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Division I Champions -- Freddy's HC
June 30, 2016
Mark Kulbida, Zach Kosciolek, Dan Lewycky, Ken Nosky, Alex Gorden, Paul Kulbida, Chuck Ugalde, Marcin Nieroda, Vinny Bird, Ralph Bowen, Sean Doyle
not pictured: Jake Worby, Elie Klein, Alex Wirt, Ryan Coraggio
Division II Champions -- Stingrays
June 30, 2016
front: Bryan Whittaker, Kyle Daloisio, John Fallone, Henry Hinterstein, Eddie Boscaino
back: Mike Ciampi, Eric Pressman, Greg Schehr, Bob Conover, Pat Mack, Andrew Wojciechowski, Mike Boscaino, Tony Desiderio
not pictured: Jay Lawrence, Frank Inzano, Bob Conover
Division III Champions -- Fine Pines
June 27, 2016
front: Chris Pyzik, Colin Riedel, Brian Sklar, Dave Sanders, Dave Erricksson
back: Carl Earnest, Matt Kjelle, Ryan Janni, Kevin Geiger, Greg Shiff, Adam Sklar, Chris Keresztes, Decio Mendes
not pictured: Rich Petersen, David Fishman
Division IV Champions -- Biohazards
June 29, 2016
front: Nick Raite
middle: Adam Steckler, Dave Peterson, Martin Rabe, Adam Birnbaum
back: Tom Temple, John Lattanzio, Larry St. Denis, Greg Ternlund, Ted Ypsilantis
not pictured: Sean Feeney, Chris Ypsilantis, Joe Tona, Garrett Kohn
Rob's Approximately Fortnightly Power Rankings -- Playoff Preview Edition
June 13, 2016
1. Freddy's HC
A first place finish has given Freddy's HC a spot in the semifinals where they will take on CJ's at Midnight or the MuskRays. Anything short of a championship will be a disappointment for them this time around, but they did not end their regular season the way they wanted to with a loss to the Ice Men. Alex Gorden, Elie Klein, and Jake "The Snake" Worby have been leading the way on offense, but they would like to get more out of Vinny Bird in the postseason.
The MuskRays struggled early in the season until they were able to get better player attendance late in the season, resulting in a four-game winning streak to end the regular season. The turning point for them was when backup goalie Josh Creelman filled in for Adam Grare against CJ's at Midnight, and in a move so bizarre that it is only rivaled by Russ Tyler's knucklepuck in full goalie gear against Iceland, Creelman scored a go-ahead goal in a shootout before making the game-winning save at the other end of the ice. The MuskRays have not lost a game since then, and their fourth place finish does not adequately reflect their ability. The MuskRays will be no easy opponent this season.
3. Laffy Taffy
Laffy Taffy was dominant through much of the season, but they have suffered from shoddy player attendance lately. They ended their regular season with a shootout loss to the MuskRays and a forfeit to the Ice Men due to an insufficient number of players. Nonetheless, they led the league in goals scored and goals against as captain Steve "Ozzy" Osvold's 30 points was more than anyone else. Teammate Tyler Mishchenko was close with 26 points (and a league-best 19 goals) while the next closest in points was at only 18. After giving up nine goals in his PTAHL debut, Andrew Krynicki was able to overcome the rookie season nervousness and ended up posting a league-leading GAA of 4.89. Taffy expects to contend for a championship, but they will need their roster to show up if that is to happen.
4. Ice Men
The Ice Men finished in fourth place and will take on CJ's at Midnight in the quarterfinal to determine who will run into first place Freddy's HC. The Ice Men defeated Freddy's in their most recent meeting though, and they certainly have the firepower to do it again. They would like to see more production out of Jon Bokser than they got out of him this season though, and defenseman Nick Pedana may want to consider jumping into the play a little more when he doesn't have an opportunity to unleash his slapshot.
