One Week Left
Regular Season Standings after March 13th games: Points for and Points Against in parenthesis.
1. Eagles 15 (61/31)
2. Knights 14 (63/43)
3. Colonials 13 (60/42)
4. Mayhem 11 (61/71)
5. Slap Happy 9 (40/43)
6. Slashers 4 (46/61)
7. Walkers 2 (43/80)
Colonials 14 Walkers 4
Even if the Colonials fail to win a championship this season, the players on the roster can at least say they have gotten plenty of exercise this season. They haven’t had more than 1 sub for a game all season and they found themselves playing ironman against the Walkers last night. Brice Miller scored on the opening faceoff for the Walkers and the lead held up for about 6 or 7 minutes before the Colonials got rolling. Brian Anderson scored 3 first period goals for the Colonials. Jason Stamler had a nice goal for the Walkers in the 1st period to get them to within 1 at 3 to 2. Brice Miller scored again in the 2nd period to draw the Walkers closer (5 to 3) but the Colonials pulled away from there. The lead would eventually grow to 12-3 midway thru the 3rd period before Mark Chesley scored to make it 12-4. Kevin Smith had another big scoring outburst in the 3rd period. He has had several big 3rd periods this season for the Colonials. He even set Fred Terwilliger up for a nice goal in that late 2nd period run. Bob Anderson chipped in some goals and assists as well. The win assures the Colonials a best of 3 semi final series no matter of their outcome against the Eagles next week. The Walkers will close out the regular season against the Knights next week and then will either play the Slap Happy or Mayhem the following week in the 4th place tournament. There is still an outside shot of the Colonials earning the number 1 seed but they would need to win against the Eagles in regulation next week and have the Knights lose to the Walkers in regulation. John Matchock was a late game scratch. Phil Mace also couldn’t make it last night. Fred Terwilliger was back after missing last week’s game against the Slap Happy. Jake Deberti was not there for the Walkers.
Eagles 9 Mayhem 4
The Eagles still control their own destiny for the top seed and their choice of a semi final opponent once the playoffs begin. The Mayhem hung tough for over half the game last night, thanks to some really good goal tending from Derrian Matchock. Brenden Chesley continues to score goals. He had a nice shot to tie the game at 1 last night and Tyler Stitt batted in a rebound in the later part of the 2nd period to keep the game close at 4-2 but the Eagles scored 5 unanswered goals to pull away. No one particular player took the game over for the Eagles, but they had another nice balance of scoring. Eric Llewellyn and Alex Waddell appeared to lead the way in goals. They were playing without Cody Schuckers and Austin Boyd last night. Henry Sutter continues to play well and the nice balance of scoring should set them up well for next week’s regular season finale against the Colonials and for the playoffs. If the Knights beat the Walkers in regulation next week, the Eagles will need to at least send their game against the Colonials to overtime. They would own the head to head tiebreaker with the Knights due to earning 3 points against them in the regulation to the Knights 2 points. A Knights win in regulation and anEagles regulation loss would give the Knights the top seed. Cody Schuckers and Kevin Smith were not present in the Colonials 5-1 win over the Eagles last time around but they are both expected to be there this time. The game will at least give both teams a good preview of playoff hockey. The Mayhem concluded their regular season with a 5-4-1 record. They will either play the Walkers or Slashers in their first game of the 4th place tournament. They were playing without Trent Bembenic, Brian Pangallo and Jeremy Sawey last night.
