GAME #6 â€“ YC RUN INTO GOALTENDING WALL!
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Wed Sep 23rd 2009 12:58pm
In the previous game against the Poison, the Young Canadians managed only a 1-0 win. In the rematch, they were looking to break out of this mini-slump. They did do better than last time, scoring 2 goals, but so did the Poison. For a long time, the score was 1-0, but it was the Poison who led for most of the 1st half. Sean Oâ€™Reilly beat Chris â€œShoobyâ€ Dâ€™Ascanio with a slap shot from the face-off circle. Dâ€™Ascanio, who appeared unready for the shot, had to endure long stretches with no action, since his team mates kept the ball in the offensive zone for most of the 1st half.
It wasnâ€™t until the 10:50 mark of the 2nd half when Michael â€œSingle Againâ€ Verardi, got the YC on the board. Marco â€œNo Frillsâ€ Ariganello took a shot that went over the net and bounced off the glass. M. Verardi, who was johnny on the spot, backhanded the ball past Poison goalie Tommy Hammad. The ball just trickled in before Daniel â€œRunning Manâ€ Ascenzi got to it. Less than 2:00 minutes later, the YC took the lead on a power play goal. With John Henry in the box for tripping, coach Graciano â€œBack on the Benchâ€ Da Ponte, called a timeout to sort out his power play. Obviously, the players listened to their coach, since they scored :15 seconds into the extra man opportunity. Captain Brian â€œSerious Messageâ€ Da Ponte made a cross-floor pass to Peter â€œThe New Guyâ€ Vicente, who gained the blueline and made a drop pass to Simon â€œSteak Manâ€œ Khaouli. Khaouli walked in and beat Hammad high on the stick side. He was so excited about the goal that he jumped onto the boards to celebrate. â€œI had my family in the stands for the first time tonight and really wanted to show them that I know how to play hockey. My fiancée promised me some â€œspecial timeâ€ if I scored a goal, so I had to come through. On my previous team, I was counted on to score all the time. With this group, I donâ€™t have to be the go-to-guy on every shift. We have plenty of guys who could put the ball in the net,â€ said an ecstatic Khaouli.
The YC continued to put on the pressure but Hammad kept his team in the game. It wasnâ€™t until Adam â€œBad Boyâ€ Casinelliâ€™s tripping penalty that the Poison would get their opportunity to tie the game. :10 seconds into the power play, Melvin Murrant batted the ball from mid-air into the net. Dâ€™Ascanio had made the initial save with his stick, but the ball deflected up his blocker and into the air when Murrant swatted it. Initially, it looked like a high stick made contact, but upon further review, Murrant was ruled to have kept his stick under the crossbar.
The Poison would get another power play chance when Joe â€œAngry Manâ€ Giannotti was called for tripping. Giannotti was ejected for receiving his third penalty of the game and was not too pleased about it. â€œI was so pissed I was told that I had to leave. That one ref really had it in for me tonight. After my first penalty, I asked him why the goalie didnâ€™t get one for coming out of his crease. He gives me a 10:00 misconduct! And this last penalty, I put my hand up and the guy goes down like he was shot. The ref standing right next to me doesnâ€™t say anything. But the other ref makes the call from centre. I donâ€™t understand it. He really doesnâ€™t like me,â€ said an incredulous Giannotti.
The Young Canadians have a very tough doubleheader weekend lined up. Their first game will be against the Toronto Toros, the only team who beat them this year, on Saturday, September 26 @ 8:00 pm (Rinx). The follow-up game is on Sunday, September 27 @ 4:00 pm (Rinx). Winning both these games will result in the YC having a stranglehold on first place.
GAME #5 â€“ YC GET A LATE SCARE BUT HANG ON FOR WIN!
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Fri Sep 18th 2009 9:23am
The Young Canadians built a 6-1 lead but then almost let it slip away to the Screaming Pylons. The Pylons who had been dormant for most of the game, scored 3 goals in the final 7:00 minutes of the 2nd half. Coach Graciano â€œSuper Subâ€ Da Ponte, once again donned the pads for his young team and didnâ€™t have much to do in the early going. Da Ponte did eventually involve himself in the play, to disastrous results. With the YC already up 1-0 on a great Anthony "MVP" Verardi breakaway goal, Da Ponte went behind the net to play the dump-in. The ball bounced off his stick, straight to Joe Hill, who roofed it over the scrambling goalie.
