Monday, March 6th Results/Updated Standings/Recaps/ Interviews
Updated: Mar 8
Regular Season Standings after March 6th games: Points for and Points Against in parenthesis.
1. Eagles 13 (52/27)
2. Knights 12 (58/39)
3. Colonials 11 (46/38)
4. Mayhem 11 (57/62)
5. Slap Happy 8 (36/38)
6. Slashers 4 (46/61)
7. Walkers 2 (39/66)
***Just a heads up for the playoffs. The top 3 teams at the end of the regular season will be guaranteed a best of 3 semi final series. The bottom 4 teams at the end of the regular season will have to play in a single elimination 4th place tournament to determine who the 4th and final playoff team will be. 4th place will play 7th place, 5th place will play 6th place. The winners of those games will play against one another on the same night to determine who the 4th and final playoff team will be. The top seed at the end of the regular season will get to choose which team they want to play when the best of 3 semi final series’s begin.***
Knights 10 Slashers 4
The Knights and Slashers met for the first time last night. In a conversation with Zach Smith before the game, he knew the Slashers chances weren’t good but he wanted to at least make it a competitive game. They were only down 3-2 with about 5 minutes to go in the 2nd period but the game got away from there. Anthony Schuckers put the Slashers ahead 1-0 early in the first period but the Knights got some all around production last night. Soon after going down 1-0, Nate Galentine made a nice wrap around goal against Derrian Matchock (he goalied for the Slashers in that game) to tie the game at 1. Noah Kline made it 2-1 soon after on a nice pass from Andy Calvert. The game remained 2-1 in the 2nd period when Zach Smith attempted to clear the ball but it accidentally made it to Rooster’s stick in front of the net. Rooster’s goal made it 3-1 before Vinnie Deloia scored with about 5 minutes to go in the 2nd period to make it 3-2. Brandon Reiter took over late in the 2nd period by scoring a handful of times before the period ended. Jake Kline and Noah Kline had a nice connection on a Knights goal in the 3rd period to make it 9-2. Andy Calvert had a couple goals in that stretch as well. Anthony Schuckers and Zach Smith each had 3rd period goals for the Slashers but the game got away from them at that point. The Knights are a point behind the Eagles for 1st place in the regular season standings with games against the Slap Happy and Walkers remaining on their schedule. Jeff Wehner and Corey Bassett were not present for the Slashers. Jeff ended up making the 2nd game last night. Matt Cole made the first game for the Slashers last night.
Colonials 6 Slap Happy 4
The Colonials and Slap Happy found themselves in another tight, low scoring game last night. There wasn’t much scoring for the first 2 periods. The Slap Happy went up early (Joe Bussard?) but Kevin Smith would answer later in the period to tie the game at 1. The Colonials went up 2-1 early in the 2nd period when Brian Anderson set Bob Anderson up for a goal. The Colonials had a chance to extend the lead following a Slap Happy penalty but Nate May scored a short handed goal for the Slap Happy to tie the game at 2 going into the 3rd period. On the opening faceoff of the 3rd period, Kevin Smith attempted to make a pass but the ball bounced around John Matchock, Brian Anderson and Dave Jewell in front of the net eventually sneaking by Adam McKinley to make it 3-2. The game remained 3-2 for quite a while before Kevin Smith scored a big insurance goal later in the 3rd period to make it 4-2. Smith would soon score another on a nice pass from Bob Anderson to make it 5-2 but Dave Jewell scored a backhanded goal to make it 5-3 with less than 2 minutes remaining. Kevin Smith would score again soon after to make it 6-3 before Joe Bussard scored late to make the final score 6-4. The win for the Colonials pushes them up to a tie for 3rd place with the Mayhem but they own the head to head tiebreaker with them. The Slap Happy have games against the Knights and Slashers remaining. They will need to win both games and get some help to avoid having to play in the 4th place tournament for the 4th and final playoff spot. The Colonials still have games against the Walkers and Eagles remaining. A win over the Walkers next week will put them in a very good position to earn a top 3 spot.
