Regular Season Concludes
Final Regular Season Standings:
1. Eagles 17 (70/36)
2. Knights 16 (76/44)
3. Colonials 13 (65/51)
4. Slap Happy 11 (50/46)
5. Mayhem 11 (61/71)
6. Slashers 4 (49/71)
7. Walkers 2 (44/93)
Play In Tournament:
#6 Slashers vs #5 Mayhem at 620 (John Matchock has agreed to goalie for the Slashers next week)
#7 Walkers vs #4 Slap Happy at 720
The losers of those games will be eliminated. The two winners will play against each other at 830 with the winner advancing to the semi finals.
The Eagles will get a choice of who they want to play in the semi finals starting on Monday, April 3rd. We will be sticking to 3 games a night when the playoffs start and the championship will be played on its own night. We will not play a potential semi final series game 3 and a championship game 1 on the same night. Each of the 4 teams left will need to designate 2 or 3 refs for the semi final round and championship round.
Knights 13 Walkers 1 (Did not see any of this game)
The Knights still had a chance to get the top seed going into the night and did their part by mercy ruling the Walkers in the 3rd period. Noah Kline continues to improve as he scored 3 goals to clinch the mercy rule win. The Knights finished the regular season with an 8 and 2 record. 3 of those 8 wins went to overtime. 2 wins against the Colonials, 2 wins against the Slap Happy, 1 win over the Eagles in overtime, 1 win over the Mayhem, 1 over the Slashers and 1 over the Walkers. One of the losses came to the Eagles and the other was a 1 goal loss to the Colonials. They will wait on their semi final playoff opponent. The Walkers had a lot of competitive games earlier in the season and will hope to get back to that when they play against the Slap Happy next Monday at 720. They kept the game close the majority of the way when they played against them earlier in the season. Despite giving up a lot of goals recently, Tony Dodd has made a lot of good saves along the way. They finished with 1 win against the Slashers earlier in the season and 9 losses. 4 or 5 of those losses went down to the wire. They will be big underdogs against the Slap Happy next week but we will see if they saved their best for the play in.
Slap Happy 10 Slashers 3
The Slap Happy closed out the regular season with a 10-3 win over the Slashers last night. The game was close for a while but the Slap Happy pulled away the later part of the 2nd period. Joe Bussard led the way offsensively with at least 4 or 5 goals. Neither team scored for about the first 8 or 9 minutes but Bussard would score a couple quick goals to make it 2-0 before Anthony Schuckers scored to draw the Slashers to within a goal late in the first period. The momentum was short lived when Joe Bussard scored on the ensuing faceoff to make it 3-1 going into the 2nd period. Matt Cole scored a goal for the Slashers midway thru the 2nd period to cut the Slap Happy lead to 5-2 but the Slap Happy scored 3 quick goals to pull away by the time the 3rd period started. Anthony Schuckers had an impressive goal to make it 8-3 but the Slap Happy scored the last 2 goals to make the final score 10-3. The win for the Slap Happy gave them 4th place in the regular season standings and appear to have momentum going into the play in round next week. They finished the season with 5 wins, 4 losses and an overtime loss to the Knights last week. 2 of the wins were against the Slashers (Zach Smith was there for the first game of the season), 1 win against the Colonials, 1 against the Mayhem and 1 against the Walkers. They also had a point for the overtime loss to the Knights. 2 of the losses came against the Eagles, 2 to the Knights and 1 to the Colonials. The Slashers finished with just 2 wins but had a lot of different line ups throughout the season. If anything, we should see an exciting play in game between them and the Mayhem. All 3 of their regular season games went down to the final horn. Zach Smith said he may be able to make it next week. John Matchock will be their goalie when they take on the Mayhem next week. It may be the first time that a father and son have been opposing goalies in the XHL.
Eagles 9 Colonials 5
While first place in the regular season does not guarantee the Cup, it at least guarantees the Eagles an opportunity to pick an opponent when the semi finals begins in 2 weeks. They will also get to decide if they want to play 2 games on that first playoff night or if they want the other series to play 2 games on the first night. Whatever they decide, they may be telling Zach Foradori to keep coming late. The Colonials found themselves up 2-1 late in the first period. Phil Mace and Kevin Smith each had goals for the Colonials with Cody Schuckers scoring the first Eagles goal. With the score 2-1, Kevin Smith was called for a penalty. While the Eagles did not score on the power play, they had some good opportunities which eventually led to the tying goal when Austin Boyd (might have been Eric Llewellyn) scored off of a rebound to tie the game up at 2 going into the 2nd period. That’s when Zach Foradori came into play. Just as the 2nd period began, he sniped one by Tim Herman to make it 3-2 and then scored again soon after a Bob Anderson penalty to make it 4-2. He would score another big goal later in that period to keep the Eagles momentum going. The Colonials were called for 4 penalties on the night. Eric Llewellyn had another goal for the Eagles to make it 6-2 but the Colonials pulled to within 3 on a couple different occasions when Bob Anderson and Phil Mace scored. With the score 7-4 going into the 3rd period, Jerred Amick scored twice on set ups from Cody Schuckers to help the Eagles clinch the first seed. They finished with 8 wins (Slap Happy twice, Walkers twice, Mayhem, Slashers, Colonials, Knights) and 2 losses (Colonials and Knights in overtime). Kevin Smith informed the Colonials that he may not be able to play in the playoffs after injuring his knee in last nights game. The week off in between games could not have come at a better time for the Colonials. They finished the season with wins against the Slashers, Mayhem, Knights, Slap Happy, Walkers and Eagles while losing to the Knights in regulation and once in overtime, Slap Happy once and Eagles once. They played with 2 subs for the first time all season last night but 4 penalties may have made it hard to establish much identity. Most are expecting a Colonials-Knights semi final round but we will wait and see. Henry Sutter had another solid game for the Eagles last night.
