Sonnet

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Sonnet last won the day on November 6

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About Sonnet

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    Kyoko Best Girl

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    Male
  • Player
    Alexander Pepper

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  1. Sonnet

    Never Enough

    Asia vs Canada, World Juniors’ gold medal game. About eleven minutes remain in the first overtime period of the game, but it’s looking grim for Team Asia. The shot count is 42-22 in favor of Canada, and their pressure shows no signs of slowing. Alexander Pepper stands tall as the only reason Asia has a chance to win the medal, and serves as the last line of defence for the hockey hopes of an entire continent. The final play begins to develop before his eyes. A bad turnover in the neutral zone results in his former teammate Scott Shawinganen charging forward with the puck. With no white jerseys behind him, it’s a bad breakaway. Scott is over the blue line, charging forward as he hungers to secure a gold medal for his country. With a sigh, Pepper steps up, prepares his stance, and goes through the same motions he’s been going through all week- There’s an attempt at a deke, but Pepper extends the pad to make the stop. There’s an audible cheer from behind him, but it’s short lived- his spectacular save results in a rebound trickling out to his right. No white jerseys followed Shawinganen into the zone, so nobody is there to clear it out- Roctrion King is there to scoop it up and put it home. 2-1 Canada, the gold medal is retained. Immediately, Pepper swings to the right and slams his stick against the right post, breaking it in half. He sulks down in the butterfly, his forehead touching the ice while his gloves rise to keep the stadium lights from reaching his eyes. It’s over. The Canadians celebrate in the corner; Alex feels multiple bodies skate past him or jump over him as they dogpile their overtime hero. The sounds of goal sirens wail in his ears- a jubilant tone for many of those in attendance. For the young goaltender, who just lost out on his last chance for a first place finish at the junior level, they sounded more like the “too bad” jingle from “The Price is Right.” As cliche as it sounds, mere seconds felt like hours for the goalie who finished in second place. Rewinding the play in his head, he did his best to come up with a post-mortem solution for the allowed goal. It was a fast rebound, yes, but he could have jumped out...could have turned immediately and caught it with a piece of his glove. If he were fast enough, he might have even caught it right in the middle of his chest. Yes, if he had just been a little faster... Of course, the reality was that he had little chance to stop a quality rebound opportunity. Team Canada had simply taken advantage of a bad turnover by putting themselves in the right place at the right time. By being a better hockey team. At the end of the day, that’s all there was to it, but Pepper wasn’t the type to just brush it aside like that. The time came to present the medals, and as Team Asia lined up to accept their participation awards, no face was more sullen than that of Alex. When the medal had finally been placed around his neck, it felt like nothing- weightless, much like its impact on his mindset. It meant nothing to the man that had tried and failed to finish on top ever since the start of his professional career. Yes, Alex has had multiple opportunities to finish what he’d started. His first time participating in the World Juniors’, he’d nearly backstopped Team Asia to a win against the same opponents, and had fallen in a similar fashion. That year, he’d given up six goals in the gold medal game. One year later, with all of his accumulated experience, he’d only given up two. But it wasn’t enough. His first professional season, playing for the Las Vegas Aces, his team lost a non-competitive series in five games against the eventual champion Ottawa Lynx. They’d only taken one game, and while Pepper had played decently enough during their short playoff run, the Aces’ performance could be called nothing short of pathetic. But these thoughts had little time to sit with Alex, as the commissioner of the event stepped out onto the ice and began a short speech that prefaced the presentation of the Most Valuable Player award. The words went in one ear and out the other as Pepper stared down at the ice below him- little mattered in his world except getting back to the hotel room. That was, until the words “Alexander Pepper” boomed throughout the small stadium. Immediately, his gaze lifted to look at his teammates, all neatly lined up beside him. Every pair of eyes stared back, some smiling, as his immediate neighbors patted his back and gave him a push forward. The commissioner beckoned him over, and motioned to a small trophy- a star atop a wooden pedestal. The Canadian-biased audience couldn’t help but boo, but the American goaltender couldn’t hear them as he skated up to accept the award. He shook hands with the commissioner, took a quick picture, and skated back to the rest of the team. With all of the awards presented, the teams retired to their locker rooms, and their night in front of the crowd was finished. The Asian locker room was dead silent. Any joy they’d strung together from stealing the MVP away from the winning team was quickly nullified as Alex put his earbuds in. With the world around him drowned out, he kept beating the words into himself... “If only you’d been better...if only you’d been better...” During the ride back to the hotel, during his shower before bed, while he brushed his teeth and stared into the mirror, the thought refused to go away. “If only you’d been better...if only you’d been better...” Now, the thought had trickled in to his VHL performances. Lately, it had been a brutal grind for the rookie netminder- every night was spent on a plane so that he could play hockey the following day. From Helsinki, to St. Paul for the Juniors’, to Riga, to St. Paul, to Helsinki...Pepper hardly found a second to rest. Every night, he was taking upwards of 68 shots, while STILL keeping his team in the game. One of those losses had been in a shootout, after he’d made five saves 1-on-1. Another one, a one goal loss to Quebec City after making over 60 stops. No matter what he did, it felt like it was never enough. Both the medal and the trophy sat on his room’s coffee table, next to a duffel bag, a pair of sunglasses, and a Helsinki Titans branded hat. Tomorrow was a new day, with a new game against the high powered offence of the Riga Reign. The shot count would absolutely not be friendly toward his aching, depressed body. And with the weight of losing his last chance at a gold medal on his back, the scoreboard certainly wouldn’t be friendly-looking, either. “What’s it going to take...” he murmured to himself, drifting off to sleep. Word count: 1195. Will be claiming for the weeks ending 12/3 and 12/10. Was feeling inspired, so I tried a little something different. Works out, because my next few weeks are going to be rough with exams. Let me know what you thought, I might take up this style for future media spots, as well.
  2. Sonnet

