The first round of the ECL 10 Lite playoffs is now finished. Sixteen pairs gave us an entertaining start for the playoffs this season and we've already witnessed some great teams such as SOPPAJENGI and NOVA exiting the tournament, which proves that the level of play in Lite is really high at the moment and any of the remaining teams have a real chance to win the cup.
For the sixteen teams that were beaten in the first round we want to say thank you and keep your heads up, you did a great job getting this far, and for the sixteen teams that will continue to the next round, congratulations! You are one step closer to the Pro promotions and the Lite finals.
It’s extremely hard to predict which of the teams will eventually advance but we will give you our best try. Obviously we also appreciate the community opinion so feel free to comment your favourite teams, players and the reason why you see them going through to the next round.
Let's refer to the rulebook for how our playoffs will commence:
5.6 ECL Lite Playoffs
In ECL Lite, the top 8 teams from each of the 4 groups will make the playoffs. Regarding the seeding however, we will be using the following system:
Group winners are seeded #1-4
Group runners-up #5-8
Teams that finished 3rd #9-12
Teams that finished 4th #13-16
Teams that finished 5th #17-20
Teams that finished 6th #21-24
Teams that finished 7th #25-28
Teams that finish 8th #29-32
Furthermore, the individual seeding of the teams will be in accordance with the tiebreakers mentioned in 11.3.
10.5.3 ECL Lite Playoff Schedule
- Playoffs Round 1: 12.5 -18.5
- Playoffs Round 2: 19.5 -25.5
- Quarterfinals: 26.5 -1.6
- Semifinals: 2.6 -8.6
- Finals: 9.6 -15.6
Here are the pairs for the second round of the ECL 10 Lite playoffs :
Sack Brothers were the best team in the regular season and continued their good form by beating HockeyProfessorn HC (32) by a series score of 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs. This extremely talented group is dangerous in the offensive zone but also consistent at the back end. Sack Brothers goalkeeper @mikeruud was also one of the best goalkeepers in the regular season with help from his defence so it’s going to be all but easy to win this team. However, Tic Tac Toes proved in the first round that they are ready to beat the favourites. They won sensational newcomers Piiraaka Osuus ja Nakki (8) in the first round with a score of 4-2 which surely gave them the confidence needed to challenge the main favourites as well. Tic Tac Toes have the experience of center @Artuzioand goalkeeper @Jiihooo86 that can be really valuable in the playoffs. The first round also proved that the less experienced players in the team have found the right level to compete in the playoffs so Sack Brothers will have to be at their best in every game if they want to keep winning and advance to the next round.
Key points to follow:
Sack Brothers demolishing attack against an inexperienced Tic Tac Toes defense: Can Tic Tac Toes find the way to stop Sack Brothers from scoring and if this happens, are Sack Brothers able to change their way of play to compensate for the situation.
Centers @Artuzio vs @luosttin: Faceoffs are really important in the playoffs where scoring can be really tough at times. Successful faceoff tactics in the offensive zone have won games many times especially in the OT periods. Both of these centers are used to winning their faceoffs so this could balance the odds a bit.
The main favourites against the challengers: Sack Brothers will start the series as a firm favourites which also builds pressure on their side. How can they handle the situation if Tic Tac Toes can take the lead in the series or stretch it all the way to the game seven?
Prediction: Sack Brothers have been convincing from the very start of the season to the first playoff round. Tic Tac Toes will give them a worthy opponent but the quality on the attack will win the series to Sack Brothers 4-1.
EBR eSports Official had a really good regular season where they won group 2 with an eight point difference to second placed Ducktales BK. They had no major problems in the first playoff round series against DIKTATUURI (31) that ended 4-1 to EBR eSports Officials favour. EBR likes to keep the puck possession but also shoot a lot which brings variation to their way of play. It may become important now when they are facing a different playstyle compared to their opposition in the first round. The teams point leader, right winger @Keuschemisch took a big role in the regular season and also helped his team with eight goals in five games in the first round of playoffs. Their opponents Old Farts represents one of the most physical teams in the playoffs this season. They had the second most hits of the teams that started the playoffs and especially team captain @Ankkalasvegas has been active in laying the body, which has also led him taking lots of penalties. In the first playoff round, Old Farts convincingly beat Saucer Hockey (12) with a sweep and especially new signing, right winger @farssine stood out for his team by scoring 8 of 14 goals that Old Farts netted against Saucer Hockey.
