SUMMER 2019 DIVISION I: FLAMING DRAGON II
SUMMER 2019 DIVISION II: TEAM ODIN
SUMMER 2019 DIVISION: ARCHERS
2019 SPRING DIVISION I: Flaming Dragon II
2019 SPRING DIVISION II: Phantoms
2019 SPRING DIVISION III: Brewers
2019 SPRING DIVISION IV: Archers
2018/SUMMER/DIVISION I: Hammerheads
2018/SUMMER/DIVISION II: Stingrays
2018/SUMMER/DIVISION III: Biohazards
2018/SPRING/DIVISION I: Freddy's Fine Taffy
2018/SPRING/DIVISION II: Stingrays
2018/SPRING/DIVISION III: Six Seeded Archers Send Davison Out in Style with Championship
The Archers, captained by Jason Fischbach, began their Spring 2018 season with a with a 4-2 win over the Vudoo to rack up a quick three points behind a great performance by their Captain, which saw him take home the Hockey Haus Man of the Match Award. Game two for the Archers wasn’t going according to plan, trailing the Rink Rats 2-0, but four straight goals by the Danger Zoners, with Kevin “The Headless” Horstman, Fischbach, Steven Rosamilia, and Ben Gregory the men to cash in, jettisoned them over the Rink Rats. Three points seemed on the horizon for the Archers, but the Rink Rats’ talisman, Joe “Joey Jr.” Maresca, Jr. set up a cagey finish with a low snap shot, getting his team to down 4-3. The Archers were now looking to hang on as the Rink Rats pressed, which ultimately led to Dean Moakler’s slash, putting the Rink Rats on a power play. 2:28 was on the clock, and the Rink Rats went to work, but so far, were denied. They called timeout with 1:38 to go, and their play went exactly as drawn when Jeremy Strausser assisted the tying goal. Shocked, the Archers now had to hang on to get it to a shootout, which they did, but not without feeling they dropped no less than one point. Ultimately, that dropped point turned into two dropped points, as the Rink Rats won the shootout in seven rounds, with the Archers scoring just one goal, settling for one point in their shootout loss.
The Archers faced the Storm, the previous season’s champion, in their third game, which started well, with Lyness scoring just 31 seconds in. A few minutes later, the Archers were on target again when Rosamilia was assisted by Lyness after a pretty look, but the Storm would not let this get to them, scoring twice in quick succession to tie it. The Archers regained their lead when Rosamilia was found by Val Fuchs with a great saucer pass through a small corridor, but the Storm leveled it yet again. Fischbach was the beneficiary of Lyness’ feed before Rosamilia got his team a two goal lead, with three points seeming assured for them now. But again, the Archers let a regulation win slip away by letting a two goal third period evaporate, as they headed to another shootout, feeling like more points were dropped, which they were. Rosamilia was the first shooter, but the Storm could not go in front. Fischbach put the Archers ahead when he slowly skated in before speeding up, surprising everyone in the building with a snap shot which went into the back of the net, in what was the only goal of the shootout, as the Archers picked up two points, 6-5.
Next on the schedule was the Puck Pimps, who slaughtered the Archers, 6-1, with their solitary goal coming from Michael “The Dachshund” Malarowski, putting them at a consistent 1-1-1-1 record for six points. The Archers were unable to shake off their thrashing by the Puck Pimps, getting trampled 7-2 by the Biohazards in their next game (Fuchs scored after the Archers were down by four, then Fischbach got a consolation goal to make the scoreline a bit closer), which now saw them with 6/15 points at the halfway mark of the season.
Prodding along in the middle of the pack, the Archers were slated to play the Sewer Rats, who were tangled with them in that pack, in what would end up as a game full of penalties. The Archers fell behind, but power play goals by Dan Seminara and Chris Taormina got them ahead, vaulted them ahead. A wrister off the pipe and in by Ben Ghiano, a highlight reel snipe, doubled the Archers’ lead, but again, an inability to put their opponents away would see the Sewer Rats get it back to a one goal game with enough time to make the Archers clutch their sticks a little more tightly. Perhaps the memories of their dropped points against the Rink Rats and Storm hindered the Archers’ play, as the Sewer Rats took over, which led to them peppering Mike Davison, who so far, was able to keep that one goal lead. The Archers were scrambling in their defensive zone, which ended with a slash by The Dachshund. The motif of late game goals surrendered continued when the Matt Bushman tied it on the Biohazards’ power play, setting up the Archers’ third shutout of the Spring (out of six games to this point).
Looking to get some revenge on the man who just beat him, Davison was in luck, as Bushman was the first Biohazards shooter, who was stopped by a glove. Gregory could not put the Archers ahead, but Davison made another great save, giving Moakler a chance to get the lead, which he did, deking a few times before tucking one in. Davison’s pad save ensured two points, to cap off their shootout win, which could have been three; although, coming off of two straight blowouts, a win of any kind was welcomed for Fischbach’s men.
With a record of 1-2-2-1 (eight points), the Archers were lagging nine points behind the first place Ooff!, who were the top seed at the moment. In fact, the Archers were only six points ahead of the last place Storm, and five points up on the next to last (10th placed) Punishers. Those same Punishers would be the Archers’ next opponent, where a 12-4 drubbing was just what they needed to get some points and goodwill going. Huge games were seen from Lyness (2G, 3A), Fischbach (2G, 2A), Fuchs (1G, 2A), and Seminara (3G) with all four winning a share of the Hockey Haus Man of the Match Award; goals from Steven Rosamilia, Moakler, and lockdown defender Roger “Ramjet” Whittaker, who slapped one in from the point, just under the bar, on a sneaky pass from Ghiano, rounded out the scoring as the Archers looked to move up the league table.
Eleven points through seven games wasn’t what Fischbach envisioned for this group of his, and he knew they could reel off the wins and pick up the pace three points at a time, but their next opponent would be the Admirals, who play well positionally and would be a tough draw for anyone in the PTAHL Playoffs. Knowing this, the Archers welcomed the challenge, especially after, playing the kind of hockey they know they are capable of in their previous contest, but this one started tenuously. After falling behind, the Archers did equalize, but were unable to parlay Seminara’s goal into either momentum, or more goals. Instead, it was the Admirals who would fill the net, earning a 5-1 lead. Seminara would pull one back when Fischbach assisted him on the power play, which was followed by a Moakler goal to give the Archers hope of pulling off what was done to them twice this season: Coming back to force, at least, a shootout. But instead of the Archers scoring the next two goals, it was the Admirals, who won 7-3, leaving the Archers in the tough spot of 2-3-2-1, just 11 points out of a maximum of 24, with one of their final two games, their next one, against the first place Ooff!
Fischbach geared his team up for the league leaders, urging his crew to play disciplined hockey and to stay out of the box. Key performances by Ramjet Whittaker, Alec Antunes, Moakler, John Murphy, and Ben Ghiano frustrated Ooff!, leaving the Archers’ big guns of Fischbach, Lyness, and Seminara to do their thing and try to fill the net. So far, neither team could do so due to Davison and Dean Bogner acting as walls, but when Ooff! had a chance to score off a rebound, it was Ben Gregory who dove in, last minute, to shield the frame on the weak side, saving Davison and the Archers from falling behind. The Archers’ spirited performance saw them still tied with the juggernaut Ooff! late in the third period before the Onomatopoeia Men broke through and took a 1-0 lead, which would be good enough for three points. But the Archers, now equipped with the knowledge they could contend with the best of them, knew that even though there was no consolation for their performance in the league table, felt like they turned their season around, even in a loss.
The final game of the Spring 2018 season was against the Pterodactyls, where the Archers knew a win would get them the six seed in the eleven team Division III. Quickly going ahead by two after Seminara and Lyness scored, but almost immediately, the Pterodactyls would close the gap to 2-1. Fischbach was there to restore the two goal cushion after Ghiano hit Lyness, who directed one to their Captain, which put him in on a breakaway, culminating in him toe dragging before slotting in for 3-1. The Archers would allow League Commissioner Rob Cacioppo to score, but they again got it to a two goal gap, with Seminara the man to put in his second, following it with another to finish off his hat trick. The Flying Fossils again, got closer, but were ultimately disappointed when they not only could not get even closer after Taormina’s cross check (it would have been 5-4 Archers had they made the most of their power play), but gave up a shorthanded goal to Fischbach. When even strength resumed, it became 7-4 Archers when The Headless Horstman scored before the League Commissioner finished his hat trick, but another Archers goal canceled that out, and the final tally of the Archers’ 2018 spring season was Fischbach’s, in what was a 9-5 win, as Fischbach (3G, 1A) and Seminara (3G) each took home half of the Hockey Haus Man of the Match Award.
The Archers concluded their season at 3-4-2-1 for 14 points and a sixth place finish. They had 43 goals for (tied for 3rd most) and 44 goals against (6th fewest), 53 penalties in minutes (7th fewest), and a -1 goal differential (7th best), but as demonstrated in their second to last game, which was against Ooff!, they felt that they could do much better than their team stats showed.
Leading the way was Patrick Lyness (6G, 9A, 15 pts, a killer points per game average of 2.50 after only playing in six games), Jason Fischbach had (10G, 4A, 14 pts), and Dan Seminara (9G, 1A). Val Fuchs had a nice season with 1G, 6A, while a bevy of Archers finished with either three points (Steve Rosamilia, Ben Ghiano, Dean Moakler, and Steven Rosamilia) or two points (Kevin “The Headless” Horstman, Ben Gregory, and Michael “The Dachshund” Malarowski). The tight defense by Chris Taormina, John Murphy, Alec Antunes, Dave Fischbach (although his season was cut short due to injury), and perhaps the biggest cog in their defense, Roger “Ramjet” Whittaker, played huge roles in helping their heavy scorers reach their point totals, and will also be crucial if they hope to go on a run and win PTAHL Championship. Overall, Lyness and Fischbach finished sixth and eighth in points for Division III respectively, while Mike Davison finished with a 3.71 Goals Against Average, ranking him fourth. Davison and Fischbach, who are PTAHL veterans, know how to win championships, which began years ago, when their team downed the mighty 18-2-0-0 Pterodactyls, led by Legendary Recap Writer and Zamboni Driver Brian Rappleyea, and League Commissioner Rob Cacioppo. These guys know what it takes, and anybody who has the misfortune of playing a team led by these two will know they will have a tough out.
This would also be Davison’s last crack at another PTAHL Championship, with his impending transfer to the Delaware League on the horizon. In anticipation of his move, Davison had relocated to the First State and had been racking up the miles coming and going to his games. Davison’ regular season was a solid one, but he knew he could play better and was looking to bring that PTAHL Cup to his new home state after dreams of an open top bus parade down Easton Avenue. If the Archers had any chance of accomplishing that, their goalie would have to be as important of a piece as any.
The Archers’ sixth placed finish earned them a date with the Punishers, who were seed 11, and last place. Their previous encounter was a 12-4 smashing by Fischbach and Co., the Archers’ most goals scored in any game this season.
The Punishers struck first, but Fischbach and Seminara were able put the Archers ahead, though early in the second period, the Punishers got it to 2-2. Lots of time remained, but the Archers knew the longer it went on, the more it increased the chances of the underdog winning. Steven Rosamilia regained that Archers’ lead, but a shorthanded Punishers goal saw this one now at 3-3. Immediately taking momentum, or what could have been momentum, back from their opponent, Taormina found Seminara for a one timer, which he slammed in for his second goal of the night, and a 4-3 Archers lead. Fischbach added another when Seminara got into the assist column, and Taormina scored on the power play for 6-3. The third period began with two Punishers goals, putting the game in the balance again, but the Archers would go on another power play, where Fischbach would score from Steven Rosamilia, putting it at 7-5. The one which pretty much ended the Punishers’ hopes of a comeback was Seminara’s hat trick goal, which was shorthanded with 8:36 remaining. A Moakler power play goal and another shorthander by Seminara finished off a 10-5 Archers win, as the Danger Zoners avoided what they did to start their season: blow third period leads.
The quarterfinals were next, where they were paired up with the three seed, the Admirals. In their regular season meeting, the Admirals won 7-3, but in tonight’s affair, the Archers went up 1-0 when Horstman was assisted by Lyness and Seminara, then Steven Rosamilia’s doubled their lead with a wrister. Unfortunately for the Archers, the Seamen got the next two goals, both before the conclusion of the first period, seizing the momentum going into the second frame.
The Archers weren’t fazed, with Seminara scoring 20 seconds into the second, and Fischbach scoring 20 seconds later. Immediately, the lead was restored to two goals, which became three after Fischbach scored on a shorthanded 2-on-1 when Murphy fed him in the slot. The rout was on, with the Archers scoring the next three goals: Steven Rosamilia from Fischbach, Fischbach from Seminara, and Lyness from Seminara, to go 7-2 up. A bit of a respite was seen from the Admirals though, when “Commander” Tommy Whitney found the net with only 17 seconds remaining in the period, looking for that comeback, while perhaps, planting a seed of doubt in the Archers’ minds.
After winning the faceoff, the Admirals ventured into an attack where they had the puck in the Archers’ zone for around two minutes. Mike Davison, who was not all that busy for most of the second period, came through with five or six saves from all over to frustrate the Admirals and weather that storm. Stemming the tide, the Archers began to execute some cross corner dump ins to force the Admirals’ behind their own goal line, the whole 200 feet away from the Archers’ net. But even when they did find a way near Davison, they were met with either a glove or a pad, as he earned plaudits from our play by play commentators on Telemundo and those at PTAHL headquarters. The Hockey Haus Man of the Match Award is not given out for the playoffs, but if it was, it would be extremely likely that it would go to Davison for saving the Archers in that third period, even though they were up by four, because the Admirals were nearly able to barge through and get closer.
