Thursday January 11 (Finals)
(3)Raging Rhinos vs Bramabulls(2) Game 1
Bramabulls fall in playoff opener as Rhinos snap tie in third
The Bramabulls looked to have something good going after overcoming a 2-0 deficit, but it was all for nothing as the Raging Rhinos took the final frame. Each side had ample opportunities despite it being a close affair. The go ahead marker came off the blade of G.Vouloumanos at the 4:20 minute mark of the third period, and the Raging Rhinos were able to maintain a slight lead to till the buzzer sounded. E.Valiquette and J.Tzanetakos provided first period goals for the Raging Rhinos while G.Pisanelli and D.Verta responded with a strong second period to level the match at two goals apiece. In a tight contest that could have easily gone either way, N.Mauro made that one extra save over his counterpart C.Muccino to earn a vital game one of the series.
(5)Raging Rhinos vs Bramabulls(2) Game 2
Raging Rhinos repeat near identical performance from game 1, crowned E Thursday champions
The script for both games had plenty of similarities. The Raging Rhinos grabbed another 2-0 lead and the Bramabulls answered back with two straight goals before dropping the third period once again. This time, the captain cracked the barrier as T.Georgaros put the Raging Rhinos in front with half a period remaining. The question at that point was if N.Mauro was able to string together to very close wins? The net minder showed that he was clearly up to the mission by stopping close to 30 shots after responding from a slight let down that occurred early in the third period. With five different players finding the back of the net, the Raging Rhinos demonstrated why they are deserving of what they got. There are a collection of reasons why they prevailed as the best team of the division. The Raging Rhinos are able to throw three solid lines at you maintaining offensive pressure with many players. At the same time, they are defensively responsible with the luxury of having N.Mauro, who was brilliant in net throughout the entire series. On behalf of Hockeyballe.com, congratulations go out to Ted Georgaros, Hovig Pilibossian and the rest of the Raging Rhinos for capturing the title in a very difficult division.
The SalumiVino player of the night goes to Nick Mauro of the Raging Rhinos. With goaltending so crucial for success, the net minder did not disappoint by allowing only four goals in two games versus a highly charged Bramabulls team.