Early Game – #1 Italy versus #3 Ireland

The early tilt featured the first place Italians against the third place Grinders from Galway who subbed in Alan Robb for a host of missing players to get them to 10 skaters. Both goalies were subs in this one too with Slovenia’s Tony Cioffi replacing the injured Tomi Niemenen for Italy and Scotland’s Frank Rispoli in for Ireland’s Stuart Henderson.

All Ireland in the first period with a goal from league leader Chris Deware and two from Robin Flumerfelt.

The Italians won the second period 3-2 with two goals from Dave Vincelli and one from Marcello Diluzio against another pair from Ireland’s Deware for the hat-trick. 5-3 for Ireland after two.

But Rispoli the Goalie blanked his countrymen in the third while Deware picked up his fourth to end this one 6-3 for Ireland.

Players of the game go to Ireland’s Robin Flumerfelt and Italy’s Bryon Wright with two helpers and his usual strong defence.

Ireland Player of the Game Robin Flumerfelt
Italy Player of the Game Bryon Wright

Late Game – #2 Slovenia versus #4 Portugal

The late show featured #2 Slovenia who could regain 1st place after Italy’s loss in the early game. #4 Portugal looking to climb the ladder as well.

A terrible break for Portugal in the first shift when team chefe Mike Rukavina left the game after catching a newly sharpened edge and falling awkwardly into the boards. Everyone hoping for your fast recovery Mike.

Slovenia got the only 1st period goal off the stick of sniper Paul Riopelle, both goalies standing on their heads to keep this one tight in the first period.

Portugal came storming back, winning the second period 3-0 off a pair from Dave Wodar and a single from Greg Platt. 3-1 Portugal after two.

Wodar picked up the hat-trick halfway through the third to put Portugal up 4-1 but the never-say-die Slovenian squad got a pair late from Riopelle and Dave Skingley to make it 4-3 Portugal.

But Portugal ended this one with an empty netter and a last second fluke — final score Portugal 6, Slovenia 3.

Slovenia Slivovitz Player of the game goes to big George Letsos while Portugal’s POG goes to Dave Wodar with the hat-trick.

Slovenia Slivovitz Player of the Game George Letsos
Portugal Player of the Game Dave Wodar (with the hat-trick)

With three weeks to go in the season, Italy, Slovenia and Ireland all still have a shot at finishing in first place while Portugal could go as high as second. Scotland also has an opportunity to move up. Lots of hockey left in what league icon Leo Brideau calls, “a 20 game pre-season.” Everyone makes the playoffs and everyone who’s been in the league for a while knows that regular season standings don’t mean much come playoff time.