There’s an old saying in sports that in the playoffs records mean nothing.
In a tense contest where the winner takes all upsets are just as likely as expected beat-downs.
Thus the MEPCO High Rollers and Budget Beavers should be on guard in tonight’s adult roller hockey playoffs.
Both top teams are in action at the WestTel Arena of Kings Sports Centre. At 8pm MEPCO takes on Cayman Destination Management Services and then at 9pm Budget takes on the Barracudas.
MEPCO, 8-2, is fresh off a great season finale last Tuesday in which it clinched the regular season championship.
The High Rollers crushed 2-8 CDMS 14-2 with Wolfgang Brocklebank exploding for four goals and two assists and Eric Mildenberger steadying the team with two goals and two assists.
MEPCO peppered the travel agents’ goalie with 39 shots on goal. Meanwhile its defense held firm in limiting CDMS to 25 shots on goal.
A big part of that defense was goalie John Cowan who finished a season in which he led the league in save percentage (75.9), allowed only 26 goals on the season and made 108 saves.
Pete Holowchuck and Jean-Louis Beaudet had a goal and an assist for the CDMS side.
The loss dropped the travel agency team into last place and a first round date with the High Rollers.
It’s no secret that CDMS have issues with an offense that struggles to score (they have netted a league-low 55 goals) and a defense that is often over-run (allowing a league-high 97 goals).
Combine that with a stingy MEPCO defense (which allowed a league-low 58 goals) and the odds are well against CDMS.
However their chance at an upset starts with hustle on both ends of the rink and ends with a stand-out game from Holowchuk (11th in league in scoring with nine goals, 11 assists and 20 points).
In the other playoff encounter the Beavers and the Barracudas do battle in a rematch of last week’s game. Budget pulled off a surprisingly tight 10-6 win as they were just out shot 31-30.
Star duo Tim MacDonald and Mark Missal played at a high level as they both had four goals and two assists to lead the Budget squad.
Meanwhile Reilly Novak (two goals, one assist) and Jason Windsor (one goal, one assist) gave their all for the Barracudas.
Budget, in spite of losing out on the regular season crown, are heavy favourites tonight. Their offense is ridiculously good (it had a league-high 100 goals) and its defense is actually quite good (allowing 70 goals).
Where Budget has come on strong of late is in between the pipes. Last week aside, Ryan Vanderwal has done well to produce the most saves (158) in the competition while sporting a 72.8 save percentage.
The Barracudas have a chance for the upset if they play well offensively by generating more shots than Budget and having two or more players with goals and assists.
After tonight’s games the best-of-three championship series starts next Tuesday at 9pm. Game two is next Sunday at 9am with game three, if necessary, at 9pm on Tuesday, December 15.