It was an exciting 2 days of action in semi-final week 3 with 3 out of 4 spots in the semi-finals still up for grabs. The week started with an epic match-up between the top 2 seeds in Pool B between White and Rouge with just one spot in the semis available. In the end White prevailed in the winner take all game 3-1 and clinched 2nd spot in pool B. In the late game we had Yellow, who had already wrapped up 1st place in Pool B, resting many of their starters and losing a close 7-6 game to Black who though already eliminated from semi-final contention did what not many teams get to do and end their season on a winning note.
There was plenty on the line in Thursdays Pool A games as no team had yet clinched a spot in the semis or been mathematically eliminated so all 4 teams had high hopes of continuing their season beyond the final week of the round robin. The early game between Teal and Green featured the top 2 scorers from both the regular season and so far in the playoffs in Reggie Goodfellow and Sean Brokop so of course the game turned out to be a low scoring, close, tight checking 2-2 tie. The tie was as good as a win for Green as it clinched 1st place in Pool A for them while temporarily moving Teal into sole possession of 2nd spot and eliminating Blue from semi-final contention before their game with Orange began. In the final game of the round robin underdog Orange, who finished the regular season in last place continued their Cinderella playoff run by coming away with a 2-0 win against Blue locking up 2nd place in Pool A which also eliminated 1st overall Teal from the playoffs.
The semi-finals are now set for next Wednesday March 21st. Unlike last year where the semis were pure chalk with the top 4 teams from the regular season advancing, the early game will feature one of the unlikeliest match-ups possible as the 6th and 8th place teams from the regular season face off as Yellow takes on Orange. The late game sees 2nd overall White taking on 4th overall Green for the 4th time this season with Green winning the first two games of the season series and White winning the last. Should be two barn burners!
There will be not much time to rest or bask in the glory of their wins for the winners of the semi-finals as the finals are set to go the next day, Thursday March 22nd at 5pm. The windup will follow immediately after the final at Winn City Pub at 635 Pembina Hwy (Pembina and Grant). The windup will feature pizza from Papa John's, great door prizes (sticks, GWLHL apparel, and Labatt swag) and of course, beer. Hope to see you all there!
In the event either semi-final game ends in a tie here are the overtime and shootout rules for the semi-finals (same as last year):
1. The format for overtime will be a 3 on 3, sudden death.
2. The overtime period will be stop time, and a maximum of five (5) minutes long if no team scores.
3. Be ready to play immediately after regulation time because we want to get overtime going as soon as possible. Any team attempting to delay the start of overtime may be assessed a Minor penalty for Delay of Game.
4. Normal player changes will be allowed on the fly and at stoppages.
5. If a penalty occurs in overtime (or if there is an unexpired penalty carried over from the third period) the non-offending Team will play with 4 skaters and a Goaltender, and the offending Team will play with 3 skaters and a Goaltender. When the offending Team’s penalty expires, the penalized Player is permitted to rejoin the play which may result in temporary 4 on 4 play. At the first stoppage following the expiration of the penalty, Teams will revert back to 3 skaters and a Goaltender.
6. If the game is still tied at the end of the five (5) minutes, then a shoot-out will occur.
Should the game remain tied following the conclusion of the overtime period, a shoot-out will be conducted to determine a winner. For the shoot-out, the following rules/items will be applicable:
1. Goalies will both use/defend the same net (use net nearest fan viewing area)
2. 3 shooters per Team (team with most goals after 3 shooters wins)
3. Any penalty in the overtime period, that has not expired, will eliminate the penalized player from shoot-out participation.
4. Winner of coin flip gets choice to shoot first or shoot last.
5. Once a Player has shot, they shall move to the side of the rink opposite the Players’ bench.
6. Referees use Hockey Canada/USA Hockey procedures for penalty shot.
7. If the game remains tied following the first three shooters, a sudden death shoot-out will decide the game winner (i.e. one Team scores, the other does not). Every eligible Player on must shoot once before any player on that team can shoot again.
8. In cases of an extended shoot-out and the number of shooters on each team is not equal, the following would apply….. Once all players on the team with the least amount of players have shot once, and the game is still tied, the players on that team are eligible to shoot again. Once players on one team start taking their 2nd shots, then the players on the other team can start taking their 2nd shots too (this means some players on a team that has more players than their opponents team may not end up shooting at all).