Monday May 10 (Quarter finals)
J-S Lowe brilliant hat trick leaves Snipers in shock
J-S Lowe showed what he is made of with an amazing solo act of salvation. J-S Lowe scored three consecutive goals to overcome a 3-1 deficit into a vital game two win. The Snipers could only watch in horror as their defense crumbled after playing a sound game up until that point. The come-from behind effort forced a deciding game three where the Country Club felt all the momentum going into a shorter twelve-minute game. That's just a dangerous situation when going up against C.Gingras. As likely expected, Gingras was going to make something happen. After striking first on a brilliant effort, C.Gingras was behind creating the play that led to S.Bourdin snapping a late 1-1 tie. The Snipers will be stuck wondering how they were unable to close out this series, especially after a convincing 7-3 game one win followed with a 3-1 lead by the mid way point of the second period in game two. All indicators pointed to a ticket to the semi final. Then, it all came crumbling down as the Country Club did the unthinkable. Talk about a crazy turn of events. This just goes to show that it isn't over until its over.
(3)Country Club vs Snipers(7) Game 1
(3)Snipers vs Country Club(4) Game 2
(3)Country Club vs Snipers(1) Game 3
M.Arkalis nets game three overtime winner in thrilling series vs Assadi Classics
The Altius were able to find their magic in a series that came down to one single play. When two teams are faced in an unknown predicament, you don't know how the players will respond. Every single move and play can ultimately make the difference between one team moving on while the other devastated on how they could have avoided a mistake. It was clear that there wasn't much separating these two teams. The Altius did take game one but couldn't string back to back wins against a team with their backs to the wall. The Assadi Classics won a tight knitted battle in game two thanks to J.Pantelis's winner along with R.Ranieri's lights out play between the pipes. Inevitably, a game three was looming as both sides were ready to put it all on the line. The game looked like it was going to be wrapped up in regulation time if not for N.Kokovidis beating the clock by a few seconds to force a sudden death period for the Assadi Classics. Now that both sides got to this crucial point, only a good bounce was going to perhaps determine the fate of this outcome. After finding himself at the right place and at the right time, M.Arkalis was there to bury the winner. It didn't come to much of a surprise that M.Arkalis would be one of the few heroes in this series. The power forward has a nose for the net and uses his body well to protect the ball while knowing how to position himself. By creating his own space, M.Arkalis was there to rescue the Altius, and place them into the semi finals.
(4)Altius vs Assadi Classics(3) Game 1
(2)Assadi Classics vs Altius(1) Game 2
(3)Altius vs Assadi Classics(2) O.T Game 3
Comeback Dragons get momentum heading into game two
The Dragons were that close-from facing their high hopes to the wall. There was about half a period remaining separating them-from falling behind in this series with the United Arms. Suddenly, they were able to give themselves a shot when D.Gagnon narrowed the gap by one. It took only moments after that for B.Daniele to even the score that helped send game one to a shootout. The Dragons no doubt have the artillery in the breakaways with a few high-end skill players. It was almost certain that at least one of their top guns would prevail in the shootout. That forced the United Arms to try and get one themselves, but were unable to solve S.Morante on their two shot attempts. B.Daniele scored on his back hand while J.Mandracchia roofed his on a nifty move to help take an important lead in the series. The United Arms felt they let this one go knowing that they could have gone for the split against a heavy favorite. The problem was that they couldn’t contain the Dragons in game two like they did in their first encounter. M.Fazzari made his chances count scoring twice on the power play right before M.Crapis tallied for a 3-1 lead heading into the final period. From-there, the Dragons continued to press and took nothing for granted winning the final frame handily.
(5)Dragons vs United Arms(3) S.O Game 1
(2) United Arms vs Dragons (7) Game 2
Top seeded Bonjours High expected more than early exit, J.Mancini closes out series with OT winner
The Bonjours High had plenty of reasons to believe they could win this division. They allowed the fewest goals and scored the most dropping all but three of twenty regular season games. They were on a roll throughout the entire season up until they faced the Lyft Off on Monday night. Even though they were chasing game one down 2-0, they still managed to storm back on late tallies by the Kakivelis bothers to force the shootout. Most players have similar success rates in this department, but the Lyft Off had something special going for them in S.Harchi. Game one was decided after the seventh round thanks to S.Harchi’s incredible skill and patience. The skilled forward scored on three out of his four attempts to beat a brilliant net minder. The Bonjours Highs weren't going to go down that easily despite falling behind in the series. And even though game two was extremely close, M.Levasseur needed only a few seconds to decide the outcome, bagging two incredible goals that put his club up 3-1. A.Tanferna would then cap it off with his second feeding an empty cage to even up the series. Now that both teams passed a rigorous test, twelve minutes and possibly overtime was all that was remaining to see who would advance. There was no question that every single player put it all on the line making every second count. It's usually hard to score when the defense is very committed while the two net minders have been lights out, so it came to no surprise that this series needed the five-minute sudden death period to decide it all. Once they got there, J.Mancini was there to end the drama on a strong effort giving C.Ekonomakis no chance to make the save. Many may have expected that this series was a given when looking at the regular season standings. However, if anyone was paying attention to how the Lyft Off have been playing as of late, it isn't a total shock. This is an opponent that can out match anyone in the division with their speed while having the chemistry and a pretty high skill set. When you have all those components, you automatically fit in the conversation of being a contender.
(4) Bonjours High vs Lyft Off (5) S.O Game 1
(2) Lyft Off vs Bonjours High (4) Game 2
(0) Bonjours High vs Lyft Off (1) O.T Game 3
The SalumiVino player of the night goes to Salim Harchi of the Lyft Off. No question his presence was felt. Throughout the entire series, S.Harchi was dominant using his speed and ability to shift on a dime creating a ton of chances for the Lyft Off. Adding to all that, Harchi was magical in the shootout scoring on three attempts.
With the quarter finals coming to an end, four teams will challenge in next week's semifinal round. The match ups are as follows:
(2) Dragons vs Lyft Off (10) The Dragons won't approach this series indicated by their regular season record in comparison to the Lyft Off. Joe DeStefano understands quite well how challenging it will be going up against a faster overall opponent. The Dragons will rely on their high-end weapons and experience to try and get through. This series will go either way with no real favorite.
(3)Altius vs Country Club (4) Both sides have a nice supporting cast and the goaltending shouldn’t be an issue. At the same time, they have two of the finest players of the division respectively. The Country Club will look to C.Gingras to work his magic while the Altius know that they can get plenty-from P.Arkalis. This has the making of a good series with perhaps the Altius carrying the slight edge.