Brockton’s Hockey Team?

The Brockton Generals may not have a large fan base but they have a lot of fun. Not that they don’t take hockey seriously. In the game I caught the end of the Generals creamed the Holy Mackinaws Eh 9-2 and were getting complaints that they were trying too hard. The Generals are one of the best teams in the league and play in the “Eh” division. They’ve lost to the Parkdale team in the championships 2 years in a row.

The Brockton Generals plays for the Good Times Hockey League of the Arts, a league that started in 1999 with 2 teams and now has 32 teams in 4 divisions. This is a league where intentional body contact is not allowed and if you rack up more than 4 minutes in penalties in a game you can be ejected and your conduct reviewed by the league. Teams earn 2 points for a win and can earn 1 point for playing a game without penalties. Some of the more famous players for the league have been CBC/Hockey Night in Canada’s “boyfriend” George Stroumboulopoulos, the Rheostatic’s Dave Bidini, and a couple of the guys from Sloan. The ads on the GTHLA’s website are from Zunior, a website to download Canadian independent music.

Two thirds of the games for this league are played at McCormick arena, right in the neighbourhood. The hockey rink here is a little small, not regulation, but bigger than the other rink at Bill Bolton at Dupont and Bathurst area. In the summer, the arena is referred to as the McCormick Slush. Most of the walls to the “barn” go directly to the outside world making ice conditions not as ideal as they could be.

I spent an evening after the game with sweaty naked men getting in and out of the shower and drinking a few pops. I talked to Jeremy Harris, one of the “GM’s” of the squad about how the team started.

The team has been around for three years, but the Brockton Generals are officially in our debut season under that name.  The two previous seasons we were Brockton Hockey Club or Brockton H.C. We’re a group of friends ranging in age from 24 to 52, mostly actors, musicians and engineers. Thanks to our cool new sponsor, The Sister bar and grill (on Queen near Sorauren), we bought snappy new uniforms and thought a team name change was in order.

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The Generals name came about this past summer when we researched the history of the old town of Brockton. Major General Sir Isaac Brock (In reality it was actually his cousin) owned the land, and had a history of battles and bravery that we thought might be noble. We’re not military buffs or into war of any sort, but it was an interesting fact. Also a member of our team just happens to have some star tattoos similarly located to a general in the Russian Mafia. He had no idea about that until a teammate informed him of that fact. In a moment of coincidence, and naive laughter, it sort of seemed to fit with the whole team theme.

tats

Two thirds of us play on a team called Sgt. Rock (named after the comic book). The Rock have been in and associated with the GTHLA for 11 years. We’re one of the league’s foundational teams. It became challenging for some Sgt. Rock members to play on Saturday nights, so with a core of Rock guys and some other pals, we formed the Brockton squad.

team

(from L to R)
nicknames –  BC, Dinzer, Scotty, D-Mac, Steve-o, J’air, Ronny (kneeling), McG, Kanye, Trav, Cammer, Hurlz, Snatchie

real names – Bryce Collins, Chris Dinsdale, Scott Yaphe, Dan MacDougall, Steve Chambers, Jeremy Harris, Ron Fine, Bryan McGahey, Jeff West, Travis Shaw, Cameron Urquhart, Mike Hurley, Thomas van der Bliek

 

I asked Jeremy more about the GTHLA.  What makes this league different?

The GTHLA, the Good Times Hockey League of the Arts, is truly unique. I’m not aware of another hockey league that promotes its team members to be made up of the city’s artistic community. Most importantly, with a strong focus on fun, fair, competitive hockey and a no BS, no meathead attitude.

A larger extension of the league is the Hockey Summit of the Arts, an annual tournament which is truly like no other tournament in the world. It attracts like minded teams from all over Canada to Toronto over the Easter long weekend. We play on the ice against each other by day, and play music onstage to each other by night (usually at the Horseshoe Tavern). It has grown to now host more than 30 teams. I’d be shocked if there was anything like it anywhere else on the planet.

The people, the encouragement to involve our families, the many levels of hockey and the common community vibe, are just a few reasons why we are proud to be a part of such a great league.

Anything else interesting about this team?

In our debut season we had simple uniforms – golden yellow jerseys with a big black letter B on the front. That same year renowned director, Ridley Scott, put out a worldwide call to submit videos to be the basis of a documentary about Bruce Springsteen fans. We have a few serious Bruce fans on our squad, so we shot a short film about us being a team full of Springsteen hardcores. Although we were really called Brockton, we said in the film our team name was “Bosscocked”. We hoped the big B on our chests would be proof enough. The essence behind that false team name was an homage to Bruce and the E Street Band’s performance during the 2009 Super Bowl halftime show. During the set, Bruce ran across the stage, fell to his knees and slid for a long time kind of out of control, and slammed crotch-first into one of the cameras. It was as if millions of viewers at home had been unintentionally witness to a spontaneous 3-D moment of Springsteen over exuberance. It actually became a viral video and the term “Bosscocked” was born. We thought this might be an original angle to take – realistically, how many other hockey teams would submit something?

