Brian's Jubilant January Power Rankings
After getting sick and unable to do Brian's Birthday Bash Power Rankings or Brian's Christmas Rankings, we now have Brian's Jubilant January Power Rankings. To keep the media on their toes, PTAHL Headquarters will release them in installments, starting with Division II. Expect the rest of the division and Division I to be released later this week...
Tied for first, the Bulldogs have paced Division II all season, especially when they beat the Brewers. 84 goals for, 51 against, Alex "Sputnik" Sinelnikov has his team reaching the heights of that space program, but he would love for them to avoid disintegrating in the playoffs, and instead pull a Vostok 1 and reach their destination of a championship, which would be comparable to Yuri Gagarin's journey to the great beyond and back. Sinelnikov's team consists of many PTAHL rookies, who have adapted well to the competition: Colin McMullen has 24 points, David "The Burglar" Robberson has 22 points, and Alidad "The Alligator" Mireskandari has 20 points. George Aller, 12, and Anthony Ursino, 11, round out the top five Bulldogs scorers, while Joseph Ursino has a GAA of 3.23, (.09 behind second overall). The Bulldogs could go either way with the Brewers for their power ranking, and are in charge of their fate if they are to get that one seed. Three games are left, and if the Bulldogs can get all nine points, it will not matter what the Brewers do, heck, even eight points will do it due to their already superior head-to-head record with the Beer Makers. Ursino will need to continue his fine play on the back end to ensure the Bulldogs can get the one seed, which they are the favorites to do, with so little time left. Sputnik's team has been superb all season, and their ability to suck the life out of games and keep their opponents at arm's length, the Bulldogs are not only as good as anyone in the division, but extremely frustrating to come back on, once behind.
Also 1) Brewers
The Brewers are ranked tied for first with the Bulldogs. It could go either way, to rank them above or below the K-9 Unit, but allow me to explain, my friends... In that only meeting, the K-9 Unit was able to hold down the dynamic duo of division leading scorer Adam Sklar (30G, 15A) and second leading scorer Alex Miragaya (24G, 12A) for 1G, 1A, and 1G respectively in a 4-2 win. That is why the naysayers will be opposed to this ranking, but it is much more nuanced than that because the argument for the Brewers sharing first with the Bulldogs is because while both teams have had a minor run of dropping points, the Brewers already had that months ago, 4/12 points in a four game span in October/November, and the Bulldogs are currently on a poor run (by their high standards), 4/9 points in a three game span. Another argument the pro Brewers fan would make is that the Beer Makers have 103 goals for to the Bulldogs' 84, and 50 goals against to the Bulldogs' 51. Yes, the Brewers have a game in hand, which if they win (in regulation), will get them one point behind with three games to play, meaning they will have a much better goal differential, even if they have more goals against than the 'Dogs. In addition to Sklar and Miragaya, Ryan Adams has contributed with 16 points while on defense, Captain Greg Shiff has 14, Paul Mennona 13, and Tom Disch 10. It's not just about Sklar and Miragaya, so the rest of the division needs to be on point all the time mentally. On the other end, Colin Riedel has been fantastic in net, leading the league in GAA (2.92), with eleven wins and one loss. The Brewers are for real on both ends of the ice and I'm a coward because I can't pick between them and the Bulldogs. Maybe in the next rankings...
3) Sewer Rats
Overcoming an injury in their squeaker win over the Hooligans, Captain Mat Laskowski led by example, stifling the Rioters to help his team to their fourth win in five games, picking up a point with an overtime loss in that span as well. Going back further, it is five wins in seven, and six in nine, a run which has seen a points percentage of .704%. Eric Vogt is the Rodents' highest scorer with 21 points, Matt Bushman has 18, Evgeny Nikitin 14, Boris Raizberg 11, and Chris Mazza 10, which enables these guys to constantly pressure the poor souls who will have to play them. Laskowski has assembled a crew who PTAHL Headquarters feels is a contender for their first championship in this competition. Do not count the Sewer Rats out, because while they can light up the scoreboard, they can do something that other teams cannot do, which they proved in their win over the Hooligans, and that is win when not playing well. But this can only be if they stay out of the penalty box, because with a division high 138 PIM, 38 more than anyone else, the Sewer Rats' worst enemy could be themselves.
The Storm had an outside chance to finish as high as second and mathematically as high as first, but a forfeit in their previous game likely cost them both. Still though, fourth in the league table and PTAHL veterans, the Storm are a force who play a low scoring game (43 goals against). But unlike Ooff!, the Storm have a bit more firepower: Tyler Dunster is fourth overall in scoring with 23 points. Tom Quinn has nearly a point a game (11 points in six games played), but the question is, “Will he make one more game to be eligible for the playoffs?” He probably will due to the Storm having five games to go, where if he does become eligible for the playoffs, can link up with Patrick Quinn, who has ten points. Rob Imbriaco has a GAA of 3.19 and will backbone a defense led by Lloyd “The Llama” Lisk and with their next three games against teams in the lower half of the table, the Archers, Vudoo, and Rink Rats, the Storm seem poised to pick up points.
