Itís coming down to March Madness for the Menís Rec League; the Round 1 playoff results are nearly in and there are some shockers already.
Letís start with the Cinderella story unfolding for Dustyís. Dustyís flew into the playoffs on a wing and a prayer, pulling off a big 8-7 win in their final game of the season against the always-tough Longhorn Mighty Moose. In that game, down a goal with less than two minutes left to play in the season, Dustyís playoff dream was quickly turning into a nightmare as panic began to set in.
Until, that is, Ryan Morrisey tied the game unassisted, and then in dramatic fashion scored the game-winner on a partial breakaway with 11 seconds left to take the win. With the win, Dustyís entered the playoffs for the first time in recent memory, only to come up against the Blackís Pub Marmots juggernaut.
In Game 1, Dustyís set the Marmots back on their heels with a 5-4 win, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. The Marmots played catch-up for the majority of the game until the third period, when they made a push to tie the game at 4-4 all with 70 seconds left. However, Dustyís again proved themselves to be the cardiac kids, scoring on a lucky break when Woody Bishop put the puck past Marmot goaltender Elliot Moses with 19 seconds to play.
The teams worked up a grudge against each other in Mondayís (March 11) low-scoring, penalty-filled Game 2, with the Marmots doing the lionís share of the bullying. The Marmots evened the series with a 2-1 win, but not before tempting fate by taking a high-sticking major midway through the third period and a minor penalty to finish the game shorthanded. The Marmots staved off elimination with an early third-period goal from trusty defenceman Murray Field.
The third and deciding game between the Marmots and Dustyís commences Friday (March 15) at 10 p.m. at Meadow Park Sports Centre. The defending Presidentís Trophy champion Marmots will have their work cut out for them against the late-arrival, ďhappy to be hereĒ Dustyís to get into Round 2 ó it will not be a game not to miss.
In other first-round results, Summitsport took an unexpected early exit from the playoffs with two straight losses to the Longhorn Mighty Moose. The Moose poured on the scoring in both games, outscoring the Summit boys 18-4 to send them packing.
The Pemberton Chainsaws have tied their best-of-three series versus the Timber View Bruins, who, if you read the last article, did manage to get their league fees into commissioner Ian Pike before foreclosure procedures could take place, thus extending their season and continuing their playoff hopes. Timber View took Game 1 by a score of 7-5 and were looking to eliminate the Chainsaws in Game 2 before losing in a quick, 23-second overtime period. Chainsaw forward Craig Halliday took advantage of a Timber View miscommunication on the opening faceoff to score the game winner. The Chainsaws and Bruins continue with Game 3 Friday at 8 p.m. in what should be another nail-biter.
The Blackcomb Blackhawks handed the Fairmont Flyers their walking papers with two decisive wins in their series by scores of 6-2 and 12-1. The Blackhawks await the results of Fridayís match-ups to see who they play next in the semifinals.
In the Menís A League, the Mongolie Grillers take on the Longhorn Outlaws in a best-of-five semifinal series. The Grillers look strong going into the semifinals, coming off a big round-robin win against the Ice Wizards Hockey Club ó the club handed the Wizards only their third loss of the season by a commanding score of 7-4.
The Grillers will want to make quick work of the inconsistent-at-times Outlaws on their path to the finals. Game 1 is set for Sunday (March 17) at 8 p.m. The Wizards face the Tapleyís Winterhawks in the in the other A League semifinal, with the series kicking off Sunday at 10 p.m.