TORONTO - The soaring Gas Station Islanders were grounded by the Beau's Beer Hack this past Saturday night as the latter squad claimed its first win of the season. Chris Cacciotti's 2nd-period penalty-shot tally proved to be the difference in an otherwise tight 3-2 contest between 1st and last-place teams (according to pre-game standings, at least).
In other UUHA action, the Jokers ran roughshod over a spare-augmented Parkdale Lads side, defeating the current last-place team by a score of 6-1, while the Wheatfield Souldiers demonstrated a rare flourish of offence in a 6-3 win over the Humiliation.
Rideout Jr. Hat-trick Extends Lads Losing Streak
Gary Rideout Jr. earned his first hat-trick of the season in the Jokers' 6-1 defeat of the Pakdale Lads. Rideout scored in each period of the game, including the Jokers final lamp-lighter with three-and-a-half minutes remaining on the clock. The local comedy mogul's first goal ultimately held up as the game-winning tally. Linemate Steve Levine finished the game with four assists (good for 2nd place on the assists leaderboard and a share of 3rd in overall points) while Mike Takacs, Jeff Kassel and Derek Thompson also turned in multi-point performances.
The lone Lads goal was scored early in the final frame by rookie Brad McKeown, with the assist going to Roger Santos.
The loss extended the Lads current losing streak to 19 consecutive games, including the 2019 Playoffs and the 2018/19 Regular Season. The last time the Lads made it into the UUHA win column was on Nov. 24, 2018 when the team registered a 6-2 victory over the Wheatfield Souldiers. The Lads will have two more opportunities to avoid marking a dubious milestone of having not won a single league game over the course of an entire calendar year. (The Lads did, however, earn multiple wins at an international tournament last spring in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)
Jokers' goaltender Burke Lawrence picked up his 4th win of the campaign and saw his Goals Against Average improve to a miserly 2.00. Berkey's cross-ice counterpart for the match was GSI regular Joseph Steinman, playing as a spare for the occasion.
McCaig's Nat Hat Lifts Souldiers Over Humiliation
Wheatfield Souldiers veteran Kelly McCaig earned a natural hat-trick of his own Saturday night, potting three in-a-row on Humiliation goalie Luke Smit, scoring in each of the three periods, as well. Souldiers' winger Scott Pettus opened the team's scoring at 5:21 of the 1st, combining with Mike Harkness and Eric Toth, then tallied again at 8:25 of the 3rd period, this time with Toth and Brad Sveistrup picking up the apples on a crisp tick-tack-tick-toe play. Harkness scored the final goal for the winning side with McCaig assisting, crowning the latter's night with a fourth point.
The Humiliation lit the lamp behind Souldiers goalie Sheldon Shurland in each of the three periods, with Aaron Knight starting things off unassisted just three-and-a-half- minutes in. Sean Morrison followed suit midway through the 2nd (assisted by spare Jeff Hohendorf) and Clint Whitworth combined with Paul Morris for his first goal of the campaign at the 1:54 mark of the 3rd.
With the win, Burton's Boys improved to 3-1-1 on the season to sit just a point-and-a-half back of 1st place in the league standings. The Humiliation (who picked up another half point for going penalty-free on the night) are currently in 5th place with a 2-3-0 record.
Penalty Shot Helps Worst Beat First
Aaron Foster and Stefan Barkley put the then-winless Beau's Beer Hack up 2-0 with a pair of short-succession goals midway through the 1st period of their match-up with the then-undefeated Gas Station Islanders. Isles rookie Vincent Cardin-Tremblay halved that lead before the period ran out, though, combining with Steve Boyd to solve GSI goaltender Joseph Steinman with a buck-and-change remaining in the frame.
But a successful penalty-shot bid off the patient stick of Chris Cacciotti (who had been hauled down on a breakaway) reestablished the cushion and would stand up as the game-winning goal in the tight, defensive affair. Seth Singer also scored for the Gassers, making good on another feed from Boyd early in the 3rd. Hack goaltender Aaron Brophy turned aside 19 of 21 shots, while Steinman was tested just 13 times.
The win staunched a surprising four-game losing streak for the Beau's Boys who, last season, won the President's Cup as the UUHA's top regular season team and came within a couple goals of winning what would've been the team's third league championship. The Hack's current season record is 1-4-0 and they've managed to find the back of their opponents' nets just seven times in five games.
For the Gas Station Islanders, the loss was their first of the season, as they currently boast a 4-1-1 record. The team leads all other UUHA squads in goal scoring, having already celebrated 22 tallies. However, GSI has played one more game (6) than every other team, including the Jokers who, with 20 goals in just 5 contests and a record of 4-1-0, currently enjoy the highest goals-per-game average (4.00) and best win percentage (.800) overall.
UUHA action continues this coming Saturday, Nov. 9 with the high-flying Jokers going up against the resurgent Wheatfield Souldiers at 7:00 pm in a game with first-place overall potentially in the mix. The 8:00 pm contest will see the Parkdale Hockey Lads face off against the Beau's Beer Hack, while the final match-up of the night has the Brockton Rockets returning to action at 9:00 pm, this time vs. the Humiliation. All three games take place at Upper Canada College's modern and well-appointed William P. Wilder Arena.