In only their first year of professional inline hockey, the Detroit Revolution PRO and AAA teams captured their division and championships in each of their divisions!
Detroit Revolution PRO
The Detroit Revolution PRO team is led by Captain Jarret Samp, and Assistant Captain John Parrish. The roster is comprised of Nicholas Smolinski, Derek Ciminelli, Nicolai Puscus, Todd Orlando, Greg Smith, Robbie Archer, Mike Debrabander, Rick Debrabander, and Eddie Studzinski as skaters. Starting Goaltender for Revolution PRO is Matt Field, and is backed up by the AAA MVP, Ryan Ramsden.
Quarterfinals – Detroit Revolution vs Michigan Thunder
Detroit Revolution Pro would first take on the Michigan Thunder, out of Cedar Springs Michigan. Strong play by the Detroit Revolution would lead to a 7-2 win in the quarterfinals, and would advance to the Semi finals against the South Division winners, the South Carolina Buccaneers. Greg Smith and Robbie Archer would combine for 3 goals and 3 assists between the two of them.
Semifinals – Detroit Revolution vs South Carolina Buccaneers
The Detroit Revolution would get it’s first crack at the South Carolina team all year as the battle for the final spot in the Championship Series solely rested on the winner of this game.
The South Carolina team is an older team comprised of former ice hockey minor players including the IHL, AHL, and ECHL leagues. They are built and designed for physicality and griding in mind. The Detroit Revolution would have a tough time against a team that was determined to out hit and out work the Revolution.
In the first quarter, it was made very apparent right at the start of the game that the Detroit Revolution would be sought after physically. The first 8 minutes of the game showed the patience and discipline the Revolution needed to frustrate the South Carolina players into taking unnecessary penalties. In the first 8 minutes alone, the South Carolina buccaneers would give the Revolution 6 minutes of power play time, which would result in 4 power play goals for the Revolution. Captain Jarret Samp would prove to be the leader in the power play unit, scoring multiple goals on the power play throughout the game, but not without assistance from Mike Debrabander, John Parrish, and Derek Ciminelli on the power play unit.
The frustration for the South Carolina squad would only continue throughout the game, as the speed and dicipline of the Revolution would prove to be the key component to keeping South Carolina out of contention for the MLRH Championships. Eddie Studzinski, former Lindenwood College player, would break wide on a Buccaneer’s defenseman only to be viciously slashed to the upper arm, which drew a Major penalty for Slashing. Detroit would convert once again on the power play to extend their lead over the Buccaneers.
In the final period of play, Buccs player Joey Leccese would end up taking a penalty with approximately 10 minutes left to play, with the Revolution leading 9-2. Leccese, who had repeatedly attempted to fight or confront Revolution’s Todd Orlando and Rick Debrabander, was told to leave the floor and was ejected. Leccese refused, and officials were busy dealing with the situation on the floor. The Detroit Revolution players would return to the bench area and discuss game plans for the remaining 10 minutes. Assistant Captain John Parrish was then jabbed from behind out of nowhere by Bucc’s player Darren Anderson, which only prompted more action by the officials. After the game, Bucc’s General Manager, Doug Jones, apologized to Detroit for Anderson’s actions.
The game would be called with 10 minutes remaining and the Detroit Revolution would then move on to the best-of-three championship series between the Chicago Rollersnakes.
Championship Series, Detroit Revolution vs Chicago Rollersnakes
Finally, the Detroit Revolution made it to the championship series for the title of National Champion of Major League Roller Hockey, and $10,000 dollars. The Chicago Rollersnakes had frustrated the Revolution with suprerior play late in the season, and earned the first place seed into the playoffs. Detroit knew coming into this game that the first game would greatly set the tone for the championship.
Coming off of 2 wins the day before, the Detroit Revolution looked like the team they were in the beginning of the season against Chicago. Revolution came out strong against the Chicago Rollersnakes, but Chicago would not go away. In the last period, Chicago would only trail by one, as the score remain 5-4. Strong play from Matt Field in net and excellent defense by Nicolai Puscus and Todd Orlando would defend the lead from the offensive attempts from Chicago. Captain John Parrish would walk away from the game with the game winning goal as the Revolution win the crucial game one, 6-4. Key plays by Derek Ciminelli, Rick Debrabander, Nicolai Puscus and Nick Smolnski help in this game. Mike Debrabander with 3 assists in the game, and Eddie Studzinski with a goal and 2 assists in the game would help the Revolution PRO take a 1 game lead on Chicago.
Then the $10,000 Championship game started, which proved to be an extremely intense game of inline hockey for both squads. Detroit would go down early 1-0 with a goal by Chicago’s Sean Kersey. The Detroit Revolution bench erupted and refused to lose now. A reply from Captain Jarret Samp would tie the game 1-1. Shortly thereafter, the small speedy forward Nick Smolinski would take a slapshot from the outside circle that rung off the post and went into the net, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead. Sean Kersey would score again and the first period would end deadlocked, 2-2.
In the second quarter, Eddie Studzinski would take the puck from behind his own net and shoot a backhand that scored that would give the Detroit Revolution the lead, 3-2. Play would continue and with 2:41 left in the 3rd quarter, Detroit once again found themselves holding off a one goal lead, 5-4.
The final quarter of play would be the most intense period of hockey seen all year by the Detroit Revolution. After a penalty was assessed to the Detroit Revolution, the Chicago Rollersnakes would appear to have a legitimate chance to tie the game 5-5. The superb work of the Detroit Revolution Penalty Kill unit, compromised of Nick Smolnski, Nicolai Puscus and Todd Orlando would prove too deadly, as Nick Smolnski would score an absolutely crucial short handed goal that put the Detroit Revolution up 6-4.
It was then that the momentum of the Revolution would prove entirely too strong for Chicago to handle, and it was all Revolution from that point forward. Great puck control throughout the whole team and excellent goaltending from Matt Field would prevent Chicago from controlling the puck. Most noticeably in this moment was the play of Derek Ciminelli, who was working 110% of his effort the whole weekend. Derek handled the puck and controlled the entire game like a pro, and really showcased his skill when he executed a full speed Michigan move from behindthe net with no effort at all. This goal proved to be the nail in the coffin for the Chicago Rollersnakes.
The final score of 10-6 marked the Detroit Revolution’s first ever Professional Championship in the United States. Comissioner of the league Doug Jones presented the Trophy to Captain John Parrish and the team then celebrated their $10,000 win at the local restaraunt down the street!
The team received their prize money and distributed it amongst the players.
In the AAA division, Detroit also narrowly beat the Chicago Rollersnakes 4 – 3 for the league championship. Both teams were comprised of mostly “pro” players. Derek Ciminelli got the game winner.
In AA, The DC Filibusters won the division as they had jumped out to a 5 – 1 lead only to see the Chicago Rollersnakes, who upset Detroit in the semi-finals, battle back to make it 5 – 4. The buzzer sounded and we ended up with DC as the champions.
Don’t forget Pro Summer tour with Slamm hockey is coming!