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  • Columbia Hockey Writers


Zack Marcil,


Welcome to part II of the “Bring Them Home” series. As we learned in part I, the CUCH Hockey boys had their own unique trips back to the place they call home.

I asked a CU medical student doing their residency in Rheumatology at Lennox Hill what they thought of the first instalment:

“There’s no way Oh Captain My Captain Dunn actually biked all the way from New York to Alberta, especially given today’s virological climate under the presence of SARS-CoV-2. What a joke. That would have taken months, so the only reason I’d buy into the story was if Prez Lee Bowl (sic) closed down campus like back in October, which he didn’t. Kinda really sucks that the CUCH Hockey website would post fake articles like this. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a severe case of Ankylosing Spondylitis that I must continue to brew over.”

Not everyone is buying into the series.

Eitan Hoffman

Country: Israel

Hometown: Tel Aviv, Israel

Hometown Fun Fact: Tel Aviv is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Eitan Hoffman departed Columbia campus and began the long haul back home to Tel Aviv. As he was leaving, he saw Ben Vermette hopping into a cab, and wished him a safe trip home back to Quebec. He made his way up Broadway to get to the subway, and was stopped for autographs a handful of times, something that has become the norm for members of the famed “CUCH Hockey Depth Players”. His phone rang, it was the Mayor of Bat Yam – a town close to Tel Aviv – Tzvika Brot “Mr. Hoffman, you’ll be pleased to know that the statue of you with the Digger of the Game shovel is complete. It will be a UNESCO World Heritage Site just like Tel Aviv.” “What an honour,” Eitan said, “But I’m actually from Tel Aviv, not Bat Yam,”

“My goodness,” said the mayor, “CUCH Hockey Jr. Reporter Michael Reppell called and told me we were building a statue of you! He must have mixed up cities.”

The Right Honourable Prime Minister Joshua Trabout

Country: United States of America

Hometown: New York, New York

Hometown Fun Fact: Home to fake Canadian Prime Minister The Right Honourable Prime Minister Joshua Trabout

PM Joshua Trabout, like many other CUCH Hockey players did not have anywhere to go following campus shutdown. He spent the days much like other days, fielding phone calls that were accidentally meant for the real Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

“Mr. Trudeau this is Hugo Nandi from the Indian Embassy! How are you doing?”

“Mr. Trabout this is Donald Trump, Mark Rassell told me to call you, he says you’re the Canadian PM”

“Mr. Trudeau this is Kate Brown, I’m the Governor of Oregon”

“Mr. Trudeau this Lonnie Bunch, I’m the Director of the Smithsonian Institution, where was the Stamp Congress Act?”

It was getting old real fast, but nothing out of the usual for the Grad School forward. At press time, Columbia Hockey Head Sabermetrician Jeremy “Quant” Coste was working on an algorithm with Verizon New York to automatically detect and redirect all calls that were intended for Trudeau’s Office from Joshua’s phone.

Ryan Blake

Country: United States of America

Hometown: New York, New York

Hometown Fun Fact: Sits on one of the world’s largest natural harbours

Ryan Blake had the local news on his television the day campus closed and saw an overhead view of the traffic on Van Wyk Expressway. There was some lunatic with a backpack walking on the side of the road. Ryan was glad he didn’t have to go far after Lee Bollinger sent out the cease and desist for CU campus. I figured Ryan may be bored with nothing to do except online work, so I called him to see what he had to say about his 5 penalty minutes this season.

“I hauled down this guy on King’s Point who had a clear cut breakaway and said ‘I play for the love of the game, not the accolades or the fame’ to the ref. So he gave me a 5 minute misconduct,” According to Head Sabermetrician Jeremy Coste, ACHA referees would have called the play a penalty 100% of the time, the highest ever on the Coste Model of Referee Analytics. Next time someone asks you about NYC, tell them it’s home to one of the world’s largest natural harbours, and Ryan Blake, the only ever 100% on a famous Jeremy Coste algorithm.

