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Rob's Approximately Fortnightly Power Rankings -- Week 7
May 23, 2016
1. Freddy's HC
With only one regular season game remaining, Freddy's HC has had a flawless record with the exception of one loss to Laffy Taffy, thanks largely to Elie Klein, who is currently second in the league in goals, and Jake "The Snake" Worby who is tied with Klein for third in points. Once again Freddy's HC has their sights set on a championship, but they tend to have great regular seasons and then collapse in the playoffs. We will see if this will be the season they finally buck that trend.
2. Laffy Taffy
Laffy Taffy has won every game except for a regulation loss and a shootout loss to Freddy's HC. Tyler Mishchenko is done for the season, but defenseman Sean Rappleyea has finally returned to the ice and after two games is already tied for seventh in the league in goals with six. Meanwhile, captain Steve "Ozzy" Osvold leads the league in points and Andrew Krynicki is posting the best GAA. Laffy Taffy fully expects a championship showdown with Freddy's HC.
According to a brief search on Ask Jeeves, no pitcher has ever hit a go-ahead home run and then struck out all three batters in the bottom of the 9th, and no quarterback has ever thrown a deciding touchdown before making the game-winning tackle, but thanks to the MuskRays, we can no longer say that a goaltender has never scored a goal in a shootout and then made the game-winning save. The MuskRays were in last place until Josh Creelman stood in for Adam Grare between the pipes, and then made a bold move as he took the team's third shootout attempt (with star scorer Alec Marsh still available) and scored the goal that ultimately moved the MuskRays ahead of CJ's at Midnight in the standings after he skated back down to the other end of the ice and made a save. This may be the turning point in their season as this uplifting win along with the return of Marsh and Harrison Napell has drastically improved the team's morale. They have a pair of games against the Ice Men coming up, where a couple of wins could help them take third place.
4. Ice Men
Despite Matt Torstrup and Jon Bokser putting up numbers, the Ice Men are hovering around .500 and are in danger of falling behind the MuskRays. Either way, it looks very likely that these two teams will end up meeting each other in the quarterfinals. They will need to play stronger defensively if they are to make a run at their first PTAHL championship this season.
5. CJ's at Midnight
It is no coincidence that CJ's at Midnight is in last place and has given up the most goals as they have taken 18 more penalty minutes than any other team. Matt SkjE-I-E-I-O is leading the team in points, but with only six. For this team to turn things around, they will need to start spending less time in their own end, and that begins with spending less time shorthanded. Fortunately for them, the MuskRays and Ice Men are still within reach.
Currently on a seven-game winning streak, including a Unity Bank Cup championship on the road at Flemington Ice Arena as a sequel to their fall/winter championship, the Stingrays have been on fire lately. They have given up the fewest goals like they usually do, but this time around they are also leading the league in goals scored. Scoring goals has traditionally been the Stingrays' weakness, but no longer as the Boscaino brothers are tied for third in the league with 13 points, and free agent signing Bryan Whittaker is only one point behind them. Meanwhile, John Fallone's 2.40 GAA is the best in the league. Anything short of another championship would be a disappointment for the Stingrays this season.
The Mustangs are having a successful first PTAHL season as they will finish in either first or second. Vincent DeGeorge has been the top offensive player this season as he leads in both goals and points while at the other end of the ice, Mike Corella is posting a solid 3.90 GAA. They hope to keep their impressive performances up as their final game of the regular season, against the Stingrays, could decide who gets first place.
The Phantoms are already locked into third place and will take on either the Stingrays or Mustangs in the quarterfinals. The three components of the Pterodactyl line, Joe Nobilio, Andrew Park, and CJ Gallagher, all picked up as free agents after the Pterodactyls' North Division team went on hiatus this season, have been huge for the Phantoms, scoring 24 of the team's 39 goals. They are hoping for a win in their final game of the regular season when they take on the Mustangs, the only team they have been unable to beat so far this season.
This disastrous season continues for the Vikings, now on a seven-game losing streak. Captain Vinny Bird must think Halloween is coming up because he's been a ghost lately with only one goal in the past month. Neil Holterman hasn't produced much this season either, and this lack of production from their top offensive players has overburdened the defense, which is having a hard time stopping the other team's top players. The Vikings can finish no higher than fourth place, but if Bird and Holterman play like they are capable of, the Vikings can pull off a few playoff upsets.
1. Green Brook Berets
Still undefeated with two games to go, the Berets have clinched first place and will tolerate nothing short of a championship this spring. They have given up ten fewer goals than everyone else, and Zach Ulloa is leading by seven in both goals and points with Nep Ulloa leading the league in assists and Nuno Costa posting an outstanding 2.71 GAA. They've had some close games lately though, so they are hoping that they haven't run out of steam just before the playoffs.
2. Fine Pines
The expansion Fine Pines are having a very good first season, currently in second place. Adam Sklar is second in points and Chris "Crusty" Keresztes is right behind him. They will be looking to clinch second place very soon as their next two games are against the struggling Archers and SHIce.
3. SHI Spitfires
The Spitfires have not had a great season, but third place is still well within reach. Their last two games were shootout losses, but that is not a bad result against the Berets and Pines this season. Their remaining three games are against SHIce and the Archers, and they'll be looking for at least a couple wins during this stretch to pass their rival SHIce for third.
The Archers recently registered their first Division III win in a South Division championship rematch with SHIce, but they have a tough remaining schedule as they will take on the Pines, Berets, and Spitfires. The talent is on the roster though, and if they can get more scoring out of Jason Fischbach, Chris Melillo, and Kevin Horstman, the Archers could be a formidable postseason opponent.
