players involved." Given the fact that Hosio has already played 16 games with Roswell, look for the possibility that he will join Tarnojeff and Walden in being "warehoused" for next season. "Yes, we might do that... we'll have to talk it over with Lars and make a decision quickly. Either way, we definitely expect him to be a contributor as a two-way forward in the future."
Even more exciting to Yowler fans is the acquisition of disgraced defenceman John Sleeman from the Chilliwack Bruins.
"We think fans should be excited. John is a very special player. He's a bit of a project, however. We know he ran into some real problems with Bruins management, and quite frankly, had a terrible season 3. We've pulled him out of the minors and he's going to get a BIG chance to come and play some heavy mintues for us."
Why is Sleeman so intriguing? He's the only blueliner in MLD history to score 50 goals in a season. His 79 career goals rank only behind Sparky Clemons' 90 among Yowlers defenceman, despite playing over a season's worth fewer games. Of course, he's not known as a defensive stalwart. In 191 career games, he's a -69. It's this defensive indifference that led to his being demoted in season 3.
"That's the risk. We're aware of it, but we're absolutely dying for offense. Every team in the MLD is, but our team is really pressing hard right now. If you have a chance to add a former 50 goal scorer for a depth player, you have to take it. John truly does have unique skills - his ability to shoot the puck and make a play are almost unequalled among defencemen. He's like Bryan Fogarty without all the crack."
Speaking of the player that went the other way, in a case of "we hardly knew ye", defenceman Rey Perto could only play 13 games before packing his suitcase once again. This means that neither player acquired in the offseason from Yorkton can be seen in a Yowlers sweater anymore, with Butch Tarnojeff toiling in the minors.
"We weren't unhappy with 'Shampoo' at all. We just barely had time to give him that nickname! He played quite well for us in a limited role. This is just a case of having to give something to get something, and we weren't comfortable with dealing any of our other top 8 D-men, and that's what it was going to take."
Thanks to coach yog and the Yowlers organization. Please visit out team store to get your official Yowlers bobblehead figures, featuring bobble versions of Markus Levy, Sparky Clemons, Anton Boucher, Russell Moorehead, and Chad Clemente.
2/6/2007 5:42 PM
Yowlers mid-season report
Halfway through MLD season 4, the Yowlers find themselves slipping further behind. Although they've caught up to the Valhalla Vikings, some stellar play from the Encinitas Blades has them six points ahead of Yorba Linda. The Yowlers are still in fourth place overall, but only seven points ahead of eighth.
The big story for the Yowlers right now is offense: after 42 games, only two players have double-digits in goals (Sillanmaki and defenceman Kip Fulton), leading scorer Sparky Clemons only has 23 points, and most of the "big" scorers have gone silent. Markus Levy has a pathetic 6 goals; Russell Moorehead also has only 6 and is riding a 20+ games streak without scoring. With only 93 goals overall, the Yowlers are poised to have their worst offensive season by far.
The culprit? Scoring has been plummeting league-wide since the MLD began. Many players are starting to grumble about the influx of new goaltender equipment. Although MLD rules are clear about the size of certain pads (blockers and leg pads), other padding was never clearly addressed. Goaltenders caught onto this fact, and are increasingly looking like Michelin Men in front of the net.
"It is unfortunate, but you have to do it to compete," backup goaltender Mal Pokela says. "If you don't wear these new pads, you're going to give up more goals, and with scoring so low - that means losses. It's getting really absurd, though. I mean look at these shoulder pads - it looks like I'm smuggling lunch trays!"
Given the Yowlers power outage, it should come as no surprise that not a single skater was selected for the all-star game. Only dependable goaltender Anton Boucher managed to make the squad.
Injuries continue to be a big story for Yorba Linda as well. While Dolfva, Gates, and Torppala have all returned from the DL, Kevyn Vantanen has gone down. Easily the Yowlers' best overall player this season, Vantanen suffered a broken hand when Yannick Goulet of the Kingston Crooks hit him with a vicious slash. There was no penalty called on the play. Vantanen is expected to miss 16 games.
