With only two weeks left in the regular season the feel of playoff hockey is in the air. The Hitmen Orangemen game was a high tempo, intense filled all out war. What will become the norm as teams tighten up down the wire, it was the Orangemen who scrapped out and hung on to a 2-1 victory. The Express and Thunder look destined for a first round matchup, although the Hitmen and Thunder may swap positions between now and the end of the season. In that case it’s either the VRW or the Express neither would be an easy advisory. The Bears will have to wait for the summer season to taste post season action as they fail in their quest for a playoff spot. So we know who’s in, we just have to wait for matchups and byes to be determined. The Hawks continue to keep pace with the Orangemen and are a step ahead of the VRW but two crucial games with those Wings will determine the first round bye, the Orangemen have secured a first round bye.
The Toronto Thunder knew this was a huge game, a win over the Toronto Polar Bears would secure them a post season date. Since the return of Principe and the injection of passion and fire brought to the lineup by veteran Tony Faria the Thunder have looked like the contenders we are accustomed to seeing them as. After a slow start and the influx of new faces the Thunder have began rolling at the right time. Behind the scoring heroics of Marco Goncalves the Thunder walked away with a 4-1 playoff clinching victory. Captain Filice and linemate Principe each add a goal and Paul Duarte added three assists. Jeff Wilson scores for the Bears in the losing cause. Goaltender Dan Giffin stepped up and played to his all-star potential and as stated in the past report will hold the key to the Thunders success.
With the injury to Paul Zarnett the Mississauga Hawks season will rest on the broad shoulders of goaltender Amelio Mallozzi. Matt Tremblett and Frank D’Ambrosio will provide the offence the question mark will be at the back end heading into the post season. In a matchup that we may see in the semi-final round the Hawks and Brampton Express met in Mississauga on Sunday with the Hawks gaining a 5-4 victory. Five different scorers light the lamp for the Hawks, with Tremblett getting the game winner six minutes from the end of the game. The Express with a shortened bench get two goals from Shawn Hannon as they come close to tying the game in the final minutes. Two key games with the VRW will determine the fate of the Hawks and their seeding.
Every game for the last few weeks has been crucial for the hopes of the Toronto Polar Bears. As the teams around them continued to gain points the Bears struggled to secure victories as the season headed into its last quarter. Snipers Jeff Wilson and Chris Monaghan continued to create magic on the offensive side of the ball the Bears were unable to hold on to leads in the long forty minute games. In a do or die game where a loss would eliminate them from playoff contention the Bears were unable to take down the Vaughan Red Wings and an eventual 6-0 defeat have the Bears playing the spoiler role in their last two games down the stretch. Sam Renda returning to the lineup potted two goals and Frankie Grisonich set up four markers in the victory. With games in hand on the rest of the division the VRW look to have the number three seed secured with a chance at the number two seed ,two games against the Hawks will be a playoff series in its own as these two teams battle for a bye.
In a battle of two of the youngest clubs in Premier the Metro Orangemen and North York Hitmen faced off in a high paced action filled game. The line of Andy Pacheco, Glen Bradbury and Ricardo Pires are in on both goals as they each get a pair of points in the 2-1 victory. Bradbury’s goal turns into the game winner as the Hitmen respond with an early second period goal from Tony Medeiros to cut the deficit in half that unfortunately would be as close as the Hitmen would come to getting even. After the quick start the Hitmen will gain a playoff seed and will get a stiff test in the QF round. All-Star defencemen Vic Azevedo will be relied on heavily in the post season and the higher he raises his game the better the Hitmen’s chances are of a first round victory.
Week 14 Top Goaltenders
1. Amelio Mallozzi (Hawks) - 2-0 as a starter, holds off the Express in a 5-4 victory
2. Dan Giffin (Thunder) - win puts Thunder in post season
3. Anthony Ferrante (VRW) - posts shutout versus Bears
Week 14 Top Performers
1. Marco Goncalves (Thunder) - two goals in 4-1 win
2. Glen Bradbury Jr. (Orangemen) - game winner in tight affair
3. Frank Grisonich (VRW) - set’s up four goals versus Bears
Player of the Week
The Player of the Week, after thrust into the starting role for the Mississauga Hawks is Amelio Mallozzi, who has recorded back to back wins and has kept the Hawks within striking distance of the Orangemen for the top seed. Congratulations and see Premier Commissioner for your Player of the Week award.