With only two weeks until Christmas and one more week of Premier hockey left until the new year the division is log jammed as three teams currently sit tied at fourteen points the Red Wings, Express and Hitmen are all even. VRW take full points from the Orangemen in a shootout. The Hitmen travel to Mississauga and fail to make ground with a 4-1 loss to the Hawks. The Express play a double header and come away with a split beating the Bears 7-3 and losing for the third time to the suddenly rejuvenated Thunder 6-2. With the Express and Thunder gaining speed heading into the last half of the regular season the race to the post season will be filled with teams leapfrogging each other to the final day.
The Toronto Thunder welcomed back all-star forward Massimo Principe to their lineup and he responded with a five point game doing what he does best setting up five goals. Jason Arruda, Paul Duarte and Kal Kakish each had a pair of goals in a 6-2 victory over the Brampton Express. The win pushed the Thunder into the final post season playoff spot ahead of the Bears. The Express have lost all three meetings with the Thunder this season and have a tough matchup next week as they face the division leading Orangemen. The Thunder look to build on the momentum they gained with back to back victories over the Express as they face the Orangemen as well on Sunday night in what will be a grudge match for two crucial points.
The North York Hitmen had their winning streak snapped with their visit to Mississauga. The Mississauga Hawks after dropping their opening night game to the Hitmen have been on fire ever since and are holding down second place. The loss also marked the first one for Anthony Flores in the Hitmen goal. JK Gill and Matt Tremblett each had three point games in the 4-1 victory. Paul Zarnett lowers his league leading GAA to 3.09. The Hawks will face the Bears in their last game of 2012 and the Hitmen will battle VRW in a battle of two teams tied with fourteen points.
After a last minute loss to the Hitmen last week the Vaughan Red Wings came ready to play this week versus the division leading Metro Orangemen. The Wings would open up a 3-1 lead after the first period on goals from Brian Rodrigues, Steve Ceccanese and Anthony Metallo. The Orangemen would then do what they have made a habit of over the fall season mounting comebacks. Ricardo Pires with his second of the game and Sergio Vidal would level the score early in the second. Metallo and Anthony Novielli with his second goal of the game restored the Wings two goal lead. No lead is safe and the Orangemen battled back again as veterans Terry Roache and Ricky DaPonte on the PP even the score at five’s. The game as is norm when the Orangemen play would need extra shooters to decide. These two teams have to rank as the top two shootout teams in the Premier. The Wings would flex their shootout muscles as Metallo and Kyle Charlton would find net behind Craig Flegal and Pires and DaPonte both are stopped by Anthony Ferrante to secure the VRW an extra point. The Wings will look to gain revenge versus the Hitmen and the Orangemen look to widen the gap between them and the Express as they face off next week.
After being beaten by the Thunder on Sunday night the Brampton Express had a quick turnaround as they faced the Toronto Polar Bears in the back half of their double header. The Express would get back into the winning column with a 7-3 victory. Garrett Bambourough would score his second hat trick of the season. Shawn Hannon takes over the scoring lead as he tops the chart with thirty points, three points ahead of defending scoring champion Jeff Wilson who sits in third with twenty seven points. The Bears find themselves looking up at the other six teams and need to get a better turnout if they hope to make the post season.
Week 11 Top Goaltenders
1. Anthony Ferrante (VRW) - shootout victory vs. Orangemen
2. Dan Giffin (Thunder) - beats Express to sweep the season series
3. Paul Zarnett (Hawks) - seven wins on season
Week 11 Top Performers
1. Garett Bambrough (Express) - hat trick against Bears
2. Massimo Principe (Thunder) - five assists in return to lineup
3. JK Gill (Hawks) - two goals and an assist
Week 11 Player of the Week
Notching his second hat trick of the fall season Express forward Garrett Bambourough is the star of the week. Please see the Commissioner for your award.