After taking the Premier season by storm the Hitmen saw their fortunes turn and a five game winless streak commenced. There’s nothing better than a double header weekend to get a team back on the right sides of the tracks. The Hitmen took full advantage and swept their two games in convincing fashion. First they showed a ton of composure in a come from behind 5-3 victory over the Thunder. Then they shock the Brampton Express with a 5-2 victory. With the Hitmen’s two wins they tighten the standings and look to have righted the ship. The only other Premier matchups the Polar Bears defeat the division leading Orangemen 5-3. In what can be described as a week of the underdogs the look of the division could drastically change. If the Bears and Hitmen can string together a winning streak the second half of the season will be well worth coming out to watch. Every game is intense and showcases the best Premier players in the Province. If what we’ve seen so far is an indication of what’s to come the playoffs are going to be incredible. The Vaughan Red Wings and the Mississauga Hawks had the week off.
The Toronto Thunder deserved a better fate in their game versus the North York Hitmen. After opening a 2-0 lead heading into the second period the game looked to be well in hand. Granted a four minute PP the Thunder were looking to widen their lead and bury the Hitmen. Unfortunately for the Thunder the tide turned as the Hitmen, behind Anthony Novia and Joe Meleca’s shorthanded goals, tie the game. The Hitmen would take the lead but the Thunder would come back and draw level at three late in the game. With less than three minutes left Peter Bello would fire the game winner and Jonathan Pulicicchio with an empty netter snap the Hitmen’s five game winless streak with a 5-3 victory. The newly signed Anthony Flores gains the victory in his Hitmen debut.
We’re used to the Toronto Polar Bears playing the underdog role and using that stigma as motivation. Last season we saw the Polar Bears ranked eight knock off both the high flying Vaughan Red Wings and defending champions the Brampton Express. On this night they faced the division leading Metro Orangemen and came away with possibly a season saving 5-3 victory. Premier defending scoring champion Jeff Wilson nursing an ankle injury plays through the pain and adds three more points to his total with a pair of goals and an assist. Chris Monaghan tallies four points and Alex Liakoupolous, forced in to the Bears net due to an injury to Gus Kalitzis, is stellar holding the Orangemen snipers at bay. The Orangemen were without All-Star defensemen Chris Creador, Chris Cerquiera (travel) and Danny Pacheco (suspension). The Orangemen continue to lead the division despite the loss and will look to rebound with a game looming against rivals the Thunder on Sunday.
Looking to sweep the double header of games the North York Hitmen would have the task of facing the Brampton Express. The Express who have found the winning chemistry had the biggest turnout to date with fifteen runners dressed and ready for action. All the big guns were out Hannon, Montiero, Perriera, Morrison, Paravanno and the list goes on and on. The Hitmen were not intimidated and used their young legs to pressure the Express defencemen all night long. The Hitmen built a three goal lead less than ten minutes into the game. Five different scorers would light the lamp and the Hitmen would escape with a 5-2 shocking victory. Anthony Flores returning to the Premier Division records his second victory in back to back starts and looks as sharp as ever. The Express could never recover from falling behind early and fall for the first time in four games. After a five game losing streak the Hitmen now have won two straight.
Week 9 Top Goaltenders
1. Anthony Flores (Hitmen) - back to back victories
2. Alex Liakoupolous (Bears) - stellar in emergency start
3. Ralph Pellicori (Thunder) - despite result was solid between the pipes
Week 9 Top Performers
1. Victor Azevedo ( Hitmen) - one goal, three assist week
2. Tony Faria (Thunder) - veteran gets a goal an assist and a penalty in a spirited effort
3. Chris Monaghan (Bears) - four point game versus Orangemen
Week 9 Player of the Week
In back to back wins for the North York Hitmen defencemen Victor Azevedo records a goal and three assists leading his club back into the chase for top spot in the Premier Division. Congratulations Victor and see Premier Commissioner for your player of the week award.