Two wins for the Archers in the PTAHL playoffs, but still two wins away from a championship; a semifinal game with the five seeded Sewer Rats stood between them and a trip to Division III’s Final, where Davison displayed exactly what kind of hole the Archers will have to fill in the offseason, recording a shutout, as he extended his stay in the PTAHL to another game. Davison really had no other option but to play as a wall, due to the Archers not pulling away until the second half of this one. After Davison stacked the pads on a Sewer Rats slap shot, which jettisoned the rebound into the neutral zone, there was a battle for the puck, as it pinballed around before being picked up by Steven Rosamilia, who sped in on the Sewer Rats’ defense and notched a goal. But this would be the only goal of the first period, with this game still looking like a 50/50 matchup of these five and six seeds.
More excellent play from Davison came when Moakler went to the box, where he utilized his glove to curtail any streamlined play the Sewer Rats would have had, which also gave the Archers time to catch their breath. Freezing the puck three times and making a blocker save from a wrister through a screen, the Sewer Rats’ power play was over before anyone knew it. The play was even for the next few minutes, but the Archers found themselves on a power play, which they made count. Just 14 seconds in to the man advantage, Ben Ghiano earned his first goal of the playoffs. Ghiano, who has proven himself to be a vital part of the Archers with his quick decision making, showcased that at a crucial time, scooping up the puck after it squirted into the corner. After evaluating his options and seeing that the Sewer Rats were overcompensating in the passing lanes, Ghiano curled in front of the net, and put one just under the crossbar and in.
Ghiano’s power play goal bought the Archers some insurance, which was followed when Whittaker made a nifty play which sometimes flies under the radar, merely flipping one on net after gaining the red line, forcing Sewer Rats’ goalie Mat Laskowski into taking a faceoff with his catch. Plays like that don’t go unnoticed here when you’re a recap writer, and when the puck squirted to Lyness after the faceoff, he put one into the top corner for a 3-0 lead. No assist for Whittaker, but he proved himself to be just as valuable as the man who scored on that play, Lyness.
A late second period goal by Moakler from Seminara meant 4-0 heading into the third, as the Archers now just had 15 minutes between them and an appearance in the Final. The Sewer Rats thought they had an early opportunity to get closer with a one timer, but Fuchs snuck in, lifting an opponent’s stick, frustrating the Sewer Rats before they could even attempt to beat Davison. More defensive plays kept the Sewer Rats from getting closer, with Malarowski’s backcheck preventing a Sewer Rats scoring chance, Antunes clearing a rebound after Davison stopped a slap shot with his pad, and Gregory poking the puck away from a Sewer Rat who was about to fire one off.
The Sewer Rats were unable to score on Davison, ultimately conceding the fifth goal of the night to Jason Fischbach from Lyness. With that 5-0 win and Davison’s shutout, the Archers found themselves in the Final against the top seeded Ooff!, who paced the competition throughout the regular season, winning 8 of 10 games, worth 24 of 30 points.
The Archers’ second to last game of the season was against Ooff!, which was a 1-0 loss, but has some similarities that can be drawn when, in 2007, the New York Giants played the New England Patriots, who were looking to go undefeated, in their final game of the season. The Giants, like the Archers, could have folded or not given it their best in that matchup, but did so in anticipation of a potential championship opportunity. The Giants, again, like the Archers, lost when they played the juggernaut team (falling 38-35 as the Patriots finished their regular season undefeated), but had the confidence to go all the way and win a championship. Coincidentally, the Giants met the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, defeating the previously undefeated Patriots, 17-14. The Archers could draw off that experience, meeting their respective league’s steamroller in their respective league’s final.
Feeling confident, not only for how they played Ooff! in their only meeting, but more so because of their playoff run and most recent game, which was a shutout, the Archers began strong, nearly taking the lead on a Fischbach wrist shot. On the other end, Davison held up his end of the bargain for nearly the whole first period until he was scored upon with just a minute left by Chris Fagan. 1:45 into the second period, Ooff! doubled their lead with a goal by their Captain, Andrew Ruffino, putting the Archers in their biggest hole of the playoffs. But the Archers evened the momentum with excellent pressure by Steve Rosamilia, Fischbach, and Lyness to keep themselves in it, demonstrating the resiliency which has gotten them through rough spots in their season such as when they let third period leads slip away, which could have built the foundation for a poor record and early playoff exit. No goals yet for the Danger Zoners, but they could sense some goals coming with their uptick in play, eventually getting on the board when Fischbach was the man to pick up a rebound after Seminara flung one on net from a difficult angle, halving the Archers’ deficit. With 3:49 to play in the second period, it could go either way, with these next few minutes massive in determining how the final frame of the season would be tackled.
1:35 was now on the clock when Fischbach passed to Ghiano, who tied it with his second goal of the playoffs. Ooff! was now stunned and would have to limp to the end of the period, hopefully going in to the intermission at no worse than tied. But it would not go this way for them because right off the faceoff, and six seconds after assisting Ghiano’s goal, Fischbach slid one through the legs of Dean Bogner for a 3-2 lead. This time, Ooff! did limp to the intermission without conceding another goal, but they would now be down after leading for nearly 15 minutes.
Ooff! began the third period strong, but over and over again, were met with Davison. An odd man rush came for Ooff! in the form of a 2-on-1, which saw Lamborn go to the box for a slash, although it did not slow down the scoring chance. Play continued for another few seconds with an Ooff! saucer pass intercepted by John Murphy, the lone defenseman back, in what was an enormous play, preventing a prime opportunity to occur. But still, Lamborn was out of action for no more than two minutes, as the clock was at 10:32. Fischbach’s men were as disciplined as ever, content to let Ooff! shoot from the perimeter, confident in Davison to freeze the puck whenever needed. Ooff! started to show their frustration, dangerously attempting to move the puck to teammates who were not nearly as open as they liked, which led to Horstman poking it into the neutral zone where he chased it down and went in on a breakaway. After regathering control, Horstman was able to double the Archers’ lead with a backbreaking shorthanded goal. Ooff! now had to make up a two goal deficit in 9:11, which was made that much harder when a Rich Petersen cross check and unsportsmanlike conduct double minor would put them down a man with 6:05 to go. The Archers kept possession for roughly a minute, before Malarowski was called for interference, setting up 4-on-4. With 3:15 and 3:05 left, Malarowski and Petersen left the box respectively, with it still 4-2.
Division III’s leading scorer and the winner of the Hockey Haus Man of the Match Season Award, Jackson Storer, was so far kept off the scoresheet, which stayed that way when a huge glove save by Davison kept it at a two goal game. Ooff! pulled Bogner for the extra attacker, but it would only provide Fischbach with another goal, as the Captain finished off the Final with as clutch of a performance as one could ever have hoped for: a hat trick and assist to propel his team to victory, 5-2.
Champions of Division III, the Archers proudly took the Chuck Ugalde Memorial Cup and lapped around the ice. After their customary picture in front of the scoreboard, the delirium set in as the confetti stopped falling: The Archers took down the mighty Ooff!, in what was a legendary team performance, highlighted by Jason Fischbach providing an example that captains of any team in any league should strive for, with 3G, 1A in the championship clinching game.
But it wasn’t just Fischbach, who finished the playoffs with 12 points (10G, 2A) as his team’s leading scorer, or the play of the Archers’ other heavy hitters: Dan Seminara (5G, 6A), Steven Rosamilia (4G),and Pat Lyness (2G, 2A). It was also the play of those who filled the scoresheet with timely points such as Ben Ghiano, Dean Moakler, and Kevin “The Headless” Horstman and the defensive efforts of a group which proved its worth in the entire 200 x 85 foot rink. Val Fuchs and Michael “The Dachshund” Malarowski were there with their excellent defensive play, augmented by the suffocating play of Ben Gregory, Steve Rosamilia, Chris Taormina, and Jeff Lamborn. Alec Antunes, Joe Chiarolanza, Taka Okai, and John Murphy met the call when Jason needed them, and so did Dave Fischbach, who was effective in an abbreviated season due to injury. Also deserving great plaudits from those at PTAHL headquarters is the lynchpin of their defense, Roger “Ramjet” Whittaker, who was rarely out of position, possessing an ability to read plays matched by few in Division III, highlighted not only with his defensive work, but with his play in the semifinals where he showed his experience by flipping one on net from the neutral zone, which led to a Lyness goal.
Last but certainly not least, the man patrolling the crease, Mike Davison, capped his PTAHL career with a championship. Excellent goaltending from the Delaware bound goalie, with a GAA of 2.50 in the playoffs (with one shutout) provided the Archers with a trust that few other teams in the entire league can boast. Whether it be with timely freezing of the puck or excellent rebound control, Davison displayed why the Archers will miss him. Few players across the world of sport can end their service with a particular team or end their stay in a league with championships: Ray Bourque and John Elway were key in bringing one and two championships to the city of Denver, Colorado to go out in style, Didier Drogba (in two stints) and John Terry ended their careers with Chelsea Football Club with league and/or cup triumphs, and minor league baseball player (Birmingham Barons) legend and actor Michael Jordan won a title with the Tune Squad before winning three consecutive titles and retiring from the Chicago Bulls. Davison is now in company with these all-time greats across sports, now preparing to tour his new home with the Chuck Ugalde PTAHL Cup, provided he can get approval from state officials.
Congratulations to the Archers on their victory and place as Spring 2018 Division III Champions!
2017-18/FALL-WINTER/DIVISION I: Whack-a-Mole
2017-18/FALL-WINTER/DIVISION II: Green Brook Berets
2017-18/FALL-WINTER/DIVISION III: Storm
2017/SUMMER/DIVISION I: Flagoons
2017/SUMMER/DIVISION II: Predators
2017/SUMMER/DIVISION III: Phantoms
2017/SUMMER/DIVISION IV: Biohazards
2017/SPRING/DIVISION I: Warriors
2017/SPRING/DIVISION II: STINGRAYS TURN SEASON AROUND, ENDING WITH CHAMPIONSHIP TRIUMPH
front: Mike Boscaino, Eddie Boscaino, John Fallone, Henry Hinterstein, Frank Inzano
back: Eric Pressman, Kevin Inglis, Brian Conover, Mike Ciampi, Greg Schehr, Pete Rusignuolo, Pat Mack, Kyle Daloisio
not pictured: Jim Peterson, Bob Conover
The Stingrays finished the 2017 Spring Season in third place, with a record of 3-5-1-1, for 12 points. They had the marks of a team that struggled, a -20 goal differential (43 goals for, and 63 goals against, 18 more than the next closest team), and led Division II in penalty minutes, with 54, 32 more than anyone else.
Opening their season with a loss to Whack-a-Mole, the Stingrays then took 7/9 points in their next three games, before losing their fifth game (a 6-2 loss to Green Brook). With seven points halfway through the season, the Stingrays had a points percentage just under .500. Game six was against the Fine Pines, and the Stingrays fell behind before storming back to take all three points. They looked like they were going to turn the corner, but lost their next three games by a combined 18 goals: 10-3 to Whack-a-Mole, 9-2 to Whack-a-Mole, and 9-5 to the Flames. The Stingrays’ final game of the season was against Green Brook, where three points meant the three seed. A robust performance saw the Stingrays win 6-4, and they took that third seed, and a meeting with the second seeded Flames in the semifinals.
Leading the way was Eddie Boscaino, who finished second in Division II with 18 points (11G, 7A). Jim Peterson was second on the team with 10 points (7G, 3A), while Mike Boscaino and Greg Schehr finished with identical outputs of 4G, 5A for 9 points. Frank Inzano and Henry Hinterstein each had 5 goals (8 points in total for Inzano, while all of Hinterstein’s points were goals). These five combined for 36 of the Stingrays’ 43 goals, demonstrating depth on the offensive side of the puck, which could prove valuable in the PTAHL Playoffs.
With a spot in the Final on the line, the Stingrays and Flames finally tangled, and an early Flames goal by Joe Fallacaro on a Chris Parco setup put the Flames ahead. The Stingrays were then handed a bench minor for too many men on the ice, but the Flames could not extend their lead, mostly due to the excellent goaltending of John Fallone, who was able to cover the puck multiple times to earn his men some valuable line changes, while keeping the Flames from getting into a groove. Another Stingrays penalty came when Brian Conover tripped a Flame, but on the kill, Fallone still kept them out. Matching penalties were given to the Stingrays and Flames, but the Stingrays would be at a disadvantage: Kevin Inglis, a double minor for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct, with Hinterstein and a Flame earning matching roughing minors.
The second period began with a Mike Ciampi goal, and it was now tied 1-1. Flames Captain Nas Allan was sent off for tripping, and the Stingrays scored on the power play when Hinterstein got one with help from Inglis and Eric Pressman. The Flames were called for interference, but Brian Conover evened it with a hook. At even strength, Hinterstein was set up by Pat “Crack Your Back” Mack, and it was 3-1. Pete Haglund scored from Parco, and the Flames were down 3-2, but Mike Boscaino put the lead back to two. A Parco cross check came, but Mike Denino scored shorthanded. At even strength, Denino put another in, and the second period ended tied 4-4.
With their season on the line, it came down to one period, and the Stingrays jumped out early, with Kyle Dalosio putting his team ahead. Mike Boscaino then assisted one, and assisted another when Eddie Boscaino scored, and it was now 7-4. Pressman was called for tripping, but the Flames could not get closer. Mack ended the game with a goal from Inzano, and the Stingrays won 8-4.
With the fourth seeded Fine Pines pulling off a PTAHL Classic win over the top seeded Whack-a-Mole, the Stingrays were the higher seed in the Final.
1:14 in, Inzano would put the Stingrays ahead, continuing their excellent play from their Semifinal game against the Flames, where they scored four goals in the third period. A brief 5-on-3 came for the Stingrays when Brian Feller was called for hooking, with Alex Miragaya going off 28 seconds later for high sticking. Getting some nice chances on Fine Pines goalie Colin Riedel, the Stingrays could not score, with the 5-on-3 ending after Kyle Dalosio’s slash. Still with a power play, the Stingrays had a chance to extend their lead, but instead saw the Fine Pines tie it with a shorthanded goal by Chris Keresztes, who was hit with a great look by Dan Kane. A late first period elbow to Hinterstein put the Stingrays on the kill, but Fallone was strong in net. Fighting through a nice Fine Pines power play, and traffic in front, Fallone was able to keep the score tied, but as soon as Hinterstein left the box, Mike Boscaino’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty would put the Stingrays shorthanded again.
