The Vaughan Red Wings have pushed the Metro Orangemen into a deciding game three show down after a thrilling come from behind 4-3 OT victory as the crowd watched in shocked amazement. The Orangemen coming into the night’s action had lost only a single shoot out all season to the Vaughan Pylons in the first quarter of the season. From there on in the Orangemen ran the table until last Wednesday. The Orangemen looked well on their way to sweeping the Wings and advancing to the Premier Fall finals. Once the Orangemen opened a 3-0 lead many fans stopped paying attention. Things changed on a power play with roughly twelve minutes left in the game, a Robbie Mentis shot hits an Orangemen defender in the back and deflects past Anthony Flores and the score was now 3-1. It took only four minutes for Mentis to strike again and the score now sat at 3-2. You could feel the crowd getting excited as the last eight minutes would see the Wings fighting for their playoff lives. Just two minutes later Rob Shilton, who was making his playoff debut, had knotted the score at 3-3. The Orangemen playing without four regular defencemen due to injury seemed to be on their heels for the rest of the period and as the final buzzer blew we were headed to overtime. I stepped away to prepare the game sheet for the next game and had barley sat down at my desk when I heard the loud cheers of victory. It took a mere thirty one seconds for Wings sniper Steve Ceccanese to fire a shot past Flores and end the OT. We’ve had two one goal games and if what we’ve experienced in this series so far is any indication to what’s on tap for game three you want to be there to experience it live and in person. The Orangemen goals were scored by Glen Bradbury and a pair of power play goals from defencemen Danny Pacheco.
The Toronto Thunder knew that there would be no tomorrow if they didn’t come away with a game two victory over the North York Hitmen. The Hitmen were hit with some unfortunate timing as starting goaltender Dave Clark would be out of the country and leading scorer and spiritual leader Jonathon Pulicicchio would both be out of the lineup for this pivotal game two. The Thunder had to deal with the absence of defencemen Kal Kakish and the huge number of minutes he absorbs game after game. The Hitmen would not let their foot off the gas pedal and picked up right where they left off in game one. Before the first period had ended the Hitmen had scored four times. A pair from rookie defencemen Peter Angiolella, Anthony Novia and Peter Bello had all found the net behind Ralph Pellicori in the Thunder goal. Super scorer Jeff Wilson scored just before half and the Thunder had a heartbeat. Three minutes in to the second Wilson had struck again and the Thunder had cut the lead in half. The back breaker for the Thunder came just six seconds later as speedster Anthony Novia, after the ensuing faceoff, blows past a Thunder defender and pokes the ball past a diving Pellicori and the Hitmen had restored their three goal lead. A slew of power play chances along with three two men advantages gave the Thunder a chance to climb back in the game but they could only muster another Jeff Wilson goal his third and hat trick goal of the game but the Hitmen would hang on to a 5-3 victory. The Hitmen now advance to the Premier Fall Finals where they await the winner of the other semi final. Im sure we will have a group of very interested Hitmen watching that game three matchup between the Orangemen and the Wings.
Semi Final Stars of the Night
Steve Ceccanese (VRW) - OT game winner extends series
Anthony Novia (Hitmen) - game winner
Danny Pacheco (Orangemen) - two PP goals
Jeff Wilson (Thunder) – hat trick