Key points to follow:
Physical gamestyle against puck possession: Can Old Farts mess their opponents gameplan up with their aggressive approach and will EBR eSports Official be able to use this to their advantage especially if they get a lot of time on powerplay?
Threat from the right wing: Both teams have the best scoring potential on their right wing. Which team can defend it better and which can overcome the situation. Both teams have also been swapping their left winger so the key to success could be to find the right player to the left side that can score when the right side is jammed.
Line-up choices: Both teams have quality players also in the reserves so it’s interesting to see which line-ups will be chosen if the change is needed.
Prediction: Even though EBR eSports Official had a great regular season and first round of the playoffs, Old Farts will give them a real challenge. Two very different kind of gamestyles will result the series going all the way to a game seven where eventually EBR eSports Official will end the series to their favour 4-3.
HV71 eSHL had a tough first playoff round against Speedy Bros (30) where three of the five games went to overtime. However HV71 eSHL managed to win the series 4-1 and continues their good form. The key aspect in HV71 eSHL's gamestyle is their excellent team defence. Only 35 goals in 30 games were scored against HV71 eSHL in the regular season and it’s also notable that the goalies @IsakTuvesson (Akoniaia) and @Waern26 (Waernn_) are sharing the playing time and they both have been in excellent form throughout the season. Experienced captain @Demski13 has been controlling the game at his center position and plays the key role in his teams success. HV71 eSHL will play against The UnderRated who won Suomen Sonnit (14) in the first round of the playoffs by 4-2. In the first round there were moments when The UnderRated had everything in control. The team likes to keep the puck in the offensive zone and challenge defenders one on one and passing for the perfect scoring position. Especially right winger @Psych0 wants to stay in control and draw the defenders toward himself, creating space for his teammates.
Key points to follow:
HV71 eSHL defence: Can The UnderRated find the way to break through the best defensive team in the division. Could the more direct way of play be the key to success or will the team trust their own strengths.
Captains: Both captains @Demski13and @Psych0 are hungry for success. They also play a key role for their teams so the eyes of the viewers and defenders should be on these guys. Both are also excellent in creating the game so marking only them won’t be enough.
Powerplay: The UnderRated had really poor powerplay in the regular season (5,17 PP%) compared to HV71 eSHL (28,57 PP%). Both teams are really good at penalty killing but it’s going to be really important to use the advantage of the powerplay in the series that isn’t expected to involve lots of goals.
Prediction: At certain moments The UnderRated can play really attractive hockey with puck moving and personal skills but against a team like HV71 eSHL they should be playing that game from the puck drop to the buzzer. HV71 eSHL's teamplay is the best in the division and I can’t see The UnderRated outplaying them. HV71 eSHL will win the series 4-2
Wow, what a matchup already at this stage! Powerhouse won a tough group 1 and managed to put impressive team stats on the table after the regular season. Watching back to their results it’s fair to say that the only losses Powerhouse hockey faced came from the games in which they were clear favourites to win so when the focus is 100% in the game this team can go all the way to the end. In the first round of the playoffs Powerhouse hockey beat Empire (29) in tight a series 4-2. There isn’t any clear individuals that plays the major role in teams success. Powerhouse hockey have players for every slot who can score and create scoring opportunities for their teammates. They will face one of the title favourites in GENESIS, who had a decent regular season in tough group 4 finishing fifth and in the first round of the playoffs they didn’t have much trouble beating Infamous (15) with a score of 4-1. GENESIS also prefers attacking hockey so this could become one of the most entertaining playoff pairs in this round. Left winger @meicci had great regular season with 91 points in 30 games but the teams best goal scorer comes from the center of the field. @Wpaanane scored 41 goals in the regular season and 9 goals in the first round of the playoffs. This is something to keep in mind especially for Powerhouse hockey centerman @Patrick Kane (I_Kauppinen_I).
Key points to follow:
The odds are even: There isn’t a favourite to win this pair. GENESIS is probably disappointed from their regular season result while Powerhouse hockey had an amazing regular season. GENESIS is determined to prove their true worth while Powerhouse hockey is playing with high confidence.
Pressure: GENESIS were clearly disappointed that they weren’t picked from the Pro applications to play in ECL 10 Pro. It means they are now expected to prove a point and play their way up which could build some pressure for players to succeed. Powerplay hockey wasn’t expected to be as tremendous as they have been in this season but now they are also seen as title contenders and no one dares to underestimate them anymore. This new situation could build some pressure for them as well.
Discipline on defence: Both teams loves to attack, score goals and challenge for one on ones. The winner of the series is going to be the team that is able to sacrifice some of the attacking force to play smart at the defence.
