XIHL Championship Location Announced
Here's a new press release from the XIHL.
XIHL ANNOUNCES LOCATION FOR CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Z-Rink the Setting as Four Founding Members Set to Battle for XIHL Championship!
The inaugural eXtreme Inline Hockey League (XIHL) Festival regular season has been completed and the match-ups for the play-offs have been set. The XIHL Championships are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, January 22 & 23, 2005. The XIHL is pleased to announce that the inaugural Championship Series will be held at the Z-Rink in Glastonbury, CT.
The Z-Rink is one of the premier multi-use facilities in the country. ‚??The Z-Rink has been home to many high-profile inline hockey events,‚?Ě said Steve Seeger, Commissioner of the XIHL. ‚??There are very few buildings in our region that match-up to this facility and we‚??re looking forward to show-casing the talent of our league in this wonderful setting.‚?Ě
The Z-Rink is located Glastonbury, CT, approximately 5 miles south of Hartford. The rink, consisting of an Athletica Board system with 6‚?? seamless glass, features a 185‚?? x 85‚?? SportCourt ATAK playing surface, full-size locker rooms with showers and a fully-stocked pro shop. The four-sided color scoreboard and climate-control system means fans can watch all the action in comfort.
On Saturday, January 22, the first place New Jersey Werewolves will take on the #4 seed Marple Gladiators at 6:00 PM, while the #2 seed Hartford Thunder will battle the #3 seed Garden State Ottakringer at 8:30 PM in the second game of the semi-final double-header. The winners of the two semi-final games will meet on Sunday for the XIHL Championship scheduled for 6:00 PM. Tickets for each day are $5.00 can be purchased at the rink on the day of the games.
There were two games left on the regular season scheduled for Sunday, January 2, 2005. The Garden State Ottakringer was scheduled to play the Philadelphia Sting and the Buffalo Wings was to travel to Bridgewater, NJ for a re-match against the New Jersey Werewolves. Because the league is operating under a Festival format and because the outcome of the game would not have effected the standings, the Ottakringer and the Sting agreed not to play the game.
However, even though it was a similar situation for the Wings/Werewolves game, New Jersey wanted the game played because they had promoted the highly anticipated re-match with the Wings in their home building. The Buffalo Wings failed to field a team for the game and as a result have been suspended by the league indefinitely.
#1 New Jersey Werewolves vs. #4 Marple Gladiators Preview:
The New Jersey Werewolves enter the playoffs as the #1 seed as a result of their 5-2 record and 10 points. Although the ‚??Wolves ended up with the same number of points as the Hartford Thunder (5-3, 10pts) and the teams split their season series (1-1), New Jersey won the tie-break with a +1 goal differential over the Thunder.
The Werewolves take on the Marple Gladiators (4-2, 8pts). The Gladiators finished in fourth place, losing the tie-break (0-1, -6 GD) to the Ottakringer (4-3, 8pts). However, Marple only played 6 games as a result of missing the Hartford Thunder Festival Weekend which opened the XIHL season. The Werewolves and Gladiators played each other only once during the regular season with the ‚??Wolves cruising to a 10-3 win.
What that means is the Werewolves shouldn‚??t take the Gladiators lightly. C.J. Yoder, recognized as one of the best players in the game today, finished in second place in scoring with 9 goals and 19 assists in only 6 games. The Glads are not a one-player wonder. Ron Tracy (9g, 10a in 5 games) and JD Davidson (10g, 8a in 6 games) finished 5th and 7th in league scoring respectively. Backstopping the Gladiators is veteran goalie, Jason Yocum who won all three of his games between the pipes with a 3.00 gaa and a .907 save percentage.
The New Jersey Werewolves didn‚??t finish in first place by accident. Their two losses came in their first and last games of the season and sandwiched a 5-game winning streak. Their key is balance with 8 players scoring in double-digits. One of the players to watch out for is Simon Egan. Egan, who was tied for the lead in team scoring with 16 points (11g, 5a), earned 5 of his goals in the ‚??Wolves last game against the Buffalo Wings in Buffalo. Egan also knows his way to the penalty box as he notched 15 pims in 5 games. New Jersey has not one outstanding goalie, but two as Joseph D‚??Aloisio and Matthew Cavender finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in goalie stats in the league. Both goalies split time in the nets for the ‚??Wolves and both had a gaa below 3.00.
#2 Hartford Thunder vs. #3 Garden State Ottakringer Preview:
Hartford and Garden State played twice during the regular season and the teams split the series. Hartford took the first game 11-2 early in the season, while the Ottakringer stole a close one from the Thunder at the last Festival Weekend by a score of 7-6.
The Hartford Thunder is a strong team looking to prove that they belong with the elite teams in the nation. The Thunder has a not-so-secret weapon in John Pinhiero. Pinhiero lead the lead in scoring with 18 goals and 16 assists in 8 games. Other Hartford players to look out for are Sean Connelly (11g, 4a ‚?? 15pts) and Terry Patsel (9g, 5a ‚?? 14 pts). Hartford can be a scrappy team with players like Anthony Giusto (27 pims) and John Luszcz (16 pims) making sure all challenges are met. Edgar Faria guards the crease for the Thunder and is the league‚??s top goalie. In three games, Faria finished with an amazing 0.82 gaa and a .967 save percentage and includes one shut-out.
The Garden State Ottakringer comes into the playoffs as one of the league‚??s hottest teams winning 4 of their last 5 games. The Elephants are another well-balanced team with 10 players scoring in double-digits. Chris Short (7g, 15a ‚?? 22pts), Sean Sullivan (11g, 9a ‚?? 20pts) and Bobby Beauchamp (14g, 5a ‚?? 19pts) are the ‚??Kringer‚??s top scorers finishing 3rd, 4th and 6th in league scoring respectively. Nickolas DiPaolo and Adam Fischer handle the goaltending duties for Garden State, while Rich Wooten (18 pims), Dave Mainardi (15 pims) and Chris Short (14 pims) provides the muscle.
For more information on the XIHL or the Championship series, visit the league's web site at <A HREF="http://www.xihl.com" target="_new">http://www.xihl.com</A> or contact the league's Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Benny Gulakiw by phone at (716) 491-2656 or by e-mail at mailto:[email protected][email protected]</A>. For more information about the Z-Rink or for directions to the facility, visit their web site at <A HREF="http://www.zrink.com" target="_new">http://www.zrink.com</A>.
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