Team Blue: Minor League Champions

Written by Roller Player. Posted in PIHA, Premier Leagues

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Team Blue: Minor League Champions

Published on February 26, 2010 with No Comments

Team Blue flew into Colorado knowing they would have a minimum of five games and a maximum of eight games to play in a two day span. As it would turn out, the team would need to use all eight games to claim the team’s first league championship in just their first season in the league. First up for Team Blue was the best of three semifinal matchup against the Western Conference’s top ranked Littleton Fire. Game 1 was an intense game where both teams had several opportunities, but stellar goaltending kept the score low. The Fire outlasted Team Blue and took the game 2-1. Realizing the Fire was a very talented group, Team Blue collected themselves and came out strong in game two. After Team Blue jumped out to an early lead, the young Fire team took several penalties. Team Blue took advantage of their power play opportunities. The Fire then lost their cool and had two players and a coach ejected for unsportsmanlike penalties. The final in game two would be Team Blue 5 and Fire 0. Game 3 was a battle. The Fire came back very strong and led for much of the game. Team Blue stayed close, but it seemed as though whenever they tied the score, the Fire would capitalize and regain the lead. With just under two minutes remaining, Nate Klusewitz scored for Team Blue to tie the game. Overtime was needed to decide game three. Less than two minutes into overtime, Chris Lerch rushed the puck up the boards and into the Fire zone where he shot the puck through the goalie’s five hole. Team Blue won the game 5-4, and earned a spot in the championship against the number one team from the Eastern Conference, the Suffolk Sting. BFN5FJ6AHEZQ

The Sting and Team Blue met twice during the regular season. The Sting took both games in hard fought battles. The PIHA Championships would be a different story. Game 1 of the championship went to overtime, and the Sting eventually won, despite Team Blue’s numerous opportunities in the overtime. With both teams having played several games already that day, it was obvious that game four would be won by the team in better shape. Team Blue came out hungry, and skated hard for both 10 minute halves to take a convincing 5-1 win. This was the Sting’s first loss of the season. Games 3, 4, and 5 would be the next morning. Sunday morning brought game three of the minor championship. Again, it was the Sting out playing Team Blue and taking the game 4-2. Knowing if they lost one more game they would lose the championship, Team Blue buckled down and played a great game to win game four 3-1. The series was tied at two, and the winner of game five would be named the 2009-2010 PIHA Minor Division Champion. The Sting took a 1-0 lead on a shorthanded goal, but would not be able to score again as Team Blue goalie Joe DiNapoli played an amazing game. Team Blue also scored in the first half on a one-timer power play goal by Colt Solliday. The score going into the second half of the game was 1-1. The second half was all Team Blue as Nate Klusewitz scored on the power play to give Team Blue a 2-1 lead. Chris Lerch would then lock things up with a goal to make the score 3-1. A costly 5 minute penalty on the Sting in the last four minutes of the game ended any chances the Sting had at making a come back. Team Blue won the game, and the championship with the 3-1 win.

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