The Premier Fall Season has commenced with seven of the top teams in the province battling for the coveted title as DP Premier Fall 2012 Champions. As with the start of any new season comes the surprises as teams revamp for the new season. It looks like were in for a wild ride. Here is what has transpired after two weeks.
If the Brampton Express hopes to repeat as DP Champions they will need to start by fielding a full team. After three games the Express have a 1-1-1 record good for three points. An opening game barn burner with the Thunder saw the Express outscored by a score of 9-6. In their next game a battle with the Orangemen saw the Express blow a two goal lead which they ended up losing in a shootout 3-2. Looking to get in the win column a test versus the Vaughn Red Wings turned into a romp as the Express fire nine goals behind a shocked VRW team that decided to take the night off. The win looks to have the Express moving in the right direction can they build on their first win of the season.
Fresh faces in the Metro Orangemen lineup have rejuvenated the entire squad. Adding Danny and Andy Pacheco, Glen Bradbury and Ricky Daponte they added a slew of veterans that will steady the ship through the tough battles ahead. Opening the season with two shootout wins the Orangemen have jumped to the head of the Premier standings. A tough 1-0 loss to the Hawks in their third game has been their only blemish. The return of power forward John Darocha gives the squad a chance to comprise two solid scoring lines. A traditionally low scoring team, with the additions made doesn't be surprised if the Orangemen become a goal scoring machine. The two shootout winners were by Paul Lima versus the Express and by Ricardo Pires against Toronto Thunder.
Looking back at the season that was the Mississauga Hawks have to asking themselves what went wrong. After numerous moves, trades and signings the pieces looked to be in place for a successful season to unfold. Bringing in arguably the best player in the game in Matt Tremblett a new look lineup failed to deliver in the playoffs. In there opening game of the season the Hawks were over powered by the Hitmen 4-1. Game two was won by an outstanding goaltending effort as Paul Zarnett turned away 29 shots for a 1-0 win over the Orangemen. With the departure of Ralph Pellicori the goaltending reigns were handed over to Zarnett who will become the number one man in Hawk land. Also departing were Charlie Giffin, Mike Gaggi and Daniel Sisca who were all shipped out via various trades. The Hawks can never be over looked and fast start will be crucial to a long happy season.
After reaching the Premier Finals last season the Toronto Polar Bears return with high expectations. With the two leading scorers in the league residing on the same line both Jeff Wilson and Chris Monaghan are as dangerous a duo you will encounter. Will the additions made by Wilson pay immediate dividends or will it take time to mesh this group into a well oiled machine? Randy Kelly and Mike Gaggi were both brought in to add more fire power and dispersal picks Novis and Crisafi are yet to make an appearance. An opening day 6-5 loss to the VRW saw Wilson score four times. In their next game the Hitmen flexed their muscles as they out lasted the Bears 5-2. Kalaitzis continues to play big in the Bears goal and the success of the Bears will hinge squarely on his shoulders.
Can the rebuilt Toronto Thunder continue their dominance in the Premier division? With the departure of the Pacheco brothers Daponte and Bradbury and restructure of the Thunder was underway. In came Charlie Giffin to join brother Dan, Nelson Soares rejoins his original Premier club and Steve Huffman adds depth to the Thunders defence core. After two games a 9-6 victory over the Express and a 3-2 grudge match shootout loss to the Orangemen the Thunder look like they have made the necessary changes to compete for the Fall Championship. Commitment and consistency will be the key to a successful Premier season.
Entering their third Premier season the Vaughan Red Wings have a bad taste in their mouth. After dominating the 2012 Premier Summer season and earning the top seed heading into the post season the VRW were knocked out in two straight by the underrated Toronto Polar Bears. Revenge didn't take long as opening night saw these two clash again. In a see saw matchup the game would end in a 5-5 tie and a shootout would be needed. A Sam Renda goal in extra shots secures VRW the extra point. In their next game they probably would like to forget as the Express exploded for a 9-3 victory shocking the young Wings.
Finally making the jump to Premier the North York Hitmen have taken the division by storm. A 2-0 record after two games has the Hitmen looking down on the rest of the Division from on top of the mountain. Can they continue to dominate at the highest level? A 4-1 victory over the Mississauga Hawks and a 4-2 win over the Bears have the Hitmen off and running. Premier MVP Defenceman Vic Azevedo has continued to dominate and has become the quiet leader of this young group. A committed full lineup is the key, this group just keeps running. Speedster Novia, along with Pulicicchio, Bello, Medeiros and Rita will give the Hitmen a formidable front line. Coach Angelo Gaetano has found his niche with this group as they continue to flourish.
1. Dave Clark (Hitmen) - staking his claim as top tender
2. Craig Flegal ( Orangemen) - two shootout victories
3. Paul Zarnett (Hawks) – brilliant 1-0 shutout win
1. Shawn Hannon (Express) - ten points in three games
2. Paul Duarte (Thunder) - fast start for super sniper
3. Carlos Arce (Hitmen) - five points from a defensemen in two games
Players of the Week
Week 1: Paul Duarte (Thunder) - six point opening night
Week 2: Craig Flegal (Orangemen) - two shootout victories
Please see League Commissioner for your player of the week award.