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Claimed: Max Rockatansky comes to the VHL! [1/2]


MadMax
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A name that only the most savvy of Hockey Fans will recognize, Max Rockatansky, said that he intends on joining the VHL. of course, to everyone outside of Southwestern Australia, this means nothing. However, to anyone who follows the PHL, or Perth Hockey League, knows the name Rockatansky. Yes, Perth. In Australia. Rockatansky is an Aussie.

Before we go into exactly WHO this Max Rockatansky is, we must first explain his origins. One would think that in such a dry place as Western Australia, a sport like Hockey wouldn't be very popular. Well, you'd be right. But that doesn't mean it does not exist. An avid group of SHL, VHL and NHL fans from Perth, backed by a wealthy Canadian businessman, Franco DesMartin built an ice rink in Perth. This was huge news for the locals and curiosity peaked. Enough people from all across the great state of Western Australia to form a 10 team league. The league set an age minimum of 15 years, but most players were 18-25. Except Max. This is where this phenom comes in. 

In the inaugural season, Max Rockatansky led the Plumridge Lakers to a 10-2 record in their first season. Yes, the PHL's first season only had 12 games. Even now they still only have a 20 game season. I suppose it should be noted that all games are played in the Perth Stadium. So, there's no travel costs for teams. Back to Max. He is a versatile player. He was able to line up as a Defenseman and a Forward. Wherever the team needed him to be, he was. In 12 games he scored 13 goals and had 6 assists. In the playoffs, his team fell short to the Geraldton Wallabys by the score of 2 games to 1. 

The following season, Max focused more on the Defenseman position. The Lakers went 9-11 failing to miss the playoffs. However Rockatansky's game elevated and everyone saw it. He led the league in assists with 14, but only scored 4 goals. But more impressive, he had a crazy +/- of 10. The Lakers lost their goalie from Season 1. He got married and he and his wife moved to Canberra. So, if max wasn't on the ice to steal, hit or block shots with his body, the opponents pretty much had a field day. 

In his 3rd season, Max became the star. In the offseason, the Lakers traded for the defending champion Marble Bar Rockers goalie, Alfie Herndon. Alfie had been the best goalie in the league for the first two seasons. Having a goalie that could actually block shots, Max's value really shone. He went from 14 assists the prior year to 21 assists. And he hit the back of the net 14 times himself. Yes. In 20 games. The Plumridge Lakers went an astounding 20-0. Now, the local media likes to hold Herdnon as the reason it all happened, and to a certain degree they are correct. But that doesn't mean Max's play isn't impressive for a season's work. In the post season, Herndon went down with a groin strain. Each series in the playoffs of the PHL is a best of 3 series, with only the top 4 teams making it. Herndon went down in Game 2 against his former team, the Marble Bar Rockers. Up 1 game to none, Max was able to help his team fend them off taking the series 2-0 and advancing to the finals. In the finals, the Lakers faced the Joondalup Jettys. Game 1, Max scored a hat trick, as he lined up at Center, and had 1 assist. But the Lakers lost the game 6-4. With their backs against the wall, Max returned to his Defenseman position. Herndon said he would be ready if they got to a game 3. In a legendary game, with 169 people in attendance (a then PHL record) Max and the Lakers put on a show. Backup goalie, and the reason for season 2's horrific outcome, Gene Wendermere also played the best game of his career. He only allowed 3 goals. His prior best game was 5 goals allowed. Max scored his second hat trick of the playoffs and had an astounding 6 assists. Lakers bounced back 9-3. With the series tied up, the final game of the season was only 2 days away.

Max turned 17 the day after that big win against the Jettys. He was approached by the West Australian. This was the biggest (and only) newspaper in the entire state. The PHL had been in the news once before, after the finale of the second season's championship. But it was a blurb at the bottom of the sports section, next to the football transactions and the other stuff nobody really reads daily. But this time he was being interviewed for a feature article! With that one game, Max became a name in Western Australia. Here is an excerpt from the article:

 

The PHL is one of Perth's hidden gems. Watching a game here in the Perth Hockey Arena is a refreshing experience. And we don't mean refreshing because it is always a cool 5 degrees in the building. Watching young stars, like Max Rockatansky of the Plumridge Lakers. If you're unfamiliar with hockey, it is a sport popular in North America, Russia and Northern Europe but it has found a home here in Western Australia. I was in attendance to watch players, like Max, and although I've seen clips of games online or in the Winter Olympics, seeing it played in front of you is an experience of a lifetime. After the big 9-3 victory in the second of the best of three series I spoke with this phenom. He was a smart kid. Only 16. In fact he turns 17 today and will play the finale of the season tomorrow, the day after his birthday. "I grew up watching legends. Guys like Crosby, Kane and Ovechkin. I don't know why Hockey appeals to me so much. Maybe it's the hitting."

The article went on to tout the finale and given some actual press, the final game of the series, for the DesMartin Cup (naturally, named for the financier of the league) was a sold out show. 900+ were in attendance in the small arena. Most of them there too see this kid name Max Rockatansky from the article. Never having this many spectators watch a game of theirs, there was a strange feeling in the air. The first period kicked off and the first goal was scored by Dennis Geller of the Jettys. Herndon's vision was obscured by an enforcer. He was pulling the old Sean Avery trick. This player, Paddy Gorman, had a history of being a bit of a cheap player. He'd take hits when the referees weren't watching. He'd trip with his stick and then act like it was an accident when he was sent to the box. He had the most Penalty Minutes in the league, by a longshot. Of course most of the fans in attendance dis not know that that type of interference is illegal in most Hockey Leagues, but this was the first instance of it being done in the PHL, so there was no rule against it. About 6 minutes later, Gorman was at it again, trying to block Herndon's vision. Max came in and covered the blind spot, taking a shot off his visor. The crowd gasped but Max kept playing his shift. Max scored with 7 seconds left in the period to tie it up. 

