The tags are still on the eleven new teams, but ten of the eleven are now game-worn. It takes a few weeks to really find out whose shiny new bells and whistles work the best, and who will have seasons that get old fast...
Fittingly, the first goal-scorer of the league's 50th season was there for season one. Dale Stuzka put Grey on the board first, and added an assist on Steve Goncalo's first of the year in the second, leading Grey to a 4-1 win over Royal Blue. Rookie Ray Rosik's first career SDFHL goal served as the game-winner, while Kamal Gill's first career SDFHL goal was just third period icing on the cake. Captain Tony Rissi converted a Josh Wirt assist to provide his team's only scoring response, as opposing captain, Jordan Pynn, stood tall in nets for his team.
Alan Razoky scored early in the first, and even earlier in the third to lead the charge for Red. A short handed tally from Mostafa Azab, and an empty net coffin nail courtesy of Captain Ryan Belbin gave Red an opening day win over Navy, 4-2. Donald Chow and Justin Stege kept Navy afloat to the end, but Red proved that their largely Canadian-born contingent was certainly a force to be reckoned with, eh?
Alex Theis has returned this season to terrorize SDFHL scorers. His 13/13 night may not look like much in the morning paper, but he certainly earned his paycheck with this performance. Steve Testen was no slouch for Gold at the other end, but his team fell 3-0, in spite of his 23/26 effort. The bromance that is Strathman/DeGraffenreid connected to open the scoring for Brown with just one tick left on the clock in the first, and Marc Lapointe and his velvety hands provided the rest of the offensive payload. To everyone's great surprise, Melissa Busby was actually of some use in this game, recording two assists on the evening, including a sparkler on Lapointe's first goal.
Kris Tosczak broke away, and broke a scoreless tie with a short handed goal for Green in the second period. Rookie (and aspiring hair model), Brett Cohen, provided the equalizer early in the third, but Eric Willard and Captain Mara Bernd put Green back in the money for good, 3-1.
Steve Linke was no doubt aghast and dismayed to learn that he was taken thrid overall in the draft. He seems incapable of grasping what the rest of us all know...he's worth it! Linke assisted on both Tim Helmbrecht goals, and Chuck Bender went 15/15, as Black edged past Yellow, 2-0.