With this season review, we'll be able to put yet another ECL Pro season in the books! After an unfortunate delay due to ISP issues, we were able to crown POGGERS the new champion and congratulate them for a guaranteed Elite spot for ECL 9.
Without further ado we want to conclude a season review in traditional fashion:
Top 8 teams of ECL 8 Pro:
POGGERS - The new champion had an outstanding playoff run (16 wins, 4 losses) which wasn't easy. In the first round they only needed 5 games to top the most liked mascot of Raccoon Rampage, 6 games to destroy the hopes of the contender Gotham Knights and 5 games against the very well defending team of Checkmate. In the finals POGGERS faced the team to beat - TIKI TALK ran by veteran @itspardytime who were the favorites all across the board. POGGERS regular season wasn't that pretty, as they finished only 5th in Group 1 which resulted in the 9th seed overall. After rotating a little bit in the regular season, POGGERS sticked with their starting 6 for the playoffs. @Chafak led the team in points all season long but don't sleep on the nice defensive pair of @Speedy104 and @Wickedtah69. It will be interesting to see, how they will perform in the Elite next season.
TIKI TALK - The runner-up was the favorite coming into the season and didn't disappoint. They dominated their Group 1 with their high-scoring offense around top-scoring captain @itspardytime. They were no slouches on the the defensive side either and these two factors certainly made them into real contenders this season. TIKI TALK didn't hesitate to make their presence felt in the playoffs as they swept Bellizzi and SIKA in the first two rounds. They had to pay attention in the semi-finals against Black Horse as they beat the 1st seed of The Next Gen, but as it seemed it wasn't too hard to deal with as Pardy and his guys only needed five games to secure their finals spot. Quite disappointing that they fell short against the later champions but TIKI TALK will have a shot at the highest division in their promotion battles against Synergy Hockey. Will there be a joyful ending to their cinderella story?
Checkmate - The defensive minded team built around @TackleControl had a pretty shaky line up during the regular season where they used 9 skaters and 2 goalies. This wasn't the case for the playoffs as nearly all of the games were played by their starting 6. Checkmate's way to the semi-final was built up by a pretty good 3rd place in Group 1 which lead to a first round matchup against Speedy Bros Hockey (win in 5 games) and a quarterfinal against Mentula SKA (win in 6 games). They didn't flaunt their offensive guns that much but are very good at shut down defense and very dangerous in the counter attacks. Their effort wasn't enough in the semis against the later champs POGGERS, but you will see them in the Elite next season, as they were able to beat Resurrection in the promotion battle.
Black Horse - Going into the season in the role as their name would suggest, Black Horse struggled to show their talent in the regular season. Finishing 5th in Group 2 which resulted in the 13th seed overall, they showed their real potential finally in the playoffs. A contender like Silver Sword Griffins in the first round? Done in 6 games. The highest seed in the quarterfinals? C'mon, let's sweep them. The later runner-up TIKI TALK eventually beat them in 5 games, but nevertheless the team around @Tapparafan made some noise for sure. Unfortunately we won't see this team again as rumours about a breakup have been heard through the grapevine.
Gotham Knights - The former Elite team wanted to play a bounce-back season and were an early favorite for sure. They rotated quite heavily during the regular season but top-scorer and captain @ReDMisTi kept his cool with his experience leading his team to a second place finish in Group 1 and the 3rd seed overall. Their defense was outstanding as they only conceded 42 goals in a total of 30 games. While continuing their good form in the first round as they beat the SPARTANS in 5 games, their season came to a quick halt in the quarter finals against the later champions POGGERS. As Black Horse left an open promotion spot by disbanding, the Knights out of Gotham had were given the chance due to their best remaining playoff record and PPG of the regular season. Unfortunately they lost to the Unlucky Boys HC and will remain in the Pro division for ECL 9.
Mentula SKA - After they got promoted from Lite in ECL 7, Mentula SKA showed that they can compete also in the second highest division. An immediate playoff qualification with the record 20-8-2 resulted in the 3rd place of Group 2 and the 6th overall seed goes to show for that. After a tight battle which needed 7 games to see a winner in the first round against Rajatorpan Mafia, the team of @Niksu21 fell short against the later Elite qualifying Checkmate in 6 games. Nevertheless a pretty good debut season for the former Lite team and they will be in the mix of the favorites for further tournaments for sure!
