Rob's Approximately Fortnightly Power Rankings -- Division I and II, Week 4
September 26, 2016
1. Laffy Taffy
Perhaps a roster overhaul was just what Laffy Taffy needed to become a contender once again. With only three returning players--captain Steve "Ozzy" Osvold, Joe Nobilio, and Bryan Whittaker, Ozzy refilled the roster by bringing back former Pterodactyls teammates Rob Cacioppo, Brian Rappleyea, CJ Gallagher, and Justin Waldron. Captain of Whack-a-Mole, Cliff Simon joins his Whack-a-Mole teammate Whittaker on the roster, Julia Ahearn has been called up from the now defunct Turtles, and rookie Kyle Metcalf joins the fold. Despite the new composition of the roster, Laffy Taffy is off to a 2-0 start with wins over Freddy's HC and the Ice Men. Rappleyea has not yet shown up for a game though, and he has been heavily recruited by Freddy's HC, so it is yet to be confirmed if he will actually be playing with Laffy Taffy this season, but Ozzy is off to a tremendous start as he currently has more goals than anyone else has points.
2. Ice Men
The Ice Men return from taking the summer off, and their first game would fittingly be against Mike Torstrup's summer teammates, the Fine Pines. He put up four goals against his former team en route to an exciting 6-5 win. However, the Ice Men dropped their next game against Laffy Taffy. They are looking forward to a competitive season though as they take the ice with a nearly identical roster to what they've had in the past, with Jon Bokser and Matt Torstrup leading the attack and Nick Pedana patrolling the blue line and unloading slapshots from the point. In goal, Jimmy Cabrera is transferring to a league in Arizona, so the Ice Men have picked up Biohazards goaltender Nick Raite.
3. Fine Pines
The Pines bounced back from their season-opening loss with a win over the MuskRays. Their roster looks similar to what it was last season, but most notably with the acquisition of former Muskrat Alex Miragaya. They are 2-1 so far as captain Chris "Crusty" Keresztes is tied for second in the league in both goals and points, and goaltender Colin Riedel leads the league in GAA at 4.00.
4. Freddy's HC
Freddy's HC is hoping to remain a contender, especially with the Geebs and Flagoons out of the league now that summer is over, but they may have a hard time doing so as they are rumored to still be filling their roster. Times have apparently gotten so tough for Freddy's HC that they have resorted to offering a roster spot to slothful defenseman Rob Cacioppo. Fortunately for Freddy's, Cacioppo opted to rejoin his former Pterodactyls teammates on Laffy Taffy instead. Brian Rappleyea was courted by both teams as well, and while he has made a verbal commitment to Laffy Taffy, he has not yet signed the contract and remains available.
The MuskRays lost some key contributors with the summer coming to an end, but they are expecting big things out of Eddie Boscaino, recently called up from the Stingrays. Former Muskrat captain Steve Miller is back, and he is hoping to re-instill the competitive spirit that he led the Muskrats to glory with. They have not gotten off to a great start though, losing both games in a home-and-home with the Fine Pines.
The Stingrays are establishing themselves as contenders early on, with wins against CJ's at Midnight and defending champion Green Brook Berets to open the season. Goaltending and defense are the focal point of the Stingrays' strategy, as usual, as they have given up only three goals through two games, with John Fallone leading the league in GAA at just 1.50. On offense, Eddie Boscaino is tied for second in the league with three goals. They have a tough game coming up though when they take on the Mustangs.
The Mustangs return to the PTAHL after making their debut in the spring and taking the summer off. They are expected to once again be a contender in Division II, and are off to a good start with a narrow win over SHIce thanks to Vinny Bird's game-winner with 20 seconds to go. In addition to Bird, the Mustangs expect big things out of Vincent DeGeorge once again as they hope to battle for a PTAHL championship this season.
3. CJ's at Midnight
CJ's at Midnight had a disastrous summer season from the very beginning, with the team opting to play in Division I and then captain Chris Melillo playing only in the first game of the season. They are looking to be more competitive this time around with their captain back in the lineup as they return to Division II. Eric Perlitz's younger brother, Thomas, joins the team and has made an immediate impact with two goals and an assist already as Eric leads the league in assists. CJ's dropped their first game to the Stingrays, but bounced back with a big win over SHIce, and they hope most of their games this season resemble the latter.