The YC would bail out their embarrassed goalie with 5 consecutive goals, to put the game comfortably out of hand. First up was Simon â€œThe Giantâ€ Khaouli, who scored his first franchise goal. Next was Mike â€œLady Killerâ€ Verardi on a beautiful, no-look, behind the back pass from Daniel â€œAll Speedâ€ Ascenzi with only :09 seconds left in the half. For anyone who went for a bathroom break at halftime, they missed the next YC goal. Only :30 seconds into the 2nd half, Ascenzi scored the 4th goal of the game, when M. Verardi returned the favor with a cross-crease pass. Andrew â€œGuitar Heroâ€ Ariganello scored his 3rd goal of the year, from a sweet set-up by Seymour â€œSideshow Bobâ€ Korman. Mario â€œI Scored on Coachâ€ Frassinelli rounded out the YC scoring when he finished of a 2-on-1 play with Angelo â€œWedding Bellsâ€ Verardi.
The YC were comfortably ahead 6-1, but perhaps they were too comfortable. Bad bounces, sloppy defensive play & poor goaltending lead the Screaming Pylons to mount a mini comeback. Dan Ofarramenta got a lucky break when the Pylons dump-in bounced off Marco â€œThe Veteranâ€ Ariganelloâ€™s leg and right onto his stick. He out waited Da Ponte, who ended up sprawled out on the floor, and put it top shelf. â€œEven though I was down and out, I really thought I would snag his shot with my catcher. I guess I canâ€™t stop everything,â€ said Da Ponte. Marvin Keats scored the next goal, when once again, Da Ponte came out to play the ball behind the net, but couldnâ€™t clear it far enough, eventually leading to the Pylonsâ€™ 3rd goal. Hareed Basi brought the Pylons closer but it would be their last goal of the night.
Coach/goalie Da Ponte was happy with the teamâ€™s 1st half performance but not too pleased with the 2nd half. â€œWe got out to a big lead and everyone got a little too complacent. Itâ€™s only natural that when you have a 5 goal lead, to think the game is over. But thatâ€™s when you lose focus and give the other team a sliver of hope.â€ The YC did manage do go 100% in the penalty killing department, which made Da Ponte happy. â€œWe have a couple of new guys on the team (Simon, Mario) and theyâ€™ve taken to the PK system very well. I think that if we do it properly, no team should be able to score a PP on us,â€ said a confident Da Ponte.
The Young Canadians next game will be against the very tough Poison on Sunday, September 20 @ 9:00 pm (Rinx). Their previous meeting resulted in a hard-fought 1-0 win. Regular goalie Chris â€œPashqualâ€ Dâ€™Ascanio will be back between the pipes after having sorted out his boyfriend troubles.
GAME #4 â€“ YC PULL OUT A LATE VICTORY!
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Fri Sep 11th 2009 3:18pm
The Young Canadians ran into a 44 year-old wall named Tommy Hammad last night. The Poison goalie stymied the YC all night until Adam â€œHowitzerâ€ Casinelli finally beat him with a bullet shot from the point, with 1:36 left to play. Seymour â€œHeavy Breatherâ€ Korman planted himself perfectly in front of Hammad, hindering his ability to see the ball. The YC had many glorious chances to run up the score but through a combination of great goaltending and missed opportunities, no one could get one by Hammad except Casinelli.
For the 1st time this season, coach Graciano â€œBig Bellyâ€ Da Ponte had a full line-up to employ. The team was also boosted by the appearance of injured teammate Darren â€œIronmanâ€ Gerrard, who arrived in crutches but in good spirits, to cheer his friends on. The team even changed their pre-game chant to honor Gerrard. Ben â€œMighty Mouseâ€ Peluso played his first and last game for the YC until next summer. Due to a work & class scheduling conflict, Peluso canâ€™t make it to anymore games. But he did have an opportunity to get a goal near the end of the game. With the net empty and the YC killing a penalty, Peluso intercepted a pass and was on his way to scoring an empty-net goal when Angelo â€œBad Teammateâ€ Verardi inexplicably put himself offside. As Verardi walked to the bench, he was jeered mercilessly by his team mates.
