TORONTO - The Humiliation tuned up the Parkdale Hockey Lads 5-1 this past Saturday night at Upper Canada College, while the Wheatfield Souldiers enjoyed the last laugh in an action-packed 4-1 victory over the Jokers. Meanwhile, the Beau's Beer Hack held on to defeat the Gas Station Islanders 1-0 with league-leading goaltender Aaron Brophy claiming his first shut-out of the season.
Hack forward Chris Cacciotti had the only goal in a tight game that saw both goaltenders tested repeatedly, including a pair of unsuccessful breakaway attempts on GSI tender Joseph Steinman, and a three-on-none situation late in the 1st period. Dom Donatelli was credited with the assist on the goal, which saw Cacciotti corral and deposit the puck net-side despite being seemingly tied up by by a pair of blue-shirted defenders. A sprawling toe save by Steinman later in the game served as another highlight-reel moment.
With the win, the Hack wrested 1st place in the league standings away from the Brockton Rockets, who did not see action on Saturday night. Beau's Boys now sit a full point-and-a-half ahead of the Rockets, and three-and-a-half points ahead of the formerly-soaring Parkdale Hockey Lads.
Those same Lads took to the ice vs. the rivalrous Humiliation on Saturday night intent to put the breaks on a three-game losing skid that saw them cruelly evicted from the Apex apartment block just prior to the holiday season. Twas not looking likely early on, though, as the Black Wizards deposited two lumps of first-period coal in the Lads stocking, with Mike Thompson and rookie Sean Morrison serving as the Grinch's minions. Veteran Lad Ryan Kalinka got his side back within one goal in the 2nd frame, though, combining with Fernando Freitas for a power-play marker that solved goaltender Luke Smit glove side. But Luke Scheer reestablished the two-goal cushion just over a minute into the 3rd, converting a feed from Andrew Blakely to light the lamp behind Lads goalie Luis Freitas once more. Insurance tallies from Luke Moretti and Glen Gummerson sealed the deal as the Humiliation skated to a decisive 5-1 decision.
With the win, the Humiliation improve to 5th place in the standings and are now tied for points with the Jokers.
Speaking of the Jokers, the Funniest Team on Ice kicked off the 2019 portion of their schedule Saturday night with a match vs. the Wheatfield Souldiers - a team the Jokers have not managed to defeat since December of 2016. This game would start out in familiar fashion, then, with Burton's Boys first on the board thanks to a net-front roofer off the stick of Rodney Merchant. Jokers veteran Steve Chamberlain hit the reset button early in the 2nd, though, cutting across the slot and burying a hard, high one over the shoulder of Souldiers' tender John Sutton. (Tim Progosh and Craig Hughson picked up assists on that one.) A pinching Derek Domingos put the Souldiers back on top ten minutes later, combining with Brad Sveistrup for what would stand up as the game-winning goal. A long, lobbed empty netter off the stick of Kevin Magura provided insurance with about a minute left on the clock.
But the last laugh would be had by either Jokers regular Marc Hickox, or John Sutton, after the former surprised everyone by firing the puck into his team's own empty net with one second remaining on the clock. The officials initially awarded the goal to a Souldiers forward but, after some discussion, it was determined that goaltender Sutton had been the last of the Souldiers to touch the puck, having cleared it following the final Jokers' scoring attempt. So for the first time in recent UUHA memory (likely ever) a goaltender was awarded a goal.
With the win, the Souldiers find themselves in 4th place in the standings and just one victory away from a .500 record. The team will attempt to achieve that goal this coming Saturday at 8:00 pm vs. the Gas Station Islanders who currently occupy 7th place. The Jokers will host the red-hot Brockton Rockets this coming Saturday at 7:00 pm, as the Brockton Boys resets their eyes on 1st place. The Beau's Beer hack may have something to say about that, though, as they go up against the Lads at 9:00 pm with a mind to maintain the pole position. All three games take place at Upper Canada College.