Weston Goodman

Country: United States of America

Hometown: San Jose, California

Hometown Fun Fact: A sister city of Yekaterinburg, Russia

Weston Goodman was on the same flight as Kyle Lopes back home to San Jose, but was in the washroom at the airport when Lopes and Joe Thornton schooled the old couple on the total acres of parkland in SJ. Weston took an Uber home from the airport and, when he arrived, there was a personal, handwritten apology from the Commissioner of the MCHC waiting for him.

“Mr. Goodman,” the letter read, “I regret to inform you that the infamous Defensive Player of the Month award from a little while back was in fact rigged against you, as LSJ and Mr. Coste originally prognosticated. We knew Andrew Dunn was going to win Offensive Player of the Month, and we did not want to reward both to a player on CU. I apologize on behalf of the MCHC for this juvenile policy.”

Wow. It would appear that numbers, and anecdotal evidence, truly never lie. The MCHC Commissioner can expect a call from Jeremy Coste in the near future.

Dean Foskett (A)

Country: United States of America

Hometown: New York, New York

Hometown Fun Fact: As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York City

“Deano” as the squad calls him, did not have to return home after the shutdown because he already was home. Instead, I asked around the team for some of the best chirps he had directed at opposing players during the season. We were not allowed to publish these chirps.

According to Jeremy Coste, Foskett finished 699th out of 702 players for the ACHA Atlantic Division’s “Andy Bathgate Award”, given to the player deemed to exemplify sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct on the ice.

Scott Slater

Country: United States of America

Hometown, Chico, California

Hometown Fun Fact: Known as the City of Roses

Following his Sophomore season as a bonafide lockdown defenceman for CUCH hockey (Coste Model for Defensive Efficiency Rating was 3.333, good for 127th in the ACHA Atlantic Division) Scott Slater had a cross country trek back home to Chico; known as the City of Roses, but not to be confused with Portland, Oregon. On his flight to Sacramento, the man sitting beside him asked him where he was from. “Chico,” Scott said. “That’s dope,” the man replied. “Not to be confused with Portland, Oregon. Also known as the City of Roses, or, the Rose City,” the man said, before putting on eye blinders and going to sleep. The man kept to himself for the remainder of the approximately 5 and a half hour flight, not even waking up to go to the washroom. The weather was 23 degrees when Scott returned home. He had the easiest trip back of any of the out of town CUCH players.

The Man Who Sat Next To Slater On Flight

Jason Cardinale

Country: United States of America

Hometown: Everett, Massachusetts

Hometown Fun Fact: Home to now famous CUCH Hockey Defenceman Jason Cardinale

Jason Cardinale returned home to Everett (not to be confused with Everett, Washington) and as he was driving in from Logan International Airport, couldn’t believe what he saw. “Everett: Home of Columbia University Hockey’s Jason Cardinale” What an incredible honour. As it turns out, there was a clause in the City of Everett’s legislature dating all the way back from 1892 that stated, “Should a player ever amass a Point Per Game total in a Collegiate Hockey Association above 0.40, in at least 20 games played, shall the great city of Everett, Massachusetts honour their name.” Jason finished his Sophomore season with Columbia with a ppg total of 0.43 in 21 games, triggering the clause in the legislature. LSJ had to dig deep into the archives to find that one, and had Jr. Reporter Mett Rallell call the Mayor immediately. When Jr. Reporter Mark Russell called to let them know, he originally called the Mayor’s office in Everett, Washington.

Chris Mendell, Jr.

