March 12, 2015 – 11:30 PM
Phantoms - North Division Champions
March 12, 2015
front: James Whalen, Mike Smitko, Tony Bucci, Doug Meade, Bill Malthaner, Bobby Griffin
back: Caleb Luther, Paul Doran, Jimmy Rotan, Damon Cassaro, Kevin Inglis, Phil Meade, Lou LoSapio, Al Cavallo
not pictured: Kyle Krannich
Muskrats - Central Division Champions
March 9, 2015
front: David Fischer, John Falzarano, Steve Doherty, Joe Otsy, Adam Grare, Steve Miller, Glen Friedman
back: Jon Jacey, Sean Kwiatek, Adam Napell
not pictured: James Lamb, Rob Hackett
2014-15/FALL-WINTER/SOUTH: Biohazards Escape Quarantine to Capture their First PTAHL Championship
March 8, 2015
The Biohazards transferred to the PTAHL for the fall/winter 2012-13 season, but it took years of struggles to reach the top. They finished every season except for spring 2013 in next to last place, but made some changes over the past year to drastically improve the on-ice performance. In the summer 2014 season, many familiar faces temporarily left the roster, leaving openings for many rookies including Larry “The Canadian Guy” St. Denis, Ted Ypsilantis, and John Lattanzio. Again they finished next to last as third out of four teams before being eliminated by the Archers in the semis, but this was an important rebuilding season for the team.
The Biohazards retained those three players for the fall/winter season while much of their old roster returned. Mark Esposito, Hansel Atkins, Martin Rabe, Adam Steckler, Dave Peterson, Sean “Mr.” Feeney, Achilles Alon, and captain/goaltender Matt Ceglia came back for this season as rookie Kyle Warden joined the team. However, perhaps the most essential move was bouncing Davy “Gravy” Hutchins off the roster. The PTAHL media initially criticized the move, as Hutchins was coming off a breakout season, and was almost immediately named captain of his new team, the Motley Crew. The Biohazards would face Hutchins and the Crew in the season-opener, and they obliterated them 15-1. Their next game was a semifinal rematch against the Archers, which they also won big by the score of 8-2. After just two games it became apparent that this was not the same old Biohazards. Despite the South Division combining with the Central for the regular season, the Biohazards meant business and were determined to compete with the Central teams.
They dropped their next two games to the Pterodactyls, but followed up with an uplifting victory over the Central Division’s defending champion Muskrats, and then another win over the Archers to improve to 4-2. The Biohazards then lost their next two to the Spitfires and Berets before beating the Archers for a third time and then losing to the Spitfires again, entering the second half of the season with a .500 record. Their next two games would be against Hutchins and the Crew, which they won by a combined score of 20-3. They split their next two with a loss to the Berets and a narrow win over the expansion Vudoos. The following two matches were losses to the Muskrats and Berets, severely hurting their chances of securing a spot in the Central Division. However, the fourth place Spitfires began to falter while the Biohazards took down the Pterodactyls, who were vying for first place, by the score of 4-1. They followed up with a win over the Spitfires, and then another victory over the Archers. This three-game winning streak gave the Biohazards a shot at clinching a spot in the Central bracket as they reached their final game of the regular season, but they came up just short as they fell to the first place Muskrats. While their late winning streak was not enough to earn a spot in the Central bracket, it was enough to give them plenty of momentum heading into the playoffs as they finished with a record of 11-9, good enough for fifth in the combined Central/South Division to earn the top seed in the South playoffs. They scored more goals than any of the other South teams by 12, surrendered 30 fewer, and took fewer penalties than any Central or South team except for the Vudoos while Larry “The Canadian Guy” finished with a league-best 31 goals and Ceglia posted the lowest GAA of the South goalies.
With the top seed, the Biohazards would be matched up against Hutchins and his winless Motley Crew in the semifinals. It took barely longer than a minute for the Biohazards to take a lead as Larry “The Canadian Guy” made it 1-0 Biohazards. Rabe scored later in the first to increase the lead to two goals. Mr. Feeney and Alon scored before the period ended to put the Biohazards’ goal total after one period at four, which was more than the amount of shots they surrendered. Chris Ypsilantis added a goal in the second while Ceglia and the Biohazards’ defense continued to keep the Crew off the board. Three goals in the first five minutes of the third, including a second goal of the game for both Feeney and St. Denis, made the score 8-0 Biohazards. Larry “The Canadian Guy” completed a hat trick with 4:16 to go to put the score at 9-0. All that was left to do was preserve Ceglia’s shutout, and former Biohazard Dave Hutchins himself had a chance to spoil it in the final minute when he found himself on a breakaway, but despite making a good move, Hutchins shot wide as the Biohazards finished the shutout and sealed the win by the final of 9-0 to not only prove that giving Hutchins the boot at the start of the season was a positive move, but more importantly to clinch the Biohazards’ first ever finals appearance where they would have a chance at revenge over the Archers.
