Team Red survives play in tournament
Updated: Apr 13
When putting this winter league together, there was debate on how many games to play, what kind of format to do (player draft, computer draft, core draft, etc), who team captains would be, what the draft order was, when the draft would be and who we could get to ref. Less than a week after Bob organized the draft and posted the schedule, one more question remained---- what to do about the playoffs: There was debate of a 6 vs 7 play in game with the 6 remaining teams then playing a double elimination tournament. To add a little more meaning to the regular season games, we decided to reward the top 3 teams and give them an automatic best of 3 series while letting the bottom 4 teams battle one another on the first night of the playoffs to see who would get that 4th and final playoff spot. After watching Red and Black play last night, there are no regrets on trying out this new playoff format. If anything, both Red and Black deserve to be playing again next week after watching them play against one another last night.
Team Black started the night off by knocking off team Gray by a final score of 11-3. The game was close for over 25 minutes, but team black slowly pulled away at the end of the 2nd period. A couple power play goals from Black gave them a 5-1 lead going into the 3rd period. Mitch Dorunda got the scoring started on the night. Cody Haag would add another goal to make it 2-0 but Rooster scored for team gray to get them to within a goal at 2-1. The game would remain 2-1 for several minutes before Black scored 3 unanswered goals to end the 2nd period. Any hope of a gray rally ended real quick when Nate Galentine scored just seconds into the 3rd period to make it 6-1. They would eventually go up 9-1 before Tony Conforto scored to make it 9-2. Steve Pentz scored a goal as well for team Black. This season was his first taste of organized roller hockey. Erika Dodd was missing for team Gray while Evan Novella was missing for team Black. Team Black picked up Brice Miller for their 2nd game of the night to replace Evan.
Thanks to team Gray for a good season. This may have been the first league that Tyler Waltman got to be a team captain for a draft league. He was dealt a tough hand when Kevin Smith couldn’t play at all. They did get to use Andy a few times this season along with Jake and Jerred Amick. There was debate on what to do last night. Jerred Amick wanted to save his energy for his regular team or else he would have been willing to sub in. Black captain Jake Kline felt like both teams were pretty evenly matched since Steve Kalgren was able to be there last night for team Gray along with Trent. Gray had some good opportunities to score when the game was tight last night but Clint played really well for team Black.
Team Green started to play its best hockey at the end of the regular season. They defeated team Gray in overtime a couple weeks ago and lost in a shootout to team black last week. In the process, they limited their opponents to 10 goals in 2 games. The momentum carried into the first period last night when they got off to a 2-0 lead going into the 2nd period. Brenden Chesley made it 2-0 with an early first period goal and the defense held Red scoreless going into the 2nd. Unfortunately for team Green, Red scored 6 times in the 2nd period and never looked back. Laken Dodd put on another strong performance leading the way for team Red with multiple goals in the 2nd period. Overall, it was an impressive 2nd and 3rd period for team Red. Henry Sutter denied any good chances team Green had until Steve Pompeii scored on him with less than 2 minutes remaining to make the final score 9-3. Thanks to team Green on a hard fought season.
The wins for Team Black and Team Red set them up to play in last nights finale. It turned out to be an entertaining main event. Team Red only had one sub last night. Zach Foradori was looking to fill in for a team last night and Team Red took him up on his offer. Team Black picked up Brice Miller to take Evan Novella's place. Both team captains (Waddell and Jake) probably felt like their teams would eventually need as much energy as they could get. It was a good move for both teams as both Brice Miller and Zach Foradori scored big goals for their respective teams in last night's finale.
In the first period, Jordan Tosh opened up the scoring followed by a goal late in the first period from Jerred Amick to make it 2-0 going into the 2nd. Jake Kline got his team on the board early in the 2nd period to close the gap to 2-1 but Jerred Amick later scored again to make it 3-1. Team black rallied to tie the game at 3 going into the 3rd period following goals from Mitch Dorunda and Brice Miller. In the 3rd period, Jake Kline made a nice pass to Mitch Dorunda with around 9 and a half minutes to go to put Black up 4-3. Unfortunately for team Black, the momentum was short lived. Just seconds after the next faceoff, Zach Foradori scored for team Red to tie the game at 4. On the next faceoff, Foradori had another good opportunity to score but Clint was able to deny the shot. Clint’s nice save was short lived when the ball found Laken Dodd’s stick in front of the net setting up a nice finish to put Red up 5-4. The score remained 5-4 until Mitch Dorunda found an open Nate Galentine with less than 2 minutes remaining in regulation to tie the game at 5. Dorunda had an opportunity at the end of regulation to give Black the lead but Henry Sutter denied a good shot attempt. In the playoffs, the overtime format is 4 on 4 which could have potentially set up for a long overtime session, but Jordan Tosh made sure overtime didn’t last long when he got a shot by Clint less than 2 minutes into the overtime period to give team Red the win and guaranteeing them at least 2 more games. The loss ended team Black’s season. It may have been fitting considering most of their losses were decided by a goal or decided in overtime. They scored just as many goals as they gave up in this league. We would like to thank them for providing some really good entertaining hockey in this winter league and for giving us an entertaining main event last night.
As pointed out in an interview two weeks ago, Jerred Amick said that his team just needed some more games together. They will have a tough task against Dan Fatula and Team Blue. Blue doesn’t appear to have a weakness, but at least Team Red will be guaranteed at least 2 more games. They will be an underdog, but if anything, they will be going into the series with a lot of momentum after winning twice last night. Team Blue defeated Team Red in their regular season matchup by a score of 6-3. The game was tied going into the 3rd period.
