Flames repeat by burning Bears

Cayman hockey has a budding dynasty in the form of the Cayman Hot Sauce Flames.

For the second straight year, the Flames are the champions of local roller hockey. Cayman Hot Sauce claimed the 2014 Cherry Cup after sweeping the ITS Solar Bears 8-4 and 10-8 in their best-of-three series in the finals of the adult spring 2014 inline hockey league at Kings Sports Center.

The Flames journey to a championship was not clear cut. Cayman Hot Sauce Flames only took command of the No. 1 seed in the second half of the season. Led by team captain Mike Bowden, the Flames went through growing pains as they were forced to deal their championship goalie for a competent Flames rookie, Andrew Finlason. The Flames struggled to find their stride in the first few games of the season, but once they were on the same page, they never looked back.

In the first seven games of the season, the Flames went 2-4-1. In the following 12 games, they went 12-0-0 to come out on top of the regular season standings. In the playoffs, Cayman Hot Sauce handily beat the Deloitte Sharks 10-4 and 11-5 in their best-of-three series. In the finals, they faced Pete Holowchuk and a Solar Bears team boasting the No. 2 seed, a Vezina Trophy-caliber goalie and Cayman’s most successful netminder in Randy Cannon. However, the Flames prevailed by controlling the series from the onset.

A quick look at the numbers shows a dominant display from the Flames. Evan Ellbogen led the league in scoring with 77 goals, with teammates Rob Seward (33 goals), Jagger Hope (29 goals) and Gordon Mattison (26 goals) behind him. Bowden had a league-high 31 assists, ahead of Andrew Bowden and Jason Windsor (30 assists each), Ellbogen (29 assists) and Hope (19 assists).