Coconut Joes should have plenty of bragging rights over the holiday season.
The side head into the Christmas break leading the 2011-2012 Cayman Islands Ball Hockey Association league. The Joes have a 7-4 mark and played their last contest at Kings Sports Centre last Thursday.
Even though that match was a loss to the Deloitte Devil Rays, the Joes have played well. They have scored the most goals in the competition thanks to a plethora of scoring talent. Veterans Mark Missal and Jamie Lyon are one-two on the scoring list with 21 points apiece (Missal has a league-best 18 goals while Lyon has 16 assists).
Three other Joes players are in the top ten in scoring: Ryan Pull (eight goals, 16 points), Peter Holowchuk (seven assists, 11 points) and Brendan Rainonen (eight assists, 11 points). All have supported goalie Dan Etherington.
On their heels are the Barracudas. Thought they too lost last Thursday (to the Sharks) they are second with a 7-4 mark. Defence has been their staple as they are the competition’s stingiest unit (allowing a league-low 27 goals). Veteran Darryl Hather (seven assists, 12 points) has kept the defensive focus high in front of goalie Randy Cannon. Meanwhile Brad Galbraith (14 assists, 18 points), Warren Weiss (11 goals, 14 points) and Mark Thompson (seven goals, 12 points) have provided an offensive punch.
Both will need to keep watchful eyes on the 6-5 Sharks and 2-7 Devil Rays. Jean Philippe Valiquette (six goals, nine points) and Jan-Michael Maw (six assists, eight points) are the point men for the Sharks. Deloitte are led by Rob Rintoul (seven assists, 11 points) and Brent Forsyth (six assists, 10 points).
Matches continue in the New Year with the regular season finale on 5 January. The playoffs start 12 January.