The article below was copied from the PIHA Website. Remember, all games can be seen live on www.justin.tv/piha.
St. Louis, MO - Two teams are left and the Founders Cup is primed and ready to be handed to the 2008-2009 PIHA Champions. After a long 32 game season that stretched from the fall of 2008 until now, the East and West are represented by new and veteran teams in the finals. The Connecticut Blaze are headed to St. Louis as Eastern Conference Champs again this season after dropping the final game of last year’s PIHA finals, while the Western Conference Champion Colorado Springs Thunder head east to the Arch for their first bid at the Founders Cup.
The Thunder is having one of the best seasons in PIHA history and come into the seven game series at 38-2. They make the trip to St. Louis after a series win over a very talented St. Louis Cobras team that was the tops in arguably the best all around division in PIHA. The Rocky Mountain Division is littered with great players but three of the best will be on the Thunder roster over the weekend. Brian Yingling, Mike Ciolli, and CJ Yoder all have played for many Team USA’s and won their share of gold medals. They have been at the top of the leader boards in just about every PIHA scoring category this season and will obviously need to be slowed down for the Blaze to head home with the trophy. Thunder netminder, Dan Lamb has also been a solid backstop this season and continued his great play during the Conference Finals in Colorado Springs.
The Thunder are heading out of their friendly confines at beautiful Tour Arena where they have averaged over 250 fans at each home game and surpassed 750 total in attendance during the Cobras’ series. “We have fed off our home crowd all through the playoffs and it will be a test for our guys to be ready in a different environment. Since it is the finals, I do not see any reason for the boys not to be ready to go on Friday night,” said Thunder GM/Head Coach Dave Needham.
PIHA’s Eastern Conference Champions, the Connecticut Blaze also have put together a great run into the finals. With sweeps of division leading Suffolk Sting and Mason Dixon Division winners Harrisburg Lunatics, the Blaze will join the Thunder in the Gateway city on a tear. This team feeds off of the Ovechkin like enthusiasm for the game that John Pinhero brings to the rink. Pinhero leads the team by almost double in points and seems to play 22 minutes of a 24 minute game. Although an obvious key to the Blaze success, the veteran leadership of Goulet, Interbartolo, and McGeown is also a huge part of the Connecticut team. The Blaze roll into the finals with a record of 24-11 which includes an unbeaten 5-0 record in the ’09 playoffs.
The Professional Inline Hockey Association looks forward to its 8th Founders Cup Finals and is excited about its future. “We feel we’ve chosen a prime place in Midwest Sports Arena for the finals and our end of the season. The Blaze and the Thunder will be well taken care of while they are here in St. Louis and these two teams should make for some great hockey,” says PIHA founder, Charley Yoder. All of the Finals will be LIVE on the web at www.justin.tv/piha. Game times are as follows:
Friday, May 29 @ Midwest Sports Arena in St. Louis, Mo
Game #1 @ 7:30pm
Game #2 @ 8:30pm
Saturday, May 30
Game #3 @ 7:30pm
Game #4 @ 8:30pm
Sunday, May 31 (all Sunday’s games are if necessary)
Game #5 @ 12:00pm
Game #6 @ 1:00pm
Game #7 @ 2:00pm