Another regular season has come and gone - in what most people would say a very exciting way. In group 1 the final two matchups were decisive for the group outcome. 6-7 teams were fighting for a mere two playoff spots and to add to the excitement, most of them were facing off against each other! Dare I say, the tightest Pro season as of yet.
To finish off this thrilling end to the regular season, we've done a little "best of the regular season" segment. We'll also update you on what happened during this particular season and what you have to look forward to for the playoffs.
Upset of the season:
Cowabunga Hockey (23-4-3)
They won group 1! The newly promoted ECL 6 Lite silver medalists have made quite a statement this season. Their defense has been remarkable with mainly @Makeaxl and @Eeduu standing tall in their own zone. Only letting in 34 goals in 30 games and having a powerplay percentage of almost 25 % is a great combo, which has proven to be effective this season for Cowabunga. The real MVP on this team is @Jonitski though. 89.5 in save percentage and a GAA of 1.1 tells the whole story. Jonitski also did play every minute this season, keeping the other goalie (former Pro experienced) @Pettersson12 on the bench. Will we see a similar story this season as we did in ECL 6, as Almost Famous and Red Machine (now Butterfly Effect) were promoted to Elite in the debut Pro season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Underperformer of the season:
Free From Rodents (1-29-0)
Here we had a well experienced Pro team, who have surely had some justified playoff aspirations in recent seasons. This time, they did'nt live up to expectations. Finishing dead last in group 1 and only gathering 2 points in 30 games is a terrible disappointment to end the season for FFR. 1,37 goals per game while conceding 4,64 each game – ouch, they were really no force on the ice this season. It isn't over just yet, however! They have a relegation battle to approach, a chance to redeem themselves. They will certainly be regarded as an underdog in this series as they have to take on the Elite experienced Nordic Stars.
Players of the season:
@Tzon93 (Speedy Bros Hockey)
The left wing of Speedy Bros Hockey put on quite a show this season as he finished 2nd in the points leaderboards with 75 points (38 goals and 37 assists). With a shot percentage of 40% you always have to be aware where he is on the ice as he can score in every situation (5 PPG, 3 SHG). There is no doubt that he will be one key factors in his teams playoff run.
@Playmaker (Deadly Phantoms HC)
The center of Deadly Phantoms HC was on a completely different level in the Pro division of ECL 7. He nearly broke his own scoring record record of 83 points in a season but had 5 games less this time and fell just short. Leading the points department with 79 points (26 goals, 53 assists) is not all too usual for a centerman. His defensive skills and high faceoff percentage (57,7%) makes him a threat all over the ice. Can he lead his team to the glory of a promotion?
@Tim_FlyersFan (Deadly Phantoms HC)
This Deadly Phantoms HC right wing had to prove that he is ready to fit into a new team after he spent all his career representing the Clowns on Ice so far. 19 games, 27 goals, 40 assists with a total of 67 points (3. Ranked skater) proves that he fit in just fine with DPH. "Timbot" can score day in and day out and is hard to stop in the offensive zone. His creativity gives this clicking Phantoms offense a whole new dimension and scoring touch.
Consistency. That's the key word right here. Solen provided for his team week after week. He also achieved top 3 placements in points and assists for d-men. A plus 38 stands for a very decent defender who makes his team better and gives them a chance to win every game. He may not destroy anyone with devastating hits, but his positional play is a skill well mastered.
@AndreasLeafs (Raging Monkeys)
You want a decent defender who gets his job done, impeding the progress of opposing forwards while putting up some solid numbers on the board. AndreasLeafs should be you pick in that case. The assistant captain of Raging Monkeys is a workhorse who doesn't possess the flashiest play style and won’t get that much attention, but nevertheless makes his team better and always stands up for his teammates.
@DUNZA (Synergy Hockey)
12 shutouts in a season – new record! If Synergy Hockey wouldn’t have had a sloppy end to their regular season, he would easily have gotten some other records this season too. 86,19 save percentage, 1,13 goals against average, DUNZA was nearly unstoppable this season - if that's something you can say about a goalie, he's tha one stopping people, right? Sure, he didn’t have to face a lot of shots during most of the games, but he was there when he was needed. Make sure you follow him during the playoffs, if he can add some more clean sheets.
@RPH_31 (Deadly Phantoms HC)
The Austrian played an outstanding season for the Deadly Phantoms HC. It isn’t easy to be concentrated all the time if your team spends most of the game in the offensive zone, but RPH stopped nearly all of the chances he had to face (88,60 save percentage) as he was a great backstop for his team and gave them a chance to win tight matchups. 9 shutouts and a 1.00 goals against average displayed how good he's been this season.
@Jonitski (Cowabunga Hockey)
Another goalie on this list? Well, if you near in on a .90 save percentage (89,52%) in 30 games, 8 shutouts during this campaign and only conceded 1,1 goal per game, it’s very hard to not highlight him. Jonitski was outstanding in Cowabunga Hockey’s playoff push with 8 straight wins, 3 shutouts and only 7 goals against. Keep him in mind for the MVP race later on.
@mir02k1 (Speedy Bros Hockey)
This guy is the reason Speedy Bros scored the most goals of group 1. Why are we naming this though as he “only” finished 8th in the points department (60P, 28G, 32A), 15 points behind his linemate tzon93? Maybe he wouldn't be as good on his own, but having two dangerous wingers is very important in building a successful squad. The defense can’t focus on only one scary guy because if they give either one a bit too much space, it'll turn out costly.
@Mannheimer1938 (Deadly Phantoms HC)
He only played 17 games this season, but anyway lead the +/- category for defensemen and climbed to top 5 in both goals and points for defensemen. He had a +/- of 45, scored 7 goals and assisted 21 times in 17 games, record? Even though Phantoms had an incredible season and all players in their team did great, Mannheimer still deserves a shoutout!
That's all for now ladies and gents, but make sure to check our website now and then for our playoff previews, and a bit of this and that.
Signing off for now,
Pro Division Writing Team