    TPE: Post on other websites

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvTFF4u-t7c
  3. “What made Jolt Juice THE brand to sign with for this season’s upcoming Sponsor’s Shield tournament?” This is the question we posed to VHL rookie Alexander Pepper, who was more than happy to provide an instant response. “You know, right when I learned that the VHL would be allowing sponsors to sign us, I called up a few buddies to see where they would land,” he responded, seemingly embarrassed to admit his reason for getting on board. “Originally, I was just going to sign with the team that offered me the most money, but McWolf reminded me that this would be a great opportunity to play on the same team for once.” Pepper and McWolf met while playing at the VHLM level, only a year ago. While they didn’t play for the same team, the two played against each other multiple times, as their 6 team league needed to fill out a 72 game schedule. “I realized he was right, so I called up Ryan [Kastelic] and asked what he was doing. Eventually, the three of us came together and realized that Jolt Juice had offered each of us a contract. At that point, it was decided- we’d sign there, and hopefully show the league that the new kids are here to play.” Pepper and his new teammates will hit the ice this offseason to play against each of the other brands.
  4. Sonnet

    I Hate Brands

    Yeah, I see exactly where you're coming from. From a real-world comparison standpoint, there's really no justification to have these teams square off against each other in the offseason. All of the brands are essentially shuffled VHL teams, making the entire thing a sort of VHL: 2. I was excited at first to learn that the league would be getting sponsors, but making an entirely new league out of the same players is a bit overboard- I'm definitely with you on that. We have no shortage of games to sim as it is- it really doesn't seem like the VHL needs something like this to fill the offseason void.
  5. Sonnet

    GM 224: Toronto Legion vs. Helsinki Titans

    Thats why youre on my fantasy team 👀
  6. Sonnet

    Updater

    Id love to put my name in for this. I'm regularly checking the website for games and news anyway- might as well get some updates in when I'm bored!
  7. Sonnet

    GM 218: Helsinki Titans vs. Calgary Wranglers

    MFW HSK G gets a tiny bit more goal support than me
  8. Sonnet

    Jolt Juice: An Experiment in Defense

    But so is Crosby. You can each block the shots that the other would let through 👀
  9. Sonnet

