Monday, March 27th Play In Results
Slashers 10 Mayhem 5 (Mayhem eliminated)
Slap Happy 13 Walkers 1 (Walkers eliminated)
Slap Happy 8 Slashers 5 (Slashers eliminated)
The Slap Happy are moving on following 2 play in wins last night. Following the 8-5 win over the Slashers, a couple of the guys on the Slap Happy think playing the extra games may be a good thing going into the semi final round next week. The risk of not making the top 3 was a potential single elimination game upset. One guy in the league thought the Slashers had the best chance of pulling off an upset last night if they had some of their core guys there.
The first game last night was actually supposed to be the most interesting of them all, considering all 3 of their regular season games were decided by a goal, but the Slashers got a pleasant surprise when Zach Smith said he was going to make a drive from Erie to get a taste of playoff hockey. He knew they had an uphill climb if they had to play the Slap Happy at 820, but he thought the drive would be worth it to play 2 games. His big worry was getting past the Mayhem considering how competitive their games were this season. Unfortunately for the Mayhem, their main goal scorer, Brenden Chesley, was unavailable last night. With all that said, the Slashers got off to a 5-0 lead before Tyler Waltman scored for the Mayhem as the first period ended. The Slashers were rolling early, Vinnie Deloia and Anthony Schuckers set each other up for goals, Zach Smith had a couple goals and Jeff Wehner made a fancy goal on Mayhem goalie Derrian Matchock. The Brittons made some good passes as well in that first period. At the intermission, Slasher fill in goalie John Matchock was impressed by how well they played and asked when the Colonials played them during the season. He was not present in the Colonials 5-3 win against them early in the season. Early in the 2nd period, Jeff Wehner fell hard on his knee and got called for a delay of game penalty, which the Mayhem capitalized on when Peach scored on a nice set up from Tyler Stitt. The Mayhem closed to within 2 goals when Jeremy Sawey scored to make it 5-3 midway thru the 2nd period but the Slashers scored two unanswered to go up 7-3 at the end of the 2nd period. Anthony Schuckers, Vinnie Deloia and Zach Smith led the way offsensively in the first game. Unfortunately, they had to finish the game without Jeff and Jeff was not well enough to even attempt to play in the do or die play in game last night. Vinnie could only play at 620 as well. Josh Clontz played in place of Zach Smith 3 times during the regular season and played in place of Vinnie in the play in game last night. The Mayhem ended the regular season with 11 points but faced an uphill climb without Brenden Chesley last night. Trent Bembenic scored a nice goal in the 3rd period for them but they were never able to get any closer after being behind by 5 goals early in the game. Tyler Waltman had 2 of the 5 Mayhem goals. John Matchock will be talking about this game for years down the road after getting the best of his son Derrian in the father/son goalie matchup. We would like to congratulate the Mayhem on a good season.
A couple guys who play on the top 3 playoff teams were hoping someone could upset the Slap Happy last night, but any chance of the Walkers upsetting them were dashed after the Slap Happy got off to an 8-0 lead before the first period ended. Brice Miller was the only walker player to get a shot on Slap Happy goalie Adam McKinley but it was a low percentage one with less than 30 seconds to go in the first period. Joe Bussard scored several times throughout the game to lead the Slap Happy offensively. Jason Duttry had 3 goals in the 3rd period including one with 5 minutes to go to clinch the official win. The Walkers bounced back from a real tough first period and got some more possession time and some scoring chances in the 2nd period. Jason Stamler batted in a rebound to close the gap to 8-1. They held the Slap Happy scoreless for a majority of the 2nd period before giving up a couple late. Slap Happy scored early in the 3rd period to stretch a 10-1 lead to 12-1 before Jason Duttry scored to clinch the mercy rule win. Derrian Matchock filled in for a missing Tony Dodd last night. While giving up 13 goals, he made several good saves thoughout the game. We would like to congratulate the Walkers on a good season. One guy on a competitive opposing team made a comment earlier in the season on how much potential that some of the guys (and girls) on the Walkers have. Hopefully their leader, Steve Hetrick, is ok after taking a hard Dave Jewell shot off his leg in the first period last night. It was also nice having Jason Stamler back in the XHL this season.
