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March 12, 2018 Volume 14, Edition 25
Playoff Pool Headlines
Let's take a look at where we are now after two weeks of Pool play.

First off in Pool A the Cobras have the top spot but we cannot lock them into a spot in the Bracket just yet. Five points is good, but if they were to fall to third in the Pool and things in the other pools break against them, they could be eliminated. Likewise the FordTough could be out of the playoffs if things go against them and they lose their final game. Strange times for sure. Further wackiness even though the GT are eliminated, they can take the Raiders with them if they win in regulation next week.

In Pool B the 11th seed Diesels have the top spot and will advance. They play to ear the #1 seed in the bracket next week. The Boss, Mavericks and Bullitts are all still alive.

In Pool C the Falcons own the top spot and we can say they will advance to the next round (due to their higher seeding from the regular season). The Marauders and Thunderbolts are still alive but the Broncos are out. Unfortunately for them they lost two games in a row and both Pool A and B will have a third place team with a higher regular season rank than they have and will have at least three points..which is as many as they can get in their last game.
FHL Weekly Recognitions
Hat Tricks...Goals
Robert Eastman3

Play Makers...Assts
Chris Perniciaro3
Cooper Strahan3
Joseph Zalewski3
Who's Hot…
We're just going to look at the Playoffs from this point forward. So...Who's Hot...

The Diesels have two regulation wins in the Playoffs so far making them the only team right now with six points during Pool play.

The Cobras and Falcons also have two wins, but with 1 game for each needing a shootout.
...and NOT…
The Broncos and GT will be playing for pride next week as two losses in a row during Pool play has officially ended their seasons.
Week 25 Intro :
If you recall from last week I was guessing that all the shoot-outs that we've had in the Playoffs would have an impact on things and that is looking to be the case. Pool B is a good example of that as the Mavericks and Bullitts play each other next week and one of them will have to win that game, in regulation or in a shoot-out. But no matter how that game goes, it will effectively eliminate the Broncos from the Playoffs. There is already a team in Pool A with three points and in Pool B, the third place team in that pool will also have three or more points.

Anyway, thankfully we've got all of these rules and tie-breakers accounted for as many hours were spent ensuring that all the rules of how these things work were spelled out long ago.

Check out the column on the left for a few of the additional insights from each Pool.

Alright, on with the show.

Week 25 in Review :
Diesels 4   Mavericks 2 :

Kundinger: Diesels in control of Pool B need to keep their foot on the throttle to stay out of the dreaded 3-way tie breaking rule. The game starts out fast, but the edge seemed to be with the Mavericks as they had more opportunities, but Reagle takes advantage of his new playoff run with the Diesels and keeps the Mavericks off the board. Neither side finds the net in period one and that sets up for an even tighter second. Diesels finally generate some good pressure in the Maverick zone. Sub Albert finds Medoro in the slot who fires a quick shot bicker side and in! 1-0 Diesels, but it doesn’t last long when the Diesels fail to get the puck out from deep within their zone. JC sends a pass to the front of the crease where Deke attempts to intercept, but instead tips it by Reagle. Unlucky bounce for the Diesels, but they refocus and go back to the offensive attack. Once again it is Medoro firing a slap shot from the top of the circles and in to take the 2-1 lead at the midway point. Moments later Albert strikes for the Diesels as he has done so many times before and makes it 3-1 Diesels! With all the momentum on their side, it looked like the Diesels would be cruising to a victory, except this was not a typical Mavericks team of the past. JC and Sharlow connect once more before the end of the second to keep it a one goal game going into the third. Diesels play shutdown defense for most of the third period, but the Mavericks still find plenty of chances only to have Reagle close the door on them. A late penalty on the Mavericks sets up the Diesels with a chance to seal the deal. They take full advantage as Albert snipes it over Cholette’s shoulder! 4-2 Diesels!!! The next 3 minutes seemed like an eternity as the Diesels do everything they can to keep the Mavericks off the scoreboard and win in regulation. Huge game for Medoro (2g, 1a) and Albert (2g, 2a). Another stellar performance for Reagle. Diesels lock up a spot in the elite 8 and now look to grab hold of the #1 seed with another win in regulation.
Boss 3 (SO 4)   Bullitts 3 (SO 3) :
DePaoli: Bullitts claw our way back from a 2 goal deficit in the 3rd period to earn a much needed point that could prove to be big depending on what happens next week.

Finger: tough game by two teams that for the most part, actually like each other. Imagine that. Heavy hitting not called and appreciated. Boss get on the board first Rosebud shows unimaginative patience and beats Gardner who played very well. Great dirty work by long john Pearson to set him up.

Bullitts tie it up when Chris P (who knew he was so good on faceoffs) wins one cleanly to Mark D who knows how to pick his corners.

#1 Blake does his superstar thing and takes the puck coast to coast for BOSS' 2nd.
still in the second, Blake scores again with a low slapper, coming in a little to hot for Gardner to get in front of.

