SPRING 2010: GAME #3 â€“ YOUNG CANADIANS CONTINUE THEIR HOT STREAK!
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Wed Mar 10th 2010 11:46am
The Young Canadians are on top of the division after their 3rd game of the season, beating the Blazers 3-0. Coach Graciano â€œVetoâ€ Da Ponte traded in his clipboard for goalie pads, playing his first of three games this season. Da Ponte played a solid game, making several key saves after the YC had taken a 1-0 lead. Simon â€œI Forgotâ€ Khaouli tipped an Andrew â€œCash Moneyâ€ Ariganello point shot that went up into the air, over Blazersâ€™ goalie John Romas and fell into the net. With the YC holding a slim lead, Da Ponte used his long legs to make back-to-back-to-back saves to keep the Blazers at bay.
With the â€œOld Manâ€ keeping things under control in net, Michael â€œGWâ€ Verardi scored the eventual game-winner with 1:49 left in the half. After corralling a pass from brother, Anthony â€œLegend Killerâ€ Verardi, Michael broke in on Romas and fired a shot top shelf to give the YC a 2-0 lead. The Blazers would cut the lead in half, with the power play at 9:44 of the 2nd half. Dwight Carruthers received the ball in the slot and beat Da Ponte glove side, with a blistering shot. â€œI hate giving up goals to the glove side,â€ said an upset Da Ponte. â€œBeat me anywhere else, just not there. Especially with my wife watching me!â€
The Blazers didnâ€™t have much time to celebrate their goal as, Peter â€œFull-Timeâ€ Vicente, scored the YCâ€™s 3rd goal of the night. Anthony V. would add a power play goal to cap-off the scoring for the night. The YC players all spoke highly of their coachâ€™s play in net. â€œHe made some big saves, especially in the 1st half, when the game was still close,â€ said assistant captain Angelo â€œBladesâ€ Verardi. There was also praise for regular goalie, Chris â€œPashqualâ€ Dâ€™Ascanio, who stepped aside for Da Ponte and played as a forward. â€œHe had a couple chances in front of the net, but couldnâ€™t get his stick on the ball. Heâ€™ll get another opportunity this season to score his first career goalâ€ said captain Brian â€œBig Pingeâ€ Da Ponte.
The YC have a chance to go 4-0 for the first time in franchise history this Saturday, March 13 @ 7:00 pm (Rinx) vs. their Niagara Falls rivals, the Wet Bandits. Dâ€™Ascanio will be back between the pipes, trying to end a personal losing streak to the Wet Bandits.
SPRING 2010: GAME #1 â€“ YC START NEW SEASON WITH A WIN!
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Thu Feb 18th 2010 3:40pm
The Young Canadians got their 2010 spring season started on the right foot, with a 5-2 win over the Gladiators. In their previous meeting (Winter 2009/10), the YC escaped with a slim 3-2 victory over the eventual last place Gladiators. But by the end of the season, the YC had not done much better, finishing in 9th place. The YC built a 3-0 lead on the strength of Adam â€œNoobKillâ€ Casinelli, Michael â€œBig Sexyâ€ Verardi & Anthony â€œSecret Pathâ€ Verardiâ€™s 1st goals of the year. Casinelli also assisted on the 2nd goal, getting the first 2 point game of his career. â€œI was so happy when Mike scored his goal. It meant I got another point. Iâ€™m trying to prove to coach that I can play forward once in a while. The last time I moved up, I got a big donut on the score sheet, so heâ€™s not too convinced about me playing up. But all he has to do is look at my roller hockey stats. On the blades, Iâ€™m an offensive beast.â€
After scoring their 3rd goal of the half, new assistant captain Angelo â€œWedding Bellsâ€ Verardi, warned his teammates not to get too excited as they have squandered 3-0 leads before. No sooner does he finish, when the Gladiators get one by Chris â€œRebound Yearâ€ Dâ€™Ascanio. But the YC would not cave, as they held the two-goal lead until half time. The score would remain 3-1 until, Daniel â€œWinter Season Sucksâ€ Ascenzi scored his 1st of the season to put the game out of reach. Ascenzi is looking to rebound from another awful winter season. When asked why his play dips in the winter season, he had this to say, â€œI went through a rough patch in my personal life and it affected my play. But it could also be because of the cold weather. My body is not conditioned for playing when the temperature dips below 5Â°C.â€
With 2:46 left to play, the Gladiators scored again, but that goal was equaled by Anthony V. a minute later. After playing in a higher Tier 4 division in the winter, Coach Graciano â€œLetâ€™s Play CODâ€ Da Ponte hopes his young team can use what theyâ€™ve learned in the spring and carry it forward to the even more important summer season. â€œThe guys were on cloud nine after their fall championship, but they couldnâ€™t raise their game to the next level against the tougher winter opponents. They proved to themselves that they could hang in there, but thatâ€™s not enough. Too often we would lose the lead in the final five minutes. Thatâ€™s something that I hope will change this season.â€
The Young Canadians next game is on Saturday, February 27 @ 11:00 am (Rinx) vs. the Green Team.
