Cudas set to bite

It has been a trying season for the
Barracudas in the WestTel Adult Roller Hockey League. Wins were hard to come by
and the side finished in last place.

However their form in the final
weeks has caused a stir in the league. They may be facing top side the MEPCO
High Rollers in the playoffs but the team is up for the challenge. As
team-member Fareed Hosein states the Barracudas are playing their best hockey
now.

“We started out slowly but we’re
peaking at the right time,” Hosein said. “We ended the regular season on a
strong note. Our skating got stronger, we played more together as a team and
our goalie got better. We kept games close down the stretch and we’re in good
shape going into the playoffs. I’d say we’re contenders.”

Hosein and the Barracudas face MEPCO
on Tuesday May 11 at 8pm on the WestTel arena of Kings Sports Centre. It is the
first game of the opening round with the Budget Beavers and CDMS Islanders
doing battle at 9pm.

The Barracudas may have finished
with just three victories but two of those came in the last three weeks of the
season. One of those wins was a 6-4 triumph over MEPCO.

In that game Mark Thompson (two
goals) and Eric Lacasse (two assists) were the heroes. Solid games were seen
from Brad Galbraith and Jason Windsor (one goal and one assist each). Jeff
Danter and Reilly Novak each chipped in a goal.

Just as telling were the stats for
MEPCO. Role players Jeff Hart (two) and Chris Creighton (one) accounted for 75
percent of the offense. Wolfgang Brocklebank (one goal), Dan Etherington and Darryl
Hather (one assist each) all had off-nights.

For the Barracudas to stand a
chance their defense will need to replicate those numbers. However Hosein feels
the team has enough offensive pieces to hold their own.

“We’re confident against the High
Rollers,” Hosein said. “We played them tough this year and all of the games
were close. We have a good chance to pull off the upset.

“Our difference maker is Jason
Windsor, a defenseman who has done a lot of the scoring. He has really taken on
a more offensive role after we lost a couple guys on offense.

“Also Reilly Novak is an improved
player and he is our top goal-scorer. We brought back Jeff Danter and he’ll be ready
for the playoffs. All of those guys we’ll look to on Tuesday.”

Out of all the Barracudas players
Hosein has the most to prove. After a brilliant 2009 season where he was near
the top in points and assists, Hosein has struggled in 2010. He ended the year
with less than 10 assists and 15 points. Hosein says he plans to step it up on
Tuesday.

“Personally I’ve had a bad season.
Hopefully I can pick up my game in the playoffs. I tell myself I got to look
forward to these games and I have to improve to help my team out.

“Ultimately though, we have to play
a more defensive game. We have to stay on our man and stick to our checks. We
have to clear rebounds especially.”

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