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Playoffs Underway ---- Monday, April 8th

Schedule for Monday, April 15th

 

Mayhem vs Knights at 6 p.m. (Mayhem eliminated if they lose)

Eagles vs Yeti at 7 (Eagles eliminated if they lose)

Mayhem vs Knights at 8 p.m. if necessary or Eagles vs Yeti if necessary.   Start times will depend on what happens at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

 

***Game 1 and Game 2 of the championship will be played on Monday, April 22nd with a game 3 to be played on April 29th if necessary***

 


Jason Stamler Leads Mayhem to a play in game win.  Adam McKinley nearly shuts out the Eagles and the Knights continue to roll despite having  a bye last week.

 

The XHL has seen some pretty entertaining play in games throughout the years.  The Colonials pulled off a comeback  win in overtime several years ago in a play in game against a team that Mike Burda assembled (not sure who all may remember that game).  That was probably the most exciting play in game but last nights game isn’t too far behind.  Unfortunately for the Colonials, their season ended last night the same way that it started, with an overtime loss to the Mayhem.  Henry Sutter was not there to steal the show for the Mayhem this time around, but the Mayhem could not have asked for much more from Derrian Matchock last night.  The Colonials were able to put up 7 goals on him, but most of them were well earned.  They could have had double digit goals if not for the many good saves he made.  The Colonials had some good opportunities throughout the game but the Mayhem also made things difficult.  It may have been the first time all season that the Mayhem had a full squad there.  For the Colonials, even one extra person would have been welcome.  They knew they would be without Phil Mace again last night but Denny Stinchcomb was also not able to make it due to an illness.  The Mayhem appeared to keep good line changes going throughout the game and also kept answering anytime the Colonials would inch closer to tying the game or going ahead.   Anthony Schuckers scored a nice wrap around goal just 20 seconds into the game to put the Mayhem up 1-0.  The game would remain 1-0 for quite a while until Bob Anderson scored to tie the game up at 1.  Trent Bembenic scored late in the first period to put the Mayhem ahead 2-1.  Kevin Smith tied the game up at 2 on a nice set up from Bob Anderson but Trent Bembenic would later score again to put the Mayhem ahead 3-2.  Kevin Smith tied the game at 3 on a set up from Brian Anderson but the Mayhem scored the next 2 goals with Anthony Schuckers scoring both times.  One of the goals was one of those goalies toughest shots to stop, a slow roller that snuck by several defenders and could not be seen until it found its way into the back of the net.   The Mayhem found themselves up 5-3 after 2 periods but the Colonials started out strong in the 3rd period.  Kevin Smith scored again on a nice pass from Bob Anderson to cut the deficit to 5-4 and the Colonials had a good stretch of good passing and good shot opportunities, but Derrian Matchock stood tall when he needed too to keep the Mayhem ahead.  With about 7 minutes left in the 3rd period, Vinnie Deloia scored for the Mayhem to put them up 6-4 but Bob Anderson made a nice pass to Fred Terwilliger a minute or so later and Terwilliger’s shot was able to find its way into the back of the net to close the gap to 6-5.  Bob Anderson would score soon after to tie the game at 6 and the colonials once again had chances to go ahead but Derrian Matchock once again prevented the colonials from going ahead.  With a minute and a half left to play, Vinnie Deloia scored again to put the Mayhem up 7-6 but Kevin Smith would score soon after on a pass off win to tie the game at 7.  Vinnie Deloia nearly snuck a full court shot in at the end of regulation, but Colonials goalie John Matchock got in the right place to prevent the shot from going in.  The Colonials had a couple good chances denied in overtime and the Mayhem picked up the overtime win when Jason Stamler batted in a loose ball in front of the net to give the Mayhem the win and a best of 3 series against the Knights.  It was probably fitting that the Colonials season ended that way.  It was a tough season as Bob Anderson points out in his interview below.  John Matchock was asked to fill in goalie several times throughout the season for missing goalies and he also attempted to skate out for the Jawas throughout the season.  After a while, he quit skating out on their team to try to save some energy for goalying.   Phil Mace and Kevin Smith missed some games in the middle of the season and when they were there one week, Bob Anderson was not there.   Perhaps it was fitting that Denny was not able to play last night even though he only missed one other game throughout the season.  Phil Mace informed the team late in the season that he would not be available for the playoffs due to an injury.   On the other side, this could be the best team that Peach has assembled since putting several teams together throughout the years.  While it was disappointing for the Colonials not advancing, it was nice for the league to see the Mayhem take a step forward by winning a do or die play in game last night.     While they would later lose to the Knights, it was nice to see their talent and potential come together in their 8-7 win over the Colonials last night.  We wish them luck in game 2 and possibly game 3 against the Knights next week.  Peach (with a laugh) said that he is planning on 2 games next week and also said that he burned close to 5000 calories yesterday.   Regardless of what happens in game 2, we would like to congratulate them on their well deserved trip to the playoffs this season.