SHIce opened the season with a win over Green Brook, but then lost convincingly to CJ's at Midnight before dropping a close game to the Mustangs with a last-minute goal that could have been prevented if top defenseman Andy Case had not gotten himself ejected. Lack of discipline will prove to be very costly for SHIce at this level of competition if they do not address this issue because their opponents will be able to take advantage of powerplay opportunities. Their 53 PIMs is more than the rest of Division II combined, and Case being unavailable late in their most recent game may have made the difference between being in second place and sitting in fourth, as they currently are. Eric Ely is doing his part at least, as he leads the league in points.
5. Green Brook Berets
After winning the summer's Division II championship, Green Brook received some discouraging news just as this season began. Matt Skjeie opted to leave the Berets to continue playing with CJ's at Midnight, and Pat Perez would not be playing this season. This puts a ton of pressure on Nep and Zach Ulloa, George Aller, and rookie Adrian Pinzon to fill the void. They have not been able to do so sufficiently thus far, as Green Brook dropped their first two games to SHIce and the Stingrays, although they did look competitive in both games.
Rob's Approximately Fortnightly Power Rankings -- Divisions III and IV, Week 3
September 21, 2016
The Rats are back for their second PTAHL season after taking the summer off. In the spring, they made an impressive entrance as they finished in first place, but eventually fell to the Biohazards in the championship. Both teams have since moved up a division, and the Rats expect to contend for a championship once again. They are off to a good start with a solid 4-1 win over Team ODIN.
After winning the summer championship, the Biohazards were knocked off by expansion Buck Hockey in the summer championship. They have fit in well in this division so far, with a shootout win over the Phantoms. Larry "The Canadian Guy" St. Denis, and the Ypsilantis brothers are back in the lineup, and they are hoping to lead the team to reclaim their title against some new opponents.
3. SHI Spitfires
The Spitfires have not taken the ice yet, but they have a good roster this time around with Sean Carlin and John Manley returning, and Ben Arenger of SHIce joining up with them as well. Meanwhile, the Spitfires are expecting big things out of Jon Knox now that his rookie season is over.
4. Team ODIN
Team ODIN, an expansion team consisting of players from the Archers, will be interesting to watch this season. They got off to a rough start with a 4-1 loss to the Rats, but rebounded with a shootout win over the Phantoms. Jason Fischbach, Kevin Horstman, and Alex Miragaya are expected to lead the charge offensively, much like they did for the Archers, but goaltender Mike Davison is still recovering from an injury and has been off the ice for a long time now. He is expected to return relatively soon, but it may take a while to shake off the rust.
After years of high performance in the PTAHL's top division led by a handful of youngsters, the Phantoms are transitioning to a new era for the franchise without those elite players in their lineup. They've dropped down to Division III and lost both of their first two games in shootouts. They are hoping that former Flame Joe Arena, acquired in the free agent draft, will help fill some of the void on offense, and they will also need Mike Smitko to step up and become more of a goal-scorer if the Phantoms are to go far this season.
Ooff! entered the PTAHL with a winless spring season, but they mean business this time around as they have added former Archer Charlie Amann as well as rookies Kevin Dougherty and Daniel Michlisin and are off to a 2-0 start with wins over the Vudoo and Pterodactyls. Rich Hernandez is tied for the league lead in assists, and Ooff! will be looking for him to be a major component in their offense as the season progresses.
2. Rink Rats
The Rink Rats are also looking to have a breakout season this year, and they are also currently 2-0, with their wins coming against the Archers and Puck Pimps. Joe Maresca, Jr. is leading the league in points. Watch for him and Nick Graham to remain near the top of the points columns all season long as they hope to lead the Rink Rats to a successful season.
The Pterodactyls are another team that appears much improved this season, as they have ridden themselves of Davy "Gravy" Hutchins, and brought back Chris Kreuter, Jeff Marine, Buzz Lorincz, and Rob Cacioppo--winner of the PTAHL's Most Handsome Player Award, as voted on by league administration, for the sixth consecutive year. With Cacioppo back on the team, the Pterodactyls expect to not only win a PTAHL championship this season, but also the Stanley Cup and at least one Nobel Prize. His presence has already paid dividends, as it has inspired Jeff Leidner to lead the league in GAA at 3.00.
