Hall Of Fame N to S

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Nanako Onadera

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Often found in front of the net catching pucks with her teeth and regretting it, Nanako was an "Original Six" member of the TSHA. More than that, she, along with George, was responsible for keeping the TSHA alive by bringing the equipment, calling people to see if they would come, and getting the word out about our group. We're eternally grateful for her efforts, and it's no stretch to say that the TSHA would not have survived as long as it has without her. Thanks, Nanako!

Peter Kurze

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No one could eat a saba miso teishoku like Peter. In fact, no one would want to eat saba miso. But Peter would order not one, but two whole teishokus, with omori rice, and both fascinate and horrify us with the way he would eat every item one at a time: first all the rice, then all the fish, then all the pickles...

Despite working for a German bank and being suspicously German in his relentless pursuit of victory on the "ice", Peter actually comes from Rhode Island and is a laid back dude with an easy attitude. Must be the Yoga that keeps him calm.

The Pylon

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The Pylon was the unsung hero of the TSHA for many years, both when we used to play at Komazawa Park, and at Misery Park in Shinjuku.

The Pylon showed up for every game, and sometimes when we didn't have any nets, would lie on its side and play goal. Other times, when the teams were lopsided, the Pylon would stand in front of the net as a defenseman for the shorthanded team. The Pylon played a consistent stay-at-home style defensive game, which in many cases was better than some of the other players.

The Pylon never played an overly aggressive game, never started fights, and knew when to keep quiet when everyone was arguing over a disputed play. Even when The Pylon wasn't playing, it would help out by standing to the side and marking off the playing area.

The Pylon hasn't been out to play with us as much since we started playing at the Asakusa location. Work, mainly to do with traffic and crowd control, keeps the Pylon pretty busy these days. But the Pylon will be fondly remembered for all the contributions it made over the many years we've been playing. And if the Pylon ever has the time, it will be welcome to come back and play with us any time.

L'équipe des Québécois

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Filed under "Q" for "Québécois".

From left to right, Francis, Yoda (yes, his name was really Yoda), Olivier, Nicholas, and Guy.

The French Canadians didn't always play on a team together, but they brought that element of authentic Canadiana to the TSHA. Whenever they called for passes, you could hear the little squiggly marks above their vowels.

And they were good at hockey. Which made up for not knowing what the hell they were saying half the time.

The Reggae Dancers

Image: TAG REFERENCE FOR AN IMAGE THAT DOESN'T EXIST

We used to play in Shinjuku, or more precisely Kabuki-cho, one of the seediest parts of Tokyo, renowned for it’s nightlife and general debauchery. In many ways a perfect location for the TSHA’s shenanigans and we would undoubtedly still be there if it were not for the fact that the actual hockey playing area kind of sucked.

So, one day, out of the not too clean streets of Kabuki-cho, emerged a couple of scantily dressed strippers who showed up to practice their “routine” right beside where we were playing hockey.

The self described “Reggae Dancers” were such a distraction to the players that it was quickly decided that the only way for the games to proceed was to get the two of them on the ice and involved in the play. So, despite limited experience and totally inappropriate footwear, the dancers joined the TSHA.

The Reggae dancers only played with us once but they definitely will never be forgotten. And so, despite their dubious hockey skills and total lack of effective fore-checking, into the hall of fame they go.

Sawako "Honeybunch" Nakayasu

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Sawako was smart in a Mark Twain kind of way. She wrote poetry in English and Japanese, being fully bilingual and having her degree in literature. Or poetry, or something. We're not really sure what she was all about, except that she was clearly smarter than all the rest of us put together.

Sawako was not satisfied with anything other than equal treatment for the women in the TSHA. Often we had slightly different rules for most of the women players because of differences in skill level. There were a few exceptions, though, like Sawako, who sought to prove that women can play as well as men. Sawako led by example, and was one of the few women who was undeniably as good or better than a lot of the men playing. So we resented her for emasculating us, and all it earned her was the same level of cold discomfort that the male players have in each other's presence.

She fucking hated being called "honeybunch".

"The Sawdust Brothers"

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There were these two dudes from Vancouver Island who could really play some hockey. They had to be split up into different teams or they would just dominate. But that's not what gets them into the TSHA Hall of Fame:

They were only in Tokyo on short term contracts doing some carpentry and construction work (thus "Sawdust Brothers"), and so they would come and go from Tokyo as their visas required. One time, they were returning to Tokyo, and their plane landed on Sunday afternoon. They came straight from Narita airport, with their luggage, down to the park to play some hockey! That's dedication to the sport, and that earns them a spot in the Hall of Fame!

Sean "Johnny Thailand" Donovan

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Johnny Thailand scored profusely on and off the ice and, when in shape, could be a potent scoring force. His cigarette breaks coincided perfectly with his line changes and he could often be seen puffing away on the bench between shifts. Johnny T. gets his name from his hosting responsibilities at the Mekong cup which he provided with great enthusiasm and aplomb. So much enthusiasm in fact that Johnny T himself was indulging more often and with greater élan than his guests.

Last We Heard: Johnny T is back in Canada with a wife and daughter.

Skills

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One day, in the earliest days of the TSHA, this Japanese guy showed up to play. We hadn't really seen any Japanese guys play without roller blades before, so we were a little skeptical that he could keep up. But as soon as he got control of the puck, we were all amazed to see he had wicked stick handling. George yelled "Hey! He's got skills!". And, largely because no one could ever remember his real name, the monicker stuck. Skills opened up the way for future Japanese guys to come play with us, though none since have ever really matched his stoic dedication to the game.

The Splinter

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It was the nastiest thing we'd ever seen in the TSHA. On a cold day in March 2004, Marek, the guy from the Czech Republic, got a splinter in his shin. But this wasn't just some tiny little sliver that you can't hardly see. It was a four centimetre shard of plastic from someone's hockey blade that had somehow pierced into Marek's shin. And it was long enough to come out the other side! Before it was even pulled out, we knew it was Hall Of Fame material, so we had the camera ready for a photo, before the blood was even dry.

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