 

Yeti 3  Eagles 1

 

There wont be as much to write about this game as there was to write about in the first game last night, but this was a well played, playoff style hockey game from start to finish. While not the most exciting game, this was how playoff hockey should be played.  Both teams played well defensively, both goalies played well and both teams showed why they are going up against one another with a chance to play for a championship in 2 weeks.  Adam McKinley was 3 minutes away from a shutout victory until Jerred Amick spoiled it on a nice power play goal to cut the Yeti’s lead to 3-1, but thats as close as the Eagles would get.   Even more impressive about the Yeti’s win last night was that Zach Smith was unable to make it.  In an interview below, Adam McKinley said that the team would need to bring their A game for a chance to win and they did just that.  Steve Kalgren showed up with just over 4 minutes remaining in the game and one of his shots found its way to Ben Rossi’s body in front of the net as they nearly snuck an insurance goal by Eagles goalie Henry Sutter.   Last time these 2 teams met, Kalgren utilized Ben Rossi’s body to score an important goal for the Yeti in that game.   The Yeti went up 1-0 midway through the first period when Ben Rossi got one by Henry Sutter to put the yeti up 1-0 and would later extend the lead to 2-0 on a goal from Derik Day.  The game would remain 2-0 for quite a while until Dave Jewell scored in the 3rd period to put the Yeti ahead 3-0 with Ben Rossi assisting on the goal.  The Yeti tried to force the Eagles to lower percentage shots from the outside trusting their veteran goalie Adam McKinley to make the saves.   Like all teams in the xhl, the Eagles missed out on a few good opportunities throughout the game that could have made a difference,  but for the most part, opportunities were limited for both teams.  The Eagles were playing without Alex Waddell last night.  When they clinched the 3rd seed last week, the Eagles avoided having to play the Knights in the first round, but Eric Llewellyn did not get his hopes up when talking about their first round matchup with the Yeti.  After all, he said they are trying to get by a team and its core of players that they have never been able to beat.   Game 2 will be played at 7 p.m. next week and game 3 will also be played next Monday if needed.   In an interview below, Henry Sutter said that it will be crucial for the Eagles to get off to a better start next week.   This was the lowest scoring game the league has seen for quite a while, but that’s how playoff hockey should be.  The Yeti are one win away from a return trip to the finals and will have 2 chances to eliminate the Eagles next week.   

 

Knights 9  Mayhem 1

 

When Jason Stamler scored the game winning overtime goal against the Colonials, himself and his teammates rightfully started to celebrate.  Maybe the Colonials should have been the ones celebrating instead.  Reality set in when the Knights were waiting for whoever won that first game last night.  The Mayhem hung tough for a while and only saw themselves down 4-1 at the end of the 2nd period, but the Knights scored 5 unanswered goals in the 3rd period to pull away. Mayhem goalie Derrian Matchock expected to face a boat load of shots in this game and made the Knights earn their goals for 2 periods, but it appeared that the Mayhem ran out of energy by the end of the 2nd period.  Tyler Waltman’s goal late in the 2nd period closed the gap to 4-1 and Anthony Schuckers had a couple good shots turned down by Clint Lingenfelter as the 2nd period ended that could have made for a little more interesting 3rd period.  Andy Calvert and Brandon Reiter led the way for the Knights offensively and Noah Kline chipped in one of those 3rd period goals to help the Knights pull away.  It was his 2nd goal of the game to compliment the goals from Calvert and Reiter.  Game 2 will be played at 6 p.m. next week with a possible game 3 being played at 8 p.m.  Brandon Reiter said that he may not be there for the 6 p.m. game.    Can the Mayhem make game 2 interesting?  If so, they will need another good goal tending performance from Derrian Matchock or whoever they get to goalie for them in the event that Derrian cant make it.  The Knights are one win away from a return trip to the finals. 

 

Andy Calvert (Knights)


1. 8 to 1 win tonight. What can you say about the overall team effort tonight?  Great team effort as always, everyone plays a huge part in every game we win!

 

 2. You were off last week. Were you worried the week off could lead to some rust?  . Not really most of us played in the tournament on Thursday, even though we didn’t play together we still got some skating in

 

 3. Mayhem hung in there for 2 periods. What do you think you did better in the 3rd period? I think we just wore them out as the game went on, especially after having to play a game that went into overtime right before us.

 

4. What do you think has led to Noah improving as much as he has in such a short time frame? Noah just loves hockey and he’s athletic and coordinated, I don’t think anything specific led to him improving so fast other than he’s simply a great athlete

 

 5. What did you observe in the eagles / yeti game tonight?  I think it was a pretty balanced game. Eagles just couldn’t get the ball past Adam when it mattered, and Yeti took advantage of every opportunity they had. Adam played great, Rossi had some good passes, and Derik looked to be skating harder than he has all season.

