Week 18 hosted three exciting games. the Lake Raiders (12-5-0) vs. the Saints (6-10-1); Kings (7-7-3) vs. the Mustangs (6-9-2); Bulldogs (9-6-2) vs. the Wolves (5-8-4).
Game 1 (Lake Raiders vs. Saints) saw the first place Lake Raiders, hoping to secure the President’s Cup, take on the down but not out Saints. Period One had both sides pushing hard to secure the first marker. At 5:15 of the first, the Saints Brandy Edwards took a lead pass from Jennifer Raycraft, and the Saints took the early advantage. The Lake Raiders were not willing to give up the lead for long and a couple of solo efforts by Raiders Erin Vassilakos (at 7:50 & 14:00) had them carry their lead into the first intermission. Period Two saw both sides exchange chances and then goals. A solo effort by Saints Brandy Edwards at 11:17 was matched by a solo effort from Lake Raiders Jeremy Schofield at 13:48 and the Raiders took the lead to the final frame. Period Three continued to see both sides exchange their best efforts. It took until the 11:00 minute mark before either side would give an inch. A scrum in the Lake Raiders crease found the Saints Jennifer Raycraft with the ball and she slid it past Lake Raiders keeper Neil Mercer and the sides were even at 3-3. The Lake Raiders still weren’t ready to give and within seconds (11:45) their Jeremy Schofield took a cross court pass from Erin Vassilakos and the Raiders were back on top at 4-3. A concerted effort from the Saints for the final three minutes could not beat the Lake Raiders defensive efforts and some heads up keeping from the LR’s Neil Mercer. Final 4-3 Lake Raiders over Saints.
Game 2 (Kings vs. Mustangs) saw the third place Kings and the fourth place Mustangs both fighting to secure their playoff spots. Period One was a tight checking affair and it took almost the first half of the frame before either side could take an advantage. At the six minute mark the Mustangs Nicole Neeson took a beautiful touch pass from Muntha Ahmed and beat Kings keeper Leo Xu. Mustangs 1-0. Period Two saw things open up and open up quickly. Within the first minute (00:46) the Mustangs Roberto Monteiro took a Nicole Neeson pass in the slot and the Ponies were up a deuce. At 2:19 the Kings responded with one of their own when Mike Iacovone took a David Donnelly pass and the Mustangs margin was down to one. Before the frame could end the Mustangs notched two more markers Monteiro from Neeson & Correia at 5:50 and Neeson from Ahmed at 11:30 and the Kings were down 4-1. Period Three saw the Mustangs again have a quick start. At the 30 second mark, a slick tick, tack, toe (Ahmed from Monteiro & Neeson) and the Mustangs stretch their lead to four (5-1). The Kings weren’t going to give up without a fight. At the two minute mark David Donnelly took a Isaac Vescio pass and popped it behind Mustangs keeper Brad Gordon then the same due repeated at 3:15 and the differential was down to a deuce again (5-3 Mustangs). The Kings comeback was short lived when a solo effort from the Mustangs Roberto Monteiro put their lead to 6-3. At 10:11 another Mustang marker Neeson from Monteiro and it was over. Final 7-3 Mustangs over Kings.
Game 3 (Bulldogs vs. Wolves) saw the fifth place Wolves, battling to stay in playoff contention, go up against the struggling Bulldogs trying to end a four game losing skid. Period One had each side waiting for the other side to make a mistake or so it appeared. The Wolves looked to take the lead when the Bulldogs Scott Allen was in the box for an “In the Crease” infraction but it was the Bulldogs who took the advantage when Jerry Mariano took a Meghan Hines pass at 12:36 and notched a short-handed marker. Bulldogs 1-0. A little less than 2 minutes later (14:32) the Wolves Saverio Romano took a lead pass from Matt DaCosta and brought both sides even (1-1) with a top corner laser. Period Two saw both sides trade markers. The Bulldogs Jerry Mariano (Franco Paonessa) at 6:45 and then the Wolves Saverio Romano (unassisted) at 9:20 and the tie held to the end of the frame. Period Three had the Wolves come out with a punch and left the Bulldogs reeling. An early Wolves effort at 1:02 (Romano / Vocino) and then a follow up at 11:02 (Romano / unassisted) saw them take control and the Bulldogs couldn’t summon any response. The Final Buzzer rang with the Wolves keeping their playoff hopes alive but the Bulldogs slump stretching to five and the playoffs looming. Final 4-2 Wolves over Bulldogs.
On March 19th 2016, the Mustangs take on the Bulldogs; the Saints take on the Kings and the Wolves take on the Lake Raiders at Sunnyview Public School. Come watch the TPWHL next Saturday from 12:30 to 3:30 PM.