Slashers 8 Mayhem 7 (Overtime)
It was only fitting to see this game go to overtime. Afterall, the first 2 games between these teams went down to the wire (one of them was decided with one second remaning and the other was decided with 49 seconds left). Anthony Schuckers scored the first goal again to make it 1-0 but the Mayhem would answer with 3 of their own. A couple of the goals were very impressive slap shots from Brenden Chesley. Adam McKinley played net for the Slashers and afterwards said that Chesley has a sneaky shot. Cody Haag had a nice goal for the Mayhem as well and Derrian Matchock made several good saves to help the Mayhem maintain a 4-2 lead in the later stages of the 2nd period. The Slashers rallied late in the 2nd period following a goal from Jeff Wehner on a nice pass from Zach Smith to make it 4-3 and Vinnie Deloia scored with just a couple seconds remaining in the 2nd period to tie the game at 4 going into the 3rd period. The 3rd period was pretty eventful with each team exchanging goal for goal. Zach Smith played a conservative defensive style in the first 2 periods but he got more aggressive in the 3rd period by scoring 3 big goals, including one to put his team up 7-6 with less than 2 minutes remaining. The game remained 7-6 until Tyler Stitt scored with one second remaining to send the game to overtime. He may have scored a goal earlier in the 3rd period to put the Mayhem up 6-5 but can’t remember for sure. Nonetheless, his goal with one second remaining sent the game to overtime. Zach Smith elected to sit the bench when overtime first started but he did find his way onto the court to see Vinnie Deloia score with around a minute left in overtime to give the Slashers their 2nd win of the season. The Mayhem were playing without Jeremy Sawey and Brian Pangallo last night. A win would have put them in a better position to earn a top 3 spot in the standings. They did earn a point last night which leaves them at 11 points in the standings. Zach Smith informed us that he will not be available for the rest of the season. The Slashers will play the Slap Happy in the final night of the regular season.
Eagles 12 Walkers 0
The Eagles mercy ruled the Walkers with 23 seconds remaining in the 3rd period last night. They scored 4 goals in each period last night and got some good saves along the way from Henry Sutter to preserve the first shutout of the season. The Eagles were playing without Alex Waddell and Cody Schuckers but they got a good mix of production on goals and nice passes from all their players present last night (Llewellyn/Boyd/Foradori/Larry/Amick). The Walkers were playing without their top 2 goal scorers, Brice Miller and Jason Stamler. Tony Dodd made some good saves for the Walkers but the Eagles fired a lot of shots his way from start to finish. The Eagles win guaranteed them a top 3 spot in the regular season standings and assured them a best of 3 semi final series. They will finish out the regular season against the Mayhem and Colonials. They will get the top overall seed if they win both those games and have the opportunity to choose their semifinal playoff opponent. They could still get the top seed even if they lose one of those 2 games but they would need some help from other teams to make that happen. The Walkers will finish out the regular season against the Colonials and Knights.
Zach Smith (Slashers)
1. 2 games last night. Hows your body feeling today (following at least a 6 or 7 week layoff from hockey for you)? Not going to lie I'm pretty sore. Being off that long isn't good for me not only physically but the quality of my game. It will be nice to get back to playing every week once summer starts
2. You realistically probably weren’t expecting to have much of a chance against the Knights. Were you happy to hang around with them for over half the game or were you disappointed the game got away from you guys late in the 2nd period? I thought we played alright for most of the game. Darrian kept us in it for most of the game by making great saves on quality chances that we gave up. With the amount of talent they have on their team, I was expecting for them to score a bunch of goals. The question was if we could keep up by scoring just as much. Unfortunately, when we started to push for more goals, they took advantage of the resulting opportunities when we didn't capitalize on ours
3. Jeff was there for the 2nd game. Do you think his energy brought a spark for you guys in that game? His speed and tannacity definitely helped us. He would of been a huge boost in the first game but I was glad he made it for the second game to help us secure the win.