Knights 5 Slap Happy 4 (Overtime)
As mentioned above, the Knights still have a realistic chance of earning the top overall seed for the playoffs. If they do so, it will be interesting to see who they will pick as their first playoff opponent. The Colonials, Eagles and Slap Happy have all taken them to overtime. The Slap Happy will need to win twice in the 4th place tournament to qualify for the final playoff spot but they will have a good chance to get that last spot if they play as well as they did in the last 2 periods last night. Andy Calvert and Brandon Reiter helped give the Knights a 3-0 lead late in the first period before Derik Day got the Slap Happy on the board late in the first period. Day’s first period goal kept the momentum going for the Slap Happy in the 2nd and 3rd period. Dave Jewell would score the only goal in the 2nd period but it appeared the Slap Happy controlled the play in the 2nd period. The Knights stopped the bleeding when Andy Calvert scored in the 3rd period to make it 4-2 but Jason Duttry scored back to back goals in a short time frame to tie the game at 4. One of those goals came on a nice set up from Dave Jewell. The other came on a rebound that Clint initially saved. Derik Day got called for a penalty late in the 3rd period which carried over to the overtime session, but the Knights were unable to score on the power play. About 30 seconds following the penalty, Brandon Reiter gained some separation and beat Adam McKinley to give the Knights their 3rd overtime win of the season. The Knights were without Rooster last night while the Slap Happy were playing without Nate May. Regardless of last nights outcome, the Slap Happy had no chance of catching the top 3 teams in the regular season standings. They will close out the regular season against the Slashers.
Alex Waddell (Eagles)
1. 9-4 win over the Mayhem. What can you say about the overall team effort? We did pretty good we got a little lazy at times especially near the end.
2. You guys were favored to win. How do you approach a game when you are expected to win fairly comfortably? We try to play the same against every team but still end up letting up whenever we get decent lead.
3. You are contributing to the teams success this season. Are you comfortable with how you are fitting in with the rest of the team? Everyone on our team can play both offense and defense which has allowed me to play up more and score a few more goals than normal. I’ve played with most of these guys a lot so I feel like we have some good chemistry.
4. You guys pulled away late in the 2nd period. What do you think you guys did better as the game went on? Derrian played great most of the night for them and we were just able to get a few past him that he was stopping the rest of the game
5. Colonials next week. Herman seems to turn into a brick wall against you guys. How important do you think it will be to get off to a good start in next week’s game? We will both have some star players that weren’t there for the first game so it’s hard to say how the game will go. I think it’s going to be important to score first the colonials are a hard team to play from behind against. It should be a good game I’m looking forward to getting a few past Herman.
Derrian Matchock (Mayhem)
1. 9-4 loss to the Eagles last night. What can you say about the overall team effort in the loss? team effort was there. It definitely helped having a couple extra bodies from the walkers or else I think it could’ve been worse.
2. You kept your team in the game for a while. Were you happy with how you played? ) yes and no. I made a few that a probably shouldn’t have but there is multiple I knew I should have had just wasn’t able to
3. They finally started getting some more by you late in the 2nd period. Did you wear down as the game went on considering all the shots you faced? I was getting a little more exhausted as the game went on but that’s the name of the game. I try and take it one shot at a time
4. What was your impression of the Eagles last night? they have the chemistry for sure. Even without Boyd and Cody they’re still a good team. Would’ve been more fun I think if those two had played for sure
5. What positives can you take out of the game? none of us gave up. Couple miscommunications here and there but we bounced back. We did get a couple by Henry so that’s definitely a huge plus as well.
Clint Lingenfelter (Knights)
1. 5 to 4 win last night. What can you say about the overall team effort? For the first 20 mins of the game our effort was great! After that we didn't have much zone time at all! They really hemmed us in the 2nd half of the game!
2. They appeared to outplay you guys in the 2nd and 3rd period. Were you worried when the overtime started? Not at all! I felt pretty good with my play other than a few lucky bounces that went their way! I knew if we had a good chance in ot that Doc was gonna have to make a great save or we'd have it! Letting Brandon walk towards the net with a lane is not something u wanna do!
3. This game against them was much closer than the last game. What kind of game were you expecting this time around? Very similar to what it was! They've gotten alot better since the beginning of the season! It really showed last night!
4. You have won 3 overtime games now. Do you think that will better prepare you guys for your first playoff series? I do! That just shows when it gets down too it, we make the right plays to finish with a win!
5. There is still a chance you guys could get the top seed if you guys win and the Eagles lose. What kind of game are you expecting between the Colonials and Eagles next week? O that's gonna be a good one to watch either way! If we get it, cool. If not, it is what it is! We've seen plenty of times where the #1 seed hasn't finished it with a cup! It's whoever gets hot come playoff time! Any of the top 4 teams will have a chance! This year has easily been one of the most competitive years since I've been in XHL. It's been really fun to be a part of!
