Who can’t get excited about a victory forged in the last seconds of a game, a 1-0 game where both teams seem to be in playoff mode, and comebacks with a PP in the dying minutes with a chance to erase a four goal spread and steal away a point. All this happened in one night in the best ball hockey division in the province in the Downsview Park Premier Division. I must admit I keep waiting for the other shoe to fall, where there’s a night not chalk full of excitement and last minute surprises but the more I wait the more pleasantly surprised I am. Once again all the fans were glued to the action till the last seconds ticked away. A heartbreaker of a game for the Hitmen who, without superstar Vic Azevedo in the lineup, have had Jonathon Pulicicchio pull the team on his back with another three goal performance. The Pylons continue to impress and certainly don’t look out of place. Randy Kelly came and conquered as he accumulates a six point game versus the VRW. With every week new legends are born, tales are written and excitement is brought. The best part of it all is the sportsmanship, enthusiasm and fun had by all participants as they are all aware that every game they must be prepared to bring their “A” game as this is the Premier Ball Hockey League.
With the full time commitment made to the Vaughan Pylons by such superstars Giustini, Martello, D’Ambrosio, Liakopoulos and Clarke, the Pylons have certainly shook the Premier waters. Coming into action they had only lost one of their first five Premier games to start the season. Facing a Toronto Thunder club that had just last week tasted a regulation loss for the first time and add that Jason Arruda the newest member of the Pylons would suit up for the first time versus his ex-mates added another layer of intensity and storylines to this matchup. Did Arruda make a difference? If setting up the winning goal by doing what he does best, mean’s he made a difference then the answer to that question is a resounding YES! Arruda and his feriousios fore checking caused a turnover in front of the Thunder net and the ball would fall perfectly for his line mate Vic Goncalves who blasted a shot past Ralph Pellicori for the game winning goal in what would end 2-0 Pylons as Giustini would hit the empty net to secure the victory. The victory has to be credited to goaltender Alex Liakoupolous who even though his club was outshot by the count of 28-14 stood on his head in earning the shutout. The Thunder has lost two straight and will face the undefeated Orangemen in week seven.
Every team has their go to guy and the Barrie Flyers have theirs. Don’t let his diminutive size fool you Randy Kelly may be the most explosive player in the sport today. The x-factor to Randy’s game is he does it all and play’s like he’s 6’6 and200 pounds. Randy is undoubdly the heart and soul of the Flyers and his six point game versus the Vaughan Red Wings in a 6-4 victory cement’s the fact that the Flyers will ride the Kelly wave as far as it carries them. What looked to be a game in cruise control the Flyers had opened up a 5-2 lead and looked home and cooled out. The young snipers of the VRW had other ideas and Mike Polesel would score two goals to cut the deficit to 5-4. A late PP gave the Wing’s a chance to even the score late, the return of Flyers standout goaltender Paul Talbot couldn’t have come at a better time as he makes numerous great saves to preserve the lead, and a Kelly empty netter ensures maximum points and ends the Flyer’s slide at two games. Things won’t get any easier for the Flyers as they will face another tough challenge in the form of the Pylons next week.
In the final matchup which was the first game of the night pitted the two hottest teams in the division against each other. The Metro Orangemen and the North York Hitmen each riding winning streaks would face off for the first time since opening night where the Orangemen came away with a 5-1 victory. Things have changed since that opening night game. The Hitmen have received a huge boost to their lineup as since that opening night game Bello, Pulicicchio, Meleca and host of Hitmen have returned to the lineup and the Hitmen haven’t looked back. The division leading Orangemen continue to be the team to beat as they seem to find a way to win against all odds and this game was another of those cases. Pulicicchio had another superb game as his third goal of the game evened the score at four with a mere 26 seconds left. I have to admit with only 26 seconds left everyone including myself expected a shootout and a well-deserved point for both teams. Ricardo Pires had other ideas as he intercepts a clearing attempt and finds a wide open Andy Pacheco for the game winning goal with only two seconds left. The final was 5-4 Orangemen as the Hitmen come away empty handed from an exceptional effort.
Three Stars of the Night
The third star is Vic Goncalves of the Pylons as he tallied the game winning goal versus Thunder.
The second star is Jonathon Pulicicchio as he scores three goals including a goal in the last minute to temporary tie the game.
And the first star is Randy Kelly with a 5 goals and 1 assist on the night.
Player of the Week
In earning a shutout in his team’s 2-0 victory Alex Liakoupolous of the Vaughan Pylons who stopped all 28 shots he faced earns himself the player of the week honours. Congratulations Alex.