The date was January 26 and the Downsview Park Ball Hockey Leagues held their 2013 All Star Day. Days later I’m still in shock over the overwhelming success of the events scheduled. The response from the players, spectators and managers has been incredible. The positive comments make all the hard work and time well worth it. As the players came and left they all had a huge smile on their face and many had their families with them to enjoy the day. Of the nearly 130 players and coaches invited 98% attended and shared laughs, conversation and entertained the fans throughout the day.
The players and their families were treated to a variety of refreshments, generously donated by Vachon, Frito Lay and Loblaw’s companies. It is with great appreciation that we send a special Thank You to these generous suppliers. The power drinks and water were the first items to go as the players took full advantage of the free drinks. The kids and wives were first to hit the snacks as they sat and enjoyed the festivities. NWTBHL President Dominic DiGironimo generously supplied us with the commemorative T-Shirts that each player received. Along with the players, a number of the fans were also surprised with a limited edition 2013 All-Star t-shirt. After the games the teams were all invited to the Hangar Grill where they enjoyed a post-game meal of fresh pizza supplied by the DPBHL. Many of the players were also smitten with the Red Bull Girls that supplied any wanting taker with a Red Bull and a smile. Marco Mariani our resident DJ also spinned some tunes for the enjoyment of the fans and not to forget we did play three games.
In the inaugural Masters All-Star game the All-Stars were victorious over the Falco Steelers by a score of 6-3, a game much closer than the final score line. Adriano Oliva, Mark Duchich and Nick Tye (representing the Venetian Lions) all had three point games in the victory. The Steelers got a measure of revenge in the post game shootout winning 2-0 on goals from Chris Sebastian and Jason Derose. For their efforts David Silva of the Toronto Jaguars who scored two goals, including the game winner and Domenic D’Urzo from the Steelers were named Game MVP’s.
The Premier All-Star game was arguably the best game of the year. Neither team wanted to lose with bragging rights on the line. This was an intense hard fought game. Regulation would solve nothing as the game ended 2-2. Super sniper Jeff Wilson from the Toronto Polar Bears scored both goals for the East and the West would reply with markers from Matt Tremblett (Mississauga Hawks) and Massimo Principe (Toronto thunder). The OT would not last long as Thunder power forward Marco Goncalves needed only 57 seconds to beat Amelio Mallozzi (Hawks) and end the game. In the post-game shootout the West All-Stars were shut out and goals from Frankie Giustini (Brampton Express), Wilson and Paul Duarte (Thunder) were enough for the East to sweep the event.
The Tier 2 game had a playoff game atmosphere and many thought they were watching a game three elimination game instead of an All-Star Game. The Toronto Titans would win the game in a bonus 5 Minute OT on a goal from Craig Stojsin 2-1. Marcel Mallais of the Leafs Reloaded had tied the game with only 1:03 left in regulation to force the OT. In the fan friendly shoot out the result would rest on the stick of Mike Balaban (Mississauga islanders) and he made no mistake as he scored to win the event for the All-Stars. For their game tying and OT winner goals Craig Stojsin (Titans) and Marcel Mallis (Leafs Reloaded) were named Game MVP’s.
Behind any successful event there are numerous people who work behind the scenes to make it all possible. Let’s start with Pino Panza who poured in numerous hours and countless emails (LOL) ensuring that every player attended and was in proper uniform and contributing to the Game Day Program. We are lucky to have a man like Pino with his passion and dedication to the sport donating his time and knowledge.
Abu Shaikh was responsible for the success of the Masters game. With me throwing the event into his lap, without him having any idea it was coming, Abu took the responsibility by the horns and did an amazing job ensuring the day was a success. Great job Abu you’ve kept the job for another year start preparing!
I also have to thank the following individuals who took time out of their busy schedules to help organize the event. The following were instrumental in the weeks leading up to the event: Marcel Vieira , Manny Correia , Glen “Pops” Bradbury (all three from the Metro Orangemen), Frank Zampini (Hawks), Rob Moniz (Bears), Angelo Gaetano (North York Hitmen), Mario Ventullo (TBB), Remo Settimo (Titans)and Rocco Mongelli (Steelers). All worked extensively to help make the day what it was.
Marco Mariani our very own DJ, Pat Ventullo who supported in numerous ways, Rocky the timekeeper who ran the clock errorless, Sebastian the videographer (45 Productions) and let’s not forget the two men in the stripe jerseys Nat Capalbo and Walter Araujo who were able to officiate a game without a single complaint, Dominic DiGironimo, who has allowed me to put together this event year after year with his support generosity. I would like to Thank You all personally for your efforts. It’s with all your hard work and perseverance that we continue to be the leaders in Ball Hockey throughout the Province.
To all the players, staff, spectators, managers and coaches without you this wouldn’t be possible. I hope that you all enjoyed yourself at the 2013 All Star Day. Coming soon you will be able to watch a highlight video of the day’s action. DP All Star Day 2013 where the Stars Shine Brightest! 2014 will be bigger and better as we start planning for another historic day.
What’s next you ask...the $1000 Shootout…Can You Out Deke, Out Score and Out Last the Rest To Be the Best! It’s time for the ultimate test of shootout supremacy. Details will be released in the coming weeks. Don’t be left out!