After last week’s semi-final spectacular games could these teams put on even a better show for the fans in attendance? Or had the teams left all they had on the floor to reach this point? We would not be disappointed as we were in for another round of the “Premier” Ball Hockey in the Province. As we prepared for game one to commence both teams had a quiet confidence that they would be crowned Premier Champions for the 2013 summer season
(1) Brampton Express vs. (3) Metro Orangemen
Game one saw two teams prepared to leave everything they had on the floor. The Metro Orangemen would draw first blood as they get a goal from Premier All-Star Chris Creador and the Orangemen were off and running. Late in the first period the Express would capitalize on an Orangemen giveaway and veteran Steven Head would roof a wicked backhand and the game was now tied at one. The Orangemen kept attacking and were rewarded as Glen Bradbury Jr. puts a low shot in behind Dave Di Gironimo to retake the lead 2-1. With a delayed penalty to be called on the Orangemen the Express would take full advantage and Matt Martello buries the game tying goal. The teams would trade chances but couldn’t find a goal in regulation and game one was headed to overtime. The overtime would go through its first fifteen minutes without a goal being scored. The players on both sides started to show signs of fatigue as the game would head into its fourth period of play. The Orangemen did have two glorious chances to end the game in the first OT as Bradbury found himself alone to the right of Di Gironimo but couldn’t beat the All-Star goaltender. The second great chance came from a sharp angled shot off the stick of Ricky DaPonte that rolled along the line but just wouldn’t find its way over. Just three minutes into the second OT period the Express would get a break. Shawn Hannon would gain a step advantage over his defender and he was off to the races. Hannon versus Raza Zaidi in the Orangemen goal, the fans all rose to their feet and Hannon made no mistake as he rips a shot high into the corner of the net and game one was over with the Express taking the game 3-2 and a 1-0 series lead.
Game two had the crowd buzzing with anticipation and excitement. Could we be in for another OT game? Time would tell. Game two saw the Express take the lead only nineteen seconds in as Matt Paul scores on a breakaway and the Express had momentum. With momentum come’s confidence and the Express behind a Jon Macri tip in and a second Matt Paul goal saw their lead grow to 3-0 after twenty minutes. Many thought the game was over, but hold on the Orangemen had other ideas. Goal by goal they would battle their way back to draw even. DaPonte, Ricardo Pires and Paul Lima who buries a big rebound from a Bradbury shot and with two minutes left had OT once again looming. As the clock ticked down both teams tried to end the game in regulation but both goaltenders stood tall and for the second straight game OT were needed. After a brief break the teams were ready for the OT session to begin. Unlike game one this OT needed just two minutes to find a winner. Once again it’s Hannon who scores the game winner as he roofs a shot past Zaidi and the Express are once again Premier Champions winning 4-3 in OT.
Shawn Hannon had four of the six game winners in the post season for the Express and his two OT goals helped secure his outstanding performance and him being named Playoff MVP.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Metro Orangemen on an outstanding season, and a spectacular playoff run that saw them earn the Silver Medals they proudly wore around their necks as the left the floor with their heads held high. I would like to specifically recognize the efforts of Marcel Vieira, Manny Corriera and Glen Bradbury Sr. who had their team ready game in game out.
Congratulations to the entire Brampton Express Ball Hockey club who regained the Premier Championship for the fifth time in six years. GM John Ventullo should be congratulated for putting together a club that worked hard, stayed disciplined and never took their eye off the prize. Head coach Harvey Boutillier played all the right cards and his line matchups and gut feelings may just have been the deciding factor in the Express becoming Premier Championship.
As another season comes to an end and we look back at the season that was I would like to thank all the people that make all this possible. To all the teams and their staff I would like to thank you for your continued support and efforts. To the staff, officials and timekeepers that gave 110% every night I would like to thank you for your support. To Nat Capalbo our RIC who had to deal with me all year, I thank you for your patience and consistency. Jamie Roballiard and Mauro Cugini thank you for listening and being their whenever a question or concern popped up. For the vision and passion of the man who started the Premier Division and has been there through its ups and downs and has continued to push the Premier Division to the level we’ve reached, thank you Premier President Dominic Di Gironimo for your continued efforts. To my family for their understanding and support having to live with the Premier Commissioner. Finally to all you the fans that have supported the Premier Division through another successful season I thank you.
The Premier League will return in the fall inside The Hangar commencing early October and we hope to see you all there.