The round robin came to a completion today and on to the playoffs tomorrow morning. This has been one of the best tournaments in a long time. Some really great teams have been part of it and some incredible hockey played. So with two more days left we get ready for the real bullets to fly.
GAME 1 LETHBRIDGE 3 BALLEFORD STARS 1
Not an overly exciting game but both teams played pretty well. Some good plays and good effort from two teams long eliminated from contention. Felt like Battleford carried the play for most of this game but had a huge issue finishing chances. Lethbridge meanwhile got some good goaltending and scored some nice goals. Was a solid two way game.
GAME 2 GERMAN NATIONS 6 VALLEY WEST 1
The score here is very unflattering but the Germans showed a different side today. While it looks like a blow out for most of the first two periods Valley West was right there playing great. The problem is the German team makes you pay for mistakes and they did that in a flurry in the second period. 1-1 after the first, the game was entertaining, fast and physical. Valley West created a ton of chances and so did the Germans. In the second the German side scored on those chances. Valley West continued to create chances but the German goalie was very strong. The Germans pulled away and Valley West couldn’t find the energy to continue their game plan. Coach had done some good pre scouting of the Germans and they played them well. I had been mostly bored by a German side that didn’t push the play and insisted on a very slow game, however today they showed they could really play a fun up tempo game. That part was awesome and makes them exciting the rest of the way through this tournament. However they weren’t so fun in another way. Today they did a lot of diving and whining, something we hadn’t seen from them all game. One player got a light bump and dropped like he was shot, he pretended to get up and flopped couple of times. Then when the trainer came he made the trainer and a player literally carry him off the ice. How embarrassing was that. He was back right away playing. That kind of shit happened a few times, very frustrating, such a talented team should just play the game and not whine. Very World Cup Soccer looking. Hope they clean that shit up the rest of the way.
GAME 3 CALGARY BUFFALOES 5 REGINA PATS 1
Unfortunately I was unable to attend this one but got some interesting reports. First off, awesome that the Buffs went 4-0 in their pool, what an awesome team. The game apparently turned into an absolute goon show from the Regina team, just bullshit the entire third period while only down 3-1. They threw temper tantrums on the bench and were dirt bags on the ice. Embarrassing for them. However the Buffs didn’t go without their own issue, as Kyle Olson responded with a 5 minute major for his dirty hit from behind. From all reports a selfish penalty that will cost his team dearly with him now suspended (I am not aware of the length). Pretty important player to be missing.
9AM MAX BELL SSAC VS REGINA
SSAC is another very solid team. Will be excited to see what should be a good game. Hopefully Regina doesn’t bring back the punk attitude to this one and we can have a real hockey game. Shame on you Mike Sillinger if you can’t control your team, a guy who made it to the show should have a lot of respect for the game.
9AM FDB CALGARY NORTHSTARS VS VANCOUVER GIANTS
Wasn’t impressed with the Vancouver Giants earlier in the tournament. From what I saw they came out of a very weak pool and were lucky to get that draw. Northstars have been rolling and building steam, hopefully they keep it going. On a personal note I really like Coach Tyler Drader and Blair Courchene, good guys I have gotten the privilege to know and would love to see them experience Macs success.
12PM MAX BELL BUFFALOES VS UFA BISONS
Buffaloes have been an unstoppable machine so far. Playing amazing hockey led by Matthew Phillips, the MVP of this tournament for my money. They will be hurt by the loss of Kyle Olson to suspension and Josh Patrician to injury. These two teams have played once in regular season play with UFA taking a 3-1 win on November 19. There is a classic overtime battle in a semi final between these two teams in Macs history, maybe we are due for another instant classic. Can’t help but cheer for the Buffs because they are so good and my wife’s good friend Janice Redmond has some skin in the game with her husband the head coach.
12 PM FDB GERMAN NATIONS VS CARIBOO COUGARS
If I am picking rinks, I probably am not going to FDB for this playoff day. While the first game may be ok, I don’t figure Cariboo stands much of a chance against the Germans. The Germans, Buffs and SSAC seem to be all good picks to go to the final, Cariboo definitely not on that list. A disappointing close game with Markham today makes me wonder how this game may turn out. That being said weirder things have happened at the Macs.
So only egotistical pricks prognosticate these things. So to stay with blog format and be a complete ass, here is my guesses for Semi Final action.
SSAC VS REGINA – WINNER SSAC
NORTHSTARS VS GIANTS – WINNER NORTHSTARS
BUFFS VS UFA – WINNER BUFFS
GERMANS VS COUGARS – WINNER GERMANS
SSAC VS NORHTSTARS – WINNER NORTHSTARS
BUFFS VS GERMANS – WINNER BUFFS
BUFFS VS NORTHSTARS – WINNER NORTHSTARS
So there it is, a little bit of an upset for Buffs vs Germans if it gets there and now I have officially jinxed two Calgary teams, Sorry guys. But if it Works out as I guessed (better word than prognosticate for what I am doing) Northstars staff will be getting a little redemption against the Association that let them go elsewhere. Drader has developed a ton of good players for the Buffaloes, including almost every player currently on the AAA midget roster. Regardless I would be very happy to see either of these teams win!
See everyone tomorrow for one heck of a great day. I love the Macs, it always makes me sad to see it wind down.