Open Division teams in line to move forward with a good result in the second leg include the following:
Only a high-scoring loss at home will stop them: Kanaal, Retter, St.-Nicholaas-Meechenstaff.
Only a high-scoring loss away from home will stop them: Eahnstaff, Verbrodering-Hammerspujl.
A win or high-scoring tie away from home will put them through: Wootenmaas, Noi-Sporting-West, King-Frujdrick-Nojkapeel, Hijst, Krosstop, Gull-Overboom.
But note well that the Open Division teams all started this leg at home and so they have a tough challenge on unfamiliar ice for the second leg!
4 Wootenmaas v. UB - Tujrspaarck 3: The tiny town of Wootenmaas lost its marbles as the clock struck zero on their unlikely win over the university boys of Staff Borsch. It will be a tall order to go into the city and tie or score more than 3 goals in a loss, but destiny seems to be flirting with the Foresters.
3 Noi-Sporting-West v. Tisbe 0: Celebration in Dafna as the Winter Kings set themselves up perfectly for a second-round upset of the Swift Arrows. Dujter Gelterkint was held scoreless and briefly left the game after being checked by burly defender Klaes “Boom Boom” Boomsmass, but he returned to assist on N-S-W’s third goal, a short-handed beauty by 38-year old Oskar Krijps.
2 King-Frujdrick-Noikapeel v. Oststaff 2: K-F-N played a conservative game and eked out a tie with a frustrated Oststaff team that took four penalties on K-F-N’s home ice. Afterwards, Commodore and coach Erick van Geesters praised his Cadets for playing a game they deserved to win and said they would be excused from morning calisthenics the next day, which was taken as a dig against the officials. “You can’t win a game that Stripes takes away from you,” said an Oststaff fan.
5 Verbrodering-Hammerspujl v. Lassefball 4: Tarlunz’s reserves took it to a Lassefball side trying to find its identity as a newly independent club. Lassefball’s 4 away goals may play a part in deciding who moves on here. First-star status went to center Wils Tchappelmark, a top Tarlunz recruit.
1 Hijst v. Benjaminburg 1: Little Hijst celebrated its first result other than a loss to a second-division club in 24 years, carrying netminder Jaan Nuuruj off the ice at the end as 984 in official attendance rejoiced. Afterwards, the town was treated to a traditional feast of grilled Borschic beef ribs slathered with a savory beetroot-and-whiskey sauce. Hijst moves to the central plain of the Borschland River to see if they can knock off the first foe in the second round in 22 years.
4 Gull-Overboom v. UB - St. Elisabeth 4: Gull-Overboom did not get exactly the result they wanted, but it was better than a loss, as a late tip-in helped their chances for an upset in Leg 2. “Go Gull Go” was heard throughout the town as a few fans took a traditional dip in the Great Ocean amidst freezing temperatures. The Engineers did raid Gull’s larder for 4 away goals, which will be tough to overcome in the heightened pressure of a 5,000 seat rink filled to overflowing with enthusiastic university students.
6 Kanaal v. Limpael 2: Kanaal burnished its credentials for re-entering the second division after its penalty phase for contract irregularities in 335. Even without Matexipar’s best prospects, who had to be sold off to other teams, Kanaal had plenty to best woeful Limpael.
4 St. Borsch v. Rachenz 2: The St. Borsch Saints handled the Adventurers at home, adding an empty-net goal at the end of the third. Wrischer prospect Raad Ejrmann scored 2 goals for the Saints. The 21-year old quipped afterwards, “The saints were with me—literally.”
0 Eschmass v. Alma 9: As advertised, this was a total slaughter on the home ice of the Skylark boys as the Mountain Climbers of Alma scored three goals per period and balanced their scoring among 7 players. Alma’s coach Pujtr Groosmann commented after the game, “We weren’t looking ahead to the next series. That’s a credit to the lads.”
1 Pohlmatische v. Ellafuus 6: Ellafuus halted the Pohlmatische goal train on its tracks behind the efficient goaltending of Vinasolan wunderkind Victorius Victorillus, who seems destined for a regular job in Sajbell or another top-league club one day.
2 Bijfhaf v. Lisandra 1: Bijfhaf clamped down on a depleted Lisandra side missing its two first-line forwards because of injury. Always boisterous, the 4,500 strong fans in the Loflinland capital chanted “Lose! Lose! Lose!” to its skaters in the traditional Loflin practice of saying the exact opposite of what they mean.
4 Krosstop v. Veefgoodergild 1: Perhaps Krosstop fans could hear the celebration from across the river as Eahnstaff was holding its own against Armaruj while their own team was showing its mettle against a game but unlucky Packers squad. The Scouts held a 2-1 lead late in the third period but opened it up with a short-handed goal and then an empty-net goal.
2 Linblad v. St.-Nicholaas-Meechenstaff 7: The lads from Linblad had loads of trouble versus a motivated and efficient S-N-M side. Meechen prospect Thomas Echstaal had a trinity in this game for the Christmas Saints.
3 Eahnstaff v. Armaruj 3: The Ferryman worked hard to earn this tie, coming from down 2 goals in the middle of the second period. 37-year old former standout for Matexipar Conraad Bartul had 2 goals, while another veteran of the top league, Luuk Kuhbauer, had 11 hits on defense.
1 Itasca v. Retter 2: As advertised, this was a tight one, but Retter came away with a victory on Itasca’s home ice and that will be tough to overcome for Itasca. Retter’s Coast Guard cadets limited Itasca to 19 shots on goal as captain and defenseman Laurens Pohlpert had 8 hits.
3 Gottwrischer v. Dafna 2: The embattled Archdeacons held serve at home versus formidable Dafna, setting up an epic second-round tilt. If Gottwrischer can tie Dafna—or score more than 2 goals in losing—at its raucous home ice under the shadow of the mountains, they will move on. Dafna may regret lost opportunities such as the three shots that rang metal on the Gottwrischer net but did not go in.