Brice Miller (Walkers)
1. 14 to 4 loss tonight. What can you say about the overall team effort? The team always gives an effort, we had a tough night moving the ball
2. The game got away in the 2nd period. What do you think went wrong in that stretch? Not covering the point well enough has hurt us over the season, chasing Bob and Kevin surely didn’t help
3. They were Ironman. Did you think you guys had a chance to make it a competitive game when you didn’t see any subs ? . Yeah that was a plus and early on we kept it tight but it got away from us quick in the second.
4. What positives can you take out of the game? We had some opportunities to score and keep the game close I missed a couple good chances I should have buried.
5. Pens are doing better. What kind of expectations do you have for the rest of the season? I think things are looking up for the pens. I don’t like the idea of them having the oldest roster in the league whatsoever, but they need depth if they want to make any sort of run. I can’t imagine they are a cup contender, meanwhile I said the same last year and they dominated the rangers other than in goal. Right now I like the new look third line. Moving Rakell down looks similar to having Phil down there in 16. If Zucker stays hot and they tighten up in their own end I think we could make a little noise down the stretch. A huge plus is seeing Nylander finally in the lineup, especially breaking the top six.
Bob Anderson (Colonials)
1. 14 to 4 win over the walkers. What can you say about the overall effort? Even if the score was a bit lopsided, I’ll always give the Walkers credit for making you work against them. They hustle and play hard, so by extension, you have to hustle and play hard to match them. Was it our best effort? I’m sure Herman would say no; too many turnovers. I know I owe some push ups for a few myself
2. Ironman tonight. Did you look at that as a good challenge before the game started tonight? I don’t mind playing Ironman personally. You probably don’t want to have to play without a sub in a playoff game or when it’s 90 degrees outside. But otherwise, you just learn when to go hard and when to back off and get some air
3. The game was competitive for a while but you guys pulled away later in the 2nd period. What do you think the team did better? . Now that you mention it, I think we are typically a slower starting team. I don’t know why? But to answer your question, I guess everyone started scoring instead of just Brian.
4. Eagles next week. What are you expecting from them this time around? It’ll be a different game this time around. They will have Cody and we will have Kevin. They will also be gunning for us I’m sure. They have a well balanced team so I know it will take another really smart and disciplined game from us to hang with them. We can’t match their speed
5. You reffed that last game tonight. Were you surprised to see the slap happy send it to overtime after an early 3 goal deficit? I was really impressed with the Slap Happy’s game. The Knights owned the first period, but I think the Slap Happy owned the second and third period. They moved the ball really well and carried the play. Clint played a solid game though to hold down the fort. And in the end, you can’t give Brandon any room. If he gets his shot off, it’s 50-50 that it’s going in. No goalie was going to stop that overtime winner he scored.
Dave Jewell (Slap Happy)----------- He will be responding to his questions tonight. We will post his interview as soon as we can.
Notes as the playoffs begin:
1. If the Slap Happy beat the Slashers next week, the 4th place tournament will go as follows:
Slap Happy vs Walkers
Mayhem vs Slashers
2 winners play against one another for the final playoff spot
2. If the Slap Happy lose to the Slashers next week, the 4th place tournament will go as follows:
Slap Happy vs Slashers
Mayhem vs Walkers
2 winners play against one another for the final playoff spot
3. We are one goalie short in this league. We realize that some goalies are a little better than others in this league. If the Slashers play the Mayhem in the 4th place tournament, we will need to recruit a goalie to play for the Slashers in that game and will have to go with whatever goalie is available to play. Derrian can probably play for the Slashers when he isn’t playing for the Mayhem but he wont want to play more than 1 or 2 games on the same night. John Matchock may be available to goalie if needed.
4. We have tried to highly discourage teams from picking up players to fill in for other teams in this league since it’s the XHL and not a draft league. Adam skated out once for the Slashers this season and Brice Miller/Jason Stamler played for the Mayhem last night. When the playoffs begin, which includes the 4th place tournament, we don’t want players playing on other teams. We could possibly use Adam to skate out for a team in absolute worse case scenario. Henry Sutter has also skated out from time to time.
5. Once the semi final series’s begins, each team will need to designate 2 or 3 guys to ref. We have run into issues in the finals where no one is available to ref.