The Pro season is nearing the end as we'll witness FILADELPHIA and Monarchs put the pedal to the metal in the upcoming final matchup. Both teams have secured promotion spots, but now they'll be fighting for the pride and glory of being able to call themselves ECL Pro champions.
The ECL Pro final this season sees the number one seed from each group go head to head in an exciting battle of the hockey philosophies. Both teams had close to identical regular season records, but their playoff paths have been quite different leading up to this point.
FILADELPHIA has been out for a walk in the park so far in the playoffs. They’ve managed to secure advancement in a maximum of five games each round, beating Quality 4-1, Deadly Phantoms HC 4-0 and White Trash 4-1. It remains to be seen whether they have met their match in Monarchs. @Erkki(I_Eki_I) has found a good flow in the playoffs, resulting in the highest points per game total in the playoffs so far (2,2 pts/gp). In FILA we expect to see a group of extremely skilled and experienced guys, captain @Joonas Paatiala (Patzlaf) being no stranger to this situation, as he lead his Carlsberg HC to a Pro victory in ECL 4. It'll certainly be interesting to see how FILA will be able to adapt their play style against the tight defense of Monarchs. What will they do if they run into a brick wall at the opposing blue line? Will I_Eki_I and Patzlaf get the support they need up front?
On the other side, we’ll be seeing the notorious Swedish up-and-comer Monarchs – who under command of captain @chavelski and lead on the ice by the experienced "Mr. OT-winner" @pajenc have managed to mow their way through to the finals. Monarchs playoff run hasn’t been as easy as the one of FILA, though. Round 1 was a routine 4-0 win over Raging Monkeys, but the next opponent in Red Machine put up a fight, series ending 4-2. The Monarchs semi final series was one for the ages – the tightly contested battle against Almost Famous saw game 6 and 7 going into triple and double overtime, series ending 4-3 in favor of Monarchs. Monarchs are most certainly battle-tested, they'll be going into this series with a great confidence boost and belief that their system will prevail even in tough situations. The team will be looking to shut down opposing center I_Eki_I and their brick-wall of a blue line trap might be just the trick to do that. The keys to Monarchs success will be finding additional options on offense and maintaining the tight team-defense we are used to seeing.
Prior to the finals we posted a Twitter poll about who you guys think is going to walk away with the win. The community has spoken and the expectation with a whopping 89% vs 11% is that FILADELPHIA will walk away with the W in this one.
Prediction: 4-2 FILADELPHIA
How to watch the Finals?
The games have been scheduled to be played as follows:
Game 1: Tuesday 24th of April 2018 - 21:00 CEST
Game 2: Tuesday 24th of April 2018 - 21:30 CEST
Game 3: Tuesday 24th of April 2018 - 22:00 CEST
Game 4: Wednesday 25th of April 2018 21:00 CEST
Game 5: Wednesday 25th of April 2018 21:30 CEST (If necessary)
Game 6: Wednesday 25th of April 2018 22:00 CEST (If necessary)
Game 7: Wednesday 25th of April 2018 22:30 CEST (If necessary)
All of the Pro Finals games will be broadcasted, so get ready to watch the action on our Twitch channel! Our first broadcast, covering the first three games, starts tonight at 20:45 CEST.
Below you'll find the lineups of the teams for at least the three first games:
Who is your favorite? Who do you expect to win? Will we see more OT-drama? Let us know in the comments!
We'll see you tonight at twitch.tv/NHLGamerTwitch