Cody Schuckers (Eagles)
1. 9-5 win last night. What can you say about the overall team effort and performance?
Ya we played a good game both sides of the rink we were doing the right things we had a couple errors that led to goals that could have easily been avoided but we were all on the same page and played a solid team first game
2. You guys had lots of power play chances. How do you think you did on them? Even tho we only scored in one power play I believe I think we had some good looks obviously would like to convert on all of them but overall we moved it around well maybe just try to get some more shots from down in
3. Zach Foradori showed up late but his play really turned the game around for you guys. What can you say about his overall play last night? Zach did what he does is be curious to see his shooting percentage pretty sure he scored on his first touch of the game and again in the same shift he’s got a very deceptive dangerous shot
4. You weren't present for the first game against the Colonials, but you probably heard about it afterwards. Did that give you more motivation going into last nights game? Ya I suppose even if we would have won that first game I woulda been hyped to play them it’s always a tough game against those players and it’s intense good hockey but definitely being able to put together a convincing win was nice
5. The big question will be ---- what will your availibility be when the playoffs start and how do you think you guys match up against the other potential playoff opponents? Ya we’ll have to see how things work out I’m gonna try to make what I can. I feel like we have a team that can compete and excel against anyone in the running right now when we play like we did we have all the pieces just gotta play them the right way
Jake Kline (Knights)
1. 13-1 win over the Walkers last night. What can you say about the overall team effort in the win? Team effort was good.
2. How are you feeling about your team’s overall play going into the playoffs? . Our team play is good. Still need to work on some things but overall pretty good
3. The Eagles clinched the first seed last night, which means you guys will probably get a best of 3 series against the Colonials in a couple weeks. If that’s the case, what kind of series are you expecting? I'm expecting a close intense series no matter who we would be playing. I think any of the top teams have good chance of winning
4. Its been a very competitive regular season, including 3 overtime games for you guys. How enjoyable (or non –enjoyable) has that been? Been a enjoyable season playing with the group of guys we have is fun having Noah playing with us I enjoy alot
5. Penguins look dead right now. Do you think they will make the playoffs? Don't have a good feeling about them making playoffs and if they do u dont see them getting past 1st round
John Matchock (Colonials)
1. 9 to 5 loss tonight. What can you say about the overall effort? I think effort was there. Just wasn’t our night.
2. 4 or 5 penalties tonight. How do you think the power play kill was tonight? Not used to playing that much time short handed. It was different. But it’s part of the game.
3. What was your impression of the eagles this time around? They came out determined tonight. They played fast.
4. Any positives to take out of it? It’s always nice to play hockey. And be around good humans.
5. You have agreed to goalie for the slashers next week. Anything you want to say to Derrian before you two battle against one another? Played against him Before but not as a goalie vs goalie. When I win, it will be something to tell the little one when she gets older.
Joe Bussard had a solid game for the Slap Happy last night while Noah Kline continues to get better and better. Adam McKinley is looking good in net as the playoffs are about to begin. Below are last nights 3 stars:
#3. Cody Schuckers. He was not there for the first meeting between the Eagles and Colonials. He scored their first goal last night and set others up for goals as the night went on.
#2. Jerred Amick. Two 3rd period goals for the Eagles last night.
#1 Zach Foradori. Baseball and Hockey dont normally mix, neither does being late. 3 goals in the 2nd period to lead the Eagles to a 9-5 win last night. (See below for his interview):
1. 9 to 5 win tonight. What can you say about the overall team effort and performance? Played great, pretty much exactly how we planned to and how you have to to beat a team like that.
2. You transitioned from baseball to hockey in a short time tonight. Did you expect to play such a big role in the teams success tonight? No not at all, I got there halfway through the 1st period and didn’t even have my stuff on until there was 3-4 minutes left so I didn’t get a shift in the first. But I’m glad I could get a couple shots to find their spots so quick.
3. This game was obviously much different than the first game. What do you think you guys did better this time around? We played more of our style of play instead of feeding into their game.
4. How do you think the power play looked tonight (considering you had lots of power plays tonight)? Power play should always be 2 minutes that the other team doesn’t score. It’s nice to score on it too but it more so just proves as a momentum swing even if you don’t score.
5. Pittsburgh Pirate baseball starts soon. What kind of season are you expecting from them? 75-87. Nothing special but more competitive for sure.