Bullitts don't quit ever.. Double E scores for the bullits in the third on a goofy bounce that seemed to confuse Andy. Late in the third Bullitts go on the power play and capitalize on a knuckleball shot from the point that found its way through a seem. Another OT shootout.
Boss solve the goalie and score enough to take the precious extra point.
Next week, a new challenge against the red hot Diesels and their ringer goalie.
Cobras 6   GranTorinos 3 :
Filar: Great game from both teams. Thanks to McCaig for subbing against his old man.

Raiders 3 (SO 3)   FordTough 3 (SO 2) :
Dalimonte: Ford Tough faces arch nemesis Raiders in 2nd round of pool play.

Out for this contest is All Star Chapman. Tough recruit FHL Star, Super Eric Luebke.

Raiders open scoring in the 1st period as Rep Bob McKenzie gets on the board. 1-0 Raiders. Rookie Spencer H places high wrister from the left point! 1-1 end of 1st.

2nd period, Tough take lead on Rookie Fink goal 2-1 Tough. Tough coach gets hooking penalty on Raider Rep going in all alone and almost gets quality shot off. Raiders tie game as penalty expires 2-2.

Tough get another penalty and the Raiders strike again to take a 3-2 lead. Rookie Blazing Blair ties game up on power play for Tough late 3rd.

Game ends and goes to shootout.

Raiders open scoring with Dolega. Then Fink ties it up as 2nd Tough shooter. Alex P gets go ahead goal 2-1 and it goes to the 5th Tough shooter to tie game. Going for my 3rd goal of the year and to extend OT, I goto ole faithful backhander roof top water bottle shaker to tie game. Next 4 shooters cannot get the game winner and into FHL GLORY days.... Until defending multi champ Joe Jacubik goes in and rifles a roof top water bottle shaker over Demars right shoulder. Tough John Lubig has opportunity to extend and is unable to seal the deal on 2nd try.... RAIDERS WIN!!!

There were a ton of penalties, but should have been more.. FHL Playoff hockey at its best. It was a classic as the TOUGH feel the agony of defeat!

Thank you Eric for subbing.

Up NEXT COBRA KAI!!! for Pool A Championship.

McKenzie: 1 Down.

Joe and Jake stole this one for us. On to game 3.
Falcons 3   Broncos 1 :
Bordeau: Falcons face off against the Broncos in round #2 of the play offs. We played them once in the regular season and lost a tight game in week 13. Pay back time.
Tight 1st period and no goals for either team means this is going to be a good game. Broncos take a penalty early in the 2nd period and the Falcons advantage and score a PP goal to get the early lead.
Early 3rd period the Falcons score the next goal on a loose puck scrum in front of the net, where from my view point from the far bench it looked like it was under the goalie? The referee was much closer than I, and no whistle resulting in the Falcons keep digging and put it in the net. Way to keep playing until we hear a whistle!! Not a happy bunch of Broncos, big goal in the game. Falcons 2 Broncos 0.
It gets better for the Falcons when a Bronco player tries to play the puck at his blue line and colides with the same referee resulting in a Falcon break away and a Bronco penalty?? Now a much less happy bunch of Broncos and the Bronco player gets the 2 minute and a 10 minute trip to the locker room. WOW One minute later the unhappy Broncos get a checking penalty to give us the 5 on 3 PP. Falcons take advantage and score to take a 3-0 lead with 5:39 left in the game.
Now the referees reverse the calls against the Falcons to give the Broncos a 5 on 3 PP, which they score on to get with in 2 goals 3-1. Game ends 3-1 and Falcons looking good with 5 points in their pool play.
Unfortunatly this game was decided by a few questionable referee calls and the game was closer than the final score in my eyes. We will take the W and move on to play the top seed Thunderbolts who lost to the Marauders.

Marauders 6   Thunderbolts 3 :
Tymczak: Gotta play better, didn't match intensity of the hungry marauders. Defense, defense, defense and defense. Did I mention Defense?

Soper: TBOLTS vs RAUDs. Caldy plays stellar in net once again and halts the Keg express. Warren gets us on the board first with a nice slapper from Eastie. Then Eastie lights the lamp from Soap. Kegs gets the Bolts on the board. 2-1 Rauds EOF. Warren get his second on a nice shot, Joe Z. with helper. 3-1 Rauds EOS. Joe Z. goes end to end and slips the biscuit in the basket. Then Eastie does the same. Eastie gets the hatty from Joe Z. with 5 left. TBOLTS grab a couple late goals and the final is 6-3 Rauds. Nice trick Bobby and nice play-maka Joe.
Killer Caldwell gets the POG for fabulous net minding.
Quick turn around for Monday's game with the Klueg led Bronx.

Upcoming FHL Playoff Action :
Game C3Mon - Mar 12, 20186:00 PMBroncos at Marauders
Game C3Mon - Mar 12, 20187:00 PMFalcons at Thunderbolts
Game B3Wed - Mar 14, 20186:00 PMDiesels at Boss
Game B3Wed - Mar 14, 20187:00 PMMavericks at Bullitts
Game A3Thu - Mar 15, 20186:00 PMGranTorinos at Raiders
Game A3Thu - Mar 15, 20187:00 PMCobras at FordTough

FHL Three Stars of the Week :
Robert Eastman
Joseph Zalewski
Cooper Strahan