Two for Two
Renegades 14 Xtreme 2
Goals – Llewellyn 3, Gates 3, Vollmer 2, Hunter 2, Stinchcomb 2, Matchock 1, Lehman 1
Goals – Jewell 2
Assists – Hunter 3, Lehman 2, Llewellyn 2, Gates 2, Vollmer 1, Stinchcomb 1
Assists – Smith 1
Saves – Lingenfelter 28, Clontz 14
Renegades 15 Xtreme 4
Goals – Hunter 7, Gates 4, Llewellyn 3, Lehman 1
Goals – Bussard 2, Smith 1, Cebulskie 1
Assists – Llewellyn 3, Hunter 3, Matchock 2, Lehman 2, Stinchcomb 1
Assists – Smith 1, Walter 1
Saves – Clontz 33, Lingenfelter 28
Back to Back
After watching the Renegades play these past 3 weeks, only one word comes to mind---------- WOW. The team scored 80 goals in their six game undefeated playoff season, including 29 last night to clinch their 2nd championship in their 2nd season. The team struggled at the beginning of the 2019 season. There was only one ball to go around for a team filled with so many gifted offensive players. Who was going to play defense for them? If you can score 80 goals in six games, you don’t really need a lot of defense. Goalie Josh Clontz may have gotten a little overlooked considering the team scored so many goals, but he made some big saves in last week’s sweep against the Yeti. In game 2 last night, Clontz made 33 saves to help keep his team comfortably ahead all evening. The Xtreme was less than a week removed from beating the team that many thought was the team to beat this season, with two of those games being decided by a goal. In the regular season, they were up 4-2 against the Renegades in the 3rd period despite missing Dave Jewell and Kevin Smith. While they ended up losing 5-4, there was good reason to think that last night’s series was going to be one of the best championships the league has seen. The Xtreme have 4 players on this years roster who have their names on the cup multiple times. I personally didn’t even make plans for this coming Wednesday night in anticipation of a thrilling deciding game 3. Then there was game 1 last night that few saw coming. Eric Llewellyn got the scoring started again this week for his team. Just like last week, the goals kept coming. Derrian Matchock quickly made it 2-0 then Pat Hunter made it 3-0 after 1. At that point, most thought the Xtreme would rally, just like they did in their 1st game of the regular season. Only this time, the Renegades kept pouring it on. Eric Llewellyn scored his 2nd goal of the game to make it 4-0, then Gus Gates scored a couple more to make it 6-0 and Denny Stinchcomb closed the 2nd period with a goal to make it 7-0. The lead would grow to 10-0 before Dave Jewell scored a couple goals for the Xtreme to try to give them something to build on for the rest of the series. Gus Gates scored the 14th goal of the game for the Renegades with 2 ½ minutes to play in game 1 to clinch the mercy rule win. Clint Lingenfelter made 28 saves for the Xtreme but had shots flying his way from all angles throughout the night.
The two teams took a half hour break. Last Wednesday night, the Knights beat the Xtreme 6-1 in their first meeting, only to lose the 2nd game that followed a half hour after their break. The Renegades made sure that didn’t happen to them. Just a minute and 30 seconds into game 2, Mike Lehman scored on a long slap shot to give the Renegades a 1-0 lead. It took a while for them to extend their lead in this game, but they eventually did. About 9 minutes into the first period, Pat Hunter scored his first of seven goals in game two to put the Renegades up 2-0. Gus Gates then scored one of his four goals in game two to give the Renegades a 3-0 lead. About a minute later, Joe Bussard scored to give the Xtreme a much needed spark, but with only 5 seconds to go in the first, Pat Hunter scored again to give the Renegades a 4-1 lead after 1. Hunter scored 3 times in the 2nd period, along with a goal from Eric Llewellyn to push the lead to 8-1 before Kevin Smith scored a late 2nd period goal for the Xtreme. Joe Bussard got one by Renegade goalie Josh Clontz as the 2nd period expired, but the shot came a little too late and was waved off. It was pretty much the story of the night for the Xtreme. In the 3rd period, Gus Gates scored 3 times, along with a couple from Eric Llewellyn and a couple more from Pat Hunter to win game 2 in convincing fashion. The 15-4 win in game two left no doubt who this years best team was. With a couple weeks to go in the regular season, it looked like they would have to play the Colonials in the first round of the playoffs, but then they beat the Colonials 7-4 in the 2nd to last week of the regular season. Then they beat the Knights to move up from 4th place to 2nd place giving them a little bit of a more favorable first round matchup. The real test was going to come against the Yeti. Afterall, the Yeti beat them twice in the regular season, limiting them to 7 total goals in those 2 games. They were able to sweep the Yeti, scoring 20 combined goals. The 11-2 game 2 win over the Yeti clinched their berth to the finals, one that the Xtreme will probably like to forget real soon. It wasn’t that the Xtreme was that bad, its pretty safe to say that the Renegades were just that good last night. After watching last night’s two game sweep-------------- one word comes to mind --------WOW.
With that 29-6 convincing sweep, the 2019 season has come to a close. The league would like to thank all teams and participants for making it a fun, competitive and enjoyable season. Congratulations to the Xtreme as well. Even though last night was probably embarrassing for them, they have nothing to be ashamed of. Just last week, they defeated the team that many thought was going to be the team holding up the trophy this season. As mentioned above, they weren’t that bad, the Renegades were just that good. Following the games last night, Xtreme player Joe Bussard said the Renegades team of this year didn’t have a single weakness. They were a team capable of scoring from all angles with multiple guys who could make great passes and finish. They proved that it’s not how you start, but its how you finish. There definitely wasn’t much left to finish after watching those games last night. Next year will be year #20 for the XHL. Lets hope it will be just as exciting, if not better, than the first 19 seasons. If the Renegades come back with the same group next season ----------- all we can say to the other teams is good luck. That was one amazing display of playoff hockey. Again, thanks to all who made the 19th season as exciting as it was. Can't wait for the 2020 season to begin!!