This is why we play the games, anything and everything can happen when the ball drops. Both the Vaughan Red Wings and the Mississauga Hawks found this out the hard way once the ball drops any team with a bounce and some luck can win a series. The Generals and the Orangemen both played their hearts out and put on a great show for all the fans in attendance.
(1) Vaughan Red Wings vs. (8) Toronto Polar Bears
Bears win series 2-0
The Vaughan Red Wings and the number one seed were sent packing by the high powered offence of the Toronto Polar Bears. Huge series from Wilson, Monaghan and Sandro Mignosa were too much for the Wings to shut down. Anthony Luciani of the VRW scored two goals in game two to erase a 2-0 early Bears lead .The score stayed deadlocked at 2-2 until midway through the second when the Bears blow the game open and eliminate the Wings by the scores of 5-4 in a shootout and 7-2 (two empty netters) in game two.
(2 Brampton Express vs. (7) Metro Orangemen
Express win series 2-0
The Metro Orangemen drew a tough first round matchup. Facing the Brampton Express is never an easy task. The Orangemen fell in a two game sweep. That being said the Orangemen played their best hockey of the season and a two man advantage saw them pull to within one goal in game two at 2-1. A late marker from Hannon and an empty netter from Porter close out the series. Just goes to show that the scoreboard doesn’t always tell the whole truth about a series or a game. Dave DiGironimo was relied on and responded with stellar saves in the two game series. The Express now move on to the semi-final round.
(3) Toronto Thunder vs. (6) Niagara Generals
Thunder win series 2-0
In the three vs. six series the Toronto Thunder and Niagara Generals both had their eye on the semi-final round. The Thunder went to Niagara and won game one 4-3 behind a Massimo Principe breakaway goal. Game two was another nail bitter and the Thunder once again hung on for a 3-2 win as captain Danny Filice powerplay goal wins game two and the series for his Thunder club. Goaltenders Bram Leggat and Dan Giffin both played spectacular and the series was by far the tightest of the QF matchups. The Thunder now will face St. Mike’s in the SF round looking to make their second consecutive visit to the Premier Finals.
(4) Mississauga Hawks vs. (5) St. Michael's BHC
St. Michael's win series 2-0
The Mississauga Hawks couldn’t buy a break or a goal if their playoff lives depended on it and the two game series versus St. Michael’s proved that. With an opportunity to make the score 3-2 at half in game one a dislodged net and a post put an end to any comeback thoughts. Game two saw the Hawks with numerous chances to level the score and send the game to overtime but the Ball Hockey Gods just were not on their sides as St. Mike’s comes away with a 5-2 victory in game one, and a winning goal scored from the corner of the rink by Frank Zuccaro is the dagger in the hearts of the Hawks winning game two 2-1. St. Mike’s now moves on to their first ever semi-final appearance.
QF Round Top Goaltenders
1. Gus Kalaitzis (Bears) - knocks out number one seeded VRW
2. Dave DiGironimo (Express) - game saving saves throughout the opening round
3. Dan Giffin (Thunder) - wins two one goal games
QF Round Top Performers
1. Sandro Mignosa (Bears) - 5 goals and a shootout winner in 2 games
2. Massimo Principe (Thunder) - goals in two straight sends team to SF
3. Frankie Giustini (Express) - a 2 goal game has this young sniper heating up
Come out and watch the semi-final games take place on Wednesday, July 18 at Al Palladini Community Center on Rogers TV with all the action commencing at 7pm.