Nordiques Win T5S Winter '12 Championship!! Beat Anderson in 4th OT to Capture 2nd T5S Crown; Gioia Receives 2nd Torche Award
Stamford March 29, 2012
The Nordiques captured their 2nd T5S championship by defeating Anderson Analytics in the first two games of a best-of-three championship series. This was the 3rd straight trip to the T5S championship final for the Nordiques and 2nd crown in a year. The Nordiques captured the Spring '11 championship and went to the summer finals as well. The nucleus of this Nordiques team, many having been together for 3 years or more, won three straight T6 championships prior to the recent T5S run. Overall, that's 6 straight finals for this crew, with 5 championships notched. Each of these accomplishments are a testimony to the team's heart and passion for hockey, for their sweater, and for each other.
The championship round featured gritty team defense and fantastic goal tending. It was very well played on both sides, and incredibly close as well. The Nordiques prevailed in game one by scoring in the opening minutes, then making that goal hold up for a 1-0 shut out win. Goalie Kelly Smith, who stepped-in admirably for injured Nordiques' goalies Scott Morrissette and Brian Fratturo, was flawless and his play inspired the best from everyone in front of him.
Two nights later the teams met again for game two. It would have been hard to imagine that game two could be any closer than game one. But it was even closer. The Nordiques game two victory came in the 4th overtime period and until that moment it was a game the Nordiques never led. With the score tied at 3, it was speedy center Justin Matijcio beating Anderson's premier goalie Dave Engler on a break away to end the winter season with a championship winning goal. Nordiques goalie Kelly Smith was named post season MVP, both for his sterling play in goal as well as his leadership and winning attitude during the three post season games.
The winter '12 championship season was an improbable one. The team played inspired hockey at times and mistake-ridden hockey at other times. The Nordiques finished the regular season in 3rd place, with a pedestrian 8-8 mark. Despite the record, this team was special all along. At no time did they stop battling, stop competing and they never gave up on one another...not in a single game and not for the season. It's a remarkable fete, one for which they should all be very proud to have participated.
The two teams atop the winter regular season standings were Trashers and Ice Paddys (both 11-5). The Nordiques struggled against both, compiling a combined 2-5 record against them. So it seemed unlikely that things would work out for the Nordiques this season. However, the Nordiques knew (just as their opponents know) they wouldn't be an easy out for anyone in the post season. Each Nordiques player came to the post season refreshed, and they came with character, composure and passion. They also came with coach Brian Fratturo whose presence on the bench provided more leadership. The Nordiques pummeled Ice Paddys 9-2 in the single game elimination round while Anderson took out Trashers.
Anderson Analytics also peaked at the right time and they rode the fine play of goalie Dave Engler straight into the finals. It was no fluke they made it there either. They never backed down. They played a fantastic championship series against the Nordiques and they should be proud of their finish. Had the hockey-gods smiled on Anderson in this close championship series, there would have been no shame at all in losing to them. The Nordiques tip their caps to Anderson and look forward to a rematch in the spring regular season and spring playoffs if fate allows.
Nordiques post season line up and championships won
Rick Gioia (F/D) - Captain (7)
Rich Bruno* (D) - (7)
Jim Cook (D) - (7)
Peter DiMartino* (D) - (6)
Paul Modugno** (D) - (6)
James Delorey (F) - (5)
Breck Masterson (F) - (5)
Mike Robinson (F) - (5)
Tim Matijcio (F) - (4)
Justin Matijcio (F) - (4)
Tim Nash (F) - (4)
Brian Fratturo** (G) - (4)
Doug Eng* (F) - (3)
Charlie Roth (F) - (3)
Scott Jachimsky (F) - (3)
Kevin Unger (F) - (3)
Joe Reilly (D) - (2)
Matt Simon (D) - (2)
Scott Morrissette** (G) - (2)
Kelly Smith (G) - (1)
* Alternate Captains
** Injured players on T5S roster
Rick Gioia is Torche Recipient for 2nd Time Award Presented by Former Torche Holder Anit Arora
Stamford April 11, 2012
Following the Winter 2012 Championship season, Anit Arora presented team Captain Rick Gioia with the Torche Award. As the most recent holder of the award, Anit selected Rick for his courage, leadership and setting the tone for the Nordiques franchise on and off the ice. Rick graciously accepted the award, having held it previously as well (in 2004). Rick was lauded by Anit and the team for his endless devotion and time committed to the Nordiques teams. Nordiques players said that Rick plays with a rare passion and selflessness; he plays with intensity and most often he plays through injuries. Rick always supports his players with encouragement and recognition for jobs well-done (and when not done so well too). "There are many team captains in AHL2, but Rick is one that guides his team the right way". "We clearly wouldn't be where we are today without Ricky."
Rick will have his name engraved on the masterpiece and present it again to the next recipient at the end of the spring season to the player of his choosing. The Torche Trophy is an original Quebec Nordiques Award which the Stamford Nordiques acquired in 2003 after the franchise left Quebec for Colorado. It is presented to a Nordiques player whose passion, courage and heart lifts his team. There were several candidates for the Torche this season and the Torche committee looks forward to welcoming the next recipient at the end of the Spring season.
Past Torche Recipients Include:
(A complete list will be posted shortly)
Nordiques 1st Quarter Update Teams Battling, Having Fun, Playing Well and Getting Better
Stamford November 16, 2011
After four games of the 16-game regular winter season, all three Nordiques teams (T5N, T5S, T6) are on their strides and in fine position in the standings. More importantly, the guys are having fun and the games have been very competitive. Here's a recap:
T5N: 3-1, 2nd place -- Beat Sting twice and City Carting; Loss to Parts Unknown T5S: 2-2 3rd place -- Beat Anderson and Nomads; Losses to Trashers and IP T6: 2-1 2ns place (T) -- Beat Red Bull and Lightspeed; Loss to IP
Since our preseason update, the Nordiques are very happy to welcome back winger Charlie Roth and goalie Brian Fratturo. Having both Charlie and Brian back, healthy and ready, has been a nice boost for all three Nordiques squads.
T5S Nordiques Poised to Continue Championship Run Refreshed line-up looking for post-season heat in winter '12
After capturing the spring T5S championship and defending their title with a championship run this summer, the T5S Nordiques are refreshed and rejuvinated, and poised to continue their winning ways this winter. The roster is a who's who of veteran Nordiques, including several Torche winners, and all with at least a couple of championships to their credit.
The T5S roster for winter 2012:
C- Rich Gioia A-Peter DiMartino A-Doug Eng
Breck Masterson James Delorey Jim Cook Joe Reilly Justin Matijcio Kevin Unger Matt Simon Mike Robinson Paul Modugno Rich Bruno Ronnie Kim Scott Jachimski Steve Hepensteil Tim Matijcio Tim Nash
"nos bras meutris vous tendent le flambeau, a vous toujours de la porter bien haut..."