The ECL 5 Pro season was an exciting battle from the very start, until the overtime winner in game 7 of the finals. Let's start with the group stage:
In this group all of the top 3 teams from The_Alpha_Furyan'ss ECL Pro Preview made it to the playoffs. Gotham Knights and SIKA ended up in the top 2 during the regular season and White Trash finished 6th in the group. Group 1 was tighter than group 2, with only 13 points between Gotham Knights - that won the group - and Murohoki and Black Panther Party, who finished in 9th and 10th place and just barely missed the playoffs.
When you look at the bottom of the table you find Squirt Hockey, Nemesis and Bare Knuckles Hockey. All of these 3 teams had to play Relegation games to try their best to stay in the Pro division.
If you go through the personal stats in this group, we have the Inter Iceland duo @Stefan_397 (88p) and @Playmaker1010 (83p) at the top. Both of them had big roles for their team that finished the regular season in 3rd place. My teammates and I in Lavetten got a painful reminder of how good that duo can be when Inter Iceland slaughtered us 10-0 and Stefan racked up 4+6 and Playmaker 3+4 in that game.
After that devastating loss, Lavetten managed to play so much better in the second half of the season without me. I was really impressed by the guys on my team when they ended the season with 12 wins and 2 OT losses being the hottest team in the second half of the season in Group 1. Best goalie stats-wise in group 1 was - the star goalie from SIKA - @SpiderRoyal with a 15-5-1 record and an 83.01 save percentage.
In group 2 the two favorites Unlucky Boys HC and Shameful Knights did not disappoint their expectations finishing first and second. These two teams and Nordic Stars - who finished third - managed to score more than 100 goals each in the regular season. In group 1 there was only one team that scored over 100 goals (107 Inter Iceland). Looking at the bottom of the table you will find Banterfield Battalion, GHETTO FIREBIRDS and Bellizzi. Baltic Sea Eagles started out the season very well, being undefeated for the first 10 games, before losing two straight games against Nordic Stars. Unlucky Boys HC started the season very well as well, by winning their first 8 games only letting in 9 goals in those games.
The top scorer in group 2 was @sweatyfathoe99 from Unlucky Boys HC with an impressive 54 goals and 30 assists in 28 games.
Hullued from Shameful Knights was the best goalie in group 2 with a 25-4-0 record and an 81.81 save percentage.
Playoffs Round 1
I must say I was surprised when Shameful Knights lost in the first round against Falun Coal Miners as well as when SIKA lost in the first round against The United Knights. Apart from those series the other ones were very even; Pata Hellalla managed to turn around the series completely after being down 2-0. Sadly, after losing to Pata Hellalla in the playoffs, Lavetten decided to disband.
Gotham Knights beat LITE up-and-comers J P T J, Inter Iceland won against En Hund, Evolution beat Baltic Sea Eagles in an intense series that went go game 7, Unlucky Boys HC beat Alliance HT and in the last series Nordic Stars beat White Trash.
In the second round, Falun Coal Miners kept on impressing by beating another top team, as Nordic Stars lost in game .
Unlucky Boys showed how good they are by sweeping The United Knights comfortably 4-0. Pata Hellalla beat Gotham Knights 4-3 and Evolution won against Inter Iceland 4-2
In the semifinals it was Evolutions turn to show what a good team they are by beating Pata Hellalla 4-0. In the other series Falun Coal Miners did not manage to beat a third top ranked team and Unlucky Boys HC won the series 4-2.
The finals in the ECL 5 Pro playoffs was something special. Evolution got the best start being up 2-1 in games. However, Unlucky Boys managed to turn around the series with two wins in a row and Evolution had a lot of pressure going into the last day of the final series being down 3-2 in games.
After a 2-0 win in game 6, Evolution managed to win game 7 after a OT goal from their new super signing I_EKI_I. Congratulations to Evolution for winning ECL Pro!
After the very exiting finals in ECL Pro where Evolution managed to win this thrilling series that went to game 7, I asked Evolution Captain @Crisu_rottis about their impressive season:
Why did your team win the finals?
- I personally think that we won the series because we were taking the control of the puck and had the possession more. It was an extremely tight contest, but I think that we just got the chemistry to shut our opponent down quite well and scored the goals that were needed.
How much did it mean for you guys to get a top player like I_EKI_I in the middle of the season and how much did he mean for your team in the playoffs?
- Signing a top center to any team is a huge boost, and it was an easy decision to sign I_Eki_I when I got the opportunity, as he is extremely intelligent player so it was really easy to play with him. Especially for defenders, you knew what he was going to do every single time, even though we hadn't played that much together, he is truly one of the best.
What are your expectations for next season in ECL Elite?
- We are expecting a tough season in Elite, not gonna give any expectations for the season, but you can expect nothing less than seeing Evolution giving their all every single game, and we'll see how it goes.
I_EKI_I (@Erkki) showed what a good signing he was from the Elite team MUKIMIEHET, leading his new Evolution team to the title in ECL Pro.
I_EKI_I had the most points in the entire playoffs with 46 points (20+26), Stefan_397 from Inter Iceland was second with 42 points (22+20) and Sweatyfathoe99 was third with 40 points (25+15).
Looking at the goalie stats we find two goalies from the teams in the finals, @SepiDN from Evolution, first with a 80.09 save percentage and @eissi83 from Unlucky Boys HC, with a 81.44 save percentage.
Summary: Synergy Hockey was relegated from ECL Elite together with Nordic Lightning. After losing many players to other teams Synergy are merging together with Dead End Kings. Lavetten disbanded after only two seasons in ECL.
Relegated teams from Elite to Pro
New teams from Lite to Pro