The Fine Pines began the second period with their power play, and a chance to take the lead and momentum; with an Adam Sklar goal, they accomplished both of these, going up 2-1. This lead would not last though, thanks to the Stingrays’ leading scorer, Eddie Boscaino, coming up big, leveling the game. Less than a minute after Boscaino’s goal, he assisted Greg Schehr with a one timer, and the Stingrays regained the lead. Three minutes later, the Fine Pines tied it once more, when Joseph Hayes found Dan Lewycky, who worked it to Sklar. The Stingrays were not ready to go into the third period tied, and they took a 5-4 lead after Inzano scored after Inglis bundled the puck to him. The Pines bounced back from falling behind, and yet again, tied it after Keresztes and Sklar assisted one, meaning it would come down to one period for the championship.
3:27 into the final frame, the Stingrays took the lead when Eddie Boscaino scored from Mike Boscaino. 6-5, and 11:33 away from a championship, the Stingrays attempted to increase their lead, but were unable to get another by Riedel. While they were pressing, the Fine Pines were unsuccessful in their endeavors as well, mostly due to the goaltending of Fallone, but also due to a stingy Stingrays defense. The minutes wound off the clock, with the game still at 6-5. 3:33 remained, and Inglis was called for tripping, setting up a Fine Pines power play. Making matters worse for the Stingrays, 48 seconds after Inglis went to the box, Inzano joined him when he was called for high sticking. Now the Fine Pines had 1:12 of 5-on-3, and Fallone would have to come up bigger than ever. He made all the saves, and with 35 seconds left, the Fine Pines pulled Riedel for an extra attacker. After a chaotic scene in front of Fallone, the Fine Pines raised their arms, thinking they tied it, but the puck was deemed to not have gone in. The Stingrays killed off the remaining few seconds, winning 6-5, and also Division II’s Spring championship.
A team effort by the Stingrays, in the playoffs, they were led by Eddie Boscaino (4G, 1A), and Mike Boscaino (1G, 4A), each with five points. Frank Inzano and Henry Hinterstein each had two goals, while John Fallone was unfazed in net. Congratulations on a great playoffs, and showing the necessary resolve to win a championship, Stingrays!
2017/SPRING/DIVISION III: Phantoms
2017/SPRING/DIVISION IV: Vudoo
2016-17/FALL-WINTER/DIVISION I: Ice Men
front: John DeRosa, Nick Raite, Matt Torstrup
back: Jon Bokser, Nick Pedana, Jason Brawer, Zander Pindyck, John Rugolo, Sadik Sendich, Mike Torstrup
not pictured: Jon Dunne
2016-17/FALL-WINTER/DIVISION II: CJ's at Midnight
2016-17/FALL-WINTER/DIVISION III: Phantoms
front: Nick Bucci, Mike Smitko, Tony Bucci, Doug Meade, Nick Meade
back: Joe Arena, Chris Fagan, Jacky Morin, Damon Cassaro, Phil Meade, Bill Malthaner, Al Cavallo, Lou LoSapio
not pictured: Mike Finnen, Kevin Inglis
2016-17/FALL-WINTER/DIVISION IV: PUCK PIMPS GET FIRST TASTE OF PTAHL GLORY
front: Nick Raite, Rich Kobylarz, Marc Gallagher, Dan Lukiw, Tarek Bonna
back: Alex Russel, Greg Mustoe, Charlie Cunion, Dave Petzinger, Keith Weissman, Eric Racine
not pictured: Chris Kazlauskas, John Vivino, Zach Kampf
The Puck Pimps began their third season coming off two solid campaigns in the PTAHL, both ending in the semifinals after winning in the quarterfinals. Captain Dan Lukiw knew his men were close and he had to figure out a way to get his illustrious franchise to take that next step. The Pimps had a long tenured group, with four members who have played at least 300 games with the team: Rich Kobylarz and Greg Mustoe, while Dan Lukiw and Dave Petzinger have each played over 400 games for the men in purple. This core of players has seen the Pimps trek through their early days, a beginning in a different league to the present, where they carried their experience over to the PTAHL. These long time Pimps were augmented by Chris Kazlauskas, John Vivino, and Charlie Cunion, all who have over 100 games played in a few seasons with Lukiw. The other half of the roster was made up of younger players who have put up staggering statistics in their time with the Pimps: Alex Russell (90 points in 50 games played), Eric Racine (87 pts in 41 GP), Marc Gallagher (39 pts in 36 GP), Tarek Bonna (33 pts in 19 GP), and Zach Kampf (19 pts in 30 GP). These forwards have proven their worth, but so has defenseman Keith Weissman, whose work at the back, tidying things up, has helped the Pimps excel in transition. Nick Raite manned the crease for the Pimps in what was seen as another good signing by Lukiw, as they were now equipped to hopefully win their first PTAHL championship.
The Pimps’ season began with a 4-3 loss to the Rink Rats, which was followed by a 6-5 win against the Sewer Rats. They won their next game, 7-1 in the second of a home and home with the Sewer Rats, mostly due to Eric Racine’s fantastic performance. The Pimps’ fourth game of the season was a 6-5 shootout loss to Ooff!, and they had 7/12 points, placing them in the middle of the pack. For a long time, this is where the Pimps would stay, because over their next 10 games, they alternated regulation losses and regulation wins, unable to reach the higher goals that Lukiw had looked to accomplish.
The first of these regulation losses was to the Pterodactyls, an 8-2 drubbing. The Pimps were on the winning end of that same score in their next game, a win over Ooff!, with Racine scoring five goals. A 3-2 loss to the Rink Rats was next, wasting a great performance in net by Raite, but seemingly turning the corner, the Pimps returned the favor from a few games earlier on the Pterodactyls, beating them 5-1. This was the first of a home and home, and the Pimps had a chance to sweep their second home and home of the season, but the Pterodactyls shut them out 3-0. That marked two out of three games where the Pimps scored two or fewer goals, and something had to change: Racine made sure of that, putting on a clinic in a 9-3 win against the Vudoo. After this great performance, again, the Pimps felt as if they could string together some wins, but they wasted another great performance by Raite, in a 2-1 loss to the Pterodactyls. Chris Kazluaskas’ hat trick in a 6-3 win against Ooff! Prevented a losing streak, but the Rink Rats were able to upend the Pimps 5-1. A meeting with the Archers came, the first of a home and home, which the Puck Pimps won 8-4. This left the Puck Pimps with their third chance to take maximum points in a home and home, and just as importantly, this would be the end of the pattern of alternating regulation losses and regulation wins.
With a record of 7-6-0-1 and 22 points through 14 games, the Pimps were running out of time to make inroads on a high seed. But a change came, and the Pimps were able to go on a run, which began with an 8-1 pummeling of the Archers. They then won 5-3 against the Sewer Rats, stringing together more than one win for the first time since winning in their second and third games of the season. Their final loss of the season came against the Archers, 4-3, but a 6-4 win over the Rink Rats got the Pimps back on track. Now on 31 points, and thanks to the struggles of the Rink Rats and the tailspin in which Ooff! put themselves, the Pimps a chance for the two or three seed. Raite’s goaltending carried them in their next game, a 4-1 win over the Vudoo, and after shutting out Ooff! 5-0 to finish their season, the Pimps were in position to finish second or third. But, while the Rink Rats did what they had to do to finish second, and the Pimps finished as the third seed with a record of 12-7-0-1 for 37 points, the most important thing of all was that the Pimps turned their season around and showed that they were a contender for the championship.
Chris Kazlauskas finished fourth in Division IV with 35 points, while Greg Mustoe (21 points, 17 assists to lead the team), Tarek Bonna (16 pts), Marc Gallagher (15 pts), and Alex Russell and Dave Petzinger (each with 11 pts) all finished in double digits. But perhaps the most impressive Pimp of all was Eric Racine, who recorded 31 points in just 11 games played, averaging nearly three points a game. Overall, the Pimps’ offense was something at which to marvel, finishing with 104 goals for, 10 more than any other team. At the back, Keith Weissman showed his value, contributing to a defense that allowed 68 goals against, the division’s third fewest. Plaudits as well for Pimps goalie Nick Raite, who had a record of 10-5-0-1, a shutout, and a GAA of 2.47, which put him in second in the division. These two would need to keep their form if the Pimps were to go anywhere, as their playoff journey started with a quarterfinal matchup against the six seeded Vudoo.
The Pimps took 12/12 points against the Vudoo in the regular season and made sure they got this one started right, after Alex Russell scored from Zach Kampf. Soon after, Greg Mustoe scored with help from Tarek Bonna, making it 2-0, but the Vudoo got one back when Jesse Peterson was assisted by Tom Godon. Looking like they lost the momentum, the Pimps took it right back because with three seconds left in the first period, Kazlauskas put them up 3-1.
The second period began with Alex Russell getting back on the scoresheet, but this time it was for a tripping penalty. Thanks to Raite’s goaltending, the Pimps were up to the task keeping the Vudoo off the board. After returning to even strength, the Pimps got another when Greg Mustoe scored through Keith Weissman, and were now up 4-1. Petzinger scored through Marc Gallagher to make it 5-1, but 50 seconds later, the Vudoo scored when Gary Len was found by his team’s leading scorer, James Woods-Corwin. Russell got his second of the game, and it was now 6-2, but Woods-Corwin scored from Kurt Seidel, a crucial goal with nine seconds left in the period, and the Pimps went into the third with a 6-3 lead.
With 8:30 to play, Len was called for tripping, but during the delay, Bonna made it 7-3. The Vudoo were now running out of time, and with 8:03 remaining, Ray Ziesse tripped a Pimp. The Pimps could not increase their lead, then took a penalty of their own 56 seconds after even strength returned, on a Weissman rough. This would be the Vudoo’s best chance to get closer but they would not score any more, as Raite continued to frustrate them, going down 7-3 to the Pimps. With their great performances, Alex Russell and Greg Mustoe (2G each) shared the Man of the Match Award, but the level of play was only increasing, so they, and their teammates would have to play even better in the semifinals.
That semifinal game saw the Pimps matched up with the two seeded Rink Rats. Unlike against the Vudoo, where the Pimps took maximum points in their season series, they lost this one, only taking 3/12 points. The Pimps would also have to worry about the division’s leading scorer, Nick Graham (48 points) and the second leading scorer, Joe Maresca, Jr. (37 points).
The first period began with both goalies pitching shutouts, but less than three minutes into the second period, Bonna scored, putting the Puck Pimps ahead 1-0. 32 seconds after Bonna’s goal, the Rink Rats’ Gary Nacer took a five minute major for elbowing. The Pimps had a huge chance to put some in but could not, and with that huge kill, the Rink Rats could now go on the offensive. But a second Bonna goal put the Pimps further ahead, which would stay going into the third period.
Down 2-0, the Rink Rats knew they had to get the next goal; 14 seconds into the third, they did, when Joe Maresca, Jr. scored from Vincent Falcichhio and Christian Larrabee. An entirely new game, the Rink Rats had almost the whole period to draw level. But that next goal went to the Pimps when their defensive stalwart, Weissman, scored unassisted. Vivino then scored on a Bonna assist, and the lead was now 4-1. Later, Graham had to sit for a high sticking penalty. While the Puck Pimps did not score on their power play, another two minutes were shaved off the clock and they more importantly, did not allow any. Two Puck Pimps goals ended the game, with Kazlauskas scoring to make it 5-1, then Kampf finishing with a goal from Racine. The Puck Pimps won 6-1, with Bonna (2G, 1A) and Raite, who allowed one goal, named Co-Man of the Match winners. And while the Man of the Match Award went to Bonna and Raite, it also could have went to the entire Puck Pimps defense for keeping the division’s two leading scorers, Nick Graham and Joe Maresca, Jr., to a combined one point. This was one of the greatest defensive performances in PTAHL history. The Puck Pimps would now go to the Final, where they would meet the top seeded Pterodactyls in a best two out of three series.
Losing the season series taking just 3/12 points, the Puck Pimps were an underdog, but not much of one mostly due to their form of winning seven out of eight, which was only bettered by the Pterodactyls’ form of winning 11 in a row, setting up a dynamite game one.
Game one started well for the Pterodactyls, with Alex Smondyrev getting a nice low shot on target, but Raite was up to the task, with a right pad save. Each team got some chances in the first, Pterodactyls goalie Jeff Leidner was big on a Mustoe shot from the slot, while Raite continued to stifle Pterodactyls’ leading scorers, Ilya Labutin and Tony Gesumaria, and it went into the second at 0-0.
The Puck Pimps came out strong, pressuring the Flying Fossils with some cycles. Petzinger had an excellent chance; he came out from behind the net, was on his forehand and tried to beat Leidner high, but a nifty glove was there denying him. Another chance followed with Gallagher coming down the wing when he cut across on his backhand, but Leidner made the save. After being pressed for a few minutes, the Pterodactyls finally got the puck in the offensive zone. Defenseman Chris Kreuter joined the offense, and was looked off by Gesumaria, who nearly fooled Raite, but a last ditch blocker save kept the puck out after a nice decoy by the two Pterodactyls. The puck went into the corner and the Pimps tried to clear it high off the glass, but Labutin was there to snag it, throw it down to his stick, and get a decent shot on net. But Raite was able to recover from his previous save, and hold the puck for a faceoff. A Keith Fimiani shot was followed when Smondyrev worked the puck to Jeff Marine, but this setup was partially blocked, forcing Raite to make a tough save on a deflection. The clock wound down, but the Pimps got a chance towards the end of the period when Lukiw broke out of the zone on a Kobylarz pass. Kreuter read the play and Lukiw went in one on one, but Geof Grek back checked, preventing Lukiw from getting anywhere near Kreuter, much less Leidner. The puck dribbled to the corner, and the period ended 0-0.
