Summer 2012: Game #9 - Remarkable Streak Comes to an End!
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Thu Jun 28th 2012 11:55am
In what may go down as one of the greatest months of ball hockey in Young Canadians '06 history, June 2012 represents the YC at their defensive best. After earning 5 straight shutouts versus opponents in the Special Dry #2 division, the YC went into the final game of the month vs. Team Kryptonite. In a cruel twist of fate, Team Kryptonite, the lowest scoring team in the division, were the one's who broke the shutout streak at 5:41 of the 1st half.
While goalie Chris "Schooby" D'Ascanio, didn't face 30 shots every game, he was full value for every shutout. At least once or twice every game, he had to make an unbelievable save to preserve the shutout. His best games were against the top 2 teams in the division (St. Lawrence Kings & Wet Bandits). Against the Bandits, when the game was still 1-0, D'Ascanio slid across the crease, robbing forward Nick Lombardi with a pad save. Against the Kings, the outcome wasn't assured until the very end. D'Ascanio earned the shutout with several outstanding saves.
The Young Canadians will now turn their focus to the their own division. With 3 straight back-to-back match ups versus their rivals, first place is still up in the air. First up are the 3rd place Panthers. The Panthers have turned over some of their roster, but with the return of coach Da Ponte's former teammate, Luciano "The Shot" DiMuccio, they remain a real threat.
After that, are the Sneaker Pimps. These 2 teams battled it out last year in the summer finals, with the YC coming out on top in a shootout. But it was the Pimps who finished 1st, coming away with the much coveted spot at the Ontario's. First place in the division may come down to these 2 games.
Finally, the YC will end the season vs. the Blues. The Blues are languishing in last place, 6 points behind the Panthers. Despite their rank, they won this division in the winter season and remain a dangerous team.
Spring 2012: Game #4 - YC DOMINATES RIVAL REBELS
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Mon Mar 05th 2012 11:02am
In one of the most dominating performances of a rival in recent memory, the Young Canadians were all over a beseiged Marc Brown, who was named 3rd star, despite allowing 4 goals. The YC outshot the Rebels an astonishing 28 - 7, winning the game 4-0.
Coach Da Ponte revamped his lines for this game, feeling that he wasn't getting the best from his players so early in this season. The changes worked instantly. :24 seconds into the game, Adam "Mr. Concrete" Casinelli, gained the zone & made a sweet cross-floor pass to Angelo "Pay You Next Week" Verardi, who had snuck in behind the Rebels defenders for an easy tap in. Angelo, who was named 1st star, was at his tenacious best all game long, playing with new linemate Casinelli. Both brothers (Angelo & Anthony) adjusted well & were dangerous all game long.
The score would remain 1-0 for the next 25 minutes, mainly due to the heroics of Rebels goalie, Marc Brown. Time after time, he was under siege, but was at his best, making ridiculous saves in close and from afar. But as usually happens, it was a screen shot that finally got past him. Mike "Magi Man" Verardi, also playing with new linemates Mike "LumberJack" Lorenzon & Peter "The Boss" Vicente, took a wrist shot from just inside the blueline that somehow eluded Brown. Judging by his body language, Brown didn't even see the shot coming.
Just :24 seconds later, part-timer Joe "Laser Beam" Guido teed up a shot from the point that got past Brown. And just like that, the Rebels were done. Guido would add one more goal with :21 seconds remaining, when he stole the ball at centre, walked in and took a slapshot from 8 feet out.
The fact the game remained 1-0 for so long, was due more to Brown's goaltending, than the YC's lack of finish. Coach Da Ponte will have a challenge for the next game, as 2 players are returning from other commitments, while 2 more will be away for work. As much as he wants to keep the lines intact, he will have to reorganize them again. Also, Da Ponte will be in net for the next game vs. the Screaming Eagles on Saturday, March 10 @ 11am.
Spring 2012: Game #1 – YC Adrenaline Runs Out!
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Wed Feb 15th 2012 3:07pm
The Young Canadians were excited to be back on the floor for their first game of the Spring season and it showed in the 1st half. With all 3 lines blitzing the Sneaker Pimps' zone, the result was a 2-0 lead just over 5:00 minutes into the game
Perennial leading scorer, Anthony "Commish" Verardi, picked up where he left off in the fall, with a beautifully worked goal from his brother Angelo & veteran defenseman, Hern Azeredo. At 9:42, Simon "Slick" Khaouli, buried a shot past Pimps' goalie David Pighin. Khaouli, along with Michael "Sweetness" Petruccelli & new linemate Peter "The Bulldozer" Vicente, all had chances to score on the same shift.
The players were feeling good but unfortunately, the referees decided to take over the game. First, Joe "The Goon" Giannotti was called for interference. Then Anthony "Tank" DiMarco & Enio Da Ros were assessed coincidental roughing minors, despite the fact that Da Ros punched DiMarco's helmet off. The YC were given the next 6 penalties in a row compared to none for the Pimps. Given this discrepancy, it was only a matter of time before coach Da Ponte's pre-game prediction came true.
the YC players energy level began to dip and it showed in their defensive play. Too often the Pimps were allowed to run around uncontested in the YC zone, leading to many scoring chances. Goalie Chris "Schu-Burko" D'Ascanio did his best to keep the lead, but an unlucky bounce led to the tying goal. Da Ros point shot went wide, but it bounced off the back boards, right back to Louie Di Caro, who batted it in. The eventual game winner was scored by original Young Canadians legend, Gino "Boogeyman" Gallo, with 2:19 to play.
