Game 1 saw a see saw battle with lead changes, some great hits and what will set up as a great series for the Central Hockey League Championship. After being down 3-2 to start up the 3rd period, Brahmas Forwards Tyler Skworchinski and Scott Sheppard scored just 12 seconds apart to make it a 4-3 lead, then with 4 minutes left Jordan Cameron put the game away to win 5-3.
The Game got off to a cautios start with both teams not wanting to give up an early goal. In addidition, very few penalties early so the checking was a bit down. The game got going with a contversal tripping call which Eagles fans thought was weak. A minute later, the Brahmas scored first with Tyler Skworchinski's 10th goal of the playoffs at the 11:09 mark of the 1st period. 4 Minutes later for the Eagles, Kevin Ulanski scored his 5th of the post season to make it 1-1 which was a rebound from Ed Mcgrane that Brahmas goalie stopped Brett Jeager stopped but couldn't stop the rebound. With just a minute left in the 1st, and near the end of the PP, Brahmas D Justin Kinnunen sent a slap shot was delfected by Matt Quinn to give it a 2-1 lead. The pace started slow but picked up big time near the end of the period.
In the 2nd period, it was a tale of two halves as the Brahmas looked to contuine and build on their 1st period lead as they peppered Eagles Goalie Andrew Penner where the Brahmas were outshooting 24-13 at one point but Penner kept the Eagles in the game, including killing a Greg Pankewicz penalty midway through the game where the Brahmas hit the post on a great chance that would have put them up 3-1. However, the only goal of the period as Ulanski set up a Steve Haddon goal which tied the game at 2-2 and turned momentum in their favor. After tieing it at 2-2, the Eagles went spent huge chunks of time in the Brahmas zone outshooting them 10-1. With the game tied at 2-2, the Eagles looked to have the edge.
2 minutes into the 3rd period, Colorado took their first and only lead of the game when Kevin Ulanski scored on a perfect tape to tape pass from the face off circle to put them up 3-2. However, the lead wouldn't last very long as Tyler Skworchinski who scored his team leading 11th of the playoffs to tie it at 3-3 from Deitsch and Benedict, then just 12 seconds later, Scott Sheppard recevied a pass and took it him self on a pretty play to put the puck passed Penner into the upper right corner of the net and just like that, the Brahmas took a 4-3 lead 6 minutes into the 3rd period. Then with just 4 minutes left in the game, Jordan Cameron who has really improved his game from last year scored his 3rd of the playoffs to put the game out of reach as it trickled over the goal line to win it 5-3.
This will be a very close series throughout with the Brahmas having the advantage at home with them being next to impossible to beat. For the Eagles, this is their 4th Championship Series in 6 years winning in 2005 and 2007. However, this is the Brahmas year, they have too many offensive weapons, better goaltending and they want to put some revenge from the Eagles knocking out the Brahmas last year in the Northern Conference Final.
My Pick Brahmas in 6
What to watch in this series:
Tyler Skworchinski could be a big time MVP Canaditie if Texas wins the Championship by leading the team in goal scoring and his defense has picked up since just late in the regular season.
Brett Jeager and Andrew Penner have been fantasic in this series and with both teams having great offenses with a .938 SV% and a 1.95 GAA during the playoffs for Jeager. While Penner has been playing well with a 2.92 GAA and a .925 SV% in the playoffs in what has been his first major playoff run. Jeager has been performing better so that they will give him the edge.
If Texas wins game 2 tonight, they will make it hard for the Eagles to come back with the best home record in the CHL this season. During the regular season, they went an impressive 26-5-1 record during the regular season and just 1 loss in the playoffs which was game 1 in the Conference Final against Odessa.
In case your wondering, i'm going to be at game 3 of the CHL Championship series comming up on Sunday afternoon at the NYTEX Sports Center in North Richaland Hills. I will probally be wearing one of my Dallas Stars T-Shirts if you want to find me near the ice rink. If you are going to be their, I would like for you to show up and support the Brahmas on the road to the Central Hockey League Preisdents Cup Championship.