Game one entered the third, but neither team could figure out Leidner or Raite. Sean Caldwell found the puck after a faceoff, and slowly went down the ice. He quickly picked up his pace, trying to catch the Pimps’ defense sleeping, and he got a wrist shot off which was high and wide. But Caldwell regained control of the puck, finding Rob Mager, who put it into Raite’s bread basket. The save may have appeared to be easy, but the key part was not allowing a rebound because Tim Webster was waiting to pounce. After this, Mustoe was called for tripping, and the Pimps were down a man. Out came the Pterodactyls’ leading scorers, Labutin and Gesumaria, with Marine, Jacky Morin, and Fimiani joining them. The Pterodactyls could not let this major chance pass without scoring, but Raite was outstanding in the first half of the power play along with Weissman, who blocked a handful of shots from the point. The Pterodactyls then became impatient, taking lower percentage shots, but when League Commissioner Robert Cacioppo joined the power play, he helped calm things down. The puck was now being worked around the perimeter, but the Pterodactyls still could not score, and the power play ended when Lukiw got the puck out of the Pimps’ defensive zone. After Raite’s clutch saves, some momentum was now on the side of the Pimps, and they were able to turn the tide a bit, starting with a Racine opportunity. He went down the wing, slowed a bit, then darted toward the middle getting a nice shot on Leidner, who left a rebound for Kazlauskas. Kazlauskas could not finish though, and Leidner was able to guide the puck to the corner. More pressure came from the Pimps, with Racine and Kazlauskas finally causing some chaos. The Pterodactyls somehow got through this, with the Pimps having much better play since the power play ended. The Pimps could not score though, and the game went to overtime.
Overtime would be a sudden death ten minute period of 5-on-5 play followed by a sudden death five minute period of 4-on-4 play. If still tied, it would go to a three man shootout, like the regular season’s format. The Pimps picked up where they left off. Many shots were seen by Leidner, and the Pterodactyls were looking second best. Tarek Bonna almost ended the game on a shot from a difficult angle. The puck stunned Leidner for a second, and Kreuter swatted the puck away; the puck hit Russell and he got a shot on Leidner, but a pad save kept the puck out. Not much offense was seen by the Pterodactyls but they did get a nice shot from Gesumaria; Raite kept the puck out, it was one shot with no pressure, and the Pimps went back on offense when Morin was sent off for tripping. The Pimps moved the puck, and put a one timer on net when Russell got the puck to Gallagher. Leidner stopped it but he left a rebound, and the Pimps were able to keep on the pressure. More shots followed: Racine, Kazlauskas, Lukiw, and Kobylarz, but Leidner would keep the puck out. Eventually the Pterodactyls got it out, and with one second left on the penalty there was a faceoff just outside the Pimps’ defensive zone. Morin returned to the play, and the penalty was over. Labutin was on the ice, and he was lurking for that goal; when the puck was in his team’s defensive zone, he broke out, going in on a breakaway. Labutin came in quickly, but a left pad save by Raite kept the puck out. The Pimps got the puck deep in the Pterodactyls zone again, and could not keep control. Eventually Gesumaria got the puck and went in on a 2-on-1, but he could not get the puck to his teammate because Kobylarz suffocated him and knocked the puck to the corner. Gesumaria did not give up on the play and won it back, throwing it in front where it bounced off a Pterodactyl and found Rob Mager, who hit the post. The Pimps then got control and went into the Pterodactyls’ defensive zone. Kreuter was tangled with a couple of Pimps in front of Leidner’s net, who had to stave off the shots, which were coming from all over. He had to cover it at least twice due to the pressure of the Pimps, as the clock went down to less than a minute. The Pterodactyls got the puck and went down the ice with less than 30 seconds left. Marine had the puck and got it to Don Vallario, who found Smondyrev in the slot. Smondyrev buried the puck with 14 seconds left and the Pterodactyls won game one, 1-0.
This goaltending clinic was the longest game in PTAHL history, as Leidner won the Man of the Match Award with his shutout, with honorable mention to Raite, who matched him for nearly the whole game. This commendable performance was nice, but would not be enough for Raite and the Pimps, as their wasting of another one of his excellent performances, especially against the Pterodactyls was something they could not afford to do again. Down 1-0, the Pimps had to figure out a way to beat Leidner, because Weissman and Raite were holding things down on their end of the ice.
Game two was a must win and the Pimps made sure they got off to a great start. They finally put one past Leidner and did it less than two minutes into the game, when Cunion was helped by Vivino. This now gave the Pimps almost the entire 45 minute game to get the goals that they were unable to get in game one, but their hopes had a chance to be muted because Mustoe was sent off for interference. On the defensive side of the puck, Weissman ate up much of the clock by entering the passing lane, tipping those passes, and throwing them the length of the ice multiple times, while Raite held up in net, freezing the puck every time he saw it. Unable to score but also unable to build up any momentum, the Pterodactyls came out of their power play with nothing, as the Pimps attempted to go up by another. The Pimps were moving the puck well, seemingly tiring out the Pterodactyls, eventually hitting the post on a Kampf rocket, but the puck found Morin, who sprung Labutin on a 2-on-1. Labutin then fed Fimiani who beat Raite high blocker side to tie it. Scoring off this broken play was that much worse for the Pimps because it took all the momentum from them, and the first period ended tied at one.
Credit to Lukiw’s men, his first intermission strategizing got the Pimps to play better than the Pterodactyls for the first few minutes of the second period, but their huffing and puffing got them nowhere, with Leidner frustrating them some more. As the Pimps tried in vain to take the lead, the Pterodactyls were able to score another on the counter after Sean Caldwell set up Scott Brady. 9:36 remained in the second, and the Pimps felt like they had the better of the play, but the scoreboard said they were down one. Making matters worse, the Pterodactyls increased their lead when Brady notched his second: Cacioppo was able to scoop the puck off the boards and hit a moving Brady, who had open space to tee up a slap shot. The Pimps’ championship hopes were on a knife edge, and the next goal would either almost certainly end those hopes, or give them some serious juice to take this one from the Fossils. Ensuring the Pimps would find that extra gear, Kazlauskas was able to score, courtesy of Racine. After pickpocketing a Pterodactyl in the neutral zone, Racine had the perfect touch on a spot pass to Kazlauskas, who picked it up, deked to his backhand, and scored. Massive for the Pimps, they were now down 3-2 with 3:48 left in the period. They were further helped when Marine was called for interference, and now had their first power play of the game. At first, the Pimps could not get anything set up, but they were able to fire from the point and get some rebounds, although they did not score. As the seconds ticked off the penalty, Marine had ideas of catching the Pimps sleeping, but Weissman was there to chase him down. Unfortunately for the Pimps, the Pterodactyls were able to retake the puck and try to come in 2-on-1. They were able to get the odd man rush, but Weissman’s superb gap control made it impossible for the Pterodactyls to get off a shot. In fact, Weissman’s play was able to get the Pimps going on the counter, and they were rewarded with Vivino scoring, as Racine recorded his second assist of the evening.
3-3 for the third, the Pimps had the momentum and kept it going: Racine scored on a pretty play with passes from Lukiw and Petzinger for their first lead of the series. 13:37 remained, but the Pterodactyls were not about to give up, and Kreuter was able to tie it. The minutes were dwindling and the tension was rising, but Racine’s one timer from Mustoe put the Pimps up 5-4. 8:48 was on the clock, and the Pterodactyls upped their aggression. But it was to their detriment when Kazlauskas got one as Racine earned yet another point, with Vivino picking up an assist. Vivino cycled it to Racine, who hit Kazlauskas as he came in from the neutral zone, netting through a tight lane. Up 6-4, the Pimps then found themselves about to take a penalty when Petzinger was going to be sent to the box for a hook, but they could not get possession, and Mager scored to bring the Pterodactyls to down one. Back to the thinnest of leads, the Pimps knew they had the players to secure this win, and were back up by two when Kobylarz flipped one out of the zone for a streaking Mustoe. This 7-5 lead had to endure a frenetic 4:47, until it became 7-6 with 1:40 to go: Labutin finally got one, and the Pterodactyls called timeout. It was set up for either a Puck Pimps win or overtime, and when Racine scored yet another, finishing his hat trick, the Puck Pimps knew they had this one. This 8-6 win saw Racine, with a hat trick and three assists, win the Man of the Match Award, but more importantly saw the Pimps even the series at one. They now geared up for game three, and their chance to become PTAHL champions.
Game three began with Racine getting a double minor for tripping and hooking, forcing Raite and Weissman to do their part by continuing to be exemplary. Spacing themselves to Lukiw’s liking, the Pimps began their kill by keeping the Pterodactyls around the perimeter. Eventually they conceded shots, but Raite was able to catch a few with the trusty mitt. Cunion cleanly won the first faceoff in his defensive zone, and Weissman cleared the puck. The Pimps then changed their lines, but the Pterodactyls ratcheted up their pressure, getting off a one timer by Labutin, which was met with Raite’s pad. The rebound squirted out to Gesumaria, and it was met with the skate of Gallagher before he got it out, but only as far as the neutral zone. As Racine’s first penalty came to an end, the Pimps were rewarded for their kill by forcing the Pterodactyls to take a penalty, a Marine hook. This evened it up and would eventually give the Pimps a short power play on which, and fittingly, Captain Lukiw scored. With the lead, the Pimps looked for more, but the Pterodactyls steadied themselves, and in the neutral zone spaced themselves accordingly, trying to keep the speedy Pimps of Racine and Bonna from going north/south when they wanted. This worked for now, and the Pimps could only get a few long range shots on Leidner, taking a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Before the Pimps could really try to extend their lead, the Pterodactyls tied it when Mager was assisted by Vallario. 1-1 barely into the second period, another Racine penalty came, this time a cross checking minor, and the Pimps would have to defend again, tied. But again, Raite showed his smarts along with his skills, freezing the puck when needed, while also moving well side to side whenever the Pterodactyls went D-to-D. The Pimps now had to try and stem the tide, and Kazlauskas was the man to do it, setting up his teammates for some quality chances. They did not score due to Leidner’s fancy footwork, but the Pimps could now settle in at 5-on-5. Doing so, they were able to get to the third period at 1-1.
The final period of the final game began, and another early goal came with the Pimps getting this one through Mustoe, who slalomed through the Pterodactyls’ defense. 13:25 was between the Pimps and their first PTAHL championship, but less than a minute after taking the lead, they would relinquish it when Kreuter scored off the crossbar. The game was back on that knife edge, but the Pimps would go on the power play after a Brady trip. With a chance to build their lead, the Pimps carefully set up a formation with Racine, Bonna, Kazlauskas, Mustoe, and Russell as their five. Carefully passing it to the open man, one timers were fired by every player, while Bonna had three shots on net. Leidner was not fazed, as he was the star of that kill. 9:15 was now left, and the rest of the game would see a mix of brave and nervous hockey. The puck seemed to bounce of sticks that much more, and shots seemed to miss the net by wide margins. This provided a bit of a contrast to the pace of the series up to this point, but none other than Racine was able to find that goal from within, slotting one home after he cut in on his forehand, going against the grain and putting the Pimps on the precipice of PTAHL glory. 1:44 remained, and the Pterodactyls called timeout. They proceeded to enter the Pimps’ zone, but Weissman was there to bail his team out, taking seconds off the clock. Strong neutral zone play and spacing from Lukiw and Kobylarz restricted the Pterodactyls, and forced them to dump it in when, with 24 seconds on the clock, Gesumaria would be called for a trip. Russell won the faceoff and the Pimps went into the Pterodactyls zone, where the clock wound down to zero, earning them their first PTAHL championship. This was a total team effort for the Pimps, with everyone earning a share of the Man of the Match Award, a first in PTAHL history. This is unsurprising though, as the Pimps have won games as a team before, most notably in their semifinal matchup against the Rink Rats.
What a season for the Puck Pimps: Turning it around after alternating regulation losses and regulation wins for half the season, and winning Division IV. Captain Dan Lukiw was rewarded for his work in constructing this team, but also for his work in the playoffs, scoring the first goal in game three. For the playoffs, Tarek Bonna led the way with 10 points, while Eric Racine, who scored the championship clinching goal, had six points. Greg Mustoe put up five points, and Dave Petzinger scored four points, with all the Pimps netting at least a point. The work of defenseman Keith Weissman helped balance out the Pimps’ strong attack and contributed to a perfect 9/9 on the penalty kill, while Nick Raite was huge, finishing with a .913 save percentage and a GAA of 2.60 to cap a fantastic season. Congratulations to the Puck Pimps, Division IV’s 2016-17 Fall/Winter Champions, who are now immortalized in the history of the PTAHL!
2016/SUMMER/DIVISION I: PERFECT FLAGOONS KINGS OF PTAHL
front: Nick Ratigan, Mike Haggerty, Mike Dorfschneider, Anthony Tritto
back: Dima Moisiyev, Rob Lindenbaum, Connor Grade, Jack Wollmuth, Eric Luetters, Geoff Liter, Carl Meixsell, James Davis
not pictured: Ruslan Rakhmatov, Kyle Fargeson, Jared Minski, Anthony Defede, Drew Cameron
The Flagoons were balanced nicely, finishing with 46 goals for (tied for second best in Division I), and had 22 goals against, (the fewest). Their goal difference of 24 was also the division’s best, but with the most penalty minutes, 77 and 35 more than any other team, that might have been the Flagoons’ downfall. Geoff Liter led the way with 15 points, spearheading a team that finished their regular season perfect, with a record of 8-0-0-0 for 24 points. Between the pipes was Mike Haggerty, who had the division’s lowest GAA at 2.83. No stopping the Flagoons, they were matched up in the quarterfinals with CJ’s at Midnight, the eight seed, who finished with an opposite record of 0-8-0-0 for 0 points. The Flagoons made quick work of the Midnighter’s, walking over them, and moved on to the semifinals where they faced the fifth seeded MuskRays.