The second period had far more scoring. The Lakers scored 3 goals on 8 shots and the Jettys scored 2 goal on 12 shots. The Jettys found themselves in a small hole going into the third period. Shortly into the final period of hockey, the Jettys had the puck in Plumridge's territory. Gorman again began his antics. Max tried to steal the puck but he couldn't get it from the left wing before he fired a rocket into the back of the net. After the play Max skated to Gorman and words were exchanged. Herndon pulled Max away before anything happened. The game was now tied and Max was fired up. He got the puck by the blue line and before his team cold get into formation, he fired a long slapshot at the goalie. It was a blur it went so fast. The opposing goalie got a pad on it, but the inertia was too great and it careened into the net. Lakers went up by 1 with 12 minutes remaining. Less than a minute later the Lakers had the puck again and this time Max slid a quick pass to his Right Wing and he hit the five hole for a 2 goal lead. Several minutes of good defensive play and a few steals, the Lakers had the puck again in enemy territory. Gorman flew into the puckhandler and smashed him into the boards. It was a clean hit, but it took the man out. The crowd boo'd as Gorman flaunted his hit and make several inappropriate gestures to the Lakers bench. The ref whistled him and gave him a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. 2 minutes in the box. Max was on the bench resting for one and a half of those minutes, ill advised because it was Max was great on the power play. A quick shift change and he was back on the ice and he immediately stole the puck for a breakaway. But to his dismay the goalie put a pad on it and it failed to go in. The penalty was up and the Jettys had the puck. Gorman went immediately to his spot in front of Herndon and was pulling his antics. Paddy's skate was over the crease and under Herndon's right skate when a shot flew towards the goaltender's left. Extending for the save he was unable to reach because Gorman's skate prevented it from moving and Herndon went down. Despite the puck hitting the net, the goal was no good because of Gorman's skate. but the bigger deal was Herdon. He re-aggravated that groin pull. Wendemere would have to come in. Immediately on the next play Gorman went to Wendemere and began pulling his antics. Max dropped his stick and flew over to Gorman and tackled him onto the ice. Gorman had Rockatansky in height and weight but the fury in Max's fists was unrelenting. The referees initially let the fight go but after it was obvious Gorman wasn't gonna fight back, they pulled Max off of him. Max was given a 5 minute penalty, and Gorman a 3 minute penalty. With the 4 on 4, the Jettys were able to take one point back, making it 6-5 Lakers. Gorman was "off the bench" but he was actually in the locker room getting looked at so his replacement came off for him. Max was off the bench too because of the goal. Both teams at even strength, the Jettys center reached for the puck and tripped Max drawing the Tripping penalty. 

Giving the Lakers a power play at the end of the game was the final straw. Max took charge and started drawing out the clock. Passing back and forth, basically playing keep away until there was 30 seconds on the penalty clock, and 1 full minute in the game. Max had the puck and weaved around the defenders and circled behind the net. The Goalie backed up to cover as much space should Max try to stick it between the post and his skate, but Max pulled off something different. He flicked the puck up over the back of the net and hit the helmet of the goaltender. The puck rolled down his back and into the goal. The crowd erupted. The team killed off the last minute or so of the game and the Lakers won their championship. 

After the game, the corespondent for the West Australia again wanted the exclusive interview. Her first question was about Gorman. 

"After I saw that slimeball cheat to get an advantage I was mad. But then when he caused Alfie to take the ice like that, and sent him out of the game, I had to do what had to be done. I'm sure the league is going to look at this game and make some serious rule changes. The Avery Rule needs to be in effect firstly. And secondly, and I'm being objective, I should have been kicked from that game. I expected it. I assaulted him out of anger and I will be sure to apologize. We can't let this league devolve into the WWE."

The fans had a different reaction. An eleven year old was interviewed saying:

"Max takes no guff from nobody! He's the coolest guy! Nobody crossed Mad Max!"

The name stuck. The newspaper dubbed him Mad Max from then on. All offseason rumors swirled about Max leaving the Lakers for a different PHL franchise because his contract with them was up. Although Max was from Plumridge, he did feel the itch to try something new. That is when a man appeared. His name was Marc Spector. He was a Pro American Football player in some league over in the states. Marc was in Australia on a walkabout when he read the newspaper in Ngaanyatjarra-Giles about a phenom in Hockey. Marc flew his jet to Perth and came to watch him play. Marc offered to be his agent and bring him to the VHL where he could shine on a national spotlight. Max decided that this was the course of action that would fit him best.

Of course, Max knows the talent level in the teensy PHL is nothing compared to a national scale with teams from across the globe. He's willing to spend whatever time in the VHLM that he is required. But he vehemently believes that he will represent his great country of Australia and the PHL well in the pros.

Edited by MadMax
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  • 1 month later...

Review:

What I would mostly ask for here is centering everything in the middle, with that button. Then adding a title and a picture in there somewhere. It just makes it look a lot neater, rather than a wall of text at first glance. ;)

Great write up though. I enjoyed the read.

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  • DollarAndADream changed the title to Claimed: Max Rockatansky comes to the VHL! [1/2]

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