Presented By Geraldo LaPortage


Not really any argument, here - SCOTT WHITCOMB, that dude from Wisconsin, whose coaching job in California was taken over by Mel Bridgeman. He simply lived and breathed the Office Bar Thai World Hockey League, the first league we’ve ever had where Thais and Farangs played together on the same teams. If not for Scott there wouldn’t have been a league. Great job, Whitcomb. Scott was also the only Farang to participate in every tournament we played in this year: Singapore, KL, Seoul and Bangkok.

Double Honourable Mentions

Neil Parkin – Stayed after every practice collecting dues, and keeping track of who showed, and those who didn’t. Long before there was an OBTWHL, Neil kept us entertained with tales of the Buriram Blades and Bangkok Corruption on his imaginary league website. In being part of the Klong Toey victory, Parkin lived his life-long dream of being part of a Whalers championship team.

Jason Cotsmire – Our number one goalie, he played in all our tournaments and won the Dave Brown Award as Farang MVP of the Bangkok tournament for the second time. Cots also works tirelessly and for free updating our website and taking and delivering team jersey orders.

John Casella – As he does every year John organized the Mekong Cup 2004 in Phuket. He also took the Thai Stix to Hong Kong, invited the Canadian ambassador to drop the puck at the Bangkok Cup and played the lead role in organizing the first Flying Farang golf tournament.

Honourable Mentions

Michael White – Yes, the team Casanova, but much more than that because as captain of the Din Daeng Jets he helped his team clinch the OBTWHL’s inaugural regular season and was also named best forward in the ‘B’ pool of the Bangkok Cup. Mike, the smoothest skater on the team, made road trips to Singapore and Seoul and also helped organize the Flying Farang golf tournament. Always one of ur best players in every tourney he plays in.

Jamie Marriott – Definitely one of the most talented and classiest players to ever put on a Farang jersey, Jamie captained the Office Bar Bruins and played an outstanding role on defense in the Singapore victory. He also obtained partial sponsorship from the Dubliner for the Farangs in Singapore and helped get the Office Bar on board to sponsor our league.

Jamie McDonald – The Klong Toey Whaler MVP, McDonald is one of the few players who can play well whether he plays forward or defense. Jamie, went from the ‘B’ team in ’03 to being one of the best players on the Farang roster. He also played a big role in organizing the golf tournament, and made the trip to Singapore. Kudos for also always caring how the Thai players are treated.

Unsung Hero Award
Rob Kennedy – The team’s Bobby Baun. Earlier in the year, it looked like Rob’s career might be over after sustaining a nasty knee injury in Singapore, but months of rehab later saw Rob not only suit up for the Din Daeng Jets but as act as the OBTWHL’s Vice-president and referee some games as well. Rob’s AP story on hockey in Thailand also got more press than probably all the other stories ever written about the Farangs.

Tough Guy Award
Mika Ollikainen. The Finn, separated his shoulder in the first shift of the Bangkok Cup, and in intense pain that would have left most of us blabbering like a baby, he walked out of the rink and tried to drive himself to the hospital (Thanks to Michael for waiting through the night for Mika at Bumrungrad to drive him back to Pattaya.)

Most Improved Player
Tough one, but it would have to be Michael Crowley, who went from being a marginal part-timer to a mainstay on the Farang defense, once he decided to show up on a regular basis. The James Norris of the Office Bar Bruins, Michael used to play pro hockey in Yugoslavia, and has innate skills and toughness as well as a way with words as evidenced in ‘Crowley’s Corner.’

The Frequent Farang Flyer Award
Kirk Nell, who knows what part of the world he’s going to be in next, but Kirk always seems to make it back for a practice or game. Kirk also played in the Kuala Lumpur and Seoul tourneys and helped Scott Whitcomb with the logos for the league. He was part of the Din Daeng Jets infamous ‘third line’.

The Old Faithful Award
Kevin Hall, as always, helped with the Bangkok Cup organizing rooms, and transportation for the visiting teams and purchasing the awards for the Bangkok Cup & OBTWHL. He also made the trip to Singapore and his play in that tournament and the Bangkok Cup solidified his position as one of the best defensemen on the team.

The ‘EU’ Passport Award
Well, we never promised him a rose garden, but Top did his best mixing German with French, Finnish, English, Thai and profanity to led the Sukhumvit Stars in their inaugural season. Top, also worked tirelessly with Scott Whitcomb in recruiting Thai players for the league and making sure the rink staff were happy and doing their job.

