The Legendz Longhorns looked like a team capable of a deep roller hockey playoff run. Now the side can only watch as the Cherry Cup finals march on at Kings Sports Centre.
Game two of the series is on Tuesday 24 May and features ITS Cayman and the High Rollers. Legendz recently lost out on their chance for another championship after being thrashed in the semi-finals by the High Rollers 11-4. The Longhorns join last season’s champions the Islanders, who were taken out by ITS via a 3-2 overtime score.
Legendz team captain Brad Galbraith serves as a referee for the Cherry Cup finals and spoke about his team’s early playoff exit.
“We got killed on defence,” Galbraith said. “There wasn’t enough bodies to compete and we had trouble scoring. In particular they were hammering me as I got closer to the net. Pat Agemian did a phenomenal job of anchoring the defence but Jason Windsor and Jeff Danter were not here and Eric Lacasse has been down for weeks with injury.”
At the end of March the Longhorns were as high as second place in the Logic Adult Roller Hockey League. By the start of this month, the squad had dropped off and ended up in fourth place with a 3-5-2 mark. The statistics do not show a clear reason for the free-fall. On one hand the side were second to last in scoring (with 59 goals) and defence (allowing 72 goals). But they had arguably the top goalie in Jeremy Olynik (league-high 301 saves and 76.1 save percentage) and three players in the top ten in scoring in Mark Thompson (10 assists, 19 points), Jason Windsor (12 assists, 21 points) and Galbraith (22 goals, 31 points).
Galbraith states many team members deserve props for their efforts.
“We had a skid during the season where we stopped scoring for three games. I usually get most of the goals for the team but by the time I picked it up it was too little too late. But Jeremy was an amazing goalie. We kept Fareed (Hosein) in defence most of the season and he was a really good passer. Mark Thompson and Derek Bruce stepped up and put in goals for us.
“I have to say that it was really helpful having Legendz as team sponsor. They helped us get new jerseys and we felt like a new team. We had confidence and we thank them for that.”