The Lake Erie Monsters traveled out to the St. Mary of the Woods Senior Living Community in Avon last Tuesday with one thing in mind: Noodle Hockey revenge.
After all, the Monsters have never beaten the Beagles in seven previous meetings in this heated winter tradition.
Playing with styrofoam swimming noodles as sticks, a beach ball substituting the rubber puck and using walkers in the place of traditional four-by-six nets, the Battling Beagles faced off against Calvin Pickard, Troy Bourke, Bruno Gervais and Andrew Agozzino of the Monsters.
After pregame ceremonies that included player introductions, US and Canadian national anthems and some noise from the Beagles cheerleading section, the teams squared off just after the two o’clock hour in the afternoon.
Staring down the opposition – the two teams sat in rows of four directly across from each other, approximately 18 inches apart – the Beagles and Monsters played a grueling, labor-intense game that lasted over an hour.
“It always lasts an hour. Or until we get tired,” said Robin Hanna, St. Mary of Woods activities head.
But, for the 8th straight year, leadership and experience proved to be the key ingredients for a noodle hockey win. The Beagles cruised to an 8-2 victory.
“I knew we would win,” exclaimed Rosemary Burkhardt, a member of the Battling Beagles. “We always win.”
Known as the Cheetah, Rosemary added, “They call me the Cheetah because I cheat!”
The younger, less experienced Monsters probably didn’t know what to expect. But none of them noticed as Rosemary snuck back into the action after being replaced by a substitute. Her play gave the Beagles a one-player, 5-4, advantage in the competition.
Despite the heated rivalry, the teams gathered at the end of the intense competition to shake hands and take pictures. To ease the pain of their loss, and their all-time record against the Beagles falling to 0-8, the Beagles treated the Monsters to and enjoyed root beer floats with their archrivals.
With a pair of crucial games against Western Conference opponents this weekend, Monsters fans can only hope their team has learned from its noodle hockey defeat and will apply the lessons learned in future hockey contests, whether the game is played with a stick or styrofoam noodle.
Thanks for being good sports Monsters!
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