Final game before championships featured Beer o' Clock heavy Matty's Team and veterans Viking Horde. While Captain Schrocky is still a spring chicken, his hockey sense is full of wisdom and good judgement.
First period was tense -- the teams seemed pretty evenly matched with both keepers playing ridiculous well and each defense shutting down any offensive threat. Viking Horde came out strong and perhaps this is why Matty's team ended up 4 penalties overall. At 10:05 in the first, Roman Chicz was called for tripping. A desperation move perhaps? No PPG for the Viking Horde on this opportunity. The action continued again until Kieran drew another tripping penalty at 5:24. This was not too surprising -- a Schrock On! alum, he learned well under the tutelage of Eizy. Once again, the Vikings were unable to capitalize -- they were starting to look like the 2010 Bruins.. a great team who couldn't figure out the power play! As the clock wound down to 0, both teams seemed happy to have a second to catch their breaths. End of the 1st, no goals.
The second period continued at a whirlwind pace -- I was convinced this game would end in a 0-0 tie. The defense were doing an amazing job at stopping many of the players the their blue line and if for some reason someone got through, the goalies stepped up and prevented any goals. At 1:17 in the second however, a brief fumble and a huge skirmish in front of the net occurred and the pinching defenseman Ron Creamer forced one through during the confusion for the first goal of the game. Jordan Marton was credited with making the pass to Creamer.
Third period -- 12 minutes for the Viking Horde to at least tie it up. They kept the pressure on, but Marco Show finally was on full display. At 9:26 a big shocker as Melissa Parkin got thrown in the box for a high stick. Not sure how we feel about a SNCF board member being in the penalty box. :) Could this be the break the Viking Horde was waiting for? Matty's Team had a great kill and succeeded in keeping the score at 1-0. With just under 8 minutes to go, the game moved at an incredible pace. At 1:02, newest member of the hat trick club, Andrew Rossi drew an interference call. I could see the disappoint and anguish in his face as he felt he had let his team down. This was a gift the Viking Horde could not squander -- would they use it wisely? The puck drop was in Matty's Team's zone, so Tommy was pulled from net to give a man advantage. The Viking Horde controlled puck well for the first 30 seconds, but the puck then squirted out and Jordan took a shot on the empty net. Not this time! Viking Horde regrouped and set up their power play again, only to be foiled by Ron Creamer who stole the puck and made a pass to Jordan. After missing his first empty net, Jordan took it upon himself to skate it out of the zone and tossed the puck in on the empty net. Short handed goal on an empty net. As the goal crossed the goal line, Andrew Rossi punched the penalty box glass in appreciation, glad that it wasn't his goal line the puck crossed. 2-0 with 0:52 seconds to go, the puck would drop a final time.
Final score, Matty's Team 2-0.
Shutout for Marco Solia.
As it turns out, we had a 3-way tie for the championship game. Had Viking Horde won, it would have been EUP vs Viking Horde in the finals. It ultimately came down to goal +/- differential. With a +9 overall differential, Viking Horde claimed the first spot. With a +2 differential, Matty's Team claimed the second spot.
Good job to both teams. Good luck on Sunday.