Northern Blizzard Completely Dominates to Win Skins Final0

Posted on March 30th, 2015 in News


The 20th renewal of the Polo Skins Game – first played for in 1995 – saw John Rooney’s Northern Blizzard (John Rooney 1, Joe Henderson 4, Jason Crowder 6, Herndon Radcliff 1) exhibit total and constant control over Dave Dollinger’s Los Banditos (Dave Dollinger 1, Gaston von Wernich 5, Max Menini 4, Jake Stimmel 2) by winning four out of the six chukkers. With the other two being tied – forcing two carryovers – the oilmen took home the complete haul of $30,000 ($5000 per chukker).

The cold wind started to blow very early as Northern Blizzard won the initial throw-in and moved to goal. As a result, Crowder converted an open goal opportunity to lead by one. The outlaws were able to come back with some authority and Stimmel – a bright light on an otherwise dull afternoon – counted from the field to tie the early score. However, Crowder was able to convert his second 30 yard award and the first ‘game’ was over with Rooney and his oilmen ahead by $5,000. *Northern Blizzard 2 – 1.

It appeared at the outset of the second that Los Banditos would recover as Menini scored to lead early. Not so, as the cool Canadian air continued to make its presence felt as Henderson unloaded a penalty five from center that Crowder grabbed and scored easily from 25 yards. Henderson then struck from the field and the second was over and the oilmen had another $5,000 for a total of $10,000. *Northern Blizzard 2 – 1.

The third was relatively even as neither team was able to finish much until Henderson, once again, found Crowder with a center penalty five bomb to lead by a single point – the announcer’s ‘play of the game’. Menini brought the Outlaws even as he scored his second to force the first carryover of the afternoon – the fourth would be worth $10,000. *Tie score 1 – 1.

With the carryover from the third added to the $5,000 offered in the fourth, each team had a huge opportunity – Los Banditos could draw even or Northern Blizzard could guarantee themselves a victory. It would be the latter as the invaders from the north took control from the outset. Henderson counted his second and Radcliff scored his first and the period was over and the Rooney oilmen had $20,000 in the account. *Northern Blizzard 2 – 0.

The outlaws came out strong in the early fifth chukker as Menini scored again and von Wernich got his first. Not to be denied – especially on this afternoon – Northern Blizzard reacted as Radcliff counted his second and Crowder converted his third penalty two award to force the second carryover of the day. The sixth wound be worth $10,000. * Tie score 2 – 2.

Recognizing an opportunity to strike big oil, Rooney’s team came out in the final on fire as they absolutely dominated. As such, Crowder, with help from everyone, scored three field goals and there was no question that this afternoon would see a shutout for the first time in recent Skin’s history. Menini was able to get one back in the final minute, but it mattered not as the Canadian invaders rode away with all the money available – $30,000 ($37,500 CDN). *Northern Blizzard 3 – 1.

As well as winning all the cash, Northern Blizzard dominated the overall score by a count of 12 – 6 and were awarded Richard Roenisch bronzes as a result.

Based on his dominating and relentless presence, Crowder was selected as the Most Valuable Player.


Radcliff’s third chukker mare Magnolia was chosen as the Best Playing Pony – her second such award of the season.


Tony Gregg