This had the opportunity to be a contentious contest, but the Flagoons stormed out of the gate with an Eric Leutters goal. This was followed with goals by Mike Dorfschneider and Geoff Liter before increased the lead. A late Dmitry Moiseyev roughing minor put the Flagoons shorthanded, but Haggerty’s excellent play kept the lead at 3-0. Early in the second period, Haggerty was finally beaten by Steve Doherty, with assists from Jay Lawrence, and Glen Friedman. Not deterred, the Flagoons increase their lead when Dorfschneider got another, and when Jack Wollmuth found the net. James Davis ended the period by burying one from Nick Ratigan, and the Flagoons had a 6-1 advantage. The lead grew once more when Anthony Tritto scored on a Dorfschneider rebound, and it was 7-1. The minutes were ticking off the clock, but with 9:27 to go, Josh Creelman scored from Adam Napell. 27 seconds later, Creelman got another, and it was 7-3. The Flagoons now had a surging MuskRays to deal with, and for three minutes kept the score at 7-3 before Friedman scored from Greg Marsh and Steve Doherty. Inching closer, the Flagoons settled down when Tritto was again, set up by Dorfschneider. The game’s last goal was scored by Dorfschneider through Liter, and the Flagoons won 9-4.
The Flagoons met the second seeded Geebs in the Final and got out to another quick lead: Dorfschneider finished on a gorgeous play from Liter and Carl Meixsell. 50 seconds later, James Davis found the net after a Liter look, and it was 2-0 after the first period. Haggerty was having another great game, and did not allow one until nearly halfway through the game. Ian Anderson’s shot on a Teddy Sweeney pass sliced into the lead, and a few minutes later things were even after Teddy Sweeney’s goal from Ryan Irving. Unfamiliar territory for the Flagoons, being tied, but it would not last long: Dorfschneider snap shot after a Davis saucer pass regained the lead for his crew. Now 3-2, Liter added a goal to his assist tally, after Davis found him on the weak side. With a minute left, a Moiseyev hooking penalty was called, but 35 seconds later, Liter scored another, this time from Dorfschneider. The Flagoons were now up 5-2 and one period away from the championship and a perfect season. Haggerty made sure the penalty was killed, but kept his excellent play at even strength too. With 5:50 left, Anderson’s rough saw the Geebs go shorthanded, and while the Flagoons did not score, they took two minutes off the clock. The Flagoons sucked the life out of what remained, winning the championship 5-2, and finishing a perfect season.
In the playoffs, Mike Dorfschneider led the way with eight points (5G, 3A), while the Flagoons’ leading scorer in the regular season, Geoff Liter, finished with seven points (3G, 4A). James Davis had four points (2G, 2A), while Anthony Tritto recorded 2G; Jack Wollmuth scored a goal, and Eric Luetters had an assist. Haggerty was impeccable in net, finishing with a GAA of 3.00, but more importantly, shutting out opponents for long stretches, so the Flagoons could build a lead. Congratulations to the Flagoons on their championship and perfect season! They will go down as one of the best, if not the best team in PTAHL history.
2016/SUMMER/DIVISION II: BERETS SECURE TITLE WITH DOMINANT POSTSEASON
front: Zach Ulloa, Nuno Costa, Rich Hernandez, Milton Solis
back: Matt Skjeie, George Aller, Mark Kulbida, Andrew Lorenc, Joe Patrick, Rob Pinzon, Jon Boot
not pictured: Greg Brown, Dan Naraine
The Green Brook Berets have been long time members of the PTAHL and were coming into this season after being stunned in the Final of last season’s championship game. After scoring with 3:44 to play and taking a 5-3 lead, the Berets let it slip away when the Fine Pines scored three goals in a span of 1:38 to lose the title.
Not wanting a repeat of that performance, the Berets made sure they tightened things up: Again, they finished in first place, amassing a record of 5-3-0-0 for 15 points. They scored the most goals, 46, surrendered the second fewest, 25, and had the best goal differential at 19, which was 11 better than anyone else. Bolstering the offense was George Aller and their young hotshot, Zach Ulloa. Both led Division II in scoring, each with 15 points, while Aller led the division in assists, with 9. The next three Green Brook top scorers were Joe Patrick with 12 points, Matt Skjeie with 10, and Milton Solis with 8, providing depth that Green Brook would desperately need if they were to take home a championship. In net was Nuno Costa, who had a GAA of 3.87, just 0.01 behind the league leader, and had Division II’s only shutout. For the second straight season, top to bottom the Berets were the most complete team, but they had to make sure they won the championship this time around, because it is rare for a team to be the at the top of the crazy PTAHL for multiple seasons.
Matched up against the Turtles, the Berets won the season series 3-0, with the most recent meeting a 13-0 win against their semifinal foe. The first period of this one was scoreless with Costa keeping his team on level ground before they got it going when Adrian Pinzon assisted on the first goal. Another Berets goal came, and Skjeie added another when Aller found him. The Berets opened up a three goal lead, but it was cut into after Turtles star Josh Creelman scored. Creelman then followed this with a roughing minor, and on the man advantage, Skjeie scored from Aller to make them pay. With a 4-1 lead, the offense working as good as ever, and Costa strong in net, the Berets had all the momentum, but gave the Turtles a lifeline when Rich Hernandez’s unsportsmanlike conduct minor carried over into the third period. On the kill, Costa kept the Turtles out, and his team was then rewarded with a power play after another Creelman minor, this one for interference. Hernandez redeemed himself by scoring on the power play, and the Berets went up 5-1. Skjeie completed his hat trick, the Berets had a 6-1 lead, and while the last action on the scoresheet was an Aller high stick, it was only with 31 seconds to play, and the Berets went into the Final.
The two seeded SHI Spitfires were the Berets’ opponent, and the teams split the season series 1-1. Aller put the Berets in front with a fantastic goal, the only one of the first period. Costa was continuing his great play, and after the Spitfires’ Nick Pawlyk was called for a trip, Ulloa rewarded Costa and his team with a power play goal, increasing the lead to 2-0. A few minutes later, Ulloa was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct minor and a 10 minute misconduct; although the Berets killed off this penalty, they gave up a goal after returning to even strength, with 18 seconds left in the second period. Young Kwon was the man, and it was now only 2-1 Berets. One period remained in this deciding game, and the Berets would have to play without Ulloa, their young dynamo, for another 9:02. Helping matters for the Berets was another Spitfires penalty, Nick Pawlyk’s second trip of the game. George Aller’s power play goal made it 3-1 with 12:10 remaining, as the Berets took another step towards the championship. Ulloa eventually returned to play, giving a huge boost to the team, and with 5:06 on the clock, Aller completed his hat trick. Costa continued to play great in net, keeping the Spitfires from getting closer, further winding the clock down. With 2:07 left, Skjeie scored from Joe Patrick, and this 5-1 score would hold, with the Berets winning that championship they felt they should have last season.
In the playoffs, George Aller led the way with five points (3G, 2A), while Matt Skjeie had four goals. Zach Ulloa and Rich Hernandez each had a goal, while Adrian Pinzon and Joe Patrick each had an assist. Nuno Costa was near flawless with a GAA of 1.00, and with a power play of 3/4 and a perfect 4/4 penalty kill, the Berets proved themselves as a complete team and the 2017 Spring champions of Division II! Congratulations to the Berets; the championship parade will be televised on Sky Sports.
2016/SUMMER/DIVISION III: Buck Hockey Ends Undefeated Season with Championship
front: Travis Jacobus, Brian Kozlowski, Dave Scioscia, Rob Carroll
back: Joey Savino, Brian Corcoran, Mike DeRosa, Greg Mustoe, Dave Hogan, Steve Cusano, Sean Ruffing, Dan Kisthart, Dave Sheeler, Jason Rothbart
Despite this being their first PTAHL season, Buck Hockey came into town looking to be a contender immediately. Their debut was a close one, a 3-1 win over the struggling Pterodactyls. However, Buck Hockey quickly found their scoring touch, registering seven in their next game against the Rink Rats. Up next was the defending champion Biohazards, but Buck Hockey put up a touchdown against them as well. Scoring continued to come easy as they tallied nine in each of their next two games, both against expansion CPR to improve to 5-0 with a first place finish in their sights. Their next game was a big one against the Sewer Rats, who were also battling for first, but Buck Hockey took them down by the final of 8-3. In their second-to-last regular season game, Buck Hockey would take on the Rink Rats, and Rob Carroll scored a hat trick to give his team a 5-2 win, clinching first place. Despite having already secured the top spot in the standings, Buck Hockey’s final regular season game was still a big one, as the defending champion Biohazards hoped to prevent the newcomers from finishing off an undefeated season. However, Buck Hockey prevailed once again, this time by the score of 6-3 to finish a perfect 8-0 with a league-high 54 goals scored and a league-low 26 goals against. Some key contributors to their success were Rob Carroll and captain Dave Scioscia, who finished tied for third in the league’s goal column, Jason Rothbart, whose 14 points were fourth in the league, and goaltender Travis Jacobus with a GAA of 3.75, good enough for second league-wide.
By virtue of their first place finish, Buck Hockey would enjoy a quarterfinal bye. In the semifinals, they would meet the fourth place Pterodactyls. Buck Hockey had not seen the Pterodactyls since their first game, but it was the closest game Buck Hockey had played all season. This semifinal would be no different. Neither team managed to get on the board in the first period, but the Pterodactyls jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the second. With the game halfway over, Buck Hockey remained behind, but not for long as Scioscia scored to tie the game with just under six minutes to go in the second period. The Pterodactyls took the lead back though before the period ended.
Buck Hockey was dominant throughout the regular season, but they were now one period away from being on the wrong end of a season-ending upset. They remained focused though, and Scioscia embraced his role as captain as he notched another tying goal two and a half minutes into the third. Only a minute later, Brian Corcoran scored to give Buck Hockey their first lead of the game. The lead was short-lived though, as the Pterodactyls tied the score just a minute afterwards. Times got even more tense on the Buck Hockey bench with just under ten minutes to go in regulation as penalties committed by Corcoran and Greg Mustoe resulted in a two-man advantage. However, Jacobus held down the fort and the penalty killers did a great job ensuring that the score remained tied. Buck Hockey would squander a powerplay of their own later on, resulting in the score remaining 3-3 with less than five minutes to go. The Pterodactyls took another penalty with one minute remaining. Buck Hockey was unable to score before regulation ended, but they would begin overtime still on a powerplay. The second half of the penalty ended with Buck Hockey unable to capitalize, but the game would not last much longer, as Carroll scored the game-winner fifty seconds later, ending the Pterodactyls’ hopes of a Cinderella story and sending Buck Hockey to the PTAHL championship game.
In the final, Buck Hockey would take on the third place Biohazards. Despite finishing just above .500, the Biohazards knocked off the second place Sewer Rats in the other semifinal game. Additionally, they finished in third place in the spring before taking down the first place Rats in the championship, and they had the league’s top scorer in Sean “Mr.” Feeney, who registered 20 points in just this eight-game season, so Buck Hockey would have to make sure to not take the Biohazards lightly if they were to prevent a Biohazards repeat.
Buck Hockey struck first this time as Corcoran made it 1-0 halfway through the first, but the Biohazards pulled even before the period ended. Scioscia once again scored when his team needed him to, notching his third goal of the playoffs 35 seconds into the second period. Buck Hockey then killed off a Jason Rothbart cross-checking penalty, and then Dave “Hulk” Hogan made it 3-1 about halfway through the game. With four minutes to go in the second, Steve Cusano made it 4-1, but the Biohazards quickly got that goal back, so the score would be 4-2 heading into the third.
Buck Hockey had a chance to regain that four-goal advantage when they would go on a powerplay four minutes into the third period, but the powerplay was cut short when Sean Ruffing was sent off for tripping. By the time both teams returned to full strength, there was under eight minutes to go and Buck Hockey was still up by two. The Biohazards’ chances of a comeback took a huge hit when they committed a tripping penalty with 4:21 remaining. Buck Hockey did not score on the powerplay, but they wiped the two minutes off the clock, leaving just over two minutes to go with still a two-goal lead. The Biohazards pulled their goalie for an extra skater in the final minute, but Jacobus and Buck Hockey refused to let anything slip through the cracks as they kept the league’s top scorer completely off the scoresheet in this championship game, and held on to complete an undefeated championship season.
Captain Dave Scioscia had a tremendous postseason performance with not only outstanding leadership, but three key goals. Jacobus was outstanding as well, posting a GAA of just 2.45, and the penalty kill unit was flawless, killing off all five shorthanded situations they were faced with. Buck Hockey’s Summer 2016 season will go down as one of the most dominant seasons in PTAHL history.
2016/SPRING/DIVISION I: Freddy's HC Obliterates Laffy Taffy to End Four-Year Drought
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
Freddy’s HC came into the summer season after finishing in first place in the spring, but then being upset by the fourth place Phantoms in the semifinals. Freddy’s opened the season with a back-and-forth 10-9 shootout win over Laffy Taffy, and then another close high-scoring victory over the Ice Men. They would win their next two games as well over the MuskRays and CJ’s at Midnight. They would take on Laffy Taffy again in their fifth game, where they suffered their first loss of the season, creating a close race for first place between Freddy’s and Taffy. Freddy’s would then win their next three games, against CJ’s, the MuskRays, and Ice Men before taking on Taffy one last time in the regular season. This time, Freddy’s prevailed by the final of 8-2 to clinch first place. They would lose their final game of the regular season to the Ice Men, but earned a quarterfinal bye from finishing in first with a record of 7-2-1-0.
In the semis, Freddy’s would be matched up against the fourth place MuskRays. Freddy’s won both of their regular season meetings, but one was a MuskRays forfeit for the use of an ineligible player, and the other was a 5-4 nailbiter. The MuskRays jumped out to an early lead a minute and a half into the game, but Elie Klein tied the game four minutes later. The MuskRays continued to battle though, and regained the lead before the first period ended. Freddy’s turned things around in the second period though, with goals from Dan Lewycky and Ryan Coraggio to make it 3-2 Freddy’s heading into the third.
