TORONTO - The Gas Station Islanders may be struggling to earn one of the top three spots in the UUHA standings, but GSI goaltender Sean Markle's berth on the leader board is well established. This past Saturday saw Markle pick up his league-leading fourth shutout as the Isles (7-6-2) defeated the Parkdale Lads (4-9-1) by a score of 2-0. A tightly contested match throughout, GSI didn't get on the board until well into the 2nd period when speedy forward Klint Davies picked up his seventh goal of the season, converting a set up from linemate Seth Singer off of a feed from defenceman Lorne McGinnis. It remained a one-goal game until the 11:08 mark of the final frame at which point Davies struck again, taking advantage of a Lads turnover to skate the biscuit in for an unassisted tally. That goal topped up Davies' points total to 14 over the course of just eight games played this season.
The Lads bench was heavy with spare players from the Wheatfield Souldiers, who accounted for four of the nine skaters on the losing side. For their part, the Souldiers (8-3-4) had just been issued their third defeat of the season, this time at the hands of the Jokers who, with a record of 10-4-0, currently maintain sole possession of 1st place overall. The score in that gritty contest (which saw the Jokers rack up 14 minutes in penalties) was 3-2 with the victors edging the Souldiers in the teams' three-game season series 2-1. (Interestingly, the aggregate score over the course of those three games comes out dead even at eight goals per side.)
In terms of shutouts, Markle wasn't the only goalie to lay a goose egg this past Saturday night. Porcupines 'tender Dean Bentley was perfect between the pipes as well, turning aside all the Michelin matter his opponents could muster in the Porcs' 5-0 romp over the exhibition Brockton Rockets. Ryan Urquhart potted a pair for the Porcs (4-11-0), while Ross Machon, Wayne Cochrane and Matt Latreille tallies as well. The Rockets (who picked up another half point in the team's fifth penalty-free game of its abbreviated exhibition season) managed to tighten things up in the second half of the game, holding their opponents off the scoreboard for the duration of the 3rd period.
UUHA action continues this coming Saturday, Feb. 4 with the Jokers facing off against the surging Humiliation at 7:00 pm. The Brockton Rockets will look to wrap up their season with a first-ever win over the struggling Parkdale Lads at 8:00 pm. And the Wheatfield Souldiers will attempts to get back in the win column as they take on the Parkdale Porcupines at 9:00 pm.