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Knights back in the finals

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

Knights 12 Colonials 6

The Knights are back in the finals for the first time since the 2018 season after picking up a 12-6 win over the Colonials last night. Andy Calvert got the scoring started less than 2 minutes into the 1st period. Soon afterwards, Bob Anderson intercepted a pass on the Knights side of the floor but Clint Lingenfelter made a really good save on the break away. Halfway into the first period, Bob Anderson beat Clint on a slap shot to tie the game at 1. The Knights would answer with 2 goals to go up 3-1. Brandon Reiter and Andy Calvert had their share of goals last night, but they were also able to get Rooster involved in the scoring last night to help maintain a lead throughout. Kevin Smith scored for the Colonials to make it 3-2 but the Knights answered with 3 goals including a nice shot from Jake Kline to extend their lead to 6-2 part way into the 2nd period. Bob Anderson batted in a Kevin Smith shot to cut the lead to 6-3 but the Knights scored 2 more times to go up 8-3 with 4 minutes to go in the 2nd period. The Colonials answered with 3 quick goals in the next 2 plus minutes to close the gap to 8-6 going into the 3rd period. Kevin Smith scored 2 of those goals and Bob Anderson set Brian Anderson up for the 6th goal to cut the lead to 2 going into the 3rd period. Unfortunately for the Colonials, they would get no closer despite having a couple good chances early in the 3rd period. Andy Calvert scored the Knights 9th goal to extend the lead to 9-6 about 5 minutes into the 3rd period and Rooster would score soon after to make it 10-6. From there, the Colonials lost their composure which led to the deficit getting wider as the 3rd period went on. Noah Kline scored the championship winning goal in last Thursdays marathon tournament championship win against his Dad’s team. He contributed some in the win last night as well. With the win, the Knights will look to avenge some tough playoff defeats in the past. While this team is a little different version than some previous knights teams, there are still some guys on this Knights squad without an XHL championship to their name. One of them is Clint Lingenfelter who has seen himself play on some of the league’s bottom teams in the past but now finds himself on a team that has a realistic chance of winning the trophy next week. On the other side, Adam McKinley probably has his name on that trophy more than anyone right now. The Knights swept the regular season series but just ask the Eagles what that means. Game 1 will be at 720 next Monday followed by game 2 about 15 minutes after the 1st game. Will the bye week affect the Slap Happy next week? For the Colonials, it was a discouraging way to end the season last night. It was the 5th time them and the Knights faced off against one another this season with 3 of those games being decided by a goal. They were playing without Phil Mace last night who had a family obligation to attend. The Colonials have been in existence in the XHL since it started back in 2001 but will have to wait at least another season to try to add another championship on the trophy. With the exception of Nate May and Jason Duttry, everyone on the Slap Happy roster is listed on the trophy. For the Knights, Clint Lingenfelter, Jake Kline, Noah Kline and Nate Galentine will try to get their names on the trophy for the first time. Rooster will try to keep his 100 percent ratio going. If so, it will be for his 3rd different team (Renegades 2x and Colonials). With all that said, good luck to the Slap Happy and Knights next week.

Bob Anderson (Colonials)

1. Disappointing way to end your teams season last night. What do you think went wrong? The bottom line is it’s hard to win when you give up 12 goals. We fell behind early then had to push to try to get back in the game. By doing so, we didn’t make Herman’s job any easier.

2. No Phil Mace last night. Do you think the void hurt you guys more than you all realized? Phil is a really good player and helps a lot in games that are that fast, physical, and competitive. He can score from anywhere and plays a solid defensive game. It hurts anytime he’s out of the lineup.

3. When the rosters were put together and you saw the Knights roster, did you think your team would have to play above expectations to get past them? . I picked the Knights to win in our poll at the beginning of the season. They really don’t have any weaknesses. They are fast, big, and talented. Brandon is playing at a different level than everybody right now. We tried to focus on stopping him, to little avail. That means guys like Andy can roam more free and burn you. It’s a catch-22. Clint has been really good this year too. They’ll be tough to beat in the finals.

4. You guys had momentum going into the 3rd period last night. How important did you think it was to score that first goal in the 3rd period? That would have been huge. We were only down 2 going into the third period. If we score first, it’s a completely different game. But you have to give the Knights credit. They came out strong in the third and shut the lights out on us.

5. Frustration set in last night as the game started getting away in the 3rd period. Are there any positives to take out of the game and the season? In the end, it’s just a recreational hockey league. The competitive side comes out in the moment but it’s important to let it go and move on. I’m fortunate to be able to play a game I love with so many good teammates and competitors. You have to leave it on the court and try your best the next time.

6. One more----- what kind of series do you expect with the Slap Happy and Knights? I like the way the Slap Happy have been playing, but they are going to have their hands full against the Knights. They’ll need to play a patient and disciplined game to stop the high powered offense of the Knights. Adam will have to be in his true playoff form to steal a couple games. Good luck to both teams!

Adam McKinley (Slap Happy waiting for the Knights next week)

1. You now know your opponent for next week. Are you looking forward to the challenge? Absolutely! It's the championship. It should be a challenge. The games should be exciting for both teams. I'm looking forward to it.

2. The Eagles having a bye may have benefited you guys last week, but now the shoe is on the other foot with you guys having the bye last night. Will that be a concern going into the first game next week? For sure. There will certainly be some rust that we can hopefully shake off very quickly. If the guys can get to the rink early and get at least SOME warn up, that'll help. Haha.

3. You guys were able to sweep your way past the Eagles last week, were you surprised at all at how you guys controlled both games? Maybe a little. We knew they had a lot of confidence going in because they beat twice during the season. I felt we had a pretty good chance, if we could control the play.

4. You have been in many championship games before. How does this opportunity compare to some of the other ones you have recently had? About the same as many before. This core has been together for a lot of years. It's like putting on an old pair of shoes.

5. This is the 21st season in the XHL. How would you compare this season to some of the other ones? Well about half the XHL seasons were played outside the other half has been played inside. It's quite different between the two. I think this season has been one of the most competitive seasons we've had. I've also been in quite a different position this season then I'm used to. For example, the first 10 years of the of XHL, my team (Rogue), finished the season 1st or 2nd overall and we were on the championship all 10 years. This season, we've had to scratch and claw our way into the championship. We'll see how it turns out!

Brandon Reiter (Knights)

1.12-6 win over the Colonials last night. What can you say about the overall team effort? I thought the effort was fantastic. I don’t think effort is ever really a problem for our team.

2. Considering how low scoring and tight defensively the last game was, were you surprised the team was able to put up 12 goals last night? Maybe slightly surprised, but I always think we have the potential to go off any game. Last night just happened to be one of those kind of nights.

3. It may be no secret that the Colonials tried to match up with you by putting Matchock and Mace on you last week. They were unable to do that without Mace there last night. Did you like the idea of having more room to roam around out there? I didn’t feel any different from any other game. I just try to be patient and pick my spots to make a play regardless of what the other team is doing. If someone cancels me out for awhile I have trust in my teammates to use that to their advantage.

4. Other guys got involved in the scoring last night besides you and Andy. Is that a good confidence booster going into the finals next week? It’s always a good thing when everyone is contributing. A nice way to go into the finals for sure.

5. Speaking of the finals, how do you think you guys match up with the Slap Happy? It seems like two teams at their best right now, so it should be a great finals matchup.

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