Five minutes into the third period, Ken Nosky was sent off for roughing. The MuskRays capitalized on the powerplay, tying the game at three. Two minutes later, Freddy’s would get a powerplay of their own, but they were unable to capitalize. The score remained even at three with time running out and a spot in the championship on the line. With three and a half minutes remaining, Coraggio put his team’s season in jeopardy by taking a high-sticking penalty, but his teammates bailed him out. Neither team scored in the remaining minute and a half, so this thrilling semifinal would go to overtime.
It would not take much longer for a winner to be decided in this one. Just 42 seconds into overtime, Alex Gorden scored to bring this game to an end and send Freddy’s HC to the championship. As many expected, they would take on Laffy Taffy in the final. Taffy finished just four points behind Freddy’s for first place, but scored the most goals and gave up the fewest. Of their three regular season meetings, Freddy’s had one decisive win, one decisive loss, and a shootout victory, so this was expected to be a close game.
Laffy Taffy took an early lead as league-leading scorer Steve Osvold put his team ahead four minutes in. Freddy’s killed two penalties as the first period progressed, and Lewycky scored to tie the game before the period ended. The second period was much different, as Freddy’s blew this game wide open. Four and a half minutes in, Vinny Bird scored to give Freddy’s a 2-1 lead, and they never looked back. Lewycky scored again two minutes later, and Bird notched his second of the night two minutes after that. With three and a half minutes remaining, Nosky made it 5-1, and Bird finished off a hat trick with a shorthanded goal before the period ended while Paul Kulbida kept Taffy at just one goal.
Freddy’s HC made sure to keep playing the way they had been as they were one period away from a championship with a comfortable 6-1 lead. Ken Nosky increased the lead just over a minute into the third, and then put Freddy’s up by a touchdown. With 8:21 to go, Gorden made it 9-1 as the rest of this game was a formality. Marcin Nieroda got on the scoresheet with a late goal, and Gorden notched his second of the game before time expired while Kulbida put forth another shutout period, putting the final score at a colossal, unexpected 11-1 as Freddy’s HC not only took home the championship, but broke the record for the most lopsided margin of victory in a PTAHL championship game. With notable playoff performances were Dan Lewycky, Alex Gorden, Ken Nosky, and Vinny Bird, all with three goals each, Paul Kulbida with a GAA of 1.98, and the penalty kill unit, who went 7 for 8. Freddy’s HC is excited to finally have a more recent championship to be proud of so that they no longer need to live in the past.
2016/SPRING/DIVISION II: Stingrays Repeat Thanks to Eddie Boscaino's Miraculous Natural Hat Trick
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
After a fifth place finish ended with an unexpected championship run, the Stingrays were out to prove that their Fall/Winter title was no fluke. The roster remained nearly identical, except with the notable addition of former Whack-a-Mole star player Bryan Whittaker. Despite the addition, the Stingrays started the season poorly, with a pair of losses to the Phantoms and Vikings. However, they would win their next five games, giving up more than four goals only once in that span. Next on the schedule would be the inaugural Unity Bank Cup, where their Fall/Winter championship gave them the right to represent the PTAHL in a battle for regional supremacy against the FIAHL’s champions, the Flying Dutchmen. The Stingrays would take the ice against some familiar faces, and came out on top by the final of 7-3. The PTAHL lost the other two games in the series, but the Stingrays did their part as they continued winning games.
They then returned home to Protec Ponds for their final three games of the regular season, where they played their best hockey of the season, blanking the Phantoms 5-0, and then bludgeoning the Vikings into submission after taking a 10-0 lead after just one period as the Stingrays clinched first place. Even with first place wrapped up, the Stingrays finished out the season strongly, with a 6-1 win over the expansion Mustangs. When the dust settled, the Stingrays ended with the most goals scored, 66, and the fewest goals allowed, 27, as John Fallone posted a league-best GAA of 2.17.
With the first place finish, the Stingrays would be matched up against the fourth place Vikings in the semifinals. The Vikings struggled all season long, with their only bright spot of the season being a shootout win over the Stingrays early in the season. The Vikings looked to put up a better fight this time around, after being humiliated in a 10-0 first period last time these teams met. Greg Schehr opened the scoring six and a half minutes into the game, and Andrew “Wojo” Wojciechowski expanded the lead to two goals just 22 seconds later. Before the period ended, Brian Conover made it 3-0. Wojo added another goal in the second period, followed quickly by a tally from Eddie Boscaino. Kyle Daloisio and Pat “Crack Your Back” Mack would get in on the scoring as well, while John Fallone kept the Vikings off the board to give the Stingrays a massive 7-0 lead after just two periods. With all the goals they needed, the Stingrays focused on preserving Fallone’s shutout through the third, and they succeeded as they cruised to a 7-0 victory, having now outscored the Vikings 17-0 in just their last four periods against each other.
In the championship, the Stingrays would take on the third place Phantoms, who ousted the second place Mustangs, although the two teams were very evenly-matched. The Phantoms would test Fallone and the Stingrays’ defense, as they scored the most goals in the league other than the Stingrays. In their four regular season meetings, the Phantoms won the first contest, but the Stingrays prevailed in the latter three, with each game gradually finishing with a more favorable score for the Stingrays—culminating with a 5-0 shutout. The Phantoms came ready to play this time though, as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead six minutes into the game. A tripping penalty gave the Stingrays some life though, as Greg Schehr scored on the powerplay, and then added another goal before the period ended, sending this game into the second tied at two.
Two minutes into the second period, Bryan Whittaker scored to give the Stingrays their first lead of the game. It did not last long though, because the Phantoms tied the game just eight seconds later, and then took a 4-3 lead with 9:53 to go in the second. The Phantoms gave the Stingrays another powerplay later in the period, but the Stingrays were unable to capitalize this time as they entered the third period still trailing by one.
The Stingrays would once again score two minutes after the start of a period, as Tony Desiderio evened the score at four. Yet again, the Phantoms bounced back though, taking the lead back just over a minute later. One minute after that, the Stingrays would get their third powerplay of the game, but they were unable to make anything of it as they remained down 5-4 with eight minutes left in the third. Time was rapidly slipping away, and with just over a minute to go, the Stingrays pulled Fallone for an extra skater, but this only allowed former teammate Joe Nobilio to score on the empty net to give the Phantoms a 6-4 lead with one minute to go. The game appeared to be over, but the Stingrays had other plans. Just twenty seconds after the ensuing faceoff, Eddie Boscaino scored to cut the lead back down to one goal. The Stingrays continued to battle hard with a championship on the line, and just as it seemed as though the Phantoms were about to take the title away from the Stingrays, Eddie Boscaino scored again with only four seconds separating them from their demise, erasing a late two-goal deficit to send this dramatic game to overtime, just as the Stingrays had done in Game 1 of the Fall/Winter championship.
As expected, overtime was tense. The Phantoms, feeling as though the trophy was just snatched from their hands, were eager to grab it back, but the Stingrays entered the overtime period with a ton of momentum and confidence after once again pulling off an incredible late comeback to keep themselves alive. Both teams had their chances in overtime, but goaltenders Fallone and Tony Bucci were on top of their game. As the minutes ticked away, it seemed like this could be the PTAHL’s first double-overtime game, but just over a minute before that would happen, Eddie Boscaino scored yet again to finish the storybook ending as he completed a natural hat trick to clinch the Stingrays’ second consecutive championship.
Eddie Boscaino was clearly the hero in this playoff run, with four goals, including a championship-winning natural hat trick that consisted of two goals in the final minute of regulation to tie the game, and then the overtime winner. However, brother Mike Boscaino deserves credit as well for his four assists, as does Greg Schehr for his three goals and pair of assists. Fallone also had a great postseason, posting a GAA of just 2.76 with a shutout. As a whole, the Stingrays played very disciplined in the playoffs, never having gone shorthanded in either game. With this win, the Stingrays showed that last season’s championship was no fluke, and that they expect to be contenders for years to come.
2016/SPRING/DIVISION III: Fine Pines Steal Championship from Berets with Incredible Late Comeback
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
The Fine Pines would come into the PTAHL as a newly-formed expansion team. The roster included a few PTAHL veterans though, in Greg Shiff, formerly of Team X, Matt Kjelle, formerly of Those Guys, Carl Earnest, formerly of the Green Brook Berets, and Kevin Geiger, formerly of the Ice Men. The Pines opened their PTAHL existence with a win over the Archers, and then a loss to SHIce, but then bounced back with four consecutive wins. They would need a win in their next game against the Green Brook Berets to have a chance at first place, but the Berets prevailed. However, the Pines focused on finishing in second place as they would win their next three games, including a regular season finale rematch with the Berets. The Fine Pines would come out on top this time around, as they handed the Berets their only loss of the season. With six regulation wins, two shootout wins, and only two regulation losses, the Fine Pines finished in second place, just four points behind the dominant Berets. Much of the Pines’ success is attributed to goaltender Colin Riedel, who finished second in GAA at 3.89, as well as the high-powered offense, which scored the most goals in the league by 15, thanks largely to captain Chris “Crusty” Keresztes, who finished tied with Zach Ulloa for first in the league in goals with 19, and Adam Sklar, whose 18 points was behind only those two.
With their second place finish, the Pines would take on third place SHI Spitfires in the semifinals. The Spitfires finished below .500 with a record of 3-4-0-3. The Pines won both regular season meetings, one in regulation and one in a shootout. Crusty opened the scoring early, putting the Pines ahead three minutes into the game. The Spitfires got that goal back before the period ended, though. Crusty scored again on a powerplay early in the second to regain the lead, and this time Rich Petersen added to it, although the Spitfires brought themselves back within a goal before the third.
Just twenty-two seconds into the third period, Brian Sklar scored to regain a multi-goal lead for the Fine Pines. A minute later, Petersen gave the Spitfires a chance to get back in this game, but instead Ryan Janni scored shorthanded to put the score at 5-2, and only a minute later, Keresztes finished off a hat trick as the Pines scored three goals in a span of 4:26 to open up a 6-2 lead. With all the goals they needed, the Pines focused on shutting the Spitfires down for the remainder of the game, and that is exactly what they did as they cruised to a championship berth.
Fittingly, the Pines would be matched up against the Berets in the championship game, who undoubtedly would be looking for revenge. The Berets surrendered only 26 goals all season, as Nuno Costa led the league in GAA at 2.50. Shutting down Zach Ulloa would be essential for the Pines to come out on top. However, Ulloa scored just twelve seconds into the game to give Green Brook an early lead. Keresztes answered three minutes, later but the Berets retook the lead later in the period. Ulloa would be sent off for roughing with under four minutes to go in the period though, and Crusty scored his second of the game on the powerplay to tie the game just in time for the second period.
Once again Ulloa would score in the opening minute to put Green Brook on top. Shiff took an interference penalty later on, giving the Berets a chance to open up a two-goal lead, but Riedel and the Pines’ penalty killers kept their team within one. Goaltending dominated this period as Ulloa’s goal would be the only one, sending the Pines into the third still trailing 3-2.
Yet again the Berets would score early, taking a 4-2 lead two minutes into the third period. However, Ulloa, the league’s leading scorer would dig his team into a hole when he took his fourth penalty of the game with ten minutes remaining. Not only would his team be shorthanded, but Ulloa would have to sit out the remainder of the game. While killing the penalty, the Berets took another penalty, setting up a two-man advantage. Geiger took advantage, bringing the Pines back within one. However, he would take an extremely untimely penalty as he was called for hooking with 5:44 remaining and his team still trailing 4-3. The Pines’ penalty killers remained perfect, having now killed off all five penalties they were faced with, but the Pines surrendered a goal sixteen seconds later as the Berets took a 5-3 lead with just 3:44 remaining.
This game was not over yet though, because the Berets took another penalty thirteen seconds later. Adam Sklar, who finished third in the league in points but had not yet registered a point in the postseason, scored on the powerplay, as the Fine Pines’ powerplay unit went an incredible four for nine in the playoffs, suddenly making this a hotly-contested game again, with the Berets up 5-4 with 2:10 remaining. The Fine Pines were as determined as ever, and eager to capitalize on Ulloa’s absence from the critical finale of this game. With 1:25 remaining, Adam Sklar scored once again, tying the game at five. These teams seemed destined for overtime, but the Fine Pines had a ton of momentum after quickly erasing a late two-goal deficit. The Pines continued to pressure the Berets, and with just 32 seconds left before this game would go to overtime, captain Chris “Crusty” Keresztes scored to complete another hat trick as he capped off an unbelievable late comeback to give the Pines their first lead of the game. The Berets called a timeout and pulled Costa for an extra skater, but with their key scorer in the locker room, the Pines shut them down and killed off the remaining time as they grabbed this championship from the Berets’ hands with three late goals in a span of 1:38 to once again defeat the powerful Berets and achieve PTAHL glory in just their first season.
Perhaps the most unbelievable comeback in PTAHL history, those last three minutes overshadow what was a colossal performance by captain Keresztes, who scored hat tricks in both games, factoring in on 75% of his team’s playoff goals, scoring half of them. Also with incredible showings were the special teams units. The comeback would not have been possible if not for the powerplay unit’s 44.4% success rate, or the penalty kill’s 100% five for five record. The Fine Pines are wasting no time in further challenging themselves as they move up the PTAHL’s ranks, straight to Division I for the summer season. They will face tough competition there, but if they can bring the same level of confidence and determination in the face of adversity in critical moments, the Fine Pines may do well.
