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NCL Weekly Notes: February 23 to March 1, 2015

Toronto Golden Jets in position for top seed at Senior Nationals

The first Men’s MLWP crossover event of the season took place across Montreal last weekend featuring the 8 senior men’s teams from Ontario and Quebec. Each Ontario team (Toronto Golden Jets & Silver Jets, Mavericks, and Hammer) played each Quebec team (CAMO Roadrunners and Maitres, Laval, and Dollard) once over the course of the weekend. The Golden Jets cemented themselves as Senior Nationals favourites by winning all four of their games against the Montreal area squads.

The first game of the weekend featured the two division leaders as the Golden Jets faced off against CAMO Roadrunners on Friday night. The game was a fast-paced affair with very few exclusions on both sides. A tight first quarter saw CAMO ahead 3-2 but what followed was 2 consecutive quarters of sustained Toronto dominance. In the 2nd and 3rd Toronto would score six goals to the Roadrunners’ one and basically put the game away heading into the 4th. Tuna Tali led the charge for the Jets with 4 goals in the game, the first of two four-goal performances for him over the weekend. Goaltender Emirhan Ozdemir also played a very strong game in nets for Toronto, which should come as no surprise to any of have seen Ozdemir play this year.

The new 5 on 5 rules have created lots of space for attacking players in MLWP this year and, if that was not enough for the goalies to deal with, the men are also using the women’s ball this year. It’s a shooting gallery in the pool for goalies and it’s no surprise that the NCL scoring average has increased dramatically this year. When taking those factors into effect, it’s truly impressive to see the numbers Ozdemir is putting up in goal for the Jets. Ozdemir’s goals against average of 7.50 is nearly four goals better than the next qualified goalie in the league. Strong defensive play from the Jets certainly plays a role in those numbers by anyone who has watched Ozdemir play knows that he oftens makes the big save in key moments.

After the victory over the Roadrunners, the Jets would finish the weekend with a 12-10 victory over a tough Laval squad, an 11-7 win over 3rd place CAMO Maitres and an 21-11 win over Dollard. The win leaves Toronto well positioned to clinch not only 1st place in the Ontario division, but 1st in the Eastern Conference and the 1st overall seed at Senior Nationals that comes with it. Toronto remains undefeated at 8-1-0 and has 2 point edge over the Roadrunners with 2 games in hand. The 2nd crossover takes place March 13th-15th in Markham and the Jets can sew up their regular season title with another weekend just like this.

This week in the NCL

There are no big gatherings in the NCL this week but action does continue in 5 different cities with games in Ottawa, Montreal, Hamilton, Toronto, and Vancouver. Fans in Montreal looking for a good night of Water Polo should head out to Claude Robillard on Thursday for a triple header of senior games including two between old rivals CAMO and DDO. In Toronto, the rivalry them continues as the Mavericks 16U and 19U squads will make the trip down to U of T to face off against their Golden Jets counterparts. The Boys play at 7:20pm followed by the Men at 8:40pm. Those on the west coast can head out to Coquitlam to for a doubleheader hosting by Pacific Storm. Saanich takes on Storm’s 16U boys in the opener at 6:15pm followed by what could very well be the game of the week as Fraser Valley’s and Storm’s 19U Women will battle once again.



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