Flames ignite for three-peat

For the third consecutive season, the Cayman Hot Sauce Flames are roller hockey champions.

Cayman Hot Sauce won the Fall 2014 Adult Inline League at Kings Sports Centre this month. A third straight Cherry Cup title for the Flames did not happen overnight, and even after a league re-draft to improve the competition, captain Mike Bowden found himself on the winning side once again. The team lost only three games all year, going 9-3 during the regular season. Their stingy defense – which allowed a league-low 75 goals – was the key to their success as the team featured great goalkeeping and hardworking forwards.

The statistics sheet also showed a number of players performed well on offense. Dennis Paschier (second with 25 goals), Mike Bowden (fifth with 17 goals), Andrew Bowden (eighth with 13 goals), Paul Strenk and Derek Bruce (tied for 10th with 11 goals) all found themselves in the top 10 list.

Unsung heros Cody Bateman, Jamie Nelson and Randy Cannon were big keys in the playoffs with timely goals and winning battles all over the rink. Credit for the team’s gritty defensive efforts rests largely with island vet Matt Lawson and goalie Andy Finlason, who has found the winning touch deep into his career with back-to-back championships in net for the Flames. Finlason actually ended up with a nasty injury in the finals, so Jeremy Olynik had to step in and finish the job.

The road to glory began in the first round, with the Flames burning the Sharknados, who were without league-leading scorers Evan Ellbogen (67 goals) and Daniel O’Flaherty (25 assists). The Sharknados were contenders all season behind a top-rated offense that scored a league-best 130 goals.

In the finals, Cayman Hot Sauce took on the Highrollers. The Rollers had a tough season, winning just one game in the regular season, but managed to fight their way past the ITS Solar Bears in the opening round. The Rollers, who had veteran talents including Darryl Hather and Joe Jewitt, seemed to show their age and were always a couple steps behind. Ultimately, the Flames had too much firepower and scorched the rink en route to the Cherry Cup.

The new roller hockey season begins in the new year. Interested players should contact Evan Ellbogen at [email protected]

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