Despite being eliminated by them in the summer semifinals, the Biohazards won all four meetings with the Archers this season. Eight minutes into Game 1, Alon scored to give the Biohazards the first lead. Mr. Feeney added a goal late in the first to increase the lead to two goals as Ceglia was now four periods into the postseason and still had not yet yielded a goal. The Archers got on the board in the opening minute of the second, but the Biohazards bounced back with goals from Larry “The Canadian Guy” and Mr. Feeney to make it 4-1. Late in the period, Lattanzio continued his breakout season with a shorthanded goal to increase the lead to four goals heading into the third. The Biohazards faced some adversity in the third when Warden and Feeney were sent to the penalty box within six seconds of each other, but their teammates killed the lengthy five on three to keep the difference at four. The Archers would score a pair of late goals, but the lead was too large as the Biohazards held on for a 5-3 win, putting themselves on the precipice of eternal glory, the threshold of exaltation, the doorstep of ultimate human achievement—the PTAHL championship.
Six days later, the Biohazards would meet the Archers once again with a chance to clinch the franchise’s first PTAHL title. They came out hungry, as St. Denis scored just under a minute and a half into the game to quickly give the Biohazards a 1-0 lead. Esposito took a tripping penalty seconds later, but Lattanzio would score his second shorthanded goal in as many games to increase the lead to 2-0 just over two minutes into the game. Ceglia recorded his fifth shutout period of the postseason to keep his team up by two going into the second period. Four minutes into the middle frame, Chris Ypsilantis scored to make it 3-0, and St. Denis scored just nine seconds afterwards to increase the lead to four goals. Rabe made it 5-0 two minutes later, but the Archers would finally get on the board. However, the Biohazards would have a response yet again as one minute later, St. Denis completed a hat trick for the second game in a row to make it 6-1. Ted Ypsilantis added a goal before the period ended to send the Biohazards into the third period up 7-1, just one period away from the championship.
All they needed to do in the third was avoid a historic collapse. Rookie Kyle Warden further increased the lead three minutes in, and Chris Ypsilantis made it 9-1 about halfway through the third. Ceglia and the Biohazards’ defense continued to deny the Archers as Ceglia notched his sixth shutout period out of the six that were played in the playoffs, convincingly capturing the 2014-15 Fall-Winter South Division championship.
With tremendous postseason performances were Larry "The Canadian Guy" St. Denis, who put up seven goals in the playoffs, including hat tricks in both games of the championship, Sean “Mr.” Feeney with four goals, Chris Ypsilantis with four assists, John Lattanzio with a shorthanded goal in both games of the finals, and of course goaltender and captain Matt Ceglia with a ridiculous playoff GAA of 1.33 despite the false advertising painted on his mask. With a South championship now under their belt, the Biohazards are looking forward to the next challenge as they will compete in the Central Division for the spring season. They know some tough opponents lie ahead, but they defeated each of the current Central teams in the regular season except for Green Brook, and they are eager to take them on again.
front: Martin Rabe, Adam Steckler, Larry St. Denis, Ted Ypsilantis, Matt Ceglia, Chris Ypsilantis, Dave Peterson, Kyle Warden, Joe Whalen, Adam Birnbaum
back: Achilles Alon, Sean Feeney, Mark Esposito, John Lattanzio
not pictured: Hansel Atkins
Rob's Fortnightly Power Rankings -- Playoff Preview Edition
February 19, 2015
1. Freddy's HC
Winning seven of their last eight games, Freddy's HC has made the Phantoms' huge lead for first place evaporate and they are now neck and neck as both teams have just one game remaining. This team is now living up to the hype as their top players are showing up consistently, and they will be a tough team for anyone to beat in the playoffs.
2. Ice Men
The Ice Men won five of their last six games to finish in third place, the best season they have had so far in the PTAHL. Matt Torstrup dominated the stats columns with 53 goals, 16 more than anyone else, and 73 points. Jon Bokser finished second in assists with 28 and fourth in points with 51. If these two can continue ripping opposing defenses apart, the Ice Men will be a serious contender this postseason.