Prediction: As said, there isn’t a clear favourite to win this pair. The seeding won’t tell the truth of the difference between these teams. Powerhouse Hockey has had an amazing season so far but I believe that GENESIS will be the team that is ready to adjust their gamestyle to a more defensive minded approach, which will end the series to GENESIS with the score 2-4.
The Angry Cats attacking trio is on fire. They all scored over 100 points in 30 games and Angry Cats were the most effective team to bury the puck in the net in the regular season. It seems to be impossible to win this team in a pure goalscoring competition especially when the goalkeeper @Giinis is having a season to remember between the pipes. Angry Cats faced Nordic Nosebleed (28) in the first round of the playoffs where they had some challenging times finding the way to score against a disciplined defence but in the end they won the series 4-1. HC SKULL TOWN had an OK regular season finishing fourth in group 3. However they had an amazing first round of the playoffs where they beat SOPPAJENGI (17) with series 4-1. Captain @JesseL2002 who played the key role in last seasons Kouvola Screaming Eagles has been excellent this season as well. Victory over a strong SOPPAJENGI proves that HC SKULL TOWN is ready to challenge any team that comes their way.
Key points to follow:
Angry Cats demolishing crew: Wingers @Korkokokorko and @juusto18 score goals and crush their opponents while center @Lowryy keeps feeding them with clever passes and helping on defence. HC SKULL TOWN has to find a way to disturb this trio.
Dangerous underdogs: Angry Cats will start the series as favourites but HC SKULL TOWN proved in the first round that they can’t be underestimated. This won’t be only a defensive battle for HC SKULL TOWN since they have the skill to finish their attacks in goals so Angry Cats has to be ready to face some lethal counter-attacks.
Powerplay: Angry Cats were the best team on powerplay in the regular season with the amazing 42,11 PP%. HC SKULL TOWN will not win this series if they take too many penalties for sure. On the other hand, Angry Cats' aggressive style of play can often give the powerplay opportunities to HC SKULL TOWN and the team that can make most of their chances will win these games.
Prediction: HC SKULL TOWN did a great job in the first round of the playoffs but I can’t see them winning Angry Cats who have been excellent in the attacking zone. However, if HC SKULL TOWN is ready to play like Nordic Nosebleed did: Defense first, there is a chance for another surprise. I still believe that the quality in attack will end the series 4-2 in Angry Cats' favour.
Hokurit had a tough challenge already in the first round of the playoffs when they faced NOVA (27) in an extremely tight series that eventually ended in a Hokurit victory 4-1. @Nagyttaja (Nukuttaja-) who scored an incredible 57 goals in the regular season continues his good form and played the key role in their victory over NOVA. Also hats off to @Somerjoki for having a 90,16 save percentage after 5 games that surely helped his team to end the series at such an early stage. Hokurit proved already during last season that playoff hockey suits them very well and whoever they are facing will have to give their all to beat this team. Their opponent Horror Hockey wrote the most beautiful story of this season so far when they made an epic comeback from 3-1 to 3-4 in their series against Storhamar IL Esport (20). This tells something about the mentality of this team. Horror Hockey had tough season in ECL 9 Pro that ended in relegation but unlike some might do, they didn’t give up. Both of these teams rely on seamless teamwork so there isn’t expected to be lots of goals scored in both ends of the ice.
Key points to follow:
Overcoming the disappointment: Both teams wants to leave last seasons disappointment behind by taking the next step closer to Pro promotion and the team that is going to win this pair will definitely be one of the favourite candidates to do so.
Teamplay: Both teams have individuals that can score when the spots open up, but the strength comes from the team effort for both clubs. It’s pretty clear that for example sniper @Nagyttaja won’t get as much free space in the offensive zone as he was used to have in the regular season and to keep scoring he is going to need help from his teammates.
Goalies: The margins are going to be extremely tight when two excellent ‘’team first’’ minded clubs will go head to head. There won’t be many scoring opportunities in either end and when the time comes, goalkeepers will lead the show. Hokurit have chosen to play only one keeper @Somerjoki, while Horror Hockey uses two goalies @eissi83 and @poliskontroll. Whoever is going to be between the pipes has to be at their best in every game.
Prediction: This series is going to be extremely tight to the very end. It almost feels like I have to flip a coin to give you the answer. Both teams are ‘’playoff ready’’ and good enough to earn the Pro promotion this season and challenge for the cup as well. However I’m so impressed with Horror Hockey’s comeback in the first round that I believe it will boost them to win the series in fourth overtime of game seven, 3-4.
