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Everybody wins: Lame Ducks vs. GOFOS: a battle on ice results in a victory for the MFRC.

TRAILING 5:7 WITH less than two minutes to play in the game, the Lame Ducks' coaching staff decided to pull their goalie and add an extra attacker in a last-gasp effort to equalize.

This decision was not easy to execute as the majority of the Lame Duck players were unfamiliar with the concept of pulling a goalie, and the goalie himself did not understand the directive to head to the bench.

Part of the problem was also communication as the Lame Ducks consist of 19 foreign military attaches representing 13 different countries. Eventually, Major Tuan Jiang was able to translate the coach's instructions into Mandarin, and Senior Colonel Zhu Haitao left his goal crease.

With the extra skater and a vulnerable empty net, the Lame Ducks played an inspired final 120 seconds against a visibly weary General Officers and Flag Officers (GOFOs) squad. Despite some hair-raising chances at both ends of the ice, the scoreboard remained unchanged when the final buzzer sounded.

Even though most of the 350 fans were predominately Lame Duck supporters--family members, ambassadors, and embassy staff came to cheer the attaches on--the mood in the stands remained elated despite the loss. For most of them, primarily being from non-hockey playing nations, the very sight of their family member or colleague skating in full equipment is a novel experience.

Add to that the competitive spirit of military men and you have the recipe for an entertaining event. To top things off, the game was refereed by none other than His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Canada's 73-year-old Commander-in-Chief. Once the captain of Harvard University's hockey team, Johnston is not only still in love with the sport, he is still up to the physical challenge of skating during the entire game. In a word: impressive.

While the GOFOs and the Lame Ducks square off against each other a couple of times annually for fun, every second year they take things to the next level by making the game a fundraiser.

Thanks to corporate support from the defence industry and brisk ticket sales at the gate, the June 25 charity game raised a whopping $26,575. GOFO team captain Chief of Defence Staff General Tom Lawson presented the oversized cheque to the Military Family Resource Centre--National Capital Region.

Following the game, fans and players alike attended a VIP reception complete with the standard post-hockey refreshments of beer and pizza. Not exactly the usual fare served on the Ottawa diplomatic circuit, but it was certainly a successful and informal networking opportunity for attendees to mingle with ambassadors, general officers, attaches, and defence industry reps.

COMMANDO CHALLENGE II

On January 15, 2014, the Esprit de Corps Commandos hockey squad played the GOFO team for the first time. Hyped as the "truth to power" summit game (media vs. military), the "truth" prevailed in that contest with a final score of 5:1. Thirsty for revenge and fresh off their victory over the Lame Ducks, GOFO team captain General Tom Lawson has agreed to a rematch.

For those readers in the Ottawa area, the Commando Challenge II will take place at the Ottawa University Arena Rink One on Thursday, September 18, between 14:00--16:00 hrs. Admission is limited so reserve your tickets ASAP. All proceeds will be given to the Military Family Resource Centre--National Capital Region and Canada Army Run charities (Soldier On and Military Families Fund).

Caption: His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, served as referee for the match. Once the captain of Harvard University's varsity hockey team, His Excellency still loves the game.

Caption: Kneeling, left to right: Major Tuan Jiang, BGen Alex Patch, General Tom Lawson, LCol Christa Oppers-Bauma, Laurie Boschman (NHL ringer), Snr Colonel Zhu Haitao, Colonel Serkan Sevim, LCol Raul Martinez, Col Cezary Kiszkowiak, Col Jang Min Choi, LCol Jon Fisher, BGen Derek Joyce. Standing, left to right: BGen Rob Mazzolin, Governor General David Johnston, VAdm (ret'd) Denis Rouleau, BGen Mark Matheson, BGen Sean Friday, Senators Alumi Rep, MGen Blaise Cathead, MGen Bob Bedrand, MGen Jay Milne, Capt(N) Christophe Balducchi, Maj Bin Zheng, Senator Alumni Rep, BGen Eden Attias, LCol Ralph Heimrich, MGen (ret'd) Steve Noonan, Colonel Todd Brown, Capt(N) Jorge Parga, MGen Chuck Lamarre, BGen Juan Medina, WGCDR Russell Page, Cdr Mike O'Sullivan, Capt(N) Kory Benz, Cmdre Scott Bishop, Capt(N) C.J. Cassidy, Darcy Bydus, Doug Thomas

Caption: The game between the Lame Ducks (the defence attaches) and the General Officers & Flag Officers (the GOFOs) team had everyone smiling aftemards, especially Chief of Defence Staff General Tom Lawson.

For more information or to purchase tickets, email tickets@espritdecorps.ca or call the Esprit de Corps office at 613-725-5060.

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Title Annotation:PERSPECTIVES
Author:Taylor, Scott
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Date:Aug 1, 2014
Words:793
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