TORONTO - An unrelenting torrent of Gas Station Islanders goals had staff at Upper Canada College searching for replacement red light bulbs last night as Dominic Chartier and Co. lit up the Jokers by a lopsided score of 9-4. The game was the second of the night in the UUHA's long-awaited return to normal play at UCC, which had been either closed or significantly limited in provided services over the course of the last couple pandemic-hobbled years. The return was, by most accounts, joyous and cathartic.
Opening night of the 2022/23 UUHA Regular Season got underway in slightly bizarre fashion, as Wheafield Souldiers captain Chuck Molgat donned the blocker, catcher and pads for the opposing Beau's Beer Hack against his own team. Though barely challenged in the 1st period, Molgat helped the Hack to a 1-0 first-frame lead, with Chris Barkley solving Souldiers goaltender Sheldon Shurland just over a minute into the game. Louis Durand and Aaron Foster assisted on that one. The 2nd period saw the Souldiers bounce back, though, with three goals in just three-and-a-half minutes off the sticks of Eric Toth, Scott Pettus and Paul Scurfield. Souldiers rookies Herbie Barnes and Mark Jones both picked up their first-ever UUHA points with assists on Toth's goal, while Jon Dahl helped set up Pettus' tally. Hack spare Mike Craig got the Beau's Boys back within one before the period was over, but with a scoreless third to follow, the Souldiers skated into the win column as both teams picked up half points for turning in a penalty-free contest.
Next up was the 8:00 pm match between the Jokers and the Gas Station Islanders, which saw the two squads combine for a whopping 13 goals. Unfortunately for the Jokers, nine of those tallies were registered by the Islanders. Jokers sniper Steve Levine got his side on the scoreboard first, putting it past Gassers' goalie Joe Steinman on the power-play at 8:01 of the 1st period. A couple minutes, though, the Gas started flowing as Dominic Chartier potted a pair, followed by a third marker by Brian Neven. That pair would ultimately combine for 13 points on the night, while Seth Singer, Jon Pickernell and Cam Collyer teamed up for 8 points. Levine finished the night with three points, while Craig Hughson and Gary Rideout Jr. both registered goals, as well.
The night's final game was far removed from its predecessor, as the Humiliation held on to defeat the Brockton Rockets by a score of 1-0. Sean Morrison had the lone goal - and the only point - in the match, getting one by Brockton goalie Jon Dickson unassisted at 11:55 of the 1st period. The Rockets, like the Jokers in the previous game, picked up a half point despite the loss, for avoiding the sin-bin over the course of the game.
UUHA Regular Season action returns following the Thanksgiving Weekend with the Jokers and Rockets hitting the ice at 7:00 pm on Saturday, Oct. 15 at UCC, followed by the Souldiers and GSI at 8:00 pm. The night's late game will see the Humiliation go up against the Beau's Beer Hack at 9:00 pm. Plenty of good seats remain available.