It seems that shootouts seem to come in packs. We can go weeks without one then get a slew in the next few weeks. Monday night saw two shootouts as both the Express and the Polar Bears used the extra shots to secure maximum points. The Orangemen welcomed Craig Flegel back to the lineup and he responds by posting a zero as he shuts out St. Mike’s 1-0. The Thunder roll over the Jets in a one sided affair. With the post season quickly approaching every team are in playoff mode and close tight checking games are to be expected. The Vaughan Red Wings took the week off to regroup and prepare for the final four weeks.
There’s nothing better than a battle between two teams fighting for one spot to start the night. The Toronto Polar Bears and Thornhill Steelers in a dog fight to secure the final playoff spot met in a must win for the Bears. Falling behind four points with only four games left would have spelled disaster for the summer’s semi finalists. Realizing what was at stake both teams gave it their all. After a see saw game that saw the lead change hands five times a Chris Monaghan goal with 1:04 left sent the game to extra shooters. The deciding goal would come off the stick of Giorgio Occhipinti as he slides a shot under Zarnett in the Steelers goal. The Steelers by earning the one point holds on to the final spot by the slimmest of margins. The Bears now have the VRW up next in another do or die matchup.
Next we had the Vaughan Jets and Toronto Thunder hook up. Old habits die hard and a depleted Jets lineup without the Mignosa brothers and their offence are no match for the rolling Thunder as the final score line reads 4-1 Thunder. The Thunder were no better on this night as they have fewer players than the Jets. Danny Pacheco with a goal and two helpers and Marco Goncalves with two goals lead the way offensively. Mike Gaggi pulls a goal back late to break the Dan Giffin shutout attempt. The Jets sit just two points away from both St. Mike’s and the Orangemen and every game from here on in will be crucial as the teams jockey for positioning. The Jets get the Express next week in tough matchup in an attempt to move up the standings.
World War Four should have been the headline for this next game as both teams bring out Army’s to decide this battle. A total of 36 players dress for the most anticipated game of the night. The Hawks get into early penalty trouble as they receive two tripping penalties in the first six minutes of the game. The penalty killers do their jobs and the score remained scoreless. Frank D’Ambrosio brought his scoring stick as he scores all three Hawk goals in a 3-3 tie. Goal scoring machine Frankie Giustini, Spencer Irving and Shawn Hannon all score for the Express and extra shooters were needed. Matt Tremblett would score for the Hawks and the Express would need their third shot to tie the game as Jim Tabas fires a shot over Pellicori’s shoulder. Matt Martello would score on the next Express attempt and it would be the winner as the Express walk away with a 4-3 victory.
A defensive stalemate was the next game of the night. Both the Metro Orangemen and St. Michael’s BHC who are now tied with fourteen points did not want to give each other an advantage as they decided on a defense first approach. Craig Flegel back from injury gets the starting nod and responds in fine fashion as he turns away every shot he faces in a 1-0 Orangemen win. A Ricardo Pires goal on the powerplay late in the first is the only goal of the game and pulls the Orangemen into a tie with St.Mike’s. The Orangemen have allowed a division low fifteen goals against on the flip side they have only scored sixteen goals.
Week 15 Top Goaltenders
1. Craig Flegel (Orangemen) - shuts out St.Mike’s
2. Dave DiGironimo (Express) and Ralph Pellicori (Hawks) -both shine in a 3-3 draw
3. Gus Kalaitzis (Bears) - gets the boys within one point of post season
Week 15 Top Performers
1. Frank D’Ambrosio (Hawks) – hatrick versus Express
2. Giorgio Occhipinti (Bears) -three points, a shoot out winner and four penalty minutes leads the way
3. Danny Pacheco (Thunder) - three points in a 4-1 victory