WINTER 2009/10: YC LOSE FINAL GAME TO FINISH OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Tue Feb 02nd 2010 4:34pm
The Young Canadians lost 4-1 to the "stacked" MHL Elite on Sunday to leave themselves tied with the Blazers for the last playoff spot. But the head-to-head tie-breaker goes to the Blazers since they beat the YC earlier in the season. Therefore, the YC's winter season comes to an end. As disappointing as it was, the team can hold their heads up high, as they played with honor, unlike their opponents the MHL Elite, who brought in ringers for the final game. And it was those players who did all the scoring. I guess the MHL ELite couldn't handle the fact that they were beaten 4-2 earlier in the season by the YC.
The game did not start well for the YC, as the "ringers" kept possession of the ball for the 1st 2:00 minutes until Tanner Ford scored the opening goal. The YC settled down after that goal and played much better defensively, minimizing the Elite's chances. As newly appointed Assistant Captain, Angelo Verardi, pointed out "all they got was 2:00 minutes. They've done nothing since then."
It wasn't until the dying seconds of the 1st half that the YC would tie it up on the power play. Sensing that time was running down, Adam "NoobKill" Casinelli, chased the ball down and took a spin-o-rama shot that was perfectly deflected by Anthony "COD" Verardi, with less than :01 second left in the half. The YC had been rewarded for their hard work with a beautiful goal. Unfortunately, that would be their last goal of the season.
The YC couldn't handle the skill level of the ringers and tried, to no avail, to keep them off the scoreboard. The Elite would add 3 more goals (including an empty-netter). Coach Graciano "Headshot" Da Ponte still feels that his team learned a lot, playing at this level. "For the past 3 season (spring, summer, fall), we had been placed in the lowest Tier 4 division. For this season (winter), we were placed in a higher calibre division and I think it will benefit us in the long run. To get better, you have to play better teams. Hopefully, by the time summer season starts, we will have a better understanding of what it takes to win close games."
FINALS GAME #2 â€“ YOUNG CANADIANS WIN 1ST CHAMPIONSHIP!
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Sun Nov 01st 2009 8:13pm
The Young Canadians completed an incredible playoff run by winning the 2009 YCBHL Fall Championship. It was the first menâ€™s league championship in the franchiseâ€™s short history. Coach Graciano â€œProud Papaâ€œ Da Ponte, who returned to the bench for all four playoff victories, believes that he just witnessed one of the teamâ€™s greatest performances. â€œI truly feel that with every playoff game, the team kept getting better, culminating in this win. During my time off, Iâ€™m not sure what happened, but it seems like the team lost their focus. They only won one out of their final four games. Not exactly the way you want to head into the playoffs. But I could see that they were ready to put those poor performances behind them and take it to the next level. Which is exactly what they did.â€
Unlike the previous three playoff games, the YC did not score first. It was the Red Devilsâ€™ Fernando Parreira who broke the ice at 8:26 of the 1st half, when he knocked Adam â€œCassâ€ Casinelliâ€™s stick out of his hands and walked out front to beat goalie Chris â€œPlayoff MVPâ€ Dâ€™Ascanio. The game had been evenly matched up to that point, but a crucial missed call by the referee led to the Devilsâ€™ goal. It wasnâ€™t until 1:47 left in the half that the YC would reply. Regular season MVP, Anthony â€œHoly Angelâ€ Verardi, scored his 3rd of the playoffs from Andrew â€œRoadrunnerâ€ Ariganello & Seymour â€œIn Residenceâ€ Korman. Just as Coach Da Ponte had drawn up many times before, Korman gained the line with a pass off the boards to a streaking Ariganello. Ariganello beat the defenseman to the ball and found Verardi in the slot, whose laser beam wrist shot beat a screened Henry Santos. The tying goal frustrated Devilsâ€™ player, Rob De Aguiar, who received an unsportsmanlike penalty for knocking Verardiâ€™s stick out of his hands. Unfortunately, the power play was nullified when assistant coach, Anthony â€œAudio Oneâ€ Dâ€™Ascanio, stepped onto the floor during a stoppage in play. The Devils complained that he wasnâ€™t on the game sheet and the YC were assessed a 2:00 minute delay of game penalty.