 

Derrian Matchock (Mayhem goalie)

 

1. 2 games last night. What can you say about the Mayhem’s overall team effort in both games?  mayhem played good. They’re a younger team so it helps during fast paced games.

 

 2. The play in game went to overtime. How enjoyable was it to be a big part of the Mayhem’s win last night? it was good. Either way I had to play again but it’s always better that you get the win

 

3. To make the win even better, you beat your dad. Have you two talked since that game? here and there. We don’t talk much about games we play against each other, other than right after

 

4. What was your gut feeling when overtime started in that first game?  it was 50/50 to me. I let in a bad one to tie the game up. I just didn’t want that to happen again so I’m glad we got the win.

 

 5. The 2nd game got away from you guys in the 3rd period. Do you think you just wore down at that point? yes and no. I felt bad letting in a couple close in front of me. But it’s the knights so it’s hard to keep up with them

 

 

Henry Sutter (Eagles)

 

1. 3-1 loss to the Yeti last night. What can you say about the overall team effort and play in the loss? The Yeti had our number once again last night. They bring an intensity out of the gate that is hard to match. We'll need to be ready next week.

 

2. Considering how well they play defensively, how important did you think it was to get off to a lead last night instead of the early deficit you were in? We play better from in front against anyone. We're a defensively-minded team that can shut the game down when we get ahead, but we've had trouble finding leads this season. Starting faster and being able to play our game will be crucial to turning the series around.

 

3. How enjoyable is it as a goalie to play in those low scoring, grind out games? I always enjoy the low scoring games, but I'd rather win 15-14 than lose 1-0 in a playoff game. Adam always plays well, and I think he finds an extra gear when I'm on the other side. Has to remind me who taught me how to play.

 

4. Only one goal against them. What did you observe from your team offensively? Can't give away too much of what we're working on in the lab this week, but we need to increase our number of chances and finish more frequently

 

5. Any positives to take out of the game that can carry over to game 2 and hopefully game 3 in your case? We felt that we played poorly all evening and still had a chance at the end. Both teams will have some missing pieces back for next week. Coming in to the series, we were two wins away from the championship series. We're still just two wins away.

 

 


Bob Anderson (Colonials)


1.  8 to 7 loss to the mayhem tonight.   What can you say about the overall effort and overall play tonight?

 

I can't fault the effort.  We played pretty hard all things considered.  I would rather give the Mayhem a ton of credit for battling and finding a way to get the win in an elimination game.  As disappointing as it is to lose, I was happy to see them win!


2.  They led the whole way.   How tough was it trying to play catch-up throughout the game?

 

I think they scored about 20 seconds into the game and it felt like we were playing catch-up for the next 44 minutes.  It's always harder to play from behind because you have to push a little more and take a few chances to try to score goals.  I was happy with our response after they took a 2-goal lead in the third period.  We turned up the heat a little on them and scored those goals back pretty quickly.  We just weren't able to get a go-ahead goal even though we had some decent looks.  I thought Derrian had a really good game and made the big saves when he really need to. 


3.  It was the 3rd one goal game against those guys and the 2nd overtime loss against them this season.   Why do you think the team struggled as much as it did against them this season?

 

I think people underestimated the Mayhem all season.  They have a solid team with quite a bit of depth.  When Trenton is there, he adds a lot of speed.  They play a smart defensive game.  It wasn't easy to get good looks on them.  I knew it would be a competitive game for us and they didn't disappoint.


4.    It was an up and down season.    Is it kind of a relief that it’s over or is it disappointing to think about the potential that was lost from lack of players in the lineup throughout the season?

 

I'm not going to lie or sugarcoat things; it was a difficult season for the Colonials.  We only had our full lineup a couple of times during the season and that was very early on.   Looking back, I think we should have had an extra player on the roster.  Preferably, a defenseman would have been great considering we had to move Match to goal with Tim Herman being unable to play.  Joe Spencer played one game with us and having him on the back end made a huge difference for us in that game.

 

In the end, we have some really good players on the team, but the chemistry just wasn't there for us.  Look at the top teams in the league.  They work together so well.  It just never seemed like we were clicking as a group.  Regardless, we have plenty of time to think about that in the future.  For now, I'll get to enjoy watching the conclusion of this season and get ready to play in Brockway.


5.  The xhl is still going all these years later.    How much satisfaction does that give you considering that you are the one who put it in motion way back in 2001?

 

It's an absolute pleasure to not only still be playing hockey, but to be playing in the XHL all these years later.  I think we tend to take for granted that people are willing to put the effort into keeping the league alive.  It takes time, communication, and a lot of organization to make these leagues happen.  Thank you to Brian for continuing to keep things going so that we can all play organized hockey.  I'm hoping that I can continue to play in the XHL for many more years to come!

 

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