12: All India vs Fancy
Much anticipated matchup to start the day here as last years winning Captain Amit Mann faces off against his first overall pick last year Anoop Sahota. All India comes out flying in this game. Anoop starts it off shooting a cannon from the center of the point over Joe Sandhu on All India’s 2nd power play of the game not even 5 minutes into the game. Shawn Atwal and Navi Grewal with the assists. Navi Grewal scores midway through the first half to make it 2-0 assisted by Anoop. Fancy Door picked it up late in the half but other than that it was all All India. 2-0 at half. Rob Gakhal pinches on the play in the second half and Balraj Lally gets it over to Amit Chavda who makes no mistake on his off wing to make it 3-0. Less than a minute later off of a turnover, Robby Bagri ships a shot/pass with Kanwar Sandhu driving the net and it deflects off of him into the net. Refs have a brief chat but there was no kicking motion and Fancy has some life here. A little later on Anoop ships a slap pass from his own zone to Navi on the breakaway and Joe makes the save and stops the rebound to give his team a chance here. Fancy gets the opportunity they need with All India taking two penalties in 30 seconds but they are unable to capitalize on the power play. Bobby Rai playing well again. Another power play right away for Fancy and this time they make no mistake as Jiven Gill feeds Amit Mann just off the half boards and he claps it in short side on Bobby Rai. With 2 minutes to go, Rob fumbles a clearing attempt by Fancy and Arjun Dhaliwal goes 2 on 1 and makes no mistake taking the shot low far side and we have a 3-3 game. Less than a minute later Arjun takes two double minor penalties but Fancy is able to get through regular time and secure at least a point. However, in OT, All India is able to setup in the zone rather quickly and Anoop feeds Navi on the half boards and he one times it through Joe’s fivehole and this game is over. 3-2 All India over Fancy
1: Eyes vs ACH
Early pressure in the season for Art Custom Homes as their first round pick Arjun Ghuman is overseas for the month of May so they definitely did not want to start the season 0-2. Slow start to the second game of the day however that all changed when Sim Sandhu came down the wing and took a clapper that went in bar down on the far side over Karns blocker side and it is 1-0 Eyes 5 minutes in. Not much else happening, Jim Sidhu did a spinorama and got a shot off in the slot but it was blocked into the netting. Harv Dhaliwal with the accidental body contact interference call with 3 minutes to go in the half; layed the guy out. He did make sure he was ok though. Joti Atwal manages to trickle one in late on that PP. In the last minute of the half Sim Sandhu missed a glorious chance; net was open on the far side but he put it over the net. Jim has a late chance on the backhand but Karn turned it away. Both goalies doing their job in the first half and it is 1-1. JJ opens the 2nd half beating his defender and coming down the wing on a half breakaway but BK didn’t bite and made a solid save. Back the other way and Manny Grewal one times a shot on a 2 on 1, which appeared to go in, and Manny went into full celebration mode. A few seconds later he turned around and realized it was not called a goal and play continued back the other way. Not a happy man. Right back into Eyes zone and a mad scramble but BK manages to keep it out. Back and forth to start the half. Joti Atwal with a point shot that looked like it hit the post on another PP. Arjun Ghuman, playing a lot of minutes today, takes a feed on the point and claps a bomb to make it 2-1 with 11 minutes to go. No chance for BK. Jim Sidhu then rolled off the half boards and shipped a sweet backhand pass across to Amir Bains who makes no mistake and buries it. 2-2 with 8 to play. Late PP for ACH with 4 to play. Let’s see if they capitalize. Tons of pressure on the PP but the score stays 2-2. Might be 2nd OT of the day. Arman with a late rebound and BK keeps it out with his helmet coming off on the play. 45 seconds left with faceoff in Eyes zone. Clean faceoff for Eyes and they breakout into ACHs zone. Nick with the pass to Jim Sidhu and he wrists one in low far side with 29 seconds to play. Heart breaker for ACH as they lose late in regulation and fall to 0-2. Final score Eyes 2 ACH 2.
