This past weekend, the 2018 Spring Teaser took place over at Ball Hockey International (BHi) St. Catharines, and it was definitely an event to get excited about. As we outlined in our Spring Teaser Preview, there were several teams in both the Barn and Intermediate divisions that we knew would be putting on a show. We were looking forward to what the Lincoln Blades would be bringing to the Barn division. We’ve witnessed them play some excellent games over the last couple months and wondered if they could keep their streak alive.
As far as the Intermediate division was concerned, we figured the first-place spot could go in any number of directions. There were a few Hamilton teams that we thought could make the move and win first place in the championship, but with heavy-hitters like the Gulls in attendance, there was definitely a chance that the first-place spot would go back to London as well.
At Stick Skillz, we’re not averse to unexpected outcomes in the world of ball hockey, so we were ready to expect the unexpected out of this tournament. Were our predictions correct, or were we taken by surprise? Read on for our full wrap-up of the 2018 Spring Teaser.
We were impressed right out of the gate with the Lincoln Blades’ performance during their game against the Cherry Picker Rebels. As we pointed out in our preview, we were going to be keeping an eye on the Cherry Pickers, but the Blades managed to win the game handily with a score of 6-2. Being that the Cherry Picker Rebels are comprised of quite a few players who were competing in an adult tournament for the first time, it makes sense that they would need bit to shake the rust off. The Blades would keep it going however, winning their next game against the Perth County Golden Seals with a score of 6-4, and their final game of the round robin against the Hamilton Hawks, albeit with a much closer score of 3-2. The Lincoln Blades did not disappoint during the Semi-Finals either, coming out on top in their game against the Hamilton Ducks with another close score of 2-1, moving them into the Barn A Championship game against the Violent Femmes.
The Steal City Vikings had quite an interesting showing during the tournament. Despite their impressive performance, they couldn’t seem to catch a break during the round robin. After a scoreless first game against the Violent Femmes, and a tie-score of 3-3 against the Bandits, they tied again against BDB in another game that ended in a score of 3-3.
Finally, the Steal City Vikings managed to eek out a win against Iceman with a score of 5-4, scoring the final goal in the last second of overtime. The Vikings won again during their semi-final match against the Hamilton Knights. There was quite a bit of back and forth during the first period of this game, but the Vikings were finally able to score a goal during the second, and refused to let that momentum go, winning the game with a score of 4-1. This would move them into the Barn B Championship game to face off once again against the Bandits.
The Steal City Vikings managed to win their Championship game against the Bandits relatively easily. They came out fast and furious during the first period, scoring two goals to the Bandits’ one. In the second period, the Vikings went off on a tear, scoring four more goals. Credit must be given to the Bandits though. They didn’t give up right until the end, scoring their second and final goal in the last minute of the game. They couldn’t keep up with the Vikings, though, who scored once more in the third period, and won the Barn B Championship game with a final score of 7-2.
The Barn A Championship game was quite a bit closer, though much less score-heavy. The Lincoln Blades and Violent Femmes both wanted to take home first place, and as a result, there was quite a bit of back and forth. However, the Blades managed to score a goal during the first period and hold onto that 1-0 lead for the remainder of the game. No matter how hard the Femmes fought, the Blades weren’t letting anything in, winning them the Barn A Championship with a score of 1-0.
Congratulations to the Blades and Vikings for taking first in their respective divisions. Congratulations to the Violent Femmes and Bandits as well for placing second in their pool. The full standings for the Barn Division can be found right here.
We were really looking forward to seeing how the Hamilton Outlaws would perform at an intermediate level for the second time, but unfortunately, they had to drop out at the last minute. They were replaced by Marvel, who ended up being the team to watch during the Intermediate games. They won their first game against the Hamilton Lightning with a score of 1-0 but didn’t fare so well against the London Gulls during their second game, losing with a score of 4-0. In an act of redemption, Marvel was able to come back against the London Throwbacks in the final game of the round robin with a score of 4-0, which would move them into the Semi-Final game against Nightmare.
Nightmare had a decent showing up to the Semi-Finals, winning against both the London Gulls with a score of 1-0, and the Throwbacks with an impressive 8-2 score. They couldn’t keep up during their Semi-Final game against Marvel however, who ended up winning with a solid score of 5-1. This victory would move Marvel into the championship game against either the London Gulls or the Reapers.
The Gulls and Reapers game seemed one-sided right away, with the Reapers scoring four goals during the first period. The Gulls looked like they might be able to make up some ground when they scored two goals during the second, but it wasn’t enough to cover the deficit, as the Reapers would score twice more in the third. With two London teams facing off in the Semi-Finals, some hometown pride comes along with a victory. The Gulls fought to the end, but the Reapers ended up winning, and moving on to the Championship game with a score of 6-3.
The Final game of the Intermediate division was a tense one. It was defensive, low scoring, and heated. The first period in particular was riddled with tension, as it was impossible to tell who had an edge or who might end up winning the game. By the end of the period, neither team had managed to successfully score a goal. It wasn’t for several minutes into the second period that anyone got up on the scoreboard. Finally, Marvel took the lead, relieving some of the spectators’ tension. The relief wouldn’t last long though, as the Reapers came right back and answered with a goal of their own, tying the game back up. The game remained at a tie for a good chunk of the third period as well. It wasn’t until the final three minutes of the game that Marvel scored again, and the Reapers weren’t able to recover. This meant that Marvel, a late addition to the tournament, would be taking home the first-place title.
We can’t feel too bad about not predicting that Marvel would take home first place. After all, we didn’t know that they were going to be competing until right before the tournament got started. We did figure that one of the London teams would stand a pretty good chance at taking the title though, so we’re going to take a mulligan on this one. Congratulations to Marvel for claiming the first-place spot, and to the Reapers for placing second. Some excellent games of ball hockey were played this weekend. The full list of standings can be found right here.
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