2016/SPRING/DIVISION IV: Raite's 1.67 GAA Leads Biohazards to Championship
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
The Biohazards found a more fitting home this spring in Division IV after struggling against higher competition in the fall/winter. They would open the season with a pair of games against expansion teams. The Rats scraped by the Biohazards in the first game, but the Biohazards bounced back with a big 8-1 win over Ooff! in game two. Next, the Biohazards would fall to the Vudoo, but rebound with a five-game winning streak during which they kept their opponents to no more than three goals in each game. Their only falter from here on out would be a shootout loss to the Puck Pimps that ended their winning streak. However, their next game would be their final game of the regular season, and it was a rematch with the Rats, whom were served their first PTAHL loss in convincing fashion as the Biohazards prevailed 6-1.
With a record of 7-2-0-1, the Biohazards finished in third place, but were just two points behind the first place Rats. With a GAA of just 2.80, Nick Raite was by far the best goalie this season, as the Biohazards’ 28 goals allowed were the fewest in the league. Driving the offense were Sean “Mr.” Feeney with 12 goals and 10 assists, and Greg Ternlund with 12 goals and 4 assists. As a result of their third place finish, the Biohazards were matched up against the sixth place Pterodactyls in the quarterfinals.
The Pterodactyls finished with a record of 2-8, and were crushed in both meetings with the Biohazards by scores of 9-2 and 10-2. This quarterfinal game would be no different. The Biohazards jumped out to an early lead with goals by Greg Ternlund and Chris Ypsilantis. Joe Tona scored twice before the period ended, sending the Biohazards to the second period with a 4-0 lead. They would yield an early goal in the second, but Lattanzio and Ypsilantis notched the next two goals to make it 6-1. The Pterodactyls notched another one, but Tona completed a hat trick to give the Biohazards a comfortable 7-2 lead through two periods. One minute into the third period, Ypsilantis finished off a hat trick of his own. Raite and the Biohazards’ defense kept the Pterodactyls off the board in this period, as Ted Ypsilantis scored a late goal, and Ternlund scored his second of the evening in the final minute to send the Biohazards to the semifinals with a huge 10-2 win.
In the semis, the Biohazards would take on the second place Vudoo, who finished one point ahead of the Biohazards. The teams split the season series with one win aside. This was expected to be a low-scoring affair with Raite in one net and Pete Peterson, second in GAA at 3.43 with a shutout, in the other. Raite and Peterson dominated the first period as neither team managed to get on the board, but the Biohazards struck first in the second period as Mr. Feeney scored a minute and a half into the period. That was all the Biohazards would get in this period, but Raite maintained his shutout to keep his team ahead 1-0 after two periods.
Two and a half minutes into the third, John Lattanzio scored to double the lead, but the Vudoo would get on the board a minute and a half later to make it 2-1. The Biohazards remained focused though, and with half of the period remaining, Larry “The Canadian Guy” St. Denis scored to regain the two-goal advantage. He then scored again only 21 seconds afterwards to quickly put the score at 4-1. Raite held strong as he and the Biohazards killed off a late Martin Rabe hooking penalty to win this game 4-1 and advance to the championship.
The championship game would fittingly be the Biohazards’ toughest test, as they were set to take on the first place Rats. As fate would have it, the Biohazards faced the Rats in the first and last game of the regular season, starting with a loss and ending by giving the Rats their only regulation loss of the season. The Rats were looking to flex their offensive muscles—their 79 goals were the most in the league by 19—to get their revenge at this critical stage. To defeat the Rats again, the Biohazards would need their defense to be strong once again, as they would need to contain Hugo Beja, who led the league in goals and finished second in assists, only behind teammate Gary Nigro. Beja opened the scoring to put the Biohazards behind with five minutes to go in the first period, but Lattanzio countered thirty seconds later with his third goal of the playoffs. Before the period ended though, Beja struck again to give the Rats a 2-1 lead.
The Biohazards did a great job making sure this lead would quickly evaporate as well, as Terlund scored thirty seconds into the second period to tie the score. Both teams exchanged powerplays throughout the second period, but the penalty killers were flawless, sending this nailbiter of a championship game into the third period tied at two.
As the third period began, it became very apparent that both teams were focusing on shutting down their opponents’ top offensive weapons. Beja was held off the scoresheet since the first period, but the Rats were clamping down on the Biohazards’ top players as well. As a result, the hero in this game would most likely be someone who was not known for putting up big numbers, and sure enough Biohazards’ captain Adam Birnbaum would register his first point of the playoffs at the most critical time, scoring to put his team ahead with just 8:21 remaining. Tom Temple took an untimely cross-checking penalty two minutes later though, but yet again Raite and the Biohazards’ penalty killers got the job done, as they went a perfect five for five in the postseason. Just 27 seconds later, Rabe scored a huge insurance goal, giving the Biohazards a 4-2 lead. For the remaining four minutes, Raite was a brick wall as he turned away all remaining shots as the third place Biohazards once again defeated the powerful first place Rats in regulation to earn the title of PTAHL champions.
With most notable playoff performances were of course Nick Raite with an incredible GAA of 1.67, the flawless PK unit, Chris Ypsilantis and Larry “The Canadian Guy” each with five points, and Lattanzio and Ternlund both with four points. However, perhaps none of that would have mattered if not for captain Birnbaum’s late game-winner. The Biohazards have a very strong defense and a productive core of scoring talent. If they can keep this group together, expect the Biohazards to contend for championships for years to come.
2015-16/FALL-WINTER/NORTH: Potts and Pans Line Reunites to Capture Championship
front: Phil Burrows
middle: Mike Furnari, Chris Cahill, Tim Gallagher, Dan Pressl, Mike DuHaime, Chris Potts
back: Josh Mandel, Billy DeGaetano, J.R. Wappel, David St. Louis, Dan Poreda, Wes Dorey
not pictured: Jeff Michaels
After winning the Spring 2015 PTAHL championship, the Vudoos took the summer off and returned in the fall/winter looking to reclaim their title. They would undergo some roster turnover though as Dan Nacinovich, Jake Nechrebecki, and Rem “R.E.M. Speedwagon” Vanderbeek were replaced by rookies Tim Gallagher, Josh Mandel, and Chris Cahill, in addition to Mike Furnari returning to the team. It took a couple weeks for the Vudoos to shake the rust off as they opened the season with a massive 15-2 thrashing at the hands of Freddy’s HC, who came into the season hungry after finishing the summer season in first place before being upset in the championship by the Vudoos’ next opponent, the Phantoms. The Vudoos fared much better against the defending champs, but still came out with an 8-6 loss.
However, once October hit, the Vudoos were a completely different team. They would take on Freddy’s HC again in their next game, and reversed the script of their previous meeting as they notched their first win of the season by the final of 10-3. The Vudoos’ next game would be one that their opponents had circled on their calendars as they were set to take on the Pterodactyls, whose dynasty was ended when the Vudoos bested them in a thrilling three-game spring championship series. However, the Vudoos put up another ten goals to improve to .500. Up next, the Vudoos had a home-and-home with the Phantoms, and they got their revenge as Phil Burrows shut them out in both games. After this, the Vudoos split a home-and-home with the Ice Men as their winning streak was halted at five. They split their next two games as well to reach the season’s midpoint with a 6-4 record. The Vudoos started the second half of their season alternating between wins and losses with mostly close games as they would then see the departure of one of their top scorers, Chris Potts. With the Potts and Pans line broken up, the Vudoos would rely more heavily on rookie Chris Cahill, who was quickly establishing himself as an important piece of the Vudoos’ roster while Wes “Side” Dorey continued to be the league’s most prolific scorer.
With six games remaining, the Vudoos were hanging around the middle of the standings with a record of 9-7. Analysts expected them to start dropping off with Potts no longer in the picture, but the Vudoos proved them wrong as they absolutely dominated the last four games of the regular season, outscoring the opposition 37-6 in that span to finish the regular season with a 13-7 record, beating out the Ice Men for second place, and the corresponding quarterfinal bye, by one point. With Dorey leading the league in goals with 33, assists with 25, and points with 58, the Vudoos finished with the second most goals scored as well as the second fewest goals against. Dan Poreda also had a great season with 19 goals and 13 assists while Cahill posted 14 goals and 12 assists.
While the Vudoos enjoyed their quarterfinal bye, the Ice Men disposed of the last place Pterodactyls to advance to the semifinals, where they would be met by the Vudoos. The Ice Men and Vudoos finished with nearly identical records as the Ice Men had the same number of wins, but one was in a shootout rather than regulation. The Vudoos won three of their four regular season meetings, the last two by decisive scores 12-2 and 7-1. The Ice Men jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but Dorey and Poreda scored to make it 2-2 by the end of the first. The Ice Men regained the lead fifteen seconds into the second period, but the Vudoo quickly negated that as they took complete control of the second period with six unanswered goals, including two more from Poreda and another from Dorey as goaltender Phil Burrows even put up a pair of assists. In the third period, Burrows surrendered only one goal while Tim Gallagher added to the Vudoos’ total, and Poreda notched a fourth goal, as Burrows assisted for the third time, to seal a big 10-4 win in what was expected to be a close game, advancing to the championship for their second straight season.
In the other semifinal matchup, the defending champion Phantoms knocked off first place Freddy’s HC. Although the Phantoms finished in fourth with a record 9-10-0-1, they entered the championship with a lot of momentum after having upset a powerful 17-3 Freddy’s HC team, and they were now just two wins away from a repeat. However, Poreda still had the hot hand as he opened the scoring three minutes into Game 1 to put the Vudoos ahead. The Phantoms would draw even before the first period ended, though. Poreda scored a minute and a half into the second period to regain the lead, and Dorey expanded the lead to two goals two minutes later. Later in the period, Josh Mandel scored his first PTAHL playoff point as he put the Vudoos up 4-1, although the Phantoms would get one of those goals back before the period ended.
The beginning of the third period was very tense for the Vudoos, as Mandel took a holding penalty that gave the Phantoms a chance to get back within one, but Burrows and the Vudoos’ defense held them off. However, David St. Louis took an interference penalty with just over four minutes remaining, and this time the Phantoms capitalized to bring the score to 4-3. The Vudoos remained calm, and Dorey made sure that no comeback would happen in this game as he scored two goals just nineteen seconds apart with about a minute remaining to complete a hat trick, but more importantly to seal Game 1 for the Vudoos, putting them on the brink of another championship.
The Vudoos struck first in Game 2, as Dorey netted his sixth goal of the playoffs about halfway through the first period. However, they would soon find themselves trailing as the Phantoms notched a pair of goals in the final minute of the period. In the opening minute of the second, Mike Furnari scored to bring the Vudoos level, but the Phantoms got that goal back just seconds later to retake the lead. Goaltending took center stage for the rest of the game, as neither team was able to get a shot behind Burrows or Kyle Daloisio after the first minute of the second period. The score remained 3-2 Phantoms at the end of the second, and it stayed as such until the final few seconds of the game when the Phantoms registered an empty-net goal to win the game by the final of 4-2 and send this championship series to a decisive Game 3.
With this loss, the Vudoos now had a ton of pressure on them as they did not want this championship to slip out of their hands. However, they received an uplifting surprise before Game 3, as Chris Potts, who had moved away about halfway through the season, happened to be back in the area and would reunite with his teammates for one final game. Once again, the Vudoos scored the first goal, this time from Cahill, to take a 1-0 lead into the second. Two and a half minutes into the second, defenseman Dan Pressl registered his first point of the postseason to increase the lead to 2-0. The Vudoos killed off a penalty and preserved the two-goal advantage until late in the second, setting up a crucial third period that would begin with the Vudoos up 2-1.
Both teams played very strong defensively in the third, as the Phantoms could not afford to let the Vudoos expand their lead and the Vudoos battled hard to keep the Phantoms from tying the score. With two minutes remaining and the Vudoos still holding onto their 2-1 lead, the Phantoms called a timeout. Fifteen seconds later, they pulled star goalie Kyle Daloisio for an extra skater, but this only allowed Potts to score on the empty net, giving the Vudoos a 3-1 lead. Potts was not finished writing this fairytale ending just yet though. With Daloisio back in the net, the reunited Potts and Pans line generated another goal as Dorey fed Potts for his final goal before PTAHL retirement, clinching the championship with a well-earned 4-1 victory.
The Vudoos won this championship with cohesive team play, but the top individual performers were Wes “Side” Dorey and Dan Poreda with six goals each, captain Billy DeGaetano with four assists, and Phil Burrows with an outstanding postseason GAA of 2.77. However, who knows if this championship would have happened if not for the heroic return of Chris Potts, and his flair for the dramatic as he scored the two late goals that sealed the deal. His homecoming will go down as one of the most memorable in sports history, up there with Mario Lemieux scoring in his first game back after retirement, or the time Bobby Boucher showed up at halftime and the Mud Dogs won the Bourbon Bowl.
2015-16/FALL-WINTER/CENTRAL: Eddie Boscaino's Hat Tricks Lead Stingrays to Inaugural Unity Bank Cup
front: Kyle Daloisio, John Fallone, Henry Hinterstein, Eddie Boscaino, Frank Inzano
back: Andrew Wojciechowski, Greg Schehr, Eric Pressman, Brian Conover, Pat Mack, Mike Boscaino, Mike Ciampi
not pictured: Jay Lawrence, Bob Conover
front: Eric Pressman, Bob Conover, John Fallone, Henry Hinterstein, Eddie Boscaino
back: Jay Lawrence, Kyle Daloisio, Brian Conover, Greg Schehr, Andrew Wojciechowski, Mike Boscaino, Mike Ciampi, Pat Mack
not pictured: Frank Inzano
The Stingrays came into this fall/winter season with a chip on their shoulder after finishing the summer season in first place and then falling to the Vikings in the championship. In the offseason, the Stingrays picked up goaltender John Fallone, formerly of the Vudoos, the Pterodactyls, and Team X, and also brought in rookie Eric Pressman. The Stingrays opened the season with a win over the Flames, but then lost three straight, scoring only four goals in that span. They suddenly found their scoring touch in late October, putting up 34 goals in their next five games to win four of them. A loss in their next game put them at 5-5 halfway through the season, but their second half got off to a poor start with three straight losses. However, the Stingrays bounced back with a five-game winning streak during which they averaged only two goals allowed per game to regain a winning record. They lost their last two games of the regular season though to fall to fifth place with a record of 10-9-0-1. On an individual level, Eddie Boscaino had a great season, finishing third in goals with 25 while Frank Inzano and Mike Boscaino both did well also, putting up 31 and 27 points respectively. In net, John Fallone finished with the third best GAA at 3.74 with a shutout.