12 points in their last five games, with three wins by a goal, Ooff! are fifth. They play a lower scoring game than their foes, with 58 goals for (eighth fewest), but 47 goals against (third fewest), so you can expect tight ones from this bunch. Ten of their games have been decided by two goals or fewer and 13 have been decided by three goals or fewer. Ooff!’s most recent victory was their only outlier, a 6-1 win over the Hooligans, highlighted by another fantastic performance by Dean Bogner, who could be the team’s MVP if they go all the way, with him making up for the lack of firepower on the other end. Chris Fagan has a team high 17 points, only twelfth overall in Division II’s scoring. Goals by committee might have to be the way Ooff! go with Fagan (14), Milton Solis, (12), Jimmy DiPaolo (7), and Mike Caporaso (6) all with the prowess to fill the net.
The next four teams are not easy to rank and could arguably be in any order, but the Pterodactyls will occupy sixth this time around with eleven points in their last five games. That run of form has concluded with an overtime win over the Sewer Rats, as the Pterodactyls have given themselves a realistic chance of finishing as high as third. Adam Crandall is third in Division II in scoring with 31 points, while Jeff Leidner is also third best in the division in his department: GAA, with 3.14. Big Tony Gesumaria and Tom Perlitz, both with 12 points are in double figures, while Jacky Morin has 11 on defense. The midseason signing of Gena Denezhnyy has also been vital to the Flying Fossils, with their new man notching a point a game at four. Their next two games are against the Bulldogs and Brewers and the Pterodactyls can make a huge statement to the rest of the division in the next fortnight.
After beating the Pterodactyls in their previous game, and winning four out of six, it was debatable if the Archers would overtake them in the power rankings, but after the Flying Fossils bounced back from their loss to the Danger Zoners, the Archers stay below. The Archers’ only losses during that six game span are to the Bulldogs (first place) and Brewers (second), and with Jason Fischbach at a goal a game (13) to go with two assists overall, the Archers can feel like they can hang with the big boys. Long time Archers Josh Sumoski (11 points) and Dan Seminara (10) will also be vital to Fischbach’s men if they are to challenge for a championship, but one thing they have over everyone else is discipline: The Archers have only 14 penalty minutes, 24 fewer than anyone else.
The Vudoo have won two of three games to zoom up the league table. Going back further, it’s a run of three wins in five, and four in seven, a rate which is much higher than their contemporaries in the mid to bottom of the table. They seem to have found their form, much of which has to do with Mark Schwanda’s 21 points, Tom “Godzilla” Godon’s, Ray “Ziesse’s Peanut Butter Cup” Ziesse’s, and James Woods-Corwin’s production, all with 14 points. Holding down the blue line is Grace “The Ace” Dimock, a lockdown and shifty defender, who has contributed on the other end with 11 points, putting her at just under a point a game. Captain Gary Len has a bunch that is poised to move up in the next power rankings.
9) Rink Rats
The Rink Rats lost their previous five games, but the most recent was in overtime. Nick Graham leads the way with 20 points, Vincent Falcicchio has 19, and also with over a point per game are Bobby Tretola with 12 pts, and Joe “Joey Jr.” Maresca, Jr. with 10. The joint second most goals against, 82, in Division II, the Rink Rats will need to rely on these four for the rest of the season and into the playoffs if they are to go anywhere.
Last season’s champs have not had the season for which they hoped, right now in tenth. Paced by Adam “The Burner” Birnbaum and Greg “Turn Down for What” Ternlund (both with 15 pts), the Biohazards will need those two to continue their production on a team full off PTAHL veterans. The penalty minutes could be the Biohazards’ undoing, with them having the second most at 76, and so could their goals against, tied for the third most with 73. The inverse though, is their goals for, third most at 67, so anyone who opposes the Biohazards will know that a high octane battle will determine a winner.
11) Puck Pimps
The Puck Pimps are second to last, five points ahead of the Hooligans, and have only had one win in their last four, a forfeit victory over the Storm. They have won the championship here before, but if they are to get another, they will have to do it as almost certainly no better than an eight seed. The lowest scoring team in Division II with 37, ten fewer than the Hooligans’ 47, Nick Minarik will have to continue his fine play in net: His goals against average is 4.25, but that only tells a bit of the tale, with him bailing out his teammates on numerous occasions to keep them in many games. Minarik will be key for the Puck Pimps in their quest to move up the league table and for a championship.
The Hooligans had a rough start to their season, but to quote league commissioner Rob Cacioppo, “The Hooligans have gotten a lot better.” Cacioppo, a Pterodactyl, was part of a team that scraped by the Hooligans in their most recent game, 4-3, and has a good feel for the league and the improvement of the Rioters. Some of that Hooligans improvement has to do with their midseason signing of Max White, who has 15G, 1A in six games, with 4G in his debut, the Hooligans’ first win, 10-9, over the Biohazards. Jacky Morin has also been excellent with ten points, David Long has six, and Joe Allen has five, and while the Hooligans are in the bottom of the standings and power rankings, don’t be surprised if they move up both those charts.
Players Must Sign in for Game to Get Game Played
PTAHL Headquarters is sending out a friendly reminder to all teams and captains that all players must sign in before their game to received a game played for their stats.
This is important because seven regular season games played are required to be eligible for the playoffs and if there is no record of a player signing in for a particular game, then we cannot verify if they played in that particular game. A table will be set up in the lobby, or the scoresheet will be located in the main office (formerly the coffee shop) and will be straight ahead after entering Pro Tec Ponds.
Any stats corrections, email Brian Rappleyea
Any stats corrections, email Brian Rappleyea at email@example.com