As mentioned above, the Slashers first win of the night came at an expense when they lost Jeff Wehner. As Zach Smith was getting ready for their game against the Slap Happy, he was concerned that the Slap Happy may mercy rule them just like they did the Walkers. The Slap Happy started the 2nd game like they did the first game by scoring 3 quick goals, this time on the older Matchock. Joe Bussard led the way offensively again. Derik Day added some scoring in both the games last night as well. The early 3-0 lead could have been much worse, but John Matchock made some good saves to keep the game from getting out of hand. With around 5 minutes to go in the first period, Zach Smith scored twice in the span of 2 minutes to close the gap to 3-2. The Slap Happy went up 4-2 with less than a minute to go in the first period. The 4-2 lead got up to 6-2 by the end of the 2nd period. The Slashers made a push in the 3rd period. Anthony Schuckers scored to make it 6-3 and Zach Smith scored soon after to make it 6-4 with around 7 minutes to go before Joe Bussard scored to make it 7-4. Anthony Schuckers would score again to make it 7-5 with 5 minutes to go and Zach Smith made a nice pass to one of the Brittons soon after in front of Adam McKinley but the shot did not have enough speed to get by him. That came with around 4 minutes to go. Joe Bussard put the game away when he scored with around 3 minutes to go to make the final score 8 to 5. The Slashers only had one sub for this game. The Slap Happy played both games without Nate May. We would like to congratulate the Slashers on a good season. They were really supposed to be the Mayhem, but 2 separate teams were formed when more guys expressed interest in playing. If only they could have had a season with Zach Smith in the lineup on a weekly basis. The Slap Happy are moving on and appear to be playing well at the right time. With all that said, the Eagles are now on the clock:
Zach Smith (Slashers)
1. 2 games last night. How are you feeling following a lot of playing time in both those games (especially the 2nd one)? I feel alright, maybe a little sore. I could tell I haven't been playing a lot recently. In the last few minutes of the second game, I didn't have any energy. Nevertheless, it was good exercise that was very much needed.
2. You guys really put it together in the first game against the Mayhem. How would you describe the teams overall play in that game and John Matchock’s overall play (as he had not played much goalie for a while)? We played really well that first game. We were hitting our passes and using the boards for outlets for the most part. Match played great for us, but especially the second game. The slap happy peppered him with good shots, and he stood tall for us even though we were giving up grade A chances.
3. Mayhem were without Brenden Chesley. Did you feel like your team had a slight advantage going into that game? I believe it gave us an advantage. You never like to play a game when the other team is missing key players, but that's how it works sometimes. He definitely would have scored a few goals for them with his shot and made the game a lot more interesting.
4. The win turned out costly when Jeff couldn’t finish the first game or play at all in the 2nd game. Vinnie could not play the 2nd game either. Do you think those 2 guys could have given you guys a realistic chance of winning against a good slap happy team? I was surprised we kept it that close with them, to be honest. They definitely had the better play and better chances through the game, but we hung in there. Those guys missing really hurt us with only having 1 sub the second game. More importantly, they would have brought a different element of speed and skill to that game. The game might have been a tighter game if they played
5. You did everything you could to give you guys a chance to win that 2nd game. Were you surprised to be able to stay with them after they got off to an early 3 goal lead? I was surprised because I was just worried about not getting mercy ruled. We were able to capitalize on a couple of our chances to keep the pressure on and like I said, Match stood on his head for the whole game to keep it close. I think our fatigue showed enough to never get a final push to get the score closer.
Steve Pompeii (Slap Happy)
1. You guys are now in the running for a championship after 2 wins last night. How would you describe the teams overall play in both games last night? We played pretty well. I think we moved the ball around great. Looked for passes and opportunities came from that.
2. Do you think having the 2 extra games could possibly benefit you guys when the semi finals begin next week? I just think playing each week is beneficial. Once you take a week off it’s kind of throws a wrench in the mix. So we will see how the other teams come back after having that week off.
3. The 2nd game tightened up as it went on. Were you getting worried when they closed the gap to 2 goals in the 3rd period? Haha no not at all. We played pretty conservative there and i think we realized we best put this game away before too long.
4. There is a possibility the Eagles will be your opponent next week (if they decide to choose you guys as their opponent). Considering they beat you guys both times, do you hope in a way they do pick you so you can try to redeem yourselves? . Yeah it doesn’t matter to me. Whoever we play we will make sure we battle hard and try and get the win. It will be entertaining hockey for sure.
5. You guys appear to be playing much better than you were earlier in the season. How confident are you going into the playoffs next week? Were just as good as the rest of the teams left. We have the experience and we know if we bring our best game we can beat anyone. If we focus on controlling the ball and limit turn overs we will be right in the drivers seat.
1. Mayhem’s season came to an end last night. How would you describe your teams overall season? . I was happy with the season overall. We had a great group of guys and we started to mesh well as the season went on. It was cool to see some of the younger guys mature too. Brendan found another dimension to his game and showed some leadership qualities. I see him being one of the league’s top players before long. Tyler Stitt showed how good of a 2-way player he can be, and some of the stuff I told Walt 5 years ago is finally starting to resonate!
2. You guys fell behind 5-0 before you had a chance to get anything going. What do you think went wrong at the beginning of the game? We were missing our key offensive contributor and didn’t know what to do without him. By the time we figured it out it was too late.
3. You faced an uphill climb when Brenden couldn’t make it and then Zach made the drive down from Erie to play for the Slashers. Did you feel like this game may be an uphill climb for you when you knew the circumstances? It certainly was. We just tried to play our best game regardless.
4. Derrian stepped up for you guys and the Slashers a lot this season. How would you describe his overall play? Derrian was phenomenal all year long. He made a ton of highlight reel saves this year, it was pretty awesome! I wish we could have played better in front of him last night, he deserved it.