SHIce has just not been the same ever since their demoralizing blowout loss in the Unity Bank Cup. They have lost all three games since then as they were outscored 19-4 in that stretch. Part of their problem this season has been lack of discipline, as their 77 PIMs is the worst in the league. The Case brothers have been largely to blame as Andy leads the league with 33 PIMs and Ted is tied for second with 22. Their 55 combined penalty minutes is more than three of the four other entire teams have amassed so far this season. Playing more disciplined hockey should be priority number one for SHIce the rest of the way as they hope to turn their team back into a contender.
With two games remaining, the expansion Rats are yet to be defeated in regulation as their only blemish has been a shootout loss to the Puck Pimps. Their 69 goals scored is more than 20 higher than anyone else, thanks largely to Hugo Beja and Gary Nigro who are first and second in the league in points. Meanwhile, Nick Barone is doing very well in net with a 3.65 GAA. The Rats are looking forward to a championship run before moving up a division to face some stiffer competition for the spring.
After losing two of their first three games, the Biohazards have been dominating with four straight wins and a goal differential of +24 in that span. Sean "Mr." Feeney is tied for fourth in the league in points while Nick Raite is having a great season in goal with a GAA of 3.00. They are hoping to keep this momentum rolling through their final three games as they still have a good chance at finishing in second.
3. Puck Pimps
The Puck Pimps are also on a four-game winning streak, during which they became the first team to defeat the Rats. The Pimps are a difficult team to defend against because of how spread out their production is. Justin Senerchia, Greg "Mustard" Mustoe, and Chris "The Kazmanian Devil" Kazlauskas all have 13 points and Eric Racine is right behind them with 12. This has helped the Puck Pimps to the second most goals scored while posting the third fewest as Rich-a-Roni, The DiFrancesco Treat posts a 3.80 GAA. The Pimps felt as though they should have been able to reach the championship last season, so they will be battling hard the rest of the way to do everything they can to get there this time around.
The Vudoo continue to battle for first place, as they are now only two points behind. They could have been in first if not for their recent loss to the Biohazards, but they still have a shot. Pete Peterson is having a tremendous season as he leads the league with a GAA of just 2.60 and Division IV's only shutout. He has gotten some help from defenseman Mark Schwanda, who is also third in the league in both assists and points.
5. Rink Rats
The Rink Rats can finish no higher than their current position in fifth place, but they might need a few more points to stay ahead of the Pterodactyls. Nick Graham and Vincent Falcicchio lead the charge for the Rink Rats on offense, but they could use some more help to spread out their attack as the absence of Joe Maresca, Jr. has been noticeable this spring. He will hopefully return in the summer, though.
Ooff! has one regular season game remaining, where they hope to notch their first PTAHL win against the struggling Pterodactyls. Doing so would also move them out of last place and into sixth. While Ooff! has been the most disciplined team in the league, their defensive play could use some work as they have given up the most goals. Rich Hernandez will need to step up and produce more on offense to lead this team to some victories, and Chris Fagan who scored four goals in his first three games has put forth only one goal since then. If he can get back to his full potential, Ooff! could take down the Pterodactyls and pull off an upset or two in their first PTAHL postseason.
The Pterodactyls looked promising early in the season with the offseason additions of Mike Mann and Tom Miles, but they have only won once so far, and on their current five-game skid they have scored more than two goals only one time while giving up six or more in every game this season except for their lone win. Forward Kyle Argent has returned from college but has been unable to help the Pterodactyls win a game so far. Lack of scoring has been a serious problem with a league-worst 19 goals on the season, but they have three games remaining and still have a chance to pass the Rink Rats for fifth place if they can start to turn things around.
Next power rankings: Approximately 6/6
2016 Winter Skills Competition Results
March 26, 2016
Central: Jason Fischbach (15.0s)
South: Geof Grek (15.5s)
Breakaway Creativity Challenge
Central: Jason Fischbach (7.29)
South: Geof Grek (4.14)
Central: Pat Perez (41.7s)
South: Geof Grek (44.4s)
Central: Pat Perez (5 targets, 12 shots, 29s)
South: Pete Muratore (3 targets, 29 shots, 60s)
Goalies: Jeff Leidner (4 targets, 21 shots, 60s)
Central: Pat Perez (70mph)
South: Geof Grek (62mph)
Elimination Shootout (skater)
Elimination Shootout (goalie)
Central: Nuno Costa (.600)
South: Jeff Leidner (.833)
Special thanks to our partner, Hockey Haus, for providing the prizes!
Next skills competition: 8/13/16
|Tuesday, May 31|
|Ice Men @ Freddy's HC||10:00pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Wednesday, Jun 1|
|Puck Pimps @ Biohazards||10:15pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Thursday, Jun 2|
|Archers @ Fine Pines||10:15pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Friday, Jun 3|
|MuskRays @ Ice Men||7:00pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|SHI Spitfires @ SHIce||8:20pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Vudoo @ Rink Rats||9:45pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Sunday, Jun 5|
|Vikings @ Stingrays||10:45pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Ooff! @ Pterodactyls||7:55pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Biohazards @ Rats||9:20pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Monday, Jun 6|
|Ice Men @ CJ's at Midnight||10:45pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Vudoo @ Puck Pimps||9:20pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Tuesday, Jun 7|
|MuskRays @ Laffy Taffy||10:00pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Wednesday, Jun 8|
|Pterodactyls @ Rink Rats||10:15pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Thursday, Jun 9|
|Fine Pines @ SHIce||10:15pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Friday, Jun 10|
|Vikings @ Phantoms||10:15pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Green Brook Berets @ Archers||8:50pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
For a complete schedule listing, click here!