TORONTO - The Jokers edged the Brockton Rockets by a single goal this past Saturday night, while the Humiliation landed another successful salvo in the team's longstanding rivalry with the Parkdale Lads. Meanwhile, the Hack H.C. wrapped up a three-game UUHA exhibition series with another victory, this time a 6-3 win over the Gas Station Islanders.
Defenceman Craig Hughson opened the scoring in the first UUHA game of the New Year, getting the Jokers (8-4-0) on the board at the 4:27 mark of the 1st period. Brockton Rockets spare Alex Hempel potted the equalizer two minutes later before teammate Dan Kleiman put the exhibition squad ahead by a goal with just three seconds remaining in the opening frame. The 2nd period, however, would see the Jokers go one better than erasing the deficit with goals from Steve Chamberlain and Paul Irving, the latter finishing off an impressive net-front passing play with Chamberlain and Hunter Collins. Chamberlain would net the Jokers' third consecutive goal midway through the final frame. Rockets forward Rob Campbell took an intercepted puck all the way to and past Jokers goaltender Burke Lawrence with just over a minute remaining in the game, but that unassisted effort proved to be too little too late for the losing side. With the 4-3 win, the Jokers moved to within a half point of the first-place Wheatfield Souldiers in the UUHA regular season standings.
The Hack H.C. outgunned the Gas Station Islanders (5-5-2) by a score of 6-3 to capture their third straight win of a three-game UUHA exhibition series. (Previously, the smooth-passing Hack dispatched the Lads and Humiliation by respective scores of 2-5 and 3-2.) Aaron Foster potted two goals for the winning side, while Chris Barkley, Lance Moreton, Joe McGinty and Louis Durand contributed singles. Hack goaltender Aaron Brophy collected one of eight assists handed out, as did winger George Stroumboulopoulos on the occasion of his UUHA sophomore contest. Dave Bidini, John Pickernell and Nick Purdon were the goalscorers for GSI.
And in the final UUHA game of the night the Humiliation downed the Lads 4-1, taking control of the rivals' three-game season series with two consecutive victories. The Humiliation (6-4-2) maintained possession for much of the game, nearly doubling up the Lads (3-8-1) on the shot clock and forcing Lads goaltender Tony Lanz to put in what was likely his best performances of the season, turning aside 14 of 17 attempts. Mike Thompson and Duncan Bunclark both contributed goals for the winning side, while Paul Aucoin potted a pair, including an empty-net tally with 26 seconds remaining in the game. Lads scoring leader Kyle Welton got the lone goal for his side, converting a pass from Jason Abrams midway through the 2nd period.
UUHA action continues next Saturday, Jan. 14 with the Parkdale Porcupines (3-9-0) taking on the Jokers at 7:00 pm. The Humiliation will look to move closer to the top of the standings when they face off against the Flying Burritos at 8:00 pm, while the Wheatfield Souldiers put in their first appearance of 2012 going up against GSI at 9:00 pm.