And away we go with the Inaugural Season FIHL Championship Playoffs!!
The final week of the inaugural season, games 49 and 50 have taken place and clear battle line statements were made. In Game one where the Sand Sharks finally had a compliment of arsenal, the Sting Rays were looking to take them down and by doing so, avoid a first round match against the fierce fish. It was a close game in the first even with the Stingers looking in a state of “dis a Ray.” The Sharks got goals from returning players Nolan Borek and Hunter Gillum while the Sting Rays were trying to figure things out and held them to those two goals ending the first period 2-0.
In the Second the Sting Rays came out scoring two goals in the first three minutes and just like we that, were tied. Kane Eanes dropped the hammer on his return to action, and Devon Barkett scored on a sick bar down goal in the slot, in just his second game back from knee surgery. The Sharks answered with a goal at the 9:31 mark of the second period off Christian Sherman but the game began to slip away when the Sharks nailed down a power play goal. Beaudy Beaudin scored his first of three on the night while Rays stalwart D man Tristan Barnard was in the sin bin. Another goal just two and half minutes later gave the Sharks a lead they would never relinquish as Gillum would score his second on the night. End of two and the Sharks have a 5-2 lead.
In the third the Sharks would get two more on Chris Maybury and Beaudy Beaudin tallies before the Sting Rays answered back with a Alex Myers goal and with a 7 to 3 lead and ten minutes to play the Rays were in a jam. In games past the Rays would never be out of such a game but on this night, not even the return of Chandler “Cha Ching” Odell could save them. The Chan Man was goal less in his first game back in three contests due to a lower back injury, although assisting on the Eanes goal. The Rays were also missing Erik LaFlamme and Tyler Cook as both players were on location in the Islands for a photo shoot for an expensive men’s clothing magazine. FIHL has it’s perks you know. The Sharks would add two more goals for the 9-3 final as Beaudy Beaudin would complete his hat trick and rookie Finn Smith would pot his first goal of in the FIHL. The loss pits the Sharks against the Rays in the best of three first round series and promises to be a great match up despite the final tally in this one. Game one is next Saturday Night at 645pm @ TBSA!!
With the Sand Sharks victory rendering the Aces and Minute Men match-up a formality on the playoff front, there was still a battle for bragging rights and second place. The Minute Men were determined to make a statement to their first round foes… and a statement was made indeed. The Minute Men score on the first shift of the game as Vlad “The Back Door God” Handjiev rammed home the Georgie feed for the goal. A back and forth affair it would be after that until the Minute Men open fired for six goals in nine minutes after the 12 minute mark of the opening stanza. Goals from Connor Hill, Side Show Bob, Kyle Fanelli, Robert Scire and two from Georgie B. Goode, left the Aces were reeling and licking their wounds in the locker room, on the wrong end of a 7-0 rout.
Things would not get better as the Minute Men reloaded the muskets and in particular, the musket of Wyatt Frontiero. Wyatt the Riot would open the second period with FOUR tallies for the natural hat trick plus one, sending Costello to the showers in the process. Another Vlad Handjiev goal followed by a Jaxon Law goal from the Aces and this one was 12-1 at the end of two.
The Minute Men would not relent, and while the third period was more even, they would out score the Aces 4-2 in the third for the final 16-3 victory and one massive statement heading into the first round match-up. Four different goal scorers for the Men in that third, Mondo, Noti, Fanelli and Vlad with the bookend and a hat trick of his own. Frosty the Goal Man and Gus Komarek netting the goals for the Aces.
And so here we go. First round schedule is below and we will be looking to see what surprises are in store for the two final game dominant winners, or if the Rays and Aces have something up their sleeves. Were these games a realistic preview of what to expect? Only one way to find out! See you Saturday Night!!
|Round One Game One||Round One Game Two||Round One Game Three|
|Saturday 5/22||Sunday 5/23||Saturday 6/5|
|Sharks vs Sting Rays||Sharks vs Sting Rays||IF NEEDED|
|TBSA South 6:45pm||TBSA South 12:30pm||Start Time 7:15pm|
|Minute Men vs Aces||Minute Men vs Aces||Start Time 9:45pm|
|TBSA South 9:15pm||TBSA South 3pm|