St Catherine Standard: Perri Steals Wolves Thunder

Perri steals Wolves thunder

Ex-Roma goalkeeper plays pivotal role in Hamilton victory

Jim Wallace
The Standard

Carlo Arghittu of the Club Roma Wolves falls over Michael De Simone of the Hamilton Thunder during a Canadian Professional Soccer League game at Roma Park Wednesday. Dino Perri did Wednesday night for the Hamilton Thunder what he did so many years for St. Catharines.

He helped steal a game.

The former Wolves coach and goalkeeper stopped at least five good scoring opportunities as the expansion Hamilton Thunder spoiled the Wolves Canadian Professional Soccer League home opener at Roma Park with a 2-0 victory before 400 fans.

Perri and four other players who live in the Hamilton vicinity left the Wolves this season to play for the Thunder.

And Perri, a Roma fixture for 10 years, admitted he didn't have any problems getting psyched up for the match against his old mates.

"No, it's tough just keeping calm, keeping my emotions in check," the veteran goalkeeper said. "We have a very young team, they're working hard and they're a very dedicated group."

Perri certainly had Carlo Arghittu's number, stopping the Roma sniper on at least three occasions.

"How many years did we play together and practise together?" Perri asked rhetorically. "You get a read on a player, maybe more me than them.

"You have an idea where they're coming from, how they're going to attack and what their tendencies are."

The Thunder certainly benefited from a goal on a questionable penalty kick by Miles O'Connor three minutes into the game, and the Wolves had to force the play from there. They carried most of the scoring chances in the first half and dominated most of the second until substitute Gaston Brera added the second Hamilton goal with two minutes to go.

Most of the time, it was the Perri show, as the Thunder goalkeeper also took a turn stopping Tony Carbonara on a couple of occasions and Frank Del Priore on another.

"Dino made some great saves, but Dino's going to make saves all year for them," said Wolves player-coach Lucio Ianiero.

"Dino played very well," Arghittu added. "There were some shots for sure I thought were going into the back of the net."

Despite the early loss, Ianiero isn't going to push the panic button or change anything.

"I'm pleased with the way we played offensively and defensively," he said. "We're only going to get stronger.... We had some injuries but that's no excuse.

"We have some young guys coming into a new team and not knowing the system, and I threw a new system in so even the veterans are learning something new right now."

Arghittu, off to one of his best starts in a few years with two goals in the team's season-opening 3-1 win over London City, likes what he sees in the newcomers.

"I see something this year I haven't seen in past years; there's some fire in their eyes and the will to strive forward and do the best they can.

"The newcomers bring something to the team maybe the last few years we lacked, maybe that extra spark we need."

Indeed, such players as Mark Mulholland, Simon Gatti and Kevin Pitra all played strong games and should be a good fit with a couple more contests under their belts.

"There's no difference between the team this year and the team last year, except maybe that fire in the players' eyes," Arghittu added.


Thunder 2 Wolves 0

Standard Star of the Game: Hamilton Thunder goalkeeper Dino Perri who was full value for the shutout with a number of good saves.

For the Hamilton Thunder: Miles O'Connor (penalty kick, three minutes); Gaston Brera (88 minutes).

Injury update: The Wolves were without veteran fullback Gary Hughes and striker Gary McGuchan. Tony Carbonara had to be helped off at the 68-minute mark with what appeared to be an ankle injury.

For the record: The Wolves fell to 1-1 and the Thunder improved to 2-0.

Up next: The Wolves are idle until Wednesday when they play host to the Brampton Hitmen in an 8:15 p.m. start at Roma Park.

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