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s18 - VHL Conference Finals [WB13]

2021-07-19

New York Islanders

July 18, 2021

WB#13

The Final Four- VHL Conference Finals

This week in the VHL the Conference Finals were front and center. The Final four consisted of matchups of Philadelphia versus New Jersey in the Eastern Final and Phoenix versus SanJose in the Western Conference. It does appear the hockey gods got it right. These four teams treated the league to two tremendous finals. If your a hockey fan this is what you want to see when the core is widdled down to the best of the best. These four teams put on a heck of show, Philadelphia and New Jersey went the distance going through to a classic game seven, Phoenix and San Jose went six with games five and six being close one goal games. We now know who will play for Lord Stanley's Mug. It should be a great Stanley Cup Finals with Philadelphia representing the Eastern Conference and San Jose representing the Western Conference.

The Western Conference Finals

Game 1

Phoenix was the home team to start the series, they out shot San Jose on the night, 43-33. But you wouldnt know it by the final score. There was 7 goals scored in this game, only 1 was on the powerplay and that was a Phoenix goal midway through the first. San Jose made the most of the chances they would get and scored 5 goals even strength and took game 1, 5-2.

Game 2

Once again we are in the desert, with Phoenix looking to even the series and save some semblance of home ice. On this night it appeared that San Jose was the home team however, they reversed the previous night's shot totals, outshooting Phoenix, 33-20. Holding the home team to only twenty shots made life easier for San Jose. They would muster only 2 goals, but the defense first mentality held Phoenix to just 1 goal. San Jose wins 2-1 and takes a 2-0 series lead,heading home.

Game 3

Phoenix knew their back were against the wall and they played like it. In a clssic that would take 5 periods to record a winner, Phoenix out shot San Jose, 48-38. The game was tight and physical and regulation would see the teams locked in a 1-1 tie. The First OT decided nothing and two exhausted teams took to the ice for a fifth period of play. To the diappointment of the home fans and to the elation of the Phoenix fans, Sergei Zubov would play hero. Phoenix wins 2-1 and were back in the series.

Game 4

Phoenix entered night two in San Jose and very confident group, feeling like they could get back home ice advantage and take it to San Jose. Not only did they do it, they did it in style, hammering the home team 7-1 in front of a shocked San Jose crowd. The 7 goals came on 40 shots as they peppered the San Jose net all night long. San Jose had little to no push back. Phoenix was heading home having tied the series at 2-2.

Game 5

Just when it looked like mr. momentum ahd moved its way over to Phoenix, San Jose came up up with one might suggest their best effort of the series. After be pummeled and embarassed at home, San Jose came out el fuego. San Jose would out shoot Phoenix, 41-38. Phoenix would score the first goal, but the teams would each find the red light twice in regulation. The teams would go to OT fighting for the all important game 5. The great Rod Brind Amour would play her for San Jose, who would win the game 3-2 in OT and head home remembering what Phoenix had done to them there just night ago. But they would go there with a 3-2 series lead.

Game 6

Game six in San Jose was yet another beauty in what was a great series. Phoenix facing elimination would find a different San Jose team on this night, as to when they last visted, San Jose would out shoot Phoenix 41-30. San Jose scored first and the team traded goals back and forth, tied at 2 heading into the third. San Jose would get the only goal of the final frame of the Phoenix series. Chris Kelly scored the series clincher, as San Jose took the game 3-2 and the series 4-2. This series was so tight it could have gone either way, but in the end San Jose had enough to win the Western Conference Championship.

 

The Eastern Conference Final

Game 1

The series would open in the City of Brotherly Love. On this night Alex Ovechkin would show much love for his team mates and fans. The Great 8 would score twice, as Philadelphia out shot New Jersey 37-34. Philadelphia would score the first and the last goals, take game 1 ,3-1 and take a 1-0 series lead.

Game 2

Back in Philadelphia for game 2. the Philadelphia fans would witness a whole another animal, as New Jersey was intimidating the entire night. New Jersey would out shoot Philadelphia 35-30. New Jersey scored first, Philadelphia tied the game in the second. The teams entered the third tied at one. In the third it was all New Jersey, they out shot Philadelphia 15-5 and out scored them 3-0. New Jersey wins game 2, 4-1 and heads home having broken home ice, the series is tied 1-1

Game 3

New Jersey arrived home to an excited crowd. But Philadelphia would have none of it, this would be a night they would flex a little muscle and high light great scoring prowess. Philadelphia would have the edge in shots 47-31. Philadelphia would score 3 goals in the first, 3 goals in the second allowing just two New Jersey scores. Leading 6-2 into the third Philadelphia played picket fence hockey and neither team scored in that period. Philadelphia takes a 2-1 series lead.

Game 4

New Jersey was home for game 4 and this has been a resilent team, gritty, tough and purposeful, they would send a message loud and clear to Philadelphia, we will not go quietly into the night. New Jersey would out shoot Philadelphia, 39-27 on the night including a masterful third where they out shot the visitors 18-4. New Jersey would take the game by scoring 3 and allowing just 1 Philadlphia tally. The series was tied at 2-2.

Game 5

Game fives are always crucial, especially in a long series, this one was no different. New Jersey did out shoot Philadelphia,38-31, but it was Philadelphia snipers who would tickle the twine on this night. Philadelphia scored twice in the first, once in the second and third and would hold New Jersey to just one goal on those 38 shots, sometimes its just hot goaltending that is the difference. Philadelphia wins 4-1 and takes the series lead,3-2.

Game 6

New Jersey has been a dangerous team in these playoffs and much more so when their backs are firmly against the wall. This was a terrific hockey game. New Jersey would take a 2-1 lead into the third, and these two storied franchises would let it all hang out in the third, there was no defense to speak of, it appeared both teams just said lets give all we have and pressure the opponent and let the chips fall where they might. It was very entertaining hockey and both teams would score twice the game ending in a New Jersey 4-3 win and we were off to game 7.

Game 7

The funny thing about game seven's is that sometimes they can be anti climatic in nature. This one did not disappoint, New Jersey was very solid on the night, putting 41 shots on the Philadelphia goal. But once again for the second time in a crucial game it was goaltender Manny Fernandez who would impose his will on the outcome. New Jersey would just get 1 goal on those 41 shots and Philadelphia would find enough offense on the night, scoring 3 times. For the record Jaromir Jagr would score the series winner, his second goal of the night. Philadelphia wins 3-1, takes the series 4-3 and will represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals.

out for this week...peace

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