We have surpassed the midpoint of a wild season full of twists and turns, and the playoffs are looming on the horizon. Each team has experienced successes that have boosted them and failures that have forced them to regroup and evolve. With the schedule heading into the home stretch, let’s take a look at the current status of each team.
The SWAT have pulled ahead in the standings with a record of 7-4 and have done so through edgy and aggressive defense that has been backed by solid goaltending from both Zach Ludwig and Laine Hruska. This defense is mean and unapologetic, making it difficult for teams to get inside and forcing many opposing offenses to stick to perimeter shooting. On the offensive end, Mitch Linklater and Colin Berglof have put up impressive numbers as the top two leading scorers in the league with 47 and 35 points respectively. The SWAT are coming off of a split two game set against the Mounties and will face-off with them again on June 28th.
Efficiency and execution have been the foundation of the Mounties when they are at their best. Their defense has stood tall throughout their eight games, only allowing ten or more goals in just two games this season. The poise and experience on the backend has been a monumental source of leadership for this team and their offense has followed their lead. Offensively, contribution has come from multiple players, and Toron Eccleston has led the squad with 34 points. With a 4-4 record, the Mounties will be looking to finish the season off strong as they go up against the Raiders on Friday.
The start of the season was a nightmare for the Raiders as they stumbled off the blocks and dropped their first three games. Where many teams would have crumbled in the face of adversity however; the Raiders regrouped and answered their losing streak with a winning streak, rattling off four wins in a row. The key to the Raiders’ resurrection has been their relentlessly pulse pumping transition play. The Raiders play fast, and with the footspeed of players like Harrison Matsuoka at the backend, they are deadly while pushing the ball. Kean Moon has led the offense since Myles Hamm’s injury, as he has picked up 31 points over eight games. A loss to the Miners on Sunday brought the Raiders to a 4-4 record that they will be looking to improve upon on Friday.
The Miners’ fate has been the inverse of that of the Raiders. They had a strong 3-1 start but quickly fell into a six-game losing streak as they struggled to put up numbers offensively. While the young team can be fast and exciting, with talented transition players, they tend to suffer from a lack of experience. This does not mean that they can not play however. Veterans like Brent Mitchell and Brett Oor anchor their defense, and Ethan Forgrave has been a standout offensively with 32 points. Coming off of the return of Dallyn Rai and acquisition of Skylar Wilson, the Miners’ offense is seeing an upswing that powered them to a 15-8 win over the Raiders on Sunday. The squad will have a week off to mull over their 4-7 record and iron out the kinks in their game.
The late season adrenaline will be kicking in for the players soon as each team is still in the race for the top seed in the league. While the SWAT are currently sitting pretty with the points lead, the other teams are nipping at their heels with the regular season drawing to a close. We will see soon who will inch ahead, and who will spinout at the finish line.