5. CJ's at Midnight
CJ's at Midnight did not fare well in their first crack at Division I, as captain Chris Melillo mentioned to league media that they have gotten "completely stomped this year in D1." The skill at this level is certainly a step up from what they competed with last year, but this has been magnified by their undisciplined play as their current opponents have been able to take advantage of it. Their 102 penalty minutes is 20 more than any other team, and it is no coincidence that they have also surrendered the most goals. To pull off an upset over the MuskRays in the quarterfinal, CJ's will need to stay out of the penalty box and use their speed to generate scoring chances.
The Stingrays have been on fire ever since their Cinderella championship win last season. They opened this season with a pair of losses, but have won every game since then, including a Unity Bank Cup championship against Flemington's Flying Dutchmen. They are looking to add to their trophy case this postseason as their 66 goals is 12 more than anyone else and their 27 goals against is 15 fewer than anyone else. Bryan Whittaker has been a tremendous free agent signing as he has made a huge impact on the offense, and has taken the pressure off of the Boscaino brothers. Meanwhile, John Fallone had a fantastic season between the pipes with a GAA of just 2.17 and a shutout. The Stingrays will take on the struggling Vikings in the semifinals.
The Phantoms finished right around .500 this season after losing some elite players in Kyle Krannich, James Whalen, and Paul Doran, who alluded at the Unity Bank Cup that they may be returning soon. In the meantime, the Phantoms dug through the ashes of the Pterodactyls and picked up an entire first line as Andrew Park, CJ Gallagher, and Joe Nobilio led their offense this season. In fact, Park's 13 goals was tied for the league lead. They expect to extend their two-game winning streak when they take on the expansion Mustangs in the semifinals.
The Mustangs finished basically tied with the Phantoms, whom they will meet in their first PTAHL playoff game. Vincent DeGeorge quickly made his name known throughout the division as he tied for the league lead in goals, and put up a league-high 21 points. Mike Corella was solid in net as well, finishing second in GAA, but the Mustangs are a big question mark as they have been unable to beat anyone except the Vikings since their second game. They are out to prove that they can indeed hang with the Phantoms and Stingrays.
This season could not have gone much worse for the Vikings, whose only points came via one lone shootout win in their first game of the season. Since then, they have scored only 26 goals despite having skilled forwards like Vinny Bird on the team, and they have given up 72. They have a tough draw in the semis as they take on the Stingrays, but the games are played for a reason and the PTAHL is known for its postseason upsets, so don't count them out just yet.
1. Fine Pines
The Fine Pines end their first PTAHL regular season with a three-game winning streak, culminating with the only regulation win over Green Brook any team has had this season. The Pines' 65 goals scored is highest in the league, thanks largely to captain Chris "Crusty" Keresztes, who tied for the league lead in goals, and Adam Sklar, who finished third in goals and points. Colin Riedel had a great season in net with a GAA of 3.89. The Pines will take on the SHI Spitfires in the semifinals in a showdown between league veterans and newcomers.
2. Green Brook Berets
The Berets nearly went undefeated, but faltered at the end with a loss to the expansion Fine Pines. Veterans Pat Perez and Nep Ulloa did not produce as much this season as they had in the past, but Green Brook got the offense they needed from Zach Ulloa, who led the league in points, as well as Matt SkjE-I-E-I-O while Nuno Costa's GAA of 2.50 was best in the league. The Berets' finishing in first place gives them a spot in the semifinals, where they will take on either the Archers or SHIce. They fully expect to return to glory and end this season with a title.
3. SHI Spitfires
The Spitfires had a very good second half of the season with no regulation losses, including games against the Fine Pines and Green Brook Berets. The Pawlyks have been putting up solid numbers this season, but they are still hoping for more out of Sean Carlin and Max Vasilyev. Shootouts have not been kind to the Spitfires this season, as they lost all three, but fortunately for them, there are fifteen minutes of overtime before resorting to a shootout in the playoffs as they prepare to take on the Fine Pines in the semifinals.
SHIce started the season well, winning three of their first four games, but they have only won once since then. They could use some more offensive production from their top players, and they could definitely use some more disciplined play as their league-high 79 penalty minutes correlates to their league-worst 54 goals against. Their quarterfinal game will be a rematch of last season's South Division championship as they meet the Archers.