Country: United States of America

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Hometown Fun Fact: Technically speaking, The Strip is actually located in Paradise and Winchester, Nevada, not Las Vegas

VGK Forward Ryan Reaves picked Chris up from the airport following Lee Bollinger’s termination of the CU school year and helped him load his bags into the car. They were discussing the season when Chris got a call from Captain Dunn, letting him know that his earth shattering body check from earlier this season had also gone viral with 350 million views in South Korea after Minner posted it by accident instead of his assist against STAC. “That’s so dope bro,” said Ryan Reaves, “We should invite Gabe and Minna and the Mayor of Seoul out to LV for a Knights game when the season starts back up. That would be lit”

Chris then called the trio to let them know of their invite, a day that will now be known as a national holiday in South Korea once the date is set. Chris’ phone was buzzing again after Reavo dropped him off, this time it was Jr. Reporter Manny Rassell letting him know that “The strip is [his] favourite part of the city of Las Vegas”

Ryan Reaves Excited To See Chris Mendell At Airport

Justin Paik

Country: United States of America

Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts

Hometown Fun Fact: 200 Clarendon Street is the tallest building in Boston

Goaltender Justin Paik was headed up north home to Boston when he ran into Boston Bruins Goaltender Tuukka Rask at Logan International Airport. “Mr. Paik that’s one hell of a season you guys had down at CUCH this year. Congratulations, from one goalie to another,” Rask said outside while waiting for a taxi. Justin couldn’t believe that a player on the Bruins knew about CUCH hockey. In the taxi home he heard over the radio that Jason Cardinale was now famous in the Boston suburb of Everett. Justin decided to give one of his friends from back at CU a call and let him know about all the updates. “Hey dude, what a crazy CUCH season,” he started. “Tuukka Rask knows who we are, Jason Cardinale is famous up in Everett, and Dunna was named a 2nd team All-American. Not to mention my .849 save percentage.” Justin told LSJ that his friend simply replied with, “CU has a hockey team?”

Alex Killips

Country: United States of America

Hometown: Naperville, Illinois

Hometown Fun Fact: Voted 2nd Best Place to live in the USA in 2006

Alex Killips’ flight landed at Chicago O’Hare airport, and as they were deboarding, he noticed a dude wearing some Columbia University apparel. Not just CU hockey apparel, but a custom made Dennis Franklin jersey. “Where’d you get that jersey made?” Killips asked. “I play on the team,” The man was shocked and turned around. “YOU’RE ALEX KILLIPS!!!!” He immediately pulled out a purple sharpie and wanted him to sign the jersey, which had already been signed by Vermette, Andrew Toporoff, Dunna, Minna, Goodman, and Franklin. Killips signed the jersey as the man went on a long rant about how much he loves CUCH hockey. The man turned out to be Harry Morrison, Sr. from Midtown, featured in the Depth Players article, who infamously crashed his car on Broadway and caused an 11 car pile-up before Toporoff pulled him and his family from the wreck. Killips eventually had to have airport security escort the man away, as he tried to steal his goalie sticks at oversized baggage claim.

Andrew Toporoff

Country: United States of America

Hometown: Yorktown, New York

Hometown Fun Fact: Yorktown saw limited action during the American Revolution

Andrew Toporoff finished filing his restraining order against Harry Morrison, Sr. once he made the short trip from Manhattan to Yorktown. The man he infamously saved from a car crash was calling him over 1,000 times per day, asking for CUCH season tickets, if he could set up a meet and greet with Jr. Reporter Marl Rassell, how many times Ben Vermette had been in outer space, if Jeremy Coste could get him a job in the “short” Bank of America building, and if LSJ and Sr. Reporter Zack Marcil are the same person. It even got so bad that Morrison, Sr. had broken into the MCHC Head Offices in the middle of the night to see if he could steal all the sabermetric algorithms Coste was running for the league. Toporoff was low key glad that Columbia was forced to close due to COVID-19, because President Lee Bollinger had no choice but to give him personal security on campus 24/7 after Morrison, Sr. was spotted multiple times outside Toporoff’s classrooms trying to sell knock off CUCH hockey apparel to staff and students. When I asked Jr. Reporter Mark Rasselle to contact President Lee Bollinger about these never before seen circumstances in Morningside Heights, he accidentally called the Office of the President of the Country of Colombia, Ivan Duque Marquez, who was not available for comment at the time.

