High Noon, Wednesday, May 1
Round One Game #1
8% 11 – Icemen 1
After the nail-biting action in the too-close-to-call women’s final the previous day, the unceremonious beat-down of the Icemen by the 8% was disappointing for the few scattered fans in attendance.
Overwhelmed and under pressure all game, Icemen ‘tender Sam Goulet simply didn’t have enough saves in him to see this one make it all the way through regulation.
A lone Austin Podger goal was a mere blip on the horizon dominated by 8% offensive flourish.
Thanks to the Icemen for a season full of try and hope, but in the end, they were simply no match for the skill and speed of an excellent 8% team.
High Noon, Thursday, May 2
Round One Game #2
Silky Salmons 7 – Nordiques 2
There’s an old adage in sports: when a veteran team wins, they are experienced; when a veteran team loses, they are old. With that in mind, the Nordiques looked pretty darn old in this one.
Despite an early scare when the Nordiques jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, the Silky Salmons’ combination of speed and skill was simply too much for the Nordiques to handle.
Despite a few early saves — including a Lief Scott bell-ringer off his melon from a sharp angle — Rob “Suitcase” Biller could not hold the fort for long in the Nordiques’ net, while Fred “the Fixer” Rogger and the other Nordiques scorers simply couldn’t get to Sam “I Am” Inwood again after their early success.
Confident of their victory for days, the Silky Salmons talked some trash and backed it up with an old-fashioned beating.
Thanks to all the staff members who gave their all in the losing effort, and we hope to see you all back next season. Perhaps, we’ll start with some old-school Soviet-style dry land training next year … but it’s more likely we’ll just work on deep elbow bends on the deck this summer.
High Noon, Wednesday, May 8
Round Two Game #1
Meatheads 5 – 8% 8
A decent crowd, featuring several “scouts” from league dynamo Tolitas, looked to this game in hopes of a more competitive men’s game after the previous week’s vicious drubbings. To these ends, they weren’t disappointed.
Beyond a single goal, Jesse “The Body Ventura” Schonke would like to have back, the game featured speed, play-making and stellar goaltending.Kaden Ekstrom was excellent for the 8%, making a number of tough stops, including an early penalty shot off the stick of “Spinner” Spencer Dent. Dyson “Cordless” Leneve was tremendous in his own zone for the Meatheads, but the once and former league bullies simply couldn’t match the 8%’s speed and ball movement over the long haul.
Rylan “Drop Kick” Murphy, “Nearly Headless” Nick Falloon, and Ryan “I Can’t even Spell Back-check” Murray each had a pair for the 8%, while Dawson “Insert Nickname Here” Rusk threw his body in front of shot after shot in his own end.
Given the goaltending, speed and ball movement fans saw in this one, Tolitas might not want to rent a convertible and plan out their parade route quite yet.
High Noon, Thursday, May 9/19
Round Two Game #2
Tolitas 6 – Salmons 5
Fresh off their old-school beat-down of the carcass formerly known as the Nordiques, the Silky Salmons arrived ready to prove that they were not in this big game by any fluke or accident.
Jumping on a slumbering Tolitas team early in the contest and capitalizing on a couple of uncharacteristic Cam Hender “the Tender” mistakes, the Silky Salmon found themselves up 3-0 before either team had a good sweat going.
Led offensively by Justin Salmons, Diego Ferriera, and Lief Scott, the Silky Salmons made the most of their early offensive chances and the uncharacteristic Hender jitters.
In their own end, Sam “I Am” Inwood was light’s out between the pipes for the Silky Salmons, while Brock “Rhymes with Block” Weightman threw himself in front of every shot he possibly could.
If we kept stats on blocked shots, Weightman would be the runaway leader based on this game alone.
Still, great teams find a way to compose themselves when things aren’t coming easy, and by this measure, Tolitas again proved themselves an excellent unit.
Refusing to surrender to the nearly unbeatable Inwood, scorers like Chris Thon and Aidyn Buchan kept digging for loose balls and peppering the net with high quality chances.
Levelling the game with less than three minutes to play, Tolitas clawed past the Silky Salmons for a desperate 6-5 victory.
Though he was beat early, league MVP Cam Hender came through with a big save when it counted, stopping a Justin Salmons penalty shot with less than two minutes to play.
Fred “the Fixer” Rogger drew the ire of the Silky Salmons bench for a controversial defensive zone call, while Rob “Suitcase” Biller enraged the Tolitas players with his late penalty shot call.
Both teams left feeling each ref had blown a call, so I suppose that means the zebras must have called a good game.
This was easily the finest game of the men’s playoffs thus far, and not by a little bit.
Hats off to the Silky Salmons for an excellent game; the league is on notice that this bunch will be back next year with an eye on seeing their names on the big trophy when May 2020 rolls around.
The league final features juggernaut Tolitas versus the upstart 8% at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, March 16 in the Correlieu Secondary School gym.
Get your seats early, as the crowd should be big and boisterous for this one!