Alex Waddell (Red)
1. 2 games, 2 wins last night. What can you say about the overall team effort in both those games? I thought everyone played well together and no one left anything on the table in either game. We seem to be coming together at the right time. It was nice to have Zach’s fresh legs in the second game and I thought he fit in really well with our group.
2. Your team got off to a slow start against Green. Do you think you guys did anything different as the game went on or do you think the ball just started to bounce your way a little more? They had the early lead but I thought we had a lot of chances early on and their goalie made some big saves. I wasn’t worried about going into the second down a few goals but at the same time I still didn’t feel safe against them when we were up by 5 or so near the end. They have a lot of firepower and can turn the game around quickly.
3. What can you say about the play of Henry this season and last night? Henry has been great all season but there are a few games he has played on another level last night against black was one of those games and he’s a big reason why we were able to come out on top. I’d pick him to be on my team again any day.
4. You had the honor of reffing the first game last night. Were you thinking ahead to having to face one of them or were you just concentrating on the Green team at that point? My only focus at that point was to try not to get in the way of the roughly 37 shots aimed right at me. Green was our first priority though with them getting some momentum late in the season and the skill they have it wasn’t a given that we would get past them.
5. Overtime decided your game against Black. What was your gut feeling? I felt pretty good going into OT Henry was on his game and I felt like we had a little more momentum. I was glad Tosh was ready to go home and ended it quickly. Black played a great game though and I had a lot of fun.
6. One more question ---------- Team blue coming up. How do you think you guys match up with them? They are obviously a good team and have a lot of talent but we haven’t seen them since very on in the season. All of our games have been close this season so hopefully we can at least continue that.
Tony Conforto (Gray)
1. 11-3 loss to team Black last night. What can you say about the overall team effort? As always we gave 100% every shift and supported each other on the bench…. Had this been a longer season we would have surely racked up some wins along the way
2. The game was close for a while, then it got away from you guys. What do you think went wrong in that stretch? We just couldn’t seem to keep the fast pace through all three periods but we did not give up.
3. You contributed a goal again last night. Are you starting to feel more comfortable out there? Lol I felt as if I should have had two more but I am happy with the goal. Tyler was a great captin and discussed strategies before each game. The good thing about playing with fill ins like Dan Fatula is they give good advice on how to better your game and adjusting on the fly… I continue to grow and embrace my live for the sport.
4. This team was dealt a setback when Kevin Smith couldn’t make it to any games. How do you think the team did considering the different line ups you had in there each week? The team played well together and continued to gel as the season went on and adjusted on the fly. It would have been nice to have the whole team all season but that’s how rec leagues go..
5. We are going to try for another draft league in June. Will you be able to play in it and if so, you got any ideas of what kind of format we can try (we are always looking to keep people interested in signing up)? I don’t plan on missing any seasons as long as I am healthy enough to play. I have no idea how to make the draft any more successful than it already is as there will always be teams that work out and some that don’t….
Bob Anderson (Referee for 2 games last night)
1. Your team had a bye last night, but you got to ref a couple of the play in games last night. How would you describe those games last night?
I watched all three games. In the opening Black v. Gray game, it was pretty tight until the last 5 minutes of the 2nd period. Black scored a couple of quick ones and it seemed to open the flood gates from there. The second game started great for Team Green. They limited Red's chances in the first period and got up 2-0. But Red responded with three quick goals in the second period and that changed the momentum of the game. The final game was a really good game. It was back-and-forth. Neither team would go away. It was truly a coin-flip type of game.
2. The idea of a 4th place tournament was weighed out before this league started and after you played a big role in organizing the draft and the schedule. How do you think it worked out after watching the games last night?
Elimination games are always a lot of fun, and last night, we got to watch three of them. In those kinds of games, the intensity is usually a little higher. Mistakes are magnified. That said, I'm much happier that I was watching those games than playing in them. I like the guarantee of a best-of-three series. One bad game won't cost you your season.
3. How enjoyable was it to both watch and ref that Black vs Red game last night?
It was fun to get an on-court view of that game. Like I said, it was back-and-forth. It could have easily gone either way. Both goalies made some big stops as well. I'd much rather ref that type of game than a lopsided one.
4. Red will get to play Blue in a best of 3 series. Do you think they have any chance of winning a game or two in that series?
Absolutely! I think Blue comes into the playoffs as the team to beat, but Red is playing well right now. If Henry plays the type of game he's capable of playing, they'll be tough to score on. I think if Red can keep Blue to 5 goals or less, they can win.
5. Gold and Pink will play a best of 3 series. Are you looking forward to playing against them?
For sure! I'm excited to play any playoff game. Team Pink is a solid team. They have a good mix of offense and defense and have really good chemistry. We will have to play our best to win. It should be a fun challenge!
Cody Haag (Black)
1. 2 games again last night. Hows your body feeling after all that hockey? Sore for sure
2. The 2nd game ended in disappointing fashion. What can you say about the overall team effort in that game? Team effort was there we wanted a win and to move into the best of three
3. Your team played in a lot of close games this season. Did you like playing in those kind of games? We would of liked to win more of those close games but it is fun keeps everyone engaged in the game
4. What was it like playing on this team? This team was a lot of fun to play on. Great group of guys!
5. Overtime didn’t last too long. What do you think went wrong on the goal they scored? Tosh is a good player with a good shot. We gave up to many odd man chances to red and clint bailed us out too many times. Congratulations to team red and good luck in the playoffs.