Thursday April 11(Semi finals)
(5)Underdogs vs SBS Trashers(6) S.O Game 2
SBS Trashers punch ticket to final on J.Scalia shootout winner
Joe Scalia scored in the shootout after P.Manousos tied it late in third period, and the SBS Trashers closed out their series with the Underdogs. If not for giving up two shorthanded goals, the Underdogs may have extended the series a little longer. Instead, they'll only be looking back at how they could have prevented a pair of blunders. F.Gentile and J.Guerriero each scored with the man short. As for the Underdogs, A.Sayed was once again relied on as the sharp shooter buried two markers with the man advantage. It's never ideal deciding your season in a shootout but the Underdogs had no choice after dropping the opening game. M-A Haber made a brilliant move to keeping it alive and was asked upon for a second time only to be denied by R.Pampena. Then, with J.Scalia chosen to take the fourth and possibly last attempt, the crafty forward was able to end it on a fake back hand move.
(8)Job on Demand vs Smooth Sailors(3) Game 2
Job on Demand cool off Sailors after long week
One week after being humiliated, the Job on Demand responded with authority to level the series with the Smooth Sailors. They knew that in order to respond, a full 45 minute game was required, and that's exactly what they got-from every single player. However, this contest was extremely close in the first half with the game levelled at three goals apiece. But by sticking to their game plan, the Job on Demand kept playing with a little more deliberate tempo and style that caused their opponents problems. P.Nakhle was an absolute force playing solid defensive hockey while contributing up front with three goals and an assist. Pedram Assadi had taken some unjust criticism, but the net minder proved his critics wrong as he was stellar stopping 21 of 24 shots.
(2)Job on Demand vs Smooth Sailors(1) Game 3
Sailors dethroned by rival
The Job n Demand wouldn't let the Smooth Sailors push them around anymore, and captured something they couldn't get in last season's final, which was a series victory. By playing every shift with a purpose, the Job on Demand were clearly on a mission and it paid off thanks to an overall committed effort. G.Pisanelli tapped in a loose ball right before setting up Payam Assadi for a perfect one timer and a 2-0 lead. That goal left just over two minutes on the clock. And while it may seem like a comfortable cushion, this contest was still far-from over. The Smooth Sailors wasted no time responding when S.Liparota ripped a slap shot-from centre court. The Smooth Sailors pulled out all their stops in search of an equaliser. Marco Diaco riffled at least two to three slap shots-from his sweet spot that nearly found the back of the net. At one point, someone had hit the cross bar, a sound that Pedram Assadi will describe as opera when it was said and done. It's never an easy task to defeat the reigning champs but the Job on Demand felt they had it in them.
The SalumiVino player of the night goes to Pedram Assadi of the Job on Demand. In two crucial games, the net minder gave his team every chance possible to take the series. Assadi went well over two full periods of brilliant goaltending against a side that can score at will.
The D Thursday division is now down to its last two teams. The SBS Trashers will take on the Job on Demand for the big prize. While the SBS Trashers record is better, the Job on Demand are undoubtedly playing some of their finest hockey. This series will require everyone to step up. Expect your classic offense versus a defensive match up. The Job on Demand may have some deeper scoring up front but the SBS Trashers are disciplined in their own end with R.Pampena leading the charge in net. If Pedram Assadi repeats what he did tonight versus the Smooth Sailors, then they'll be fine, if not, look for the Trashers to pick up the hardware.