Dennis Franklin

Country: United States of America

Hometown: Oakland, California

Hometown Fun Fact: Is a “Friendship City” with Ulaanbaatar, the Capital of Mongolia

Dennis Franklin arrived home safe after a cross country tour back home from NYC. Outside the airport, a crazy woman approached him and had a meltdown, “You almost got sent down to BAHNAHD this season?? What a JOKE!!!! I read those articles by Mark Rassell or whatever his name is and WE HERE IN OAKLAND EXPECT YOU TO BE BETTER IN YOUR SOPHOMORE SEASON!!!!!!!” The woman was so rattled about his first year season that she then threatened to have her husband come and “beat up” Dennis if he didn’t know the capital city of Mongolia. Staying relaxed and composed in the moment, much like he did in his actually marvelous first year season with CUCH, Franklin said, “It’s Ulaanbaatar, lady. You think I don’t know our Friendship Cities? By the way, before I tell you to get out of my face, I had the highest Coste Offensive Efficiency Rating, 98.108, in the history of First Year ACHA players. Take that down for data,” The crazy woman and her husband were stunned, and they couldn’t believe that they had not caught on to the satirical nature of the articles earlier. Dennis got in his Uber and was headed home as a text message from Harry Morrison, Sr. popped up on his phone; “Denny!! I stole your number off of Toporoff’s phone before the restraining order, my sister will be there to greet you at the airport in THE BIG O!!!! She and her husband have some words about your first year season!!!”

Series Notes:

1. Andrew Toporoff’s Restraining Order against Harry Morrison, Sr. states that he is not allowed within 5 miles of any building associated with Columbia University, and must remain 25 miles from Mr. Toporoff at all times. He is also not allowed to contact Mr. Toporoff in any way. Violations of the order are punishable by up to 15 years in federal prison, or a fine of $575,000 USD

2. As of March 24th, Gabriel Kim and Min Choi were the 2nd and 3rd most Googled people in all of South Korea for the month of March

3. Andrew Dunn burned a total of 987,091 calories on his bike ride back home to Alberta, per Jeremy Coste

4. Jr. Reporter Mark Rassell was given an Honorary Degree in Communications from Sergio Arboleda University, the Alma Mater of the President of Colombia Ivan Duque Marquez, after accidentally calling him instead of Lee Bollinger

5. As of March 23rd, Eitan Hoffman’s statue was being transported from Bat Yam to Tel Aviv. UNESCO confirmed it as a World Heritage Site that day

6. Ben Vermette was fined $150 by New York City for “jaywalking” after walking 7 miles to JFK Airport on the side of the Van Wyck Expressway. He has not yet paid the fine.

7. Defencemen Michael McCullom and Andy Baran are from Andover, Massachusetts and Orono, Minnesota, respectively

8. Chris Mendell, Jr. and Ryan Reaves were given The Grand Order of Mugunghwa by the South Korean Government for inviting Gabriel Kim and Min Choi, plus the Mayor of Seoul to a Vegas Golden Knights game. It is the highest order awarded by the South Korean government, and is usually only given to the President of South Korea or their spouses

9. Head Coach Bruce Baker and Assistant Coach Joe Wedge told me that “[They] admire the companionship, fortitude, courage, resiliency, and determination of the entire CUCH Hockey team in their efforts to return home safe and sound”

10. The Right Honourable Prime Minister Joshua Trabout was accidentally notified of the “confirmation of alien life” by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders after he was included on a conference call intended for G7 Countries.

Zack Marcil is the Senior Reporter for the Columbia University Lions Hockey Team, and a Senior Insider for Ivy League Athletics. He would like to thank all members of CUCH Hockey for their contributions to this series. You can find him on Twitter at @longshadowjr

Players Michael McCullom and Andy Baran could not be reached for comments on their trip home, as Jr. Reporter Mark Rassell forgot to ask for their offseason media eligibility.

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