TORONTO - The third time was indeed a charm for the UUHA's Gas Station Islanders and Wheatfield Souldiers this past Saturday night, as both teams enjoyed their first win-column berths of the new season. The Wheatfield Souldiers (1-0-2) eked out a 3-1 come-from-behind win over the first-place Jokers (2-1-0), while the Gassers (1-1-1) stymied a lacklustre Parkdale Lads squad to the tune of 4-0. Meanwhile, the Parkdale Porcupines (0-3-0) dropped the first exhibition contest of the season to the visiting Flying Burritos by a score of 7-2.
Souldiers rookie defenceman Derek Domingos skated away with 1st Star honours after emulating Bobby Orr with an impressive end-to-end rush resulting in what would stand up as the game-winning tally. The Montreal native added an empty-net marker later in the third period for his second goal on the night. Earlier, Jokers captain Ted Bisaillion capitalized on a two-man advantage putting the Jokers on the board at the 10:09 mark of the opening frame. Souldiers forward Steve Harkness potted the equalizer midway through the second period, while goaltender Sheldon Shurland posted his third consecutive one-goal game.
Despite the absences of sniper Dominic Chartier and defensive stalwart Dave Bidini, the Gas Station Islanders had little trouble managing their opponent and, with 13 skaters dressed, little room on their bench. Veteran forward George Collins opened the scoring at the midway point of the first period, converting a feed from blueliner Richard Switzer. Klint Davies doubled up the score the following period, potting his first of two unassisted goals on the night. Cam Collyer also scored for the winning side, while Isles goaltender Sean Markle was perfect on the night, turning aside a considerable 18 Lads' shots, including a ten-shot third-period barrage.
The Flying Burritos, meanwhile, outclassed a short-benched Porcupines side, bettering their opponents by a five-goal margin. Paul Aucoin was an obvious pick for the exhibition contest's 1st-star honours, finishing the night with four of the Burritos seven goals, while assisting on another. Burritos Steve Munday and Ron Kuipers turned in multiple-point efforts as well, while Ted Neal and Dylan Juckes potted singles of their own. Porcupines Ryan Urqurhart and Ross Machon both tallied for the home side.
UUHA action continues next Saturday, Oct. 1 with the unbeaten Humiliation returning to action against the Gas Station Islanders at 7:00 pm. The following game will witness the UUHA debut of the Brockton Rockets, who will be going up against the Wheatfield Souldiers in an exhibition match. The 9:00 pm darby will see the Parkdale Porcupines take on the Parkdale Lads as both teams pursue their first win of the season.