We’ve hit the stretch run and the division has split in to three groups battling for positioning. Teams decided that giving up crucial points in such a tough division may prove costly to their playoff lives. The top three look all but set, where they finish and who they face is still to be determined. We still got hockey to be played and a lot can happen in the next two weeks, here is what transpired in the games before the July 1 long weekend.
The Mississauga Hawks have rebuilt and secured themselves a top three finish. A trip to Niagara turned into a 5-4 victory. Mike Kusy is involved in all five goals as he nets four and sets up the other to lead his new club to a crucial road victory. Anthony Carnevale earns a victory in goal in his Premier debut.
The Belleville Bruins would gain two points over the Vaughan Red Wings with a 1-0 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Two teams make the trek to London. The Brampton Express kept their quest for top spot their main goal and a 5-1 victory on the road over the St. Thomas Wildcats kept them on track. The Wildcats then gained a two points in a 1-0 win over the Toronto Thunder.
The Metro Orangemen went north and defeated the Barrie Wild 1-0 at East Bayfield arena.
Arguably the hottest team in the division since the World Championship the North York Hitmen made huge strides in securing their playoff berth with a 7-3 victory over the Toronto Polar Bears. Both Jonathan Puliccihio and Jonathan Poirier accumulate four points each in the win.
On the outside looking in the Toronto Thunder need to string together wins to get them back to where we are used to seeing them, deep in to the playoffs. Facing a tough Metro Orangemen club the Thunder needed to secure points. A playoff like atmosphere saw the Thunder fall 2-1 on a Nelson Pacheco goal just three minutes from time.
Vaughan Red Wings knew that they needed to put out a top notch effort versus the Brampton Express. This would send a message to both their own team and to the league that they can’t be over looked whoever they draw. Regulation time ended in a 2-2 draw. In the shootout VRW defensemen Daniel Alonzi would net the winner and the VRW secure two huge points.
The Barrie Wild riding out the balance of the schedule made a trip to Burlington to face the Niagara Generals. The Generals had their way with the Wild scoring a dozen goals in the 12-2 lopsided victory. The Generals are pushing to stay in the top five and could be making the trip to Oshawa to face the Bruins in the playoffs.
With the Toronto Polar Bears being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs they become the spoilers. With a chance to send the Mississauga Hawks a big blow to their positioning quest the Bears jump out to a 2-0 lead and the Hawks were shocked. Pulling up their socks the Hawks came back for a 7-2 win. JK Gill and Mike Kusy both were critical in the comeback.
After falling in their opening game of the season to the Belleville Bruins the North York Hitmen were looking to split the series with their rivals. Riding a two game winning streak the Hitmen would build on it with their third straight win. This time they would beat the Bruins 6-3. A 4-0 lead was shriveled to a 4-3 lead by the Bruins but a late penalty gave the Hitmen the break they needed to secure the two points and two empty netters put the game out of reach.
Player of the Week
Currently leading the league in goals with fourteen Mike Kusy of the Mississauga Hawks is the Player of the Week. Mike has been the offensive threat that the Hawks have searched for over the years and looks to have settled into a lineup that can now score at will. Congratulations Mike.