While summer often means sun, surf and sand for students, it meant a lot of hard work for the Gauntlet's Slurpee Cup hockey team. Disappointed with a string of tournament appearances without a berth in the playoffs, team captain "Rugged" Jon Roe spent the entire month of May scouting for players around the world. Due to the cost of his world travel, however, Roe settled on recruiting players from around the office for the team instead. Recruitment was followed by eight weeks of arduous training, where Roe whipped the team into shape with drills on the finer points of shooting, passing and drinking whiskey.
Slurpee Cup competition first began in 1886, when British nobleman Lord Alfred Slurpee was travelling through Calgary on his way to Vancouver. Slurpee came across a group of youngsters playing a game in the street, only instead of a tennis ball, they used an orange, as was the custom at the time. As legend has it, Lord Slurpee was so taken with the athleticism of the youths that he gave them a chalice to present to the winners of the contest, though skeptics insist that he actually threw an old cup at them out of disgust. The Slurpee Cup became property of CJSW in the '70s in a card game, but was promptly lost in their offices during Bermuda Shorts Day revelry. The Cup was found behind a mini-fridge in 1998 and since then, Calgary's best teams have fought for supremacy.
The 11th Slurpee Cup tournament began early Aug. 23 at the fabled tennis courts behind the Olympic Oval. Twenty-four of Calgary's most fearsome hockey teams took to the courts to determine a victor. The Gauntlet's G-Team were first pitted against Los Draculos, representing ACAD's alumni.
Despite being handily outshot by Los Draculos, whose performance was likened to that of basketball's Harlem Globetrotters in terms of sheer dominance, Marcellus' goalkeeping kept his team in the game until a flurry of goals made the game out of reach at 5-0.
The G-Team followed up their loss to Los Draculos with a 6-1 trouncing at the hands of eventual tournament runners-up, the Summerlad. The lone goal came early in the game when forward "Flyin'" Ryan Pike fired home a rebound to tie the game up 1-1. The goal was followed by five unanswered goals by the Summerlad. The second-to-last Summerlad goal came with two balls on the court, a goal that the Slurpee Cup referees upheld citing the little-known Multi-Ball Rule, allowing goals with extra balls in play.
The most famous multi-ball moment occurred in 1957 when CJSW came back to beat the Newsboy Brigade after trailing by three goals in the final moments. CJSW captain Henry "Patches" MacDougal threw nine balls and, as legend has it, several painted hamsters onto the court. The Newsboy Brigade players couldn't tell the balls from the animals and didn't attempt to make any plays, allowing CJSW to win the game 12-4.
Undaunted, the G-Team rallied back from their two losses and defeated the CSIF Super 8s by a 3-2 score, propelling them into the playoffs for the first time in four years.
Unfortunately, the G-Team drew up against the third-ranked team from the Hi-Fi Club in the playoffs, ultimately losing 5-0.
Despite the loss, the G-Team was still in high spirits when found on the Den patio. Captain Jon Roe was overheard telling his team that training for the next Slurpee Cup would begin the next morning at sunrise. Meanwhile, Ryan Pike conspired to steal the trophy from the champions, New Tribe Magazine. Official Slurpee Cup competition is now complete and only CJSW and the courts can decide whether stealing the trophy makes you the true champion. We like to think it does.