TORONTO - The Gas Station Islanders and Brockton Rockets are suddenly somewhere they haven't been in awhile: 2nd place in the overall UUHA standings. With wins this past Saturday night over the Dufferin Groove and Parkdale Porcupines, the two victors now sit just a half point behind the 1st-lace Jokers with identical records of 5-3-0. The Jokers (5-2-0) enjoy a game-in-hand over both squads in their rearview mirror, however. Additionally, the Parkdale Hockey Lads - who also won on Saturday night, edging the reigning Champions Beau's Beer Hack 4-2 (the 4th goal being an (empty-net tally) - find themselves knotted with the Hack at 10 points per, which is good enough for shares of 3rd place. Indeed, the standings are tighter than a pickle lid from Grandma Murphy's pantry.
League scoring leader Dominic Chartier tallied twice for the Islanders (his fourth multiple-goal performance of the season) while Brian Nevin and Ian McRobie also lit the lamp behind Porcs goalie Dean Bently, who was tested often and early in what ended up going into the books as 4-3 squeaker. Todd Moffat (currently second in overall league goal-scoring) had a pair for the Pines, while spare Daniel Tremblay helped out his side by solving GSI spare goaltender Aaron Brophy late in the 1st period. The Porcupines (2-5-2) are currently tied with the Wheatfield Souldiers (3-3-0) for last place in the standings, the latter team, mind you, with two games-in-hand over the Quills.
In their first meeting since last season's Championship Final (which the Hack won in overtime), the two teams had decidedly different looks going on this past Saturday night. For the Hack's part, the bench was considerably shorter, with just eight skaters dressed for the occasion. The Lads' pine boasted a slightly more robust compliment of 10, but with spares borrowed from the Humiliation (Jimmy Sioukas), Wheatfield Souldiers (Rodney Merchant) and the Imperials (Lee Finch and Colby Robinson), the team's half of the gamesheet read like an attendance record from the League of Nations. At any rate, Finch, Sioukas and Merchant accounted for three of the Lads four goals (the other being potted by Lads regular Ian Seeton), with the fourth (Merchant's) being an empty-net buzzer beater.
A couple of familiar numbers graced the goals column of the Brockton Rockets gamesheet multiple times as the team's points leader James Neilson potted his 5th and 6th goals of the season, while Dustin Harris potted his 6th as the Rockets skated to a decisive 3-0 victory over the Dufferin Groove. Harris also picked up a pair of assists on the night, while Neilson set up Harris on his goal. Michael Wilcox was also credited with an assist in a game the speedy Rockets pretty much dominated from start to finish.
The UUHA breaks for the American Thanksgiving Weekend (by coincidence, assuredly) but resumes Regular Season action on Saturday, Dec. 3 with the Humiliation returning to the ice for a 7:00 pm contest vs. the Beau's Beer Hack, and the Jokers attempting to maintain 1st place as they go skate-to-skate with the Gas Station Islanders at 8:00 pm. The Parkdale Porcupines and Dufferin Groove will close out the evening's set of games at 9:00 pm. All three matches take place at Upper Canada College.