The GTHL AAA Bantam opening gameday brought a lot of excitement as the Vaughan Kings hosted Toronto Titans at the Scotiabank Pond 1. Both sides aimed to make a good start of the season and both teams saw this as a good opportunity to secure their first win of the season.
Toronto Titans Review
The Titans looked motivated before the start of this game and that determination was present in the early stages of the first period. Moreover, their strategy was to put early pressure and to take the lead. And they were quite successful as they dominated the first five minutes of the game. A notable presence in the team was James Petrovski. The Titans forward had good possession of the biscuit and took some dangerous shots on goal. Also, the 15 years old Toronto forward was very combative and was supported by Carey Terrance and Corson Maguire as both players dominated the middle of the ice.
However, the Titans were not able to keep up the pressure and their opponents managed to get back into the game. Although they dropped their level, James Petrovski kept his pace and that resulted with golden scoring opportunity but the flamboyant forward missed his shot with 7 seconds left before getting kronwalled by the Kings defence. Ethan Kowatsch made three saves and the Titans had a total of four shots in the 1st period of the game.
In the 2nd period, the Toronto based team had the stable defensemen Philip Radeff holding the line. Moreover, the 15 years old blueliner had a commanding presence and that enabled the Titans to put more pressure on their opponents. The stability in the back was also down to Drew Smith. Furthermore, the 6’0″ was great in transition play and came close to score on a couple of occasions. Therefore, the Titans were able to dominate the middle of the ice and they slowly mounted a steady pressure. But, as they came close to scoring, the Kings managed to steal the biscuit in the 11th minute of the 2nd period. The result was a stylish goal from Stefan Forgione.
After the conceded goal, the Titans dropped their pace and needed to regroup at the break. Still, the team ended the 2nd period with remarkable 10 shots on goal. But, they were not able to get past Mason Vaccari. Ethan Kowatsch did not have much work on his hands but still managed to record three saves in the 2nd period and conceded 1 goal.
The third period saw the Titans going all-in as they aimed to get back into the game with an early goal. Also, their game showed some promising signs and they kept possession, coming close on a few occasions. Their defensive line stood up the challenge with Ethan Robinson having some notable checking tackles. Benny Zucchet was also an influencing figure in this period. The 14 years old bluelinesman had some good runs and transitional movements which put even more pressure on the Kings.
That pressure paid off in the 6th minute of the 3rd period as Ethan Robinson equalized the score. And, the team did not stop here as they opted to try and win the game as they came close through Corson Maguire, but the 14 years old Titans forward’s close-range shot was saved by Mason Vaccari. The last few minutes saw both teams going forward. And that drop of tactical discipline was critical for the Titans as they conceded a goal in the 12th minute of the 3rd period.
Vaughan Kings Review
The Kings headed into this game with hoping to start the season on a with a win. On that note, it is important to emphasize that it took some time for the Vaughan Kings to get into the game. To be more specific, the GTHL team defended well in the early stages of the first period. That was notable as goaltender Mason Vaccari made some key saves to keep the Kings in the game.
However, the team slowly got back into the game. Also, their defensive line stabilized and Andrew Wycisk grew into the game with some combating style checking tackles. But, it was the performances of goaltender Mason Vaccari that made the difference. The 5’10 goaltender faced 10 shots from the Titans in the 2nd period of the game. And in the aftermath of one of his saves, Stefan Forgione managed to mount a quick counter-attack and to score in the 11th minute of the 2nd period. It was a great reward for the team’s defensive solidarity, resilience and commitment. The goal had a galvanizing effect on the Kings. They came close on a few occasions in the final minutes of the 2nd period. They ended the period with 6 shots on goal.
The Kings started the 3rd period with strong determination and determination to win this game. But overall, the Vaughan Kings were not able to break down their opponents during the early stage of the final period. On the contrary, the Titans throw everything that they got to equalize the score. But, the Kings were the better team now. And Luciano Supino had notable actions on the wings with some dangerous runs. In the middle of the ice, Stefan Forgiono put some strong efforts and had some intelligent movements. Jaden Sturge defended well and energized the team with some good transition runs. Giacomo Martino had a couple of opportunities to score but he was unlucky. During, in the second part of the third period, the Kings took more risks going forward.
Yet, that early pressure did not materialize. And their opponents managed to score in the 6th minute of the 3rd period.
After that conceded goal, the game opened and the Titans threw more bodies forward. The Kings also stepped up the challenge. They managed to take advantage on one occasion and scored through Giacomo Martino with 2 minutes remaining. The Kings managed to hold off the lead in the last moments of the game. Andrew Lanni and goaltender Mason Vaccari made the difference in the last minute of the game.
After the first game of the season, the Kings have 2 goals per game in the GTBHL this season. On the defensive side of the game, the Vaughan Kings have 1 goal conceded in the division.
On a final note, it is safe to say that this game was very competitive and exciting to watch. Also, there were periods in the game in which the two sides dominated. However, the tactical stability and the discipline enabled the Kings to execute quick transition movements that enabled them to score at the right time to seal the win.