Alkali Revel wins '19 NARCh Pro Title in Detroit
Alkali Revel Wins NARCh Pro For the Second Time in Three Seasons
By: Raine Hernandez
TAYLOR – In recent memory, Cinderella stories have been nothing out of the ordinary, and it was no different this time around, as the Alkali Revel claimed the 2019 NARCh Pro title, defeating the Mission Bauer Bordercats by a score of 3-1.
The road to victory was a very long one for the Revel, after finishing with the 6th seed, the lowest seed in the playoffs. In the quarter-final, Revel went through the #3 seed Pama Labeda Knights 4-1, and in the semi-finals managed to upset the #1 seed and defending champion Mission Labeda Snipers, earning a date with the Mission Bauer Bordercats in the championship game.
As for the #2 seeded Bordercats, they earned themselves a bye straight to semi-finals and played the Tour RoadRunners. The RoadRunners pulled off a magical upset against Mission Black Ice to get to the semi-finals, however, simply could not get passed a very talented and team-oriented Bordercats squad.
In the first period, Alkali quickly pounced on the lead after Tyler Spezia set up Alex Kile on a backdoor pass to give them the 1-goal lead. Shortly after, Kile would set up Nielsen Arcibal in the slot, shooting past Jacob Robinson to go up 2 goals, already early into the opening period.
Luckily, the Bordercats were able to cut the lead in half late into the period. On the powerplay, Cal Kiefiuk set up Ryan Kish for a one-timer to finally get one past Zach Lane.
It was a mini redemption tour for Alkali goaltender Zach Lane following a rough start to the tournament. Lane stood on his head during the quarters and the semis and continued his stellar play against the Bordercats.
Lane shut the door in the final frame, stopping everything that the Bordercats threw at him, virtually killing three penalties all on his own. The netminders saves would serve as a significant momentum shift for the Revel, robbing a 2-on-1 opportunity, leading to Cody Kettler rushing down the ice to pounce on his own rebound, restoring the 2-goal lead, while on the penalty-kill.
The Bordercats would continue to pepper the shots on Lane, finding very little luck and mixed with the elite defensive play from the Revel, were unable to come back, making Alkali Revel the NARCh Pro title for the second time in three years.
Revel knocked out the top three seeds to get back to Roller Hockey supremacy, completing an underdog story similar to Mission Black Ice’s first pro championship in 2014 when he pulled off a similar feat.