As expected, the teams predicted to finish at the top of the standings got off to a good start. Well, most of them anyway.
Reigning champions Linköping HC (4-0-0) began their ECL 10 journey with a bit of a scare as their initial opponent, German powerhouse Brayce Phantoms, came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game and nearly took home the opening game in overtime. However, LHC’s designated goalscorer Paul @PleeMaker Arontie stepped up and made sure to secure the win. Lifted by the opening win, the team came out and secured a second one as well. Momentum is certainly a thing in hockey and judging by how LHC leveraged their opening wins into their second matchup versus one of their top competitors, it seems to be a thing in its virtual counterpart as well. Consensus top-4 team hReds didn’t know what hit them until it was too late as LHC, for lack of a better word, crushed the recent Pro champion to the tune of 7-0 and 5-1 wins. With 16 points each through the opening four games, PleeMaker (9+7) and partner-in-crime Erik @Eki Tammenpää (7+9) are right at the top of the leaderboards for player statistics.
Sitting just above the LHC forwards, notorious HAVU duo Tuukka @FlyerKungen Kuha with 23 points (11+12) and Risto @Dominointi Järvi with 18 points (6+12). With stats like that, it’s no surprise really to learn HAVU Gaming also opened their season with a perfect record at 6-0-0. The foes vanquished were Vesa Pompa, Almost Famous and Unlucky Boys and the opening week included dominant wins of 8-0 (vs. aF) and 7-1 (vs. UB).
Only three teams remain undefeated in the league (not counting Färjestad BK who have yet to open their season) with the third outside of LHC and HAVU being new esport signee JYP Jyvaskyla (4-0-0). Led by powerful left winger Kristian @kriketski17 Veijola and his 12 points (7+5), the team has defeated Unlucky Boys HC twice in overtime and GHETTO FIREBIRDS twice – one win coming in overtime. Even if the wins haven’t come with the dominance or flair one might have expected from JYP, opening the season with a perfect record can never be anything less than a good start.
The fourth team among the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”, hReds, hasn’t come out of the gates roaring like the other three. Disappointing losses to LHC aside, the team suffered overtime losses to SJ Gaming (3-4) and KOVA Esports (0-1) and have gone 2-2-2 to open their inaugural season in ECL Elite.
Coincidentally, SJ Gaming (4-2-0) and KOVA Esports (3-1-0) are two of the teams to have the best openings beyond the unbeaten trio. Albeit early, Checkmate (2-0-2) also deserves a mention here as the points they collected was enough to put them in 6th with the first week completed.
At the bottom of the standings we find Färjestad BK (yet to play), Luleå Hockey (0-1-1), Unlucky Boys (0-2-2) and Vesa Pompa HC (1-3-0).
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
In Thursdays matchup between Linköping HC and hREDS, @PleeMaker delivered this outstanding goal, which we name the performance of thew week.
FORWARD OF THE WEEK
Tuukka @FlyerKungen Kuha, HAVU Gaming
With 11 goals, 12 assist and 23 points in just six games and a five-point lead clear of the second best skater, how could this go to anyone other than the captain of HAVU Gaming? FlyerKungen continues to cement his status as the premiere point-producer in EASHL 6v6 competition right now.
DEFENDER OF THE WEEK
Aleksi @loimmu Loimuvirta, Linköping HC
No other defender has scored more than one goal thus far this season, whereas loimmu has already lit the lamp three times. Add five assists to that and you get a phenomenal start for a defender with 8 points (3+5) through 4 games.
GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK
Alex @MonkeyHeadAF Falck, KOVA Esports
Making his ECL Elite debut, MonkeyHeadAF hasn’t looked out of place at all. In fact, he’s been one of KOVA’s top performers as the team got off to a solid start (3-1-0) this season. With two shutouts, a save percentage of 87,5 % and 1,25 goals allowed per game, MonkeyHeadAF has certainly made his mark on the young season.