TORONTO - The Beau's Beer Hack claimed their sixth win of the season with a 3-2 victory over the Gas Station Islanders, while the Jokers doubled up on the Humiliation to the tune of 4-3 this past Saturday night at Upper Canada College. The late game saw the Parkdale Hockey Lads and Wheafield Souldiers skate to a 1-1 draw with goals from the teams' respective scoring leaders, Kyle Welton and Eric Toth.
Nick Purdon opened the scoring on the power-play for GSI late in the 1st period (assisted by Tim Vesely and Cam Collyer), but the Hack came back with three consecutive second-frame tallies off the sticks of Aaron Foster, Wade Ivan and Chris Barkley to lock down the resurgent team's sixth win of the season. After a disappointing start that saw the Hack trudge through seven games before finding the win column, Beau's Boys have now lost just one contest of their last eight matches to sit at a respectable .500 record and just 4 points back from top spot in the standings. The Gassers, meanwhile have registered just a single victory in their past six attempts and will be hard pressed to finish among the league's top half heading into the playoffs in three weeks time. To do so the team will need more tallies like GSI's second goal this past Saturday night, which saw the sniper find the top shelf behind Hack tender Aaron Brophy from a tight, seemingly impossible angle. Yan Bourassa assisted on that one, while Stefan Barkley, Foster and Lance Moreton were credited with helpers on the three Hack goals.
Some uniform confusion saw the Humiliation and Jokers both take to the ice wearing their black sweaters, prompting members of the former to acquiesce (despite being the Home team) and return to the dressing room to go through their bags. What they came up with couldn't accurately be described as uniform, but the assorted white, orange and red sweaters were deemed different enough to differentiate the squad from their opponent, so the game commenced. Jokers veteran Mike Takacs got the black team on the board first, converting a feed from linemate Steve Levine to solve goaltender Luke Smit just three minutes in. The Humiliation's Glenn Gummerson tied things up midway through the middle frame, though, beating Jokers back-up Marc Hickox unassisted. Takacs potted his second with a minute remaining in the 2nd, this time with the help of Steve Chamberlain. But Will Hewitt would even things out once more for the united-colours side, lighting the lamp early in the final frame, again unassisted. Chamberlain responded with an unassisted tally of his own at the 1:45 mark, before Levine provided the insurance with an empty-net tally a minute-or-so later.
For the Jokers, it was their second straight 4-2 victory and the two points earned saw the team claim top spot in the UUHA standings. The Humiliation - who are now tied for 2nd place in the Standing with the Brockton Rockets and the Wheatfield Souldiers - suffered just their first loss in their past four games. The team has just one regular season game remaining, that being vs. the Souldiers on Saturday, Feb. 17 at Maple Leaf Gardens. The Jokers are scheduled to play their final regular season game that day as well. They will take on the Parkdale Porcupines at the Gardens at 8:00 pm in a match which, like the Humiliation's, will almost certainly have playoff seeding implications.
Lads goalie Luis Freitas continued to demonstrate why he's in the top spot on the League Leader's board as he turned aside all but one scoring attempt from the Wheatfield Souldiers in Saturday night's late game. Cross-ice counterpart Sheldon Shurland was equal to the task, preventing all but 29 of a whopping 30 Lads shots from finding the back of the net (the Souldiers were credited with 17 tries). Dave Ball and Eric Coussette assisted on Kyle Welton's 13th goal of the season (good for 3rd among league scoring leaders, where, coincidentally, he's tied with Eric Toth). Toth's power-play marker for the Souldiers was set up by Brad Sveistrup. The tie game resulted in the Lads getting the better of the Souldiers in the two teams' three-game season series which wrapped with a pair of ties and a single, decisive 7-3 Lads win back in December. The Parkdalian posse will next see action against the Brockton Rockets this coming Saturday, Feb. 3 at UCC, while the Souldiers are scheduled to go up against the Islanders that same night. The Porcupines and Hack will comprise the evening's other dance card.