4. You had 3 goals in the 3rd period. Did you change your approach as the game went on or did some things seem to open up for you? I think I decided to push harder in the offensive zone. I played most of both games trying to focus on our defensive side. While I enjoy playing back, I don't think it's my strong suite so when I decided to focus on the forecheck and use my speed to attack them, I usually make things happen. I happened to capitalize on most of my chances during that stretch which really helped our cause.
5. What was your impression of the Knights and do you think they are the team to beat in the league? (You may not have seen enough games this season to observe the other teams) It's tough to say. They obviously will be in the mix at the end of it but the games that I saw between the top teams seem to be evenly matched to where anyone can win on any given night. Of the top teams that I played this season they put up the biggest score against us, so that might be a bonus for them. I think the winner of this league will have the best overall team and system that they decide to play and not necessarily who has the best players.
Henry Sutter (Eagles)
1. You pitched the first shutout of the xhl season last night. What can you say about the overall team effort? We played a solid game against a team we couldn’t put away until the final minute. I’m glad to have a team in front of me that allows me to have a clean sheet.
2. The first game against the Walkers was pretty competitive. What do you think you guys did better against them this time around? . In the first game, we were all knocking off the rust from the offseason. We’re gearing up for a playoff run, and it showed. They’re always going to skate hard and give you their best, so we knew we had to play our best.
3. Mayhem next week followed by another game against the Colonials. What kinds of games are you expecting from them? As the Mayhem’s former goalie, I’ve had this one circled for a while. I’m excited to be on the other side of the matchup. The Colonials destroyed us in the first game, so we’ll be looking to put up a better effort to close the regular season.
4. You are used to being on the losing side in this league despite some solid play from yourself. Whats it been like transitioning from teams with lower expectations to a team with championship expectations? It’s been refreshing. I’ll never truly enjoy winning 12-0, but it’s nice to play more meaningful games. The playoffs will be a welcome change to the end of my season. I just hope I can help such a great team get past the finish line
5. NHL trade deadline was pretty eventful. What was your overall observations from the trades that went down? The East is loading up for an all out war after that arms race. I think Timo Meier has a chance to shine in New Jersey, and no one is counting on big swings more than the Rangers. It’ll be one of the more exciting postseasons in recent memory if you’re not overly optimistic about the Penguins
Tyler Stitt (Mayhem)
1. 8-7 overtime loss last night. What can you say about the overall team effort? The team effort was great and everyone gave it their all.
2. You scored a big goal last week and a couple big goals last night. Are you feeling like you are fitting in pretty well with these guys? Yeah, I think that I am starting to fit in well with this team. Having played with some of the players in the Brockway league has also helped. Each week the team as a whole seems to gain more chemistry
3. So many close games for you guys this season. How enjoyable has that been for you?
Playing in all of these close games has been a lot of fun. I enjoy being in those close games and the pressure of being able to make a play to help the team win the game.
4. What positives can you take out of the loss last night? Some positives that I took out of the game last night was that everyone gave it their all, the team chemistry continues to get better, and we didn't give up after being down by a goal late in the third period.
5. This game went back and forth the whole way. What do you think went wrong on that overtime goal they scored? In overtime I think that everyone just got tired and we were not able to keep pressure on their skaters to limit shots and rebounds.
Noah Kline (Knights)
1. 10-4 win over the Slashers last night. What can you say about the overall team effort in the win? I think that everybody on the team play outstanding. we all go out there and try our hardest
2. You contributed some goals and passes in this game. Were you happy with how you played? Yes, i was actually very happy with how i played. I finally broke my streak of not scoring so that’s always a plus.
3. This is your first xhl season. Whats it been like for you so far and has your dad been a good help for you? . It has been very fun for me but it was also very nerve racking at the start. My dad has always been a big help even when i was playing things like juniors and pick up hockey. Afterwards he always lets me know what i did good and what i should improve on
4. You are surrounded by a lot of talent on this team. How do you think you guys have all been able to fit in with one another? . I think that we have been able to fit in together very well. Everyone has a role that they play in the team.
5. The last 3 or 4 games have gone down to the end. Do you like playing in all those close, competitive games? To be honest a close competitive game is my favorite type of game. it’s very exciting even for the people that are watching.