All 3 forward lines had multiple opportunities to put the YC on the board but couldnâ€™t. Coach Da Ponte muzed, â€œnow I know why that team (Poison) only has eight goals against in four games. Their goalie played awesome. But they donâ€™t give him any support. They lose close games because they have trouble scoring. I hope Iâ€™m able to play that well when Iâ€™m 44!!â€ The YCâ€™s own goalie, Chris â€œIâ€™m Boredâ€ Dâ€™Ascanio had little to do compared to Hammad, but he made a highlight reel save to preserve the win, when he flung his blocker out to stop a sure open net goal.
After the game, Da Ponte presented Anthony â€œBrother Fighterâ€ Verardi with the 1st Annual Most Valuable Player trophy. The players overwhelmingly voted Verardi as the summer seasonâ€™s MVP. Verardi was humbled by the award. â€œI really appreciate receiving this trophy. It wouldâ€™ve meant more if we had won something as a team, but I thank all of you guys for recognizing my supreme talent. If it wasnâ€™t for me, Mike & Ascenzi would be nothing. I hope that next year, you wonâ€™t refuse to vote for me again just because I won it this year.â€
The Young Canadians will play the Screaming Pylons in their next game on Sunday, September 13 @ 4:00 pm (Rinx). Coach Da Ponte will once again turn in his clipboard for his goalie equipment as Dâ€™Ascanio will not be attending due to girlfriend trouble.
FALL GAME #2 â€“ LOSS TO TOROS IS OVERSHADOWED BY INJURY TO TEAM MATE!
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Wed Sep 02nd 2009 10:49am
The Young Canadians lost a hard fought, back & forth game to the Toronto Toros, 4-3. But after the final whistle blew, nobody cared about the score as defenseman Darren â€œD12â€ Gerrard lay on the floor with a broken ankle. With looks of shock and concern on their faces, the YC players watched as their teammate clenched his leg in agony while his foot hung off his leg in the wrong direction. As soon as he realized how bad the injury was, Daniel Ascenzi ran to the bench yelling for coach Graciano Da Ponte to call 911. Da Ponte immediately ran over to Gerrard while making the call. â€œIf youâ€™ve ever seen replays of football or ice hockey injuries, when a player breaks his foot, it was exactly like that,â€ said Da Ponte. â€œWhile waiting for the paramedics, all we could do was talk to him and try to keep him calm. All I can say is that he is one of toughest S.O.B.â€™s that Iâ€™ve ever met. I can only imagine how much pain he was in, but he never let that emotion out in front of the team.â€
Gerrard was injured when the scrum he was trying to separate, fell over onto him. â€œMy guess is that his leg was trapped and he couldnâ€™t free it as the pile started to fall over. It mustâ€™ve snapped when his body went one way and his leg stayed stationary,â€ said Da Ponte. Once the medics got there, they gave Gerrard morphine and pulled him up onto the gurney. Seymour Korman, who was distraught at the sight of his best friend being wheeled away, accompanied him to the hospital. The mood in the dressing room was somber. The players witnessed a horrible injury to a good friend and team mate. For most, it was the first time they ever saw anything like that. They must now move on and continue their season without an important part of the team.
After visiting Gerrard at home, captain Brian Da Ponte said, â€œI told Darren that we want him to be there (at the game) as soon as he feels better. You could see the disappointment in his eyes. The realization that he will be off his feet for a long time is hitting him hard. But some of us went to see him and cheered him up. We donâ€™t want him to go into a depression. Coach told him that as soon as he feels up to it, we want him to come to the games. Maybe even be on the bench if he can handle it.â€
The rest of the team has resolved to do the best they can this season in order to honor their fallen teammate. â€œWe are going to rally around him to win this league,â€ said goalie Chris Dâ€™Ascanio.
FALL GAME #1 - YOUNG CANADIANS OFF TO A GREAT START!
