Wednesday, March 24, 2010

D/FW HS Hockey League Silver Tier Championship

#1 Garland ISD Stampede VS. #6 Plano East Panthers

Time & Location: 6:15 PM @ Farmers Branch Starcenter

After both Garland ISD & Plano East were able to pull away to comfy wins in Monday's Semifinals. The Stampede and Panthers are proving to the best of the very strong East Division as the Stampede with players like Tyler Dean and Collin Steinmetz look to use their strong offense attack that was able to help the Stampede score an impressive 126 goals scored while only giving up 59 on the season.

Plano East is one of the few teams that can keep up with the scoring as the Panthers scored 133 goals during the regular season. Even though the Panthers had a bit of a weaker defense.

Goalie Adam Rose has been able to raise his game over the playoffs as the Panthers haven't given up more then 3 goals in any game during the playoffs, his strongest performance came in the Quarterfinal against FM Marcus as the Panthers won in a SO 3-2 to advance.

Garland has had a strong secondary scoring crew all year as 11 players have scored at least a point with Tyler Dean scoring 8 points (4G 4A) in the 2 playoff games which included a 5 point night against Grapevine during the Quarterfinals. A few others like Joey Thomas and Tyler Mayotte having been able to score the empty netter goal to put the Semifinal against Richardson away on Monday night.

Garland has been lucky as they had the 1st Round Bye then not having to play somebody like Rockwall or FM Marcus in the playoffs this year as the few teams that have given the teams strong games this season. However, Plano East did beat the Stampede 5-3 back on 1/14 in the only head-to-head matchup against each other this season. The Stampede is looking for revenge in this game as the Top Seed in the playoffs.

One of the big differences in this game as Marcus Ortiz is not in the playoffs while he was injured and Collin Steinmetz who was also out for that game won't be in this as well. However, the Stampede still has players like Steven Guillen who has scored a goal in both of the playoff games against Grapevine and Richardson ISD so far.

Plano East has 4 players in double digit goals from the regular season including Matt Robinson who lead the entire area in scoring with 30 goals also added 20 assists during the regular season. So far in the playoffs he's been able to continue with goals against Arlington Martin and FM Marcus in the playoffs. He's looking for a great night to beat the Stampede again and win the Silver Tier Championship tonight.

Supporting him will be the Cotton Brothers Jason & Ryan who have 8 & 6 points respectively as the Panthers have scored the most goals in the Silver Tier Playoffs with 18 (7 against Arlington Martin, 3 against FM Marcus and 8 against Richardson ISD). The Panthers have the talent and the firepower to take down the Stampede in the Championship.

The big question is that can the Panthers find the magic touch that took down a very tough Stampede team where they played the best game of the season. If they can, I think the Panthers could be able to win. If not, the Stampede will skate the cup tonight.

Plano East Goaltender Adam Rose has been great in the playoffs so far with an impressive 2.57 GAA & a .919 SV% as he has taken up his game since having a less then strong 3.74 GAA and a .847 SV% in 13 games during the regular season.

So far he hasn't been able to be beaten very well, including in OT where the game against FM Marcus where he was able to go perfect in the SO by stopping some of the team's top players including Justin George who lead the team with 24 goals.

Bottom Line: Like the Gold Tier Final, goaltending will be a big key in this game. However, they should be more offense flowing in this one as a big surge could be a big difference. Garland might have lost the only head-to-head matchup, but the Stampede are just a bit deeper and faster then the Panthers and will out speed the Panthers in tonight's Final.

Game Prediction: Garland ISD 5 Plano East 3

Here's how the Teams got to tonight's Championship.

Garland ISD Regular Season: 20-3-0 40 PTS, 126 GF 59 GA

Garland ISD Playoff Run: 1st Round Bye, QFS VS. Grapevine 7-2, SFS VS. Richardson ISD 5-2

Plano East Regular Season: 16-8-0 32 PTS, 133 GF 86 GA

Plano East Playoff Run: 1st Round VS. Arlington Martin 7-3, QFS VS. FM Marcus 3-2 (SO), SFS VS. Rockwall 8-3

Head-to-Head Matchups

1/14: Plano East 5 Garland ISD 3

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