So, we shot some fan confessionals in our dressing room, some footage from one of our games, edited it together and sent it off hoping it would be viewed among the thousands of other entries.Well, the production company saw it. They actually liked it. So much so that they contacted us, they wanted us to provide release forms for all those that were involved, they wanted all of our raw footage, they showed interest, which was pretty cool. We were in close communication with the producers back and forth for a few months, but still didn’t think anything could really happen. Then we were told we it was pretty much a done deal. When the trailer was released one of our clips was in it. We couldn’t believe it! We actually got picked! We started contemplating flying to London for the world premiere screening, or at least a team trip to a theatre here in town to catch ourselves in all of our slightly made up splendour. The doc film entitled, Springsteen and I, played in many cities all over the world on one single night. The screening fell on one of our hockey nights so only a couple of guys and their wives decided to go. The excitement and anticipation sitting in the movie theatre was surreal. After the movie was over and the final credits scrolled, that surreal feeling turned to confusion when it was clear we didn’t make it to the final cut. What, how? In hockey terms, it felt like losing in quadruple overtime. For whatever reason (or maybe obvious reasons), we ended up on the cutting room floor. Dang. Still, it was such an amazing team experience riding the emotion of incredulity that our strange little Springsteen hockey movie might just make it to the silver screen.

Hey, you win some, you lose some.

 

The Generals Roster

1Scott “Scotty” Yaphe – #19 (defence)
Hometown: Montreal, QC
Was well-known as Wink Yahoo on the YTV show, Uh-Oh! Has the longest stick in the league. Stay-at-home defenceman.

 


2Jeremy “J’air” Harris – #10 (defence)
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Voice of CBC Radio. Drummer/Singer in hard rock band, Uncle Father. Bee-in-your-bonnet D-man.
 
 


3
Travis “Trav” Shaw – #67 (forward)
Hometown: Dundalk, ON
Member of the Canadian National Inline speed skating team. Super fast winger and wit.


4Thomas “Snatchie” van der Bliek – #93 (defence)
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Played professional hockey in Norway as a goaltender with a lightning fast glove hand, thus the nickname. But is a solid rushing, shot-blocking defenceman on Brockton.


5Steve Chambers – #4 (forward)
Hometown: Welland, ON
Power tools by day, power forward by night. Presently, in his rookie season with Brockton, dealt with the team’s hazing rituals quite well, only cried twice.


6Daniel “Danny Mac” MacDougall – #9 (forward)
Hometown: Sydney, Cape Breton, NS
Good with money, great with the puck!

 


7Chris “Dinz, Dinzer for the Winzer” Dinsdale – #00 (forward)
Hometown: Owen Sound, ON
Canadian Squash Champion, can do that and play forward or goalie. Dinz does it all!


8
 Cameron “Cammer” Urquhart – #21 (forward)
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Know for walk-off game winners, and walking the catwalk as our token male model.


9
Mike “Hurlz” Hurley – #28 (forward)
Hometown: Cole Harbour, NS
Hurlz is so smart he has more degrees than a thermometer! Unstoppable power forward, championship scorer.


10
Ron “Ronny” Fine – #29 (goaltender)
Hometown: North York, ON
With new bionic knees, Ronny is a machine in net. RoboRon!

 


11
Bryan “McG” McGahey – #15 (forward)
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Our other rookie, works for Brampton Beast hockey club, semi-pro baseball player, plays like the Fighting Irish he is.


12
Jeff “Kanye” West – #79 (defence)
Hometown: Beaconsfield, QC
This Kanye doesn’t interrupt awards, he wins them. A master chef and loved by all (except opponents).


13Bryce “BC” Collins – #17 (forward)
Hometown: Kitchener, ON
Speed, shot, sales, BC is the full package!

 


PrintPaul Aucoin – #76 (forward)
Hometown:Halifax, NS
Musician-composer-arranger-engineer-producer, A-list vibraphonist, centreman, scoring wizard!


PrintMike Greene – #5 (defence)
Hometown: Cole Harbour, NS
Greener could stickhandle his way out of a phone booth. Coach/player, father/son, lover/not a fighter.


PrintMatt Snow – #8 (forward)
Hometown: Cole Harbour, NS
During the recent NHL lock out, Snow played in a charity game vs Sid Crosby, and stole the puck off of him. It’s true! Just ask him, and find footage all over YouTube.


PrintChris “CO” Owens – #11 (forward)
Hometown: Barrie, ON
Star actor has performed on stage, silver screen, and TV, most notably as Agent Spender on the X-Files. Comic-Con sweetheart.


PrintMatt Sharron – #75 (forward)
Hometown:Cornwall, ON
Power forward and power drummer in bands, Brutal Knights and Hacksaw. Huge Springsteen, Dead and Immortal fan.


PrintJeff “Burkey” Burke – #3 (forward)
Hometown: Windsor, NS
Played hockey tourney in Mongolia in -30 weather. Been to the Arctic. Yet, very warm-hearted.


PrintDamir “Creamy”Jezernik – #89 (forward)
Hometown: Zageb, Croatia
Got his nickname for his slick stick work. And for how he likes his hot chocolate.

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