Colorado Springs, CO – It’s only one week away and the Colorado Springs area is already hopping with anticipation for PIHA’s 2009-2010 Finals. The surprise Eastern Conference Champion, New Jersey Grizzlies, have their flights booked while the Suffolk Sting and Pennsylvania Team Blue minor franchises are also making their plans for the Rockies in hopes of calling themselves CHAMPIONS! The weekend of February 19-21 will showcase some of the best talent in the country and “is going to be a weekend these players, families, and fans will not forget,” says PIHA Finals Event Manager, Teresa Miller. “We are excited about making the weekend an event, although everyone is excited for the hockey, we are putting together youth tournaments, exhibition games, a Friday night Happy Hour, and a tribute of hair shaving for a struggling member of the Thunder to round out some of the best hockey to ever come to Colorado.”
Obviously the weekend’s main attraction will be the New Jersey Grizzlies taking on the Colorado Springs Thunder in a battle to claim PIHA’s 9th Founders Cup. The seven game series will display a boat load of talent as three of the top four leading scorers in the league, Brian Yingling (31-26-57), Robbie Fulton (20-31-51), and CJ Yoder (18-30-48), take to the Tour Arena floor in hopes of leading their respective teams to a championship. The Grizzlies come into the Finals on a huge high note after stunning a Suffolk Sting team that had only lost 1 game in regulation all year long. While the Thunder, after scampering into the playoffs, have shown that they are clicking on all cylinders after sweeps of the Fort Collins Catz and then rival Parker Prowlers. Both teams are very well coached as Denis Jelcic leads a very physical and young
Grizzlies team while Dave Needham is on his second road to the PIHA Finals in as many years at the helm for the Thunder. All games will be held at the beautiful Tour Arena in Colorado Springs, CO. with games #1 and #2 on Friday night beginning at 8pm. Games #3 and #4 will be Saturday at 8pm, with games #5, #6, and #7 on Sunday, if necessary, beginning at 11am.
The weekend also features the minor league beasts from the East taking on the best from the West as the Suffolk Sting and Pennsylvania Team Blue make the trip to face the Loveland Catz and Lakewood Fire. These matchups are not set at this point but already look to be heated and very fun to watch. East #1 will play West #2 and West #1 will take East #2 in three game series with winners and losers facing one another in a 5 game series later in the weekend. There will be plenty of hockey for these teams and their fans.
But the weekend will not only be featuring PIHA hockey. PIHA has set up a Finals Committee and this group is setting up all kinds of events for the weekend. One of the biggest events will be a shaving of the head as some of the Thunder players have decided to “bic it for Chris”. Chris Holmes, a member of the Thunder and die hard roller hockey player for several years, has recently been diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease and is fighting cancer. With the help of the fans and the heads of the Thunder, donations will be accepted for a shot with the clippers! The weekend is going to be not only exciting for PIHA, but also for everyone in Colorado Springs!