Two exciting games at Kinsmen last night – good omens for the regular season finale next week and the upcoming playoff round.
For the 1st game the benches looked pretty thin at the start with only 1 spare for each team but 2 more Dirks showed up 5 minutes in and team owner Dirka, setting a good example for all of her minions, wandered in midway through the period to raise the spares to 4 for her team. Blair started the ball rolling with 2 quick goals from the front of the net while the JKOW responded with 2 for the Dirks. BillyM scored with a pinpoint lower corner shot to end the period – Team Blair leading 3 – 2. In the 2nd BillyM scored another but the Dirks quickly countered with 2 to tie and 3 more to pull ahead before the Blairs were able to get another – 2nd period ending Team Dirka now leading 7-5. In the 3rd the Blairs scored twice to tie it up and then both teams alternated goals, keeping it close. For a few minutes it seemed like the last shot taken would decide the winner but, a short bench finally caught up with the Blairs, Team Dirka scoring 3 straight goals in the late stages to pull away and coast to victory Team Dirka 12 – Team Blair 9. Close, competitive game for 2 1/2 periods. Seven losses in a row for Team Blair – can they turn it around before the playoffs? Team Dirka scoring well but can they keep it up with RussA on the DL for an indeterminate length of time? Interesting times.
The 2nd game – WOW! 1 goal differential, 4 late period goals with less than a 30s to go – a titanic struggle for 1st place in the premier Masters Lacrosse League in London. It doesn’t get any better than this! (Now THAT is a depressing thought…oh well!). The game started quickly, very quickly, with Team Lia scoring 10 sec in to rock Team Jacquie back on their heels. Recovering well, the teams settled down to back and forth rushes, alternating goals to keep the score close. RobA, with one of his signature low level laser shots ( I KNOW where its going…Why can’t I STOP it?) got the first of his 3 late period goals with 10s left and the 1st period ended with the teams tied at 3. In the 2nd, teams exchanged a couple more goals but Team Lia was able to score a couple extra to pull ahead…but again, time running out, RobA maneuvering to get in to shooting range , another low level shot, another late period goal, this time with 3s on the clock. …sigh…. at the 2nd intermission Team Lia is holding on to a slim lead, 7-6. In the 3rd, the teams exchanged goals and then Team Lia scored to extend their lead to 2 heading in to the final minutes. But then the wheels started to wobble on the Team Lia bandwagon – Team Jacquie scored to close the lead to 1 with a minute left to play….then they scored again, RobA with ANOTHER last minute goal to tie it up with 18s on the clock – Team Lia could feel victory slipping away – could they hold on to the tie or would the head to the dressing rooms, heads hung low in ignominious defeat? Faceoff, loose ball to Team Lia, quickly pushed down to the Team Jacquie end, a shot, stopped, another shot, stopped again, another shot, stopped again! and then the ball somehow goes in! GOALLLLLLLLLLLL! with 0.7s left on the clock! It doesn’t get much closer than that! Team Lia exits the floor with a heart stopping victory over Team Jacquie 10-9. Wow!
On to next week, the last week of the regular season. All positions are still up for grabs and ties for 1st and 3rd are a distinct possibility. Using the OLA tie breaking formula (Head – Head then (GF/ GF+GA)) and excluding the Week #2 results (volunteer non-goalie in net for both games) gives the following scenarios – If Team Lia and Team Jacquie end up tied for 1st, Team Jacquie wins on H-H (2-1-1). If Team Blair and Team Dirka end up tied, they remain tied after H-H (2-2-0) and using the Goals formula Team Blair is at .5025 while Team Dirka is at .4950 – a difference of 7.5/1000! Playoff seeding will depend on both the game results of each team’s last game of the season and goals scored and let in. Parity plus!
Next is Week #16, the regular season finale, Wednesday August 17, 2016 Kinsmen Arena
Team Jacquie vs. Team Dirka 8:00pm – 9:00pm.
Team Blair vs. Team Lia 9:00pm – 10:00pm.
See you then.