Despite finishing the prior season in first place, not much was expected of the Stingrays in this postseason with their fifth place finish. In the quarterfinals, they would take on the Flames, who finished barely ahead of them for fourth place. The Stingrays won two of the three regular season meetings, but the Flames won the most recent one by the final of 9-5. The Stingrays wasted no time in taking the lead in this game though, with Brian Conover making it 1-0 just 24 seconds in. Before the period ended, the Stingrays extended the lead to four goals with tallies from Henry Hinterstein, Pat “Crack-Your-Back” Mack, and Mike Boscaino. In the second period, the Flames bounced back with three goals in a span of one minute to get back within one, but Mike Ciampi quickly got one of those goals back, and Crack-Your-Back Mack followed suit to make it 6-3. Later in the period, Hinterstein scored again, and Mack completed a hat trick. Mike Boscaino then scored too, sending the Stingrays into the third with a huge 9-3 lead. In the third period, Eddie Boscaino would add to the total while John Fallone and the Stingrays’ defense held the Flames to just their three goals, easily clinching a spot in the semifinal.
As the lowest remaining seed, the Stingrays would be matched up against the first place expansion team, CJ’s at Midnight, who disposed of the last place Biohazards in the quarterfinals. CJ’s at Midnight finished 12 points ahead of the defending champion Vikings, and lost only two games all season, one of them in a shootout. They scored a league-high 120 goals while surrendering only 69. However, the Stingrays would once again get off to a great start with a goal from Eddie Boscaino just over four minutes in. However, they surrendered the next three goals to trail 3-1 heading into the second. Jay Lawrence scored early in the second, and Fallone held the CJ’s at their three goals long enough for Eddie Boscaino to tie the game just before the end of the period, setting up a thrilling third period beginning with the score even at three. CJ’s took a penalty just ten seconds into the third, but they scored shorthanded to regain the lead. Inzano scored two minutes later though to level the game at four. Ten seconds later, Lawrence was sent off for interference, giving the Flames a chance to regain the lead. However, Eddie Boscaino had other plans as he scored on a shorthanded breakaway, and then scored another shorthanded goal just 12 seconds later, his fourth score of the evening, giving the Stingrays a 6-4 lead. CJ’s was stunned as the Stingrays frustrated the heavy favorite to the point of taking out their frustrations through penalties, as they took three penalties in the final seven minutes, allowing the Stingrays to hold on for the big upset and advance to the championship.
The final featured an intriguing matchup as the Stingrays, who knocked off the first place team, were set to take on another expansion team, Whack-a-Mole, who eliminated the defending champion and second place Vikings. Whack-a-Mole finished in third place with a record of 13-7, and gave up the fewest goals at only 59, thanks largely to goaltender John Powers’s league-best GAA of 2.75 and three shutouts. Two of the league’s top four point-scorers were on Whack-a-Mole as well, in Cliff Simon and Bryan Whittaker. The Stingrays lost two of their three games against Whack-a-Mole, but they gained a lot of momentum with their upset over CJ’s.
In Game 1, the Stingrays would take an early lead yet again, this time thanks to Jay Lawrence. However, similar to their semifinal game, they would give up the next three as they found themselves down 3-1 after two periods. Nine minutes into the third period, the score remained the same, but Eric Pressman scored with six minutes to go, bringing the Stingrays back within one. Whittaker answered with his second goal of the game a minute later though, making it 4-2 with five minutes remaining. With about three minutes to go, Lawrence scored on a powerplay to give the Stingrays new life, and with just over a minute left Mike Boscaino scored to tie the game at four and send this game to overtime.
A minute and a half into overtime, the Stingrays would go on another powerplay. They were unsuccessful though, and play continued back and forth with both teams generating quality scoring chances. Whack-a-Mole had a great chance to win the game during a two-on-one, but the shot hit the post and the Stingrays took the puck down the ice. This possession resulted in a scramble in front of the net. The puck found its way to Eddie Boscaino’s stick, and he made a cross-crease pass to Crack-Your-Back Mack, who made no mistake about it and put the puck in the net to complete the comeback and win Game 1 for the Stingrays.
Two nights later, the Stingrays had a chance to take home the PTAHL championship and clinch a spot in the first annual Unity Bank Cup, where the PTAHL’s champions battle for Central Jersey hockey supremacy. This would be the first game of the postseason in which the Stingrays did not jump out to an early lead. Instead they found themselves trailing a minute and a half in, but Mike Boscaino answered not long afterwards. Cliff Simon scored before the period ended though, so the Stingrays went into the second trailing.
Greg Schehr scored his first goal of the playoffs to tie the game at two in the opening minute of the second, but once again Simon answered, and this time Whack-a-Mole added to their lead to go up 4-2. The Stingrays remained resilient though, and they surged back with three goals before the end of the period as Brian Conover started the rally and Eddie Boscaino scored twice in 42 seconds, giving the Stingrays a 5-4 lead heading into the third.
Five and a half minutes into the third, the Stingrays went on the powerplay, and they made it count as Crack-Your-Back Mack put them ahead 6-4. Whack-a-Mole battled hard as their season was on the line, but the Stingrays matched their intensity with a championship within reach. Whack-a-Mole got back within a goal with 3:19 to go, but Eddie Boscaino finished off his second hat trick of the playoffs with a minute and a half to go to put the score at 7-5. The remaining ninety seconds were very well played by the Stingrays as they shut down Whack-a-Mole and clinched the PTAHL championship. However, for the first time ever, something more was at stake and yet to be competed for—the Unity Bank Cup.
After waiting two months for the FIAHL’s winter season to wrap up, the Stingrays would travel to Flemington Ice Arena to take on the FIAHL’s Federal League champions, the Flying Dutchmen to compete in the first annual Unity Bank Cup. They would find some familiar faces on the Dutchmen, whose roster included former teammates Greg Marsh and Tony Desiderio. Eddie Boscaino was rostered on both teams, but chose to play alongside his brother on the Stingrays as he has been a Stingray longer than a Dutchman. Despite the Stingrays’ PTAHL postseason having been over for two months and the Dutchmen just coming off an FIAHL championship, the Stingrays once again took an early lead as Hinterstein made it 1-0 two minutes in. The score would be evened two minutes later, Eddie Boscaino then made it 2-1 Stingrays, but the Dutchmen again drew even as this was a high-scoring beginning of the game. Mike Boscaino scored before the period ended to send the Stingrays into the second with a 3-2 lead.
The second period featured very little scoring, with the lone goal coming from the Dutchmen as they tied the game at three. As the teams prepared for this crucial third period, the Stingrays were determined not to let their incredible and unexpected championship run come to an end. Three minutes into the third, Brian Conover scored to regain the lead for the Stingrays. This time they would get some breathing room with a goal from Eddie Boscaino, his tenth of the playoffs with 8:11 remaining. Fallone remained rock solid in net as the time dwindled closer and closer to another Stingrays championship. Andrew “Wojo” Wojciechowski scored with three minutes to go, as the title was nearly clinched. To put the cherry on top, Eddie Boscaino scored with two minutes to go, completing his third shutout of the playoffs as the Fallone held the Dutchmen goalless in the third period and the Stingrays became the first PTAHL team to win the coveted Unity Bank Cup.
The most noteworthy individual performances of this postseason came from Eddie Boscaino, with three hat tricks and eleven goals, Pat “Crack-Your-Back” Mack with four goals--two of them being game-winners, including an overtime goal to end the thrilling Game 1 comeback, Mike Boscaino with five goals, and John Fallone with a GAA of 3.73. The Stingrays look to continue their winning ways in the spring season, where it is rumored that they may be signing some of their vanquished foes, Bryan Whittaker and Tony Desiderio, to further improve their offense.
2015-16/FALL-WINTER/SOUTH: Revamped SHIce-T Cruises to Championship
front: Dennis Vliet, Patrick Vogt, Sean Donnelly, Matt Sadowski, Eric Ely, Dave Fordham, Anthony Risorto
back: Andy Case, Andy Knapp, Paul Coffey, Ben Arenger, Ted Case, Robert Trochiano
not pictured: Brandon Jonas
In this third season of their existence, SHIce-T was determined to lose their identity of a floundering expansion team and rise to the ranks of being a contender. Star player Eric Ely returned to the roster and was joined by rookies Andy and Ted Case, and Brandon Jonas. These offseason acquisitions made an immediate impact as SHIce-T made it clear early on that they were now for real, winning their first four games. They were crushed by the defending champion Archers in their next game, but bounced with three more wins, including one over the Archers. They would split their next two games, but they were more than satisfied with eight wins at the season’s midpoint as they battled for first place.
SHIce-T put together another four-game winning streak next, outscoring their opponents by a total of 26-5 over that span. They dropped a game to the Puck Pimps and then exploded for back-to-back 9-1 wins over the Vudoo, a 10-3 trouncing over the Rink Rats, and an 11-3 win over the Pterodactyls. The final game of the regular season did not go SHIce-T’s way though, as they were upset by the last place Pterodactyls. Either way, they had first place wrapped up with a record of 15-4-1-0 as they led the league in goals scored with 123 (18 more than anyone else) and goals against with only 53 (19 fewer than anyone else). Eric Ely finished second in the league 28 goals and 40 points while Ted Case was right behind him, tied for third in points with 31. With their outstanding regular season performance, SHIce-T earned a quarterfinal bye and would advance directly to the semifinals, where they would meet the fourth place Vudoo, who advanced after disposing of the Rink Rats.
SHIce-T went 3-1 against the Vudoo in the regular season. The Vudoo won the first meeting 6-3, but SHIce-T dominated the next three contests by scores of 7-1, 9-1, and 9-1, and they sought to make sure this playoff matchup fit the mold. Sean Donnelly scored a pair of goals, including one on the powerplay in the first period of this semifinal showdown, and Ted Case made it 3-0 before the second period. In the second, SHIce-T expanded their lead to a massive 8-0 as Donnelly completed a hat trick and Andy Case notched a pair in addition to goals from Robert Trochiano and Ben Arenger. Dave Fordham scored early in the third to make it 9-0 before Matt Sadowski lost his shutout bid, but the game was already decided barring a historical miracle. Patrick Vogt added a late goal to ensure a statement win by the final of 10-1 that proved to the league that it was championship or bust for this season’s new and improved SHIce-T.
In the finals, SHIce-T would be matched up against the second place Archers, who were looking to win their third straight South Division title and clinched their fifth consecutive championship appearance after eliminating the third place Puck Pimps by the final of 4-1. SHIce-T went 3-1 against the Archers in the regular season, but the Archers were as formidable an opponent as they would find, as they gave up the second-fewest goals in the league with 72 and had more experience with playoff success than any other team.
It took only twelve seconds into Game 1 for SHIce-T to gain a lead, thanks to Ben Arenger. This would be the only goal of the first period as Sadowski was flawless, but his teammates were unable to add to the lead. The teams exchanged powerplays before Ely scored to make it 2-0 Shice-T about halfway through the game. Ted Case added a goal a few minutes later, and Ely scored on a five-on-three with two seconds to go in the period, sending SHIce-T into the third with a 4-0 advantage. Andy Case added a goal a minute into the third, and then scored again 26 seconds afterwards to make it 6-0 Archers. SHIce-T killed off another penalty later in the third, now having killed off all five powerplays they were faced with thus far in the postseason. Sadowski and the SHIce-T defense held on for the remaining time left as he shut out the Archers, who averaged nearly five goals a game in the regular season, to take Game 1 and put SHIce-T, once the punching bag of the league, on the precipice of PTAHL immortality.
Game 2 did not start out the way SHIce-T had hoped. Andy Case took a penalty just over a minute in, and the Archers finally beat Sadowski and snapped the SHIce-T penalty killers’ perfect postseason record to take a 1-0 lead. SHIce-T remained focused though, and Trochiano scored halfway through the period to tie the game. However, the Archers struck again before the period ended, and SHIce-T squandered a powerplay as they trailed 2-1 after one. The Archers expanded their lead halfway through the second, but Ely scored to bring SHIce-T back within a goal. With four minutes to go in the period, the Archers took another penalty and this time Andy Case capitalized to tie the game at three just in time for the third period.
A minute and a half into the third, the Archers regained the lead, but Ely answered two minutes later, and Ted Case gave SHIce-T their first lead of the game with eight and a half minutes remaining. With just under six minutes to go, the Archers took another penalty, and yet again SHIce-T took advantage as Trochiano scored again to make it 6-4 with four and a half minutes remaining. SHIce-T inched closer to ending the Archers’ dynasty as the minutes slowly fell off the clock, and with a minute and a half to go, the Archers took yet another penalty, and once again SHIce-T made them pay as Andy Case scored his second powerplay goal of the game to virtually seal the title with SHIce-T now ahead by three with a minute to go. To seal the deal, Andy Case scored again to complete a hat trick with his seventh goal of the playoffs, ensuring an 8-4 comeback win for SHICE-T to clinch their first PTAHL championship.
Turning in some key offensive performances this postseason were of course Andy Case, with seven goals and nine points, Eric Ely with four goals and six points, and Robert Trochiano with three goals and five points. Meanwhile, Sadowski posted an impressive GAA of 1.67 with a shutout in the championship. Also an essential part of the championship run were the special teams units, as SHIce-T's powerplay unit went four for ten, and the penalty killers were nearly perfect, killing off five of six. After to seasons of being routinely beaten, SHIce-T is no longer the little brother as they have gotten their revenge on their South Division foes and will now be taking the ice with stiffer competition in Division III. With this new, skilled core on the roster, SHIce-T has a bright future ahead of them.