Ducktales BK had a good regular season where they finished second in group 2. Their star on attack is experienced center @cHIIMEERa, who also played a big role for his team in the first round of the playoffs where they beat Remparts de Tours Esports (26) with a series score of 4-2. The team had a difficult start to the season but they have been able to improve game after game which is of course important in long tournaments. Even though their last game against Remparts de Tours Esports ended in a crushing 7-1 win, it catches the eye that most of their games this season have ended with small numbers which tells that the team is either protecting the lead for the win or having a bit struggle finding the net. Ducktales BK is facing ECDC Memmingen eSports who were in the third spot of group 3 after the regular season. In the first round of the playoffs they faced Fysical (22) and after tight games, they were able to win the series 4-2. Left winger @Wowa_1995 (Waldinho_95) has found a great form and helped his team also in the first round of the playoffs with 8 goals in 6 games.
Key points to follow:
Defensive strength: Both teams have really efficient defenders in their lineup. Especially former Synergy Hockey defender @J-Foppain Ducktales BK and @Toneee9in ECDC Memmingen eSports are worthy keeping an eye on during the games. They both can play very well both ways and have a key role building offence for their teams.
Powerplay: ECDC Memmingen eSports have been a good powerplay team this season with 35 PP% compared to Ducktales BK 20 PP%. Ducktales BK isn’t known for taking lots of penalties but when the chance comes, ECDC Memmingen eSports have the quality to bury it. I believe this series is going to be a low scoring one as well so every opportunity counts.
Fighting spirit: Ducktales BK have many players that have played Elite/Pro division at some point of their career and are now maybe having a cooldown/restart for their playing while ECDC Memmingen eSports is a relatively new organisation in the scene that is hungry for success and this could be the decisive difference at the end.
Prediction: Ducktales BK have some great individuals in their lineup, but I believe ECDC Memmingen eSports wants to win more than their opponents. Even if I was wrong with the mental analysis, the series is going to be extremely tight and low scoring anyway. In the end ECDC Memmingen eSports will turn the series to their favour and eventually win 2-4.
The legendary Sjukstugan is making a comeback to the virtual rink and the regular season went really well for them as they finished third in group 4 and eventually had no problems winning TanssiiTuhtienKansa in the first round of the playoffs with a score of 4-1. The work order in the team is pretty clear: Captain @Bjono feeds the wingers @Lamsa and @Martin Johansson (mitchx99) as they shoot the puck to the net with great accuracy. Sjukstugan will face HUIPPUPASSI, who had a really difficult start for the season but finally found their own level and ended the regular season in the third place of group 2. In the first round of playoffs, HUIPPUPASSI continued their good from by beating Gernoble BDL Esport (23) a sweep. One player that has been excellent this season for HUIPPUPASSI is young defender @viba2008, who scored most points out of all defensemen in the regular season and had a really strong start to the playoffs as well. There is a great amount of individual talent in this pair and this series is expected to be really entertaining. Brave attacking ice hockey both ways and lots of goals.
Key points to follow:
Offensive battle: Both teams want to attack and place a high forecheck. This could open up the game to counter-attacks and it definitely doesn’t make playing for the goalkeeper any easier. I predict that there will be lots of goals in this series and the team that manages to win the goal scoring race will win the series (obviously).
Talented individuals: There is lots of Elite experience on ice for Sjukstugan, who can make impressive plays with the puck from time to time. Even though HUIPPUPASSI doesn’t have the same experience in their lineup, but every one of their players are capable to match the skills of Sjukstugan on a good day. Lots of one on ones, great passes and faceoff set plays will be expected in this encounter.
Goalies: because of the reasons explained above, goaltenders will play a big part for both teams in this series. No easy shots are expected and lots of nasty wrap-around attempts will be made for sure. Keepers need to use all of their tools to catch every possible puck they can. Both goalkeepers were good in the first round but now the challenge is way harder.
Prediction: These teams have very similar way of playing this game and I’m pretty sure this series will be really fun to watch. There won’t be many overtimes and many goals will be scored. In the end I believe that the experience of Sjukstugan will lead them to victory and the series will end 4-2
Well, there you go! Hopefully you enjoyed this extensive breakdown of the Lite round 2 playoffs. The train chugs on and teams are dropping in numbers, soon we're down to the last few and the stakes start rising. Follow the teams on social media for info about the games!
As always, have fun - play hard!