The YC tried their best to tie the game, but with yet another penalty called with 1:41 to play, the job would be almost impossible. Sneaker Pimps resident weasel, Larry Da Cunha, was at the centre of the encounter, once again. First he fooled referee Mike Viera into calling a body contact penalty on Anthony Verardi, then he goaded brother Mike into a 10 minute misconduct.
Coach Da Ponte knew his team would come out firing on all cylinders in the 1st half, and they did. But a letdown was a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, the referees didn't help the YC cause by calling a completely one-sided game. To the YC's credit, they did not allow a power play goal. And that is something the coach wanted to improve upon this season.
Spring 2012: Young Canadians Get Ready for the Upcoming Season
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Tue Feb 07th 2012 10:22am
The Young Canadians are gearing up for an exciting spring season, where they will meet some old foes in a tough division. After breaking for the winter season, the YC players are eager to get going again. "I can't wait to get started," is a common statement heard between the players. But, it won't be easy for them, since most of the teams they will be facing have been playing throughout the winter.
There will be some new faces in the YC line-up this season. Forwards Daniel Rosato & Mike Lorenzon are joining the spring team from the LumberJacks. Also, Rob Casinelli will be back in the line-up after a 2 season hiatus. The YC will be losing the services of 3 players due to prior commitments. Hern Azeredo, Joe Guido & Marco Ariganello will be back for the summer season though.
The tentative line-up looks like this:
Fall 2011: Young Canadians Lose Heartbreaker in A Shootout!
Posted by: Graciano Da Ponte on Mon Oct 31st 2011 3:33pm
The Young Canadians '06 failed to repeat as champions this fall as they lost game #2 of the finals 5-4 to the Nordekes, then lost 2-1 in an 11-man shootout. The under-manned YC team were :54 seconds away from pulling out the win, when disaster struck. Defenseman Joe Guido was called for roughing after he retaliated by punching a Nordeke player. Of course, the referee only saw his act & not the original one.
With the Nordekes goalie on the bench & the face-off deep in their own zone, the YC would be facing a 6-on-4 situation. The YC defended well but with :26 seconds left in the game, Nelson Pacheco would score on an awkward bounce to take the lead for good.
In the 1st half, the Nordekes would go up by 2 goals before Peter "Collingwood" Vicente responded for the YC. Michael "Playoff MVP" Petruccelli would tie the game early in the 2nd on the PP, when him & Brian "Dude" Da Ponte passed the ball back & forth before Petruccelli one-timed a shot past Marco Da Costa.
The Nordekes took the lead again when Tier 1 import, Ricardo Pires, scored his 2nd of the game. Just under 2:00 minutes later, Damon "Sleepy" Cuccione evened things up again with a weak shot that somehow got by Da Costa. The teams traded goals once more, with Daniel "The Young Gun" Ascenzi scoring what many thought would hold up as the chamiponship clincher. But it didn't and the YC had to go the hard route in order to win their 2nd consecutive title.
The Nordekes held an early edge in OT with Pires missing a golden chance to end the game with substitute goalie, Graciano "Coach" Da Ponte flat on his back. The shot went wide & the YC went down the other way and almost scored on a chance of their own. In the end nothing was resolved & the two teams headed for a shootout.
As the team's 3rd shooter, Petruccelli deked forehand & scored backhand on Da Costa. Da Ponte stopped the 1st 4 shooters and needed 1 more to send the YC bench & fans into euphoria. Justin Amaral came in slowly & beat Da Ponte through the 5-hole. After that, the shootout would go 6 more rounds before a winner was decided.
After everyone else had gone. Anthony "Down Low" Dimarco represented the team's last shooter before starting over again. His deke didn't work and Andrew Toledo scored for the Nordekes. After thinking he stopped the shot, Da Ponte didn't move while the ball snuck through his equipment & slowly rolled over the goal line. It was only after the Nordekes players rushed the floor that he realized the game was over.
"I was heartbroken when I realized they won the game," said Da Ponte. "I kept thinking about how close we were from ending the game in a tie. Then Daniel's chance to end it in OT. Then the 5th shooter who beat me 5-hole. I'm not gonna sleep well tonight."
Indeed the Young Canadians had their chances to win, despite missing the entire Verardi Brothers line. But, ultimately, you won't win many shootouts if only one player scores out of 11.
The Young Canadians will now be taking a break for the winter season. Several YC players decided to continue playing & will be joining the Young Gunz at the Hangar for 1 season. You can follow their exploits here:
Young Gunz Team Website.
To all the YC players, enjoy your time off, heal your wounds, recharge yourself for the spring. We will no longer be in divisions that are "beneath us". From now on, you will have to take your game to a new level if you want to be successful!