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Fri Sep 04th 2009 1:30pm
Report by: Anthony Verardi
The Young Canadians walked in to RJ Clatworthy Arena on Sunday eager to get the Fall season off the ground and put their heartbreaking end to the Summer season behind them for good. A lot of players showed up in good spirits, clearly optimistic with the teams chances of putting together a strong run at the Fall Championship. Manning the net for the YC would be Coach Graciano â€œSuper Subâ€ Da Ponte, who was forced to step in for a mildly concussed Chris â€œGangstaâ€ Dâ€™Ascanio. Despite his minor concussion symptoms, Dâ€™Ascanio would decide to play the game as a forward, and ultimately help his team put together a strong effort against their opponents, the Red Devils.
Starting out the game for the YC would be the VAV line, the teams most productive line from the Summer season, and it wouldnâ€™t take them long to continue right where they left off. Just 34 seconds into the game, Anthony â€œAssists Are Betterâ€ Verardi would receive a pass from younger brother Mike â€œAfinogenovâ€ Verardi and send it down low to Daniel â€œAll Speed, No Skillâ€ Ascenzi. Ascenzi would then attempt to find M. Verardi with a backhand pass across the goal mouth, only to have the ball deflect off Red Devils goalie Henry Santosâ€™ stick and roll slowly into the net. The brutal goal would give Ascenzi his 1st of the season, and get the YC off to the start they were looking for.
The teams would play a tight game for roughly 10 minutes until Captain Brian â€œKid Smasherâ€ Da Ponte would kick off a flurry of goals for the YC to close out the 1st period. Da Ponte would pick off an errand pass in the neutral zone, carry it over the blue line and fire a perfectly aimed shot over Santosâ€™ glove hand. The goal would be the Captainâ€™s first in over a year and relief was clear upon his face. â€œIt felt good to finally get the monkey off my back,â€ said Da Ponte, â€œI mean, it gets frustrating when you see a guy like Joe put one in before you do.â€ M. Verardi would do his best to one-up Da Ponte just under 3 minutes later when he was sent in all alone by Daniel â€œAll-Star Ringerâ€ Marchione. Mike would push the ball a bit too far ahead of him on the breakaway, but recover with a sensational backhand deke to tuck the ball around Santos while flying through the air. The highlight-reel goal would put the YC up 3-0, and they werenâ€™t done there. Just 53 seconds later, older brother Anthony would bang in the rebound off a nice shot by Seymour â€œJohnny on the Spotâ€ Korman. Korman would then round out the period nicely, by scoring a PPG with 18 seconds remaining. A. Verardi would win the draw back to Marco â€œSecond-oldest to Joeâ€ Ariganello who would in-turn fire a laser from the point that Santos would have trouble handling. Korman, using his great ability of knowing where to be around the net, would tap in the rebound for his 1st goal and 2nd point of the game.
Entering the 2nd half, the YC were told by Captain Da Ponte that the game was in control, and that the main thing was to keep cool heads. Team PIM leader from the Summer season, Joe â€œThe Goonâ€ Giannotti must have been thinking about other things, because he seemed not to hear Da Ponteâ€™s advice, and would be up to his usual goonish ways during the second half. Red Devils players would talk smack to Giannotti, who wouldnâ€™t hesitate to talk back. â€œHeâ€™s an agitator,â€ said A. Verardi, when asked to comment on Giannotti after the game. â€œA vital role to any team, but I really donâ€™t think it was necessary in a blowout game like this one. He knows how to get opponents off their game, thatâ€™s for sure.â€ The Red Devils would get one past G. Da Ponte on a nice shot, but it would be all they would get. With just under 5 minutes left in regulation, M.Verardi would get his 2nd of the game. With the man-advantage, Ascenzi would take a shot from a sharp angle that Santos would once again have trouble with. The rebound would pop out right to Verardiâ€™s stick, who would bury it easily to make the game 6-1 in favour of the YC.
The game was undoubtedly in the bag, but the Red Devils werenâ€™t going down without a fight...literally. Giannotti would once again be the center of a heated scuffle behind the Red Devils net, and would really get under the skin of an already fuming Santos. With emotions running high, the referees would wisely call an end to the game, and the YC would win their first game of the season in convincing fashion.
The Young Canadians will face the tough Toronto Toros on Sunday, August 30 @ 9:00 pm (Rinx). Coach Da Ponte will be back behind the bench to integrate his new players with the current line-up.