Xtreme Moving On
Last night’s official stat sheets were mistakenly left at the rink, but we still wanted to provide a brief summary of last night (Wednesday, 8/14).
At the beginning of the season, Joe Bussard made a prediction for his team, which did not include a trip to the Finals. Last season was a bit tough. Dave Jewell was injured playing in Brockway and did not look himself when he came back. Other guys on the team appeared to develop some bad habits. Goalie Clint Lingenfelter didn’t look too comfortable at times. In a game against the Colonials last season, Bob Anderson and the Colonials scored goals on their first 5 shots, with multiple shots being low percentage shots. Then the Yeti knocked them out in dramatic fashion in game 3 of last years playoffs, possibly taking advantage of Dave Jewell not being there for that series. Then they lost to the Knights on opening night, blowing a 3 goal lead. The following week, the Renegades found themselves up 5-1 against them and it looked like last years bad luck was going to carry over to this year. They ended up finding a way to beat the Renegades in overtime that night and won two big games against the Yeti in the regular season on its way to a 2nd place regular season tie with the Renegades. They chose the Mayhem as their first round opponent, outscoring them 19-4. Then, they had to wait for their next opponent. The Knights had a tough decision to make based on 3 tough teams remaining, but wanted to take their chances with the Xtreme. Both regular season games were decided by a goal, and in this series, 2 of the 3 games were decided by a goal.
In the first game last night, both teams exchanged goals in the first period. Luke McMinn got the scoring started for the Knights but was quickly followed by Kevin Smith. Todd Schickling stood tall in the first game last night, making several high quality saves to keep the Xtreme from going ahead in the early stages. Can’t exactly recall who had the goals in the 2nd period, but one of them came from Tate Rutherford, and the Knights found themselves up 3-1 going into the 3rd period. Two quick goals in the 3rd period all but put the game out of reach. At least one of those goals came from Kurt Schindler. The final score would end up being 6 to 1 and just like that, a game 3 was needed to decide who would face the Renegades in the finals.
Before last night’s 2nd game took place, knights goalie Todd Schickling tried to use some superstition before stepping onto the court. It did not work this time around. Joe Bussard scored the opening goal of the game, along with 2 other goals in the first period to put the Xtreme up 3-2 going into the 2nd period. The lead would grow to 4-2 before Luke McMinn pulled the Knights to within 1. Once again, the Xtreme had an answer, with Dave Jewell scoring a goal to go up 5-3. The Knights would end up tying it at 5 at the end of the 2nd period with Kurt Schindler scoring the tying goal at the time. In the 3rd period, the Xtreme scored early to go up 6-5 and eventually pushed it to 7-5 following a Dave Jewell breakaway. The Knights pulled Todd Schickling to gain a one man advantage and found a way to get one by Clint Lingenfelter to make it 7-6 with around a minute still left to play. A couple good chances were denied late, the final buzzer sounded and just like that, the Xtreme were onto the finals. The league would like to thank both teams for providing some very good entertaining games in the regular season and again in the playoffs. The league would also like to congratulate the Knights on a great season. While they will not be able to hoist the Cup until at least next season, they sure got the attention of a lot of spectators and participants around the league. They impressed many with their speed and the way they play the game. The league hopes they will be back next season to give it another try. As for the Xtreme, the combination of Dave Jewell, Kevin Smith and Joe Bussard paid dividends this year. Goalie Clint Lingenfelter looks much more comfortable in net. If not for him, they would not have won any games in this series. He made some clutch saves in both their wins. The role players were a little quiet in this series, but they have stepped up at different times this season.
With the win, the Xtreme will take on the Renegades in this years finals. The Xtreme made the Finals two seasons ago finishing 13-1 in the regular season but lost to the Colonials. The Colonials had Kevin Smith on their team that season. The Renegades came into the league last year, started 6-0, and quickly got the league’s attention. Reigning MVP Pat Hunter missed game 1 of the finals against the Knights, a game that saw the Knights blow the Renegades out, but Hunter returned for game 2 and the Renegades were able to pull out a one goal victory. In game 3, the Knights went ahead by 4 goals, but the Renegades had a huge 3rd period to clinch a championship in their first season.
The finals will start on Monday night and possibly end Monday night, with two games scheduled. The first game will take place at 7 with the other taking place around 8:30. The league would like to congratulate both teams on making it this far and wish them the best of luck in their upcoming series. The two teams split in the regular season, with both games being decided by a goal. Their 2nd meeting of the season was played without Pat Hunter, Kevin Smith or Dave Jewell. The Renegades won that game 5-4, coming back from a 4-2 deficit in the 3rd period.