The Champs are here!!!!! Congratulations to Trojan Horse
The Champs with their warm up shirts in recognition of their championship.
Congratulations Cappy on winning the Playoff MVP award
In keeping the tradition all season long continuing, the Trojan player of the Finals is the entire Trojan Horse team. Anyone seen that damn Over-30 playoff curse monkey that used to be on Shawn's back?
The Oracle’s prophecy comes true Trojan Horse wins the championship and rescues Shawn Miville from that Over-30 playoff curse
Apparently it always pays off to say your prayers to the Hockey Gods. Trojan Horse knows this for a fact. After suffering all last year by not qualifying for the playoffs, and as a result taking a lot of heckling for it, captain Jim Barber not only qualified for the playoffs but won the whole damn thing (Jim has now won 5 out of the last 9 Over-30 championships). As the longest active tenured Over-30 player who has not won a championship, Shawn Miville can now kick that curse designation in the ass and boot it out of his hockey life forever after going a previous 8 seasons without that championship jacket. After a wild first period that saw seven goals scored by both teams combined, Trojan Horse held on for a hard earned 5 – 4 victory over the Blues Brothers.
Usually, the first period of any Finals is played at a conservative pace with both teams feeling each other out and players unwilling to make any plays that may result in turnovers and lead to goals. Not these Finals. To sum up the first period, it was a wide open shoot everything type of period where both goalies struggled early and often, unable to make that key save or keep the brief lead for their teams. To put the first period into perspective, when one team scored, less than a minute later, the other team would match that! A combined total of twenty-five shots were taken by both teams resulting in seven goals scored.
Halfway through the first period, who else but Shawn Miville took a breakout pass from Mike Delorey down the left wing and after originally misfiring on his shot, Shawn released it at the top of the circle into the top corner short side (a sniper shot!) giving his Trojan Horse team the early lead. Not fazed by the goal, Blues Brothers amped up their running fore checking game which paid off a minute later, as Tim Hickey converted a pass from Mike Luise and Todd Bryson out front evening the score. Two minutes after that, Tim was perfectly positioned to tip the point shot by Jason Glista giving his Blues Brothers team the lead (even Tim admitted his surprise at tipping this shot). Just over thirty seconds later and with two minutes to play in the period, Trojan Horse kept shooting and scored the next three goals in a span of a minute and a half. First, Angelo Deluca pounced on a defensive turnover at the top of the right circle and buried an unassisted goal to the low far corner. This was followed forty-nine seconds later by a clearing attempt by Blues Brothers not getting out and Walter Maslak sending the ball back to Mike Surette at the left point, whose wrist shot found the back of the net (you really think that Big Mike scored on a slap shot?). With thirty seconds to play, Rick Cassano (Mr. Paisan himself) converted the rebound of a Steve Iacoviello point shot to give his Trojan Horse team a commanding two goal lead. It was at this point of the game that this reporter thought Trojan Horse made a bad non-in game adjustment as they did not change up their defense and put Cappy out for the ensuing faceoff. As a result, Blues Brothers attacked off the faceoff and crashed the net that resulted in a game changing goal only thirteen seconds later as Todd Bryson cashed in the rebound of shots from Tim Hickey and Dave Costa. Finally, after this goal scoring barrage, the period came to an end and both goalies got a chance to catch their breath and re-focus their attention. At the end of the first period, Trojan Horse held a 14 – 11 edge in shots and more importantly a 4 – 3 lead in the game.
With new found momentum in the second period, Blues Brothers was now firing on all cylinders as both lines were running and fore checking hard. The game’s momentum had definitely switched over into their favor as Trojan Horse started making mistakes from the constant fore checking and running game. Just over a minute and a half into the second period, Dave Costa made a heads up play in joining the offensive rush as he was sent in by Tim Hickey and Dave converted in close, once again tying the game up. It was at this point that both teams recognized they had to tighten up their team defense, especially in the middle of the rink. Trojan Horse kept firing away on offense and had a decided edge in shots taken, as the game settled back into a defensive back and forth contest. Halfway through the period, a seemingly harmless shot by Steve Iacoviello from the point had eyes as it went past a few players and found the back of the net as Trojan Horse regained the lead. At the end of two periods, Trojan Horse led this game at 5 - 4 and was outshooting Blues Brothers by a 28 – 19 in shots.
Entering the third period, both goalies had settled in and the game took on a different pace. The offensive onslaught by both teams was a thing of the past. Blues Brothers had an edge in play and shots but the focus shifted to which team was making the heads up thinking plays and making the small adjustments needed. The goalies and defense started to take over this game. As expected, Blues Brothers had shortened their bench to generate more scoring opportunities, while Trojan Horse stayed the course and kept rolling fresh bodies over the boards. What became apparent is that Blues Brothers second line was getting good looks at the net, while the first line of Blues Brothers was being kept off the scoreboard. It was a key strategy by Trojan Horse that went a long way in determining the outcome of this game. Two late period penalties against Trojan Horse added some drama but you could clearly see that Blues Brothers was running out of gas and had given everything they had up until this point. Some players on both teams were clearly gassed and the clock had become the focus for both teams. Blues Brothers pressed and tried making plays, but Trojan Horse kept countering with the heads up smart plays to get the ball out of their zone and let the clock work in their favor. The final score ended up being 5 – 4 in favor of Trojan Horse, as they finished with a 36 – 30 in shots taken.
On the way to the Finals, Trojan Horse was the most consistent team this season finishing with 9 wins and after a loss, put together two winning streaks of 5-games and 4-games. In their semi-final game, their offense was just too much for Maybe One as they won easily by the score of 4 – 1 with Nicky Romano scoring 2-goals. For Blues Brothers, they started out very strong, had a tough three game stretch in the middle of the season and then finished strong. In their semi-final game, it took double overtime before Dave Costa playing ironman minutes, scored the game winner against Fool’s Gold, coming back from a third period two-goal deficit, winning the game 3 - 2.
For his efforts throughout the entire playoffs, in a unanimous choice by the voters, Cappy was named the Playoff MVP. This was Cappy’s first-ever Playoff MVP award. Throughout the playoffs, Cappy epitomized what the term “Shutdown Defenseman” meant. As the playoffs moved on, it became apparent that if you were an opposing player, you just did not attack Cappy’s side of the rink; as soon as you got into his defensive zone, the ball was right back out of danger. Even though Cappy may not have seen his name on the playoff scoring sheets; it just goes to show you that you can make an impact in so many other ways that don’t always get the recognition.
Congratulations to Captain Jim Barber who moved into a tie for fourth place overall in championships won with 9, including his current streak of 5 of the last 9 championships.
Congratulations to Nicky Romano on winning his seventh championship to go along with passing the pink stick bag challenge. Talk about hitting the daily double!
Congratulations to Shawn Miville on winning his first-ever long overdue championship jacket.
As a team, congratulations to Trojan Horse for their winter 2017 championship, whose players include: Captain Jim Barber, Shawn Miville, Walter Maslak, Nick Romano, Angelo Deluca, Rick Cassano, Umberto Biancardi, Cappy, Mike Surette, Steve Iacoviello, Mike Delorey and goalie Scott Rosato.
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