The Red Devilsâ€™ careless play would get them in trouble again as Flavio Costa was assessed a penalty for holding the stick. Shortly after, Anthony â€œTeddy Bearâ€ DiMarco was given a tripping penalty to make it 4-on-4. But the Devils would get another penalty, this time an interference call against Pedro Ribeiro. The YC would make them pay as the most unlikely player, Joe â€œ1st Starâ€ Giannotti, would score the eventual game-winner. With all the extra space to move the ball around, Giannotti found himself with a clear shot on net and took it. The ball took a slight deflection off a Devilsâ€™ player and past Santos. The players on the floor and on the bench erupted in celebration as the target of their frequent verbal jabs had given them the lead. This was only Giannottiâ€™s 2nd career goal, but he may not score another as important as this one. â€œI was so in shock that I didnâ€™t even realize it went in until everyone on the team started jumping,â€ said a jubilant Giannotti. â€œThe first guy to reach me was Mike (Verardi) and I jumped into his arms like a little school girl who gets picked up by her father at the end of a school day.â€
There were no more penalties after that goal as the Devils knew they couldnâ€™t afford to give the YC another power play opportunity. Instead they shifted into high gear and threw everything they had at Dâ€™Ascanio, who up to the task. Making save after save and with the team playing committed defense, the Devils could not puncture the YC armor. A perfect example of their determination happened with just under 5:00 minutes left in the game. With a 3-on-1 developing, DiMarco rushed back to help defensive partner Giannotti slide around and block every pass & shot attempt.
With time counting down and the Devilsâ€™ net empty, Ariganello stole the ball at the YC blueline and moved it forward. As he reached the Devilsâ€™ zone, he snapped a shot on net. The resulting goal made the game 3-1 and sealed the victory for the Young Canadians. As the clock struck 0:00, the YC bench emptied onto the floor as everyone rushed Dâ€™Ascanio. The Young Canadians were now 2009 YCBHL Fall Champions!
SEMI-FINAL GAME #1 â€“ COACH DA PONTE MAKES TRIUMPHANT RETURN!
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Wed Oct 21st 2009 11:05pm
After missing the final four games of the regular season due to the birth of his beautiful baby girl, coach Graciano â€œProud Papaâ€ Da Ponte was back on the bench to try and turn his young teamâ€™s fortunes around. The YC head into the playoffs having lost 3 out of the final 4 regular season games. This slump allowed the Red Devils and the Toronto Toros to finish ahead of them. Therefore, the #3 seeded YC face the #2 seed Toronto Toros in the semi-finals. Da Ponte
faced a dilemma before the game even started. Marco â€œNo Frillsâ€ Ariganello had to attend a baptism and Anthony â€œItâ€™s Not Diarrheaâ€ DiMarco became ill during the night, so neither could make the game. Da Ponte moved forward Joe â€œNo Pointsâ€ Giannotti into a defensive role for this game.
Da Ponte started the â€œOutsidersâ€ line (Korman, Khaouli, Ariganello) and they rewarded him with a quick goal, just :39 seconds into the game. Simon â€œSandalmanâ€ Khaouli scored his first playoff goal as a YC player. The Toros would respond on the power play when Peter Mei got one by Chris â€œDa Manâ€ Dâ€™Ascanio. Just 3:00 minutes later, the YC would re-take the lead. Coach Da Ponte was especially proud of this goal. Khaouli won the face-off directly back to Brian â€œBig Pingeâ€ Da Ponte, who one-timed the shot. Toros goalie Dario Ioanna made the save, but Angelo â€œThe Oldestâ€ Verardi had snuck around his defender to tap the rebound in. â€œI made them practise that play until it became etched in their minds. Now, we automatically line up exactly where weâ€™re supposed to and good things happen,â€ said a thrilled Da Ponte.
The Toros didnâ€™t give up though, as they tied the game on a weak goal. With his defensive partner caught pinching, Giannotti was left alone to defend a 2-on-1. Giannotti waited until the last possible second to commit himself, but Dâ€™Ascanio had already started cheating to his right in anticipation of a pass. Torosâ€™ Peter Gallo noticed this and put a shot on net, beating Dâ€™Ascanio to the short side. But Mike â€œFix the Statsâ€ Verardi would get the eventual game-winner, while short-handed, just over a 1:00 minute later. With Andrew â€œRock Starâ€Ariganello in the box for playing the ball with a broken stick, Peter Vicente correctly gambled on a pinch-in and got the ball over to M. Verardi, who beat Ioanna to the stick side.
As Ariganelloâ€™s penalty ended, Anthony â€œMVPâ€ Verardi, jumped over the boards and into the offensive zone. After a frantic scramble in front, A. Verardi jammed the ball under Ioanna for the YCâ€™s 4th and final goal. With 1:04 left in the game, Giannotti was assessed an interference penalty and the Toros also pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. But the YC penalty killers kept the play to the outside and allowed Dâ€™Ascanio to see the shots coming in.
This was the Young Canadians first ever playoff victory. They deserved the victory, out shooting the Toros 31-12. Now, the YC need only a tie in game #2 to move on to the finals. But coach Da Ponte will not let his team play with that mentality. â€œWeâ€™re going out there to win the next game, not to tie,â€ said Da Ponte. â€œThatâ€™s how you lose games. When you start thinking about needing to do only the minimum. I will not accept that. We beat them by applying constant pressure. We had 22 shots in the 1st half. Their goalie was ready to pass out after 10:00 minutes! Why would I change our tactics?â€ Game #2 will take place on Saturday, October 24 @ 6:00 pm (Rinx).