    Jolt Juice: An Experiment in Defense

    Team Asia: saw about 50 twice Helsinki: Have seen 60 in like 3 of the last 5 All in the same week 👀 Please save me, Jolt Juice...
  10. As season 63 starts to near the end of the schedule, some murmuring has started about the VHL’s first ever sponsor’s shield tournament, which will be held over the offseason. While most teams scrambled to contract some of the league’s most prominent talent, Rhett Stoffiday @Stoffiday (the brand ambassador for Jolt Juice) instead chose to look into the youth of the league, and opt for a more futuristic approach. He opted out of competing for some of the higher point scorers in favor for a prominent young defense, backed by an up-and-coming goaltender to round out the team. While young, the strength of Jolt Juice’s top 4 defencemen cannot be overstated. Ryan Kastelic, Joseph McWolf, Alvaro Jokinen, and Sidney Crosby. Of these four defencemen, three of them sit at numbers 1, 2, and 3 in terms of shot blocking, alone. Two of them are within the top 10 for most hits recorded in the league, and one of them is in the top 10 for scoring among other defencemen. Three of the four put as much effort into the game as they can, while the other makes sure to show up to practice and keep his fundamentals polished. This is a core that could ultimately carry Jolt juice to some unexpected victories. Ryan Kastelic @Enorama leads the group in work ethic, and as such, stands as the example for the other S63 rookies to follow. Kastelic is the aforementioned point scorer, putting up 51 points in 55 games for the league-topping Riga Reign. While he’s notably absent from the lost of players that have stood out for their physical play (he’s not among the players that top the league in hits or shots blocked), Kastelic still manages to get in front of the puck and throw the body enough to call him a reliable all-around defenceman that can adapt to any situation. With the presence of three other physical forces on the blue line, Kastelic will likely be leaned on to help move the puck and generate some much needed offence for the Jolt Juice squad. Joseph McWolf @McWolf comes next in terms of work ethic, and probably has enough bruises on his body to prove that dedication to the game of hockey. McWolf currently sits at number 2 in shots blocked and number 8 in hits thrown across the VHL, making him a brick wall on the blue line for the Americans. You can’t skate through him, you can’t shoot through him, so forwards are going to have to get creative in order to generate scoring chances with McWolf on the ice. Even as a primarily defensive threat, McWolf has been credited with 42 points so far in 54 games played, proving that he can step up and make a play if need be. Speaking of players that are impossible to skate through, Helsinki’s breakout star Sidney Crosby @SidTheKid87 signed with Jolt Juice last offseason to help strengthen their defensive core. This season, Crosby has played like an upgraded version of McWolf; he tops the league in shots blocked with 216 and currently sits in 6th for hits thrown with 224. As a surprise first round pick, Crosby has stepped up his game and driven the Helsinki defense all on his own, providing some much-needed help to starting goaltender Alexander Pepper (who, funnily enough, is also signed to Jolt Juice). Stoffiday will hope to see the Crosby-Pepper chemistry continue to keep pucks out of the net for his brand. Lastly, a bit of a sleeper- Davos blueliner Alvaro Jokinen @Ahma. While he hasn’t been the most hard-working guy in the VHL, Jokinen puts his heart into playing as a second goaltender for his team. Jokinen is 3rd in the league in shots blocked (behind McWolf and Crosby, as mentioned before), showing that his passion for the game is better displayed on the ice rather than off of it. With Jokinen on board, Jolt juice completes a top 4 core that will make it nearly impossible for teams to pile on the shots against their goaltender. Speaking of, the goaltender for Jolt Juice is none other than rookie Alexander Pepper @Sonnet, who has been phenomenal in the past few weeks. Despite playing with a grueling schedule (World Junior’s by day, VHL regular season games by night), Pepper has managed to stand on his head and carry his teams to some nail biting victories. In the VHL, he stopped over 60 shots from a stacked Riga Reign squad- TWICE - and managed to pull out the win the second time in a shootout. In the World Junior’s, he stopped almost 50 shots to edge Team Europe by a goal, and 40 shots to lose the gold medal game in overtime to a stacked Canada squad. In both leagues, Pepper had little help on the defensive side of the puck. When combined with Jolt Juice’s stacked defensive core, there’s not telling what he may be able to accomplish for his brand. In short, Rhett Stoffiday has eased away from the flashier names of the VHL, instead favoring some of the underdogs that word hard and have a strong focus on the defensive side of the game. It’s a sleeper move that could have Jolt Juice winning more games than many would give them credit for.
  11. Sonnet

    S63 WJC Awards

    It's not even my country, I'm a volunteer
  12. Sonnet

    S63 WJC Awards

    no
  13. Sonnet

    S63 WJC Awards

    Is MVP at least claimable for TPE? I need something to help ease the pain
  14. Sonnet

    S63 WJC Awards

    Probably a dumb question but I'm assuming the MVP award isn't redeemable for TPE?