The quarterfinals brought us a whole bunch of more upsets, as did the previous rounds. The first seeded team of The Next Gen got swept, Elite experienced teams like SIKA and Gotham Knights got sent to improving their golfing skills as well. We congratulate TIKI TALK, Checkmate, POGGERS and Black Horse for their guaranteed shot at an Elite spot for ECL 9.
The ECL 8 Pro Semifinals will be played between Monday, 25th of February and Sunday, 3rd of March 2019.
Here are the matchups for the ECL 8 Pro Semi-finals:
Is it TIKI TALK's year? Will they finally make their way back to Elite in ECL 9? After a disappointing end to their ECL 7 season, TIKI TALK have finally shown their true potential in the 8th iteration of the European Championship League. They don't want to waste any more time in their quest to advance back to the highest tier division - two sweeps against Bellizzi and SIKA, you can call that impressive for sure. The teams iconic captain @itspardytime rules this team and the division playoffs so far by scoring 38 points (20 goals, 18 assists) in 8 games. TIKI TALK have been running with their top lineup for all games so far and we believe this won't change as you don't change a winning team, right? @Thewix93 (4 goals and 13 assists) and @PCJP (89,47 SV% and 1,00 GAA) are the defensive anchors which this highly potential offense need at the back end.
Black Horse started the season as their name would imply and surpassed all expectations completely. While they struggled a little bit at the end of the season, which cost them a higher seed for the playoffs, they didn't hesitate to show their skill right at the start of the playoffs against the big guns. They eliminated the 4th seed Silver Sword Griffins in 6 games while burying the top seed The Next Gen in only 4. Is TIKI TALK next in the line on their way to winning it all? Their defense is the key to their success - while they don't win their games with style, they are hard to score against and will make you pay for your mistakes. While former top goaltender @Hullued now is showing that he can be a top center and leads the team in that role in all three zones of the ice, the defensive pair of @Miika (Since2009-) and @Exel56 do an outstanding job and @villamies95 in net is a real stud in his debut season!
Pure offensive skill vs a brickwall, who's gonna stand tall when this series has been played?
Our bet is on TIKI TALK in 6 games, but expect some really tight battles!
Checkmates situation is very familiar to the one TIKI TALK finds themselves in - they also had a disappointing outcome to the ECL 7 playoffs with a first round exit. Now they are back in business again. While in the regular season they played with quite a big roster, we get that familiar top 6 line up in the playoffs. This roster consists of guys who were able to beat Speedy Bros Hockey and Mentula SKA in 5, respective 6 games. Alike Black Horse, Checkmate is a defensive minded team built around the captain @TackleControl. They established this play style during last season as well, but what is different this year? Maybe the addition of the Elite experienced @Tuukka.R was the missing puzzle piece for their final success. Can they hold on to their strong defense and make it to the finals?
Once a Wasp, now a frog - the evolution goes on, but they started with Quality right from the beginning! After defeating Raccoon Rampage and Gotham Knights in 5, respective 6 games, the team around the leader @Yoloberg will make sure to give the best fight they have to offer. The addition of veteran @Chafak helped them to go far in the playoffs. Look out for their offensive trio as they like to throw some extra sauce on their passes and might surprise you coming out of the gates. They are also quite good defensively and will make sure that their top 6 guys are on the ice to win them this series.
It will be interesting to see which team is going to be the active part with more puck possession. We're expecting both teams to have to dig deep in their playbook if they want to advance to the finals.
We believe it will be Checkmate coming out as a finalist, but it will take the full distance of 7 games!
Results from the relegation matchups:
At last we would like to wish all ECL 8 Pro semi-finalists good luck in these series and would also like to give a big congrats to Pata Hellalla for staying in Pro!
Signing off for now,