Look for the Yowlers to continue trying new line combinations in search of offense. With Torppala back in the lineup, the penalty kill will have to be sharp. The Yowlers also begin a 7-game road trip tomorrow as the Ice Palace will be showing a week-long run of "Family Guy on Ice". Expect coach and GM yog to complain bitterly at the upcoming GM meetings as well.
2/13/2007 10:06 AM
You should start looking for some local talent to help with scoring. This will help with the fan base.
2/13/2007 9:19 PM
Yowlers GM fires, re-hires self
Outspoken Yowlers coach and GM yogsloth made a pair of controversial moves today, first firing, and then re-hiring, himself.
"It's been just an extremely difficult year. After getting shut out for the 7th time in the last 18 games (and 9 times overall), our offensive problems have just hit a head. You can't fire the whole team, so sometimes making a coaching change is the only way to shake things up."
The Yowlers' trades this year haven't exactly had the desired impact, either.
"That's true. I've made a couple of big deals this season to bring in impact players like Tarnojeff and Sleeman, and it just hasn't clicked. Thank God none of the players we traded away have turned into superstars. Really, you have to hold the GM responsible when popular players are moved out and new guys come in that don't live up to their billing. That's why I fired myself."
Why the decision to re-hire yourself, then?
"Well, as it turns out, since I also own the team there really wasn't anybody else to do the job. I'm the only one that can push the buttons to edit lineups, make trades, etc. After intense deliberations, I made the decision to re-hire myself. I'd better do a better job, though, or I may be forced to fire myself again."
The Yowlers begin a two-day homestand this afternoon. Family packs are still available (4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 sodas, and a pet iguana for $89).
3/19/2007 12:59 PM
Yowlers Player Profile: #7, Right Wing Chad Clemente
Heading into MLD seasonn 5, it's time for another "Meet the player" moment with long-time Yowlers Right Wing, Chad Clemente.
"Scoring goals. Rocking out. Having fun." This is how Clemente describes his life philosophy. Clemente has been doing all of those things in spades almost since the beginning of the MLD.
"Well, the first season, I didn't really crack the lineup at first. It took a few injuries to get me in there. Once I managed to start playing, though, things went pretty well." Clemente eventually rose from a 4th-line job in the first season, all the way up to consistent first line and power-play ice time from there on out. In fact, he's led the Yowlers in goals 2 out of the 4 MLD seasons. "Tied, actually. Season 2 I tied with Sparky, and season 4 with Tommy Sillanmaki."
His shy grin when talking about his accomplishments doesn't betray his "alter ego". Clemente is known in the Yowlers locker room for his constant blasting of heavy metal - both on his iPod and in the team CD player whenever he gets a chance.
"Well, my cousin is a drummer in a pretty well-known metal band, so I kinda always grew up with it. I play bass in a local band here in OC called Cannibal Death Grinders. We're a brutal death metal band. I'm always trying to play Deicide and Morbid Angel in the team CD player, you know, but most of the guys can only put up with a song or two before they're fed up and replace it with some whiny, *****, trendy hot topic mallcore bull**** band. Did I say that out loud?"
"Chad has been a great soldier for us," began coach yogsloth when inquired about Clemente, "He's scored some big goals for us. He was one of the very few bright spots during our last regular season. He struggled a bit in the playoffs, but we're not forgetting the incredible run he had for us during our cup run, playing on a line with Junior [center Abe Gates] and Pauli [perpetual rookie LW Pauli Ermakov]."
Will Yowler fans be able to see Clemente all season, or will he be the victim of the "warehousing" effect MLD fans are being forced to witness?
"That's a tough one. We haven't yet decided how to approach season 5. You look at what Henderson did last year. They rested most of their top guys and essentially threw the season. It may have cost them some fans, but their best players didn't use up eligibility, they got huge bonuses from missing the playoffs, and they got some great draft picks. Granted, it was a pretty weak draft class, but you know they're going to come back super strong in the next few years. I'm not saying we're going to go to that extreme - Yowler fans would probably burn us in effigy - but we're seriously thinking about warehousing several of our top players. If we go that route, unfortunately Chad will be limited to 19 games."
Let's hope coach yog knows what the hell he's doing.
Yowlers season tickets are still available. Contact your local scalpers and strippers handing out fliers outside the arena for more info.
3/22/2007 6:11 PM
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