Sunday, June 22, 2008

Celtic Pride

Kate fallon (goalie, pictured right): Will the lassie lead the Sharks to another championship?

In Celtic Pride (1996), Bostonians and best friends Mike O’Hara (Daniel Stern) and Jimmy Flaherty (Dan Aykroyd) are hockey fans (remember the scene where Jimmy is watching the Bruins on TV?). That’s right, hockey fans.

Sure, the movie was about the buddies’ obsession with the hometown team sporting the shamrock; but when Mike and Jimmy come down from the high triggered by the Celtics’ championship and ensuing celebrations, the two boyos will be ready to appear in Celtic Pride 2.

You see, Jimmy and Mike will become AMHL fans.

The two blue collar lads will love everyone’s favorite morning hockey (and donut) league because it’s rich with Celtic connections. From Tuesday to Thursday, AMHL rosters have been rooted in Irish heritage.

The Doyle brothers, Brendan and Jeremy, enjoy a cult-like following from Concord to County Cork. The two Flyers may well hoist the Koffey Cup again, as they did last season for the Leafs.

The Leafs will wallow in last place unless they can recruit a player with a surname such as Mahoney or Mahony. Peter Mahoney, who retired from the league several seasons ago, set a record for assists in a game, has not yet been contacted by Leafs management. Meanwhile, Bill Mahony, may be too busy chasing his kids around this summer to play hockey. Nonetheless, Billy’s agent is working the phones, trying to design an incentive-packed deal for his client.

The Blues’ Ryan O’Connor (not to be confused with the Barrie Colts’ sixth-round draft pick) leads all AMHL rookies in scoring. Teammate John Sweeney, in his second season, has already doubled his goal production from the last campaign.

Penguin Pat” Obrien is making a comeback. The feisty Irishman scored three points in his first game in more than a year. His goalie, the unorthodox Brian Monahan, leads the league is poke checks and pucks deflected out of play. And Jeff Quinn, if his statistics are any indication of his potential, will continue to improve.

On Wednesday’s, Tim Donahue—last season’s MVP—has already lit the lamp nine times (and assisted on nine goals) for the Canadiens. Good luck trying to stop him.

Kate Fallon, who backstopped the Sharks to a championship last season, has a 2.66 GAA for the Teal Tiburones. Bobby Kilkenny can play nets if needed, but Stow’s (MA) favorite celebrity is blossoming into a point-producing prodigy. The CPA-by-day has been putting up big numbers this season.

Kevin Lyons, an unheralded Sabre defenseman, is best at putting out fires—in and around Acton and in the creases at Valley Sports Arenas.

On Thursdays, Paul Connors, the ever-steady and heady blue liner, has commanded the Caps to 5–0–1–0 record.

Mike Kennedy, City Sport’s CEO and de facto Avalanche captain, will make a new name for the Kennedy clan. “K” was out of commission last season with a tennis-related injury; but in his first game back, the venerable defenseman scored a highlight-reel goal (against his own goalie). Other than that blunder, Kennedy has returned to form: no goals, one assist, but lots of no-panic play, effective passing, and legendary leadership.

The Bruins, like the Leafs on Wednesday, are winless and hoping AMHL management will trade an AMHLer with obvious Irish ancestry to the hapless clubs.

And let’s not forget the Panthers. With the versatile and quick-witted Kevin “Hungry Hill” Reilly, time-tested Tommy Barrett, and yours truly, we’re a good bet to win the championship.

We’ll make fast friends with Mike O’Hara and Jimmy Flaherty, too.
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