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Woeful Winter Wednesday Weather

The longest ever draft league season happened over the winter as season 26 lasted 7 months from Dec 11th until June 11th. The 1st playoff matchup was between Howell'n at the Moon and Thanks Bob. TB got on the board first with a late 1st period goal by Mercurio. The game stayed that way until the finals seconds of the 2nd period when Mahtesian beat the clock with a goal with just 2 seconds left on the clock. The teams played a scoreless 3rd as keepers Howell and Bender turned away every scoring chance. The game went to OT where it didn't last very long as just 3 minutes into the extra frame Claude blasted home the game winner to send his team into the next round. Another tremendous game followed as Old Yellers took on Jerry and Silent Bob. OY's scored a minute into the game on a goal from Quinn. Another goal by Nevano gave OY's a 2-0 lead after the 1st. J@SB cut the lead in half on a goal from Holtzman to trail by only a goal heading into the 3rd. Barbarash restored his team's 2 goal lead just a minute into the 3rd. J@SB's Keeler scored a minute after and Heintz tied the game up for his team halfway through the 3rd. Neither team could score again another game headed into OT. Both teams were turned away by Owens and Makowsky and the game had to unfortunately go to OT as per 1st round rules. Only Wozny scored for OY's and J@SB had tallies from Keeler and Yurkus to win this great game. The 3rd game of the night featured Hebrew Nationals versus a very short handed Rob Ford's Henchmen. RFH were without their top pick Young, early pick Bernstein and captain/keeper MacQuarrie and it really showed. HN's scored 1st just 5 minutes into the game on a goal from Wilt. The game was very defensive and stayed 1-0 until late in the game when Wilt struck again with just 2 minutes left for the 2-0 final as Bailey pitched a shutout for the win. The last game of the night has Clark and Dunn, LLP against Guess What Day It Is in another tight battle. GWDII scored 1st on a goal by Hines halfway through the 1st. C@D's R. McDonough got his team even a few minutes later before Evans made the score 2-1 for GWDII with just a few minutes left in the period. O'keefe scored for C@D to tie the game at 2 early in the 2nd and Hines restored his team's lead with another halfway through the 2nd for a 3-2 lead going to the 3rd. Hawk tied the game up at 3 for C@D with 9 minutes left in the 3rd in this wide open affair. C@D's O'keefe struck again with just 4 minutes left in the game to give his team a 4-3 lead late. Two ENG's by Hawk and O'Keefe finished off this close game which was so close to yet another first round OT game. Four great games tonight in round 1 just proved the parity of this Draft League season after season.

The first semifinal game featured Clark and Dunn, LLP against Jerry and Silent Bob. J@SB were more than ready for this game as they jumped out of the game quickly with goals from Keeler (4 minutes in), Brachman (30 seconds after the 1st) and Heintz (2 minutes left) for a 3-0 lead late in the 1st. A goal from Leadston in the final minute attempted to turn the momentum for C@D heading into the 2nd. A PP goal from Bartels about halfway through the period tightened this game up quite a bit and the teams went to the 3rd 3-2. C@D sent the kitchen sink at J@SB but couldn't come up with the equalizer and bowed out of the playoffs with a tough 3-2 defeat. The 2nd game had Hebrew Nationals against Thanks Bob. TB got on the board first with a goal from Trzeciak from Byrd halfway through for a 1-0 lead after the 1st. HN's tied things up on a goal from Fiorello just 5 minutes into the 2nd for a 1-1 score heading into the 3rd. A skirmish between Mercurio and Skiavo lead to 4 on 4 hockey and HN's captain Popkin scored on a redirection of a shot from Teplitz to take a late lead with just 2 minutes remaining. Fiorello would add an empty netter for the 3-1 final.

The championship game featured last place Hebrew Nationals facing off against the 2nd seeded Jerry and Silent Bob. The teams played a scoreless 1st getting a feel for the each other before HN's Fiorello opened up the scoring a minute into the 2nd. HN's struck again 4 minutes into the 2nd on a goal by Houston for a 2-0 lead. J@SB's captain Heintz cut the lead in half a little over halfway through the 2nd to send the game into the 3rd 2-1. J@SB's Holtzman tied the game up just 4 minutes into the 3rd. HN's captain Popkin somehow banged in a bad angled shot on Makowsky with 5 minutes left in the 3rd to give his team the lead. With Jimmy Payne having his 1st Draft League Cup finally within reach Mother Nature decided to wreak havoc on this WED night league once again and the rest of the game had to be rescheduled due to a massive rainstorm with just 4:09 to play in the game. When the game resumed a week later Payne Train was unable to be present so the team had to try to finish off this Championship without him which they did as Fiorello added not 1 but 2 ENG's in a row to finish this historically long season off finally with a hat trick. Congrats to playoff MVP Ben Fiorello of HN's for being named playoff MVP, Wes Bailey, also of HN's, as MVG and Bob Heintz for being named MVF for J@SB. The largest congratulations goes out to Jimmy "Payne Train" Payne for finally getting that 1st coveted Draft League Championship after all of these years. Next up needs to be Milan Peich...

Congrats to the regular season leaders as well: Craig Turner of Howell'n at the Moon with 14 points, Chris Kalender of Rob Ford's Henchmen with 11 Goals, Mike Bender of Thanks Bob and George Ward of Guess What Day It Is both with 6 wins each and Mike Makowsky of Jerry and Silent Bob with a 2.00GAA. Good luck to everyone in Season 27 already underway and here's to hoping it lasts a few months less than the last.

Commish
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