The Next Gen - The runner-up of the ECL 7 Lite division was on fire right from the get go. Leading Group 2 all the way, they ended up being the top seed overall for the playoffs. This team boasted top-scorers @kriketski17 and @NikkeDangles in their lineup and managed to be one of the defensive powerhouses of the league even with missing their starting goaltender and captain @ramseyy2. Easy tap in in a wide open spot for ECL 9 Elite right? Playoff hockey is a different story - that's something that will be hard to swallow for The Next Gen. They needed 7 games against the GHETTO FIREBIRDS in the first round and guess what? They got swept in the quarterfinals against Black Horse. Pretty disappointing end to an otherwise outstanding season. We're hoping for these guys to be back, that's for sure!
SIKA - After a very bad season in the Elite division of ECL 7 it was a team defining season for SIKA. They had some problems adjusting their style to start the season in the Pro division but eventually finished the group stage at 7th in Group 1 and 11th seed overall. This squad is experienced and that ended up paying off in the first round as they beat Born With It, who where the 2nd seed of Group 2, in 6 games. Unfortunately the Hogs weren't quite strong enough to hold up against the later runner-up TIKI TALK in the quarter finals. Can they make a deeper playoff run in ECL 9?
Playoff MVP: @Chafak
Most Points: @itspardytime, TIKI TALK, 47 Goals, 48 Assists, 95 Points in 30 games
Most Goals: @itspardytime, TIKI TALK, 47 Goals, 48 Assists, 95 Points in 30 games
Most Assists: @itspardytime, TIKI TALK, 47 Goals, 48 Assists, 95 Points in 30 games
Most Hits by a Forward: @Enerfity, Speedy Bros Hockey, 227 Hits in 26 games
Best +/-: @kriketski17, The Next Gen, +74 in 30 games
Most Points by a Defenseman: @Thewix93, TIKI TALK, 8 Goals, 35 Assists, 35 Points in 30 games
Most Goals by a Defenseman: @Drunkendefender, SPARTANS, 11 Goals, 23 Assists, 34 Points in 30 games
Most Assists by a Defenseman: @Thewix93, TIKI TALK, 8 Goals, 35 Assists, 35 Points in 30 games
Most Hits by a Defenseman: @Lurkins, SIKA, 228 Hits in 22 games
TOP 3'S OF ECL 8 PRO
Top 3 Forwards Regular Season:
1. @itspardytime, TIKI TALK, 47 Goals, 48 Assists, 95 Points in 30 games
2. @kriketski17, The Next Gen, 47 Goals, 35 Assists, 82 Points in 30 games
3. @NikkeDangles, The Next Gen, 38 Goals, 44 Assists, 82 Points in 30 games
Top 3 Defenders Regular Season:
1. @Thewix93, TIKI TALK, 8 Goals, 35 Assists, 43 Points in 30 games
2. @Drunkendefender, SPARTANS, 11 Goals, 23 Assists, 34 Points in 30 games
3. @oGBioLan, The Next Gen, 6 Goals, 26 Assists, 32 Points in 30 games
Top 3 Goaltenders Regular Season:
1. @Masapunda, Born With It, 21 Wins, 86.47 SV%, 1.82 GAA, 5 SO in 29 games
2. @PeeloJombb, Mentula SKA, 20 Wins, 84.07 SV%, 1.66 GAA, 4 SO in 30 games
3. @Joshua Plattner, Silver Sword Griffins, 18 Wins, 80.78 SV%, 1.58 GAA, 8 SO in 30 games
Top 3 Forwards Playoffs:
1. @itspardytime, TIKI TALK, 28 Goals, 27 Assists, 55 Points in 18 games
2. @Teme, TIKI TALK, 21 Goals, 24 Assists, 45 Points in 18 games
3. @Jirsimarco, TIKI TALK, 10 Goals, 23 Assists, 33 Points in 18 games
Top 3 Defenders Playoffs:
1. @Thewix93, TIKI TALK, 6 Goals, 21 Assists, 27 Points in 18 games
2. @Savinaainen, TIKI TALK, 3 Goals, 13 Assists, 16 Points in 18 games
3. @Wickedtah69, POGGERS, 3 Goals, 12 Assists, 15 Points in 21 games
Top 3 Goaltenders Playoffs:
1. @Janne Hietala, POGGERS, 16 Wins, 86.34 SV%, 1.47 GAA, 5 SO in 21 games
2. @PCJP, TIKI TALK, 13 Wins, 83.53 SV%, 1.50 GAA, 3 SO in 18 games
3. @villamies95, Black Horse, 9 Wins, 80.23 SV%, 2 SO in 15 games
The controversial 'Top 6' of the season is making a comeback! What this means is a selection of six players in a starting lineup, that have showed exceptional skill and played a good season. Please note that all selections are subjective and they are made by community members who have been keeping an eye on ECL 8 Pro. Without further ado, here's the top 6 of our Pro division in ECL 8:
@Janne Hietala (POGGERS)