The Don Cherry Award
Bullpen Bjorn Turmann’s oratorical skills at the Bangkok Cup auction raised more money for Father Joe than all of us combined. He also was part of that feared 3rd line of the Din Daeng Jets and even kicked in a couple goals for the Farangs during the Bangkok Cup.

The Whistle Blower Award
Middlesex was getting scared there for a moment, but Jason White is probably the best referee we have and a true student of the game. In his spare time Whitey watches the 87 Canada-Russia series – continually - in a spare padded room at his school. Whitey also made the trips to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and was outstanding at forward for the Flying Farangs during the Bangkok Cup. When he brings his ‘game’, there are few better.

The Lunch Pail Award
Razor Rick Rezac checks in with this award. Always at practice, whether it be Lat Phrao or World Trade, and always with a smile on his face. He never complains, he just goes out there, tells bad jokes and works his butt off. This former recreational pool cleaning executive was the leading goal scorer for the Farang ‘B’ squad in the Bangkok Cup.

The ‘Who is that Guy?’ Award
Nakayasan aka the Japanese guy for standing on his head and stealing victory for the Klong Toey Whalers in the OBTWHL championship playoff final.

The ‘I Really Want to play Corner Linebacker’ Award
Colin MacLeod, for throwing his body javelin-like across the ice at a puck with a minute left in regulation time to preserve the Klong Toey championship victory. Another Flying Farang recruited from the fertile Thai Stix playing field, Macleod was a mainstay on the Whaler defense, and played for the Bangkok Bullies in the Mekong Cup, the Thai Stix at the Canton Cup and the Farang ‘B’ squad in the Mekong Cup.

The ‘See What Happens When You Come Out More’ Award
This is shared by Klong Toey Whalers John Stevens and Jamie Hunter, who with their great hands, shots and finesse are two of the Thai Stix’ premier attackers. Neither have been able to come out to ice hockey on a regular basis but when selected for the Klong Toey Whalers, they made the effort and were a big reason the Whalers won it all, chipping in key goals and assists at pivotal moments.

The ‘I’m Over It’ Award
After a controversial Mekong Cup, Kevin Dougherty pulled it together and along with Rob Kennedy and Kevin Hall anchored the Din Daeng Jet defense. He also teamed with Colin MacLeod to form the number one pairing for the Farang ‘B’ team in the Bangkok Cup, having a great tourney with a number of stellar offensive and defensive plays.

The ‘Nicest Goal of the Year’ Award
OOOH, that’s a toughie, but it would have go to Dan Oracheski for scoring the winning goal in overtime allowing the Office Bar Bruins to defeat the Sukhumvit Stars in the consolation final of the OBTWHL. Dan, a father of three boys, basically deked out the whole team Mario Lemieux style before putting a puck past Stars goalie Greg Jones. Dan also turned in a fine performance on ‘D’

The ‘Don’t Let Looks Fool You’ Award
I know yesterday I gave the courage trophy to Mika, but let me tell you, one guy you don’t want to mess with is CHARLIE ARNOLD. Charlie who is fifty-something-going-on- eighteen will go toe to toe with anyone, scream at anyone, outmuscle anyone in a faceoff and basically just annoy you to death. A reservoir of hockey knowledge, he knows more about the game than anyone on the team, period. He’s just a good, tough hockey player.

The Hercules Award
Hands down, goes to Ryan Haynes, the strongest player on the team. Ever look at his neck? Man you don’t want to mess with Haynes. The proud father of Miles, Ryan scored the Farangs’ nicest goal in 03 in the Bangkok Cup while playing for the Bangkok B squad, he also was one of the Office Bar’s top forwards in the OBTWHL, made the trip to Hong Kong last year and the excursion to Kuala Lumpur this year. Though trained as a guidance counsellor he opted to join the firm of Marriott, Crowley, Whitcomb and Haynes earlier in the season.

The ‘Toughest Name to Spell’ Award, the ‘Now I’m gone, Now I’m back’ Award, and the ‘Poot Mak’ Award. Jouni gets all three:
a) SAARTEINEN – spell it out loud ten times.
b) We had one of the biggest going away parties we’ve ever had for Jouni at Bourbon Street a few years back, but Saarteinen who used to team with Michael Nakvachara and Top as the Farangs top line in the old Bangkok hockey league missed us so much, he rejoined the team.
c) Just cuz he talks so dam much.

Jouni by the way is the father of three beautiful girls and his wife looks like actress Kyra Sedgewick
(Cots is hollering, ‘Don’t go there’ in the background.)

