13! Only 13 goals in four Premier games the snipers were in rest mode in week 11. If you take away the shootout goal and the empty netter and were down to eleven, barley three goals a game, a far cry from the nearly thirty goals a couple of weeks ago. All games minus the empty netter are 2-1 games low scoring, tight checking affairs as the season hits the second portion of the schedule. This may be a sign to come as teams realize with only a handful of games remaining every play, pass, shot, save is vital to their post season seeds. The Express take over first place, the Hawks rebound against the Steelers, the Jets may be hottest of all teams escaping with a shootout win and St.Mike’s win a penalty filled tilt versus the Vaughan Red Wings.
The big game of the week was the battle for first as last summer’s, final two squared off. The Toronto Thunder holding on to first for most of the season faced their rivals the Brampton Express. The Express were looking to claim top spot. Special teams are vital to the success of any good team and a shorthanded marker from Fred Pereira opened the scoring. A powerplay goal from Ricky DaPonte levelled the score just before half time. The game would remain deadlocked for 14 minutes and 58 seconds of the second period. That was until Frankie Giustini lets go a shot from the blue line that finds the roof of the net past a shocked Nelson Medeiros making the final 2-1 Express. The Express sweep the season series from the Thunder. Both teams now look forward to a rematch in the post season as do the fans as every game between these two are must watch classics.
With the Mississauga Hawks looking to rebound and coming off a bye week, they earned their two points versus the Thornhill Steelers but looked anything but sharp in the process. A Tony Talevski shot from just inside the blue line beats a screened Zarnett in the Steelers goal as Toth sets up shop in front, not allowing Zarnett the chance to see the ball that beats him for the winner. A Matt Dowdle goal seconds after Sandhu had opened the scoring for the Hawks had the game tied before the Talevski shot decides the contest. Another 2-1 final. The Steelers play tough but still struggle to find goals in close games and vital points continue to slip away. The Hawks face another huge challenge in week 12 as the thorn in their side wait as the Thunder come a calling.
The Vaughan Jets are most definitely the hottest team in the Premier Division. After a last minute victory last week, they come up with a 2-1 shoot out win over the Metro Orangemen this week. A more committed lineup and the injection of youth have this team back in contention for a top post season seed. Veteran point machine Mauro Mignosa opened the scoring on a two man PP as an undisciplined, unsportsmanlike penalty put the Orangemen down two men for two minutes. One of the younger teams in the Premier would even the score as Gary ‘Peeps’ Costa lifts a backhand over a falling Doma to tie the game. Both teams would gain a point and the extra shots would determine who would earn maximum points on this night. Claudio Mignosa and Ryan Young would both find the back of the net behind Bokhari as the Jets win the extra shooter session.
Not much surprises me anymore when it comes to what will unfold in a ball hockey game. Every once in a while I have to shake my head in disbelief. Last night was one of those nights. A penalty filled contest between St. Michael’s and the Vaughan Red Wings ended the night on a sour note. At one point between the two teams there were ten players in the penalty box. After one goalie ejection, four players being tossed and over one hundred minutes in penalties St.Mike’s comes away with a 3-1 victory. The win gets St.Mike’s right back in to the thick of the playoff race and the Vaughan Red Wings after beating the Hawks a couple of weeks ago now have dropped two straight. The Wings now must re group and collect themselves for next week as the Express are up next.
Week 12 Top Goaltenders
1. Dan Medeiros (St.Mike’s) - comes on in relief and shuts out the VRW for a 3-1 win
2. Gary Doma (Jets) - keeps Jets rolling in shoot out victory
3. Dave DiGironimo (Express) - helps team take over top seed
Week 12 Top Performers
1. Frankie Giustini (Express) - game winner with two ticks left
2. Claudio Mignosa (Jets) - shootout winner
3. Tony Talevski (Hawks) - winner versus Steelers
Next Week’s Key Matchups
Mississauga Hawks vs. Toronto Thunder
The Hawks took the first meeting 4-1 versus a depleted Thunder lineup and the Thunder will surely be looking for a measure of revenge.
Brampton Express vs. Vaughan Red Wings
After winning their first meeting against the Express in a shootout the youngsters will need their “A” game if they hope to sweep the season series from the National Champions.