1. Ice Men
The Ice Men have now won four of their last five, with the one loss coming to the first place Phantoms. Matt Torstrup continues to dominate and shows no signs of slowing down as he now has 45 goals, 50% more goals than anyone else in the league, and only 9 fewer than the Flames' entire roster.
The Stingrays have won three of their last four, with a shootout win over the Phantoms and the only loss in that span to the red hot Ice Men. They don't have anybody in the top ten in goals or points, but their ability to keep games low-scoring, thanks largely to their tight defense and goaltender Kyle Daloisio who leads the league in GAA at 4.33, ensures that they always have a chance to win. This was evidenced by their recent game against the Pterodactyls in which they were shut out through two periods, but scored a few goals in the third and it was enough to win. With this method, the Stingrays could be dangerous in the playoffs.
3. Freddy's HC
Freddy's HC has been very streaky this season, but have won three of their last four games to put them in second place. Marcin Nieroda was off to a great start and has since slowed down, but Alex Gorden has returned to his old self and has been putting up numbers at a rapid pace. However, rookie Robbie Fulton has announced that he will be transferring to a league on the West Coast before the regular season comes to an end, so they will need to make up for his absence.
The Vudoos dropped four straight but have bounced back with wins in two of their last three games as Wes "Side" Dorey is second in points with 50 and rookie Chris Potts is fourth in goals with 26. They still have the most goals allowed and most penalty minutes, so they will need to address those numbers if they are to continue winning and be a contender in the playoffs.
After opening up a big lead at the top of the standings, the Phantoms have perhaps become complacent as they have lost their last two games. We will see if they can turn it around down the stretch although in their five remaining games, they will take on three teams that are still battling hard for second place and if the Phantoms get too comfortable, they can soon be overtaken for first.
The defending champs have only won twice in their last six games. They are still competing for second place, but their inability to protect leads in the third period has severely cost them lately. They could be doing even worse these days if not for the production of Steve "The Wizard of Oz" Osvold who is now third in the league in goals after scoring eleven in the last four games. If the Pterodactyls are to turn it around the rest of the way, they will need defenseman Rob Cacioppo to get sick and miss games again, get the logo on their jerseys corrected to the color they ordered, and/or play as determined in the third period as they do for the first two.
The Flames had an uplifting shootout win over the Pterodactyls a month ago, but have been unable to build on that as they lost their three games since then, giving up a total of 27 goals in them, which is 27% of their total goals allowed on the season. This is another team that will play much stronger defensively if they are to make waves in the playoffs.
The Muskrats have not lost a game since early November and are currently on a winning streak of eight games. Adam Grare still leads the league in GAA at 2.07 with a pair of shutouts, and there is no reason to expect his performance to be any different as the games become more meaningful with four teams separated by just one point at the top of the standings.
2. Green Brook Berets
The Berets have won their last five games and are tied for first. Pat Perez got off to a very slow start this season, but after racking up 31 points in just his last seven games, he now leads the league with 38. In fact, he has more points in his last seven games than all but two players have all season. However, he is also second in the league in penalty minutes behind teammate Zach Ulloa as Green Brook's 181 penalty minutes are more than twice as many as any other team has, except for the Muskrats. They will need to play more disciplined hockey if they expect to contend for another championship.
3. SHI Spitfires
The Spitfires have not been defeated in regulation in four games, with three wins and a shootout loss to the Muskrats. With a number of scoring threats in Sean Carlin, Brian Kelly, Greg Owens, and Tim Wilson, SHI is a tough team to defend against. As a result, they lead the league in goals scored with 101.
The Pterodactyls join the three aforementioned teams in what is basically a four-way deadlock for first place. They have gone .500 in their last six games with two of those three wins coming against the struggling Archers. In their most recent outing, the Pterodactyls were upset by the Biohazards 4-1. They still have a shot at first place, but of the four Central teams, the Pterodactyls are the only one that has been trending downwards lately. They hope to correct this in their final two games as they take on the Vudoos and Spitfires.
The Biohazards still mathematically have a chance at competing in the Central bracket, but it is a longshot. They will need to win out and the Spitfires will need to lose out. They will play each other once, and the Spitfires' other games will be tough ones against the Berets and Pterodactyls. The Biohazards' remaining schedule features a game they should win against the Archers, but then it will come down to a very difficult meeting with the Muskrats to finish the regular season, but they recently took down the Pterodactyls by the score of 4-1, and if they can beat the Muskrats too, they will certainly show that they belong in the Central bracket.
The Vudoos have recently put together their first PTAHL winning streak with two big wins over the Motley Crew to pass the Archers for sixth place. In all likelihood, the Vudoos will take on the Archers in the South bracket semifinals. The only way this will not happen is if they win out and the Biohazards lose out with at least one forfeit, which is extremely unlikely.
After winning two straight, the Archers have lost their last five and have fallen to seventh place in the standings. Kevin Inglis and Jason Fischbach have had very little help in the scoring department as the Archers' 54 goals scored is the second fewest in the league. In the semifinals, they will almost definitely be taking on the Vudoos, whom they have not met since the first game of the season, where the Archers ruined the Vudoos' PTAHL debut by the score of 9-3.
8. Motley Crew
Time is winding down for the Motley Crew as they look to avoid another winless season. They have two games remaining against the Vudoos and one tough one against the Berets to finish out the season before taking on most likely the Biohazards in the semis. Nobody on the roster has hit ten points yet as the team is averaging under two goals per game. These numbers are not conducive to successful outcomes, and captain Davy Gravy "$-Money" Hutchins has the difficult task of trying to pull a miracle as this season winds down.
Next power rankings: 2/4/15