The defending champions lost a lot of skill between seasons but have been faring well so far with a 3-0 record. Anthony Matrisciano has returned after an absence of a few years, and he once again is leading the team in goals and rookie Felipe Rodriguez has two goals in as many games played while goaltender Scott Brady returns to the roster and so far is posting the second best GAA.
2. Banana Pancakes
Even though they recently dropped the moniker Road Dogs for something bizarre like Banana Pancakes, this young squad is second in the power rankings. With the entire roster in their low 20s, the Banana Pancakes are a tough team to play. So far their only blemish in three games is a shootout loss to the Ice Men in which they only had six skaters but their youtfulness provided them with the ability to continue to play hard late in the game. PTAHL veteran Mike Criscitello is leading the offense along with Mike Rossi. This team has speed and passes well, and is establishing itself as a contender.
The Stingrays rarely make wholesale changes to the roster, usually adding only one or two players. This season, they've added superstar Alec Marsh, who recently put up seven goals against the Ice Men and leads the league with nine on the season. Combined with last season's addition of Eddie Boscaino, the Stingrays have added the scoring they needed to be a contender once again as long Kyle Daloisio stops getting worse at stopping the puck.
The Phantoms had a busy offseason, adding star players Jimmy Rotan and Matt Venezia and mediocre guy TJ Plaugher to their already skilled roster spearheaded by Kyle Krannich, Paul Doran, and James Whalen. They got off to a great start with a big 13-6 win over Freddy's HC, but have since lost their last three games largely as a result of sparse attendance. When the Phantoms have their full team though, they may be the top team in the league this summer.
5. Ice Men
The Ice Men made some moves this offseason, bringing in rookies Max Jaeger, Matt Torstrup, Vito Gallo, and Nick Pedana. They are hoping that these additions will allow them to have a better season than the spring, and so far they have beaten the Banana Pancakes in a shootout and lost to the Stingrays due to an inability to contain Alec Marsh. They expect to be much more competitive this season as their new faces generate chemistry with the veterans.
6. Freddy's HC
Freddy's HC is off to a turbulent start. They were overpowered by a full Phantoms roster in their first game and had a lead in their second game until Mike "Tree" Trusca left with a shoulder injury. They ended up losing that game to the Pterodactyls and lost the following game to the Banana Pancakes. This may be a rebuilding season for Freddy's HC, but Vinny Bird and Jake Worby are always dangerous.
The Muskrats dropped to the Central Division after losing both Criscitello brothers, Nick "Slash" Kashmanian, and Adam "Manhandle" Crandall. They added Jake Nechrebecki of the Vudoos who are currently taking a season off, and he is leading the team with six goals. The Muskrats will also be relying heavily on captain James Nobilio to score goals for them this season in addition to Mark Gordin who was plucked off the Pterodactyls' South Division roster. With Adam Grare still between the pipes, the Muskrats are the Central Division favorites.
After winning the South Division championship, the Flames have moved up the Central and have been doing fairly well so far. They crushed the Muskrats 5-1 in the season opener but fell to the Spitfires in a shootout. Much of the roster is the same as last season, so expect the same outstanding passing ability and depth from last season, as well as excellent goaltending out of Vinny D'Orio.
3. Green Brook Berets
The Berets fell to the Flames in the South Division championship last season, but have also moved up to the Central Division with them despite missing the Solis brothers and Pat Perez this season. They are expecting goals from TJ Plaugher, but so far he has been an absolute bust with a total of one (1) goal.
4. SHI Spitfires
The SHI Spitfires have followed the Flames and Berets to the Central. They are already halfway through the season and although they are yet to win a game in regulation, they were the first team to defeat the Flames in more than a full season when they took them down in a shootout, and their other games have been close. They are in last place now, but any team has the ability to come out on top in this division.
The Archers are the early favorite for the South Division championship this season with Jason Fischbach off to a great start, leading the team with five goals already. Rookie Kyle Turner has been a nice addition, and Taka Okai, Josh Sumoski, and Dan Poreda return to the roster. The Archers have better team chemistry and scoring depth on paper than the rest of the division, and so far this has translated into on-ice success in the form of a 2-0 record.
The Pterodactyls struggled last season, but have made some key roster moves in the offseason, particularly addressing the defense after captain Adam "Manhandle" Crandall retired. The greatest player in PTAHL history, Rob Cacioppo, returns to the roster as well as Steve Creenan, and the additions of CJ Gallagher and rookie Chris Kreuter round out the two defensive pairs. Rookies Kyle Paulhus and Ilmir Taigounov have helped allevaite the lack of scoring depth resulting from the loss of Mark Gordin and Justin Waldron. With a strong group of defensemen and solid goaltending from Jeff Leidner, the Pterodactyls expect to keep their opponents from getting on the board frequently, and that is usually a recipe for success. They are tied with the Archers for first place, but will play them in their next game.
The Biohazards also made a few moves in the offseason. Matt Ceglia is taking a season off and has been replaced by rookie goaltender Rob Woroniecki, and many new skaters join the ranks such as Larry "The Canadian Guy" St. Denis, who leads the South in goals with eight, as well as Mike Romano, Dan and Marc Kane, and Ted Ypsilantis. They were overpowered by the Archers in their season opener, and then lost a close one to the Pterodactyls, and more recently downed Motley Crew. They hope to continue getting better as the season progresses with their many new faces adjusting to the roster.
4. Motley Crew
The expansion Motley Crew met for the first time in the locker room before their season opener against the Pterodactyls. They lost big in that first game but showed some positive signs, and they followed up with a pair of close losses to the Archers and Biohazards. The offense has been led by Scott Bleazey, who leads the team with seven points, and Jon Khanimov, who scored a whopping five goals in their most recent game. It always takes time for a newly-formed team of strangers to get used to each other, but Motley Crew is already not far off from being a competitive force in this division.
Next power rankings: 8/7/14