The ‘So Misunderstood’ Award
Unfortunately those Tuetonic tendencies tend to obscure the fact Michael has one of the best shots on the team, and is certainly one of our best passers. Always trying to recruit players for the team, he makes that long drive to play from Pattaya to play with us, and although some of his comments get misinterpreted his heart is in the right place. He was seriously injured in last year’s tourney playing for the Swiss team, made the comeback and he helped Mika through his night of misery at Bumrungrad hospital.

The ‘I’m training for a Surfin’ Movie’ Award
This blond beach bum came out of nowhere to team with Jeff Lamantia and Scott Whitcomb on the Farangs top line. And in the OBTWHL, the Sukhumvit Stars unit of Per, Michael and Jouni caused the opposition all kind of grief and had they been together all year would definitely have been one of the premier lines in the league.

The Best Newcomer Award
If there was hitting in on league, or at practice, young Japanese pick-up Uwano Masaharu, known as
‘Masa’, would be dropping guys left, right and centre. With the heart of a Samurai warrior, this pick-up from the Japanese league could turn out to be one of the mainstays on the Farang defense corps.

The ‘Geez, coach I forgot my skates’ Award
Lee Damage, already a legend in some circles and a shoo-in for the Farang Hall of Fame as part of the Middlesex County Connection, returns to Thailand to study at Webster College in Hua Hin, but doesn’t bring his blades, and doesn’t practice once. ‘The horror, the horror.’

The ‘My wife let me out so I can play’ Award
Last year, that notorious scoundrel Michael White took Shuichi Hirabayachi ‘out on the town’. Shoe did not return home until early the next morning and his beautiful Malaysian wife was not amused. Result, banishment. But a year later, Shoe, a member of the Farang B team in 03, resurfaced and played a key role in the Office Bar defense corps employing a number of hari-kari tactics. Catch the glare if Shoe’s wife ever comes in contact with Khun Mike.

The Derek Sanderson Award
With the amount of substances that Teemu Eriksson has pumped into his body, its amazing that he’s still in the land of the living. I first saw Teemu play five years ago and I have rarely seen any player at any level with so much talent – the problem is some times his off-ice activities obscure it. But Teemu made the trip from Finland to play in the Bangkok Cup, led the team in partying and anchored a solid defense corps.

The Dedication Award
Ok, no doubt here, Walter Konrad. Walt doesn’t make much money but I’ve seen him wait for ever for a green bus late at night after practice at Samrong to go home, and when we played at the Mall IV, Walt would drag his stuff on the klong boat. It’s easy for those with drivers and cash to take for granted how easy it is to get to the rink but when you’re teaching English part-time and following the word of God, it’s a little harder.

The ‘Well, I Almost Died, but I Want to Play Anyway’ Award
Guy Manchuck, whose life almost ended in a nasty motorcycle ancient last year, and has the scar to prove it. Guy moved to Laos this past summer and bought Shawn Kelly’s jeep so he could motor around Vientiane. Along with Jason White, he is one of the best referees on the Farang squad. He officiated in the Singapore tourney last year and will do the same this year. Guy played for the Farang A squad in 03 and the B squad in 04.

The ‘I’ve been to North Korea and You Haven’t’ Award
Shawn Kelly, rumoured to be a CSIS agent, because he keeps showing up at weird places in the strangest times. Shawn has a gift with words and romancing the fairer sex. Brought his dad over earlier in the year to watch and we were trying to get the elder Kelly to lace up the blades. Shawn played in Singapore this year, Hong Kong last year and laced up the blades for the Farang ‘B’ team in 03. And of course he sold his jeep to Guy Manchuk.

The ‘1,000 mile stare’ Award
What did Mark Majoros really do? We’ll never know, but no one inspired more trepidation in the opposition than Mark did when he would fix you with that stare of his.

The Clark Kent Award
Darren Norman checks in with this honour. Don't let that mild demeanor fool you. Stormin' Norman got in to more tussles on Wednesday evening than any other player. Ferocious without the puck, Darren heads for that corner like a man possessed and refuses to give ground to anyone regardless of size or height.

The ‘I Think We Better Buy Him an Atlas’ Award
USMC embassy guard James Seay. James, you know we all luv ya, but when learning he had been transferred James thought he was going to Iraq, and when we asked him where, he said ‘Kuwait City.’

The ‘Alumni Moment’ Award
Luc Dumas, a Flying Farang 7 years ago, returned out of the blue and played a pivotal role on defense in leading the Klong Toey Whalers to the OBTWHL championship.