By Lonny Lovins
The culmination of all the hard work that the young guys and gals have put in comes to a head today as we get started on our first day of championship games.
The playoff and championship days are always a blast, once we get going it seems like they travel through the tournament like a tornado, and by the end there are medals, trophies, some tears, and a lot of smiles strewn about the rink.
As Alex stated last night, we have finished the seeding for 3 of our divisions, and we will seed 3 more to end up with 6 championship games before the night is through.
For our Atoms division, we had 12 teams, which we split up into 3 different divisions by the time the seeding was all done.
For Atom Platinum, we had 3 teams really rise to the top. The AKS ’04 team took the top seed with high scoring (39 goals) and tight defensive play (6 goals against). They ended up beating out the 2nd seeded PrimeTime Dragons by 1 goal against. From the start it looked as if the Dragons and the AKS team were going to go unchallenged to the championship game, however if the Tour RoadRunner 04′s have anything to say about it, this playoff could get interesting really quickly. The 3rd seeded Roadrunners will meet the PrimeTime Dragons in the semi-final to see who gets a shot at AKS. The Roadrunners played to a 4-3 loss against AKS in what was one of our most entertaining games of the tournament so far. Which shows that the Roadrunners have the talent and the goaltending to shake things up.
In the Atom Gold playoff, we have some very talented youngsters as well. The teams playing in the gold playoffs are lead by the SIHA Stallions. They had a very strong round robin winning 3 of 4 games and scoring 27 goals in the process. They will have a bye to the Gold championship as they will wait for the winner of the Mississauga Rattlers and the San Diego Rockets. The Rockets and the Rattlers both have the firepower to make their playoff game an interesting affair.
There was a log jam in the Atom Silver seeding as most of these teams were very close in points and goals against. I expect that this will be a buttoned up playoffs with all of the games being closely fought. The action starts early this morning as the Tour Oakville Coyotes will face the Detroit Mission Stars in our first playoff game. Our other Atom Silver playoff game will feature the Akali Arsenal Detroit and the Cayman Islands Dart Ducks. Once those games go final, the Silver division high seeded Tour Roadrunner 05s will be waiting the lowest seed left, and the Mission Bauer Bordercats will be facing the highest seed to come out of the playoffs. It should make for an exciting group of games.
We finished the seeding for the PeeWee Silver and Club divisions, and this is how it all shook out.
In the PeeWee Silver playoffs we will have the top seeded SIHA Stallions enjoying a bye while they wait for the winner of the semi-final game between a strong Tour Roadrunner team and an upstart Namibia team that has no quit in them. It should be a fun game to watch as both teams have a lot of offensive talent.
For the PeeWee Club division, the Colombian Team Rinos Na-Palm captured the top seed with cagey leadership and timely goals. They will have a bye as they await the winner of the Mississauga Mission Rattlers and the 4SSRH Mudhogs.
The only other division we have figured out this far is the Midget Silver division. The top 6 seeds made playoffs for this division and with 2 teams garnering well deserved byes. The Mississauga Mission Rattlers 97 cruised through the round robin scoring an impressive 22 goals while only giving up 2. The Detroit Mission Stars got all they could handle in a very spirited 1st round robin game with the Grizzly Chompers as they tied. From then, they cruised and took the 2nd seed in dominating fashion giving up only 5 goals along the way while scoring 25 goals. In the playoff games we will see the 3rd seeded Long Island 495ers play the 6th seeded Team Rinos Na-Palm. In our other Midget Silver playoff, we will have the 4th seeded Grizzly Chompers play the Tour Roadrunner White team.
This should get our day set for a lot of great playoffs and championship games. We look forward to shaking out the divisions and handing out the hardware. Check back with us later for updates!