Here's a website of the NYTEX Sports Center:
In addidition, their's a video about the center on the website.
The North American Hockey League is in the Round Robin Stage of the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament in Mason City, Iowa. Through 3 days of the 5 team, 4 game format. It's starting to come a 3 team race between the Mahoning Valley Phantoms, Wenatchee Wild, and the 2 time defending champions St. Louis Bandits. Bismarck and North Iowa are pretty much elinmated from Championship Contention with 0-2 records. Last night between the Mahoning Valley Phantoms and Wenatchee Wild was probally one of the wilder games in recent years as the Phantoms were up 4-0 midway through the game, however, the Wild came back with 4 goals in a row to force OT then DJ Vandercook scored his 3rd of the night to complete the come back and win and keep their Championship Hopes alive. The Round Robin ends on Saturday with the top 2 teams will compete for the Robertson Cup Championship on Sunday Afternoon at 2:00 PM.
My prediction here is the St. Louis Bandits will take on the Mahoning Valley Phantoms will play for the Championship. If this happens, this would mark the 3rd straight year they would play each other in the championship
Here's the Results so far and the reaming schedule
Mahoning Valley Phantoms 4 Bismarck Bobcats 2 (3-0, 0-1, 1-1)
North Iowa Outlaws 3 Wenatchee Wild 4 (0-1, 2-2, 1-1)
Wenatchee Wild 0 St. Louis Bandits 6 (0-1, 0-3, 0-2)
North Iowa Outlaws 1 Mahoning Valley Phantoms 2 (1-1, 0-1, 0-0)
Wenatchee Wild 5 Mahoning Valley Phantoms 4 (OT) (0-2, 2-2, 2-0, 1-0)
Bismarck Bobcats 2 St. Louis Bandits 5 (0-2, 2-1, 0-2)
Mahoning Valley Phantoms VS. St. Louis Bandits
North Iowa Outlaws VS. Bismarck Bobcats
Wenatchee Wild VS. Bismarck Bobcats
North Iowa Outlaws VS. St. Louis Bandits
Early games start at 3:00 PM CDT, Late Games start at 7:30 PM CDT
2nd Round Robin VS. 1st Round Robin
The Championship Game will start at 2:00 PM CDT on Sunday
Last night was the opening game of the Ontario Hockey League Championship as the Windsor Spitfires just killed the Brampton Battalion 10-1 with the help of a 3rd period hat trick and some great early efforts of Russian Phenom Andrei Loktionov in the 1st period with the 1st 2 goals in the game. Windsor is cleary the best team in the OHL all year long and this series will finish up quick for Windsor.
The Championship Series in the Western Hockey League (WHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and the United States Hockey League (USHL) get under way tonight.
In the WHL, Watch out for Jamie Benn of Kelowna, the Stars prospect is leading the entire playoffs in scoring with 28 points (11G, 17A). For Calgary, they have reached the WHL Championship with an unbeaten record with sweeps over the Edmonton Oil Kings, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Brandon Wheat Kings in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Goalie Martin Jones with an impressive 1.68 GAA in the playoffs.
It will be an all Central Division Final as the Drummondville Voltigers VS. Shawinigan Catarctes. These teams had the best records with both teams having over 50 wins durin the regular season and scoring over 300 goals during the regular season.
For the USHL, it's the 3 seeds between the Fargo Force and the Indiana Ice with Indiana having home ice advantage because of a better regular season record. During the playoffs, Fargo has knocked out the defending Clark Cup Champions Omaha Lancers and the top seeded Lincoln Stars sweeping both teams in 3 games. For Indiana, they knocked out the Cedar Rapids Roughriders in 5 games which included comming back from a 2-1 decefet after going down 2-1 and then in the Division Final, it was the Green Bay Gamblers in 4 games where they won the 1st game and then after comming back at 1-1, they won both games 3 and 4 while scoring 9 goals in the 2 games to get them to the Championship Series. For Fargo, they only the 2nd expansion team ever to make the Clark Cup and are hoping to be the 1st expansion team to ever win the USHL Championship.
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