5. Brockway league is around the corner. Do you plan on putting a team together for it and do you want to take a step back from being a team leader? . I’m too busy in the summer to be a captain. I couldn’t find a team for competitive league so I’ll be joining the Crazy Apes in the Beer League.
John Matchock (Slashers goalie last night)
1. 2 games in net for the Slashers last night. How did you feel about your overall play and how did you feel following 2 games? I felt a little off the first game. Been a while since I was the goalie. Second game I felt a little better.
2. 2 different scenarios for you last night. Your guys got a big early lead in the 1st game but you fell behind by 3 goals early in the 2nd game. Is it easier to defend the net with a big lead or do you start focusing more when your team has to climb back from a deficit? I dont think its easy to defend either way. You get a big lead you start to relax and then before you know it, your losing. If you're behind, you put pressure on yourself to not next one in.
3. What was your overall impression of the slashers in both games? Some skilled players. Generated a lot or scoring opportunities. Never gave up when got behind the second game.
4. Jeff got hurt in the first game against the Mayhem. How tough did that make the 2nd game considering the energy he brings and having one less body? Injuries are always tough to deal with. Losing Jeff hurt a lot because of what he brings. Clontz came in second game and helped out a lot. Its tough playing two games like that. So having limited subs is tough.
5. Slap Happy are now in the running for a championship. What was your impression of them last night? They are always tough. When you have Adam in net, that team will contend. They play well as a team. They seem to know where everyone is at all the time. Joe in front of the net is always a tough match up. Defense is stingy. Its the playoffs now, anything can happen. I would give them as good as chance as anyone.
Bob Anderson ( Referee last night)
1. You got to ref a couple games last night with the Slap Happy winning both games. What was your impression of the Slap Happy in those games?
I've reffed quite a few of their games lately, and I've been pretty impressed with their play late in the season. They played fast last night, made several nice plays, and controlled the play in both games. I think they are being slept on a bit as the playoffs approach. Any team that takes them lightly will do so at their own peril.
2. Rumor has the Eagles picking them as their first playoff opponent (although not official yet). If that’s true, do you think having the 2 extra games last night could actually be an advantage considering the Eagles had a bye last night?
I don't know that it will matter much once the ball drops for the official start of the playoffs next week, but I can tell you, I was a bit jealous of the Slap Happy last night. While I think the Slashers were a dangerous opponent with Zach Smith in the lineup, I wouldn't have minded the opportunity to play two extra games either. Byes aren't fun!
3. Chances are pretty good that you will be playing the Knights next week. Are you looking forward to playing them if that’s the case?
I'm looking forward to playing. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm looking forward to playing them though. But then again, there aren't any easy games left at this point in the season. Regardless, the Knights are a tough team to play against. They have a lot of size and play a gritty game. You have the catch-22 of trying to stop Brandon but then letting Andy or one of their other players beat you. And of course, Clint has been solid in net all season. It'll take our best to compete with them. 4. The Eagles got the best of you guys last week in a game that got away pretty quick in the 2nd period. Do you hope in a way you get to play them and do you think having a night off last night may have been a good thing after a tough way to end the regular season?
I definitely hope we get to play them again. We probably played our best game of the season against them in our first match-up, and maybe our worst game of the season the second time we played them. I'm guessing we'd fall somewhere in between those two efforts if we see them again. Just like the Knights, they are a tough opponent. They're probably the fastest team overall. They don't have any weaknesses. There is a reason they were the first seed coming into the playoffs. I think they are the team to beat. 5. Brockway season is around the corner. How do you think Phil Mace and Joe Spencer will be at trying to replace Bert and Dan Fatula?
It is tough to say goodbye to Bert and Dan. They both added a lot to our team and will be greatly missed. But I definitely like our additions. We probably added two of the best shots in the league to the team. Phil's wrist shot and Joe's slapshot are great weapons. I'll enjoy trying to set them up. Both are smart, reliable two way players too. Finally, it's a small but often overlooked element of roster construction, but I'm guessing both will take a turn or two reffing this summer as well. 6. Just throwing one more question at you. Randy Carlson tournament is around the corner as well. What kind of a turnout (Team wise) are you expecting and what little bit can you say about this years recipient (most have probably seen the information on facebook)?
Thanks for asking! Our beneficiary this year is Mason Dintamn. He's 10 years old and is a 4th grader in DuBois. He is fighting a form of leukemia that requires him to go through a pretty extensive treament that involes chemotherapy every 10 days. He and his family have had a lot thrown at them and we are hoping that we can alleviate a little bit of the financial burden that comes with fighting a disease like cancer.
If you'd like to help a great cause, we encourage you to register your team for the tournament or sign up as an individual. If you want to donate a prize to the event, we will put it to good use in our Chinese auction. We will provide a fun filled day of hockey. It's all we're asking for is a little help from you, the players, to help Mason and his family on his road to a full recovery. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or would like to help in any way: 814-771-6843.