4. Sewer Rats
The Sewer Rats enter their second PTAHL season after finishing in second in the summer. They opened with a 5-1 loss to the Pterodactyls, but bounced back with a big 9-3 victory over the Archers. Eric Vogt has two goals so far, but they anticipate that he will produce even more than that once he is in mid-season form. Meanwhile, the addition of rookie Mike Sbailo has proven helpful, as he too has a pair of goals.
5. Puck Pimps
The Puck Pimps return to the ice after taking the summer off, now with goaltender Nick Raite, of Biohazards fame. They dropped their first game in a nailbiter to the Rink Rats, but the Pimps have enough skill on the team to be competitive, especially with Raite in net. In addition to him, the Pimps have acquired former Team X two-way defenseman Alex "Sputnik" Sinelnikov and rookies Tarek Bonna and Keith Weissman.
The Vudoo return to the ice with a very familiar roster. Although they lost their season opener to Ooff!, the Vudoo expect to be a solid team this year with James Woods-Corwin and Pat "Crack Your Back" Mack making major contributions on offense. Going down in the PTAHL history books as the first team to lose to Ooff! may provide additional motivation for the Vudoo this season.
The Archers have taken a bit of a hit with some of their top players leaving to play on Team ODIN in Division III, but they have retained some of their top forwards in Jason Fischbach, Mike Malarowski, and Alex Miragaya. They have not gotten off to a good start with a pair of losses against the Rink Rats and Sewer Rats, but they are hoping that Dave "Clutchins" Hutchins will prove to be a worthwhile acquisition with his unorthodox defensive tactics centered around waiting for a breakout pass in the neutral zone.
Skills Competition All-Time Records
Division I: Fritz Brown (5 targets, 20 shots, 46s) Summer 2016
Division II: Pat Perez (5 targets, 12 shots, 29s) Winter 2016
Division III: Geof Grek (5 targets, 19 shots, 38s) Summer 2016
Goalies: Jeff Leidner (4 targets, 21 shots, 60s) Winter 2016
Division I: Rob Cacioppo (36.51s) Summer 2016
Division II: Robbie Briant (33.39s) Summer 2016
Division III: Brendan Bianowicz (35.91s) Summer 2016
Division I: Jason Fischbach (15.0s) Winter 2016
Division II: Robbie Briant (15.63s) Summer 2016
Division III: Keith Fimiani (15.42s) Summer 2016
Goalies: Mat Laskowski (21.03s) Summer 2016
Breakaway Creativity Challenge
Division I: Fritz Brown (8.50) Summer 2016
Division II: Jason Fischbach (8.25) Summer 2016
Division III: Geof Grek (8.50) Summer 2016
Division I: Fritz Brown (64mph) Summer 2016
Division II: Pat Perez (70mph) Winter 2016
Division III: Geof Grek (65mph) Summer 2016
Elimination Shootout (skater)
Division I: Rob Cacioppo (1/1) Summer 2016, Jason Fischbach (1/1) Winter 2016
Division II: Robbie Briant (1/1) Summer 2016
Division III: Keith Fimiani (2/3) Summer 2016
Elimination Shootout (goalie)
Division II: Nuno Costa (3/5) Winter 2016
Division III: Jeff Leidner (5/6) Winter 2016
|Saturday, Oct 1|
|Green Brook Berets @ CJ's at Midnight||9:40pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Sunday, Oct 2|
|Rats @ Biohazards||9:00pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Ooff! @ Rink Rats||6:00pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Pterodactyls @ Archers||7:30pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Sewer Rats @ Puck Pimps||10:30pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Tuesday, Oct 4|
|Mustangs @ CJ's at Midnight||10:25pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Wednesday, Oct 5|
|Vudoo @ Rink Rats||9:45pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Thursday, Oct 6|
|MuskRays @ Ice Men||10:40pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Friday, Oct 7|
|Pterodactyls @ Archers||9:20pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Rink Rats @ Sewer Rats||10:45pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Saturday, Oct 8|
|Freddy's HC @ Ice Men||9:40pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Sunday, Oct 9|
|Mustangs @ Green Brook Berets||6:00pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|SHI Spitfires @ Phantoms||7:30pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Vudoo @ Ooff!||9:00pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Puck Pimps @ Sewer Rats||10:30pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Monday, Oct 10|
|Biohazards @ Rats||10:05pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
|Tuesday, Oct 11|
|SHIce @ Stingrays||10:25pm||Protec Ponds Ice Center|
For a complete schedule listing, click here!