The 2011 Fall Tier One season began with thrills and excitement. The Thunder opens the season with a five goal outburst on the sluggish Bears. The young Orangemen club put up a valiant battle versus the National Champions. The Panza Brothers went head to head for the first time in their careers. A shootout to end the night sends the Steelers home with a single point and St.Mike’s with two.
A Sunday night opener saw two of the summer’s semi-finalists going head to head. The Toronto Thunder together for the first time since their final game three heart breaker loss to the Express take their frustration out on the Toronto Polar Bears. With new signing in tow Paulo Celebre the Thunder fire four first period goals on route to a 5-1 victory. Massimo Principe opens the season with a goal and an assist and Celebre notches his first Thunder goal as the Thunder gain the first two points of the season. The Polar Bears annual slow starters fell behind early and couldn't catch up. The Bears second period was much better as the teams traded goals and a half dozen superb saves from Nelson Medeiros kept the Bears from evening the game. Up next the rematch as the Express and Thunder meet in game two for both teams.
Craig Flegel came to play as the newest member of the Metro Orangemen turned away shot after shot. Unfortunately his teammates couldn't give him enough support up front to gain a crucial point vs. the Brampton Express. The trio of Giustini, Martello and Perriera combine for two points each as the Express squeak a 2-1 victory. With a slew of new faces and a new GM and head coach the Express have taken on a new look. The Orangemen a goal away from gaining a tie were without Paul Lima, Gary Costa and dispersal draft pick up Randy Kelly a dangerous trio that could have helped on this night. The Orangemen look to even their record as they face the Jets in game two.
Panza vs. Panza Round 1. Chalk this one up to youthful desire. The Vaughan Red Wings earn their first Premier win as they easily handle the Vaughan Jets 5-2 and send a message to the other teams that they’re ready for the Premier level. Five different scorers light the lamp as Helder DaCunha is credited with the game winner. Stellar in his Premier return Anthony Ferrante turns away 22 shots to rain on the Jets parade. Its only game one and the mixture of Eagles/Jets will need to find a sense of chemistry as the season progresses. Next up St.Mike’s for VRW as they look to keep pace with the division leaders after two weeks. Teams combine for 56 penalty minutes, way too high totals for both teams.
Bad luck, hard luck call it what you want but the Thornhill Steelers after holding St.Mike’s scoreless for 29 minutes and 26 seconds find themselves with a shootout loss for their effort. A Vince Capone goal with 34 seconds remaining evened the score sending the game to extra shooters. Capone an ex Steeler is left smiling as he burns his ex teammates. Alberto Cucchiara fires the winner through the legs of Steeler goaltender Paul Zarnett to gain the extra point. A Wes Barbowski goal looked to be the winner until Capone’s heroic efforts. A full lineup for the Steelers looks to have this club ready for the long grind of the fall season. Steelers face another tough matchup in week two versus the Mississauga Hawks.
Week 1 Top Goaltenders
1. Craig Flegel (Orangemen) - spectacular in losing effort
2. Anthony Ferrante (VRW) - gains young squad first win
3. Nelson Medeiros (Thunder) - big stops keep Bears from gaining any ground
Week 1 Top Runners
1. Vince Capone (St. Mike's) - sends game to shootout in dying seconds
2. Massimo Principe (Thunder) - three point opening night 3. Martello/Giustini (Express) - pick up where they left off at Nationals, they just keep scoring