After being the team to beat in their division for about five seasons, this spring was an adjustment for the Archers as they struggled in a higher skill level. They averaged less than two and a half goals per game as they struggled to find scoring. Free agent pick-up Mike Smitko was expected to be a performer for them, but he registered only three tallies. Chris Melillo and Jason Fischbach usually lead the scoring for this team, but this season they combined for only five goals. They are hoping to put their regular season woes behind them though as they prepare to take on SHIce in the quarterfinal to earn a showdown with the Green Brook Berets. The Archers and SHIce split the season series.
Hazmat suits are highly recommended this postseason because the Biohazards have been nearly unstoppable lately. They have not had a regulation loss since their third game of the season as Sean "Mr." Feeney has had a fantastic season with 22 points and was tied with teammate Greg Ternlund for fourth in goals with 12. Between the pipes, Nick Raite put up a league-best 2.80 GAA. He will be matched up against fellow Iselin goaltending product Jeff Leidner when the Biohazards meet the Pterodactyls in the quarterfinals, which the Biohazards hope will be the start of a championship run.
The expansion Rats had a very successful first PTAHL season. They were dominant early on but then showed their mortality towards the end with a shootout loss to the Puck Pimps and a 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Biohazards. As a whole, the Rats scored 19 more goals than any other team, thanks largely to Hugo "Stiglitz" Beja and Gary Nigro, who finished first and second in the league in points. With a first place finish, the Rats are already in the semifinals, and they have a championship in their sights.
Like the Biohazards and the Rats, the Vudoo finished the season with seven regulation wins, but they won only two of their last four to finish just one point behind the first place Rats. Mark Schwanda, Ray Ziesse, and Will Dimock have all had very good seasons, while James Woods-Corwin has had a strange season where in every game he either scored no goals, or multiple goals. The Vudoo hope that he has more of the latter in the playoffs. Pete Peterson has been a wall between the pipes with a GAA of 3.43 and a shutout, and he will be looking to shut down the last place Ooff! in the quarterfinals.
4. Puck Pimps
The Puck Pimps' roster took a small step backwards coming into this season, but they still finished above .500 thanks to Eric Racine, Chris "The Kazmanian Devil" Kazluaskas and Justin Senerchia. Greg Mustoe racked up a ton of assists last season, but he was not nearly as productive this time around. They will be looking for him to be less of a playmaker and more of a finisher in the postseason, and they are hoping that netminder Rich-a-Roni, the DiFrancesco Treat will be present in the postseason as they won five of his six games.
5. Rink Rats
The Rink Rats did not have a very inspiring season, but they are entering the playoffs on a good run with a pair of wins, including one over the powerful Vudoo. Nick Graham continues to be one of the division's top players, finishing second in goals with 19, and Vincent Falcicchio has stepped up his game in Joe Maresca, Jr.'s absence. If another player can emerge as a scorer to take some of the pressure off of those two, the Rink Rats could pull off an upset or two, starting with a quarterfinal matchup with the Puck Pimps.
The Pterodactyls hoped that their rebuilding seasons were behind them with the draft pick-ups of Tom Miles and Mike Mann as well as the return of Kyle Argent, but their record of 2-8 shows that this was not the case. Miles and Mann were good pick-ups as they accounted for more than half of the team's goals, but the Pterodactyls will be without Mann's services in their quarterfinal meeting against the red hot Biohazards. They can pull off an upset though if Argent generates a good deal of offense, Jeff Leidner holds down the fort between the pipes, and Geof Grek gets his slapshot on net.
Ooff! struggled this season, and was unable to score in their final two regular season games, but they are taking on the Vudoo in the quarterfinal and they did have some close games against them. They seem to be able to limit the Vudoo's offense, so if they can generate a few goals of their own, Ooff! could pull off an upset. The PTAHL postseason is known for its bracket-busting upsets, and this game has the potential of being one. If not, Ooff! is expected to fare better in the summer with Division IV bringing in some new teams and the top teams perhaps moving out of the division.
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