With only one week left in the eighteen game season that started last September, not one of the six playoff teams has a secured seed. Every team from the current table leaders Orangemen to the Express who sit in sixth can all either move up or down depending on the final outcomes of next week’s games. The Hitmen did themselves a favour by beating the Express 4-2 in a high spirited affair. The VRW and Hawks played an old fashioned back to back show down. The Orangemen officially secured a first round bye. The Thunder very quietly sits in the number four seed, flying under the radar. Here’s how this week’s Premier action went down.
The Toronto Thunder has quietly snuck their way all the way up into the number four spot. In a crucial matchup versus the North York Hitmen on a cold Sunday evening the Thunder battled back from a 2-0 deficit to take a come from behind 3-2 shootout victory. Goals from Victor Azevedo and Tyson DiLeo early in the second put the Hitmen out in front. A Marco Goncalves slap shot cut the lead in half and a Nelson Soares PP marker tied the game at twos and sent the extra shooters out to decide the extra point. Dan Giffin stopped all three attempts and Charlie Giffin scores the shootout winner for the Thunder as the brothers do all the damage.
After squandering a point away the night before the North York Hitmen new if they were to gain a higher seed in the post season a win versus the Brampton Express was a must. In a tight checking game Express forward Stephen Head notched two goals as the Express would hold the lead early in the second. Jonathan Pulicicchio tied the game and Peter Bello fires the winner five minutes from time. Justin Rita adds an insurance empty net goal and the Hitmen leap frog the Express into the fifth seed. With a combination and possibility of playing any one of five teams both these clubs will be looking for a positive result in their last game of the season.
With the Toronto Polar Bears out of the playoff picture they now take on the spoiler roll. Entering this game versus the Metro Orangemen and the fact that they had only seven runners the cards were stacked against them. It didn’t faze these seven as they battled tooth and nail with the division leaders for nearly thirty minutes tied at 1-1. A five goal final ten minutes led to a 6-1 Orangemen victory. Ricardo Pires led the attack with two goals and four points. In a game next Sunday the Orangemen travel to Mississauga to face the Hawks in a battle for top spot.
In a back to backer the Vaughan Red Wings and Mississauga Hawks got to know each other a whole lot better. The teams would end up splitting the games. VRW would take a 4-2 victory away from game one as superstar Steve Ceccanese fires two goals and earns an assist in helping his club pull to within one point of the second sitting Hawks. In the back end of the two game series the Hawks explode for eight goals winning 8-2 in the process. Frank D’Ambrosio collects seven points, Matt Tremblett five and Rajwinder Sandhu four as the stats get padded in the romp. With a pair of victories and a loss by the Hawks the VRW could gain the first round bye. The Hawks have their sights set on a first place showdown with the Orangemen in their final game of the season.
Week 15 Top Goaltenders
1. Dave Clark (Hitmen) - secures club three points
2. Amelio Mallozzi (Hawks) - two solid efforts against VRW in back to back games
3. Dan Giffin (Thunder) - stops all three shootout attempts in come from behind victory
Week 15 Top Performers
1. Frank D’Ambrosio (Hawks) - eight point week
2. Charlie Giffin (Thunder) - extra point winner
3. Steve Ceccanese (VRW) - three point game including game winner in 4-2 win
Player of the Week
Helping his club secure three points in back to back games against the Thunder and Express, Hitmen goaltender Dave Clark is the Player of the Week. Congratulations and see Premier Commissioner for your player of the week award.