The Stingrays have won four of their last six games, with their only two losses in that span coming to red hot Freddy's HC and the Ice Men. Eddie "The Shower Head" Boscaino is on a seven-game goal-scoring streak, with a total of eleven in those seven games. The Stingrays will be another team worth watching if he can continue to score, as long as Kyle Daloisio doesn't choke in the quarterfinals again.
Although they struggled through most of the season, the Vudoos have been able to score enough goals lately to make up for their uninspiring defense and have won three of their last five. Wes "Side" Dorey and Chris Potts finished second and third in points with 64 and 53, respectively. Their 67 combined goals is only two fewer than the entire Flames roster. If they remain unstoppable, the Vudoos can pull off some upsets. However, if the Vudoos' opponents are able to contain these two, they will have an easy time ensuring a win.
The Phantoms opened up a monstrous lead for first place, but have drastically fallen off since then. They remain tied for first place, but have only won two of their last five. James Whalen, Kyle Krannich, and Paul "Revere" Doran remain three of the league's most dangerous players, but they will need Lou LoSapio to stop taking bad penalties if they are to turn their season around and return to the level of play they showed earlier in the season.
The Pterodactyls won seven of their first ten games, but since then have only won twice. They are probably the best team in hockey history at blowing third period leads. Steve "The Wizard of Oz" Osvold is having a great season as he is third in the league with 32 goals, but their defense hasn't been as good as it was in recent seasons. They have two games remaining to put it together as they take on the Phantoms and Flames.
While the Flames still have not yet won a game in regulation, they have been playing much better lately as each of their last four games were decided by no more than two goals, including games against the surging Ice Men and Freddy's HC. They have one game remaining and it happens to be against the Pterodactyls, whom the Flames beat in a shootout earlier this season. They may not have a nice record, but they may be improving just at the right time to put up a fight in the postseason. They will have to take on the Phantoms or Freddy's HC in the quarterfinals though.
The Muskrats enter the playoffs on an eleven-game winning streak, and averaged over six goals a game in the regular season. They are looking to defend their Central Division championship, and they will start their postseason by taking on the struggling Spitfires in the quarterfinals, but they could easily lose that game if they fail to stay out of the box.
2. Green Brook Berets
Green Brook won eight of their last ten games to finish in second place. Pat Perez has been on fire lately, finishing first in the league in points. He has scored a goal in every game in the Berets' second half of the season. In the first half, he registered only four goals, but put up a monstrous 26 in the second half to finish second in the league in goals. He is certainly a player that can lead his team to a championship as long as the rest of his team doesn't negate his scoring with penalties, as their total of 219 PIMs is reminiscent of the Rubber Duckies and Mastadons, who for good reason no longer compete in the PTAHL.
The Pterodactyls started to slip up a bit, but have finished their regular season with four wins in their last six. They tied the Berets for second place, and will meet them face-to-face in the semifinals. Justin Waldron posted similar numbers to Perez, so it will be interesting to see these two go head-to-head with a spot in the championship on the line as Jeff Leidner looks to deny his former teammates between the pipes.
4. SHI Spitfires
The Spitfires were battling it out for first place through much of the season, but have really backed their way into the playoffs as they enter on a four-game losing streak. Winning the fight for first place was far from their mind down the home stretch as they nearly fell down to the South bracket, but were saved by the Biohazards losing to the Muskrats. They will need a quick turnaround if they are to pull an upset over the Muskrats in the quarterfinals, but stranger things have happened in the PTAHL playoffs.
The Biohazards fuzzied what was once a clear separation between the Centralbound teams and the Southbound teams as they nearly caught up to the Spitfires for the final spot in the Central bracket. They came up just short as they fell to the Muskrats in the final game of the regular season, but they are determined to finish the season with something to show for it as they embark on a quest for the South Division championship. In the quarterfinals, they will take on winless Motley Crew, who is captained by former Biohazard Davy "Gravy" Hutchins.
The Archers lost their final seven regular season games, but took down the Vudoos in the semifinals to ensure a spot in the South Division championship for the second season in a row. Letting the summer championship slip away in the final five minutes still irritates them, and they plan on making sure they finish the job this time around.
The Vudoos won four of their last five regular season games to go into their first PTAHL postseason on a positive note, but they lost their first PTAHL playoff game to the Archers, the same team that spoiled their PTAHL debut at the start of the season. Now that they have a full season under their belt, the Vudoos are looking to make some noise in the spring season.
4. Motley Crew