With the Post Season just days away here’s a quick breakdown of the upcoming series and what to expect. The players listed under Series Changers, depending on their play in the series could swing the momentum in their clubs favour.
#1 Brampton Express vs. #8 Toronto Polar Bears
For anyone that watched the Summer semi-final series between these two you know that this series can be a classic. The Polar Bears will be without many of their starters and will definitely miss the speed and creativity of Andrew Howes, Richie Andre and Justin Monaghan who for various reasons have missed the Fall season. The Express also have a total new look with Shawn Hannon, Spencer Irving, Joey Parks and a slew of new faces ready for playoff action. The regular season series was split the Bears winning 2-1 in a shoot out and the Express winning 3-1 late in the season a total of seven goals total combined. The Express scored twenty six more goals than the Bears and allowed thirty fewer. As we all know the post season brings the best out in teams and this series could come down to a battle of two All-Star goaltenders as David DiGironimo and Gus Kalaitzis lock horns for the second consecutive season.
Series Changers: Express - Parravano, Porter, Rocha
Series Changers: Bears - Monaghan, A. Moore, Occhipinti
#2 Toronto Thunder vs. #7 Vaughan Jets
This series will come down to can the Jets slow down the high flying offence of the Thunder. The Thunder had six scorers in the top twenty and the Jets highest scorer ranked twenty second with eleven points (Sandro Mignosa) who missed six games with a broken ankle. The Jets scored only thirty three goals in the regular season in comparison Massimo Principe had twenty six points of his own so offensively the Thunder seems to have the edge. The X factor and also a question mark is who starts in goal for the Jets. Dwayne Pallotta as a member of the Eagles in the Summer season was one period away from eliminating the Thunder. Does he get the nod or does Gary Doma the stellar veteran of the Jets crease get the start? Let the mind games begin. Both these teams know what it takes to win and are used to pressure packed situations. The Jets top players have to be their top players in the series .
Series Changers: Thunder - Bradbury, Hebbes, Kakish
Series Changers: Jets - Gaggi, M. Mignosa, S. Mignosa
#3 Mississauga Hawks vs. #6 Vaughan Red Wings
Line up and get your seats early. Opening night will have these two clubs open the Playoffs at 7pm. The most interesting series of the first round without a doubt will be this one. Both teams looked dominating against each other as the VRW were victorious 4-0 and the Hawks winning 5-0 so who has the edge? Both teams can score with the Wings scoring the third highest total in the division bulging the twine fifty times. The Hawks Captain reigning Premier MVP Charlie Giffin has the ability to take over a series on his own add Matt Tremblett and Frank D’Ambrosio to the mix and you have a trio of high scoring forwards. The key for the VRW is to stay disciplined and out of the box as they were the highest penalized team in the regular season. This series will hinge on who wins game one as the momentum should push them through to the next round.
Series Changers: Hawks - Talevski, Toth, Tremblett
Series Changers: VRW - Alonzi, Shilton, Valente
#4 St. Michael’s vs. #5 Metro Orangemen
With the attention spent on many of the other clubs St.Mike’s quietly snuck into fourth spot. Their reward a date with the Orangemen. This series has the makings of a three game overtime series. Another low scoring series is to be expected as a total of four goals scored in the regular season games prove every goal in this series will be huge. The clubs split the series with the Orangemen winning 1-0 and St. Mike’s 2-1. Two of the youngest and brightest minds behind the benches as Marcel Vieira and Alex Bovoletis will put their coaching strategies to the test. Special teams will be crucial as well as a well timed power play goal could be the difference in the series. Ricardo Pires and Randy Kelly need to produce offensively but it won’t be easy as Danny Novis and John Crisafi have blossomed into two solid defenders who will make the going tough on the Orangemen forwards. These two teams are as even a matchup you will find as is usually the case when a number four and five meet.
Series Changers: St. Mike’s - Josh Barbas, Sorbara, Trougakos
Series Changers: Orangemen - Costa, Lima, Roache
The playoff action begins Monday January 30. Check online for the time and dates your favourite teams will square off live at the Hangar. Admission is free. Don’t forget to circle the date of January 28 on your calendar as the best of the Premier Division face off in our second annual All Star game live at 3:30 at the Hangar.