2: Vacuums vs Go Kia
Both teams looking for their first win. Gurp Bhangal buzzing early dangling around a dman but nothing comes of it. Harmless looking wrister from the point from Sarb’s team finds its way through traffic but hits the post. Scoreless with 13 to play. Karan Dhaliwal with a shot off a clean draw saved by Lefty. Made it look easy. Not much happening but Lefty made another great save halfway through the period. Late PP for Vacuums and Gurp rolls into the slot and takes a shot, which deflects off the backboards, and Navu Sandhu taps in the rebound. 2 goals 2 games for the rookie ageless wonder. GoKia gets it right back with Ram Soos beating his defender and squeaks one through. It’s 1-1 late in the first half. Navu with another spin around shot in the slot but Raj stands his ground. Late flurry of chances for Vacuums but they cannot break the tie. 1-1 at half. Gurp with a breakaway to start the 2nd. Deked to his backhand and looked like he had it but lefty makes a highlight save to keep this game tied. With a point shot going wide, Karan Dhaliwal grabs the rebound off the boards and takes a quick shot from a tough angle. Raj Virdi cleans up the rebound and makes it 2-1 with 13 to play. Gurp with a breakaway short handed and Lefty stands his ground again. Gonna be a good finish with 8 to play. Lots of late chances for GoKia including a breakaway for Ram Soos. Deked to his backhand but shot to early and Jag Mann makes a clutch save with 3 min to go. Goalie pulled with 1:30 to go here. With 42 seconds left Navu breaks out of zone and gives an unselfish pass to Gurp for the empty netter. 3-1 Vacuums over GoKia.
3: DI vs Pizza 38
Both teams come into the game 1-0 on the season. Early powerplay for Pizza 38 and Jaz Dhaliwal with a couple good saves to keep it scoreless. With the power play expiring, Akash Mehta makes a pass from the half boards to Jessy Virdee on the point and he makes no mistake on his slap shot. 1-0 Pizza 38 5 min into the game. Karanvir Gill drives the wing and just misses far side top cheese. Shawn Atwal, coming off his season opener hat trick, steps into a Sunny Brar clapper showing his defensive skills. 6 to go in the first half. Navi Brar buzzing as per usual creating chances. Navi Brar comes through in the slot top corner and we are tied up with 3 min to play in the half assisted by Amiraj Jawanda and Sunny Brar. 1-1 at half.
It didn’t take long for DI to take the lead. Three minutes in, on the PP again, this time Sanjay Sarker from Prabh Thind and Sunny Brar. This PP is the hottest in the league right now. P38 had no answer after that. Only mustered 9 shots all game and found themselves in the box often. With a minute left Navi Brar sealed the deal. He has 8 points in two games.
4: Gallo vs HS
These teams had a very different opening day. Gallo thoroughly dominated a depleted Fancy team last week whereas Henry Singer had a full squad but got mercy’d by P38.
Most observers expected Gallo to roll through HS but they were wrong. HS came to play. It didn’t take long for them to take the lead. After a defensive error in their own end, Sunny Matharu found a loose ball near the red circle. Clapped it top cheese. Couldn’t have placed it better, 1-0. Although Gallo took more shots and controlled the majority of the play, they couldn’t capitalize against Shiv Puri who played very efficient. HS made it 2-0 when Sandeep Gill took a pass from Jaspal Dosanjh, picked a side and sniped.
3-0 was when most fans ripped up their sport select tickets. Preet Sandhu, who attended Gary Roberts training camp before this PBHL season got the ball from Mahmoud Mahfouz and Suksham Shan, he showed good patience and then slotted it past goalie Sim Deo.
Sunny Matharu scored a very similar goal to his first about two minutes after Preet’s. He got the ball some feet in front of the blue line, wound up and it slapped through the goalie. 4-0 this game is over. Gallo is playing poor and look half asleep. But wait.
Maybe the baisti of run time woke Gallo up and with 8 minutes left to play they took over. On the PP, Sarman Malhi did well to find Raju Bagri to gain the offensive zone, he took a shot that Shiv saved to his left, Jas Sadhra got to it first and he backhanded it cross-crease to Mani Boparai who did well to run into the open space and pop it into the wide open net.
Gallo blitzed HS for the next five minutes but couldn’t score. With three minutes left, Sam Sekhon gave himself the green light to play more offensive. A shot took a lively bounce off the back boards, Nonie Maan picked it up behind the net and shoveled it to Sam who made no mistake from a couple feet in.
But that is a close as they got. 4-2 big win for HS.
Special thanks to Rob Gakhal who drafted the majority of these summaries.