Over the weekend, the Texas Brahmas and the Colorado Eagles won their Conference Championships and will play each other for the Presidents Cup Title starting on Wednesday night. On Saturday, the Brahmas ended the Odessa Jackalopes season in just a dominating fashion 8-1 which was lead by Tyler Skworchinski with 3 goals and 3 assists followed by Justin Kinnunen and Matt Quinn who had multiple point games in the drumming they gave Odessa. The lone goal for Odessa came late in the 2nd period with a goal by Kenny Benard with 3 minutes left in the 2nd period. This was after the Jackalopes won game 6 2-0 in Odessa in a night where Odessa Goalie had a very strong night with a 25 save shutout which gave the Jackalopes a glimmer of hope, but it was quickly taken down early in game 7. For the Brahmas, this is their first ever trip to the Presidents Cup Final and have really turned around the team after missing the playoffs for 5 years straight and took the 2006-07 season off while to work out their arena situation after the agreement with the Ft. Worth Civic Center expired. They will be tough to beat at home with a strong 26-5-1 record at home during the regular season, during the playoffs, the only home loss was game 1 against Odessa where they lost 3-1.
For Colorado, they took down the Mississippi Riverkings in 6 games where it looked like it would have been a sweep after game 3 with a 3-0 series lead. It all started back in game 1 where the Riverkings lead 2-0, but the Eagles cameback with 2 goals by Ryan Tobler in the final 5 minutes of the 3rd period, then an Ed Mcgrane Goal in OT gave them the comeback win. After game 3, it looked like the Riverkings were having a hard time comming back which would have been a game 1 win. However during games 4 and 5, they came back nicely with a 6-5 in 2OT and 6-2 wins to draw the series back to 3-2, then in game 6 then Riverkings F Bobby Chaumont scored first to make it 1-0, back the Eagles scored 3 in a row to make it 3-1. After a score by Jeff Nelson to make it 3-2, the Eagles Adam Hogg basically clinched the Series and the Northern Conference Title with a goal with just 4:31 left in the game to make it 4-2, then an empty netter with 30 seconds left to put the game away to win it 5-2 by Kevin Ulanski. For the Eagles, they are back in the championship for the 4th time in 5 seasons becomming champions in 2005 and 2007, last year they were sweeped by the Arizona Sundogs in 4 straight.
As for the championship series, it will get underway on Wednesday night in Colorado at the Budwiser Events Center. For the Brahmas, they will host games 3-5 comming up while the games 6 and 7 will be on May 8 and 10 if it's needed. During the only head to head this season, the Brahmas won 4-1 back on Feb.6 at the NYTEX Sports Center in North Richland Hills. I also hoping to have a chance to make one of the games at the NYTEX Sports Center for either games 3, 4, or 5 of the Championship
My Picks are that Texas will contuine to control home ice with the best record in the league on home ice where they went 26-5-1 during the regular season and has went 5-1 in the playoffs. To win on the road, they want to get it done early to gain momentum in the series and to gain some control.
Look for game notes after every game in the championship series.
Here's a preview and the Championship Schedule
Game 1: 4/29, Texas Brahmas @ Colorado Eagles 7:05 PM
Game 2: 5/1, Texas Brahmas @ Colorado Eagles 7:05 PM
Game 3: 5/3, Colorado Eagles @ Texas Brahmas 3:05 PM
Game 4: 5/5, Colorado Eagles @ Texas Brahmas 7:05 PM
Game 5: 5/6, Colorado Eagles @ Texas Brahmas 7:05 PM
Game 6: 5/8, Texas Brahmas @ Colorado Eagles 7:05 PM
Game 7: 5/10 Texas Brahmas @ Colorado Eagles 7:05 PM
Road to the Presidents Cup Final
42-16-4 90PTS Southeast Division Champions, #1 seed in Southern Conference
Leading Scores: Scott Sheppard 32 G 34 A 66 PTS, Jordan Cameron 23 G 37A 60 PTS, Grant Jacobsen 21 G 34 A 55 PTS
Goaltending: Brett Jeager 44 GP 28-9-5 2.36 GAA .924 SV%
Leading Score: Jason Deitsch 5G 11A 16 PTS
Goaltending: Brett Jeager 8-3 1.85 GAA .941 SV%
Conference Semifinals VS. Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
Texas Brahmas win series 4-0
Game 1: Texas Brahmas 4 Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 2
Game 2: Texas Brahmas 5 Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 4
Game 3: Texas Brahmas 6 Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 2
Game 4: Texas Brahmas 3 Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees 1
Conference Finals VS. Odessa Jackalopes
Texas Brahmas win Series 4-3
Game 1: Texas Brahmas 1 Odessa Jackalopes 3
Game 2: Texas Brahmas 4 Odessa Jackalopes 1
Game 3: Texas Brahmas 3 Odessa Jackalopes 0
Game 4: Texas Brahmas 0 Odessa Jackalopes 2
Game 5: Texas Brahmas 7 Odessa Jackalopes 5
Game 6: Texas Brahmas 0 Odessa Jackalopes 2
Game 7: Texas Brahmas 8 Odessa Jackalopes 1
Regular Season: 45-15-4 94 PTS Northwest Division Champions, #1 seed in Northern Conference
Leading Scores: Greg Pankewicz 58 GP 38G 47A 85PTS, Kevin Ulanski 63GP 24G 59A 83 PTS, Riley Nelson 63GP 29G 53A 82PTS
Goaltending: Andrew Penner 41GP 30W 6L 3OTL 2.69GAA .915 SV%
Leading Score: Ed Mcgrane 7G 5A 12 PTS
Goaltending: Andrew Penner 8-2 2.72 GAA .931 SV%
Conference Semifinals VS. Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs
Colorado Eagles win series 4-0
Game 1: Colorado Eagles 4 Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs 3
Game 2: Colorado Eagles 4 Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs 3
Game 3: Colorado Eagles 3 Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs 2 (OT)
Game 4: Colorado Eagles 4 Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs 3 (OT)
Conference Finals VS. Mississippi Riverkings
Colorado Eagles win series 4-2
Game 1: Colorado Eagles 3 Mississippi Riverkings 2 (OT)
Game 2: Colorado Eagles 4 Mississippi Riverkings 1
Game 3: Colorado Eagles 2 Mississippi Riverkings 1
Game 4: Colorado Eagles 5 Mississippi Riverkings 6 (2OT)
Game 5: Colorado Eagles 2 Mississippi Riverkings 6
Game 6: Colorado Eagles 5 Mississippi Riverkings 2
News and Notes
Mike Modano said recently that his chances are good about him returning for a 21st season with the team. Offically he said that he is 80-20 about comming back and pretty much that everone wants him back. I think that he has one more big shot at winning a Stanley Cup and he dosen't want his career with a whimper after how this season ended up. During the 2007-08 season, he looked great and can still do big things in his new role as the 3rd line center had 21 goals and 36 assists and can still produce well on defense as well.
On a personal note, I would like to thank Neil Beasley from FSN Southwest for mentioning my blog at the end of the April 19th show of High School Spotlight. I was helping him out with hockey coverage near the end of the season and got to meet and help him out on some stuff at the Farmer's Branch Starscenter back on April 15 during the AT&T Metroplex High School Hockey Gold Division Championship Game between Flower Mound and Southlake Carroll. He also mentioned myself and this blog at the end of that show. He told me that would contuine to do more Hockey Stories in the future and has enjoyed the growth and sucess of ice hockey in Texas.
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