The more things change the more they stay the same. The Premier Fall/Winter season came to an end last Monday night as the Brampton Express were victorious over the Toronto Thunder by the score of 4-1. This marked the fifth consecutive Premier Championship and their first Downsview Park Championship for the storied Midnight franchise whose resume may never be challenged as the championships continue to be compiled. After a slew of changes coming into the season the Express took on a new look becoming one of the youngest teams in the Premier. Young superstars Hannon, Irving, Parks and Ianuzzi were brought in to commence a youth movement. Veterans DiGironimo, Mentis, Tabas and Porter returned to lead the mighty Express in to action.
Game two started with the Thunder suffering a major blow. Premier MVP and leading scorer Massimo Principe had to leave the game after thirty seconds as an accidental blow to the mouth area opens up a nasty cut and Mass is forced to leave the game to tend to the wound. The Express would open the scoring as Matt Martello would bury a slap shot after a defensive zone turnover by the Thunder. The Thunder gave the starting nod to Nelson Medeiros in this all important do or die game. Nelson kept the game close after that opening goal and the game would go to half with the Express up 1-0. The Express would essentially put the game away as they score two goals in less than a minute with both Tabas and Hannon finding the back of the goal behind Medeiros. Martello would score his second goal of the game to widen the lead to 4-0. Matt Hebbes would ruin DiGironimo’s shut out bid as a late power play goal makes the final 4-1 Express.
With many deserving individuals the MVP of the playoffs for 2012 was Express forward Tony Montiero. Tony one of the most feared snipers in the game scored arguably the two biggest goals of the Express remarkable run. Down to the VRW in the semi final round it was Montiero who scored the winning goal in game two extending the series to a deciding game three. In the finals after game one regulation solved nothing it was Montiero who found a way to score the overtime winner and give the Express the win. Congratulations to the entire Brampton Express club on an outstanding Championship season.
The Stars of the game from the Thunder was Paul Duarte who with the absence of Principe, Goncalves and Celebre had to carry the burden offensively in game two and worked tirelessly all evening. The Express had an impressive game from two veterans Mike Porter and Jim Tabas whose leadership qualities shined through in pressure filled situations. Both goaltenders Medeiros and DiGironimo were on the top of their game all evening and must be commended.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the clubs, officials and spectators that made the Fall/Winter season the success it was. Only through you and your continued support and determination can we grow and reach heights once seemed impossible. The Premier teams will now get a chance to rest and regroup for the start of the 2012 Summer program. The Premier Pre Season Tournament will take place the weekend of April 12-15, that’s only four weeks away.