It's Valentine's Day, and the midway point in the season...what better time to check in on the pulse of each team? It's all about the BPM, or in SDFHL terms, the PPW (Points Per Week). Brown, Green, White, Black and Navy are all heart healthy with a PPW greater than 1.00. Gold, Red, Grey, Yellow, and Purple will need a little TLC (Tosczak-Like Clutchness), and possibly CPR (Cheating/Prayer/Recruitment) in order to rebound from a PPW of 1.00 and below. Royal Blue, well, they are on life support, and are a few more fruitless weeks from having to issue a DNR (Do Not Rissi-citate). There is no universal health care in this league, so now is the time to make sure you have a solid PPO (Personal Point Output), or and least an HMO (Hail Mary Option) to help keep you and your team alive and kicking into mid to late April...
White (fittingly) blanked
Grey, 3-0, keeping the drab-clad crew on the cellar stairs. It was Grey's third straight loss...their third straight SHUTOUT loss. Alas, Grey's best offensive weapon is stuck in nets. Cory Brin (15/15) posted his first clean slate of the season, while Nick Adkins, Jim LaGrossa, and Kim Hernandez provided the one-two-three punch in the win.
Purple snatched non-loss from the jaws of loss, as Mark Ennsmann's taly with 0:15 remaining sealed the 3-3 deal with Black. Black remain undefeated at 2-0-3 with the result, but should perhaps be concerned that this is their second such last-minute-failed-dismount-stick in five games (see 0:37 Tony Thinh tally for Green in Week Two). Still, Tim Vick, Jeff Henderson, and Jason Remple helped keep the 'L' column spotless for Black with a goal apiece. Mark Daquipa, Sean Kelly, and the aforementioned hero, Mark Ennsmann, matched that output for a Salt-less Purple. Purple have zero wins in four tries, and have a tough schedule ahead with Green and White on the horizon.
Donald Chow kept his rookie of the year buzz buzzing, scoring his third goal of the season as part of Navy's 4-1 heave-ho of Gold. Chris Malki, Justin Stege, and Mark Nagy rounded out the offense, and took all of the stress off Nick Meglich (16/17) between the pipes. Rookie, Mike Testen, scored his first career goal, providing the lone measure of vengeance for his twin brother, and Gold netminder, Steve Testen (22/26).
Shawna Hamon tucked home a power play goal to put Brown on the board, and was a key player in the production of dazzling tic-tac-toe insurance marker, as Brown kept their winning ways intact against Red, 3-1. Vance Morra made things interesting, scoring his first of the season with the goalie pulled, but even an oafed WIDE OPEN EMPTY NET chance for Captain Mark DeGraffenreid did not leave the door open wide enough for Red to recover. DeGraffenreid did find the twine late in the second, and Mark Boulanger was the 'toe' in the aforementioned tic-tac-toe play...his first career SDFHL tally. Alex Theis is clearly the backbone for Brown, stopping 15/16 in this go, and very nearly recording his third shutout in five tries.
It's hard to overcome the hard luck double-whammy of Captain Tony Rissi and Kevin Dinino. Both have something of a history of ill-fated teams, and 'Royal Pains' have carried on that sad tradition, so far. This was a particularly heartbreaking loss, with Kris Tosczak's second of the game coming at 0:52 in the third to secure the thrilling 4-3 victory for Green. Green had built a 3-1 lead after one (Tony Thinh, Eric Willard, and Tosczak's first), but Royal Blue built on Josh Wirt's first period score with goals by...yes, Rissi and Dinino...before it all came crashing down. Royal Blue is legitimately approaching 'must win' country at this point. Although they do have their bye week behind them, they face the current pace-setters in Brown in their next game, then the only other undefeated side in Black the following week.