TORONTO - The Humiliation will take on the Jokers in this coming Saturday's UUHA Championship Final scheduled for 9:00 PM at Upper Canada College. The team earned its second consecutive trip to the season's biggest game by edging the Wheatfield Souldiers by a single, final-seconds goal, then tying the Parkdale Lads in back-to-back action this past Saturday night.
The first game of the night's round-robin series saw the Souldiers and Lads skate to a tightly-played 1-1 draw. Lads forward Mike Ryan opened the scoring a minute into the 3rd period solving Souldiers goaltender Sheldon Shurland unassisted. Burton's Boys answered back about six minutes later when defenceman Kevin Magura finished off a passing play from Steve Harkness and Brad Sveistrup, letting rip a slapshot from the top of the slot to beat Lads goalie Luis Freitas high on the glove side. Freitas earned first-star honours in the game by turning aside 20 of 21 Souldiers attempts while the Lads managed an almost identical 20 shots on net. The Souldiers finished the game with just eight skaters after blueliner Mike Wilk was sidelined with a neck injury. (He would miss the next game, as well.)
Next up were the Souldiers and Humiliation, who together conspired for another scoreless opening period. The Humiliation got on the board early in the second frame, though, with a goal from Eric Partington (assisted by Mike Thompson and Luke Moretti). The Orange Tide made it 2-nil six minutes later when Stephen Cribbin found himself alone in front of the net and one-timed a feed from Graeme McIntyre just inside the post (Kelly Dutton collected an assist on the play as well). The Souldiers answered back with two goals in under a minute - the first being a Mike Harkness redirection of a point shot from Chuck Molgat, the second a rebound conversion by Jon Weier (assisted by Mike Harkness and Eric Toth). Paul Morris then put the Humiliation back on top after skating in an intercepted puck to solve Shurland along the ice on the glove side. Sveistrup would reply for the Souldiers five minutes later, beating goaltender Chris Sanagan on a set up by Steve Harkness and Kelly McCaig (who missed the night's first game after getting into a car accident en route to the rink). With 15 seconds remaining in the 3rd period and the game seemingly bound for the draw books, a fumbled face-off win in the Souldiers end saw the Humiliation get possession and, after a series of odd goalmouth caroms, Moretti coaxed the puck over the goal line with just nine seconds left on the clock. Cribbin and Thompson were credited with assists on the tally, which stood up as the game winner.
The final game of the night, pitting the Lads against the Humiliation, saw the Parkdale posse on the board first thanks to an unassisted marker by defenceman Nick Hehn potted in the last minute of the opening frame. After a scoreless 2nd, Moretti picked up credit for the equalizer, converting a feed from Thompson to get the puck to front of the Lads net. An errant Lads' skate did the rest, directing the biscuit past goalie Freitas and into the net at the 12:14 mark of the 3rd period. Despite getting into some penalty trouble shortly thereafter (which gave the Lads a five-on-three advantage for almost two full minutes), goaltender Sanagan and the Humiliation defence rose to the occasion. At one point, Sanagan pulled off a miraculous save on what appeared to be a certain goal off the stick of Lads sniper Mike Frolick. Sanagan would end up with first-star honours having turned aside 28 of 29 Lads attempts. The Humiliation, meanwhile, managed a respectable 16 shots on net.
With the tie, the Humiliation finished with the best record on the night (1-0-1) and, accordingly, advance to next Saturday's Championship Final. The Lads (0-0-2) were next and will thus compete in the 8:00 PM Bronze Medal Game vs. the Gas Station Islanders. The Souldiers (0-1-1), meanwhile, will face off against the Porcupines in the 7:00 PM Consolation Final.