Wednesday August 14 (Semi finals)
(7)Bramabulls vs Carnage (5) Game 1
Carnage devastated after blowing huge lead
The Bramabulls faced little adversity in the regular season finishing with a near perfect record. After the first period in their playoff round versus Carnage, that changed as they found themselves in unfamiliar territory playing down by four goals. And as much as it seemed farfetched for that type of a comeback, the Bramabulls are one team that can perhaps defy the odds. The problem however wasn't that the Bramabulls fought hard to battle back and steal the game-from their opponent, but more so that Carnage let this golden opportunity slip away. The key sequence for the pendulum swing occurred in a very short span where the Bramabulls used two shorthanded goals to pull within one. Clearly, that fired up the bench knowing that there was more to come. J.Palmitano struck late in the second period for his clubs first lead, and S.Liparota buried his second to provide a two goal cushion with less than six minutes remaining. There is no doubt that F.Pace and the rest of his team will be devastated-from this particular loss. The good news is that they know they can compete with the Bramabulls, and will have a whole week to reflect on what to do in order to put up a similar challenge.
(7)Mighty Drunks vs Knights (8) Game 1
Knights come out on top of slugfest
S.Ruggiero had one of his better games, and the Knights needed all of his production. The sniper had three goals and a pair of assists, and the Knights held on to what was a wild hockey game. By no means did this contest have the blue prints of a playoff game. But both sides decided to take their chances in a run and gun style that ultimately favoured the Knights in the end. What makes this difficult to swallow for the Mighty Drunks is that they ran up the score in the first period on three unanswered goals. And rather than bearing down, the second period turned into an instant nightmare. The Knights erupted winning the frame 6-1 with Ruggiero stealing the show on a hat trick. The Mighty Drunks did not throw in the towel with still a period remaining, and actually bounced back to level after a brutal frame. Then, in the span of only one minute and change, R.Kilgour and A.Fonrose each scored for the Knights, who held on to a dramatic ending.
The SalumiVino player of the night goes to Steve Ruggiero of the Knights. Everyone will agree that it takes a team effort to win you a hockey game, but at the same time, the Knights won't disagree that S.Ruggiero was extremely vital for this particular win. The sniper was instrumental bagging three goals and two helpers to help capture game 1 for the Knights.
Wednesday August 21(Semi finals)
(3)Carnage vs Bramabulls(8) Game 2
Carnage giving up another massive lead, fall to Bramabulls
It looked, after the mid way point of the game, that Carnage was not going to repeat last week's mistake up 3-0. But as they came to learn, it's never over against a team like the Bramabulls. M.Maggiore was perhaps the lightning rod the Bramabulls needed to mount yet another remarkable comeback. After pulling his club within one, M.Maggiore sparked two third period goals, and the Bramabulls were well on their way to punching a ticket to the final. Penalty trouble did get in the way of Carnage, who just couldn't do anything right on their penalty kill. The Bramabulls used four third period power play goals to blow the game wide open.
(4)Knights vs Mighty Drunks (7) Game 2
Mighty Drunks surge past Knights to even series
The Mighty Drunks were clearly dialled in their heavy response versus the Knights. There was no doubt the Mighty Drunks focused on what they needed to do in order to extend the series. Maybe it wasn't apparent-from the first half of the game,but definitely convincing towards the latter stages of the match. The Mighty Drunks continued to progress as the game went on and had their most important moments early in the third period. That was when M.Pinheiro came through completing his hat trick on two big goals in only two minutes for a substantial 6-3 lead. M.Gibeault was solid early on notching two tallies while V.Mancini was the catalyst behind setting up four markers.
(3)Knights vs Mighty Drunks(2) S.O Game 3
M.Kardum ends a thrilling series with shootout winner for Knights
After trading a power play goal, the inevitable was looming for the two sides as a dreaded shootout stood in between advancing to the final or going home earlier than hoped for. This is an area where the shooters and especially the two net minders felt a ton of pressure. But it had to get done and somebody would prevail. Both sides didn't miss on their first attempts. M.Deninno figured out O.Caillet of the Mighty Drunks while V.Mancini did not miss on his chance towards S.Sauk. The next two shooters got denied which left a sudden death round. The Knights made the wise choice to select M.Kardum as one of their main three as he did not disappoint burying his clubs second during the breakaways. For how close this series was, it only made sense that it went the entire distance. The Knights and the Mighty Drunks both fought extremely hard and did everything they could to try and win.
The Bramabulls and the Knights will be competing for the ultimate prize for reaching the final stage. For many, the Bramabulls will be expected to reach the finish line first. However, if they fail to address a poor start to the series like they did against Carnage, the Knights may not let them off the hook that easily, that is assuming the Knights can grab a good start.
The SalumiVino player of the night goes to Marin Kardum of the Knights. In a series that could have gone either way, M.Kardum ended it by netting the shootout winner versus the Mighty Drunks.