Friday night, April 16th at 6:00pm with a Minor Division tilt between the #1 seed Nor Cal Riot Black taking on the #4 seed Nor Cal Riot Red team. The Black team is lead by Matthew Wallace who finished the season with 33 goals and 29 assists for 62 points. Matt also finished at the top of the stats nationwide in total points for the year. Joining him is a cast of players that can put the puck in the net starting with Rich Nash who had 13 goals and 37 assists, and was quite the set up man on plenty of goals this season, Cody Horwood with 25 goals and 21 assists and who has been a key player this season for the Riot. Other players with big points were Christopher Gapuz with 45 points, David Puckett 38 points and strong defensive play, Michael Kubota with 32 points as well and Hurst, Elder, Gibb and Rottman adding another 116 points for a great season. Martin Stacey was strong in the net all season.
The Riot Red held their own this season as they played a tough schedule and played hard every game. Leading the Red squad was Sean Arnone with 22 goals and 26 assists, followed by Nick Gialdini who tallied 12 goals and 23 assists, Aaron Godwin with 17 goals and 16 assists and Andrew Stacey who finished with 17 goals and 10 assists. Contributing for a total of 63 points were Simpson, Gonzales, Flores, Curiel and Norman. In the net was Jared Rich.
Head to head went to the Black team who were 6-0 vs the Red team scoring 39 goals while giving up 11 to the Red. The Riot Black finished atop the division with a record of 28-4 with 56 points as the Riot Red finished 9-21-0-2 for a total of 20 points. This will be a good series so come out and support your local AIHL teams.
#1 San Jose Pirates Elites vs. #4 Nor Cal Riot Elite
The Elite division start their playoffs at 8:30pm April 16th at the Plex with the #1 seed San Jose Pirates vs the #4 seed Nor Cal Riot. The Pirates finished at the top of the heap with a 26-5-0-1 record for 53 points and the Riot were 13-16-0-3 for 29 points. Head to head the Pirates were 7-1 in the season series.
Leading the pirates is Kelly Spain who finished 7th in the nation in total points and had 30 goals and 38 assists. Spain is an experienced player who is respected throughout the league. Jon King tallied 24 goals and 27 assists and had a great season, Adam DeKeyrel finished with 29 goals and 13 assists and was a physical presence on the rink, Casey Kennedy with 21 goals and 21 assists. Jacob Hickey was a big contributor as he finished with 19 goals and 18 assists. Rounding out the club are Kotsubo, Tilbury, Kennedy, Cech, Martinez, and goalies Tony Hartman who is always stellar between the pipes and Steven Barker. The Pirates made it all the way to the nationals last season and look to repeat again.
Standing in their way is the Nor Cal Riot Elite led by Ben Caliz who finished with 23 goals and 26 assists, Ryan Newman had 13 goals and 19 assists, Alex Redmond 18 goals and 9 assists followed by Travis Suyeishi with 25 points and Blake Peckham with 18 points. Tough play from Lovins, KleinSmid, Sebastian, andTilbury round out the club. Justin KleinSmid has been solid in the net backed up by Martin Stacey. This should be an epic series see you there.
#2 San Jose Pirates Minor vs. #3 Ripon Red Tails
Sunday, April 18th at 6:00pm the playoffs continue with the Minor match up between the # 2 seed San Jose Pirates vs the #3 seed Ripon Red Tails. The Pirates finished the season 27-5 with 54 points and Ripon finished at 18-13-0-1 with 36 points. Head to head the Pirates went 6-0 with 31 goals to 23 goals for the Red Tails in some pretty close games.
Leading the Pirates is Daniel Vucinich with 36 goals and 25 assists, Robert Musallam with 30 goals and 24 assists, Albert Musallam with 24 goals and 25 assists, and Adrian Garner had 19 goals and 21 assists. Together these 4 players played a major role in the success of the pirates this season as well as having a combined 204 points. Ryan Oliver played solid on defense as did Posmoga, McCabe, Majjasie, and Donnelly. Rounding out the Pirates squad are Sangha, Quintero, and Campbell with all playing hard for Coach Adam Dekeyrel. Goalies used throughout the year have been Williams, Chai, and Sangha.
The Ripon Red Tails come in with a sniper of their own in Kyle Amant who finished the season with 36 goals and 26 assists, Will Hall with 12 goals and 20 assists, Phil Smees with 19 goals and 10 assists, and Cody Murphy at 7 goals and 14 assists. This first year team did a nice job and are well coached. The rest of the squad contributed for 115 points from Southworth, Romonivich, Patton, Peralta, Ford, Lindgren, Hussain, Murphy, Koski, Morrison, and Darosa. Goalies were solid with Trevor Fairley and Casey Snyder. This will be a tough and exciting series.
#2 Northern California Mustangs Elite vs. #3 Ripon Savage Elite
Sunday April 18th brings the remainder of the Elite playoffs with the #2 seed Northern California Mustangs vs the #3 seed Ripon Savage. The Mustangs finished strong with a record of 15-13-0-4 for 34 points and the Savage finished 15-15-0-2 for 32 points. Their games were very exciting and rough this should be a fun series.
The Mustangs come in on the shoulders of points leader Captain Travis Hawkins who finished 6th in the nation for total points and had 20 goals and an amazing 50 assists, followed by Mason Nave with 24 goals and 32 assists, Jeff Brown with 25 goals and 20 assists and was always around the net, Joe Fritz with 19 goals and 22 assists for a great season as well as a breakout season from Javi Martinez who tallied 21 goals and 16 assists. Shawn Hickey, one of my favorite players on and off the rink was an emotional leader for the Mustangs as well as Dom Mamon. Rounding out the club is Lobban, Bianco, Greenwood, and Shiraishi. In the net is Ryan Lowe and Jody McAlpine. Coach Sousa has really pulled this team together and this will be a battle with the Savage.
The Savage come in with two 50+ point leaders in Jason Weaver with 27 goals and 29 assists and Nic Robinson who had 33 goals and 19 assists. Matt Braun and Alex Flores both finished with 29 and 28 points respectably. The rest of the club has Daniels, Romero, Scott, Fertig, Gregg, Noble, Garcia, and Robertson who contributed 128 points together. In the net they have Nick Hunter and Kenny Keller and this will be an awesome series.
- by Doug Wallace